France Thinks a Computer Algorithm Can Pick the World’s Best Restaurants

By Mike Pomranz |
FWX ALGORITHM RESTAURANT

Maurice ROUGEMONT/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

When it comes to restaurant recommendations, don’t waste time trusting restaurant critics or Yelp or even the Zagat family. Instead, France says they’ve got a new computer algorithm that has turned ranking the world’s top 1,000 restaurants into a taste bud-free science.

Granted, the computer gets its information from a number of relatively well-known sources, pulling information on around 4,000 restaurants from places like the Michelin guide, newspapers, review sites like Tripadvisor and even – gasp! – blogs. From there, the info is pared down to a list – called, very creatively, The List – of 1,000 restaurants that make what the French foreign ministry’s tourism council believes isn’t a pile of crap like all the lists the computer pulls its information from.

“What is missing is an objective ranking of global gastronomy,” Philippe Faure, head of the group that published “La Liste” (as the French call it) said according to Reuters. “In a short time, La Liste will become the global reference.”

But how honest is a person who says their aim is to be honest? As the New York Times points out, “La Liste can be seen as France’s unofficial response to the London-based World’s 50 Best Restaurants list, which has not been kind to restaurants in France in recent years.” However, even if that’s the case, the highest any French restaurant ranks on La Liste is number four. Hmm, maybe the French can create a computer algorithm that’s better at creating more biased computer algorithms?

Check out the top 5 on La Liste below and look for the whole thing after the official launch on December 17 at LaListe.com

La Liste’s Top 5 Restaurants in the world

1. Restaurant de l’Hôtel de Ville, Crissier, Switzerland

2. Per Se, New York

3. Kyo Aji, Tokyo

4. Guy Savoy, Paris

5. Schauenstein, Fürstenau, Switzerland

Related: 7 Most Overrated Things to Do in New York 
How to Eat Your Way Through NYC's Michelin List Without Going Broke 
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