Elite Traveler gave this fine-dining institution the number one spot in its annual global ranking.
It's no secret that Grant Achatz's Alinea is one of the best restaurants in the world, but now a new ranking says it's the best. Every year, luxury travel magazine Elite Traveler polls its readers to determine the world's best restaurants, and Alinea, which took the top spot in 2013, 2014, and 2015, is back at number one. Azurmendi, located in Basque country, was named number two, falling from its 2017 first-place ranking.
This year's top five is rounded out with New York City's Eleven Madison Park and Per Se, taking third and fourth spots, and Massimo Bottura's Osteria Francescana in Modena, Italy, taking the fifth.
As with all reader surveys (and lists in general), the results should be taken with a grain of salt. While we don't have access to Elite Traveler's reader demographics, we imagine more subscribers live in America than, say, Kazakhstan, giving American restaurants – and places more likely for readers to visit – an advantage: 23 of the restaurants on the list are located in the United States.
Alinea, which earned three Michelin stars in 2010, has been a fine-dining mainstay since its opening in 2005, pioneering the molecular gastronomy movement in the States, and the accolades have never stopped rolling in. (Justin Timberlake was so smitten with the food he even asked the team to go on tour with him in 2017.) At the moment, Alinea is the only Michelin Guide three-star restaurant in Chicago.
"We’re very humbled and excited by the fact we went back up to number one," Achatz told the magazine. "Of course, we were still very proud to be number two last year after being number one for four years in a row, but there’s that saying that when you’re on the top, the only place to go is down. It’s to be expected that once you start to decline that momentum continues, so the fact we regained the number one position is incredibly rewarding and validating. It shows that we are continuing to push and evolve, and people are appreciating that.”
Click here for the full list of restaurants that made the top 100, and see below for the top ten.
1. Alinea, Chicago
2. Azurmendi, Larrabetzu, Spain
3. Eleven Madison Park, New York
4. Per Se, New York
5. Osteria Francescana, Modena, Italy
6. Robuchon au Dôme, Macau
7. The Restaurant at Meadowood, St. Helena, USA
8. Le Bernardin, New York
9. Restaurant de l’Hôtel de Ville, Crissier, Switzerland
10. The Fat Duck, Bray, UK