How does a restaurant make it onto the list of Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna?

The list is the result of a poll of 300 experts (all within Latin America), who each cast up to 10 votes for the restaurants where they have had their best experiences during the last 18 months before the voting deadline. The list is a simple computation of votes for restaurants in Latin America. This means that restaurants cannot apply to be on the list. The 11th edition of the list was announced at a live awards ceremony in Rio de Janeiro on Tuesday, 28th November 2023. 

Why are there venues ranked from 51st to 100th? 

In 2022 and then again in 2023, Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants also announced an extension of the list, and revealed the restaurants ranked from 51st to 100th. The move is designed to shine a light on a wider array of establishments across the region that will inspire gastronomes as they consider their future dining and travel plans in the region.

Which countries in Latin America are included in the voting?

In alphabetical order – Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, French Guyana, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela.

Who organises Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants?

The results and the awards are organised and staged by William Reed. S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna are the main sponsors, but do not have any involvement with the results or awards and their compilation. Neither do any of our other commercial partners.

Does a restaurant have to fit a certain criteria?

No. They do not have to sell a certain product, they do not have to have been open a certain number of years and they do not have to have won any other culinary accolades. Any restaurant in Latin America is eligible to be voted for by the Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants Academy as long as it has been open during the voting period, and as long as it is not planning on closing shortly after we publish the results (although we cannot always know this, of course).

50 Best reserves the right to remove restaurants from the list where there may be reputational issues that discredit the 50 Best organisation by way of these venues' inclusion.

Having reached the No.1 position in The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2023, will Central be eligible for voting into Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants?

No. Any venues named The World’s Best Restaurant are honoured as iconic dining destinations and inducted into the Best of the Best hall of fame, so they become ineligible for voting in any future lists of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants or its regional editions, like Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants. Central did not, therefore, appear in the edition of Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants to be announced on 28th November 2023.

Is the Academy voting system for Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants the same as the Academy voting system for The World’s 50 Best Restaurants?

The voting system for Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants adopts the same fundamental structure as that for The World’s 50 Best Restaurants Academy. Latin America is divided into five regional academies across Mexico, Central America, Brazil, South America – North, and South America – South. The divisions are designed to represent the Latin American restaurant scene as fairly as possible at the current time and are agreed with the Academy Chairs.

The 300-strong panel is made up of food writers and critics, chefs, restaurateurs and well-travelled gourmets. At least 25% of the panel changes each year. Each panellist has ten votes. Of the ten votes, at least four must be used to recognise restaurants outside of their home country (unless the voter has not been able to travel during the voting period, in which case they only vote for six restaurants within their own country).

The voting for Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants takes place at a different time to The World’s 50 Best Restaurants with a different voting Academy, and is naturally focused on restaurants in Latin America only. This process therefore produces different rankings to The World’s 50 Best Restaurants.

How are Latin America’s Academy panels assembled?

The voters are well-travelled gourmets, food writers and critics, chefs and restaurateurs who dine out regularly and travel within Latin America. Each region is made up of one or more countries.

What are the voting criteria for the Latin American Academy?

Academy members cannot vote for any restaurant in which have a financial interest. They must have dined there in the 18 months prior to the voting period. Panelists are asked to submit a choice of the top ten restaurants they have dined in during the voting period in order of preference. Voters must also remain anonymous as to their status as members of our Academy.

How do we know these votes are valid?

Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants’ voting process and results are subject to independent adjudication by world-renowned professional services consultancy Deloitte. Deloitte has been granted full and independent access to the Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants voting process and data and has performed procedures to confirm the integrity and authenticity of the voting process and the resulting list.

Who are the Academy Chairs?

The Chairs are selected for their prominent position within restaurant journalism in their region. They are in a position to best select an appropriate panel and their expertise is valued in developing the future strategy for the Awards and activities surrounding them. Meet the Academy Chairs in Latin America

What does ‘best’ actually mean?

That is up to each voter to decide – as everyone’s tastes are different, so everyone's idea of what constitutes a great restaurant experience is different. Of course the quality of food is going to be central, as is the service – but the style of both, the surroundings, atmosphere and indeed the price level are each more or less important for each different individual. We allow those 300 experts to make up their own minds, and we simply collate their votes.

Can a restaurant be taken off the list?

Not until the following year – and even then it will only be the results of the voting that determines this, or if we are advised that it will be closed within three months of the list's publication.

Why do restaurants drop off the list?

If a restaurant falls from the list of 50 it does not necessarily represent a decline in the standards of that restaurant. It could be an indication of shifting culinary tastes, or it could also represent that a geographical area is becoming more important. Many restaurants come back onto the list after initial success.

Why Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants?

The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list is recognised around the world as the most credible indicator of the best places to eat on Earth. The dining scene in this region is rich in diversity, yet relatively undiscovered. The decision to launch Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants in 2013 allowed us to highlight more of this talent than we can with The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list. The events seek to encourage a shared fraternity across restaurants in the continent, bringing together the best chefs in Latin America, drawing attention to the regional culinary development and celebrating gastronomy together.