Peru's capital city - and undoubtedly its gastronomic capital - had a tremendous showing at The World's 50 Best Restaurants awards this week, taking the number one title and earning more slots in the top 50 than any other city.
Four Lima restaurants made the 50 Best list: Central at No. 1, Maido at No. 6, Kjolle at No. 28 and Mayta at No. 47. Kjolle is new to the top 50 this year.
Central, led by Virgilio Martinez and Pía Léon, has been delivering fine dining featuring Peruvian ingredients and techniques for 15 years. The restaurant "takes diners through 15 different Peruvian ecosystems, categorised by altitude - from 15 metres under the Pacific Ocean to 4200 metres up in the Andes," the 50 Best website says. Kjolle is Léon's solo venture.
Central is the first South American restaurant to earn the "World's Best" title.
The awards - an event considered the Oscars of global fine dining - were announced Tuesday evening from the City of Arts and Sciences, a collection of futuristic spaces designed by renowned architect Santiago Calatrava, in the southern Spanish city of Valencia.
The host country performed very well in this year's awards with six entries from Spain in the top 50, including the world's No. 2 restaurant, Disfrutar in Barcelona. Spain also scooped up No. 3 and No. 4 with Diverxo in Madrid and Asador Etxebarri in Atxondo in the Basque region.
Italy and France also performed well in Europe, with five restaurants in Italy and four in France placing in the top 50. In England, London earned an impressive three slots.
In Asia, the city to watch is Bangkok, where two restaurants appeared on the list for the first time, both breaking into the top 20: Le Du at No. 15 and Gaggan Anand at No. 17.
From the United States, two New York restaurants made it into the top 50. Atomix moved to No. 8 from last year's No. 33 slot, earning the Highest Climber award as well as Best Restaurant in North America. Longtime favourite Le Bernardin, helmed by chef Éric Ripert, also made the top 50 at No. 44.
This year's top 50 includes restaurants from 24 territories on five continents, with 12 restaurants entering the list for the first time.
Restaurants are permitted to scoop the awards' top prize only once, after which they're entered into a separate "Best of the Best" program. Members of that elite group include Geranium and Noma in Copenhagen, as well as New York's Eleven Madison Park, The Fat Duck near London, Osteria Francescana in Modena, Italy, and Mirazur in Menton, France. Central moves into the Best of the Best next year.
The world's 50 best restaurants 2023
- Central (Lima, Peru) - Best Restaurant in South America
- Disfrutar (Barcelona, Spain) - Best Restaurant in Europe
- Diverxo (Madrid, Spain)
- Asador Etxebarri (Atxondo, Spain)
- Alchemist (Copenhagen, Denmark)
- Maido (Lima, Peru)
- Lido 84 (Gardone Riviera, Italy)
- Atomix (New York City) - Highest Climber, Best Restaurant in North America
- Quintonil (Mexico City, Mexico)
- New: Table by Bruno Verjus (Paris, France) - Highest New Entry
- New: Trèsind Studio (Dubai, UAE) - Best Restaurant in the Middle East and Africa
- A Casa do Porco (São Paulo, Brazil)
- Pujol (Mexico City, Mexico)
- Odette (Singapore) - Best Restaurant in Asia and Chef's Choice: Julien Royer
- New: Le Du (Bangkok, Thailand)
- Reale (Castel di Sangro, Italy)
- New: Gaggan Anand (Bangkok, Thailand)
- Steirereck (Vienna, Austria)
- Don Julio (Buenos Aires, Argentina)
- Quique Dacosta (Dénia, Spain)
- Den (Tokyo, Japan)
- Elkano (Getaria, Spain)
- New: Kol (London, England)
- Septime (Paris, France)
- Belcanto (Lisbon, Portugal)
- Schloss Schauenstein (Fürstenau, Switzerland)
- Florilège (Tokyo, Japan)
- New: Kjolle (Lima, Peru)
- Boragó (Santiago, Chile)
- Frantzén (Stockholm, Sweden)
- Mugaritz (San Sebastian, Spain)
- Hiša Franko (Kobarid, Slovenia)
- New: El Chato (Bogotá, Colombia)
- Uliassi (Senigallia, Italy)
- Ikoyi (London, England)
- New: Plénitude (Paris, France)
- New: Sézanne (Tokyo, Japan)
- The Clove Club (London, England)
- The Jane (Antwerp, Belgium)
- Restaurant Tim Raue (Berlin, Germany)
- Le Calandre (Rubano, Italy)
- Piazza Duomo (Alba, Italy)
- Leo (Bogotá, Colombia)
- Le Bernardin (New York City)
- Nobelhart & Schmutzig (Berlin, Germany)
- New: Orfali Bros (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
- Mayta (Lima, Peru)
- New: La Grenouillère (La Madelaine-sous-Montreuil, France)
- New: Rosetta (Mexico City)
- The Chairman (Hong Kong)