Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Why has 50 Best decided to publish the list of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2021?

50 Best’s role in promoting restaurants and showcasing culinary talent is more important than ever – and it believes that it can best support the recovery of the restaurant sector by inspiring diners to seek out exciting gastronomic experiences once again, whether near or far. The list of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2021, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna, along with the accompanying list of those restaurants ranked from 51st to 100th, and a host of special awards, combined to provide deserved recognition, positive promotion and a diverse range of global dining destinations for diners hungry to return to travel once it is safe to do so. The 2021 list was published on Tuesday, 5th October 2021, at an awards ceremony held in Antwerp, Flanders (Belgium). 

What has 50 Best done to support the industry during the pandemic?

Having built up a profile and platform in the international restaurant and hospitality industry over almost 20 years, 50 Best has an important role to play in helping to boost the recovery of the sector, given how heavily it has been impacted. In 2020 it launched 50 Best for Recovery, an overarching program to help provide tangible financial relief for the industry, as well as helpful resources for restaurant businesses as they emerge from the pandemic and seek actionable advice and support. Read more about 50 Best for Recovery here

How does a restaurant make it onto the list of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants?

The list is the result of a poll of 1,040 independent experts, who each cast 10 votes for  establishments where they have enjoyed their best restaurant experiences during the previous 18 months. This means that restaurants cannot apply to be on the list. The 2021 ranking took into account recent and ongoing travel limitations and dining restrictions by combining the votes cast in January 2020 (which have never been published) and a ‘voting refresh’ which took place in March 2021. The 2021 list was therefore created from a combination of wider pre-pandemic experiences and, where possible, contemporary local updates, spanning the period from July 2018 through to March 2021. To find out more about the voting process, click here.

Who organises The World’s 50 Best Restaurants?

The results and the awards are organised and published by William Reed Business Media. None of the sponsor partners has any involvement with the compilation of the results or awards. None of our commercial partners, nor any of the employees of William Reed Business Media, votes in the poll.

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 the world is eligible to be voted for by our Academy so long as it has been open during the voting period, and so long as it is not planning on closing shortly after we publish the results (although we cannot always know this, of course). From 2019, members of the Best of the Best group, which is made up of former No.1 restaurants on the list, are not eligible in the annual ranking.

What are the voting criteria for the Academy?

Academy members cannot vote for any restaurant in which they 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 10 restaurants they have dined in during the voting period in order of preference. At least 4 of their choices must be outside of their geographical region.

How do we know these votes are valid?

The World’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 World’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.

How are the Academy regional panels assembled?

The World’s 50 Best Restaurants Academy contains 26 regions around the world. Each region has a chairperson, and that chairperson assembles 40 people (including themselves) to vote. This panel is an equal mix of leading chefs and restaurateurs in that region, food journalists and critics, and well-traveleled gourmets. At least 25% of the panelists from each region change each year.

Who are the Chairs?

The Chairs are selected for their prominent position within the gastronomic sphere 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 50 Best brand. Meet our Academy Chairs.

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.

Why do restaurants drop on the list or fall off it?

If a restaurant falls from the top 50 or the top 100, 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.

How did the list start?

The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list first appeared in Restaurant magazine in 2002, as a feature. Soon afterwards, an awards night was established to celebrate the results and so was born one of the most extraordinary gatherings of chefs on the planet. The results are now eagerly awaited and are published via our social media channels and on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants website ( on the awards night. However, The World’s 50 Best Restaurants is now run entirely independently of Restaurant magazine.

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 1,040 experts to make up their own minds, and we simply collate their votes.