The much-anticipated list of Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants 2022, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna, was unveiled at a live awards ceremony in Mérida, Yucatán, Mexico on Tuesday 15th November.
This year’s ranking features restaurants across 21 cities in 11 countries and 10 brand-new entries. Browse the 50 photos, add restaurants to your bucket list and discover the venue anointed The Best Restaurant in Latin America 2022
No.50 Julia, Buenos Aires – NEW ENTRY
Chef Julio Martín Baez opened Julia in 2019 as a tiny four-hands affair named after his daughter. Elegant and intimate, the restaurant hosts just two sittings per night, treating guests to the 16-course tasting menu that features fillet tartare with ‘nduja sausage and almonds, and chicken liver pâté with Jerusalem artichoke chips.
No.49 Mesa Franca, Bogotá – NEW ENTRY
Bogotá restaurant Mesa Franca (meaning 'free table') lives up to its name. Chef Iván Cadena presents an honest and frank dining experience in in the trendy Chapinero district. Combining flames from the wood-burning oven with indigenous culinary techniques, Cadena perfectly captures the essence of Colombian cooking.
No.48 Gran Dabbang, Buenos Aires
It’s fast and furious with few frills at Gran Dabbang. Chef Mariano Ramón brings Asia’s wide-ranging street food scene to Buenos Aires at this tiny spot in Palermo. Dishes are served on camping ware and are designed to share. Expect Swiss chard pakora with carrot chutney, artichoke with pumpkin seed sauce or tapioca and mandioca bread.
No.47 Diacá, Guatemala City – NEW ENTRY
With its name literally meaning ‘from here’ in Spanish, Debora Fadul’s Diacá offers a seasonally changing eight-course tasting menu of contemporary Guatemalan cuisine. The gastronomic journey that combines native and local ingredients earned the restaurant the Flor de Caña Sustainable Restaurant Award 2022.
No.46 Manu, Curitiba
Latin America’s Best Female Chef 2022 Manoella ‘Manu’ Buffara is on the pass at her eponymous restaurant. Together with her enthusiastic team, she serves a tasting menu entitled Metamorphosis, featuring the region’s vegetables, herbs and seafood, sourced via a network of artisanal producers. Buffara’s dishes include elegant combinations such as hedgehog with onions and squid served with its ink, corn and basil.
No.45 Gustu, La Paz – RE-ENTRY
Claus Meyer, co-founder of Best of the Best restaurant Noma, opened Gustu in La Paz in 2013, where chef Marsia Taha is now at the helm. She takes diners on a journey across the incredibly biodiverse Bolivian landscape, offering a taste of earth, land and sea. The Best Restaurant in Bolivia 2022 has become a forerunner in bringing the Bolivian culinary scene onto the global map.
No.44 Mil, Moray
From its perch in Peru’s breath-taking Sacred Valley, Mil’s dining room enjoys once-in-a-lifetime views of the Moray agricultural ruins. Chefs Virgilio Martínez and Pía León oversee the concept, crafting eight courses that explore local ingredients such as chaco clay and wild chincho (an aromatic herb), as well as alpaca, black quinoa and tree tomato.
No.43 Quintonil, Mexico City
Quintonil is all about freshness and flavour as seen through Chef Jorge Vallejo’s keen eye. Much of the produce on the tasting menu comes from a nearby garden, where the cooks pick fresh vegetables and greens on a daily basis. Diners can expect the likes of Moorish crab with green pípian sauce, sunflower seeds and blue corn toast.
No.42 La Docena, Guadalajara – RE-ENTRY
At La Docena, seafood reigns supreme. A wholly casual affair, this neighbourhood joint created by Chef Tomás Bermúdez stays true to an ideology of substance over style. The squid toast, an ensemble of sourdough, avocado emulsion, coriander, crispy squid and aioli, is straightforward and satisfying – and the pure embodiment of the restaurant’s philosophy.
