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The 50 Best Restaurants in the World 2005

We were young, ambitious, and some thought foolish, when we first published this list in 2002. Now in its fourth year, The World's 50 Best Restaurants has grown into a hungrily anticipated, internationally in?uential event.

We've made a real effort to ensure that our panel is even more international than ever polling over 600 restaurateurs, critics, chefs and industry experts from around the world. That said, we know there will still be some who feel this year's list is too London-centric, with 26 per cent of the list given over to restaurants in and around the English capital. But then, with the US-based Gourmet magazine recently declaring London "The best place to eat on the planet", maybe it's a fair reflection of its place in world-restaurant ranking.

More importantly, beyond what will no doubt be seen in some quarters as British domination, one of the most interesting issues to emerge from the list is an apparent disappearance of the well-established belief that a chef or a restaurateur can only run one truly world-class restaurant at a time. This year there are five different operators (four chefs and one restaurateur) who, with the right talent and infrastructure behind them, have each managed to find their way on to the list twice.

This might seem doubly hard on the many fine restaurants that have just missed out, but this year, as always, there can be only 50; and here they are…


Heston Blumenthal of The Fat Duck receives the award for ‘The Penfolds Worlds Best Restaurant 2005’ from Paul Bocuse (right) who picked up the American Express Lifetime Achievement Award and Jeffrey Wilkinson (left) of Penfolds.

Position Restaurant Award

1 Fat Duck, Bray Best in World/Best in Europe

2 El Bulli, Spain Chef's Choice

3 French Laundry, Yountville Best in America

4 Tetsuya's, Sydney Best in Australasia

5 Gordon Ramsay
Royal Hospital Road, London

6 Pierre Gagnaire, Paris

7 Per Se, New York Highest New Entrant

8 Tom Aikens, London

9 Jean Georges, New York

10 St John, London

11 Michel Bras, Laguiole, France

12 Louis XV, Monaco

13 Chez Panisse, California Highest Climber

14 Charlie Trotter, Chicago

15 Gramercy Tavern, New York

16 Guy Savoy, Paris

17 Alain Ducasse, Paris

18 Sketch (Gallery) London

19 The Waterside Inn, Bray

20 Nobu, London

21 Arzak, San Sebastian, Spain

22 El Raco de can Fabes, Spain

23 Checcino dal 1887, Rome Italy

24 Le Meurice, Paris

25 L'Hotel de Ville, Crissier, Switzerland

26 Arpege, Paris

27 The Connaught, London

28 Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons, Oxford

29 Le Cinq, Paris

30 Hakkasan, London

31 Cal Pep, Barcelona Outstanding Value

32 Masa, New York

33 Flower Drum, Melbourne

34 WD50, New York

35 Le Quartier Francais, South Africa Best in Africa/Mid East

36 Spice Market, New York

37 Auberge d'Ill, Illhauseern-Alsace

38 Manresa, California, USA

39 Dieter Muller, Germany

40 Trois Gros, Roanne, France

41 The Wolseley, London

42 Rockpool, Sydney

43 Yauatcha, London

44 The Ivy, London

45 Gambero Rosso, Italy

46 The Cliff, Barbados

47 Le Gavroche, London

48 Enoteca Pinchiorri, Florence, Italy Editors Choice

49 Felix, Hong Kong Best in Asia

50 La Tupina, Bordeaux

The American Express Lifetime Achievement Award 2005 was presented to our guest of honour Paul Bocuse.

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