Sponsored by:

Comment, blog & share photos

Log in | Become a member
The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, April 14, 2006

World's best restaurant? Spain's El Bulli says olé!

By Richard Vines
Bloomberg News Service

El Bulli, Ferran Adria's gastronomic temple in northern Spain, toppled Britain's Fat Duck as the world's best restaurant in a poll published Monday by Restaurant magazine. Pierre Gagnaire, in Paris, placed third.

The Fat Duck, where Heston Blumenthal serves snail porridge and sardine-on-toast sorbet, dropped to second place in the annual list of the World's 50 Best Restaurants, chosen by 560 chefs, critics and restaurateurs. El Bulli was second last year.

The French Laundry, in California's Napa Valley, finished top in the Americas, while Tetsuya's, in Sydney, was the leader in Australasia. France dominates the Top 50 list, with 10 restaurants included and a total of 24 serving French food.

Restaurants in Asia and those serving Asian cuisine barely figure in the list. The sole Asian venue is Bukhara, in New Delhi. I ate there this month and wasn't that impressed. Not a single restaurant in Japan or China makes the list.

To allay concerns that the London-based magazine's list was too centered on Britain, Restaurant this year appointed panels in 20 regions, each chaired by a food writer, to pick the restaurants. The 20 regional heads together form an international panel, chaired by Joe Warwick, editor of the magazine.


The world's best restaurants, according to Restaurant magazine:

  1. El Bulli (Spain)
  2. The Fat Duck (Britain)
  3. Pierre Gagnaire (France)
  4. French Laundry (U.S.)
  5. Tetsuya's (Australia)
  6. Bras (France)
  7. Restaurant le Louis XV (Monaco)
  8. Per Se (U.S.)
  9. Restaurant Arzak (Spain)
  10. Mugaritz (Spain)
  11. Can Fabes (Spain)
  12. Nobu (Britain)
  13. Gambero Rosso (Italy)
  14. Gordon Ramsay Royal Hospital Road (Britain)
  15. Restaurant Alain Ducasse (France)
  16. Jean Georges (U.S., New York)
  17. Le Cinq (France)
  18. Daniel (U.S., New York)
  19. Oud Sluis (Netherlands)
  20. Chez Panisse (U.S.)