The Best Restaurants In The World for 2006

While I was on vacation recently someone pointed out that Restaurant Magazine had once again announced their yearly list of the best restaurants in the world. I tend to post this list every year it comes out, but grow more and more suspicious of it each year that passes. The magazine changed its methodology this year, dividing the world into 20 sections and having votes cast by restaurant professionals in each section. You would think that this might lead to more accuracy, whatever that means, or at the very least better representation for certain areas. But the results are a bit oblique to me. For instance, why in the world are there no restaurants from Hong Kong or Tokyo? These areas have traditionally been very under-represented in this list, but now even with twenty or so people representing “the far east” region, whatever that is, we get nothing.

Humph. It doesn’t raise their credibility any that several of the restaurant names on the list are misspelled.

Local bay area foodies were thrilled, of course, to have Manresa added to the list last year at #39, but this year it is nowhere to be seen, and the food has only gotten better there in my opinion.

Ah well. I do have a thing against lists in general for this very reason. In any case, here’s the list of the 50 best restaurants in the world for 2006, according to some:

1 El Bulli, Spain
2 The Fat Duck, UK
3 Pierre Gagnaire, France
4 The French Laundry, California
5 Tetsuya’s, Australia
6 Michel Bras, France
7 Alain Ducasse – Le Louis XV, Monaco
8 Per Se, New York
9 Restaurante Arzak, Spain
10 Mugaritz, Spain
11 El Raco de Can Fabes, Spain
12 Nobu, London
13 Gambero Rosso, Italy
14 Gordon Ramsay (Ryl Hosp Rd), London
15 Restaurant Alain Ducasse – Plaza Athenee France, Paris
16 Jean Georges, New York
17 Le Cinq, France
18 Daniel, New York
19 Oud Sluis, Holland
20 Chez Panisse, California
21 El Celler de Can Roca, Spain
22 Pascal Barbot – L’Astrance, France
23 Hof Van Cleve, Belgium
24 La Maison Troisgros, France
25 L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon, France
26 Charlie Trotter , Chicago
27 Le Gavroche, UK
28 La Colombe, South Africa
29 Enoteca Pinchiorri, Italy
30 Rockpool, Australia
31 Le Calandre, Italy
32 Le Bernardin, New York
33 Noma, Denmark
34 Dieter Muller, Germany
35 St John, UK
36 Hakkasan, UK
37 Martin Berasategui, Spain
38 Le Quartier Francais, South Africa
39 Chez Dominique, Finland
40 L’Ambroisie, France
41 Schwarzwaldstub, Germany
42 Dal Pescatore, Italy
43 Bocuse, France
44 L’Arpege, France
45 Gramercy Tavern , New York
46 Bukhara, India
47 De Karmeliet, Belgium
48 Oaxen, Sweden
49 Comme Chez Soi, Belgium
50 DOM, Brazil

Even if this isn’t the best list in the world, I’ll bet you’d have a darn fine meal at all of them.