Lima’s Maido is named The Best Restaurant in Latin America 2023, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna, reclaiming the No.1 spot for the first time since 2019. The list highlights establishments from 23 destinations, two more than the 2022 edition, and introduces eight new restaurants to the ranking. Restaurants in Buenos Aires and Lima reign supreme, with eight entries on the list from each city, followed by five restaurants from São Paulo and Mexico City each Maribel Aldaco of Fauna (No.5) in Valle de Guadalupe receives the Latin America’s Best Pastry Chef Award 2023, sponsored by República del Cacao. Returning for a second year, the Beronia Latin America’s Best Sommelier Award 2023 is presented to Florencia Rey of Lima’s Maido (No.1). Manu (No.35) in Curitiba wins the Flor de Caña Sustainable Restaurant Award. Pangea (No.29) in Monterrey takes home the Gin Mare Art of Hospitality Award. Cantina del Tigre in Panama City is the recipient of the Highest New Entry Award, sponsored by Aspire Lifestyles after landing at No.25 Quintonil in Mexico City wins the Highest Climber Award 2023, sponsored by Alaska Seafood, scaling 31 spots to No.12. Mario Castrellón of Maito (No.6) in Panama City is presented with the Estrella Damm Chefs’ Choice Award as voted by his fellow chefs.
Maido Reclaims No.1 Status: the prestigious awards ceremony is held in Rio de Janeiro for the first time in its history
For the first time since the list’s inception in 2013, culinary stars gathered in Rio de Janeiro at the Copacabana Palace to witness the 11th annual unveiling of Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants 2023, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna. Establishments from 23 cities across the region were recognised before Maido – crowned The Best Restaurant in Latin America for three consecutive years between 2017 and 2019 – reclaimed the No.1 position atop the list as The Best Restaurant in Latin America 2023 and The Best Restaurant in Peru 2023.
Taking over the No.1 position, Mitsuharu ‘Micha’ Tsumura’s flagship restaurant Maido masterfully fuses Japanese techniques with Peruvian ingredients to take diners on an immersive experience through the flavours and traditions of his two countries. Tsumura’s seasonal and inventive Nikkei menus feature dishes such as Nigiri a lo Pobre, which consists of thinly sliced Angus beef and quail egg injected with ponzu, as well as other bites served on coral rock or edible stones.
William Drew, Director of Content for Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants, says: “We are honoured and privileged to celebrate the incredible culinary talent and diversity showcased in this year’s Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants 2023 list. Mitsuharu Tsumura and the entire Maido team have consistently demonstrated their dedication to elevating local ingredients through inventive dishes, a visionary wine list and exceptional hospitality, and we are delighted to recognise Maido as The Best Restaurant in Latin America, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna. We extend our congratulations to all the establishments recognised this year – as well as over the last 10 years since the list’s inception – and look forward to witnessing the region’s continued growth and success in the years and decades to come.”
For the first time, the restaurant voted No.1 in Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants 2022 – Lima’s Central – wasn’t eligible for voting in the 2023 edition of the regional ranking. Instead, Central will become the first restaurant in Latin America to be elevated to the Best of the Best hall of fame after achieving the coveted No.1 ranking at The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2023. Those in the elite group of No.1 ranked restaurants at the global level, which now includes Central, are honoured as iconic dining destinations and become ineligible for voting in any future lists of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, as well as its regional rankings such as Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants.
The list of Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants 2023 displays the rich diversity and culinary cultures of the region, highlighting an array of establishments from 23 destinations. Buenos Aires and Lima cement their positions as world-class gastronomic destinations once again, leading with eight restaurants each on the list. Named The Best Restaurant in Argentina 2023, Don Julio lands on the list at No.3, while other notable additions to the Argentinian capital include new entries Alo’s (No.38) and Niño Gordo (No.43) as well as Crizia, which re-enters the list at No.41. Lima boasts one new entry in Cosme (No.50) and one re-entry in La Mar (No.42). São Paulo and Mexico City follow closely with five entries each, including A Casa do Porco (No.4), which is named The Best Restaurant in Brazil 2023, and Fauna (No.5) in Valle de Guadalupe, which is named The Best Restaurant in Mexico 2023. La Docena (Polanco) in Mexico City also re-enters the list at No.48. With its historic No.2 position, El Chato achieves the highest-ever ranking for a Colombian restaurant.
As the region’s gastronomic landscape continues to evolve, eight new restaurants make their debut on the list. Restaurants from Medellín and San José enter the ranking for the first time with X.O. (No.27) and Sikwa (No.47), respectively. Other debuting establishments include Humo Negro (No.44) in Bogotá, Mercado 24 (No.49) in Guatemala City, and Cantina del Tigre, which enters the list at No.25 to earn the Highest New Entry Award, sponsored by Aspire Lifestyles.