No.41 Alcalde, Guadalajara
Set in a stylish, welcoming setting in Guadalajara, Alcalde’s food is based on chef Francisco ‘Paco’ Ruano’s simple, ‘frank’ Mexican cooking, rooted in the Jalisco region. Local ingredients dominate across the board, with dishes such as green aguachile with prawn and apple, octopus with Japanese aubergine, habanero peppers and rice.
No.40 Elena, Buenos Aires – RE-ENTRY
Cooking in a country with a profound history and passion for steak, Juan Gaffuri’s team is unwavering and unapologetic in its mission to deliver the archetypal Argentine steakhouse experience. The 950g dry-aged T-bone is a classic, while dishes such as the grilled octopus with huancaína cheese are just as popular.
No.39 Nelita, São Paulo – NEW ENTRY
While pasta is the star of the show at Nelita, Tássia Magalhães and her women-led team work their magic with dishes across the board. In the stylish dining room with exposed brick walls, expect delicate bites such as the signature octopus beignets or mushroom croquettes, and mains of creamy risotto, fish and meat.
No.38 Osso, Lima
A butcher’s shop and restaurant rolled into one, Renzo Garibaldi’s Osso is the place to go in Lima for all the best cuts. Casual, noisy and rustic, this is a joint to get your hands dirty while enjoying carpaccio, deconstructed cutlets, artisanal hamburgers and the signature wagyu steak tartare prepared with spring onion, Maras salt and an egg yolk.
No.37 Rosetta, Mexico City
Chef Elena Reygadas made her name focusing on exquisite hand-made pasta dishes and these are all available at Rosetta, one of the most romantic restaurants in Latin America. Take a seat in the beautiful mansion house and enjoy the down-to-earth service and contemporary Mexican cuisine. Think tamales and mole, as well as the likes of quail served with faro, dates and mustard leaves.
No.36 Aramburu, Buenos Aires
Gonzalo Aramburu’s spectacular 18-course tasting menu takes diners on a journey under the sea. Each course revolves around hyper-seasonal produce, with notable dishes including sea snail with yam, and crab and scallop cannoli. The Recoleta-based restaurant features a research and development laboratory with a test kitchen, vertical garden and a cellar bursting with over 120 different labels.
No.35 Charco, São Paulo – NEW ENTRY
Pretty much every dish at Charco is touched by fire. Whether grilled as yakitori, on the parrilla, or in the wood-fired oven, dishes such as mushrooms with smoked pumpkin and Parmesan, fish of the day with herbs and grilled coalho cheese, and palm heart with ricotta and bottarga are delectably toasted by Chef Tuca Mezzomo.
No.34 Pangea, Monterrey
At Pangea, genial chef Guillermo González Beristáin and head chef Eduardo Morali apply modern French techniques to Mexico’s local produce. Opt for the varied tasting menu, featuring pork belly with charred peach; duck with pear and cherry jus; and finishing with a showstopping raspberry and lychee pavlova, which alone provides a reason to visit Monterrey.
No.33 D.O.M., São Paulo
D.O.M. is home to Chef Alex Atala’s jaw-dropping ‘Maximus’ 12-course tasting menu. Beyond its impressive, towering front door in leafy downtown São Paulo, guests can settle into the vaulted-ceiling dining room and enjoy dishes such as green fig with gorgonzola and port; salted arapaima fish with pil pil and acai tapenade; and lamb jerky with pumpkin.
No.32 Rafael, Lima
Rafael, the eponymous restaurant of lawyer-turned-chef Rafael Osterling, is set in a beautiful art deco townhouse in the chic Miraflores area. The cavalcade of dishes on the tasting menu delves into Peru’s culinary heritage, while touching on Nikkei and inspiration from Osterling’s travels. Expect everything from ceviche and pizza, to sashimi and grilled seafood.
No.31 Sublime, Guatemala City – NEW ENTRY
Located in a beautiful house in a well-heeled neighbourhood of Guatemala City, Sublime is brainchild of chef Sergio Díaz and anthropologist Jocelyn Degollado. The 12-course tasting menu usually begins with dishes inspired by pre-Colombian times, passes through Spanish colonial syncretism or mestizaje, and ends with the flavours of the present.
