The World's 50 Best Restaurants Academy – comprising over 1,000 voters headed by 26 regional Academy Chairs – has once again voted, and the 2018 list was announced on Tuesday 19th June at the annual awards ceremony at the Palacio Euskalduna in Bilbao, Spain.
Including restaurants from 23 different countries across six continents, this year's list boasts six new entries and three re-entries. Check out the list in pictures.
No.50 The Test Kitchen, Cape Town, South Africa - RE-ENTRY
Smoked fish mousse (image: Justin Patrick)
The first fine dining restaurant to open in Cape Town’s Woodstock neighbourhood, The Test Kitchen kicked off an artistic boom. With food based on popular global dishes with South African ingredients and twists, chef Luke Dale-Roberts’s restaurant has two intimate dining areas – one “dark”, one “light”. The experience starts with distinctive small bites from around the world like ceviche and roti paired with cocktails in the quiet dark room. More classic-mod fare is served in the buzzy light room – like eiland (local oryx) carpaccio, local kingklip smoked with curry leaves and scallops with a Cape Malay sabayon.
The Old Biscuit Mill, 375 Albert Road, Woodstock, Cape Town
+27 21 447 2337
No.49 Nahm, Bangkok, Thailand
Peanut relish with grilled prawns (image: Como Metropolitan Bangkok)
Executive chef Pim Techamuanvivit is the first woman to run the flagship restaurant at the Como Metropolitan hotel in Bangkok after legendary cook David Thompson left for pastures new in 2018, having worked with Como hotels for 18 years. Nahm is famed for its fiery modern takes on traditional Thai dishes and a meal here is a banquet of hearty plates rather than tiny bites.
27 South Sathorn Road, Tungmahamek Sathorn, Bangkok 10120
+66 2 625 3388
No.48 Hiša Franko, Kobarid, Slovenia - NEW ENTRY
Drežnica goat kid consommé, brain, wild hops pasta (image: Suzan Gabrijan)
Chef Ana Ros put Slovenia on the gastronomic map after being voted The World’s Best Female Chef in 2017 and starring in her own episode of Netflix’s cult series, Chef’s Table. Pronounced Hi-sha Franko, the restaurant is located in the stunning surrounds of the Soça Valley and has drawn visitors to Slovenia from all over the world. Ros and her team offer a six-course and an eight-course tasting menu, each starting with the restaurant’s homemade bread, local butter and cheese lollipops made by Ros's husband and somellier Valter Kramar.
Franko restavracija, Hiša Franko d.o.o., Staro selo 1, 5222 Kobarid
+386 5 389 4120
No.47 Schloss Schauenstein, Fürstenau, Switzerland - RE-ENTRY
Chilled cucumber soup, avocado, buttermilk
Schloss Schauenstein is housed in a fairy tale castle in the Swiss Alps. The restaurant and six-room boutique hotel sits in the historic village of Fürstenau, which, with only eight full-time residents, claims the title of the smallest town in the world. The remote location means that Schloss Schauenstein is enveloped in a beautiful and romantic atmosphere. The food – from characteristic preparations with a single ingredient to balanced flavours and precise presentation – has been fine-tuned over the years, resulting in surprising flavours even from the simplest ingredients.
Schlossgasse 77 CH-7414, Fürstenau
+41 81 632 10 80
No.46 Saison, San Francisco, USA
Seafood dish at Saison (image: Bonjwing Lee)
Saison is, on the face of it, full of contradictions: a former weekly pop-up, it is now one of the most exclusive (and expensive) restaurants in the world. It boasts one of the finest cellars in the US, with wines poured to the accompaniment of a pumping 80s and 90s rock-classic soundtrack. It uses ultra-luxury ingredients, often eaten with the hands, and the kitchen employs super-sophisticated contemporary techniques alongside the ancient practice of cooking meat over fire.
