Is there such a thing as the best restaurant in the world? Surely, tastes are wildly different and each restaurant is influenced by varied cultural, historical, and environmental factors. There’s probably no definitive answer to the question of which restaurant is the best in the world, but the quest to to answer this question is much more significant than the answer itself. In this list are some of the most remarkable restaurants in various parts of the world, selected for how well they give customers a taste of local cuisine and culture.
The Clove Club, London
Pub fare is a staple in British cuisine. Chef Issac McHale has found a way to dress and class up traditional and comfortable foods while maintaining their homey roots. Lunch boasts classics like fried chicken, but battered in buttermilk and seasoned with pine salt. Mackerel is vinegared with elderflower and lamb is anchovied. It’s fancy, sure, but there’s still a down-to-earth touch underneath the layers of flaked truffle.
Chez L’Ami Jean, Paris
Fans of fusion cuisine are sure to love chef Stephane Jego’s Basque influence on traditional French food. The menu changes according to the season, ensuring that ingredients are fresh. You can start your meal with a creamy Parmesan soup and end it with the surprising and crowd-pleasing riz au lait. Main courses are mostly focused on meat, with a selection of duck, veal, lamb, pork, beef, and fresh seafood.
Jean-Georges, New York City
With three Michelin stars, Jean-Georges seems determined to be considered the best restaurant in the world. Chef Mark LaPico’s tuna ribbons appetizer is a must-try, and wine pairings are always on point. The foie gras terrine with strawberry granola is an interesting, sweeter version of the popular dish. The veal is topped with ham, mushrooms, and lavender. In Jean-Georges, expect the unexpected.
Sqirl, Los Angeles
Chef Jessica Koslow’s menu boasts of amazing selections that strike the right balance between healthy and decadent. There’s the tangy, unique, and surprising sorrel pesto rice, ricotta toast with a selection from daily jams, and the green eggs and jam tartine. The only drawback to this place is the long lines of people waiting to be seated, but that’s just a testament to how great Sqirl is.
Liverpool House, Montreal
Quebec weather often calls for hearty, comforting fare, which Liverpool House is more than happy to provide. Chef Ariel Schor definitely know how to bring out the best in meat and seafood. Steaks come to your table cooked just right and seasoned perfectly. You can have foie gras with concord grapes, which boasts of a great blend of unexpected flavors. The lobster spaghetti is also a must-try.
If you ever find yourself in Mexico and are craving for authentic Yucatan fare, look for Cetli, an understated family-run restaurant in downtown Tulum. You’ll be provided with eight different mole sauces for your meal, as well as grasshoppers as appetizers if you’re feeling adventurous. Try the yeyetzi, a flavorful dish of fish with tamarind sauce. You can also enjoy your meal with a glass of spicy margarita.
Tzfon Abraxas, Tel Aviv
Here is another restaurant whose menu depends entirely on the seasonality of ingredients and the chef’s know-how, ensuring the freshness of ingredients in every dish. Try the roast beef carpaccio, slow-cooked lamb, and miute steak in pita. There is also a selection of fresh vegetable dishes. The restaurant has a laid-back atmosphere and customers can also enjoy live music from the bar next door.
The Potluck Club, Cape Town
The Potluck Club not only offers great food, it also offers great views of Cape Town. Of course, the restaurant also has a wide and varied selection of food with great combinations of flavors. Try the fillet steak with truffle, the pirri pirri chicken, and the chocolate fondant souffle for desert. You can also have cocktails while watching the sun go down over the horizon.
Known as one of the best sushi restaurants in Tokyo, Kyubey provides an authentic and amazing omakase experience for its customers. It is also far less expensive than its other counterparts. You can choose versions of the omakase that will fit well with your budget and preferences. The staff is attentive and friendly, and you can watch them create your sushi right in from of you.
Lung King Heen, Hong Kong
Chef Chan Yan-tak, the first Chinese chef to receive three Michelin stars, came out of early retirement in 2002 to helm Lung King Heen. Dishes like pear scallops and honey eel are definitely worth checking out, accompanied by perfectly brewed tea, might convince you that Lung King Heen is the best restaurant in the world. You should definitely try the Peking duck, as well as the seared piglet.
Freshly caught seafood in a pared-down, industrial space—look no further than Franklin. Try the octopus with fennel, oysters with vinaigrette made in-house, whole wood-roasted flathead, and potatoes with sea urchin butter. Head chef David Moyle has created seafood dishes with new and amazing combinations of texture and flavor. Also try the chicken liver parfait on rye, braised lamb neck, lettuce in sesame oil, and excellent wine pairings.
Iraja, Rio de Janeiro
This is one of the best and most celebrated restaurants in Rio de Janeiro, perhaps in the whole of Brazil. Chef Pedro Artagão has come up with a creative yet simple menu with masterfully cooked dishes. Try the great selection of different appetizers, the fish moqueca, the bife de chorizo with banana puree, maioca cake with dulce de leche for desert, and Brazilian red wines for drinks.
La Cabrera, Buenos Aires
Meat lovers will definitely delight in La Cabrera, one of Argentina’s best-known parillas (steakhouses). The meat is moist and tender, seared just right, and seasoned perfectly. There’s chorizo, ojo de bife, and bife alpunto, as well as salads to pair with the heavy meat dishes. Excellent technique in cooking meat definitely makes this place a contender for the best restaurant in the world.