No.30 Astrid y Gastón, Lima
The chef and pastry chef combination of Gastón Acurio and Astrid Gutsche are Peru’s original restaurant power couple. Since 1994, Astrid y Gastón has played a vital role in popularising and modernising the nation’s cuisine. Putting Peruvian flavours at centre stage, the first-ever No.1 on Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants list offers dishes such as guinea pig bao, lucuma gnocchi and confit pork.
No.29 Arca, Tulum – NEW ENTRY
An elegant and simple restaurant, Arca is home to Chef José Luis Hinostroza’s Mexican street food reinventions. Bringing the explosion of flavours of his hometown of Tijuana to the Caribbean jungle, his recipes are mouth-watering examples of sophisticated Mexican cuisine. Aguachile and cured kampachi fish with hibiscus and plum sauce are both signatures.
No.28 Máximo Bistrot, Mexico City
Chef Eduardo García fuses classic European techniques with traditional Mexican ingredients at Máximo Bistrot. Together with his wife Gabriela López, García supports a network of local producers and sustainable gardens across Mexico City while creating dishes including grilled bass with Creole corn, chicken stuffed with morels, and wagyu beef with peach mushrooms.
No.27 Metzi, São Paulo – NEW ENTRY
Brazilian chef Luana Sabino and Mexican Eduardo Nava Ortiz worked together at New York’s Cosme before establishing Metzi in 2020. The pair combine their heritages with the rich cuisine of Oaxaca into a seasonally changing menu featuring the likes of quesadilla with courgette flowers, elegant pork al pastor, and black aguachile with avocado.
No.26 Chila, Buenos Aires
Chila is set in a low-lit, former grain warehouse overlooking the docklands and river in Buenos Aires. It is a common sight to see head chef Pedro Bargero exploring the markets at first light to create his tasting menu. Highlights include dry-aged beef with vinaigrette; churros with potato and chimichurri; and bacon-stuffed pasta with shellfish.
No.25 Parador La Huella, José Ignacio
The ultimate destination for stylised beachside eating, Parador La Huella’s repertoire in grilled seafood, overseen by chef Vanessa González, is second to none. So far, no eatery has been able to steal its title of The Best Restaurant in Uruguay since the first incarnation of the Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants list. Don’t miss the signature dulce de leche volcano dessert.
No.24 Nuema, Quito
The husband-and-wife team of Alejandro Chamorro and Pía Salazar hero the endemic produce of Ecuador at Nuema. Local ingredients feature in the duo’s avant-garde dishes, bursting with bright colours and profound flavour. Her contemporary confectionary creations earn Salazar the title of Latin America’s Best Pastry Chef 2022, sponsored by República del Cacao.
No.23 Sud 777, Mexico City
Passionate about local produce and discovering the origins of his ingredients, Chef Edgar Núñez presents Mexico’s indigenous produce with culinary flair at Sud 777. The tasting menu changes monthly and includes an exotic melange of dishes, including a standout serving of oyster with bone marrow and artichoke.
No.22 El Preferido de Palermo, Buenos Aires
Restaurateur Pablo Rivero and chef Guido Tassi (of previous Best Restaurant in Latin America, Don Julio fame) embody the traditional bodegón with their offering at El Preferido de Palermo. Head chef Martín Lukesch focuses on classic Buenos Aires dishes and encourages guests to share plates so they can try everything from faina flatbreads and tortillas, to stews and charcuterie.
No.21 Maní, São Paulo
Former winner of The World’s Best Female Chef title, Helena Rizzo, joins Willem Vandeven, of Belgium's Hof Van Cleve fame, on the pass at Maní. Iconic Brazilian is the name of the game, combined with Japanese techniques. Expect the likes of reconstructed roe with corn, pancetta and katsuobushi (fermented tuna), or vatapá (a typical Brazilian stew) served with slipper lobster.
No.20 Lasai, Rio de Janeiro
Lasai, meaning ‘tranquility’ in the Basque language, sees chef Rafael Costa e Silva’s world-class cooking paired with warm service, a stunning dining room and produce from the family’s own farms. Standouts include palm heart ceviche, and banana with bok choy, manioc and sour cream. Plus, the wine and cocktail lists are among the very best in Brazil.
