It was announced today that the 2018 edition of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants will be hosted in the Basque region of Spain, with the flagship ceremony hosted in the city of Bilbao. In partnership with the Government of Biscay, the prestigious culinary awards return to Europe after successful events in Melbourne, Australia this spring, New York City in 2016, and 13 years in London.
A unique celebration of global gastronomy, The World’s 50 Best Restaurants brings together visionaries from all over the world to celebrate outstanding culinary achievement. Winners are awarded based on votes from The World’s 50 Best Restaurants Academy, a body of more than 1,000 leaders in the international restaurant industry.
The main awards ceremony will be held in Bilbao, the capital of northern Spain’s Bizkaia province and home of the famous Guggenheim Museum. Other events that make up The World’s 50 Best Restaurants program, such as 50BestTalks and the Chefs’ Feast, will take place across various parts of the Basque region, including the food-focused city of San Sebastian. As the home to the Basque Culinary Center, San Sebastian offers a fitting environment for the restaurant community.
As of 2017, the Basque region alone proudly holds four spots on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 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). Additionally, the region boasts two restaurants on the 50-100 list: Nerua, which is located in Bilbao, was ranked No.56 and Martin Berasategui, set in nearby Lasarte-Oria, was awarded the No. 77 spot.
Over the 15-year span of The World’s 50 Best Awards, Spain has always had strong representation in the list. Both El Bulli and El Celler de Can Roca have taken the top prize of The World’s Best Restaurant on various occasions and Mugaritz and Arzak have been part of the exclusive group of 50 for over a decade. The move of the awards program to Basque country will continue to highlight the region’s culinary excellence.
“We are delighted to be moving to the Basque region of Spain, and to be working with the Government of Biscay, on our 2018 edition of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants. As a country, Spain has long been at the forefront of gastronomy and the Basque region, in particular, has an incredibly rich culinary culture. 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”, said William Drew, Group Editor of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants.
For continued updates on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants, connect via Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and be sure to read about this 2017’s winners and our analysis.