In just one week, the Oscars of the food world will take place, culminating in the big reveal of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2019. But right now, the spotlight is on the dining destinations in the longer list, which has been extended to mark the 120th anniversary of 50 Best’s lead partner, S.Pellegrino.
Browse our guide below to the restaurants ranked 51st to 120th for all the must-try dishes and insider tips.
No.120 Sugalabo, Tokyo, Japan – NEW ENTRY
After 16 years working with world-renowned French chef Joël Robuchon, chef Yosuke Suga moved back to Japan, opening Sugalabo in 2015. Like many high-end Japanese restaurants, it is exclusively by introduction or invitation, but for those who gain entry it’s a must-visit exploration of Japanese ingredients, with dishes including mini anchovy croissants and rice puffs with Nagasaki bottarga.
How to find it: Look for a sign that reads ‘Orange coffee’ in Tokyo’s Azabudai neighbourhood – the restaurant is directly behind it
Chef CV: Suga-san was executive chef of L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon in Tokyo by the age of 26 and went on to lead Atelier openings in Los Angeles, New York, Taipei and Paris
No.119 Atomix, New York, USA – NEW ENTRY
Chef Junghyun Park and his wife Ellia deliver a tasting menu of Korean fine dining at this 14-seat counter in the lower level of a Manhattan townhouse. Each dish is based on a different concept from Korean cuisine and highlights include celeriac, buttermilk cheese, hazelnut milk and caviar. Having previously worked as chef de cuisine at the New York offshoot of the acclaimed Seoul restaurant Jungsik, Park opened the more casual Atoboy in 2016 and followed it with Atomix in 2018.
What’s in a name: Ato stems from an ancient Korean word for ‘gift’
Also try: Atomix Bar for à la carte snacks and cocktails influenced by modern Korean flavours
No.118 Ernst, Berlin, Germany – NEW ENTRY
Intimate 12-seater Ernst invites diners to take part in an interactive experience, getting to know the chefs and service staff over the course of up to four hours while hearing the stories of the restaurant’s winemakers, farmers and craftspeople. Dylan Watson-Brawn and Spencer Christenson focus on ingredients down to the micro-season, creating a menu from small gardens and dairies from in and around Berlin.
Signature dish: Vegetables from the garden
Wine pairing: Ernst works exclusively with chemical-free winemakers and small producers
No.117 Epicure, Paris, France – RE-ENTRY
Chef Eric Frechon’s temple of gastronomy within the Le Bristol Paris hotel focuses on terroir and sense of place. Unusual ingredients take centre stage, with dishes including macaroni stuffed with black truffle, artichoke and duck foie gras or purple sea urchins simmered in their shells with tongue and sea urchin broth.
Double anniversary: 2019 marked Frechon’s 20th year at Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, as well as a decade holding three Michelin stars. To celebrate, the chef created a tasting menu featuring his signature dishes of the past 20 years
Decorated chef: In 2008, then-President Nicolas Sarkozy bestowed upon Frechon a Knight of the Order of the ‘Légion d’Honneur’
No.116 St. Hubertus, San Cassiano, Italy – NEW ENTRY
Located within the family-owned Rosa Alpina hotel and spa in the Italian Dolomite mountains, St. Hubertus welcomes guests from skiing or hiking with a crackling fireplace and elegant alpine atmosphere. Chef Norbert Niederkofler serves a seasonally changing menu of local produce that might include summer berries, autumn mushrooms or spring herbs.
What’s in a name: St. Hubertus stands for the patron of the hunters
Fun fact: Niederkofler was brought on board in the 1990s to open St. Hubertus at the back of the Pizzinini family’s pizzeria
No.115 Per Se, New York, USA
A Manhattan favourite since 2004, Per Se is the New York interpretation of Thomas Keller’s California flagship restaurant, The French Laundry, which topped The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list in 2003 and 2004. With a daily nine-course tasting menu or vegetable option, Per Se pairs the finest quality ingredients with classic French technique.
Highlights: Lobster roll with Royal Ossetra caviar and garden tarragon
About the chef: Keller is the only American cook to simultaneously hold two Michelin three-star restaurants: Per Se and The French Laundry
No.114 La Colombe, Cape Town, South Africa – RE-ENTRY
Set within the grounds of the Silvermist organic wine estate with stunning views of the valley below, La Colombe is a destination restaurant that delivers on service, setting and cuisine. Take the 10-course gourmand menu for a journey through a decadent sourdough course to scallops and the signature tuna ‘La Colombe’.
Top tip: Book a cab to indulge in the wine pairing without worrying about the strenuous drive back
Also try: Iconic sister restaurant La Petite Colombe at Le Quartier Français in Franschhoek
No.113 Vea, Hong Kong, China – NEW ENTRY
Young chef Vicky Cheng’s counter-style fine dining restaurant has been a hot address in Hong Kong since it opened in 2015. After training under French chefs including Daniel Boulud, Cheng returned to his birthplace and created Vea, a celebration of luxury Chinese ingredients with French technique. It made its debut onto the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list in 2019 at No.34.
Signature dish: Roasted Hokkaido sea cucumber
And to drink: Antonio Lai, also known as Hong Kong’s king of cocktails, heads up the bar programme with a cocktail pairing including Mango Yuzu with coconut, tea, vodka and gin
No.112 St. John, London, UK
A British classic, St. John is the home of nose-to-tail eating from legendary chef Fergus Henderson. Set in an unadorned dining room in London’s trendy Clerkenwell neighbourhood, the restaurant is a favourite for offal, a superb wine list curated by co-founder Trevor Gulliver, and Henderson’s famous Eccles cakes. The restaurant has spawned many chefs whose restaurants are have been on the list, including The Clove Club and Lyle’s.
