Are you looking to try rabbit meat but not sure where to find it on a restaurant menu? Rabbit may not be as common as beef or chicken, but there are still plenty of establishments across the country that offer this lean, tasty protein.
If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: upscale restaurants, gastropubs, and European-style venues are your best bets for finding rabbit on the menu. But keep reading to learn much more about the fascinating history of rabbit meat, its health benefits, and specific restaurants broken down regionally where you can order rabbit dishes.
In this comprehensive guide, we will provide everything you need to know about dining on rabbit in restaurants across the United States. We’ll start with some background information on the history of rabbit as a food source and its growing popularity on menus today.
We’ll also highlight the nutritional value of rabbit meat and reasons chefs and diners appreciate it. Finally, we’ll suggest top restaurants that serve rabbit broken down into different regions of the U.S. and major cities.
Whether you live on the East Coast, West Coast, or somewhere in between, we’ll point you to the best rabbit-serving restaurants in your area.
The History and Growing Popularity of Rabbit on Menus
Rabbits Have Been Eaten for Centuries
Believe it or not, rabbits have been a source of food for humans for centuries. Dating back to ancient times, rabbits were hunted and consumed by our ancestors. In fact, rabbits were a popular food source in both Europe and Asia.
They were easily accessible, abundant in the wild, and provided a lean and nutritious meat.
According to historical records, the ancient Romans and Greeks were known to enjoy rabbit meat. Even during the Middle Ages, rabbits were commonly raised and consumed by peasants in Europe. The meat was not only tasty but also a valuable protein source in regions where other livestock were scarce.
Throughout history, rabbits have been praised for their versatility in cooking. From stews and roasts to pies and sausages, rabbit meat has been a staple ingredient in many traditional dishes around the world.
Rabbit Started Falling Out of Favor in the 20th Century
Despite its long history as a popular food source, rabbit meat started to fall out of favor in the 20th century. Several factors contributed to this decline in popularity.
Firstly, the rise of industrialized farming led to a shift in consumer preferences towards more commonly consumed meats such as chicken, beef, and pork. These meats were readily available and easier to mass-produce, making them more affordable for the average consumer.
Additionally, the perception of rabbits as cute and cuddly animals made some people hesitant to eat them. They became more associated with pets rather than food.
Lastly, the lack of familiarity with rabbit meat and limited availability in many areas also played a role in its decline. It was not as easily accessible or widely marketed as other meats.
The Resurgence of Rabbit on Modern Menus
In recent years, rabbit meat has seen a resurgence on modern menus, and its popularity is steadily growing. People are becoming more adventurous and open to trying new and unique flavors, and rabbit fits the bill perfectly.
Rabbit meat is often praised for its delicate, slightly sweet flavor and tender texture. It is also lean and low in fat, making it a healthier alternative to other meats.
Restaurants and chefs have embraced rabbit as a sustainable and environmentally friendly protein source. Rabbits are known to reproduce quickly and require less land and resources compared to traditional livestock. This makes rabbit farming a more sustainable option for meat production.
Furthermore, the culinary world has recognized the versatility of rabbit meat. It can be prepared in various ways, from grilling and braising to confit and even in pasta dishes. Chefs have been experimenting with rabbit in their menus and showcasing its unique flavors.
As a result, more and more restaurants are now offering rabbit dishes on their menus, catering to a growing demand from adventurous food enthusiasts. So, if you’re looking to try something different and delicious, don’t be afraid to give rabbit a try!
The Health Benefits of Lean, Nutritious Rabbit Meat
Rabbit meat, often overlooked in many Western cultures, is a lean and nutritious protein source that offers a range of health benefits. Whether you’re a health-conscious individual or simply looking to explore new culinary options, incorporating rabbit meat into your diet can be a great choice.
Here are some of the key health benefits of consuming this delicious meat.
Lower in Fat and Cholesterol Than Chicken or Turkey
Rabbit meat is exceptionally lean, making it an excellent option for those looking to reduce their fat intake. In fact, rabbit meat contains significantly less fat and cholesterol compared to other popular meats such as chicken or turkey.
This makes it a great choice for individuals who are watching their weight or trying to maintain a healthy heart. Incorporating rabbit meat into your meals can be a tasty way to enjoy a low-fat, low-cholesterol protein source.
High in Protein
Rabbit meat is also packed with protein, which is essential for building and repairing muscles, cells, and tissues. A 3-ounce serving of rabbit meat contains around 28 grams of protein, making it an excellent option for individuals who lead an active lifestyle or engage in regular exercise.
Protein is also known to keep you feeling fuller for longer, which can aid in weight management and help prevent unhealthy snacking between meals.
