The 10 Best International Restaurants

From a Roman restaurant tucked behind a deli counter to contemporary fine dining in Mexico City, these are the best international restaurants, as voted by our readers.

Le Comptoir restaurant

Steve Hamblin / Alamy Stock Photo

Global Tastemakers is our first-ever reader’s choice awards, celebrating the best culinary destinations in the U.S. and abroad. F&W readers voted based on travel completed within the past three years, on categories including restaurants and bars, cities, hotels, airports, airlines, and cruises. Due to the limitations of pandemic travel, this year’s Global Tastemakers winners reflect a smaller portion of the globe. In many categories, we’re including an editor’s pick to shout out some more culinary destinations in places you can’t miss. See all the winners at

It’s no exaggeration to say that here at Food & Wine, we travel for the food, and based on the results of our inaugural Global Tastemakers survey, it’s fair to say that our readers do too. So when we asked you to vote for the stand-out restaurants worth planning a trip around — the kinds of places you might make a reservation at even before booking your flights — you came through. From a casual bakery with some of the best bread and pizza in Rome to a restaurant that set the bar for fine dining in Mexico City, this list of reader favorites is worth booking asap.

Mexico City has a particularly strong standing, with five restaurants on the list, including those that claimed the top two spots. Our readers also love the restaurants in Paris, which took three spots. You also voted for two places in Rome, both owned by the famed Roscioli family of bakers and restaurateurs. See the full list of the ten best international restaurants, chosen by our readers, below.

01 of 11

Máximo Bistrot: Mexico City, Mexico

Kampachi con vinagreta de soya, jengibre y coco from Maximo

Alejandro Yanes

Located in the hip Roma neighborhood of Mexico City, this farm-to-table restaurant serves elegantly plated dishes in a warm, unpretentious environment. The understated décor, with simple wooden tables and low lighting, creates a romantic evening atmosphere. Dishes showcase the best seasonal, sustainable ingredients prepared using a mix of Mexican and European techniques. Diners rave about the kampachi appetizer with soy ginger vinaigrette, kimchi, yuzu kosho, and avocado. Opt for the tasting menu for the full experience.

02 of 11

Pujol: Mexico City, Mexico

A dish from Pujol restaurant

Matt Taylor-Gross

Chef Enrique Olvera’s flagship restaurant revolutionized Mexican cuisine and is still the standard-bearer for fine dining in Mexico City. Everything about this place bucks the stereotypes about Mexican restaurants, from the sleek modern design to the sophisticated interpretations of traditional dishes. The mole madre, which has been aging for more than 3,000 days, is legendary. All the tortillas are made using heirloom corn varieties. For an incredible culinary journey into Olvera’s mind, go for the taco omakase, featuring beautifully presented tacos designed to take you on a culinary journey across Mexico.

03 of 11

Antico Forno Roscioli: Rome, Italy

Antico Forno Roscioli

Vito Arcomano / Alamy Stock Photo

Though not technically a sit-down restaurant, you could certainly make a meal out of the outstanding pizza and artisanal bread at this bakery in the heart of Rome’s historic center — and also now in New York. Nowadays, the Roscioli name is legendary, but it all started with this bakery originally opened in 1824 thanks to a papal edict to provide affordable bread. Handed down for four generations, it’s a favorite of locals, who line up outside the bakery for panettone at Christmas. Try a slice of the pizza bianca (a sort of focaccia made with olive oil and salt), the pizza rossa (topped with tomato sauce), or any other pizzas available.

04 of 11

Salumeria Roscioli: Rome, Italy

Salumeria Roscioli

Neil Setchfield / Alamy Stock Photo

Originally born as a grocery store with a deli counter where Romans would go to buy prosciutto, artisan cheeses, and other local specialties, Salumeria Roscioli was transformed into one of the most popular restaurants in Rome when the Roscioli family added some tables in the back. Tables book up weeks in advance as both locals and tourists flock here for one of the best carbonaras in Rome. The menu offers a vast selection of meats and cheeses from the deli counter, including exceptional mozzarella di bufala from Campania and burrata from Puglia, and classic Roman dishes like cacio e pepe, amatriciana, and carciofi alla romana.

