The Best Restaurants In The World for 2005

Well, it’s out again: the list of the world’s top fifty restaurants as judged by Restaurant Magazine in the U.K. Always a lightning rod for criticism from all sources, myself included, the list provides a point of view based largely on the editorial of the magazine and polling of chefs around the world.

The biggest beef I have with the list is its (lack of) representation of Asian restaurants. I’ve not eaten at Tetsuya, but I have eaten at Nobu, and I guarantee you those aren’t the best Japanese restaurants in the world. Nothing from Singapore? Nothing from Shanghai? And while Felix may have improved since I was there, I have a hard time believing it’s the best in Hong Kong (even though it has a damn fine view).

In any case, here’s the rundown of awards and links to the restaurants’ web sites if you care to plan a visit or just be an armchair gourmand. If you’re interested, here’s last year’s list.


Best Restaurant in the World: The Fat Duck – Bray, Berks, England.

Chef’s Choice: El Bulli – Montjoi, Spain.

Best Restaurant in Europe: The Fat Duck – Bray, Berks, England.

Best in The Americas: The French Laundry – Yountville, California, USA.

Best in Australia: Tetsuya’s – Sydney, Australia.

Best in Middle East & Africa: Le Quartier Francais – Franschhoek, South Africa

Best in Asia: Felix, Hong Kong

Highest New Entry: Per Se – New York, USA.

Highest Climber: Chez Panisse – Berkeley, California, USA.

Outstanding Value: Cal Pep – Barcelona, Spain.

Editor’s Choice: Enoteca Pinchiorri – Florence, Italy.

American Express Lifetime Achievement Award: Paul Bocuse


1. The Fat Duck ” Best in Europe – Bray, Berks, England.
2. El Bulli – Chef’s Choice – Montjoi, Spain.
3. The French Laundry – Best in Americas – Yountville, California, USA.
4. Tetsuya’s – Best in Australasia – Sydney, Australia.
5. Gordon Ramsay – London, England.
6. Pierre Gagnaire – Paris, France.
7. Per Se – Highest New Entry – New York, USA.
8. Tom Aikens – London, England.
9. Jean Georges – New York, USA.
10. St John – London, England.
11. Michel Bras – Laguiole, France.
12. Le Louis XV – Monte Carlo, Monaco.
13. Chez Panisse – Highest Climber – Berkeley, California, USA.
14. Charlie Trotter – Chicago, USA.
15. Gramercy Tavern – New York, USA.
16. Guy Savoy – Paris, France.
17. Restaurant Alain Ducasse – Paris, France.
18. The Gallery at Sketch – London, England.
19. The Waterside Inn – Bray, Berks, England.
20. Nobu – London, England.
21. Restaurante Arzak – San Sebastian, Spain.
22. El Raco de Can Fabes – San Celoni, Spain.
23. Checchino dal 1887 – Rome, Italy.
24. Le Meurice – Paris, France.
25. L’Hotel de Ville – Crissier, Switzerland.
26. L’Arpege – Paris, France.
27. Angela Hartnett at The Connaught – London, England.
28. Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons – Oxon, England.
29. Le Cinq – Paris, France.
30. Hakkasan – London, England.
31. Cal Pep – Outstanding Value – Barcelona, Spain.
32. Masa – New York, USA.
33. Flower Drum – Melbourne, Australia.
34. WD50 – New York, USA.
35. Le Quartier Francais ” Best in Middle East & Africa – Franschhoek, South Africa
36. Spice Market – New York, USA.
37. Auberge de l’Ill – Illhaeusern-Alsace, France.
38. Manresa – California, USA
39. Restaurant Dieter Muller – Bergisch Gladbach, Germany
40. La Maison Troisgros – Roanne, France.
41. The Wolseley – London, England.
42. Rockpool – Sydney, Australia.
43. Yauatcha – London, England.
44. The Ivy – London, England.
45. Gambero Rosso – San Vincenzo, Italy.
46. The Cliff – St James, Barbados.
47. Le Gavroche – London, England.
48. Enoteca Pinchiorri – Editor’s Choice – Florence, Italy.
49. Felix – Best in Asia – Hong Kong.
50. La Tupina – Bordeaux, France.