The British magazine Restaurant has been creating a run-down of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants, since 2002. It’s a list that has been sponsored for many years by San Pellegrino and Acqua Panna and is voted for by the Diner’s Club World’s 50 Best Restaurants Academy. These days it’s as prestigious as the Michelin Guide for restaurants to get themselves included in the list. Here are the twenty highest ranked restaurants in Europe, in order of appearance.
El Celler de Can Roca
Not merely the best in Europe but also the best restaurant in the world, El Celler de Can Roca is run by the groundbreaking culinary innovators, the Roca brothers in Girona, Catalonia. Opened originally in 1986, in recent years El Celler de Can Roca has never been far away from the top spot. They have also acquired three Michelin stars for their modern interpretations of Catalan cuisine.
The town of Modena is well known as a the place to go for foodies, and Osteria Francescana is the restaurant to head to these days. Chef Massimo Bottura is known in Italy as a writer on food, as well as a chef serving up the finest contemporary takes on Italian cuisine anywhere in the country. Ranked third in the world in 2013 and 2014, Osteria Francescana jumped to second in 2015.
In what was once an old warehouse in the trading district of Copenhagen, Noma opened in 2003. Since then, chef René Redzepi’s take on Nordic cuisine has won two Michelin stars and has been at the top of this list on three occasions. The name Noma, incidentally, comes from a combination of the Danish words for Nordic and food.
To some food writers Mugaritz is the most notable food phenomenon anywhere in the world. Opened in 1998 in Errenteria, Spain and making waves for over a decade now, chef Andoni Luis Aduriz provides no menu and delivers curious innovations like edible cutlery in his presentation of contemporary Basque cuisine.
Dinner by Heston Blumenthal
Run by Blumenthal protégé Ashley Palmer-Watts the Knightsbridge restaurant takes a different, if no less innovative, approach to the famous Fat Duck, Blumenthal’s first restaurant. The dishes on the menu come from British culinary history, with research carried out at the British Library into the flavors and tastes of centuries past. Unsurprisingly, critics and diners love the place.
In Menton, on the Cote d’Azur looking out into the Mediterranean sits Mirazur. Chef Mauro Colagreco was born in Argentina and instills something of his homeland into contemporary French cooking and has two Michelin stars for his work. The finest restaurant in France, according to the Restaurant list, has an organic garden attached that provides inspiration and produce for the dishes.
At Arpège in Paris, chef Alain Passard is known for his bold approach and for setting trends that the rest of the restaurant world take years to catch up with. Arpège has three Michelin stars for contemporary food dominated not by delicately cooked meats and fish, but vegetables. Many of them are grown on the restaurant’s biodynamic farm outside Paris, a model countless restaurants now follow.
Outside Bilbao in the Basque Country of northern Spain is Asador Etxebarri. Run by chef Victor Arguinzoniz, it’s regarded as the smartest barbecue restaurant in Europe. Arguinzoniz cooks over wood in the traditional way, creating vividly flavorsome smoked fish and meats that compete with the most refined of dining establishments.
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