Organised by Restaurant magazine, The World's 50 Best Restaurants list is an annual snapshot of the opinions and experiences of over 900 international restaurant industry experts. What constitutes "best" is left to the judgement of these trusted and well-travelled gourmets.
There is no pre-determined check-list of criteria; for example an interesting experience in a simple establishment, where exceptional innovation was discovered, could be judged better than a more opulent meal from a widely feted restaurant team. The results are a simple computation of votes.
Given that this well-constructed list is based on personal experiences it can never be definitive, but we believe it is an honourable survey of current tastes and a credible indicator of the best places to eat around the globe.
The lists of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants and Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants (and the award ceremonies organised to celebrate their annual unveiling) are organised and compiled by William Reed Media. None of the employees of any of the sponsors associated with the awards, including the main sponsor and the Academy sponsor, votes or has any influence over the results.
The list is created from The Diners Club® World’s 50 Best Restaurants Academy, an influential group of over 900 international leaders in the restaurant industry, each selected for their expert opinion of the international restaurant scene. The Academy comprises 26 separate regions around the world. Each region has its own panel of 36 members including a chairperson to head it up. The panel is made up of food critics, chefs, restaurateurs and highly regarded ‘foodies’ each of whom has seven votes. Of the seven votes, at least three of which must be used to recognise restaurants outside of their region. At least 10 panellists from each region change each year.
The results are published online as soon as they have been announced to the assembled chefs and academy members in February in Singapore for Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants and in London in April for The World’s 50 Best Restaurants.
Some regions span more than one country. The decision as to how the world is divided up is left to the regional chairs and is debated and reassessed annually. The divisions are designed to fairly represent the global restaurant scene at the current time.
This is what makes The World’s 50 Best Restaurants and Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants unique and not comparable to any other guides or ranking of restaurants.
These criteria are designed to allow our panellists to vote far and wide. They could vote for a small, unknown restaurant in a secluded region, or select the best-known restaurants in the world or in their region – it is their opinion and the experiences they have had that matters.
This method means that restaurants cannot apply to be on the list, and cannot be nominated, and no external influences (from Restaurant magazine, William Reed or our sponsors) can influence the list. It also means that every restaurant in the world is eligible, unless the restaurant is closed at the time that the lists are announced, or we receive notice that it will be closing in the near future after the results are published.
There are no criteria that a restaurant has to meet. They certainly do not have to sell a certain product. They do not need to have been open a certain number of years and they do not need to have won any other culinary accolades.