KOL leads UK's ranking in World's 50 Best Restaurants List as Central in Peru claims top spot

By Restaurant

- Last updated on GMT

Image: Charlie McKay
Image: Charlie McKay

Related tags Kol Santiago Lastra Restaurant Mexican cuisine worlds50best London Virgilio Martinez

Santiago Lastra’s Marylebone restaurant KOL has become the top ranked UK restaurant in the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list, entering at number 23.

The Mexican restaurant is one of only three in the UK to make this year’s list, joining The Clove Club, which is ranked at number 38 (down three places on the 2022 list), and Ikoyi, ranked at number 35 (up from 49 last year.)

The ranking continues KOL's rich vein of form, with the restaurant entering the top 10 in the list of the UK's Top 100 Restaurants​ earlier this month.

This year’s top spot was claimed by Central in Lima, run by chefs Virgilio Martinez and Pía León (pictured below). It marks the first time a restaurant not located in Europe or the US has been named The World’s Best Restaurant.

Ranked at number two in the 2022 list, Central is described as being ‘an ode to Peru’, with a menu that celebrates the unique biodiversity of the country’s indigenous ingredients – guided by its research arm, Mater Iniciativa – along with its traditions and history, while championing sustainability.

“Virgilio Martinez, Pía León and the whole Central team have truly paved the way in celebrating indigenous ingredients through their innovative dishes and warm hospitality,” says William Drew, director of content for The World’s 50 Best Restaurants.

“Their commitment to research, respect for their country’s heritage and promotion of Peru’s unique biodiversity is unmatched.

“This year’s list continues to show the breadth of culinary talent across the globe, and we look forward to seeing how it evolves even further in 2024 and beyond.”  

Central takes over from the 2022 winner, Geranium, Copenhagen, which is now elevated to the Best of the Best hall of fame.

Disfrutar in Barcelona climbed one place to sit at number two this year with Diverxo in Madrid also moving forward one place to sit at number three.

Image: Daniel Silva

South American shift

South America further strengthens its position in global gastronomy, with the continent having nine restaurants overall including two new entries: Pía León’s Kjolle, (No.28) in Lima and El Chato (No.33) in Bogotá.

Asia follows with seven restaurants on the list, including Singapore’s Odette named The Best Restaurant in Asia (No.14) along with new entries Le Du (No.15) and Gaggan Anand (No.17) in Bangkok and Sézanne, Tokyo (No.37).

Two Dubai restaurants make the list for the very first time, with Trèsind Studio (No.11) named The Best Restaurant in Middle East & Africa, ahead of Orfali Bros Bistro (No.46).

This year’s The World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards 2023, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna, were held last night (20 June) in Valencia. Other award recipients included Pía Salazar of Nuema, Quito, for The World's Best Pastry Chef Award, sponsored by Sosa; Atomix in New York, which won the Villa Massa Highest Climber Award; Table by Bruno Verjus in Paris which won the Highest New Entry Award, sponsored by Aspire Lifestyles; and Alchemist in Copenhagen which took home the Gin Mare Art of Hospitality Award.

Fyn in Cape Town was named the Flor de Caña Sustainable Restaurant Award, while the Estrella Damm Chefs' Choice Award went to Julien Royer of Odette in Singapore.







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