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10 (or 25, or 50) Must-Visit Destinations for Foodies

If you were to design a travel bucket list around eating, you couldn’t do much better than making it a goal to dine at the top-10 restaurants as defined by the latest World’s 50 Best Restaurant Awards. Or the survey’s top 25 restaurants. Or the top 50. Or 100. Because, notwithstanding the top-50 reference in its name, the list actually picks the top 100.

Unlike most best-restaurant lists, which either by design or inclination tend to be regionally focused, the World’s 50 is self-consciously global. Breaking bread (and possibly the bank) at its 10 top-rated eateries would entail a trip encompassing Europe, Asia, South America, and the U.S.

Here are this year’s top 25:

  1. Osteria Francescana, Modena, Italy
  2. El Celler de Can Roca, Girona, Spain
  3. Eleven Madison Park, New York
  4. Central, Lima
  5. Noma, Copenhagen
  6. Mirazur, Menton, France
  7. Mugaritz, San Sebastian, Spain
  8. Narisawa, Tokyo
  9. Steirereck, Vienna
  10. Asador Etxebarri, Atxondo, Spain
  11. D.O.M, Sao Paulo
  12. Quintonil, Mexico City, Mexico
  13. Maido, Lima
  14. The Ledbury, London
  15. Alinea, Chicago
  16. Azurmendi, Larrabetzu, Spain
  17. Piazza Duomo, Alba, Italy
  18. White Rabbit, Moscow
  19. L’Arpege, Paris
  20. Amber at The Landmark Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong
  21. Arzak, San Sebastian, Spain
  22. The Test Kitchen, Cape Town, South Africa
  23. Gaggan, Bangkok
  24. Le Bernardin, New York
  25. Pujol, Mexico City

So, how to use the list as a trip-planning tool? The simplest approach would be to start at the top-rated restaurant and proceed down the list to the second best, third, and so on. But given the geographic mash-up, that would entail lots of backtracking, at considerable expense and a grossly inefficient use of time. Fun to contemplate, but highly impractical.

Better, perhaps, would be organizing the restaurants by region and country, and planning a trip accordingly. Seven of the top 10 are in Europe, for example, and three are in Spain. So, begin the trip in Spain, at El Celler de Can Roca (number 2 on the list, and last year’s number 1), and proceed from there, traveling and eating until you’re sated or broke, or both.

Bon voyage, and bon appetit!

Reader Reality Check

How important is dining in your travel planning?

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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.

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