Following its return to London in 2022, The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna, heads back on the road in 2023. The annual gastronomic gathering – and its ever-expanding event programme – will take place in Valencia, with the awards ceremony set to take place on 20th June. Find out why all food-lovers should be heading to the Med next summer
As it enters its third decade, The World’s 50 Best Restaurants is set to bask in some Mediterranean sunshine and soak up some cutting-edge culture come June 2023. 50 Best’s flagship series of culinary events will be hosted throughout the city, region and province of Valencia, culminating on Tuesday 20th June in the much-anticipated unveiling of the annual ranking at the gala awards ceremony, which will take place within its stunning City of Arts and Sciences architectural complex.
As the official host destination, Spain’s third-largest city will welcome renowned chefs, restaurateurs and culinary stars from across the globe, as well as food-loving gourmets from near and far seeking a dose of gastronomic and cultural inspiration. As well as the awards ceremony itself, Valencia will be home to a series of 50 Best Signature Sessions, where leading chefs collaborate with the finest local restaurants to create one-night-only dining experiences. Tickets for the 50 Best Signature Sessions will be open to the public, with booking details revealed nearer to the time.
The 21st edition of The World's 50 Best Restaurants will be unveiled in Valencia in June 2023
The 50 Best programme will also feature an edition of thought-leadership forum #50BestTalks, as well as an educational event aimed specifically at the region’s aspiring chefs and culinary students featuring some of the food world’s most celebrated thinkers.
The move to this vibrant Mediterranean destination follows recent editions of the global event in London, Antwerp and Singapore, which were preceded by Bilbao, Melbourne and New York as host cities. But here are four particular reasons why the 2023 destination offers something quite special…
1. The food (of course): paella, all i pebre and more
This is a region that loves and values its food culture, as seen in its proud signature dishes. It is the birthplace of the world-famous paella, which originates from the Albufera rice-growing area just south of the city itself. Dating from when rice was first cultivated here in the 8th century, the saffron-infused dish is traditionally made not with seafood but with rabbit, but contemporary versions can contain whatever the creator deems suitable, from snails to lobster. As well as its love of short-grained arroz (which extends way beyond paella), fish abounds in local kitchens; a must-try is all i pebre – eels with potatoes, garlic and paprika. Renowned Valencian chef Quique Dacosta oversees his eponymous flagship restaurant (named in The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2022) along the coast in Dénia, but also has a range of stellar dining destinations in the city itself.
2. Astounding architecture
Built on ancient, largely Roman foundations, Valencia has embraced modernity like few of its fellow Europeans, with a taste for the avant-garde in architecture and design that has seen it named World Design Capital 2022. This appetite is embodied by the City of Arts and Sciences, an extraordinary series of buildings and spaces created by local-boy-turned-international-architect Santiago Calatrava that encompasses a futuristic planetarium, giant aquarium, science museum, opera house and cultural centre. Expect The World’s 50 Best Restaurants gala awards evening to be staged within its futuristic environs.
3. Green lungs
With its combination of coastal location and extensive green urban spaces, this is a place where sustainability has a head start. But the local authorities have built on this inherent advantage by championing sustainable materials, pedestrianising large swathes of the city centre and prioritising two wheels over four with ubiquitous cycle lanes, innovative bike sharing and rental schemes and extensive trail routes, including through the beautiful – and huge – Jardín del Turia park.
4. Sipping Agua de Valencia on the beach…
More than 300 days of sunshine a year. Beaches on the doorstep. Fresh seafood a-plenty. Surrounding countryside full of orange groves, producing the most succulent oranges… Add two distinct and delicious local drinks – horchata and Agua de Valencia – to, respectively, quench one’s thirst and provide an uplifting hit, and the cocktail for enjoyment is complete. Horchata (technically orxata de xufa) is a refreshing milk-like drink made from chufa, or tiger nuts, ubiquitous in local cafes and drunk with a small pastry finger on the side. Agua de Valencia comprises fresh orange juice, cava and generous splashes of gin and vodka (yes, both) served over ice.
Salud! And see you there for the ultimate celebration of global gastronomy next June.
The 21st edition of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna, will be announced on 20th June 2023. To be the first to hear about the latest news and announcements, follow us on Instagram, find us on Facebook, visit us on Twitter and subscribe to our YouTube channel.