World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards announced in Las Vegas

It was an evening that began with caviar bumps, a mythical giant and dancing lightsabers and ended with sparklers and tequila shots at a poolside resort beach club. For the first time, the World’s 50 Best Restaurants hosted its annual awards ceremony and festivities in Las Vegas.

Disfrutar, an innovative tasting-menu restaurant in Barcelona, claimed the top spot on the list. Chefs Oriol Castro, Eduard Xatruch and Mateu Casañas accepted the award at a ceremony Wednesday night at Wynn Las Vegas.

Asador Etxebarri, a restaurant in a Basque village called Atxondo, was named the No. 2 restaurant. Paris’ Table by Bruno Verjus, at No. 3, was the highest ranking for a French restaurant on the list since Mauro Colagreco’s Mirazur was named No. 1 in 2019. Korean fine-dining restaurant Atomix in New York City was named the best restaurant in North America at No. 6 on the list.

Chefs from Disfrutar in Barcelona accept the top award at the World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards ceremony in Las Vegas.

(Camila Almeida)

There were chefs in attendance from all over the world, including past World’s 50 Best Restaurants winners Thomas Keller, José Andrés, Dominique Crenn and Daniel Humm. Emeril Lagasse was spotted taking selfies with fans.

Chefs donning red World’s 50 Best Restaurants scarves stood up to raucous applause as their restaurants were named during a live countdown of the 50 restaurants. And just before the final four restaurants on the list were announced, purple “best of the best” scarves — for the chefs of previous No. 1 restaurants no longer eligible for the main competition — were presented to Peru’s Virgilio Martinez and Pía Léon from last year’s top restaurant, Central in Lima.

For the first time in more than a decade, the World’s 50 Best Restaurants recognized a Los Angeles restaurant with an award. Kato, run by co-owners Jon Yao, Ryan Bailey and general manager Nikki Reginaldo, received the 2024 Resy One to Watch award. The fine-dining restaurant in downtown Los Angeles presents a Taiwanese-inspired tasting menu that encapsulates the diversity, vibrancy and bounty of Southern California in dishes that are at once comforting and thrilling.

The award is intended as an acknowledgment of a restaurant’s potential to be named to the list at some point in the future.

Three people sitting on a bench in front of a stone wall

Kato general manager Nikki Reginaldo, left, chef and co-owner Jon Yao and director of operations, sommelier/wine director and co-owner Ryan Bailey.

(Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times)

The only other North American restaurant beyond Atomix and Kato to be recognized was SingleThread Farms in Healdsburg, Calif. Kyle and Katina Connaughton’s tasting-menu restaurant and hotel was named No. 46 on the list.

The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list, now in its 22nd year, is chosen by a panel of 1,080 culinary experts from all over the world, recruited by 27 academy chairs. You can view the full list, including the restaurants on the extended No. 51 to 100 list, on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants website.

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