178 Townsend St, San Francisco, CA 94107
+1 415 828 7990
No.45 Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, London, UK
Frumenty (image: John Blackwell)
It may be a large, extremely busy hotel restaurant in the posher part of west London, but don’t underestimate the ingenuity and originality of the dishes at Dinner, which retain the Blumenthal stamp, albeit in a very different guise to those at The Fat Duck. What’s more, dishes are delivered by super-friendly and well-versed staff. The restaurant is led by chef-director Ashley Palmer-Watts, who has been with Blumenthal for almost two decades.
Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, 66 Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7LA
+44 20 7201 3833
No.44 Mikla, Istanbul, Turkey - NEW ENTRY
Octopus and tarhana (image: Mecit Gülaydin, Karos)
Consistently rated one of the best restaurants in Istanbul, Mikla offers the full package of great service and exceptional food in a stunning location. With one of the finest views in the world, Mikla’s dining room has an outdoor terrace from which guests can look over the Bosphorus to see a glimpse of both Asia and Europe. Mehmet Gürs is a champion of the New Anatolian Kitchen, where he transforms traditional and ‘noble’ products with a blend of new and ancient techniques.
The Marmara Pera Meşrutiyet Caddesi 15 34430, Beyoğlu, İstanbul 34430
+90 212 293 56 56
No.43 Azurmendi, Larrabetzu, Spain
Far from the straightforward sit-down restaurant experience, at Azurmendi the journey starts in the rooftop vegetable garden where guests inspect the home-grown produce before continuing via the kitchen to an indoor greenhouse for a selection of ‘snacks’. Basque cook Eneko Atxa was brought up with the kitchen at the heart of his home and says he’s committed to giving guests the same homely experience. Azurmendi is a family business that also houses a winery run by his cousin, Bertol Izagirre, specialising in Basque txakoli wine.
Corredor del Txorierri Salida 25, Larrabetzu, Bizkaia
+34 944 558 866
No.42 The Ledbury, London, UK
Bantam egg (image: Jonathan Thompson, Jake Eastham)
The Ledbury is a serene and distinctly high-end London dining experience featuring modern British food with an emphasis on wild and reared game and seasonal veg, plus the odd Pacific inflection born of the chef’s Antipodean background. Brett Graham, who first travelled from his native New South Wales, Australia, to the UK as part of a culinary prize, opened The Ledbury in West London in 2005 when he was just 25.
127 Ledbury Road, Notting Hill, London W11 2AQ
+44 20 7792 9090
No.41 Nihonryori RyuGin, Tokyo, Japan - RE-ENTRY
Bonito smoked with rice straw
One of Tokyo’s most dynamic interpreters of traditional Japanese cuisine, chef Seiji Yamamoto hails from rural Kagawa Prefecture in Shikoku, where he trained for over a decade at the revered Aoyagi restaurant. In 2003, at the age of 33, he opened Nihonryori RyuGin in the heart of Tokyo’s cosmopolitan Roppongi district. Yamamoto initially gained recognition for integrating avant-garde modernist cooking techniques in his cuisine, but he has always been deeply grounded in the kaiseki tradition.
Ground Floor, 7-17-24 Roppongi, Minato, Tokyo 106-0032
+81 3 3423 8006
No.40 Septime, Paris, France
Smoked cauliflower, onion, mustard jus and lardo
Owner-chef Bertrand Grebaut is far from the only boldface-named Paris chef to graduate from the kitchens of Alain Passard’s landmark restaurant Arpège, but in a few short years he has quickly come to be recognised among such luminaries as L’Astrance’s Pascal Barbot as the future of French cooking. Dip a fork into the menu on any given day and you’ll quickly discover that the food more than holds its own.
80 Rue de Charonne, Paris 11
+33 1 4367 3829
No.39 Astrid y Gastón, Lima, Peru
Cuy pekin (images: Acurio Restaurantes)
This is where the magic began, the first establishment helmed by chef and patron saint of modern Peruvian cuisine Gastón Acurio – who fortunately jacked in his law degree for hospitality – and pastry chef wife Astrid Gutsche. Opened in 1994, over the years the restaurant and its owners have grown exponentially, changing concept to focus exclusively on Peruvian culture, dishes and ingredients.
