Take a culinary pilgrimage to these avant-garde restaurants across the globe to experience unforgettable food elevated to an art form.
Dubai is officially one of the newest and hottest destinations on the culinary scene. In 2022, Michelin published their Dubai guide – the first-ever edition in the United Arab Emirates – and awarded their elusive stars to 11 restaurants.
High timber walls, vaulted ceilings with black crystal chandeliers, and tropical gardens create an opulent, romantic atmosphere, and multiple tasting menu options showcase elevated French cuisine. But the pièce de résistance is the majestic “pastry library,” which spans an entire wall.
How’s this for a restaurant recommendation? In 2022, 50 Best crowned Geranium as The World’s Best Restaurant. Led by chef Rasmus Kofoed, the three-star Michelin rated restaurant is a serene, light-filled space with panoramic views of Fælledparken gardens.
Each season, there’s a different ‘Universe’ tasting menu, which entails about 20 sweet and savory contemporary Danish courses over 3+ hours. In spring, that might mean a dramatic black-and-white plate of celeriac with rygeost and fermented cream, or salted herring in crispy algae with dill and aquavit.
Rated by 50 Best as The Best Restaurant in South America, as well as the second best on the globe, this innovative restaurant in Lima from husband-and-wife team Virgilio Martínez and Pía León’s showcases the staggering biodiversity of their native Peru.
Each dish on the 17-ish course tasting menu is its own unique ecosystem. These miniature, edible worlds are not just comprised of ingredients from the country’s highest peaks, rainforests, river, and sea, but the inventive plating represents it as well. So don’t be alarmed if wafers of crispy fish skin are served on a vessel made of frozen piranha heads, with your crunchy snacks held it the fish’s pointy teeth.
It’s all done thoughtfully with the goal of celebrating and preserving Peru’s staggering array of culinary resources, which boasts an estimated 4,000 varieties of rainbow-colored potatoes alone. The chefs work directly with growers all over the vast and wildly divergent country, and their research arm – run with Martínez’s sister, Malena – is dedicated to sustainability.
It’s been decades since Le Bernardin was the new kid on the culinary block. Now an institution best known for its exquisite fish and seafood, it opened in 1986. A few years later, a 28 year-old Eric Ripert took the reins of the kitchen, and both he and the restaurant have been racking up the culinary world’s biggest awards ever since – including the longest-running four-star rating from the New York Times, three Michelin stars, and countless awards from the James Beard Foundation.
The dining room is a calm retreat from the traffic and noise of Midtown Manhattan. Seasonal tasting menus include creative vegetable dishes and decadent handmade pastas. But the real reasons you’re here are the “almost raw,” “barely touched,” or “lightly cooked” oysters, scallops, octopus, crab, langoustines, uni, and halibut, which Ripert presents as the treasures of the sea that they are.
New Yorkers likely know Enrique Olvera as the superstar chef behind Cosme and Atla restaurants. But their precursor was Pujol, which Olvera opened back in 2000 to show the world how refined Mexican cuisine can be.
After two decades where countless fine dining restaurants and trends have come and gone, Pujol still offers an eye-opening and memorable experience that alone is worth the flight to Mexico City. Diners can opt for the tasting menu or omakase. Jesús Durón has now taken the reins as Pujol’s chef de cuisine, but don’t worry: no matter which option you take, chances are the signature dish, “mole madre, mole nuevo” (two concentric rings of the laborious Mexican sauce, one of which is aged for at least 1,500 days) will still be on the menu.
San Sebastian is Mecca for foodie travelers: from casual pintxos bars to fine-dining institutions, the dreamy Basque country touts more Michelin stars per square mile than almost any other city on the planet.
Mugaritz, which is located in an old country house about a 15-minute drive from the city center, falls into the later category: it’s steadily maintained its two 2 Michelin stars since 2006.
Expect 20-some playful and avant garde courses that change with the seasons…but then lose any other expectations you might have. Chef Andoni Luis Adurizserve aims to open minds and expand palates with thought-provoking dishes like a face-shaped serving vessel draped with a visor made of caramelized black apple (diguising caviar and pine nut “eyes”), which the chef designed to encourage diners to look inward.
Hop a 5-minute car ferry from mainland Washington to dine at this destination-worthy restaurant located north of Seattle. It’s helmed by Blaine Wetzel, who cooked under world-renowned chef René Redzepi at Noma before taking over as chef and putting the century-old inn on the global culinary map.
Before dinner, sit on the Inn’s porch to take in views of the water and setting sun with a creative cocktail in hand. Depending on the weather, you can opt to dine outside, or move indoors to the relaxed dining room. This is fine dining, no doubt. But nothing here is stuffy: you’ll see Chef Wetzel dropping food off at tables so he can chat with guests. Ingredients are fished, foraged, and farmed daily, and each plate of Pacific Northwest goodness (think grilled oysters with tequila sauce, romano beans in mole, prawn empanadas, house-smoked salmon, and dungeness crab gaznate) arrives at the table beautifully composed.
Order wine pairings, or opt for the Inn’s stellar non-alcoholic cocktails and interesting juices like quince, red currant, snap pea, and black currant.