I’ve eaten at many fine restaurants, but after taking a look at a recent list of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants, it seems my personal list of best restaurants doesn’t match this list at all – because I haven’t eaten at a single one of them. This is the type of subjective list I enjoy looking at, much like I enjoy reading about the James Beard Award nominees and winners. Then I spend some time debating with myself how much these types of list should influence where I dine.

In the end, these lists become part professional required reading material and part potential fodder for my restaurant bucket list, but little else. For a few minutes I feel like I have a woefully lacking fine-dining resume, and I want to hop the train to New York City to be there in time for dinner. I’ve learned not to entertain those thoughts for too long and to quickly put life back into perspective and get on with my day.

Still, I find it fun to look at the best of the best and I thought you might to. Here’s the top 10 of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants, as decided by the The Diners Club World’s 50 Best Restaurants Academy.

  1. Noma, Copenhagen, Denmark
  2. El Celler de Can Roca, Girona, Spain
  3. Osteria Francescana, Modena, Italy
  4. Eleven Madison Park, New York City, USA
  5. Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, London, UK
  6. Mugaritz, San Sebastian, Spain
  7. D.O.M. Sao Paulo, Spain
  8. Arzak, San Sebastian Spain
  9. Alinea, Chicago, USA
  10. The Ledbury, London, UK
Two of the top 10 are in the United States. Here are the other four from the U.S.
  • Per Se, New York City (30)
  • Daniel, New York City (40)
  • The French Laundry, Yountville, Calif. (44)
  • Coi, San Francisco (49)
Have you dined at any of the top 50? Are any of them on your restaurant bucket list? I think I’ll add Eleven Madison Park to my list, just for fun.

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