Av. Paz Soldán 290, San Isidro, Lima 27
+511 442 2775
No.38 Lyle's, London, UK - NEW ENTRY
Asparagus, buckheat and Burford brown egg (image: Per Anders Jorgensen)
After dining two consecutive nights at St. John Bread & Wine and The Fat Duck as a 20-something graduate, James Lowe was so blown away by the extremely different experiences that he became convinced that he too should run a restaurant. The short and sweet daily menu is micro-seasonal, showcasing what’s best on any given day in London and the UK; the wine list follows suit. Attention to detail starts at origin and working with producers is key: fish is couriered from Cornwall daily while every week in summer the Lyle’s team drives to the south coast to pick fruit.
Tea Building, 56 Shoreditch High St, London E1 6JJ
+44 020 3011 5911
No.37 Restaurant Tim Raue, Berlin, Germany
Pikeperch fish, kamebishi soy, leek (image: Nils Hasenau, Joerg Lehmann)
Tim Raue fell in love with Asian cuisine and brought it back to Berlin, where his eponymous restaurant opened in 2010. In a two-story building adorned with artefacts from his travels around Asia, Raue serves up a fusion of flavours inspired by Japan, Thailand and China, while a charming front-of-house team led by his business partner Anne-Marie Raue completes the experience.
Rudi-dutschke-str. 26, 10969 Berlin
+49 30 259 379 30
No.36 Reale, Castel di Sangro, Italy
Pigeon and pistachio (image: Roberto Sammartini)
Reale is a truly original restaurant and not just because it's housed in a 16th century monastery with rooms in the mountains of Abruzzo. Niko Romito's cooking philosophy is unique, using innovative techniques to enhance the intrinsic flavours of often unfashionable ingredients from the region. 'Absolute of onion,' for example, is an intense roasted onion with saffron accompanied by pasta 'buttons'.
Piana Santa Liberata 67031, Castel di Sangro
+39 0864 69382
No.35 Maaemo, Olso, Norway - NEW ENTRY
Sweetbreads with summer peas and lavender (image: Tuukka Koski)
Maaemo’s 35-year-old head chef and co-owner, Esben Holmboe Bang, hails from Denmark but has made Oslo his home for the past 13 years. Since opening in 2010, Maaemo has become one of the most in-demand destination restaurants in all of Scandinavia. Holmboe Bang says that his focus at Maaemo is on a complete experience that allows him to highlight “the relationship between the raw nature, produce and our cultural history.”
Schweigaards gate 15B, 0191 Oslo
+47 22 17 99 69
No.34 Alinea, Chicago, USA
Gazpacho: tomato, peach and citrus aroma
The key ingredient infused into every Alinea meal isn’t a mountain of caviar, or a fat puck of foie gras. Since Alinea’s debut in 2005, chef and owner Grant Achatz has built a reputation for designing dishes spiked with emotion; eliciting playful nostalgia from his diners via sophisticated riffs off a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, or pheasant served with smouldering oak leaves – aromas of fall.
1723 North Halsted, Chicago, Illinois 60614
+1 312 867 0110
No.33 The Clove Club, London, UK
Burnt clementine granita and buttermilk mousse (image: Pa Jorgensen)
The Clove Club’s interpretation of ‘modern British’ is refreshing and full of surprises, with fresh produce from all over the island reinvented in creations that put forward natural flavours and playfully mingle with tradition. Scottish chef Isaac McHale is at the helm with Daniel Willis and Johnny Smith overseeing the dining room. The three friends used to run an experimental supper club in Shoreditch, East London, before opening The Clove Club in 2013. McHale trained at The Ledbury, Noma and Eleven Madison Park prior to embarking on his own venture.
