Let’s get off to the right start this weekend. We just got the latest report from food and drink website, The Daily Meal: 101 Best Restaurants in Latin America and the Caribbean. This carefully selected collection of the regions’ finest epicurean endeavors is one of the most comprehensive reports of its kind.
Celebrating the world’s “101 Best” has become a tradition at The Daily Meal. As with their previous listings, they went through an extensive research process to scout out restaurants all over Mexico, Central and South America, and the Caribbean, compiling a list of finalists from which our 101 best were selected, with the help of an esteemed group of panelists. With the belief that a beach-side seafood shack can be just as good, in its own way, as a sleek Michelin-starred establishment, we included restaurants of all types and size, excluding, sometimes reluctantly, only food stalls and street stands.
Ending up with was a shortlist of 214 restaurants from 25 different countries and regions. This list was then shared with our eminent panel of judges (comprised primarily of restaurant critics, food and lifestyle writers, and assorted bloggers from across the globe), who undertook the tough task of voting for their favorites across a broad geographical area. In the interests of accuracy and fairness, panelists were asked only to vote for restaurants where they had eaten within the past 12 months.
The voting — based on region, cuisine, and the style of the restaurant; budget, casual/neighborhood, and serious dining/special occasion — narrowed the list to an honored group of 101. The final list included a versatile mix of restaurants from all the 25 different countries. The largest number of places, 25 in all, turned out to be in Mexico, a country that has, in recent years, embraced concepts of contemporary cuisine without diminishing its own rich culinary heritage. Brazil — where the remarkable Alex Atala of D.O.M. in São Paulo has galvanized the food scene over the past decade — had the second largest number of winners, 17 restaurants, followed by Argentina, with 11 restaurants, ten of them in Buenos Aires.
101 Best Restaurants in Latin America and the Caribbean
1. D.O.M. Restaurante (São Paulo)
2. Astrid & Gaston (Lima)
3. Blue by Eric Ripert (Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands)
4. Central Restaurante (Lima)
5. Kinoshita (São Paulo)
6. Unik (Buenos Aires)
7. Biko (Mexico City)
8. Mani (São Paulo)
9. Marmelade (San Juan)
10. Pujol (Mexico City)
More about the results:
Many of th 101 ranked restaurants blend old traditions with new techniques. At El Jardín de los Milagros in Guanajuato, Mexico, motorcycle-riding chef Bricio Dominguez uses sometimes pre-Hispanic raw materials to produce consistently fascinating new dishes. At El Baqueano in Buenos Aires, chef Fernando Rivarola specializes in “native meats” such as wild boar, llama, alligator, rhea (an ostrich-like bird), chinchilla, and hare. At Olympe in Rio de Janeiro, French-born father-and-son duo Claude and Thomas Troisgros, of the famous Burgundian restaurant dynasty, focus on Brazilian ingredients – think yucca, tucupi juice, and açai – incorporating them into classic European dishes.
Which restaurant would you like to visit most?