1. Eleven Madison Park, New York, Unites States
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Swiss-born chef Daniel Humm won his first Michelin star at 24. Now, with co-owner Will Guidara, his focus on customer service and exquisite food (he cites celery root cooked in a pig’s bladder as a career highlight) has been recognised in spectacular fashion.
2. Osteria Francescana, Modena, Italy
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The eatery helmed by charismatic chef Massimo Bottura was last year’s winner and has retained the 2017 title for Best Restaurant in Europe. Osteria Francescana focuses on the bounty of the Emilia-Romagna region, with famous dishes such as Five Ages of Parmigiano Reggiano and The Crunchy Part of the Lasagne.
3. El Celler de Can Roca, Girona, Spain
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Brothers Joan, Jordi and Josep Roca each have a different skill: Joan is a chef, Jordi is the operation’s patissier and Josep is a sommelier. The established restaurant has twice been ranked No. 1.
4. Mirazur, Menton, France
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Argentine chef Mauro Colagreco creates Italian-Argentinian dishes using the produce of the French Riviera. Think anchovy fillets on fried anchovy skeletons with local lemons.
5. Central, Lima, Peru
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Skateboarding chef Virgilio Martínez has elevated Peru to a major dining destination with his restaurant, Central. The nation’s cuisine and produce inspires his 17-course menu, which explores the varied altitudes of the country. Dishes include Spiders on a Rock, with mussels, crab and abalone, and Marine Soil, featuring razor clams, sweet lemon, pepino and starflower. This year, his peers voted him the Chefs’ Choice Award winner.
6. Asador Etxebarri, Axpe, Spain
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In the farming community of Axpe, chef-owner Asador Etxebarri bought a building in the village and began serving flavoursome, unpretentious food from his wood-fire grill. The downstairs room doubles as the village pub, while upstairs Etxebarri serves dishes such as housemade chorizo and anchovy on toast.
7. Gaggan, Bangkok, Thailand
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It’s been named The Best Restaurant in Asia for three years running, thanks to chef-owner Gaggan Anand’s inventive Indian menu (“magic” mushrooms; Indian sushi), which is presented to diners as a list of emojis. Served as 25 small courses, the food always elicits a smiley face.
8. Maido, Lima, Peru
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The second place hailing from the Peruvian capital, Maido is a Peruvian-Japanese fusion restaurant helmed by Mitsuharu “Micha” Tsumura. His specialties? Fish hot dogs, dim sum with squid and sea snail cau-cau and sea urchin rice.
9. Mugaritz, San Sebastián, Spain
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Deep in Basque country, Andoni Luis Aduriz serves guests a 20-course menu of dishes inspired by the lush green hinterland of San Sebastián. It’s a visual experience as well as a taste sensation: the “sandwich” is cheese presented in a book and chocolate petit fours are served in stacked wooden boxes
10. Steirereck, Vienna, Austria
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It’s been family owned for generations but with the advent of chef Heinz Reitbauer, it’s anything but traditional. A signature dish? Freshwater mountain fish cooked at the table in hot beeswax then served with yellow carrot, pollen and sour cream.
11. Blue Hill at Stone Barns, Pocantico Hills, United States
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The announcement of this farm/restaurant from upstate New York elicited huge cheers from the gathered gourmands. It made the massive move from 48th last year, thanks to chef Dan Barber’s simple, farm-fresh food.
12. Arpège, Paris, France
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Alain Passard’s Arpège earned three Michelin stars in 1996 and never lost them. His menu is vegetable-centric – he removed red meat in 2001 – but perhaps Passard’s best-known dish is Hot-Cold Egg, with warm poached yolk, sherry vinegar-infused whipped cream, chives and Canadian maple syrup.
13. Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athénée, Paris, France
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Making a triumphant return to the list is veteran chef Alain Ducasse, whose decision in 2014 to reinvent his Paris restaurant with a focus on healthy, sustainable produce has paid off.
14. Restaurant André, Singapore
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He’s Taiwan-born, French-trained and based in the food mecca of Singapore – could there be a better combination? André Chiang calls his cooking style “Octaphilosophy”, signifying the eight elements that inspire him: salt, texture, memory, purity, terroir, south, artisanal and uniqueness.
15. Piazza Duomo, Alba, Italy
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It’s hard to go wrong in Piedmont: local produce includes chestnuts, white truffle and Fassone beef, all of which chef Enrico Crippa puts to great use on his inventive modern-Italian menu.
16. D.O.M., São Paulo, Brazil
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With an anarchic menu that includes ants, popcorn powder and the herb jambú, which makes the tongue tingle, former punk and current chef Alex Atala delivers a rock ’n’ roll experience at D.O.M. The name stands for Deo Optimo Maximo, meaning “To God, the Good, the Great”.
17. Le Bernardin, New York, United States
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Seafood is the focus of Eric Ripert’s menu, which is divided into three sections: Almost Raw, Barely Touched and Lightly Cooked. Standouts include poached halibut with Manila clams and wild mushroom casserole and the barely cooked single scallop with brown-butter dashi.
18. Narisawa, Tokyo, Japan
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He trained under some of Europe’s most famous chefs but Yoshihiro Narisawa has created a cuisine all his own. He calls it “Innovative Satoyama” and uses seasonal, sustainable Japanese ingredients. The wine list is also all Japanese: pinot noir from Nagano, riesling from Iwate and Bordeaux-style blends from Yamagata
19. Geranium, Copenhagen, Denmark
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With Noma out of the running (the Copenhagen restaurant is relocating), it’s time for Geranium to shine. It has three Michelin stars, a menu of tricky Scandi dishes devised by chef Rasmus Kofoed (razor clams in shells that are actually made from dough and coloured with squid ink) and a dining room that overlooks the national soccer stadium.
20. Pujol, Mexico City, Mexico
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Repping for Mexico is Enrique Olvera, who has elevated the nation’s cuisine to a high art. His most famous dish is the Mole Madre, Mole Nuevo: a plate of fresh mole sauce encased in a layer of mole that has been aged for more than 1000 days.