The 10 Best Restaurants from Around the World

Published 26 July 2016

Lauren Burvill

Lauren Burvill

The question of where to eat when travelling is an important one. Part thrilling adventure, part anxiety ridden ‘don’t get it wrong’ quest. If you’ve ever been caught out in a deep fried overpriced tourist trap, it’s a mistake you’ll no doubt never make again.

Guaranteed, you won’t find anything remotely touristy about the below list of restaurants. These are the crème de la crème of the world’s eating establishments. Restaurants that are practically destinations in themselves. Book your reservation soon after you’ve booked your flights, and be prepared for the meal of a lifetime.

Eleven Madison Park in New York

Eleven Madison Park, New York, USA

A big fish in the Big Apple, Eleven Madison Park is no stranger to gourmet accolades. Over the years, Eleven Madison Park has caused a buzz for its various menu incarnations and evolutions. Never one to stand still, the restaurant was once a la carte, followed by a menu with just a grid of ingredients, and then transformed again to offer a Gotham-themed 16-course meal. At the time we posted this article, Eleven Madison Park is currently focused on a seven-course tasting menu. No doubt to follow by another exciting concept.

How good? 3 Michelin Stars.

Standout dish: Cooked honey and lavender roast duck.

A plate at Amber restaurant in Hong Kong

Amber, Hong Kong, China

It may seem strange to travel all the way to Hong Kong to dine on French food, but it all makes sense at Amber. Helmed by Dutch chef Richard Ekkebus who once trained with Alain Passard and Guy Savoy, Amber takes the traditions of French cooking and fuses them with eastern ingredients such as Chinese dragon fruit and amadai fish, caught and delivered the same day from Japan. All enjoyed while overlooking the dazzling skyline of Hong Kong thanks to the restaurant's impressive floor-to-ceiling windows.

How good? 2 Michelin Stars.

Standout dish: Miyazaki wagyu beef served with dulse & red cabbage slaw oxalis, horseradish & pepper berry emulsion.

A plate at The Test Kitchen

The Test Kitchen, Cape Town, South Africa

In a place like Cape Town, it’s not hard to find great food. But for the city’s very best we recommend making a reservation at The Test Kitchen in Woodstock. As the name suggests, Chef Luke Dale-Roberts’ restaurant is experimental, both in terms of menu and interiors. You won’t find anything stuffy here, instead The Test Kitchen features industrial interiors and artistic dishes featuring local ingredients like springbok and wild mushrooms.

How good? #22 on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list.

Standout dish: Light curry glazed kingklip.

dish from Gaggan in Bangkok

Gaggan, Bangkok, Thailand

Though technically an Indian restaurant, Gaggan is unlike any Indian restaurant you’ve probably every visited. Headed up by Chef Gaggan Anand, Gaggan pushes the boundaries of Indian fusion food with progressive and almost scientific experiment techniques (liquid nitrogen is a favourite ingredient). While the food is incredibly playful, the vibe is slightly more serious with polished service taking place in colonial-style dining rooms.

How good? #1 in the San Pellegrino Best Restaurant in Asia.

Standout dish: Chargrilled Indian cottage cheese sandwich and chutney bubbles.

Attica in Melbourne

Attica, Melbourne, Australia

Australia’s leading restaurant is, you’ll be glad to hear, very Australian. Teaming dramatically monochromatic with a dynamic tasting menu, at Attica you can dine on refined dishes with tongue-in-cheek names like ‘Gazza’s Vegemite Pie’ and ‘Cuppa Tea and Bikkies in the Garden'. But don’t let its colloquial name fool you; Attica is incredibly elegant and features wonderfully complex flavours.

How good? Best Restaurant in Australiasia according to World’s 50 Best Restaurants, and 3 hats (Australia’s equivalent to Michelin Stars).

Standout dish: Salted raw red kangaroo with native bunya nuts and purple carrot.

A dish from Central in Lima

Central, Lima, Peru

If you’re a sceptic of the foraging food trend, your reservations will be put to rest at contemporary Peruvian restaurant Central. Seeking out local ingredients in the mountains, jungle, desert and sea, Central’s 17-course tasting menu tell a story of Peru’s biodiversity, covering central themes such as water, mater and garden, through innovative combinations. It’s here you can dine on exotic ingredients like Andean grains, tumbo passionfruit and river snails, as well as sip on Central’s own purified bottled water.

How good? #4 on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants.

Standout dish: ‘Close Fishing’ featuring octopus, coral and Barquillo.

Narisawa, Tokyo

Narisawa, Tokyo, Japan

In the Michelin Star capital of the world, one restaurant stands out amongst the pack. Enter Narisawa, a French fusion restaurant that sees Chef Narisawa take fresh Japanese ingredients and prepare them using French booking techniques. The result is a seasonal menu of incredibly intricate and whimsical dishes that cleverly utilise sustainable ingredients.

How good? 2 Michelin Stars.

Standout dish: They change constantly but look out for the ‘Bread of the Forest’ which is baked table-side in a stone pot for 12 minutes.

Toque!, Montreal

Toque!, Montreal, Canada

Consistently ranked as the country’s best restaurant, Toque! in Montreal is a contemporary French restaurant that takes advantage of Canada’s local ingredients. Seafood in particular is a strong theme on the menu, showcasing ingredients such as Pacific wild salmon, princess scallops and lobster. When dining at Toque! you can opt for the tasting menu or a la carte, which both change seasonally.

How good? #1 in Canada’s 100 Best Restaurants.

Standout dish: Toque! has a particularly inspired dessert offering.

Saison, San Francisco

Saison, San Francisco, USA

Taking its name from the French word for season, Saison is a restaurant that prides itself on its detailed and ever-evolving menu. The restaurant offers a multi-course tasting menu which features the finest of ingredients sourced daily from Saison’s network of small farms, ranches and fisheries. What you’ll find here is an incredible attention to detail and an intimate dining experience which begins with an infusion of herbs from Saison’s garden and continues with the chef visiting each table to personally describe the dishes and their ingredients.

How good? 3 Michelin Stars.

Standout dish: The menu changes regularly, but its seafood dishes are a particular standout.

Osteria Francescana

Osteria Francescana, Modena, Italy

Coming in at #1 on the the list of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants is Osteria Francescana, located in the town of Modena near Bologna. Osteria offers both a la carte and an artistic tasting menu (literally featuring watercolour art on its pages) of seasonal ingredients which are moulded using traditional and progressive techniques. Despite controversially blended the old with the new, Osteria has impressively won over both its harsh Italian food critics and the rest of the world. This is one place to abandon the diet for decadent dishes like ravioli of leeks, foie gras and truffles, and lobster with double sauces, both acidic and sweet.

How good? #1 on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants and 3 Michelin stars.

Standout dish: The tagliatelle with hand-cut meat ragu is a signature.

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