Spanish gastronomy has once again been recognised internationally as being amongst the best in the world. The prestigious ranking, The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, which has just published its latest list, has selected seven Spanish restaurants as being amongst the best in the world, three of them are among the top ten. The Asador Etxebarri by Chef Víctor Arguinzoniz, in Atxondo (Vizcaya) was ranked as the world’s 3rd best restaurant.

It was followed by Mugaritz (7th), by Andoni Luis Aduriz, in Errentería (Guipúzcoa); Disfrutar (9th), by Mateu Casañas, Oriol Castro and Eduard Xatruch, in Barcelona; Azurmendi (14th), by Eneko Atxa, in Larrabetzu (Vizcaya); Tickets (20th), by Javier Aguiar, in Barcelona; Elkano (30th), by Aitor Aregui, in Guetaria (Guipúzcoa); and Nerua (32nd), by Josean Alija, in Bilbao.

Azurmendi has also won the Westholme Highest Climber prize for the restaurant that has climbed the most since last year. The Spanish chef José Andrés has also been distinguished with the American Express Icon Award for the humanitarian actions he has undertaken in recent years. And also for his trajectory in the gastronomic world, in which he started professionally when he was 19 years old and to which he has dedicated his whole life.

The ‘50 Best’ has a second section of selected restaurants ranging from 51 to 120. In it we find renowned names such as Arzak, Martín Berasategui, Aponiente, Enigma, Quique Dacosta and DiverXo, who have been working for many years at the highest level of Spanish gastronomy.

The best of the best

El Celler de Can Roca (Girona), which held second place in the 2018 edition, has disappeared from the list. The organizers of the ranking have decided to change the rules of the game and not take into account all those restaurants that have been in first place in previous years, as is the case of this restaurant (in 2013 and 2015).

This criteria ensures that these restaurants form part of an even more illustrious list: the ‘Best of the Best’, the hall of fame for haute cuisine in which these restaurants will remain permanently. This list includes world-class restaurants such as El Bulli de Ferrán and Albert Adriá, whose restaurant has been in first place on five occasions. Thanks to the excellence and hard work of all these chefs, Spain is the country with the greatest presence in the global calculation of ‘The World’s 50 Best Restaurants’.

The annual list is made up of a panel of over more than 1,000 culinary experts from all over the world. And in which there has been a move towards achieving absolute equality for first time since its first publication in 2002. One of the rules imposed in this edition, states that the voting panel must be composed of 50% women and 50% men.

An art that attracts tourism

Gastronomy is one of the most popular tourist attractions in our country. According to a recent report by the consultancy firm KPMG, La gastronomía en la economía española (Gastronomy and the Spanish economy), in recent years gastronomic tourism has grown to over 15%. In other words, 15 out of every 100 people who visit our country are motivated by our restaurateurs and their specialities.

We must not forget that Spain is the fifth nation in the world with the most Michelin stars. At the moment we have eleven restaurants that have been awarded the three stars of the renowned guide, 25 with two stars and 170 that are recommended throughout the country. In fact, in the last revision of the list, carried out at the end of 2018, 22 new restaurants from within our borders were incorporated, which have become new ambassadors of Global Spain.


The World’s 50 Best Restaurants
Gastronomy and the Spanish economy, KPMG
Michelin Guide