The most memorable dining experiences might start with warm service and inviting ambiance, but the defining element may always be exquisite food, served beautifully. The best kitchens must balance not only flavor, but also temperature, texture, proportion, contrast, and aesthetics – the kind of excellence you can expect at the best Michelin three-star restaurants in the world.
But France’s estimable Guide Michelin isn’t the only publication that rates great dining venues. To determine, according to a different source, the 25 best restaurants in the world, 24/7 Tempo sourced a list from the 2022 edition of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, released this July by William Reed Ltd., a British-based media company. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the awards, which are determined by a panel of 1,080 international culinary experts.
Eight restaurants that have formerly held the No. 1 spot on the list are retired from competition and listed separately as “The Best of the Best,” so are not included in the list for 2022. These are El Bulli (Roses, Spain; no longer operating as a restaurant), The French Laundry (Yountville, California), The Fat Duck (Bray, England), El Celler de Can Roca (Girona, Spain), Osteria Francescans (Modena, Italy), Eleven Madison Park (New York City), Mirazur (Menton, France), and Noma (Copenhagen, Denmark).
Among the rest, the best restaurants in the world are ones that have managed to incorporate innovative cuisine with inspiring surroundings and seamless service that feels both intimate and attentive. World-class wine lists are the norm at these establishments, as are prix fixe tasting menus and – with a few exceptions – hefty price tags. (If money is no object, here are the world’s 20 most expensive restaurants.)
All the restaurants on this list have received Michelin stars, except those in countries that the Michelin Guide does not cover. There are no representatives from the U.S., Africa, or Australia in the top 25, though there are some from all three places further down World’s Greatest list (including its 51-100 extension). Instead, the top 25 leans heavily toward Europe, with Spain and Italy boasting more listed restaurants than any other country. Latin America is also well represented, with establishments in Peru, Brazil, Argentina, and Mexico, and there are two Asian entries.
Some of these restaurants offer not just mere dining, but a concept-based theater or gallery-like experience. While most serve omnivorous fare, a few also cater to plant-based or pescatarian diets. Note that most will require reservations weeks or months in advance. As many serve set tasting menus, certain dietary restrictions may not be accommodated. Be sure to check websites or call ahead for reservations and for dietary concerns.
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