It's Time for a Culinary Excursion: 5 Best Restaurants in the World
Traveling for Your Taste Buds
One of the best parts of traveling is getting to enjoy good food and perhaps try something new along the way. Whether or not you call yourself a foodie, sampling the incredible cuisine available at the best restaurants in the world is sure to enhance your trip.
It is one thing to have your sights set on some of the best exotic dishes the world has to offer; it’s another to get to taste those same dishes when they have been crafted by a professional, or to have the privilege of trying a dish that is entirely unique, but was borne out of the culture and captures the flavors of the region.
You just might want to plan your future vacations around the cities these best restaurants in the world call home.
Osteria Francescana, Modena, Italy
The picturesque city of Modena, which lies about 90 miles north of Florence, is considered one of Italy’s great gastronomic centers. Not surprisingly, it also happens to be home to the number one restaurant in the world (according to a list of the 50 best restaurants in the world compiled by Restaurant magazine, based on a poll of international chefs, restaurateurs, gourmands and restaurant critics).
Osteria Francescana, a tranquil, tiny restaurant, as Restaurant notes, is helmed by Massimo Bottura, whose creations are “heavily influenced by art and music,” with “three elegant rooms that make up the dining space adorned with high-quality contemporary works.” His dishes reflect his love of artists such as Wassily Kandinsky and Ai Weiwei: colorful, exuberant, fun and complex, but completely focused.
The publication points out highlights such as Autumn in New York, which reflects Bottura’s international outlook and influences. It includes pickled and preserved fall vegetables that are combined with a mineral broth featuring dried mushrooms and pumpkin concentrate, with “spectacular results.”
Photo Credit: Martin Berasategui
Martin Berasategui, Lasarte, Spain
If you’d like to sample what TripAdvisor users have called the number one restaurant in the world, head to Lasarte, located just outside of San Sebastian in Spain’s beautiful Basque Country. The three-Michelin-starred eatery that was named after the head chef just topped the list of fine dining restaurants around the world with TripAdvisor users.
Berasategui wins for his modern take on Spanish cuisine, with exquisite a la carte and tasting menus, both of which feature innovative, unique dishes you’re unlikely to find elsewhere. Tasting menus have included items such as young pigeon that’s been charcoal roasted at a low temperature with potato and truffle bites, and red mullet with edible scale crystals.
Photo Credit: Duck Duck Goat Chicago
Duck Duck Goat, Chicago, IL
You can find some pretty amazing restaurants closer to home as well, such as Duck Duck Goat, one of Chicago’s hottest restaurants. Lauded by many tough restaurant critics, Michael Nagrant wrote that it was a “smart, exciting melding of American ingenuity and authentic regional Chinese food.”
Chef Stephanie Izard pays homage to the cuisines of Sichuan and stateside Chinatown in an effort to create an eatery that’s as “fun as the flavor of China.” The Peking Duck, one of the most popular items on the menu, is a crisp-skinned whole bird that’s greaseless and sliced for easier eating, with accompaniments such as pineapple, pickled ramps and cucumbers, and sugar and hoisin sauces.
Many patrons come for the Forbidden Goat too, a rich bowl of black rice with roasted goat, goat liver and neon-pink pickled quail eggs.
Photo Credit: Bang Bang San Diego
Bang Bang, San Diego, CA
Heading to San Diego to soak up the year-round sunshine, gorgeous beaches and outstanding golf courses? You can make your trip even more unforgettable with a visit to Bang Bang.
Step inside and you may think you’ve just walked into some kind of futuristic “Beam me up, Scotty” kind of travel machine that plopped you down into a Tokyo subway tunnel. No, your brain isn’t playing tricks on you, there are actual recorded subway sounds playing — just the first clue that this restaurant is going to be something very different.
Bang Bang is for those who like the unconventional. You’ll find not only tasty sushi and Asian fusion delights, but plenty of surprises, such as raw fish and ice cream… together. It may sound rather bizarre, but the chef definitely found a way to make it work.
The Bang Mi is a favorite menu item too, though it can be a little embarrassing to order it. It’s not something rude you ask your server to do, it’s a sandwich filled with homemade chicken liver pate, Vietnamese banana leaf-steamed ham, grilled jidori chicken, jalapeno and peppers.
Photo Credit: Central Rest
Central, Lima, Peru
Among the top five on Restaurant’s list of the top 50 restaurants in the world is Central, which has been called a “gastronomic exploration of altitude and Peru’s ecosystem.”
Guests enjoy a “culinary expedition” through the country’s ecosystem, from the Amazon to the Pacific, with Chef Virgilio Martinez and crew even foraging in the “jungle, desert, mountains and sea to discover diverse local ingredients at every altitude.”
The tasting menu features items that highlight Peruvian ingredients grown at various elevations, such as wild oca and Andean yams. Other examples include the kushuru, or cushuro, an edible cyanobacteria harvested in the high-altitude wetlands, and arapaima, a freshwater fish found in the Amazon River.