Rich in Vitamins and Minerals
Rabbit meat is not only a good source of protein but also provides a range of essential vitamins and minerals. It is particularly rich in vitamin B12, which is crucial for maintaining healthy nerve function and producing red blood cells.
Additionally, rabbit meat contains high levels of zinc, iron, and phosphorus, which are important for supporting immune function and promoting overall well-being.
When it comes to incorporating rabbit meat into your diet, it’s important to ensure that you source it from reputable restaurants or suppliers. This ensures that the meat is raised and prepared in a safe and ethical manner. So, why not give rabbit meat a try?
It’s not only a flavorful and versatile protein source but also offers a range of health benefits that can contribute to a well-balanced diet.
Best East Coast Restaurants for Rabbit Dishes
New York, NY
When it comes to finding the best restaurants for rabbit dishes on the East Coast, New York City is definitely a top contender. One highly recommended spot is The Breslin, located in the trendy Ace Hotel.
Known for their nose-to-tail dining philosophy, The Breslin offers a delicious rabbit terrine that will leave you wanting more. Another popular option is Momofuku Ssam Bar, where Chef David Chang creates innovative dishes using locally sourced ingredients.
Try their rabbit buns for a unique twist on a classic dish.
Boston is home to a vibrant culinary scene, and rabbit dishes are no exception. One standout restaurant is No. 9 Park, located in Beacon Hill. This elegant eatery offers a mouthwatering rabbit ragu with housemade pasta that is sure to impress even the most discerning foodies.
For a more casual dining experience, head to Toro in the South End. This lively tapas bar serves up a delicious rabbit paella that will transport you straight to Spain.
In the nation’s capital, you’ll find several restaurants that excel in serving rabbit dishes. Rose’s Luxury is a must-visit for food enthusiasts. Their famed rabbit and carrot dish, featuring confit rabbit leg and smoked carrot puree, is a true culinary masterpiece.
Another noteworthy option is The Dabney, which focuses on seasonal, locally sourced ingredients. Their rabbit saddle with roasted carrots and wild mushrooms is a standout dish that beautifully highlights the flavors of the region.
For more information on these restaurants and their rabbit dishes, check out their websites:
These East Coast restaurants have truly mastered the art of preparing rabbit dishes. Whether you’re a seasoned rabbit connoisseur or simply looking to try something new, these establishments are sure to satisfy your cravings and leave you with a memorable dining experience.
Best West Coast Restaurants for Rabbit Dishes
Los Angeles, CA
Los Angeles is known for its diverse culinary scene, and it’s no surprise that there are several fantastic restaurants that serve rabbit dishes. One of the top recommendations is The Little Door, a charming French restaurant located in the heart of West Hollywood.
Their rabbit stew is a must-try, with tender meat cooked in a flavorful broth that will leave you craving for more.
If you’re looking for a more casual dining experience, head over to Animal in the Fairfax District. This trendy eatery offers a rabbit pâté that is simply delectable. Pair it with a glass of wine from their extensive list, and you’re in for a treat.
San Francisco, CA
San Francisco is known for its innovative and cutting-edge culinary scene, and rabbit dishes are no exception. State Bird Provisions is a must-visit restaurant in the city, and their rabbit meatballs are legendary.
Served with a tangy sauce and accompanied by a variety of small plates, it’s a dining experience you won’t soon forget.
For a unique twist on rabbit, head to La Folie in Russian Hill. This Michelin-starred restaurant offers a rabbit confit with truffle risotto that is out of this world. The tender rabbit meat combined with the rich and earthy flavors of the truffle risotto is a match made in culinary heaven.
Seattle may be known for its seafood, but there are also some fantastic restaurants in the city that serve delicious rabbit dishes. The Pink Door is a hidden gem located in Pike Place Market, and their rabbit ravioli is a must-try.
The homemade pasta filled with savory rabbit meat and served with a creamy sauce is pure perfection.
If you’re looking for a more upscale dining experience, Canlis is the place to go. This iconic restaurant offers a roasted rabbit dish that is both elegant and delicious. The tender rabbit meat is perfectly seasoned and served with a variety of seasonal vegetables, creating a dish that is as visually stunning as it is tasty.
When it comes to finding the best West Coast restaurants for rabbit dishes, these establishments in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle are truly outstanding. Whether you’re a fan of traditional French cuisine or prefer more innovative and modern flavors, these restaurants have something for everyone.
So, the next time you’re in one of these cities, don’t miss the opportunity to indulge in a delicious rabbit dish!
Best Midwest Restaurants for Rabbit Dishes
If you’re a fan of rabbit dishes and find yourself in the Windy City, you’re in luck! Chicago boasts some incredible restaurants that serve delicious rabbit dishes. One of the top spots is The Publican, located in the Fulton Market District.
