When it comes to rating restaurants, there are plenty of options. Zagat, Michelin, Yelp, Travel + Leisure, and on and on. Some are based on the opinions of experts; others rely on feedback from average diners. None are definitive.
TripAdvisor’s “Travelers’ Choice – Best Fine Dining Restaurants” awards reflect the tastes of its millions of average consumers, as do the hotel reviews which have made the site a go-to resource for travelers. The more feedback, the more accurate the resulting rating.
To compile its top-25 list, TripAdvisor (SmarterTravel’s parent company) used an “algorithm that took into account the quantity and quality of reviews for restaurants around the world, gathered over a 12-month period.”
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According to TripAdvisor reviewers, these are the top 25 restaurants in the world:
- The Black Swan at Olstead – Olstead, U.K.
- Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons – Great Milton, U.K.
- Maison Lameloise – Chagny, France
- L’Auberge de l’Ill – Illhaeusern, France
- Martin Berasategui – Lasarte, Spain
- Daniel – New York City, U.S.
- La Colombe – Constantia, S. Africa
- David’s Kitchen – Chiang Mai, Thailand
- Maido – Lima, Peru
- El Celler de Can Roca – Girona, Spain
- Restaurant Alcron – Prague, Czech Republic
- The Fat Duck – Bray on Thames, U.K.
- Restaurante Benazuza – Cancun, Mexico
- Ristorante Don Alfonso – Sant’Agata sui Due Golfi, Italy
- DOC – Armamar, Portugal
- i Latina – Buenos Aires, Argentina
- Chez Bruno – Lorgues, France
- The Grove – Auckland Central, New Zealand
- Indian Accent – New Delhi, India
- TRB Hutong – Beijing, China
- Azurmendi – Larrabetzu, Spain
- Muse Restaurant – Pokolbin, Australia
- Voila Bistrot – Paraty, Brazil
- The French Cafe – Auckland Central, New Zealand
- Funky Gourmet – Athens, Greece
What’s likely to stand out to U.S.-based travelers is the lack of American restaurants on the list. Daniel, in Manhattan, is the sole U.S. representative. Next surprise: The two top-rated eateries are in Great Britain. In fact, more than half the listed restaurants are in Europe, which suggests a certain bias among the diners.
Euro-bias aside, the list is interesting for what it is: a reflection of the dining preferences of scores of TripAdvisor reviewers. The so-called wisdom of crowds should always be taken with a qualifier. It might not be the best way to identify the very best, but it’s a very good way to recognize pretty good.
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After 20 years working in the travel industry, and 15 years writing about it, Tim Winship knows a thing or two about travel. Follow him on Twitter @twinship.