05 of 11

Azul Condesa: Mexico City, Mexico

Chips and guacamole from Azul Condesa

Creative Essence / Shutterstock

Azul’s Chef Ricardo Muñoz Zurita wrote the Encyclopedic Dictionary of Mexican Gastronomy, so he clearly knows his stuff and insists on preparing traditional recipes the right way. At his restaurant, which has three locations in Mexico City, he serves up classic Mexican cuisine, emphasizing the dishes of Oaxaca, a vast region with varied culinary traditions. As you might imagine, the mole negro — served with the enchiladas, turkey, or chicken — is sublime. This is also the place for adventurous eaters interested in trying grasshoppers.

06 of 11

Quintonil: Mexico City, Mexico


Courtesy of Quintonil

One of the leaders in the new wave of modern Mexican cuisine, Quintonil is run by Chef Jorge Vallejo — a Pujol alum — and his wife Alejandra Flores, who worked as operations and commercial director for the Enrique Olvera Group. The ambiance is sleek and modern, with blond wood, gray or green chairs, and an open kitchen. The cuisine is equally stylish, showcasing seasonal and local ingredients in creative ways, with dishes like braised oxtail in black recado panucho sauce with almond purée and red onion. The nine-course tasting menu is a culinary tour de force of modern Mexican cuisine.

07 of 11

Bar Vendôme: Paris, France

Bar Vendome

Courtesy of Bar Vendome

The elegant Belle Époque brasserie at the iconic Ritz Paris, a member of the Leading Hotels of the World, is undoubtedly one of the finest places to be wined and dined in the French capital. Red velvet banquettes, white tablecloths, attentive service, and expertly prepared dishes make this a go-to for well-heeled locals and visitors. A meal might start with Gillardeau oysters or poached blue lobster before moving on to classic French mains like sole meunière or roasted Bresse chicken supreme with brown butter and Jerusalem artichoke. Dessert by the Ritz’s head pastry chef François Perret is worth saving room for.

08 of 11

Le Comptoir: Paris, France

Le Comptoir restaurant

Steve Hamblin / Alamy Stock Photo

Chef Yves Camdeborde, one of the chefs who pioneered the bistronomy movement that swept over Paris, helms the kitchen of this tiny Michelin-starred restaurant tucked inside Le Relais Saint Germain and turned it into one of the city’s must-visit bistros. The charming art deco ambiance, with tables packed tightly together, is the perfect setting for Camdeborde’s modern adaptations of French classics, like escargot in a garlicky sauce, house-made terrine, and other specialties that exalt seasonal, market-driven cuisine. The wine list exclusively focuses on natural wines.

09 of 11

Frenchie: Paris, France

A bread basket at restaurant with glasses of wine

Getty Images

One of the hardest restaurants to get into in Paris, Frenchie is Chef Gregory Marchand’s Michelin-starred temple to contemporary French gastronomy. Having worked at top restaurants like Gramercy Tavern in New York City and Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen in London, Marchand transforms traditional French recipes and techniques with unusual flavor combinations drawn from an international repertoire. With exposed brick and stone walls, wooden beams, and an open kitchen, the restaurant has a laid-back, unassuming atmosphere that belies the level of culinary invention happening in the kitchen.

10 of 11

Contramar: Mexico City, Mexico


Courtesy of Contramar

This bustling restaurant in Mexico City’s chic Condesa neighborhood is a perennial favorite for super-fresh fish and seafood livened up by Chef Gabriela Cámara. A popular spot for power lunches, it’s frequented by glamorous locals and visitors who want to rub elbows with them. The raw tuna tostadas are divine, and the red and green grilled snapper comes highly recommended. You can’t go wrong with any of the seafood dishes, which change depending on what the fishermen bring in but might include giant clams or soft-shell crab served with all the fixings to make your own tacos.

11 of 11

Editor’s Pick: Den: Tokyo, Japan

An empty restaurant table

Kilito Chan / Getty Images

Den delivers a near-unmatchable trifecta of ambiance, food, and service thanks to the bold vision of chef and owner Zaiyu Hasegawa, who is renowned for his creative and exuberant approach to Japanese cuisine, emphasizing hyper-seasonal produce. Guests can expect playful yet immaculately executed dishes like Den's signature "Dentucky" fried chicken, served in a miniature KFC bucket, and gorgeous salads accompanied with smiley-shaped carrots. As an added bonus, the restaurant has a loyal mascot, Puchi Jr. (Hasegawa's cherished chihuahua), who is usually on-site to deliver greetings. - F&W Editors

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