If you were to design a travel bucket list around eating, you couldn’t do much better than making it a goal to dine at the top-10 restaurants as defined by the latest World’s 50 Best Restaurant Awards. Or the survey’s top 25 restaurants. Or the top 50. Or 100. Because, notwithstanding the top-50 reference in its name, the list actually picks the top 100.
Unlike most best-restaurant lists, which either by design or inclination tend to be regionally focused, the World’s 50 is self-consciously global. Breaking bread (and possibly the bank) at its 10 top-rated eateries would entail a trip encompassing Europe, Asia, South America, and the U.S.
Here are this year’s top 25:
- Osteria Francescana, Modena, Italy
- El Celler de Can Roca, Girona, Spain
- Eleven Madison Park, New York
- Central, Lima
- Noma, Copenhagen
- Mirazur, Menton, France
- Mugaritz, San Sebastian, Spain
- Narisawa, Tokyo
- Steirereck, Vienna
- Asador Etxebarri, Atxondo, Spain
- D.O.M, Sao Paulo
- Quintonil, Mexico City, Mexico
- Maido, Lima
- The Ledbury, London
- Alinea, Chicago
- Azurmendi, Larrabetzu, Spain
- Piazza Duomo, Alba, Italy
- White Rabbit, Moscow
- L’Arpege, Paris
- Amber at The Landmark Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong
- Arzak, San Sebastian, Spain
- The Test Kitchen, Cape Town, South Africa
- Gaggan, Bangkok
- Le Bernardin, New York
- Pujol, Mexico City
So, how to use the list as a trip-planning tool? The simplest approach would be to start at the top-rated restaurant and proceed down the list to the second best, third, and so on. But given the geographic mash-up, that would entail lots of backtracking, at considerable expense and a grossly inefficient use of time. Fun to contemplate, but highly impractical.
Better, perhaps, would be organizing the restaurants by region and country, and planning a trip accordingly. Seven of the top 10 are in Europe, for example, and three are in Spain. So, begin the trip in Spain, at El Celler de Can Roca (number 2 on the list, and last year’s number 1), and proceed from there, traveling and eating until you’re sated or broke, or both.
Bon voyage, and bon appetit!
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After 20 years working in the travel industry, and 15 years writing about it, Tim Winship knows a thing or two about travel. Follow him on Twitter @twinship.