The World's 50 Best Restaurants list provides an annual snapshot of the opinions and experiences of over 1,000 international restaurant industry experts. It is a globally recognised gastronomic reference point which showcases leading trends and highlights great restaurants from all corners of the Earth.
What constitutes ‘best’ is left to the judgement of these trusted and well-travelled gourmets. There is no pre-determined check-list of criteria, but there are strict voting rules. From 2019, members of the Best of the Best group, which is made up of former No.1 restaurants on the list, are not eligible in the annual ranking.
The World’s 50 Best Restaurants’ voting process and results are subject to independent adjudication by world-renowned professional services consultancy Deloitte (see Independent Adjudication, below).
The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list and awards are organised and compiled by William Reed Business Media. None of the employees of the organiser, or of any of the sponsors associated with the awards, is part of the voting Academy.
The list is created from the votes of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants Academy, comprising over 1,000 international restaurant industry experts, with a 50/50 gender balance. It is split into 26 separate regions around the world; each region has its own voting panel of 40 members including a chairperson to head it up. At least 25% of the panellists from each region change each year.
The panel in each region is made up of food writers and critics, chefs, restaurateurs and well-travelled gourmets, each of whom has 10 votes. Some regions span more than one country. The decision as to how the world is divided up is left to the organiser and regional chairs and is debated and reassessed annually. The divisions are designed to represent the global restaurant scene at the current time as fairly as possible.
To counter the restrictions on international travel and limited dining opportunities of the last year, the 2021 list was created from a combination of votes cast in January 2020 (which have never been published) and a ‘voting refresh’ which took place in March 2021. Each voter had the chance to update their 2020 selections based only on restaurant experiences in their own region in the 14 months since the previous voting round, reflecting the increased importance of local dining.
The 2021 list was therefore created from a combination of wider pre-pandemic experiences and, where possible, contemporary local updates. Any establishments that have closed permanently or changed their fundamental concept since the voting were removed from the ranking, though still acknowledged and celebrated as part of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards event.
The results were announced at The World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards ceremony, online and via social media on Tuesday, 5th October 2021.
There are no criteria that a restaurant has to meet. They do not have to sell a certain product. They do not need to have been open a certain number of years and they do not need to have won any other culinary accolades.
This method means that restaurants cannot apply to be on the list, and cannot be nominated. It also means that every restaurant in the world is eligible, unless it is part of the Best of the Best group, it has (permanently) closed at the time that the lists are announced, or we receive notice that it will be closing in the period shortly after the results are published.
The following restaurants have been named No.1 in The World’s 50 Best Restaurants since the list’s inception and are therefore not eligible for voting in 2022 or beyond.
Professional services consultancy Deloitte is the official independent adjudication partner of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants. Deloitte has been granted full and independent access to The World’s 50 Best Restaurants voting process and data and has performed certain procedures to confirm the integrity and authenticity of the voting process and the resulting list.
In order to guarantee a fair relationship between the percentage of votes a region receives and their proportionate representation in The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list, in the event of a significant variance, Deloitte will apply a normalisation process to the voting data.
Founded in 1845, Deloitte has grown to become one of the world’s pre-eminent and most trusted professional services consultancies. As part of its wide-ranging portfolio, Deloitte works with companies in all areas of the licensed retail industry and has considerable experience in proving bespoke adjudication services for a number of internationally recognised awards.
It has a dedicated team devoted to the restaurant sector that specialises in a comprehensive range of audit and advisory services, complemented by industry-specific knowledge and the leverage of a network of specialist expertise across the UK, Europe, the US and Asia. In the sector Deloitte works with businesses spanning one-site start-ups through to FTSE-listed groups – and it is proud to be acting as independent adjudicator for The World’s 50 Best Restaurants.