380 Old Street, London EC1V 9LT
+44 020 7729 6496
No.32 Tickets, Barcelona, Spain
Coriander and avocado ravioli stuffed with crab (image: Moisés Torné)
In a league of its own, Albert Adrià’s playhouse of culinary fun takes tapas to the cutting edge. Within a circus-themed space, five small plate bars and open kitchens surround the perimeter of the restaurant, each highlighting a different preparation method. Until its closure in 2011, legendary Spanish brothers Ferran and Albert Adrià operated El Bulli, the groundbreaking high-concept Spanish restaurant in Catalonia which, arguably, is where the term “molecular gastronomy” was born. Tickets carries on El Bulli’s trailblazing, science-y cooking in a theatrical setting.
Avinguda Paral·lel 164, Barcelona 08015
+34 932 92 42 53
No.31 Arzak, San Sebastian, Spain
Crab on fire
Elena Arzak is the daughter of Juan Mari Arzak, one of the founding fathers of contemporary Spanish cookery. Arzak’s artistic offerings are divided between multiple tasting menus and an à la carte option. Expect unsung flavour combinations like roasted pigeon with vanilla and kimchi, and sometimes whimsical service pieces: a wheel of Vietnamese chocolate may hit the table atop a skateboard.
Av Alcalde Elósegui, 273, 20015 San Donostia-San Sebastián, Guipúzcoa
+34 943 278 465
No.30 D.O.M., São Paulo, Brazil
Heart of palm, vatapá and coconut milk (image: Wellington Nemeth)
Former punk and DJ Alex Atala ripped up the rule book in true rock 'n' roll style when he set up D.O.M. in 1999, fusing fine dining with wild and wonderful ingredients from the Amazon basin. Native ingredients are a hallmark of D.O.M., from jambú, a herb that creates a tingling sensation on the tongue, to Atala's now world-famous use of ants. Highlights include heart-of-palm fettuccine with butter, sage and popcorn powder and milk pudding flavoured with priprioca, an aromatic root previously used in the cosmetics industry.
Rua Barão de Capanema, 549, Jardins, São Paulo
+55 11 3088 0761
No.29 Alléno Paris au Pavillon Ledoyen, Paris, France
Wild turbot, cheek in spring vegetable jelly, roasted flesh on the bone (image: Philippe Vaurès Santamaria)
One of Paris's oldest and most prestigious restaurants, Pavillon Ledoyen was given a new lease of life when Yannick Alléno took the helm in 2014 and introduced boundary-pushing modern French cuisine. The restaurant was last year’s Highest New Entry, sponsored by Aspire Lifestyles, debuting at No.31. Alléno's originality, technique and obsession with flavour are evident in hot sea urchin soup, served in a burned grapefruit shell and accompanied by crispy duck skin topped with foie gras, plus iodized granita.
8 Avenue Dutuit, 75008 Paris
+33 1 53 05 10 00
No.28 Odette, Singapore - NEW ENTRY
Chef and co-owner Julien Royer may look like he’s barely out of his teens, but he has serious pedigree. Having apprenticed under Michel Bras in his native France, Royer worked in the Caribbean and London before arriving in Singapore a decade ago. He established himself as the region’s rising star while at Jaan, before opening Odette in late 2015 at the grand National Gallery Singapore. This is unashamedly a fine-dining restaurant, complete with white tablecloths and luxurious velvet banquettes, but it’s also very much a contemporary version.
1 St Andrew's Rd, 04 National Gallery, Singapore 178957
+65 6385 0498
No.27 Boragó, Santiago, Chile
Fish head al rescoldo, caldillo de congrio and white roses garum
A play on the word ‘borage’ in Spanish, Santiago de Chile-based Boragó deals in territory rather than technique, according to chef Rodolfo Guzmán. He and his energetic team source native Chilean products used by the Mapuche indigenous people, physically gathering them from the Andes, the Pacific coast and every hill and valley in between; they also work with tiny producers and foragers. The end result is Endémica, a menu starring diverse preparations that can change during the course of an evening according to produce supply, paired with natural and biodynamic wine or juices.
