Traveling and dining go together. In fact, some travelers decide where to eat before deciding where to go. So: Where to eat?
When it comes to rating restaurants, there are plenty of options. Zagat, Michelin, Yelp, Travel + Leisure, and on and on. Some are based on the opinions of experts; others rely on feedback from average diners. None are definitive.
TripAdvisor’s “Travelers’ Choice – Best Fine Dining Restaurants” awards reflect the tastes of its millions of average consumers, as do the hotel reviews which have made the site a go-to resource for travelers. The more feedback, the more accurate the resulting rating.
To compile its top-25 list, TripAdvisor used an “algorithm that took into account the quantity and quality of reviews for restaurants around the world, gathered over a 12-month period.”
According to TripAdvisor reviewers, these are the top 25 restaurants in the world:
- The Black Swan at Olstead – Olstead, U.K.
- Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons – Great Milton, U.K.
- Maison Lameloise – Chagny, France
- L’Auberge de l’Ill – Illhaeusern, France
- Martin Berasategui – Lasarte, Spain
- Daniel – New York City, U.S.
- La Colombe – Constantia, S. Africa
- David’s Kitchen – Chiang Mai, Thailand
- Maido – Lima, Peru
- El Celler de Can Roca – Girona, Spain
- Restaurant Alcron – Prague, Czech Republic
- The Fat Duck – Bray on Thames, U.K.
- Restaurante Benazuza – Cancun, Mexico
- Ristorante Don Alfonso – Sant’Agata sui Due Golfi, Italy
- DOC – Armamar, Portugal
- i Latina – Buenos Aires, Argentina
- Chez Bruno – Lorgues, France
- The Grove – Auckland Central, New Zealand
- Indian Accent – New Delhi, India
- TRB Hutong – Beijing, China
- Azurmendi – Larrabetzu, Spain
- Muse Restaurant – Pokolbin, Australia
- Voila Bistrot – Paraty, Brazil
- The French Cafe – Auckland Central, New Zealand
- Funky Gourmet – Athens, Greece
What’s likely to stand out to U.S.-based travelers is the lack of American restaurants on the list. Daniel, in Manhattan, is the sole U.S. representative. Next surprise: The two top-rated eateries are in Great Britain. In fact, more than half the listed restaurants are in Europe, which suggests a certain bias among the diners.
Euro-bias aside, the list is interesting for what it is: a reflection of the dining preferences of scores of TripAdvisor reviewers. The so-called wisdom of crowds should always be taken with a qualifier. It might not be the best way to identify the very best, but it’s a very good way to recognize pretty good.
Reader Reality Check
How do you choose which restaurants to visit when traveling?
After 20 years working in the travel industry, and almost that long writing about it, Tim Winship knows a thing or two about travel. Follow him on Twitter @twinship.
This article first appeared on SmarterTravel.com, where Tim is Editor-at-Large.