Don’t leave without trying: Bone marrow on toast
Good to know: St. John’s bakery is the home of some of Britain’s finest pastries, including its photogenic doughnuts filled with custard, honeycomb or even prunes
No.111 Chambre Séparée, Ghent, Belgium – NEW ENTRY
When he decided to close his celebrated In De Wulf restaurant in 2016, Kobe Desramaults wanted a restaurant that was intimate, where the chefs weren’t separated from the guests and the cooking was minimalistic. Enter Chambre Séparée, a 16-seater in an old industrial building where just about everything on the 20-course tasting menu – from scallops to enoki mushrooms – is cooked with fire.
Limited time only: Chambre Séparée will permanently close in December 2020, when the building is due to be renovated
Also try: Desramaults also runs next door Superette, a bakery offering terrific wood-fired pizzas
No.110 Neolokal, Istanbul, Turkey – NEW ENTRY
Located inside Istanbul’s SALT Galata museum, tradition-driven Neolokal is an exploration of Anatolian ingredients and culture from charismatic chef Maksut Aşkar. Artful, colour-popping dishes on the tasting and à la carte menus include lamb heart kokorec and double-baked tahini houmous with quail’s egg and ‘Anatolian landscapes’.
Drink local: Neolokal’s extensive wine list celebrates producers from all over Turkey
Cultural heritage: Aşkar is on a mission is to explore and revive traditions that might otherwise be forgotten
No.109 Alcalde, Guadalajara, Mexico – NEW ENTRY
‘Frank cuisine’ is the definition that chef Francisco ‘Paco’ Ruano gives to his down-to-earth modern Mexican cooking. This translates on the plate to a colourful salad of nopal (prickly pear cactus) with mango sorbet and habanero chilli, or suckling pig with pipián, a type of mole, or sauce.
Award winner: After winning the One To Watch Award for Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants in 2016, Alcalde went on to debut the following year as the Highest New Entry at No.36
All about Paco: Ruano trained on cruise ships before working at Mugaritz, El Celler de Can Roca and Noma. He returned to Mexico and opened Alcalde in 2013
No.108 L'Astrance, Paris, France
4 Rue Beethoven, 75016 Paris
A regular in the 50 Best lists since 2006, 25-seater L’Astrance is a Paris favourite for haute cuisine with the freshest ingredients. Chef Pascal Barbot’s ‘surprise’ menu is a journey through dainty, petal-topped salad amuse bouches to delicate seafood ravioli and a signature foie gras tart marinated in verjus.
Chef CV: Barbot worked for five years with Alain Passard at Arpège in Paris, as well as stints at Sydney restaurant Ampersand and cooking in the South Pacific with the French navy
What’s in a name: Astrance is a wild flower from Barbot's native Auvergne
No.107 Il Ristorante Luca Fantin, Tokyo, Japan – NEW ENTRY
Ginza Tower 2-7-12 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
Contemporary Italian cuisine with top quality Japanese produce is the winning formula for chef Luca Fantin, whose restaurant in Bulgari’s Ginza Tower is consistently named as the best Italian in Tokyo. Highlights on the seasonally changing menus include spaghetti with sea urchin and lettuce – a carbonara but with seafood – and a salad of avocado and crab made with a technique that preserves the intense umami flavour of the shellfish.
Panoramic views: The restaurant's soaring 9th-floor dining room overlooks the famous avenue that runs through the heart of Tokyo’s Ginza neighbourhood
Chef CV: Before moving to Tokyo in 2009, Fantin worked as sous chef to Heinz Beck at La Pergola in Rome
No.106 Restaurant David Toutain, Paris, France – NEW ENTRY
A protégé of French heavyweights including Alain Passard and Pierre Gagnaire, David Toutain has made a big impact on the Paris restaurant scene since opening his eponymous restaurant in 2013. His vegetable-forward menu showcases seasonal produce with dishes such as lobster, grapefruit and juniper, or fig with pecan and fingerlime caviar.
The vibe: A light-filled, high-ceilinged dining room with a Scandinavian-style interior combining wood, stone and steel centred around a single oak table
Homecoming: Toutain spent time at Mugaritz in Spain and Corton in New York, before the birth of his son in 2010 sparked his return to France
No.105 Kadeau, Copenhagen, Denmark – RE-ENTRY
Inspired by the nature of Bornholm, the tiny Baltic island where the original Kadeau was born in 2007, Kadeau is chef Nicolai Nørregaard’s interpretation of the region’s produce, with global influences. A seasonal tasting menu might take diners through dishes including green asparagus tart with kale and egg yolk or oyster with green strawberry and blackcurrant leaf.
Homegrown approach: Kadeau cultivates its own herbs, vegetables, fruits and berries
Making history: Nørregaard was an early exponent of the New Nordic movement initiated by René Redzepi and Claus Meyer
No.104 Cococo, St. Petersburg, Russia – NEW ENTRY
One of St. Petersburg’s most innovative restaurants, Cococo plays with Russian traditions and seasonal produce in thought-provoking dishes such as buckwheat porridge with an edible axe made from butter stained with squid ink. There’s an à la carte menu but the 11-course degustation is the best way to try all of Igor Grishechkin’s classics, including a savoury salmon ice cream cone and a stunning Fabergé egg filled with black caviar and edible gold.
Don’t-miss dish: Kasha iz topora – green buckweat porridge with porchini mushrooms and stewed beef cheeks
Also try: Breakfast at Cococo has everything from eggs Benedict to wheat pancakes and caviar
No.103 Jade Dragon, Macao, China – NEW ENTRY
Level 2, The Shops at The Boulevard, City of Dreams, Estrada do Istmo, Macao
A luxurious approach to Cantonese cuisine has made Jade Dragon one of Macao’s must-visit restaurants, with a place at No.27 on the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2019 list. After executive chef Tam Kwok Fung left in 2018, he was succeeded by the talented Kelvin Au Yeung, who brings 20 years of experience in top Chinese kitchens and has risen through the ranks at Jade Dragon since 2012. Signatures include Iberico pork barbecued over lychee wood.
