Elite Traveler, in association with Grey Goose has announced the world’s best dining destinations, voted by the Elite Traveler readers for the sixth consecutive year.
This year, the readers voted the best restaurants in a total of 62 different cities and towns, from San Francisco to São Paulo and Chicago to Hong Kong.
Topping the list for the very first time is Azurmendi – the ground-breaking restaurant of culinary wizard Eneko Atxa. Atxa’s Azurmendi overtakes Grant Achatz’s Alinea, which has previously won the top spot for five consecutive years.
Azurmendi utilizes the magical Basque countryside in which they reside for produce, tradition and inspiration. On receiving the award, a delighted Atxa said: “This recognition means a lot, as many of the voters would be people who have visited our restaurant. There is nothing more satisfying than seeing the joy and wellbeing of our clients. They are ultimately our reason for doing what we do.”
The US dining scene continues its dominance over the list with a quarter of the top 100 based in the States. New York leads the way, with ten restaurants on the list and three – Eleven Madison Park, Per Se and Le Bernardin in the top ten.
Paris is home to eight of the world’s best restaurants, with 18 French restaurants in total, beating rival culinary hot spots including San Francisco with five and London, Hong Kong, Chicago and Tokyo with three each.
This year’s Lifetime Achievement Award was received by Joel Robuchon, whose restaurants Robuchon au Dome (6) and Joel Robuchon Las Vegas (96) featured on this year’s list. He commented: “The best accolade I can ever receive is to have someone who just finished dining in one of my restaurants come up to me and thank me for an experience that they loved — and then make another reservation! The best awards are those given by the guests — not just the critics, the food writers or others in the industry.
“We work in this industry with the aim to please the people who come to dine in our venues, so it is really the guests and the consumers that matter most. The critics write reviews and give awards so that consumers can make better judgments, but an award given by the consumers — that is truly special.”
Osteria Francescana’s Massimo Bottura, whose restaurant came in 7th place, was given the Chef of the Year accolade. On receiving this honor, he said: “It means the world to me. It means that my team and I have been able to communicate our mission and share our passions with our guests and the public at large.”
New entry Atelier Crenn debuted in 78th place, while Dominique Crenn was awarded the Rising Star of 2017. The San Francisco based chef said: “It’s always very heartfelt for me to receive such an accolade and I’m thankful that I am able to have a platform to continue connecting with my audience. It means I can have a voice, and that people are listening. I just want a dialogue with others, so I hope people will keep welcoming my ideas.”
To read the full list of winners in the Elite 100 Restaurants 2017, click here.