“There is no sincerer love than the love of food,” asserted famous playwright George Bernard Shaw. He might have been onto something. On the other hand, he obviously wasn’t attuned to our sincere love of gear here at Man of Many. Get with it, will ya Georgie boy!?
That’s not to say we don’t love food. We do. We really love it, actually. Not just because, you know, it allows us to live. Delicious food awakens taste buds from their slumber and enlightens the mind and body without needing to say a word. Premium dining combines art and history strictly through sensual indulgence and exciting flavour. There are few things in life as memorable as the best meal you’ve ever had.
Driving home the connection between great cooking and great art is “The World’s 50 Best Restaurants”, a reputable academy of foodies who hand out culinary Oscars on an annual basis. To dine at the establishments on their list usually means spending two week’s pay on a few hours of intake before walking away with zero doubt that it was worth every penny.
We’ll go into brief detail on the top 10 and then list the remaining 40 at the bottom.
1. Osteria Francescana – Modena, Italy
Shocker! Some of the best food in the world comes from Italy. Okay, that’s not so shocking. Nonetheless, Chef Massimo Bottura does manage to surprise by pulling the rug out from Italian tradition by infusing (and subverting) classic regional cuisine with progressive creativity and seasonal variety. According to the “World’s 50 Best” website, you should try the Five Ages of Parmigiano Reggiano, but we have a feeling you can throw a dart at the menu and still do just fine.
2. El Celler De Can Roca – Girona, Spain
If you’re a passionate foodie then you need to visit Spain ASAP. The country has 3 restaurants in the top 10 and that’s not just because no one argues with ham. El Celler De Can Roca has the highest spot among the Spanish entries. It’s run by three brothers who operate behind an inconspicuous door in a small Spanish town and represent three different arenas of fine dining–main courses, wine and dessert. Expect heavenly food paired with exceptional wine that will seduce and destroy your palate assuming you can score a reservation.
3. Eleven Madison Park – New York City, USA
Eleven Madison Park pretty much epitomizes the New York City fine dining experience. The service is apparently unbeatable–the smallest of crumbs are swept off your table as soon as they hit the cloth and the waiters demonstrate a PhD-level knowledge of food. Dishes here signify an intersection between the customer’s epicurean desires and the sophisticated whims of the kitchen. Each plate looks museum-ready and the visual beauty is probably the only thing stopping you from gulping down every bite in a matter of seconds.
4. Central – Lima, Peru
Central provides an upward journey through Peru by way of your taste buds. The chronology starts deep under water and ends at the top of a mountain. Likewise, almost every ingredient underwent its own adventure from some exotic Peruvian location only the chef knows about all the way to your mouth so you better savour every bite.
5. Noma – Copenhagen, Denmark
This living legend of a restaurant has elevated the art of foraging for local ingredients in a manner so revolutionary that it’s taken off across the globe. Trend-setting aside, Noma finds huge taste in small places with cuisine that’s at once both preciously straightforward and tirelessly inventive.
6. Mirazur – Menton, France
The location of Mirazur is right across the Riviera from Italy and apparently that’s no mistake. Chef Mauro Colagreco takes fresh local ingredients and then combines the best of French and Italian cooking techniques with his own Argentinean background to create singular masterworks of culinary splendour. His benchmark dish is oyster with tapioca, shallot cream and pear, which sounds so rich and delightful we can almost taste it cooling our tongues before sliding down our throats. Yum.
7. Mugaritz – San Sebastian, Spain
Can someone say 20-course meal? Odds are you’ll cover a lot of tasty ground eating at this gorgeous restaurant, which turns playfulness into an art form and combines various ingredients from both sea and land to perfection. Mugaritz is all about extracting every possible flavour through endless technique and interplay.
8. Narisawa – Tokyo, Japan
Narisawa is the brain (or should we say stomach) child of Yoshihiro Narisawa, who mastered the culinary arts in Europe by working with some of the world’s most renowned chefs. He then returned to Japan where he basically invented his own type of cuisine that cultivates transcendental flavour from the barest and most sustainable of ingredients. His restaurant also features a stellar list of Japanese wine. That’s right we said wine, not sake. Who knew?
9. Steirereck – Vienna, Austria
Steirereck typifies the modernist approach to dining and that starts with the giant glass cube in which the restaurant is housed. As for the food, the plates are clean and inspired, pairing local ingredients with superior technique to deliver elegant explosions of flavour that will linger on the palate for days.
10. Asador Etxebarri – Axpe, Spain
Some people are willing to travel thousands of miles just to experience that one perfect meal and Spain’s Asador Etxebarri is a supreme example of why. Located in the kind of rustic, dreamy village that you see in old paintings, this restaurant takes simple proteins and cooks them so skilfully they’ll potentially give your palate multiple orgasms. Prawns. Chorizo. Eel. Steak. Eat these things here and never look at them the same way again.
If you’d like to discover more restaurants in the Top 50, read down further below and make sure to stay subscribed to Man of Many for the latest in culture.
Here are the remaining 40:
11. D.O.M. – Brazil
12. Quintonil – Mexico
13. Maido – Peru
14. The Ledbury – UK
15. Alinea – USA
16. Azurmendi – Spain
17. Piazza Duomo, Italy
18. White Rabbit – Russia
19. Arpège – France
20. Amber – Hong Kong
21. Arzak – Spain
22. The Test Kitchen – South Africa
23. Gaggan – Thailand
24. Le Bernardin – USA
25. Pujol – Mexico
26. The Clove Club – UK
27. Saison – USA
28. Geranium – Denmark
29. Tickets – Spain
30. Astrid y Gastón – Lima
31. Nihonryori RyuGin – Japan
32. Restaurant André – Singapore
33. Attica – Australia
34. Restaurant Tim Raue – Germany
35. Vendôme – Germany
36. Boragó – Chile
37. Nahm – Thailand
38. De Librije – The Netherlands
39. Calandre – Italy
40. Relae – Denmark
41. Faviken – Sweden
42. Ultraviolet by Paul Pairet – China
43. Biko – Mexico
44. Estela – USA
45. Dinner by Heston Blumental – UK
46. Combal Zero – Italy
47. Schloss Schauenstein – Switzerland
48. Blue Hill at Stone Barns – USA
49. Quique Dacosta – Spain
50. Septime – France