Av. Nueva Costanera 3467, Vitacura, Santiago
+56 2 2953 8893
No.26 Le Bernardin, New York, USA
Scallop: barely cooked scallop, roasted bone marrow, baby turnips, calamansi-butter sauce
Le Bernardin offers several tasting menu options. The classic four-course menu is split into three sections – Almost Raw, Barely Touched and Lightly Cooked – with dishes marrying French and global influences, especially those from Asia. Think sashimi with Niçoise olives and a Greek-inspired salad; and seared octopus with tomatillo salsa and red wine-mole sauce.
155 West 51st St, New York, NY 10019
+1 212 554 1515
No.25 Cosme, New York, USA
Mone (image: Kelt T)
With a buzzing but relaxed vibe and exquisite food and service, Cosme is as much a special occasion restaurant as a place to visit time and time again. Founded by Mexican chef Enrique Olvera and his business partners Santiago Perez and Santiago Gomez, Cosme has been run by young cook Daniela Soto-Innes since soon after it opened in 2014. While the menu takes some inspiration from Olvera’s flagship Pujol in Mexico City, many of the dishes were created by Soto-Innes, including her signature duck carnitas and must-try corn husk meringue dessert.
35 E 21st St, New York, NY 10010
+1 212 913 9659
No.24 Ultraviolet by Paul Pairet, Shanghai, China
Carabineros de Huelva (image: Scott Wright)
Founded in 2012, Ultraviolet by Paul Pairet is considered by many to be the most avant-garde restaurant experience in the world. Just 10 guests per night experience the ultimate in immersive dining in a secret city location, courtesy of the inimitable French chef-provocateur. The high-tech gastronomic production utilises video, audio, bespoke lighting and scents – as well as the dishes and drinks themselves, of course – to stimulate the senses. Service is theatrical, but still light and personable.
Somewhere in Shanghai
No.23 Le Calandre, Rubano, italy
Tiramisu in a pipe
Brothers Massimiliano and Raffaele Alajmo inherited the Paduan restaurant from their parents and have spent the last decade and a half perfecting it to create something very special. Though modern in style, Max’s cooking is far from avant garde, so a meal at Le Calandre is refreshingly free of high-concept culinary posturing. Dishes are relatively simple and, above all else, delicious.
Via Liguria 1, 35030 Sarmeola di Rubano, Padua
+39 049 630303
No.22 Narisawa, Tokyo, Japan
Satoyama scenery (image: Sergio Coimbra)
Yoshihiro Narisawa defines his food as “innovative Satoyama,” the word “Satoyama” representing a border zone between mountain foothills and flat land where people live sustainably with nature. Narisawa expresses this culture of respecting the earth through an elaborate omakase. Diners fall under the spell of the season, and sample fleeting flavours from provinces around the country. Depending on the season, some might try a broth made from a poisonous snake that resides in the waters near Okinawa, or a warm sashimi course of langoustine from Suruga Bay.
Minami Ayoyama 2-6-15, Minato-ku, Tokyo, 107-0062
+81 3 5785 0799
No.21 Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athénée, Paris, France
Legumes from Versailles Castle (image: Pierre Monetta)
As one of the most legendary leaders in classic French haute cuisine, in 2014 Alain Ducasse overhauled his landmark fine dining destination in the luxe Parisian hotel of the same name. His new approach – one that propelled the restaurant back onto The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list in 2017 after falling off the list in 2016 – prioritises sustainability, health and wellness-hinged plates focused on vegetables, fish and cereals.
25 Avenue Montaigne, 75008 Paris
+33 1 53 67 65 00
No.20 Attica, Melbourne, Australia
Chewy carrots (image: Luuvu Hoang)
Consistently ranked as The Best Restaurant in Australasia, Attica is the brainchild of chef Ben Shewry, originally hailing from New Zealand. In a discreet spot in Melbourne’s Ripponlea neighbourhood, he serves up an elaborate menu of fresh Australian produce in a cosy dining room and vegetable garden.
