The inaugural World’s Best Restaurants list revealed

Food & Wine and Travel + Leisure name their 30 best dining venues

Melbourne’s Attica restaurant has scored a coveted place in the inaugural publication of Travel + Leisure and Food & Wine‘s World’s Best Restaurants list. The unranked list was compiled by an experienced and anonymous critic who travelled the world over four months, visiting 81 restaurants in 24 countries.

Worlds Best Restaurants Cedric Angeles
Image credit: Cedric Angeles

“If someone were to plan an around-the-world trip based on these recommendations, we’d want them to feel as though they’d truly experienced the breadth of the world, not just found themselves in very nice dining rooms eating very nice meals in various locations,” said Travel + Leisure Editor-in-Chief, Jacqueline Gifford. “We searched for balance, excellence, and mix.”

Comprising 30 establishments from Fez to Kobarid and Lima to Seoul, the list is as much about the destination as it is about the food.

Blue lobster with apricot at Saturne, Paris, France | Image Credit: Jerome Galland
Blue lobster with apricot at Saturne, Paris, France | Image Credit: Jerome Galland

Food & Wine and Travel + Leisure‘s World’s Best Restaurants 2019:

  • 4Roomed The Restaurant, Cape Town, South Africa
  • Antichi Sapori, Montegrosso, Italy
  • Attica, Melbourne, Australia
  • Blue Hill at Stone Barns, Pocantico Hills, New York, USA
  • Burnt Ends, Singapore
  • El Soussi, Beirut, Lebanon
  • Fuunji, Tokyo, Japan
  • Ganbara, San Sebastián, Spain
  • Hiša Franko, Kobarid, Slovenia
  • Jose Enrique, San Juan, Puerto Rico
Marrowbones, madeleines, and other assorted dishes at St. John, in Smithfield, London | Image credit: Cedric Angeles
Marrowbones, madeleines, and other assorted dishes at St. John, in Smithfield, London | Image credit: Cedric Angeles
  • La Mar, Lima, Peru
  • Le Wine Chambre, Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Maní, São Paulo, Brazil
  • Mariscos Ruben, Tijuana, Mexico
  • Masque, Mumbai, India
  • MIL, Moray, Peru
  • n/naka, Los Angeles, California, USA
  • Nang Loeng Market, Bangkok, Thailand
  • Noma, Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Restaurante Alfonsina, San Juan Bautista la Raya, Mexico
Alfonsiana, Oaxaca, Mexico | Image credit: Claudio Castro
Alfonsiana, Oaxaca, Mexico | Image credit: Claudio Castro
  • Samcheongdong Sujebi, Seoul, South Korea
  • Saturne, Paris, France
  • Shree Thaker Bhojanalay, Mumbai, India
  • Sorbillo, Naples, Italy
  • St. John, London, UK
  • Sushi Yoshitake, Tokyo, Japan
  • Swan Oyster Depot, San Francisco, California, USA
  • The Grey, Savannah, Georgia, USA
  • The Ruined Garden, Fez, Morocco
  • VEA, Hong Kong

The list was curated by an anonymous critic, James-Beard-Award-winning writer Besha Rodell, who has been reporting on food and culture for almost two decades, in multiple cities and across two continents.

Rodell is one of the few restaurant critics who has remained truly anonymous, and currently serves as a critic for the New York Times‘ Australia bureau after a five-year tenure as critic for LA Weekly from 2012 to 2017.

To develop the World’s Best Restaurants list, Rodell accepted recommendations from a global panel of experts across the hospitality and restaurant industries made up of Food & Wine and Travel & Leisure editors and 22 noteworthy culinary personalities including Ruth Reichl, Enrique Olvera, Gail Simmons, Alex Atala, Anne-Sophie Pic, Nina Compton, and Marcus Samuelsson.

Smoked quail eggs at VEA, in Hong Kong’s Central district | Image Credit: Jonathan Maloney
Smoked quail eggs at VEA, in Hong Kong’s Central district | Image Credit: Jonathan Maloney

During her trip, Rodell stayed in 37 hotels, spent 279 hours in the air, and travelled over 160,000 kilometres to research what would ultimately create the first editorial collaboration on a signature franchise between Food & Wine and Travel + Leisure.

“The cultural touchstones on this new list don’t prioritise one style of dining or one culture over another,” says Food & Wine Editor-in-Chief Hunter Lewis. “Whether it’s a food truck in Tijuana, a 20-course tasting menu in Denmark, or the next big thing in Slovenia, each of these 30 restaurants is the kind of venue that we’d cancel all other reservations for, just so we could dine there and soak up the culture. These restaurants are that special and delicious.”

For details about some of the restaurants in North America, South America, Africa & the Middle East, click here.

For details about some of the restaurants in Europe and Asia, including Attica in Melbourne, click here.

Lead image:  Attica’s black-ant lamington 

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