Restaurant magazine just dropped its 2014 update of the World's 50 Best Restaurants, and London gave an admirable showing. The whole thing’s voted on by more than 900 international food industry experts from The Diners Club World's 50 Best Restaurants Academy, who list their choices in order of preference based on their "best restaurant experiences of the previous 18 months”. Refreshingly, it turns out that’s actually the entire judging criteria -- it literally just comes down to, “Is it good?" and, “How good?".
So, back to The Big Smoke -- here are the spots that captured enough votes to make the top 50 (and three more that made it into the top 100):
London tied for third in the world (!) for cities with the most restaurants in the top 100, behind only... ugh... New York and Paris. 2014 marks the third-straight year that Dinner by Heston Blumenthal and The Ledbury made the list, and they've both climbed the ranks since 2012, when they started out at No. 9 and No. 14, respectively.
If you were wondering what non-London spots earned top-50 rankings, check out the full list, here.
Pete Dombrosky is an Editorial Assistant at Thrillist and call him old-fashioned, but he'll take his mum's cooking over these places any day (except weekends). Follow his sentimental musings on Twitter.
Brought to you by Heston Blumenthal and Executive Chef Ashley Palmer-Watts, this classy Knightsbridge resto opened in 2011 and is considered one of the best on Earth, serving exquisite British dishes like their signature Meat Fruit (mandarin, chicken liver & foie gras parfait, grilled bread), which earned it two Michelin stars.
Opened in 2005, The Ledbury has been awarded two Michelin Stars and it has been consistently voted one of the finest restaurants in the world. Along with his highly skilled team of chefs, Head Chef Brett Graham crafts unique and flavorful menu items that change seasonally.
If you're looking for world-class traditional British recipes, St. John is a no-brainer in Smithfield. This resto is consistently voted one of the best in the WORLD and it's a favorite of star chef Anthony Bourdain.
Hedone's run by a Swedish food blogger whose allergies prevented him from working in a regular kitchen, a problem he circumvented by becoming a lawyer and earning enough clams to buy his own place, where those ingredients that offend his system are kept away. Food art's hung on the brick walls and scrawled in the ceiling, and daily changing 6/9 course menus boast such flavourful fare as umami flan, scallop sashimi, roast squab leg w/ pistachio, and sea bass w/ almonds & potato emulsion.
Set within set within Shoreditch Town Hall the Clove Club pulls off an elegant, rustic vibe with high ceilings, large windows, and an open kitchen in the back, serving up brilliantly crafted British fare and exquisite cocktails. The reservation system is a bit different—you buy tickets like you would for a show—because the name of the game here is a tasting menu; Block off a good chunk of time to get acquainted with Michelin star British cuisine like Cornish mackerel and Yorkshire suckling pig. Or, the bar menu features plenty of fantastic drinks and snacks—light and crispy buttermilk fried chicken is a must-try—you’ll wish you could order by the bucketful.