Grand setting: Set within the palatial City of Dreams resort, Jade Dragon is split into five areas, each with its own opulent design and colour scheme
VIP access: The restaurant has 11 private dining rooms, some of which are connected to the car park by private lifts so that famous guests can enter in complete secrecy
No.102 Amber, Hong Kong, China
Dutch chef Richard Ekkebus’s acclaimed Hong Kong restaurant reopened after four months of renovations in May 2019 with a new culinary philosophy that dispenses with dairy, minimises refined sugar and reduces salt. Dishes on the new menu include homemade silken tofu with sweet tomatoes, lacto-fermented tomato juice and pickled sakura petals.
Gone but not forgotten: Amber is best known for the much-photographed sea urchin and caviar dish that caused uproar when it was removed from the menu in 2016
Zero nonsense: Ekkebus says the new Amber celebrates produce in its purest form, stripping away artifice and gimmickry
No.101 Brae, Birregurra, Australia
Dan Hunter’s organic farm and restaurant is one of Australia’s most worthwhile food destinations. Inspired by his learnings at Mugaritz under Spanish chef Andoni Luis Aduriz, Hunter explores native ingredients in dishes like herb toast with warrigal greens, sunflower seeds and green ants. Sustainability is at the heart of Brae, with guests encouraged to explore the farm to reconnect with the food and its origins.
Most iconic dish: Iced oyster, a creamy seafood ice cream with powdered sea lettuce
Stay a while: Avoid the 90-minute drive back to Melbourne by staying in one of Brae’s six luxury guest suites, each with views of the rolling hills of the Otways
No.100 Oteque, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – NEW ENTRY
When he closed his celebrated Epice in Sāo Paulo in 2016, chef Alberto Landgraf took time out to plan his next project. It was two years before he made his return with Oteque, this time in Rio de Janeiro, and what a comeback it was. In a 1938 house converted into a cosy dining room with an open kitchen and a relaxed soundtrack featuring REM and Oasis, he serves fresh seafood, strictly organic veggies and Japanese- and Brazilian-inspired creations like raw olho de boi fish with caviar.
What to drink: Classic cocktails from the stylish bar, or a pairing of South American and European wines
For dessert: Raw Brazil nut ice cream
No.99 The Jane, Antwerp, Belgium
A former chapel of a military hospital is the dramatic setting for this restaurant, which has brought foodies to Antwerp since its opening in 2014. Chef duo Sergio Herman and Nick Bril’s 10-course tasting menu is as stunning as the surroundings – think marinated langoustine with tomato and zucchini, adorned with pretty petals, or the vibrant pink Indian Summer.
Izakaya nights: Above the restaurant is the Upper Room Bar, which on Fridays and Saturdays hosts Japanese pub-style evenings of cocktails, craft beer and street food-inspired bites
A team project: Bril and Herman spent three years building their dream restaurant with the help of designer Piet Boon
No.98 Anne-Sophie Pic, Valence, France – RE-ENTRY
Anne-Sophie Pic, voted as the first World’s Best Female Chef in 2011, took over her family’s now-130-year-old restaurant in 1997 and has been wowing diners ever since with a cuisine that is constantly evolving, always unique. Through multiple tasting menus – the Discovery, the Harmony, the Essential and the Midi Fun – the chef offers an exploration of her key creations, including her signature berlingots, tiny pyramid-shaped parcels filled with tangy, smoked goat’s cheese.
Most Instagrammed dish: A striking cube of white millefeuille filled with Tahitian vanilla cream and jasmine jelly
Also try: Pic has branches of La Dame de Pic in Paris and London
No.97 Vendôme, Bergisch Gladbach, Germany
Provocative chef Joachim Wissler is a master of modern techniques, new ideas and culinary creativity, with almost 20 years at the helm of award-winning restaurant Vendôme inside the five-star Schloss Bensberg hotel. Here he serves five-, eight- and 10-course journeys through dishes such as foie gras carpaccio and scallops or octopus in beetroot.
Separée Vendôme: A luxurious, curved-ceilinged room in the 18th-century property is available for private hire for wedding banquets and special occasions
The wine list: Vendôme boasts almost a thousand wines, from German to Japanese
No.96 Belon, Hong Kong, China – NEW ENTRY
Still in his early 30s and after just three years of his neo-Parisian bistro inspired by the dynamic food scene of the 11th arrondissement, chef Daniel Calvert has already captured the hearts and stomachs of Hong Kong natives and visitors. Simplicity is key here, and Calvert puts as much love and care into his naturally leavened bread with salted Brittany butter as he does into his perfectly formed pigeon pithivier pastry.
High achiever: Belon won the Highest Climber Award at Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants in 2019, rising an impressive 25 spots to No.15
What’s in a name: Belon honours its namesake, a famous French oyster traditionally found in Brittany, with a signature oyster tartare
No.95 Gaa, Bangkok, Thailand – NEW ENTRY
Garima Arora is on a mission to change the perception of Indian food from mere curries and spices to something that can influence cuisines all over Asia with its centuries of history. At Gaa, the Noma and Gaggan graduate applies Indian techniques to Thai ingredients, creating showstoppers such as unripe jackfruit cooked on the grill and seasoned with caramelised onions.
Fermentation focus: Gaa’s own fermentation lab sees experiments with everything from fish sauce to lychee sake
Bringing it home: In 2018, Arora became the first Indian female chef to earn a Michelin star, and in 2019 she was voted as Asia’s Best Female Chef
No.94 Aponiente, El Puerto de Santa Maria, Spain – NEW ENTRY
A true exploration of the sea, Aponiente is fisherman Ángel León’s space to reinterpret 21st-century marine cuisine with maximum attention to sustainability. Through his ‘Calm Sea’ and ‘Groundswell’ menus, he serves a comprehensive seafood degustation from goose barnacle and spotted flounder to fiddler crab and morey eel.
