Modern lifestyles celebrate the diversity of food cultures around the world and highlight the sumptuous taste experiences they offer. Our expanding interest in gastronomy now also includes trendy TV food-based programmes, celebrity chefs, dozens of new food books released every month, international food festivals, a range of restaurant-rating schemes and a host of food events featuring top chefs competing for glittering awards and prizes.
Tourists seeking gourmet experiences are no longer limited to traditional food destinations such as France, Italy or Spain. There are so many “new cuisines” all around the world that are worth a try. However, travelling to most of these locations would be very expensive indeed. But if you won the jackpot playing your favourite online slot, which food destination would you most like to visit? To help you with that choice, we have created a list of some of best restaurants around the world.
Osteria Francescana (Modena, Italy): Number 1 – The World´s 50 Best Restaurants
Despite being voted the world’s top restaurant, Osteria Francescana remains a small, discreet establishment. Yet it also offers one of the very best fine-dining experiences available anywhere. You’ll find fierce modernity with traditional touches, philosophical flights of fantasy which harness timeless flavours, and daring approaches delivered with warmth.
The dishes adopt a narrative theme and utilise ingredients sourced from the surrounding Emilia-Romagna region. The famous Five Ages of Parmigiano Reggiano is a typically delicious course introducing the diner to the region’s best cheeses, prepared in a range of different culinary formats.
El Celler de Can Roca (Girona, Spain): Number 2 – The World´s 50 Best Restaurants
Undoubtedly one of the world’s most acclaimed culinary destinations, El Celler de Can Roca presents the creative talents of the three Roca brothers. Each handling food, dessert and wine respectively, they deliver exquisite cuisine which retains a playful air.
Having practised their culinary skills since childhood, the Rocas prepare complex menus inspired by their early experiences. Their dishes use local ingredients and feature innovative cooking techniques and unique presentations, all accompanied by a stunning collection of wines.
Mirazur (Menon, France): Number 3 – The World´s 50 Best Restaurants
Mirazur serves a heady mix of panoramic Mediterranean vistas and Riviera-inspired European plates. You’ll discover a delicately flavoured menu which perfectly reflects the Côte d’Azur and uses a blend of locally sourced French and Italian ingredients.
The majority of Mirazur’s food uses seasonal home-grown produce, plus items from local markets and the surrounding ocean. Oyster with tapioca, shallot cream and pear is a typical Mirazur signature dish from a menu rich in vegetables and seafood.
Wolfgat: (Western Cape, South Africa): Chosen Restaurant of the Year by Restaurant Awards
Culinary professionals in Paris have just named Wolfgat, a small beach restaurant in a Western Cape fishing village, the best restaurant on the planet. The Paternoster eatery’s seven-course tasting menu convinced the judges that Wolfgat, based in a 130-year-old cottage, was ‘in every sense’ what they described as ‘a haven of purity and good taste.’
La Grande Maison (Bordeaux, France): Run by chef Pierre Gagnaire
La Grande Maison has two Michelin restaurant stars and features seasonal food which is all absolutely fresh and locally sourced. Standards are consistently high and the house menu can also offer vegetarian and vegan options. The gourmet cuisine uses only the finest regional ingredients and features eco-certified culinary elements such as home-produced extra virgin olive oil as well as wines from the local Bordeaux vineyards.
Gaggan (Bangkok, Thailand): Best restaurant in Asia, 2018
Gaggan has been rated Asia’s number one restaurant in each of the past four years. Managed by El Bulli-influenced chef Gaggan Anand, this Thai eatery features a small-bites menu. Many of its 25 or more delicious courses can be eaten with the hands alone.
Anand’s menu focus has developed from purely modern Indian dishes to include many more international cuisines. So it’s now possible to enjoy Mexican-inspired taco bites, as well as exotic Japanese-Indian nigiri sushi, alongside a classic Yoghurt Explosion.
Central (Lima, Peru): Best restaurant in South America, 2018
The Central features a showcase of colour and diversity which has been sourced from every corner of Peru. Diners can be sure to find unique produce gathered from Peruvian land, sea and mountains. This naturally diverse landscape furnishes corn and potatoes as well as a host of more obscure ingredients.
Central’s classic menus include Land of Corn and Extreme Stems alongside more innovative dishes like Waters of Nanay. This showstopper includes piranha fish served up inside a piranha head full of needle-sharp teeth.
Eleven Madison Park (New York, USA): Best restaurant in North America, 2018
Eleven Madison Park is a striking building which once housed a bank. But nowadays, its upgraded décor features cobalt blue mohair banquettes, terrazzo tiling and a painting in blue by modern artist Rita Ackermann.
Chef Daniel Humm’s New American cuisine features a minimalist Nordic influence. This is expressed in dishes such as honey glazed duck with apple and rutabaga. He has also created a kind of savoury cheesecake which is is essentially a smoked sturgeon served along with a generous portion of caviar.
Attica (Melbourne, Australia): Best restaurant in Australia, 2018
Attica is a project devised by top chef Ben Shewry which is consistently voted the best restaurant destination in Australasia. Located in Melbourne’s Ripponlea neighbourhood, Attica offers a comprehensive menu of fresh Australian produce served in a cosy dining room.
Dining at Attica is a different kind of gourmet experience: Red kangaroo is a constant feature, with other menu items such as hand-picked crab with wattle bread, grilled marron with desert lime, and pearl cooked in paperbark.
Test Kitchen (Cape Town, South Africa): Best restaurant in Africa, 2018
Occupying a quirky, industrial space, Test Kitchen was the first gourmet eatery to set up in Cape Town’s Woodstock location. Its bold menu reflects the skills and diverse experiences of chef Luke Dale-Roberts.
A typical menu might include exotic small bites with an international flavour – ceviche and roti, for instance, along with cocktails served in a quiet dark room. Afterwards, modern dishes like eiland (local oryx) carpaccio, and kingklip smoked with curry leaves and scallops with a Cape Malay sabayon, are then served in a lighter room with more social fizz.