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Four London Restaurants Named in the World’s 50 Best List

Lyle’s, The Clove Club, Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, and The Ledbury all place. But there’s no space for Core’s Clare Smyth

Lyle’s enters the World’s 50 Best for the first time — at number 38

The annual, and deeply flawed, World’s 50 Best Restaurants list was announced at a live event in Bilbao, northern Spain, this evening. Massimo Bottura’s Osteria Francescana in Modena, Italy, regained the top spot after having dropped to number two last year. (The restaurant held the accolade in 2016.) It means that last year’s winner, New York City’s Eleven Maddison Park, which drops three places to number four, can no longer call itself the “best restaurant in the world.”

In London, though, chef James Lowe’s Lyle’s, in Shoreditch, is 2018’s only London restaurant to place on the top 50 for the first time — in at number 38, and the second highest placed restaurant in the U.K.

World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards announces 2019 venue
Clare Smyth collects her controversial “best female chef” award

The highest, The Clove Club, also in Shoreditch, has fallen seven places — from number 26 to 33. Co-owner and front-of-house, Daniel Willis told Eater that “it feels fantastic to be in the 50 best list again! And the top restaurant in the U.K. again!”

There would be justifiable reason for disappointment on the other side of the city for Clare Smyth — the same organisation’s “best female chef” in the world — whose restaurant Core in Notting Hill, did not even place.

Mainstays of the list — The Ledbury, Brett Graham’s restaurant in Notting Hill, placed at number 42. It drops from number 27. While Dinner by Heston Blumenthal at the Mandarin Oriental in Knightsbridge (whose chef is Ashley Palmer-Watts) is in at number 45 — dropping from number 36.

The awards, though regularly criticised for their gender bias, Eurocentricity, tasting menu obsession, and privileging of expensive restaurants, remains hugely influential. But given the fact that there is no place for either the 2016 or 2018 “world’s best female chef” anywhere on the list (not for the first time), the awards body, and its decision-making processes, will likely face an inquest in the coming days.

Here’s the full list of the so-called 50 best restaurants in the world:

  1. Osteria Francescana (Modena, Italy)

2. El Celler de Can Roca (Girona, Spain)

3. Mirazur (Menton, France)

4. Eleven Madison Park (New York City)

5. Gaggan (Bangkok, Thailand)

6. Central (Lima, Peru)

7. Maido (Lima, Peru)

8. L’Arpege (Paris, France)

9. Mugaritz (Errenteria, Spain)

10. Asador Etxebarri (Axpe, Spain)

11. Quintonil (Mexico City, Mexico)

12. Blue Hill at Stone Barns (Pocantico Hills, New York, USA)

13. Pujol (Mexico City, Mexico)

14. Steirereck (Vienna, Austria)

15. White Rabbit (Moscow, Russia)

16. Piazza Duomo (Alba, Italy)

17. Den (Tokyo, Japan)

18. Disfrutar (Barcelona, Spain)

19. Geranium (Copenhagen, Denmark)

20. Attica (Melbourne, Australia)

21. Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athénée (Paris, France)

22. Narisawa (Tokyo, Japan)

23. Le Calandre (Rubano, Italy)

24. Ultraviolet by Paul Pairet (Shanghai, China)

25. Cosme (New York City, USA)

26. Le Bernardin (New York City, USA)

27. Boragó (Santiago, Chile)

28. Odette (Singapore)

29. Alléno Paris au Pavillon Ledoyen (Paris, France)

30. D.O.M. (São Paulo, Brazil)

31. Arzak (San Sebastian, Spain)

32. Tickets (Barcelona, Spain)

33. The Clove Club (London, UK)

34. Alinea (Chicago, USA)

35. Maaemo (Oslo, Norway)

36. Reale (Castel Di Sangro, Italy)

37. Restaurant Tim Raue (Berlin, Germany)

38. Lyle’s (London, UK)

39. Astrid y Gastón (Lima, Peru)

40. Septime (Paris, France)

41. Nihonryori RyuGin (Tokyo, Japan)

42. The Ledbury (London, UK)

43. Azurmendi (Larrabetzu, Spain)

44. Mikla (Istanbul, Turkey)

45. Dinner by Heston Blumenthal (London, UK)

46. Saison (San Francisco, USA)

47. Schloss Schauenstein (Fürstenau, Switzerland)

48. Hiša Franko (Kobarid, Slovenia)

49. Nahm (Bangkok, Thailand)

50. The Test Kitchen (Cape Town, South Africa)

Best Female Chef: Clare Smyth (Core by Clare Smyth, London)

Chef’s Choice Award: Dan Barber (Blue Hill at Stone Barns, Pocantico Hills, New York)

Best Pastry Chef: Cédric Grolet

Lifetime Achievement Award: Gastón Acurio

Art of Hospitality Award: Geranium (Copenhagen, Denmark)

One to Watch: Single Thread (Healdsburg, California)

BBVA Scholarship Winner: Jessie Liu (Taipei)

Sustainable Restaurant Award: Azurmendi (Larrabetzu, Spain)

Highest New Entry: Disfrutar (Barcelona, Spain)

Highest Climber Award: Den (Tokyo, Japan)

The Clove Club

380 Old Street, , England EC1V 9LT 020 7729 6496 Visit Website


172 King's Road, , England SW3 4UP 020 3750 0172 Visit Website

The Ledbury

127 Ledbury Road, , England W11 2AQ 020 7792 9090 Visit Website


Brixton Station Rd., Brixton, Greater London, London, 44 0207 998 3309 Visit Website


2151 Salvio Street, , CA 94520 (925) 309-7774 Visit Website

Dinner by Heston Blumenthal

66 Knightsbridge, , England SW1X 7LA 020 7201 3833 Visit Website

Core by Clare Smyth

92 Kensington Park Road, , England W11 2PN 020 3937 5086 Visit Website