Known for its farm-to-table concept, The Publican offers a seasonal menu that includes a delectable rabbit dish. Another popular choice is Girl & the Goat, which offers a creative and innovative menu featuring a mouthwatering rabbit entree.
For a more casual experience, head over to Big Jones, a Southern-inspired restaurant that serves a delightful rabbit and dumplings dish.
In the Motor City, you’ll find some hidden gems that serve delicious rabbit dishes. One standout is Selden Standard, an award-winning restaurant located in the Midtown neighborhood. Their menu features a variety of locally sourced ingredients, including a fantastic rabbit dish that will leave you craving for more.
Another great option is Chartreuse Kitchen & Cocktails, known for its farm-to-table approach and its commitment to sustainability. Here, you can enjoy a delicious rabbit entree paired with a craft cocktail for a truly unforgettable dining experience.
Kansas City, MO
When it comes to rabbit dishes, Kansas City has some fantastic options to offer. One must-visit restaurant is Rye, located in the trendy Leawood neighborhood. Their menu showcases Midwestern flavors, and their rabbit dish is a true standout.
For a more upscale experience, head over to The Antler Room, a contemporary American restaurant that offers a seasonal menu featuring a delightful rabbit entree. If you’re looking for something more casual, Blue Bird Bistro is a great choice.
This charming farm-to-table restaurant serves a delicious rabbit pot pie that is sure to satisfy your cravings.
For more information and to explore other Midwest cities that serve rabbit dishes, check out Midwest Living’s guide to rabbit dishes in the Midwest.
Best Southern Restaurants for Rabbit Dishes
New Orleans, LA
If you find yourself in New Orleans craving some delicious rabbit dishes, you’re in luck! The city is home to several outstanding restaurants that serve mouthwatering rabbit dishes. One such restaurant is Commander’s Palace, a renowned establishment known for its traditional Creole cuisine.
Their rabbit gumbo is a must-try, packed with flavorful spices and tender pieces of rabbit meat. Another fantastic option is Cochon, a popular spot that specializes in Cajun and Southern cuisine. Their rabbit and dumplings dish is a true comfort food, made with tender rabbit meat and fluffy dumplings in a savory broth.
For a more casual dining experience, head over to Elizabeth’s in the Bywater neighborhood. This quirky restaurant offers a unique twist on classic Southern dishes, including their famous rabbit and waffles.
The combination of tender rabbit meat and crispy waffles drizzled with maple syrup is simply irresistible.
Nashville is not only known for its vibrant music scene but also for its exceptional food culture. When it comes to rabbit dishes, there are a few standout restaurants that are worth a visit. City House, located in the Germantown neighborhood, offers a modern take on Southern cuisine.
Their rabbit agnolotti, a type of stuffed pasta, is a favorite among locals and visitors alike. The delicate pasta filled with flavorful rabbit meat is a true culinary delight.
Another must-visit restaurant in Nashville is Husk, a farm-to-table eatery that focuses on seasonal ingredients. Their menu changes regularly, but if you’re lucky enough to find rabbit on the menu, don’t hesitate to try it.
The chefs at Husk know how to prepare rabbit in a way that highlights its unique flavors and textures.
When it comes to Southern cuisine, Atlanta has no shortage of exceptional restaurants. For those seeking rabbit dishes, there are a few notable establishments that stand out. One of them is Bacchanalia, an upscale restaurant known for its refined dishes and elegant atmosphere.
Their rabbit paella is a true showstopper, combining succulent rabbit meat with saffron-infused rice and a medley of vibrant vegetables.
If you’re looking for a more laid-back dining experience, head over to The General Muir in Emory Point. This Jewish delicatessen serves up a delicious rabbit schnitzel that will leave you wanting more.
The tender rabbit meat is breaded and fried to perfection, resulting in a crispy and flavorful dish that pairs perfectly with their house-made pickles.
Remember, these are just a few of the many Southern restaurants that serve delectable rabbit dishes. Be sure to check out their websites or make a reservation before visiting, as availability may vary. Bon appétit!
If you’ve never tried rabbit before, we hope this guide has inspired you to seek it out on your next fine dining experience. With a long history and growing popularity on modern menus, rabbit offers a lean, flavorful alternative to more common meats.
Each region of the United States has stellar restaurants that creatively prepare rabbit in delicious ways. Use our recommendations to find the best rabbit dishes in major cities near you. And next time you come across rabbit on a menu, don’t hesitate to order it – we’re sure you’ll agree it makes for an appetizing and nutritious meal.