No.19 Celele, Cartagena
Jaime Rodríguez spent years exploring the Caribbean coast of Colombia, meeting indigenous people and documenting lost recipes before deciding to open a restaurant based on this concept. The 10-course tasting menu explores everything the Caribbean coast has to offer, accompanied by thoughtful drinks flights and cocktails made with Colombian fruits.
No.18 Villa Torél, Ensenada – NEW ENTRY
Born in Mexico City, chef Alfredo Villanueva moved to Ensenada to open Villa Torél and has created a place where food doesn’t only gather people around the table, but also generates community. The restaurant focuses on a short, well-considered menu, showing respect to producers and neighbouring Valle de Guadalupe food projects.
No.17 Le Chique, Cancún
At Le Chique, food extends beyond the realm of flavour. Designed to trick the mind, mouth and more, each dish in the 20-plus course menu keeps guests at the cusp of sensory overload. Head chef – and Noma, El Bulli and El Celler de Can Roca alumnus – Jonatan Gómez Luna continually pushes the boundaries of fine dining and is this year recognised with the Estrella Damm Chefs’ Choice Award 2022.
No.16 Fauna, Valle de Guadalupe – NEW ENTRY
Chef David Castro Hussong and pastry chef Maribel Aldaco Silva create daily-changing experimental menus using local ingredients at Fauna. Dishes such as grilled octopus with chicharrón (crispy pork skin) and wagyu fat are served on the large, communal table with a spectacular view of the evening sunset. Offering a unique taste of Baja California, Fauna is awarded this year’s Highest New Entry Award.
No.15 Mishiguene, Buenos Aires
Mishiguene, which means ‘crazy’ in Yiddish, honours Argentina’s Jewish immigrant heritage. Chef Tomás Kalika pays homage to his roots with dishes such as borscht and spit-roasted lamb. For the ultimate experience, request the special tasting menu and sit at the chef’s table – visit on a Friday for an evening of song, dance and live music in the dining room.
No.14 Evvai, São Paulo
Chef Luiz Filipe Souza coined the phrase ‘Oriundi cuisine’ at Evvai, referring to the global Italian diaspora. He presents diners with immigrant-inspired dishes like tortellini with crab and pea sauce with sea urchin, featuring in a five- or nine-course tasting menu. There’s also a superb wine list and classic and creative cocktails such as Negroni, which uses chai-infused gin.
No.13 Leo, Bogotá
Celebrity chef Leonor Espinosa’s flagship restaurant showcases little-known Colombian ingredients and champions local communities and gastronomic traditions. Diners are treated to the flavours of the sea, land and soil downstairs, while on the upper floor, La Sala de Laura is the perfect spot for an unusual wine or cocktail, from the bar programme overseen by Espinosa’s sommelier and spirits expert daughter, Laura.
No.12 Oteque, Rio de Janeiro
Since opening in 2018, Oteque has allowed its ingredients to stand out. Chef Alberto Landgraf’s dishes, like the signature pickled sardine and foie gras on brioche, sing with flavour. With every inch of the restaurant designed for the diner’s comfort and pleasure, it is no surprise that this Rio de Janeiro culinary institution earns the Gin Mare Art of Hospitality Award 2022.
No.11 Mérito, Lima
The flavours of Peru and Venezuela combine on the plate at Mérito. Try the yuca root quesadilla filled with goat's cheese or the loche squash with the catch of the day for a true taste of Chef Juan Luis Martinez’s culinary genius. The two-floor restaurant is set in the heart of the trendy Barranco neighbourhood and is a favourite of foodies across the city.
No.10 Boragó, Santiago
Chef Rodolfo Guzmán has led the charge of Chile’s gastronomic creativity for 15 years at Boragó. Working closely with more than 200 smallholders, farmers, fishermen and foragers, Guzmán assembles a hyper-seasonal menu named Endémica, which might include papaya candy and fermented loyo fudge, or Chilean truffle and zabaione ice-cream. One mouthful will tell you why it’s been named The Best Restaurant in Chile 2022.
