Food & Drink

Takeaways from the 2024 World’s 50 Best Restaurants List

Restaurants that make the list are selected by a panel of 1,080 judges, made up of journalists, chefs, and well-traveled gourmands from 27 separate regions across the world, each of which has 40 members including an Academy Chair. (Disclosure: Bon Appétit Editor in Chief Jamila Robinson is one of the organization’s Academy Chairs.) In recent years there has been a focus on gender diversity on the list and making sure younger voters are represented.

A consultant, the global firm Deloitte, is hired to independently oversee the voting process, and the list is closely guarded until the winners are announced, though the top 50, along with chefs and restaurateurs around the world, are invited to the ceremony so they know they have made the list.

Along with Disfrutar and Asador Etxebarri, DiverXo in Madrid were among the three Spanish restaurants in the top four. Table by Bruno Verjus in Paris was number three. Five of the top 10 were from Europe which, along with the United States, has dominated the list 21 of the 22 years. The lone exception so far was Central in Lima, Peru, which won in 2023.

Nearly all restaurants that ultimately end up being winners spend years on the list, and often make slow rises to the top. Based on this history, the list offered some insight into the future. Mexico City had three restaurants on the list, eight are from South America, and three come from Thailand.

For example, New York City’s Atomix came in as the Best Restaurant in North America for the second year in a row, rising two places to number six and cementing husband-and-wife team Junghyun “JP” and Ellia Park’s status as leaders in the Korean fine dining movement. The only other US restaurant to make the list was Single Thread, the farm-to-table tasting menu spot in Healdsburg, California, that reentered the list at number 46.

Le Bernardin in NYC, which has slowly slid down the list in recent years, fell off the top 50 this year, going from 44 in 2023 to 71.

The international expansion could be viewed through the four new restaurants that entered the top 50 this year: La Colombe in Cape Town, South Africa, came in at number 49 (Africa’s highest rated and only restaurant on the list) and Mingles in Seoul, South Korea, which came in at number 44.

Mingles chef and owner Mingoo Kang said when he started 20 years ago as a chef, his dream was making a European fine dining restaurant, but after years of cooking in some of the world’s top restaurants, he realized his calling was to cook the food of his heritage.

“Twenty years ago when I was taught, my dream was European fine dining,” he said, adding that after cooking in Spain, “I realized I had to respect my country.”

The fourth new entry was Wing, the Hong Kong restaurant from chef Vicky Cheng, which entered the list at number 20 and was recognized as the highest new entry in the top 50.

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