74 Glen Eira Rd, Ripponlea, Victoria, 3185
+61 3 9530 0111
No.19 Geranium, Copenhagen, Denmark
Ice cream from beeswax and pollen with intense rhubarb (image: Claes Bech-Poulsen)
The seemingly unlikely duo of nature and technology are at the heart of chef Rasmus Kofoed’s progressive tasting menu: 17-plus inspired, artistic courses composed of organic and wild Scandinavian ingredients. While a presentation of fragile, near-translucent leaves is made from a Jerusalem artichoke purée, what look to be razor clams are actually dough painted with squid ink.
Per Henrik Lings Allé 4, 8. DK-2100 Copenhagen
+45 6996 0020
No.18 Disfrutar, Barcelona, Spain - NEW ENTRY
Panchino filled with beluga caviar (image: Francesc Guillamet)
Gazpacho in sandwich form? Crispy egg yolk? Liquid salad? Hare bonbon? If such seemingly paradoxical or counterintuitive dishes do not pique your interest, then Disfrutar is not the restaurant for you. But for most who attend this unique Barcelona restaurant, still less than three years old, such surprises form part of a thrilling rapid-fire, roller-coaster ride of a dining experience.
Carrer de Villarroel, 163, 08036 Barcelona
+34 933 48 68 96
No.17 Den, Tokyo, Japan
Zaiyu Hasegawa's signature dish
Chef Zaiyu Hasegawa began his career at age 18 in the kitchen of a ryotei (exclusive traditional Japanese restaurant) in Tokyo’s Kagurazaka geisha area, where his mother worked. Eleven years later he opened Den, which moved to its current location in late 2016. Rather than sticking to the elegant, refined but often impersonal traditions of high-end kaiseki cuisine, Hasegawa offers an elevated, deeply personal take on Japanese home cooking. He draws on diverse influences, both home-grown and gleaned on overseas trips, but always based around prime ingredients from ocean, pasture and forest.
2-3-18 Jingumae Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
+81 3 6455 5433
No.16 Piazza Duomo, Alba, Italy
Dedicated to Marina Abramovich
A taste of Piemonte, one of the finest food and wine regions of the world, through the sharply focused culinary lens of Enrico Crippa, now firmly established as among Italy’s most creative chefs. Diners can select from the à la carte options, or choose from three tasting menus, one of which focuses specifically on the local Langhe region, while the others are more wide-ranging (while still distinctively Italian). During white truffle season, tables are at even more of a premium than usual.
Piazza Risorgimento, 4, 12051 Alba
+39 0173 366167
No.15 White Rabbit, Moscow, Russia
Baked cabbage and caviar
Chef Vladimir Mukhin is in the vanguard of a new wave of young Russian culinary talents. Known as much for his use of local, seasonal ingredients as for his charisma, Mukhin is making international waves and appeared in the 2017 series of Netflix’s Chef’s Table. Traditional Russian produce like borodinsky black bread marries luxe ingredients like caviar to create innovative dishes. Standouts include rabbit and mini cabbage rolls in foie gras with potato crisps and truffle juice as well as roast suckling pig and Black Sea oysters.
121099, Russia, Moscow, Smolenskaya Square, Building 3, 16th Floor
+7 495 66 33 999
No.14 Steirereck, Vienna, Austria
Venison heart with grains, sheated woodtuft and mushroom
It may, on paper, sound fairly traditional – family owned for generations, with a bias towards Austria’s rural Styrian region – but under the guidance of chef Heinz Reitbauer, Steirereck has become a byword for cutting-edge cooking rooted in the Austrian landscape. Housed in a monolithic glass cube in Vienna’s Stadtpark, Steirereck’s design may be super-modern but the interior speaks a recognisable language of international fine dining. It’s a bright, tranquil vision of wood, concrete and starched white table linen.