Fresh approach: León is constantly fishing for new ingredients, and closes Aponiente for three months each season to redesign the menu
Tide of change: Aponiente is set in an 18th-century tidal mill within a natural park that is inhabited by constantly changing seafood species
No.93 La Cime, Osaka, Japan – NEW ENTRY
Meaning ‘top’ or ‘peak’ in French, La Cime is based around the concept of creating a balance between three points: the guest, the cuisine and the space. Within a minimalist and spacious black-and-white dining room, Yusuke Takada serves up dynamic French food with Japanese roots, such as the signature Boudin Dog, a boudin noir in dough, coloured black with edible bamboo charcoal.
In touch with his roots: The chef often incorporates ingredients such as citrus from his birthplace, the southern Japanese island of Amami Oshima
Chef CV: Takada studied at the Tsuji Culinary Institute before working at Taillevent and Le Meurice in France, then opening La Cime in Osaka in 2010
No.92 Harvest, St. Petersburg, Russia – NEW ENTRY
The newest venture from the Duoband group, which runs popular St. Petersburg restaurants Tartar Bar and Duo Gastrobar, Harvest focuses on the philosophies of responsible consumption, eco-friendly consciousness and natural taste. Veg-forward but not vegetarian, Harvest’s à la carte-only menu is split into ‘only vegetables’ and ‘not only vegetables,’ the latter with simple-but-delicious dishes such as crab with kale and avocado, or mashed potato ravioli with a shaving of smoked duck.
Meet the chef: Dmitry Blinov is the talented cook behind the group; his partner Renat Malikov runs the operations and completes the ‘duo’ in Duoband
The vibe: Harvest’s casual, bright and spacious dining room gives full view of the open kitchen, with light wood tables and chairs made from natural materials
No.91 Sushi Saito, Tokyo, Japan – RE-ENTRY
1st Floor, Ark Hills South Tower, 1-4-5 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Reservations are hard to come by in this invitation-only, seven-seat counter restaurant with no website, but it is well worth the effort. Inside a tiny dining room in Tokyo’s Ark Hills office complex, chef Takashi Saito, or Saito-san, serves up a sequence of flawless bites of fatty tuna, sea urchin, halibut, boiled prawn and gizzard sushi right in front of the guest.
Most popular: Fatty tuna nigiri
Can’t get a table? Try Sushi Saito’s new Hong Kong offshoot
No.90 Alo, Toronto, Canada
Contemporary French with options of the dining room or kitchen counter, Alo is the home of Patrick Kriss’s exquisite seasonal cooking – think Ontario lamb saddle with sheep’s milk yoghurt and pine nut, or a passionfruit dessert with a homemade beignet. There’s also a stylish cocktail bar with a sharing-style menu of raw seafood, meat-based entrées and veg-focused sides.
Chef CV: Kriss trained under French masters Daniel Boulud and the Troisgros family
Also try: Aloette, two floors down, a neighbourhood bistro designed like the dining carriage of a passenger train, serving hearty cheeseburgers, steak frites and lemon meringue pie
No.89 108, Copenhagen, Denmark
Korean-born cook Kristian Baumann spent his early career at Noma before helping to launch Relae and then founding 108 with René Redzepi in 2016. His unique exploration of New Nordic cuisine plays out in an à la carte and a tasting menu with dishes such as whole lacquered quail, steamed egg yolk potatoes and a salad of rutabaga with gooseberries.
Foraging to fermentation: A true Noma disciple, Baumann explores the land for berries, flowers and mushrooms, and ferments everything from pumpkin seeds to squid guts
Don’t miss: The same building also houses The Corner, a Copenhagen favourite for freshly brewed coffee, porridge and the best pastries in town
No.88 Lung King Heen, Hong Kong, China
Four Seasons Hotel, 8 Finance Street, Central, Hong Kong
Renowned for his signature baked whole abalone puffs with diced chicken, chef Chan Yan Tak has sparked many a copycat in Hong Kong and beyond. He has worked for the Four Seasons Hotel group since 2004, working his way up to executive chef at Lung King Heen and becoming the first Chinese cook in history to receive three Michelin stars. Expect breathtaking views of the Victoria Harbour.
Top tip: Book well in advance for the popular dim sum, which is available only at lunchtime
Consistent Cantonese: Lung King Heen has ranked in every edition of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants since the list’s inception in 2013
No.87 Martín Berasategui, Lasarte-Oria, Spain
The flagship in Basque chef Martín Berasategui’s empire, this eponymous restaurant has been an essential dining destination on Spain’s culinary map for over 25 years. His 15-course degustation is a journey through seasonal produce, taking in homemade breads, smoked eel millefeuille and bone marrow salad. There’s also an à la carte option.
Star chef: The restaurant has held three Michelin stars since 2001, and chef Berasategui has 10 in total
Other ventures: Berasategui’s restaurant realm extends from Barcelona to the Dominican Republic, from Madrid to Mexico
No.86 Tegui, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Germán Martitegui honed his skills in France and the US but it is his native Argentina that forms the basis of his cuisine, with the country’s obsession for fire influencing his signature flame-grilled oyster with sea foam, and dishes like slow-cooked kid goat a nod to the Andean northwest. Enter through an unassuming door in a street art-adorned wall for an eight-course journey through Argentina.
