a plate of food with bubbles

Some levels of restaurant recognition are so high, critics advise traveling to a country just to experience the food of one of these singular outstanding places. After a horrific year for restaurants, that sounds like a great idea.

After a short break, the World’s 50 Best Restaurant List is back, offering a curated take on the very best restaurants in the world. Just like the 50 Best Bars List, it’s safe to say some of these are a reason for travel in themselves.

Here are the cities where you’ll find the best of the best.

One City With The Two Best?!

Incredibly, one city now holds the “two best” restaurants in the world, and the city is not London, Paris, Rome, New York or Tokyo. Copenhagen took not just the one, but the two top spots with Noma and Geranium, taking the top two spots, in order.

a plate of food with bubbles
A summer dish from Geranium.

Filling out the top 10, Spain and Peru are the only two countries each to feature two separate restaurants in the list. Asador Etxebarri in Atxondo, Spain took third place, and Lima’s ‘Central’ took fourth. Disfrutar in Barcelona and Maido, also in Lima, came 5th and 7th respectively.

So where’s New York, Paris and London? Nowhere in the top ten, for this year. The last remaining top 10 spots went to restaurants in Singapore, Stockholm, Mexico City and Hong Kong, with Frantzen, Odette, The Chairman and Pujol.

Tokyo features heavily in spots 11-20, as does Spain on the whole, but it’s not until 22 that you find New York, and 23 until you find Paris. Cities like London or San Francisco don’t even make an appearance until the 30’s and 40’s.

Basically, the best restaurants are no longer just bunched in major hub cities. You can find incredible people doing incredible stuff with food and technique all over, and the list is finally recognizing that trend, with cities like Paternoster, South Africa in the top 50, thanks to Wolfgat.

a collage of different plates of food
Copyright: World’s 50 Best Restaurants List

Smaller cities and restaurants in exciting global countries also bring cool opportunities. Maido in Peru offers their best Nikkei style tasting menu, with wine pairings included for about $120USD.

You can’t even sit down in some New York restaurants for that much! Without the wine pairings, you can shave more than half off the tasting menu total, which makes this a relatively inexpensive way to try one of the world’s best.

The World’s 50 Best List is always fun to check out, so if you’re curious to see more restaurants and see which cities to prioritize for your next culinary indulgence, you can check out the list, here.

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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  1. Early next year, I will be in Spain, for business and I would like to visit Asador Etxebarri. Thank you for sharing! Looks to be a cool place, with delicious cuisine.

  2. Take in consideration that restaurants that had already won in past years are out of the contest. They are included in a different list called “best of the best”.

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