Steven-G-Jackson-visits-the-Inn-at-Little-Washingtonthrilling_restaurant_nomaFine dining can be as unforgettable as a great book. Any “top” list represents a certain bias of the reviewer, and is short-lived due to the constant change in the business. New eateries pop up, instantly earning rave reviews. Any list that ranks restaurants is tricky (can you really say one is better than the next on the list?), but we have to start somewhere.

I rate over 1000 restaurants in three main categories: my personal evaluation, professional reviewer evaluations, and the public’s perception. I weigh each category as follows: 44% – my evaluation, 32% professional reviewers, and 24% public perception. I do this because a restaurant can always have an off night, or a staff flaw, that doesn’t truly represent the experience you should expect to have. The highest possible score is 100. Any restaurant over 50 is a five-star, fine dining experience.

My own evaluation takes into account some specifics that are probably unique. I’m a big fan of big views, especially ocean views. I expect the bar to be able to make a perfect Margarita. I love tasting menus and chef tables. And it helps if you make a traditional soufflé, or another thriller dessert.

I’ve grouped the restaurants into an overall top list, and then, for any popular travel destinations with at least three restaurants with a five star rating, the top three in that region. For my money, these are the best dining regions in the world.

I also post reviews on Yelp:

Finally, if you’re planning a trip and want to know about other restaurants in that area, contact me at:, and I’ll gladly help you out.


Thriller Restaurants – The Top List

Restaurant City Country Cuisine
Inn at Little Washington Washington USA New American
noma Copenhaguen Denmark Scandinavian
Eleven Madison Park New York USA French
El Cellar de Can Roca Girona Spain Spanish
Mugaritz Errenteria Gipuzkoa Spain Spanish
Osteria Francescana Modena Italy Italian
per se New York USA American/French
Mirazur Menton France French Bistro
Arzak San Sebastian Spain Spanish
Alinea Chicago USA American
Le Bernadin New York USA French/Seafood
The French Laundry Yountville USA New American/French
Azurmendi Larrabetzu Spain Spanish
Joel Robuchon at the Mansion Las Vegas USA New French
Aqua Wolfsberg Germany French
Le Louis XV Monte Carlo Monaco Mediterranean
Restaurant Vendome Bergisch Gladbach Germany German
Central Lima Peru Peruvian
DOM Sao Paulo Brazil Brazilian
De Librije Zwolle Netherlands French

Thriller Restaurants – New York City

Restaurant City Country Cuisine
Eleven Madison Park New York USA French
per se New York USA American/Seafood
Le Bernadin New York USA French

Thriller Restaurants – Washington, DC area

Restaurant City Country Cuisine
Inn at Little Washington Washington USA New American
Plume Washington USA New American
Marcel’s Washington USA French/Belgian

Thriller Restaurants – Paris

Restaurant City Country Cuisine
Alain Ducasse Paris France French
Le Cinq Paris France French
L’Astrance Paris France French

Thriller Restaurants – Lima

Restaurant City Country Cuisine
Central Lima Peru Peruvian
Astrid y Gaston Lima Peru Peruvian
Maido Lima Peru Japanese

Thriller Restaurants – Las Vegas

Restaurant City Country Cuisine
Joel Robuchon Las Vegas USA New French
Picasso Las Vegas USA French/Mediterranean
Guy Savoy Las Vegas USA Japanese

Thriller Restaurants – Mexico City

Restaurant City Country Cuisine
Pujol Mexico City Mexico Mexican
Quintonil Mexico City Mexico Mexican
Biko Mexico City Mexico Basque

Thriller Restaurants – Hong Kong

Restaurant City Country Cuisine
Amber Hong Kong China French
Caprice Hong Kong China French
Lung King Heen Hong Kong China Cantonese

Thriller Restaurants – Los Angeles

Restaurant City Country Cuisine
Melisse Santa Monica USA American
Spago Beverly Hills USA Californian
Providence Los Angeles USA Seafood

Thriller Restaurants – London

Restaurant City Country Cuisine
The Ledbury London UK French
Gordon Ramsey London UK French
Hedone London UK European

Thriller Restaurants – Copenhagen

Restaurant City Country Cuisine
Noma Copenhagen Denmark Scandinavian
Geranium Copenhagen Denmark Scandinavian
Amass Copenhagen Denmark Scandinavian

Thriller Restaurants – Napa Valley

Restaurant City Country Cuisine
The French Laundry Yountville USA New American/French
Auberge du Soleil Rutherford USA French
Meadowood St. Helena USA Californian

Thriller Restaurants – New Orleans

Restaurant City Country Cuisine
Square Root New Orleans USA American
Commander’s Palace New Orleans USA Creole
Restaurant Revolution New Orleans USA Cajun

Thriller Restaurants – Tokyo

Restaurant City Country Cuisine
Nihonryori RyuGin Tokyo Japan Japanese
Narisawa Tokyo Japan Japanese
Les Creations de Narisawa Tokyo Japan French

Thriller Restaurants – San Francisco

Restaurant City Country Cuisine
Saison San Francisco USA American
Gary Danko San Francisco USA American
Coi San Francisco USA California French

Thriller Restaurants – Boston

Restaurant City Country Cuisine
Menton Boston USA French/Italian
L’Espalier Boston USA New French
Mistral Boston USA French/Mediterranean

Thriller Restaurants – Big Sur/Carmel

Restaurant City Country Cuisine
Sierra Mar Big Sur USA Asian/Californian
Pacific’s Edge Carmel USA New American
Marinus Carmel USA New French

Thriller Restaurants – Chicago

Restaurant City Country Cuisine
Alinea Chicago USA American
Everest Chicago USA New French
Tru Chicago USA Contemporary French

Thriller Restaurants – Dallas

Restaurant City Country Cuisine
The French Room Dallas USA French
Mansion on Turtle Creek Dallas USA New American
Nana Dallas USA American

Thriller Restaurants – Laguna Beach / Dana Point / Monarch Beach

Restaurant City Country Cuisine
Studio Laguna Beach USA Californian
RAYA Dana Point USA Pan Latin Seafood
Splashes Laguna Beach USA Californian

Thriller Restaurants – San Diego

Restaurant City Country Cuisine
Addison San Diego USA French
Bertrand at Mister A’s San Diego USA American
Market Restaurant Del Mar USA Californian

Thriller Restaurants – Shanghai

Restaurant City Country Cuisine
Ultraviolet by Paul Pairet Shanghai China French
Fu He Hui Shanghai China Vegetarian
Fu1015 Shanghai China Chinese

Thriller Restaurants – Singapore

Restaurant City Country Cuisine
Waku Ghin Singapore Singapore French
Restaurant Andre Singapore Singapore French
Iggy’s Singapore Singapore International

Thriller Restaurants – Stockholm

Restaurant City Country Cuisine
Frantzen/Lindeberg Stockholm Sweden Swedish
Esperanto Stockholm Sweden Nordic/Japanese
Mathias Dahlgren Stockholm Sweden Swedish

Thriller Restaurants – Oslo

Restaurant City Country Cuisine
Maaemo Oslo Norway Nordic
Ekebergrestauranten Oslo Norway European/French
Argent Fine Dining Oslo Norway European/Seafood