No.9 Mayta, Lima
Contemporary cuisine takes the spotlight at Mayta, where each dish is a masterclass in presentation. In the minimalist dining room, Chef Jaime Pesaque’s vibrant creations shine, reflecting the colour and biodiversity of Peru. Small plates include grilled sweetbreads with arracacha (a Peruvian root vegetable) which precede delicious desserts like passion fruit tart with ice cream and white chocolate.
No.8 Kjolle, Lima
Kjolle is the inimitable project from chef Pía León, one half of the husband-and-wife team that heads up Central. Nestled in the same complex as its older brother in Lima, Kjolle boasts the very best local craftsmanship: everything from the tables to crockery is sourced from small businesses in Peru. For the full culinary experience, opt for the nine-course tasting menu.
No.7 Pujol, Mexico City
Enrique Olvera is joined at the pass by chef de cuisine Jesus Durón and together they showcase the very best of Mexican culinary culture. Pujol’s menu changes with the seasons, but there is one dish that you’ll catch all year round: Mole Madre, Mole Nuevo, made of concentric circles of mole, with one aged for more than 1,000 days. As a mainstay on Mexico’s restaurant scene for over two decades, it’s unsurprising that Pujol is named The Best Restaurant in Mexico 2022.
No.6 Maito, Panama City
Chef Mario Castrellón’s Maito is a meeting point for the diversity of cultures, flavours and ingredients of Panama. Its influence in the region is growing so fast that in 2022 it wins the Highest Climber Award, having jumped up 36 spots within the ranking. Thanks to Castrellón’s relationships with local producers, the 11-course tasting menu features ingredients rarely used anywhere else in the city.
No.5 El Chato, Bogotá
Born and raised in Colombia, Chef Álvaro Clavijo uses the national pantry for his singular tasting menu. Classic dishes such as chicken hearts with potato and suero costeño – a cheesy traditional Colombian sauce – are mainstays, though locals in the know will always request the renowned off-menu avocado soufflé.
No.4 A Casa do Porco, São Paulo
A carnivore’s idea of heaven, A Casa do Porco is the vision of chefs Jefferson and Janaína Rueda, showcasing pork, fire and all things butchery. The extensive menu is divided into à la carte and the ‘Da Roça para o Centro’ tasting menu, and the drinks selection is just as extensive. Try the standout pork jowl sushi, croquettes, or belly with pancetta crackling.
No.3 Maido, Lima
Chef Mitsuharu Tsumura of Maido is the hero of Nikkei cuisine in Lima. In the first-floor restaurant in trendy Miraflores, diners are greeted with a cry of ‘Maido!’, followed by myriad courses including nigiri, toro, tuna belly and Korean-style chicken legs, all found on the extensive Experiencia Nikkei menu.
No.2 Don Julio, Buenos Aires
Don Julio started out as a neighbourhood parrilla and today is one of Buenos Aires’ top gastronomic institutions. The cuisine could be described as steakhouse supreme, serving speciality cuts sourced from regeneratively farmed Aberdeen Angus and Hereford cattle. Owner-sommelier Pablo Rivero, who oversees an extensive Argentinian wine list, receives the inaugural Beronia Latin America’s Best Sommelier Award.
No.1 Central, Lima
Chefs Virgilio Martínez and Pía León’s flagship restaurant is a shrine to all things Peruvian. Having travelled extensively across the length and breadth of the country, the duo present only the very best of Peru’s culinary treasures on their tasting menu named Mundo Mater.
Combining flawless hospitality, vast knowledge of Latin American produce and unparalleled creativity in the kitchen, this gastronomic ode to Peru is the deserving winner of The Best Restaurant in Latin America 2022, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna.
Now recap the list with the video:
The list of Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants 2022, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna, was announced on Tuesday 15th November. Follow us on Instagram, like us on Facebook, find us on Twitter, tag #LatAm50Best and subscribe to our YouTube channel for the latest news.