The 10 Top Ranking Restaurants in Europe
Europe is one of the most culturally diverse continents in the world where a short train ride could take you to a different country with an entirely different language, culture, and of course cuisine. In the spirit of this diversity, I’ve put together a list of the top ranking restaurants on the continent – perfect for a cross-continental dining experience.
El Celler de Can Roca
Not only the best in Europe, but also the best restaurant in the world, El Celler de Can Roca is run by the Roca brothers in Girona, Catalonia, who can best be described as ground breaking culinary innovators. The restaurant has never been far from the top spot since they opened in 1986 and their modern interpretation of Catalan cuisine has earned them 3 Michelin stars.
Chef Massimo Bottura is well-known in Italy as a food writer, as well as the chef creating the finest contemporary take on Italian cuisine anywhere in the country. While the town of Modena is well-known as a foodie paradise, Osteria Francescana is its absolute pinnacle.
Set in an old warehouse in the trading district of Copenhagen, Noma first opened its doors in 2003. Since then chef René Redzepi’s take on Nordic cuisine has earned Noma 2 Michelin stars and been ranked as the top restaurant in Europe on 3 occassions. The name ‘Noma’ was created by combining the Danish words for Nordic and food.
Dinner by Heston Blumenthal
Operated by Blumenthal protégé Ashley Palmer Watts, Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, situated in Knightsbridge, takes a slightly different – but no less innovative – approach to Blumenthal’s first restaurant, The Fat Duck. The dishes on offer come from British culinary history in the flavours and tastes of centuries passed, and while the concept may sound risky – almost as risky as online blackjack – diners and critics alike adore it.
After first opening its doors in 1998, Mugaritz has been making waves for almost 2 decades in Errenteria, Spain. Chef Andoni Luis Aduriz provides no menu and presents curious innovations such as edible cutlery as part of his take on contemporary Basque cuisine.
Situated in Menton on the Cote d’Azur overlooking the Mediterranean sits Mirazur. Argentinian-born chef Mauro Colagreco instils something of his native country into contemporary French cooking and has 2 Michelin stars to show for it. The restaurants has an organic garden attached with provides inspiration and produce for the dishes.
Chef Alain Passard of Arpège is renowned for his daring approach and trend-setting which takes the rest of the world years to catch up on. With 3 Michelin stars, Arpège is known for delicately cooked meats, fish, and vegetables, many of which are grown on the restaurant’s biodynamic farm situated outside Paris.
Asador Etxebarri, which is regarded as the most elegant barbecue restaurants in Europe, is situated outside Bilboa in the Basque Country of northern Spain. Chef Victor Arguinzoniz creates vividly flavoursome smoked fish and meats by cooking over wood in the traditional way.
After taking over the family restaurant in 2005, Heinz Reitbauer turned Steirereck into the finest restaurant in Austria – with 2 Michelin stars. Having been trained by culinary powerhouses such as Joël Robuchon and Anton Mosimann, Reitbauer’s style of cuisine is heavily influenced by the flavour profiles of the Styrian region of Austria.
The Arzak family opened a tavern in San Sebastián in 1897 and the original owner’s grandson, Juan Mari Arzak, turned it into a 3 Michelin star rated restaurant. Today he and his daughter, Elena Arzak Espina, operate the restaurant together.