Wine country: In 2018, Martitegui and his team held a 40-day pop-up at the SuperUco biodynamic winery in Mendoza
Bonus point: Buenos Aires will play host to Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants on 10th October 2019, so book early
No.85 Amass, Copenhagen, Denmark – RE-ENTRY
California native Matt Orlando was chef de cuisine at Noma before opening Amass in 2013 to critical acclaim. Influenced by the land and the weather, the menu is built from careful examination of each ingredient before application of different techniques. Dishes might include ‘Yesterday’s Potato Bread’ with roasted potato skin and dried garden herbs, or Lion’s Mane mushroom with ramson and mussels.
Perfect pairing: Chemical-free natural wines come from a network of trusted wineries, while beer is made at Amass’s own brewery, Broaden & Build. The restaurant also makes its own fruit distillates
Commitment to sustainability: Amass has cut its waste output by 75% since its opening, with excess food, cardboard and water used as compost, organic fertiliser and hydration for plants
No.84 Attica, Melbourne, Australia
Ben Shewry’s homage to Australian native produce is consistently ranked as the best restaurant in Australasia, but it’s far from formal fine dining. In a laidback dining room with an eclectic soundtrack, diners are taken through little-known local ingredients like paperbark (a type of tree bark) and bunya bunya, the world’s largest pine nut.
Iconic dish: Whipped emu egg served inside a large, open emu egg shell
Sustainable cheffing: Shewry has made changes to improve the physical and mental health of those working in his kitchen, and is outspoken on the subject
No.83 Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, London, UK
Reopened in April 2019 following a fire at the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, Dinner by Heston Blumenthal is back on track as one of London’s most celebrated restaurants. With world-famous creations such as ‘Meat Fruit’ – a chicken liver and foie gras parfait made to look like a mandarin orange – chef-director Ashley Palmer-Watts gives diners a lesson in British culinary history.
What’s in a name: ‘Dinner’ refers to a linguistic quirk – in different parts of the British Isles, the word can refer to a meal taken at midday, in the evening or even late at night
Also try: A second branch of Dinner by Heston Blumenthal opened in Melbourne in 2015
No.82 Enigma, Barcelona, Spain
The latest (and probably last) in the El Barri group of restaurants, Enigma is undoubtedly Albert Adrià’s most inventive restaurant yet. Inside a labyrinth designed to give an air of mystery, diners are served a 40-course, seafood-focused degustation touching on chargrilled lobster in aged cow fat, an ‘air croissant’ and green pistachio curry with grapefruit and papaya.
In the ‘hood: Adrià’s El Barri (meaning ‘neighbourhood’) encompasses celebrated restaurants Tickets, Pakta, Hoja Santa and Bodega 1900
Are you sitting comfortably? A meal at Enigma takes a minimum of 3.5 hours and there’s a strict lateness policy to ensure the proper running of the restaurant
No.81 Quique Dacosta, Denia, Spain
Daring chef Quique Dacosta is known for his constant boundary-pushing and reinvention. He is a standard bearer for Spain’s modernist movement and a master of techno-emotional cooking at his Mediterranean flagship. His latest creation is Self Portraits, a seasonal menu using iconic and lesser-known produce that is meant as a portrait of Dacosta, his team and even the diner.
Endless evolution: When Dacosta took over the restaurant he now owns in 1988, it was called El Poblet and served Castillian food; his new Valencian cuisine developed in the 80s and 90s
Paella passion: Dacosta has just opened Valencian paella restaurant Arros QD in London
No.80 Estela, New York, USA
Having learned from Argentine grill master Francis Mallmann and American great Alice Waters, it’s no surprise Uruguayan chef Ignacio Mattos has a hit on his hands with Estela, which opened in 2013. A laidback bistro focusing on simple ingredients and bold flavours, Estela has customers coming back for its unforgettable beef tartare with elderberries and sunchoke, as well as burrata with salsa verde and charred bread.
See also: In 2016, Mattos opened his second venture, Café Altro Paradiso, specialising in the Italian comfort food he learned from his grandmother
Further reading: Mattos’s book, Estela, teaches home cooks to transform everyday ingredients into extraordinary dishes
No.79 Mingles, Seoul, Korea
Named for its ‘mingling’ of Korean with European influences, Mingles has been creating a buzz in Seoul with its fusion of eastern and western cuisine since it opened in 2014. The seasonally changing menu is divided into sections such as grains, vegetables and fish, with jang and cho – Korean traditional fermented sauce and vinegar – playing an integral part in the food.
Meet the chef: Mingoo Kang trained under Martín Berasategui in San Sebastian before furthering his learning at Nobu in Miami and the Bahamas
Korea’s finest: Mingles was the Highest New Entry to Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants in 2016 and has been named Best Restaurant in Korea for four consecutive years
MIELE ONE TO WATCH AWARD 2019
No.78 Lido 84, Gardone Riviera, Italy – NEW ENTRY
Brothers Riccardo and Giancarlo Camanini opened their first restaurant in 2014 by transforming a retro open-air swimming pool on the western shores of Lake Garda into what is now Lido 84. Chef Riccardo showcases local artisanal produce and the best of the lake’s produce in two tasting menus – one focusing on classic combinations and another highlighting his creativity – plus an à la carte emphasising his take on contemporary Italian cuisine.
Don’t leave without tasting: Cacio e pepe en vessie – possibly the world’s best version of this Roman pasta classic, cooked in a pig’s bladder for a special Camanini twist
Where the mountains meet the lake: Local ingredients include Bagòss cheese used for tortellini, raw mountain milk to make fior di latte ice cream and Stracchino cheese and sardines for the risotto
No.77 Chef's Table at Brooklyn Fare, New York, USA
431 West 37th St, New York, NY 10018
Located inside New York’s Brooklyn Fare market is chef César Ramírez’s Chef’s Table, a communal counter-style dining experience with a seasonal tasting menu. With inspiration from Japanese cuisine alongside French techniques, dishes might include Hokkaido uni with shaved black truffle, followed by myriad raw or cooked seafood courses and a grilled Miyazaki wagyu beef.