Am Heuemarkt 2A/im Stadtpark, A-1030 Vienna
+43 713 31 68
No.13 Pujol, Mexico City, Mexico
Octopus, habanero ink, ayocote and veracruzana sauce (image: Maureen M. Evans)
Celebrity chef Enrique Olvera is credited with proving that rustic Mexican flavours deserve as much attention as any other haute cuisine in the world. And Pujol has been his pedestal to make that point via a tasting menu of refined and elegant plates built from indigenous ingredients that pay tribute to Mexico’s rich culinary history. Last year, Olvera relocated his 17-year-old Polanco restaurant to a stunning, mid-century mod home within the same neighbourhood, building a comfortable space that’s aglow in natural light.
Tennyson 133, Polanco 11550, Mexico City
+52 55 5545 4111
No.12 Blue Hill at Stone Barns, Pocantico Hills, USA
Experimental cucumbers and yogurt sauce (image: Andre Baranowski)
Approximately 30 miles north of Manhattan, chef Dan Barber’s ambitious farmstead restaurant Blue Hill at Stone Barns, set within an enchanting barn on an 80-acre estate shared with non-profit educational space Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture, builds a beautiful 30-course tasting menu centred on produce that is often pulled from the earth mere hours before hitting a plate. Barber is committed to deriving the greatest flavour potential from every animal and botanical on the land and devoted to producing food with a low environmental impact.
630 Bedford Road, Tarrytown, Pocantico Hills, New York 10591
+1 914 366 9600
No.11 Quintonil, Mexico City, Mexico
Quintonil is the name of a green Mexican herb which features in some of the dishes and cocktails, and pretty much sums up this restaurant: fresh, authentic and brimming with flavour. Chef Jorge Vallejo’s menu is based on local produce and showcases the best of Mexico. Although there’s an à la carte option, those with time should pick the tasting menu for the true Quintonil experience. From crab tostadas with fresh radish and habanero chilli mayonnaise to charred avocado tartare and escamoles (ant eggs), there’s a taste of many of the things that make Mexican cuisine so unique.
Newton 55, Polanco, Mexico City
+52 55 5280 2680
No.10 Asador Etxebarri, Axpe, Spain
Victor Arguinzoniz's famous steak (image: Etxebarri / Mariano Herrera)
Chef Victor Arguinzoniz has a remarkable ability to coax out explosive flavour from seemingly simple ingredients, most of which are grilled over an open hearth: goat’s milk churned into ethereal butter, green peas amplified in their own juice, beef dry aged for so many days it burns with umami. Arguinzoniz cooks vegetables and proteins – including ice cream – on a range of charcoals he makes from a variety of woods, kissing most plates with at least a suggestion of smoke.
Plaza de San Juan 1, 48291 Atxondo, Bizkaia
+34 946 58 30 42
No.9 Mugaritz, San Sebastian, Spain
Oyster's frozen kiss (image: Jose Luis López de Zubiria)
Andoni Luis Aduriz, simply known as Andoni, is considered by many observers to be the natural heir to the title of Spain’s most pioneering chef after Ferran Adrià. A meal takes place over 20 courses – several of them, if the weather is clement, served in the gorgeously appointed gardens around the restaurant. Basque cuisine often combines elements of the mountains and the sea, and so it is at Mugaritz where the menu might roam from lettuce hearts with chorizo and house-cured salmon bonbon, via aged mole leaves and bone marrow presented in a book, to tigernut ice cream with fresh fried rice.
Aldura Aldea, 20, 20100 Errenteria, Gipuzkoa
+34 943 522 455
No.8 Arpège, Paris, France
Sweet and sour legumes 'arlequin' (image: Dos Stéphanie Fraisse)
One of a handful of cooks who have remained at the top of global fine dining for decades, Alain Passard needs little introduction. Passard famously announced in 2001 that Arpège – until then a meat institution – was turning vegetarian, and although meat has since returned to the restaurant in smaller quantities, vegetables still take the main stage. They arrive daily from Passard’s own farms and appear on diners’ plates soon after.
