One anonymous critic traveled the globe to pick the World’s 30 Best Restaurants. Here are some other highly commended picks from along the way.

Credit: Mugaritz / José Luis López de Zubiría

Best Wine List

It's hard to pick the most thrilling thing about Mugaritz, but for me it was the history of Spanish winemaking delivered through vintage cavas, sherries, and lots of smart and engaging banter. There are other, non-Spanish lessons to learn, too, like the vertical tasting of three Cabernets from California, Bordeaux and Burgundy. No other wine program I experienced during this project was so generous with seriously rare wines, or left me feeling quite so delightfully enlightened.

Best Wine Pairing

At Oriole in Chicago, brilliant wine pairings thrillingly enhanced my meal. A 2012 Sottimano Currá Barbaresco paired with a capellini with Périgord truffles was stunning, the tannins enriching the pasta’s umami and vice versa. The vision of a chef and the talents of the wine staff rarely meld so seamlessly.

Best Cocktails

Down a side street near the flower market in Thailand’s capital of Bangkok is Err, where I discovered the best cocktails (and bites to go with them) of my trip. The restaurant’s eponymous cocktail, The Err, is an unabashedly tropical and distinctly Thai mixture of Chalong Bay Rum, passion fruit, and chile.

Best Dessert

Despite losing its founding chef, Atsumi Sota, in 2017, Clown Bar is still an outrageously good restaurant, largely thanks to new chef Axel Gallart’s ability to flawlessly execute the dishes that made the restaurant famous in the first place. Gallart also serves a version of the hot chocolate mousse with hazelnuts that is a signature dish at Saturne, but here it’s bigger, gaudier—a thing of pure and evil genius.

Best Homestyle Cuisine

Ju Xing Home is beloved by Hong Kong chefs, large family groups, and people seeking out traditional Cantonese dishes that used to be cooked in many homes but are now hard to find. Seafood is a particular specialty – the front steps are crowded with Styrofoam containers containing live swimming fish, ready to be snatched and cooked in fragrant, herb-laden broth.