How to find it: Doors at the back of a store within the Brooklyn Fare market give way to Ramírez’s counter-table kitchen
About the chef: Originally from Mexico, Ramírez is largely self-taught and previously worked at Danube and Bouley in New York
No.76 Momofuku Ko, New York, USA
Combining Japanese kaiseki with seasonal ingredients and a sprinkling of New York, Ko is a jewel in David Chang’s Momofuku empire. Executive chef Sean Alex Gray and chef de cuisine James Parry command a multi-course tasting menu with courses including Ko egg with white sturgeon caviar, and razor clam with pineapple and basil.
A la carte: A separate menu served from the bar area offers sourdough crepes and pickle sandwiches
Also try: Other Momofuku group highlights in New York include Noodle Bar, Ssäm Bar, Fuku and Nishi
No.75 Diverxo, Madrid, Spain
Pronounced ‘diver-show’, Dabiz Muñoz’s flagship is much more of a show than a restaurant. Described as ‘a journey through the hedonistic, greedy and creative world’ of the chef, it is a playful and theatrical trip down the rabbit hole to experience Muñoz’s limitless imagination.
Round-the-world ticket: DiverXo’s signature tasting takes diners from Goa to Lima with tandoori-cooked caviar and vindaloo curry and red mullet in tiger’s milk marinade
Also try: In 2016, Muñoz opened a London offshoot of his sister concept, StreetXo, with dishes inspired by European, Asian and South American cuisines in a food market-influenced setting
No.74 Lasai, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
After 10 years spent between New York and the Spanish Basque Country, Brazilian chef Rafael Costa e Silva returned to his native Rio de Janeiro to set up Lasai in 2014. His farm-to-table concept brings fresh produce from two gardens just outside the city to feed his colourful and creative tasting menu of snacks and veg-focused mains.
What’s in a name: In Basque, Lasai means tranquility and relaxation, which is the vibe diners feel on entering this welcoming restaurant set in a house dating from 1902
Highlights: The snack sequence features eat-with-the-hands bites like cauliflower with rice and Brazil nuts, as well as banana, bean and pepper
No.73 Maní, São Paulo, Brazil
Helena Rizzo’s colourful cuisine is a highlight of São Paulo’s gastronomic hotspot, Jardins. The chef, who is famous as a mentor on The Taste Brasil, creates stunning plates with native Brazilian ingredients such as tucupí, a sauce from the manioc root, and cold soup with jabuticaba fruit. Her delicate gnocchi contains a touch of the tongue-numbing Amazonian herb jambú.
Must-eat dish: Vegan ceviche made with cashew fruit
Fun fact: Supermodel Fernanda Lima, a friend from Rizzo’s modelling days, is an investor in Maní
No.72 Aqua, Wolfsburg, Germany
Former pastry chef Sven Elverfeld is the author of some of Germany’s most ambitious food at this restaurant located in a motoring theme park adjoining a Volkswagen car factory. Two tasting menus take diners through Elverfeld’s modern European cuisine: the ‘Memory’ brings Gillardeau oyster and regional venison, while ‘Inspiration’ explores Norwegian lobster and marinated foie gras.
Chef CV: Elverfeld trained as a confectioner before spending time in Japan, Greece and Dubai. He has been chef de cuisine since Aqua’s opening in 2000
Nature theme: Despite its automotive surroundings, Aqua has a zen-like atmosphere with a private garden area and a shimmering, aquatic effect created by woven metal curtains and mirrored walls
No.71 SingleThread, Healdsburg, USA
As winner of the Miele One To Watch Award in 2018, SingleThread has captured the attention of world-travelling foodies with chef Kyle Connaughton’s Japanese cuisine and omotenashi (selfless) approach to hospitality. Set in Northern Californian wine country, the restaurant is supplied by its own five-acre farm, where Connaughton’s farmer wife Katina grows Japanese produce such as kano nasu aubergine, shishigatani pumpkins and a long onion called kujo negi.
Kaiseki-style: A meal at SingleThread is a fast-paced sequence of delicate courses including an epic dedication to Sonoma in the form of a banquet of different bites to eat with the hands
Room at the inn: SingleThread is also a luxury boutique hotel inspired by Japanese ryokans, where an overnight stay comes with an unbeatable breakfast spread
No.70 Saison, San Francisco, USA
Beginning as a weekly pop-up in the back of a café, Saison evolved into one of the most exclusive restaurants in the world, with a nightly changing tasting menu of up to 18 courses showcasing the highest-quality produce. The signature uni on toast is a must-try dish, while the wine selection is one of the biggest and best in the US.
All change: In 2019, Saison appointed French chef Laurent Gras as executive chef and managing partner, taking over from Joshua Skenes
Also try: Saison Hospitality Group opened its Angler raw bar and grill in San Francisco in late 2018. A further branch is planned for Los Angeles
No.69 Nahm, Bangkok, Thailand
The restaurant that once topped the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list is a favourite for top-notch authentic Thai food that doesn’t dumb down the spice levels for an international audience. When David Thompson left the restaurant in 2018, executive chef Pim Techamuanvivit took the helm, becoming the first woman to run the flagship restaurant at the Como Metropolitan hotel.
Signature dishes: Steamed red curry of scallops with Thai basil and coconut, and hot and sour soup of river prawn and wild mushrooms
Room with a view: A veranda leads out from Nahm’s dining room onto a beautiful crystal blue swimming pool, which makes for Bangkok’s most romantic spot for a night cap
No.68 Fäviken, Järpen, Sweden
Chef Magnus Nilsson shocked the food world in May 2019 when he announced he would be closing Fäviken for good in December of the same year. The remote restaurant located in Jämtland, central Sweden, made an indelible mark on global gastronomy with Nilsson’s ground-breaking approach to local produce and foraging, and it famously closed for hibernation each winter. Fäviken is booked up right until its final day, but Nilsson’s dishes live on in several cookbooks.