84 Rue de Varenne, 75007, Paris
+33 1 47 05 09 06
No.7 Maido, Lima, Peru
50-hour-cooked beef short rib (image: José Cáceres)
When Peru meets Japan on the plate, Nikkei is born – and chef Mitsuharu ‘Micha’ Tsumura is the Nikkei king. This translates to a welcoming spot where fresh fish and citrus-packed sauces reign supreme. Chef Micha’s Nikkei Experience menu is a journey through Peruvian-Japanese fusion cuisine, with an emphasis on seafood. There is succulent cod marinated in miso with crispy nuts, nigiri sushi, sea urchin rice, 50-hour beef short rib and even tofu cheesecake ice cream.
399 San Martin Street, Miraflores, Lima
+51 1 447 7554
No.6 Central, Lima, Peru
Extreme stems (image: César del Río)
Chefs Virgilio Martínez and Pía León’s flagship restaurant is a shrine to everything that is Peruvian, including many ingredients that are seldom served elsewhere. The husband-and-wife team have been travelling the length and breadth of the country for several years to source interesting and unique produce from land, sea and mountains. Martínez and León like to play with the many varieties of corn, potato and much more obscure products offered by Peru’s vastly biodiverse landscape.
Calle Santa Isabel 376, Miraflores, Lima
+51 1 242 8515
No.5 Gaggan, Bangkok, Thailand
Charcoal (image: fb://allwecandid)
For the last four years in a row, Gaggan has been voted No.1 in Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants, testament to the constant innovation and improvement at this ever-evolving hub of creativity. El Bulli-influenced chef Gaggan Anand serves up a menu of 25 or more courses of rapid-fire small bites, many of which are eaten with the hands.
68/1 Soi Langsuan, Ploenchit Road, Lumpini, Bangkok 10330
+66 2 652 1700
No.4 Eleven Madison Park, New York, USA
Celery root in bladder
In the summer of 2017, shortly after being named The Best Restaurant in the World, Eleven Madison Park closed for a facelift. When it reopened post renovation, chef Daniel Humm’s plating took on a more minimalist, almost Nordic aesthetic. His iconic lavender and honey roast duck morphed into a honey glazed duck with apple and rutabaga, and he introduced what has become an instant hit: a savoury cheesecake made from smoked sturgeon, anointed with a mountain of caviar.
11 Madison Avenue, New York 10010
+1 212 889 0905
No.3. Mirazur, Menton, France
Green beans, cherries, pistachio (image: Eduardo Torres)
Mirazur’s panoramic view overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, in an idyllic palm tree-studded cove perched upon a hillside mere steps from the Italian border, provides reason enough to drive an hour from Nice. Here, chef Mauro Colagreco assembles modern, delicately flavoured dishes imbued with the essence of the Côte d'Azur via local French and Italian ingredients.
30 Avenue Aristide Briand, 06500 Menton
+33 4 92 41 86 86
No.2. El Celler de Can Roca, Girona, Spain
Old Book: puffed pastry of butter cookies, cream of Darjeeling tea, old book essence and lemon madeleine ice cream
Twice ranked the No.1 restaurant in the world, El Celler de Can Roca thrives on the endless creativity of the trio of gastronomically talented brothers behind one of the most acclaimed restaurants on the planet. Highlights include ‘Frozen olives’ picked directly from a bonsai olive tree that explode with flavour in the mouth; freeze-dried oyster shells with oyster tartare; bite-sized interpretations of traditional Basque dishes and a dessert infused with ‘essence of old book’.
Calle Can Sunyer 48, 17007 Girona
+34 972 222 157
No.1. Osteria Francescana, Modena, Italy
Osteria Francescana's tasting menu (image: Paolo Terzi)
Massimo Bottura may be a big personality with high-profile international projects, but Osteria Francescana remains a small, discreet restaurant in the relatively modest Italian town of Modena. It also happens to deliver one of the very finest dining experiences in the world, combining nods to tradition with fierce modernity, philosophical conceptions with old-fashioned flavour, warmth with daring. Bottura weaves a range of narratives through his dishes, playing with ingredients from the surrounding Emilia-Romagna region.
Via Stella 22, 41121 Modena
+39 059 223912
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