Why do people visit Latin America? Some want to witness its stunning scenic beauty, while others are more interested in experiencing the unique culture. But everyone visiting this part of the world simply must sample its fantastic cuisine. Where can the best food and fare be found? We find out.
Top 50 Best Restaurants in Latin America is one of the most important indications of who’s who in the restaurant biz of South America, Central America and the Caribbean. The list is published by Restaurant Magazine and although only its second year, it is one of the most comprehensive acknowledgements of Latin American cuisine. Restaurants are selected by a process of voting by 252 restaurant experts in Latin America who elect the seven restaurants where they had the best experience which includes food, service, and atmosphere.
Earning the top spot in 2014,Central Restaurant in Lima, Peru, uses indigenous cooking techniques and ingredients to create a modern twist on traditional Peruvian food. Moving down from last year’s number one spot, Astrid y Gaston, also from Lima, Peru comes in second and shows how Peruvian cuisine is still some of the most exciting in the world.
Brazil steals the third and fourth places with D.O.M and Maní both in Sao Paulo who continue to mark this big city as one of the gastronomy capitals of the continent. D.O.M specializes in tapping into current flavors of Brazilian food as well as championing indigenous Amazonian cuisine; while Mani looks at the modern fusion spirit of Sao Paulo and specializes in the Brazilian staple – manioca.
Taking number five – and elevating the status of its national cuisine – is Borago from Chile. Young and inspired chef Rodolfo Guzmán is passionate about foraging for native ingredients and he and his team spend many hours a week seeking out indigenous ingredients from Chile’s seafloors, forest floors and even desert floors to bring them to the table at this classy Santiago restaurant.
The Southern Cone
Argentina is well represented with a whopping twelve restaurants on the list. Tegui at number nine Aramburu at number fourteen, Tarquino at number sixteen, El Baqueano at number eighteen, Chila at number twenty one, La Cabrera at number twenty two, Tomo 1 at number twenty three, Oviedo at number twenty nine, Sucre at number forty seven, Elena at number forty eight, and Pura Tierra at number fifty all located in Buenos Aires. Francis Mallman’s 1884 is the only Argentine restaurant outside of Buenos Aires to make the list, at number forty in Mendoza.
In the special mentions and awards, Osvaldo Gross of Buenos Aires won the prize for best pastry chef in Latin America. Buenos Aires restaurant El Baqueano was also named the best up and coming restaurant for its use of indigenous meats such as llama and a native type of crocodile called Yacare, as well as taking spot 18 on the list.
You can see the full list here.