Is This Pub in England the Best Restaurant in the World?
The annual "World's 50 Best Restaurants" list, published by the British media company William Reed, often gets cited as the definitive list of, well, the best restaurants in the world. But like any list of this scope, it's not without its critics who have pointed to potential flaws in the selection system and its voters. So on the opposite end of the spectrum, you can look to a list like the TripAdvisor Travellers' Choice Restaurants Awards—derived from actual customer feedback. Granted, these "voters" can be literally anyone, but it's much harder to accuse them of being politicized or pretentious. Case in point, this year's top ranked restaurant according to TripAdvisor is a quaint but acclaimed English country pub in Yorkshire.
The Black Swan, located in the village of Oldstead in England, isn't a pick that's completely out of the blue. The pub has held a Michelin since 2013 when, at just 24 years old, head chef Tommy Banks became the youngest British chef to ever earn that distinction. He has since parlayed that resume builder into larger fame though things like TV appearances, but he's not above being the champion of the people. "It's a huge honour to win this award, but what makes it really special is that it's been awarded because of feedback from our customers," Banks said.
TripAdvisor has been publishing its list of the 25 Best Fine Dining Restaurants in the World, which was "determined using an algorithm that took into account the quantity and quality of reviews for restaurants around the world, gathered over a 12-month period," since 2012, and this is the first time a British restaurant has taken the top honors. And yet, another English restaurant, Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons in Great Milton, took the number two spot.
Meanwhile, the top ranked American restaurant was Daniel, the oft-acclaimed New York eatery from Daniel Boulud, which landed in the number six spot. Interestingly, though TripAdvisor did publish a separate 25 Best Restaurants for the United States, no other American restaurants made the "World's Best" rankings. Though, no offense to TripAdvisor, when you're in the US, that's Yelp territory!