La Liste, a prestigious ranking company renowned for its distinctive approach, has recently unveiled its highly anticipated selection of the world’s top restaurants. In a departure from the conventional practice of singling out a single “best” restaurant, La Liste stands out by spotlighting seven exceptional culinary establishments.

This unique methodology sets La Liste apart in a landscape crowded with companies providing restaurant ratings, catering to discerning globetrotters in pursuit of culinary excellence worldwide. Unlike some of its counterparts, which award stars or anoint a solitary restaurant as the ultimate global champion, La Liste adopts a comprehensive strategy. It collates scores from a diverse array of sources, encompassing online reviews contributed by everyday diners and influential personalities, appraisals from magazines and newspapers, and evaluations from various culinary guides and lists. The extensive list of over 1,000 sources includes online travel guides, the esteemed food publisher Eater, and the Meituan Dianping’s Black Pearl guide in China.

Hélène Pietrini, the managing director of La Liste, underscores their approach as a synthesis of subjective choices, reviews, and critical assessments, aiming to yield a ranking that leans toward objectivity. Employing a scoring system that accommodates half-point increments up to a maximum score of 99.5, La Liste often finds multiple restaurants sharing the same numerical rank.

At the summit of this gastronomic hierarchy, seven restaurants have achieved the coveted score of 99.5. Among them, two establishments—Le Bernardin in New York City and Guy Savoy in Paris—have successfully maintained their top-tier status from the previous year. It’s worth noting that earlier in the year, Guy Savoy made headlines when it lost its three Michelin stars. Joining the top echelon are Sushi Saito in Tokyo and La Vague d’Or in Saint-Tropez, France, both ascending from their previous rankings. The remaining three restaurants are L’Enclume in the Lake District of the UK, Schwarzwaldstube in Germany’s Black Forest, and Lung King Heen in Hong Kong.

Pietrini, who previously served as the director of the World’s 50 Best restaurant list, emphasizes the value of diverse methodologies used by different ranking companies. She believes that consumers benefit from having multiple sources of information rather than relying on a singular, universally declared “best” restaurant. She aptly points out that the notion of the “best” is multifaceted and dynamic, varying across time, place, and personal preferences.

Based on La Liste’s calculations, 17 restaurants secured the No. 2 score of 99, while 26 attained a score of 98.5, and 31 achieved the No. 4 score of 98. In addition to publishing a list of the top 1,000 restaurants, La Liste also provides scores for even more dining establishments through its app.

One conspicuous trend in this year’s rankings is the resurgence of Asia, particularly in regions that have largely reopened following the COVID-19 pandemic. Japan and mainland China dominate the list, boasting 139 and 76 restaurants, respectively, while Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan also make substantial contributions. In contrast, the United States and France each claim 106 spots on the list.

Joerg Zipprick, La Liste’s editor and co-founder, highlights a noteworthy phenomenon—the closure of both high-end and budget dining establishments. This trend underscores the continuing impact of inflation and rising costs on restaurants, compounded by reduced disposable income among patrons. Zipprick points out that during such challenging times, restaurants focusing on traditional, classic, and terroir cuisine tend to thrive, as comfort food becomes increasingly sought after. He underscores that periods of prosperity are more conducive to avant-garde gastronomy, but today’s public is leaning towards comforting culinary experiences.

La Liste, a relatively new player on the ranking scene since its inception in 2015, has expanded its reach by venturing into hotel rankings. In its latest endeavor, it crowned the Belmond Hotel Cipriani in Italy as the world’s best. In contrast, Michelin, with its history dating back to 1926, initially introduced star ratings to facilitate road trips and promote its tire business. The UK publisher William Reed has been curating its World’s 50 Best Restaurants list since 2002, progressively expanding to include hotel rankings, as well as global and regional best bars lists.

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