The World’s 50 Best Restaurants ranked by the British magazine Restaurant is an annual poll of international chefs, restaurateurs, gourmands and restaurant critics. The leaders are gourmet restaurants that serve haute cuisine especially those that concentrate in molecular gastronomy. The following selection holds ten of the recurring restaurants on the World’s Best lists and if you’re about to visit any of these countries and wish to experience something exquisite, we recommend having a mind-blowing dinner at one of these restaurants. However, most of these establishments have month-long waiting lists so you might want to plan ahead and be ready to spend a lot more than what you’re used to! The prices below indicate the cost of an average meal without drinks.
1. Noma ** (Copenhagen, Denmark), $300 (270€)
Specializes in modernizing Scandinavian/Nordic cuisine with solely regional ingredients. Since 2010 it was ranked as the best restaurant in the world for three consecutive years losing to Celler de Can Roca in 2013 and winning again in 2014.
2. El Celler de Can Roca *** (Girona, Spain) $220 (195€)
The restaurant is run by three brothers: head chef Joan, sommelier Josep and pastry chef Jordi. Serving traditional Catalan cuisine with many creative innovations, the restaurant holds three Michelin stars. Apart from extraordinary presentation of food, such as caramelized olives on a bonsai tree, the restaurant specializes in dishes that are adaptations of perfumes.
3. Osteria Francescana *** (Modena, Italy) $180 (160€) - $260 (230€)
Owned and run by Massimo Bottura who creates dishes as if taken from abstract expressionism and presented in a restaurant decorated in the same style.
4. Eleven Madison Park *** (New York, USA) $225 (200€)
The head chef, Daniel Humm, is a James Beard Award winner for an Outstanding Chef. The restaurant focuses on New York’s culinary traditions with their multi-course tasting menu. All their ingredients are locally grown.
5. Dinner ** by Heston Blumenthal (London, England) $313 (275€)
Their signature dish is a delicious chicken parfait disguised as a mandarine, but the menu changes every three months. Despite being called “Dinner” the restaurant also has a lunch menu with an average dish for around $240, 150£, 208€.
6. Mugaritz ** (Errenteria, Spain) $235 (208€)
This third best restaurant in the world is just twenty minutes away from San Sebastian. The interior might not be astonishing but the view is certainly breathtaking. The restaurant’s signature dishes are a tomato that has a distinctive taste of Bloody Mary and potatoes impersonating stones.
7. D.O.M. ** (Sao Paulo, Brazil) $200 (177€)
Deo Optimus Maximus “God Almighty”, is known for the use of native Brazilian ingredients. The chef, Alex Atala, supervises their growth personally all over the country and ventures deep into the Amazon to find new tastes. Called the best restaurant in South America since 2006.
8. Arzak *** (San Sebastian, Spain) $265 (235€)
Specializes in New Basque Cuisine which is a lighter version of the traditional cuisine that includes meats and fish grilled over hot coals, lamb stews, tapas, Basque cider, txakoli sparkling wine, etc.
9. Alinea *** (Chicago, Illinois) $210 (186€)
The restaurant has tailor-made tableware specific for each course. Grant Achatz, the head chef and owner, is known for the deconstruction of classic flavours.
10. The Ledbury (London, England) $135 (120€)
The dishes are less visually original since the restaurant is more focused on flavour. Brett Graham, an Australian-born chef hunts his own game so you should certainly try it when you come for a meal.