World's 50 Best Restaurants 2018 heading to Spain

By Sophie Witts

- Last updated on GMT

World's 50 Best Restaurants 2018 to be held in Bilbao Spain

Related tags Spain

The World’s 50 Best Restaurants is returning to Europe to host its 2018 awards ceremony in Bilbao, Spain.

The announcement was made at a special event at Eneko at One Aldwych in London this morning.

The World’s 50 Best Restaurants will also work with the Government of Biscay to run its wider program of events, such as 50BestTalks and Chefs’ Feast, across the Basque region next year.

It will be the third time in the event’s 15-year history that the awards have been held outside London, following a move to New York in 2016 and Melbourne in 2017.

“As a country, Spain has long been at the forefront of gastronomy and the Basque region, in particular, has an incredibly rich culinary culture,” says William Drew, group editor of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants.

“The area around Bilbao and San Sebastian is famous for its concentration of outstanding restaurants – ranging from internationally acclaimed destinations to its renowned pintxos bars – making it one of the world’s great food destinations.”

Spain has historically had a strong showing in the top 50 list. The Basque region currently boasts four sites on the 2017 list: Asador Etxebarri in Axpe (No.6), Mugaritz near San Sebastian (No.9), Arzak in San Sebastian (No.30) and Azurmendi near Bilbao (No.38).

Nerua – located within the Guggenheim museum in Bilbao – appears on the 51-100 list at No.56, while Martin Berasategui in nearby Lasarte-Oria is ranked No.77.

Ferran Adria’s elBulli in Roses held the number one spot five times before it closed in 2011,​ while Girona's El Celler de Can Roca took the title in 2013 and 2015.

This year Eleven Madison Park in New York was crowned the World’s Best Restaurant​ at a ceremony in Melbourne.

Further details on the date and location of the 2018 ceremony will be announced shortly.

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