What next? Nilsson says he wants to spend time with his family, fishing, exercising and writing, before moving onto anything new – but the 35-year-old chef is sure to make a comeback
One to remember: One of Fäviken’s most iconic dishes was a single scallop cooked over burning juniper branches
No.67 Astrid y Gastón, Lima, Peru
A combination of Gastón Acurio’s fresh, inventive and evocative cuisine with his wife Astrid Gutsche’s ground-breaking pastries has made their eponymous restaurant one of the stars of Lima’s ever-popular gastronomic scene. Impeccable service and a stunning setting in a former plantation house called Casa Moreyra in upmarket San Isidro district make it a must-visit destination.
Don’t-miss dishes: Peking-style guinea pig wrapped in purple corn pancakes with peanut hoisin sauce is a perfect reflection of the cultural melting pot that is Peruvian cuisine
Accolades: Between them, Gutsche and Acurio have a full cabinet of awards, including Best Pastry Chef for the former and Lifetime Achievement Award for the latter
No.66 Core by Clare Smyth, London, UK – NEW ENTRY
Modern fine dining using simple British ingredients is at the centre of Core, the debut restaurant of Clare Smyth, who spent 13 years working under Gordon Ramsay at his flagship Royal Hospital Road in London. In a stylish, light-filled dining room in London’s upmarket Notting Hill neighbourhood, she puts the spotlight on humble produce in dishes inspired by her childhood, such as Potato and Roe and Lamb Carrot.
Trophy shelf: Smyth won the World’s Best Female Chef Award in 2018 and was honoured with an MBE in 2013 for services to the British hospitality industry
Mentoring the next generation: The chef actively invests in her team with weekly training sessions and educational projects so that staff can learn new skills
No.65 Selfie, Moscow, Russia
In his Ethical Consumption tasting menu, sustainability-conscious chef Anatoly Kazakov’s creates fine dining masterpieces out of the parts of ingredients that are often wasted – think cannelloni made from cauliflower stalks or scallop muscle lovingly revived as the heart of the dish. A separate à la carte highlights Russian produce like halibut from Murmansk and Crimean truffle.
What’s in a name: Contrary to popular belief, the restaurant is not named after the global obsession with mobile phone self-portraits, but is intended to signify ‘self-made’
Best seat in the house: Try to bag a spot at the counter around the open kitchen for the full experience
No.64 The Ledbury, London, UK
127 Ledbury Rd, Notting Hill, London W11 2AQ
Since opening The Ledbury in 2005, Australian chef Brett Graham has built a British classic beloved by London locals and food travellers alike. With an emphasis on wild and reared game and seasonal veg, he creates a high-end dining experience as impressive as any theatre show. A tasting menu here might include Chantilly of oyster and tartare of sea bream with frozen English wasabi, or warm Bantam’s egg with celeriac and Caesar mushrooms.
Alternative takeaway: Customers can take home compost bags made from 100% kitchen waste
Chef history: Graham first travelled from his native New South Wales to the UK as part of a culinary prize. He opened The Ledbury at just 25 years old
No.63 Florilège, Tokyo, Japan
French technique combines with Japanese ingredients at chef Hiroyasu Kawate’s stylish Shibuya restaurant with open kitchen. A signature dish of sustainable beef carpaccio uses meat from Miyazaki cows that are slaughtered at 13 years old (four or five times later than average, allowing them to calve several times), with beetroot purée, smoked potato purée and red apple sorbet.
Behind the name: Florilège means anthology in French
Rising star: Florilège opened in 2009, moved location in 2015 and won the One To Watch Award for Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants in 2016. It was voted in the top five for the last two years
No.62 Nihonryori RyuGin, Tokyo, Japan
7F Tokyo Midtown Hibiya, 1-1-2 Yurakucho, Chiyoda-Ku, Tokyo
The flagship restaurant of Japanese culinary icon Seiji Yamamoto, Nihonryori RyuGin is Tokyo’s kaiseki temple. With a top 10 spot in every edition of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants, the restaurant brings a progressive approach to ancestral kaiseki – a cuisine based around a series of small, meticulously crafted dishes – telling the story of Japan’s best ingredients at peak ripeness.
On the trophy shelf: Chef Yamamoto won the 2019 American Express Icon Award at Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants for his contribution to Japanese cuisine
Also try: Yamamoto also oversees Tenku RyuGin in Hong Kong and Shoun RyuGin in Taipei
No.61 Uliassi, Senigallia, Italy – NEW ENTRY
Siblings Mauro and Catia Uliassi opened their eponymous restaurant in 1990 and have been serving simple, contemporary Italian cuisine ever since. Inspired by the sea and the Adriatic coast, their Classic menu features raw red shrimp, smoked spaghetti with clams and sole. There’s also a game menu starring hare tartare, wild pigeon and grouse.
Constant innovation: Every year, Uliassi adds 10 new courses to the offering
Sea view: Overlooking the ocean, between the canal harbour and the beach, Uliassi is one of Italy’s most beautiful dining spots
No.60 Indian Accent, New Delhi, India
A regular on the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list, Indian Accent is the home of chef Manish Mehrotra’s truly innovative Indian fine dining. For the full experience, take the chef’s tasting menu – also available as a vegetarian option – with highlights such as grilled sea bass with sweet potato and Goan mango curry.