Stefano Bolognese, Sanpellegrino International Business Unit Director, says: “Our deepest congratulations to all the restaurants who earned a place in this year’s edition of Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants. The commitment, expertise and love they’ve brought to their work, and to the industry, is overwhelming and inspiring. We are really proud to have contributed to turning the spotlight on these culinary talents and restaurants which are all worthy of recognition.”
The List Of Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants 2023 and the special awards
The celebration at the ceremony of Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants 2023 continued with seven special award announcements. The Gin Mare Art of Hospitality Award is presented to Pangea (No.29) in Monterrey, where Chef Guillermo González Beristáin melds French techniques with the produce of northeast Mexico, paired with an expansive wine list in an elegant, contemporary setting.
Maribel Aldaco of Fauna (No.5) in Valle de Guadalupe is named Latin America’s Best Pastry Chef, sponsored by República del Cacao. At Fauna, Aldaco reimagines classic pastries such as churros and tarts, combining world-class technique and local ingredients. Fauna, led by Aldaco and her husband David Castro Hussong, has quickly risen in the ranks to become The Best Restaurant in Mexico 2023 after receiving several accolades including the One To Watch Award in 2020 and the Highest New Entry in 2022.
Returning for a second year, the Beronia Latin America’s Best Sommelier 2023 is presented to Florencia Rey of Maido (No.1) in Lima. The head sommelier at The Best Restaurant in Latin America 2023 and The Best Restaurant in Peru 2023 curates a wine and sake list of more than 250 labels. With a special commitment to promoting underappreciated Peruvian white wines, the list is designed to complement the local ingredients of Chef Tsumura’s seafood-forward bites.
Cantina del Tigre in Panama City is recognised as the recipient of the Highest New Entry Award, sponsored by Aspire Lifestyles, with its debut at the No.25 spot. Quintonil in Mexico City wins the Highest Climber Award 2023, sponsored by Alaska Seafood, scaling 31 spots from the previous vote to No.12.
Mario Castrellón of Maito (No.6) in Panama City is presented with the Estrella Damm Chefs’ Choice Award, as voted by his fellow chefs, for his vision of a new Panamanian, contemporary cuisine. Maito is widely recognised as a meeting point for the diversity of cultures, flavours and ingredients of Panama with its influence in the region growing rapidly after earning the Highest Climber Award in 2022.
Manu (No.35) in Curitiba receives the Flor de Caña Sustainable Restaurant Award. Through her eponymous restaurant, Chef Manoella ‘Manu’ Buffara promotes various sustainability actions, including preserving native Brazilian bees and incentivizing young producers to support fishing and agriculture areas in the state of Paraná. She also promotes urban gardens in Curitiba, transforming abandoned parts of the city into areas where communities can feed themselves.
Recipients of the pre-announced special awards were also honoured throughout the evening. These include Janaína Torres Rueda as Latin America’s Best Female Chef; TV personality and author Dolli Irigoyen as the winner of the Icon Award; and Caracas-based restaurant Cordero as the recipient of the American Express One To Watch Award.
The Voting Process: About Best of the Best
The 50 Best organisation’s role in promoting restaurants and showcasing culinary talent remains more important than ever, continuing to support the hospitality sector by inspiring diners to seek out exciting gastronomic experiences. 50 Best works with professional services consultancy Deloitte as its official independent adjudication partner to help protect the integrity and authenticity of the voting process and the resulting list of Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants 2023.
The Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants Academy is comprised of more than 300 regional voting members, each of whom is hand-picked for their expert opinion of the Latin American restaurant scene. The votes of this Academy make up the Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants list, an annual barometer of taste. The Academy is divided into five regions: Mexico, Central America, South America (North), South America (South) and Brazil. Each region includes expert voters made up of journalists, food critics, chefs, restaurateurs and well-travelled gourmets. In 2023, each member submitted 10 votes for what they considered their best dining experiences of the previous 18 months – at least four of those votes went to restaurants outside their own country (Academy members unable to travel internationally voted only for six restaurants in their own country). To see more details on Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants voting process, click here.
The Best of the Best group is formed of all the restaurants that have topped the annual ranking of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants over its history, which are no longer eligible to be voted on new editions of the list. Those in the elite group of No.1 ranked restaurants have more than proved their worth and are now forever honoured as iconic dining destinations in the Best of the Best hall of fame. Central will become the first restaurant in Latin America to be elevated to the Best of the Best hall of fame after achieving the coveted No.1 ranking at the World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2023. To see more details on Best of the Best, click here.