The annual review of the world’s top restaurants are in. Here are the top 10 for 2020. There will be updates by cuisine and location with additional details periodically.

2020 Top Restaurants

1. noma – Modern Nordic – Copenhagan, Denmark
2. Eleven Madison Park – Contemporary American – New York City, NY, USA
3. The Ledbury – Modern British – London, England
4. Blue Hill at Stone Barns – Modern American – Pocantico Hills, NY, USA
5. Mugaritz – Modern Spanish – Errenteria, Spain
6. Faviken Magasinet – Swedish – Jämtland, Sweden
7. The French Laundry – Yountville, CA, USA
8. Alinea – Modern American – Chicago, IL, USA
9. Arpege – French – Paris, France
10. Asador Etxebarri – Modern Spanish – Axpe, Spain

Bon appétit.

January 5th, 2020

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The latest top thriller restaurant lists are now available at Thriller Restaurants. If you’re planning a foodie-themed getaway, you won’t want to miss this.

January 3rd, 2018

Posted In: Steven G. Jackson, Thriller Restaurants

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We’ve completed our latest fine dining search for the world’s top restaurants, and we have a new top list, now headed by the Inn at Little Washington. Spectacular food. Incredible ambiance. Perfect service. Yes, you read that right. Perfect. Friendly, with timely jokes and a great sense of humor, the wait staff is meticulous in every detail. In fact, the entire hotel displays a service-forward attitude that can not be improved on. The wine list (and sommelier Lindsay) are wonderful, and the three tasting menus offer a wide variety of options that you are welcome to tailor to your desire. As if that wasn’t enough, after dinner we were offered complimentary 40-year-old port, and a meet and greet in the kitchen with chef Patrick O’Connell, who is uber friendly and personable. They operate around the clock with 38 chefs. What a wonderful experience.

Here are the fine dining restaurants we have visited so far in 2016. Each has received five stars based on my own rating system.

Inn at Little Washington – Washington, VA

Marcel’s – Washington, DC

Plume – Washington, DC

Corduroy – Washington, DC

Kinship – Washington, DC

The Lafayette – Washington, DC

noma – Copenhagen, Denmark

Argent – Oslo, Norway

Ekebergrestauranten – Oslo, Norway

Arroyo Chop House – Pasadena, CA

Playground 2.0 – Santa Ana, CA

Michael’s on Naples Ristorante – Long Beach, CA

Mar’sel – Rancho Palos Verdes, CA

August 3rd, 2016

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Our annual search for the world’s most thrilling restaurants took us to Copenhagen recently, where we dined at noma, considered by many as the world’s finest. Here is a summary of our experience.

We arrived by cab and were greeted in front of the restaurant by our primary server, by name. He escorted us in, and the owner and head chef, as well as the entire wait staff, was there to greet us by name.

Lunch and dinner are identical 14 course meals, unless they run out of something late in the evening. Everything is grown locally and sustainably produced. They picked the produce for our meal that morning, often after letting it ferment for a year. A bee hive outside our window provides fresh honey.

They have only 12 tables. For those, they have 15 head waiters, 50 chefs, and another 10-15 in support.

After a spectacular meal, we were given a tour of the kitchens, BBQ area, fermenting areas, and their business center. The feeling you get is that every employee is passionate about every customer.

They are moving locations at the end of the year, to a farm where they can grow more local food. They also plan to adjust their menu to accommodate the seasons in Scandinavia.

noma met all of our expectations, and then some. It’s hard to get in to (they had a wait list of 200 names the day we went), but worth it.

You can discover more about thrilling restaurants at

June 13th, 2016

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Several times a year I post revised ratings for my Thriller Restaurants lists. My final 2015 ratings are in, and you can check them out on my website at

Rating restaurants is an inexact process. New restaurants open, great restaurants close, and keeping a current list if the top restaurants borders on the impossible. I rate over 1000 restaurants across the globe using my own evaluation criteria. The maximum score is 100. I consider any score over 55 to be a five-star, fine dining experience. I currently have 223 in that category.

For major tourist destinations with at least three restaurants that meet my fine dining criteria, I list the top three.

If you’re planning to travel around the world, and want to eat at the best each country has to offer, I suggest you try these. This is my wrong-the-world dining bucket list. I start my tour in California:

Sierra Mar – Big Sur, USA
Saison – San Francisco, USA
The French Laundry – Yountville, USA
Melisse – Beverly Hills, USA
Studio – Laguna Beach, USA
Addison – San Diego, USA
Joel Robuchon – Las Vegas, USA
Alinea – Chicago, USA
Menton – Boston, USA
Eleven Madison Park – New York, USA
The French Room – Dallas, USA
Square Root – New Orleans, USA
Pujol – Mexico City, Mexico
Central – Lima, Peru
DOM – Sao Paulo, Brazil
The Ledbury – London, UK
Miramar – Menton, France
El Cellar de Can Roca – Girona, Spain
Noma – Copenhagen, Denmark
Frantzen/Lindeberg – Stockholm, Sweden
Aqua – Wolfsberg, Germany
Osteria Francescana – Modena, Italy
Nihonryori RyuGin – Tokyo, Japan
Amber – Hong Kong, China
Ultraviolet by Paul Pairet – Shanghai, China
Wake Ghim – Singapore, Singapore

I encourage you to contact me if you run across a restaurant I’ve missed that might be worthy of this top designation. You can see the complete lists and contact me via my website at

December 10th, 2015

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