Don’t miss: Indian Accent’s signature breads come in nine types, including butter chicken, wild mushroom, palak paneer and chilli hoisin duck kulchas
Around the world: Mehrotra has offshoots of Indian Accent in London and New York
No.59 Burnt Ends, Singapore
Having recently celebrated its sixth birthday, Burnt Ends goes from strength to strength as one of Singapore’s hottest dining spots. Chef-owner Dave Pynt and head chef Jake Kellie cook everything from juicy langoustines to fennel in their four-tonne, dual-cavity brick kiln oven. Pynt learned from Basque barbecue master Victor Arguinzoniz at Asador Etxebarri.
Must-try dish: The signature Burnt Ends sanger (pulled pork sandwich)
See also: Perth-born Pynt has three Meatsmith restaurants and a British-style colonial cocktail bar called Rogue Trader, all in Singapore
No.58 Sud 777, Mexico City, Mexico
For over a decade, vegetable pioneer Édgar Núñez has brought his constantly evolving interpretation of Mexican cuisine in a menu of colourful, seasonal plates. Using the freshest produce, often from the restaurant’s own gardens, the Noma-trained chef creates dishes such as aloe vera and cold seafood broth, or ‘perfect’ egg in hoja santa and mole coloradito. There’s a tasting menu as well as à la carte divided into ‘starters,’ ‘meat, poultry and fish’ and ‘liquid and green’.
Also try: Núñez runs several restaurants in Mexico City, including casual dining room Comedor Jacinta
The vibe: Sud 777 is relaxed, fun and super cool – not unlike Núñez himself
No.57 Nobelhart & Schmutzig, Berlin, Germany
Owner and sommelier Billy Wagner and head chef Micha Schäfer shine a light on the Berlin region, with local produce including eel, pike perch and Jerusalem artichoke. There’s no à la carte – just a 10-course degustation of dishes that each highlight no more than four dominant flavours. Guests are in the centre of the action at a long counter that wraps around the open kitchen.
No exceptions: If it’s not from Berlin, it’s not on the menu, so diners won’t find chocolate, tuna or lemons here
What’s in the name: Nobelhart & Schmutzig means ‘noble, hard and dirty’ in German
No.56 Relae, Copenhagen, Denmark
No-nonsense sustainable restaurant Relae was set up in 2010 by former Noma acolyte, chef Christian F. Puglisi, who has now been joined by Alessandro Perricone as partner and head sommelier. Inspired but not constrained by New Nordic principles, Puglisi uses ingredients from the local area and beyond in creations such as endive and lemongrass or Gothenburg duck with preserved plums and fried quinoa.
Edible ethics: Relae is a two-time winner of the Sustainable Restaurant Award for its innovative and responsible approach to food waste, energy, recycling and beyond
Farm of Ideas: Nextdoor to Relae is farm-to-table Manfreds, supplied by Puglisi’s farm 40km away. The Farm of Ideas project also promotes dialogue among chefs and farmers
No.55 Maaemo, Oslo, Norway
A true journey through the Nordic landscape, Maaemo provides the link between nature, produce and cultural history in its seasonal tasting menu. Danish chef Esben Holmboe Bang, who has been at Maaemo since 2010, puts local ingredients centre stage in stunning, flower-laden dishes such as roasted bone marrow tartlet with potatoes, aquavit and caviar.
What’s in a name: Maaemo means Mother Earth in ancient Norse
Best seats in the house: Upstairs is the six-seat chef’s table, which looks directly into the kitchen
As the chef who put the Amazon rainforest on the gastronomic map, Alex Atala is a pioneer of Brazilian native ingredients. His latest tasting menu, in celebration of the restaurant’s 20th anniversary, takes diners through indigenous produce such as Yanomami mushrooms with egg yolk and asparagus, or five ways with manioc root, including a manioc millefeuille.
Most-Instagrammed dish: Ants with cachaça
Also try: Atala’s less formal Dalva e Dito serves exceptional Brazilian produce at more accessible prices
No.53 Arzak, San Sebastian, Spain
An icon of San Sebastian, Arzak dates back to 1897, when Elena Arzak’s great-grandparents built the house that her father Juan Mari transformed into one of Spain’s most forward-thinking restaurants. Now at the helm, Elena continues her father’s legacy while constantly pushing forward with new creations and taking away elements for a more modern approach.
Iconic dish: The famous melting Big Truffle is a chocolate lover’s dream
To drink: Arzak’s extensive wine cellar has over 100,000 bottles
No.52 Mikla, Istanbul, Turkey
Home of chef Mehmet Gürs’s New Anatolian cuisine, Mikla transforms ‘noble’ produce with both new and ancient techniques in a stunning setting. The tasting menu brings ingredients from all over Turkey, with dishes including grouper fish with vine leaf, pickled mandarin and Salicornia, and roasted chickpea sübye with fennel.
Don’t miss: Balik Ekmek – Mikla’s interpretation of Istanbul’s famous fish sandwich
Nightcap: Enjoy the spectacular views of the Bosphorus River from the rooftop cocktail bar
No.51 Reale, Castel Di Sangro, Italy
A 16th-century monastery in the Abruzzo mountains is the setting for Niko Romito’s innovative Italian cooking using local ingredients that are often underrated. ‘Complexity, not complicated’ defines dishes such as Absolute of onion, where an intense roasted onion with saffron accompanies pasta ‘buttons’ filled with Parmesan cheese.
Chef CV: Romito studied economics and planned to work in finance, but changed direction in 2000, setting up Reale in the town of Rivisondoli, before moving it in 2011 to the Casadonna monastery
Inseparable siblings: Romito’s sister, Cristiana, has run the dining room at Reale since the beginning, and the innate understanding between siblings makes for seamless service
Now take a look at the full 51-120 list in the video:
The 2019 edition of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list and awards will be unveiled at a live ceremony at Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands on Tuesday, 25th June. Tune in to The World’s 50 Best Restaurants Facebook page to watch it live, and follow us on Instagram, Twitter and YouTube for the latest news and highlights.