Q – We are now fully retired, although I do some consulting in the field of Environmental Law, and my wife and I are ready to start living some of our dreams – most of which center around eating some incredible, best available, meals. We want to start planning two or three major trips a year where we can find, quite literally, the top-rated restaurants on the planet. I guess you can call us Obsessive Foodies with an emphasis on “obsessive”. 

Obviously, we would try to knock out several of the world’s best on each trip. But how to find out where the best restaurants are and what to say when we call them up for a reservation? And where to begin? Does any such list that is actually respected in the Restaurant Industry actually exist? And where would you start if we want to begin at the very top of the list and then work our way down? As you can see, this is all in the beginning planning stages but we really want to take off next summer on the first of two or three journeys next year in search of “The Planet’s Best Meals”.

There may be a book or a blog involved in this project but that is really secondary to amazing dining memories and, let’s be honest, some bragging rights. Are you aware of anyone who has done this before and actually worked their way down the line from 1-10? Can’t wait for your response and kudos for an intriguing site that allows open questions like this with no apparent financial motive.

A – OK. Let’s see if we can help you organize this. It has been done before and, yes, there is an “officially” recognized and respected list each year of the World’s Best Restaurants. There are clients of ours who have tried to include the very top-tier restaurants but, if you want to “do the list” be aware that it refers to the “Best Fifty Restaurants in the World” so you will need to plan carefully.  

The most respected list in the industry is called “The World’s Best Restaurants” and it was launched by an impressive group of chefs, food editors, and writers in 2002. It has, since it was launched, gained a great deal of respect within the international dining community. Last year’s winners were Noma and Geranium, both located in Copenhagen which quickly became a gourmet food destination to those in the know. 

The group has a strong rule that no restaurant can gain the top spot more than once so everyone in the restaurant industry worldwide was quite interested in which restaurant would get the top spot in 2023 and where it might be located. Given the number of Michelin restaurants on the list, Japan was thought to be a serious contender.  

You will first be headed to Peru on your life journey. Lima’s Central has been inching up the list since 2013 but it got a boost when one of the owners,Virgilio Martinez, was featured on Netflix “Chef’s Table” series.

The restaurant is in the coastal Barranco neighborhood. You will be served a 12 or 14-course tasting menu at a cost per person of just under $300. We thought you might like to see where the rest of your travels will be taking you if you literally decide to do the full list of the World’s Best Restaurants. Lima, by the way, has an amazing four restaurants on the list making it the world’s premier Foodie destination.

In terms of travel planning, no restaurants in India or on the African Continent made the list. Here are the 2023 Restaurants named the Best in the World:

The Complete List of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2023


  1. Central (Lima, Peru) – Best Restaurant in South America
  2. Disfrutar(Barcelona, Spain) – Best Restaurant in Europe
  3. Diverxo(Madrid, Spain)
  4. Asador Etxebarri(Atxondo, Spain)
  5. Alchemist(Copenhagen, Denmark)
  6. Maido(Lima, Peru)
  7. Lido 84(Gardone Riviera, Italy)
  8. Atomix(New York City) – Highest Climber, Best Restaurant in North America
  9. Quintonil(Mexico City, Mexico)
  10. New: Table by Bruno Verjus(Paris, France) – Highest New Entry
  11. New: Trèsind Studio(Dubai, UAE) – Best Restaurant in the Middle East and Africa
  12. A Casa do Porco(São Paulo, Brazil)
  13. Pujol(Mexico City, Mexico)
  14. Odette(Singapore) – Best Restaurant in Asia and Chef’s Choice: Julien Royer
  15. New: Le Du(Bangkok, Thailand)
  16. Reale(Castel di Sangro, Italy)
  17. New: Gaggan Anand(Bangkok, Thailand)
  18. Steirereck(Vienna, Austria)
  19. Don Julio(Buenos Aires, Argentina)
  20. Quique Dacosta(Dénia, Spain)
  21. Den(Tokyo, Japan)
  22. Elkano(Getaria, Spain)
  23. New: Kol (London, England)
  24. Septime(Paris, France)
  25. Belcanto(Lisbon, Portugal)
  26. Schloss Schauenstein(Fürstenau, Switzerland)
  27. Florilège(Tokyo, Japan)
  28. New: Kjolle(Lima, Peru)
  29. Boragó(Santiago, Chile)
  30. Frantzén (Stockholm, Sweden)
  31. Mugaritz(San Sebastian, Spain)
  32. Hiša Franko(Kobarid, Slovenia)
  33. New: El Chato(Bogotá, Colombia)
  34. Uliassi(Senigallia, Italy)
  35. Ikoyi (London, England)
  36. New: Plénitude(Paris, France)
  37. New: Sézanne(Tokyo, Japan)
  38. The Clove Club(London, England)
  39. The Jane(Antwerp, Belgium)
  40. Restaurant Tim Raue(Berlin, Germany)
  41. Le Calandre (Rubano, Italy)
  42. Piazza Duomo(Alba, Italy)
  43. Leo(Bogotá, Colombia)
  44. Le Bernardin(New York City)
  45. Nobelhart & Schmutzig(Berlin, Germany)
  46. New: Orfali Bros(Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
  47. Mayta(Lima, Peru)
  48. New: La Grenouillère(La Madelaine-sous-Montreuil, France)
  49. New: Rosetta(Mexico City)
  50. The Chairman(Hong Kong)

Finally, in terms of getting reservations: Do not try calling them on your own. Instead, work with a travel advisor well-versed in food and fine dining. Your advisor should be part of a consortium that has offices in the countries where you will be headed. You will want reservations requested by a local who will have the inside track on securing often, impossible to get, reservations.

We have clients who just returned from dinners at both Noma and Geranium during a one-week visit to Denmark. They booked the best hotel in the city and got to know the lead Concierge. They arrived at the hotel with a carefully thought-out gift for the Concierge. They reported that each dining experience was well worth the effort and the price.

For the record, we don’t feel that anything about your plan is obsessive. You are focused and we suspect that your focus will result in a suitcase full of truly memorable journeys. And you may become more in demand as a cocktail party guest. Enjoy it all and don’t fill up on the bread.