April 19, 2021

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Don Julio In Buenos Aires Takes The No.1 Spot As Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants 2020 Is Unveiled In A Virtual Awards Ceremony

The list of Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants 2020 was revealed today at the virtual ceremony of Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna. The prestigious list, now in its eighth edition, recognizes the excellence and diversity of Latin America’s gastronomic scene in one of the most challenging periods for the global restaurant sector. The announcement of the list is intended to help restaurants as they enter the crucial next stage of recovery.

For the first time, Don Julio in Buenos Aires takes the No.1 spot, securing its status as The Best Restaurant in Latin America. Restaurateur and sommelier Pablo Rivero leads this Argentinian parrilla, which has achieved international recognition for its exemplary hospitality, wine list and distinct approach to ingredients. All the beef at Don Julio comes from grass-fed Aberdeen Angus and Hereford cattle, reared in the Buenos Aires countryside, and aged for at least 21 days to reach optimum maturity. 

Lima’s Maido – three-time Best Restaurant in Latin America – gives up the throne landing at the No.2 spot, while Central, also from Lima, ranks at No.3. Central is also honored with the Gin Mare Art of Hospitality Award, where the Academy of voters complimented its laid-back but highly professional style of service. These two restaurants are followed by A Casa do Porco in São Paulo at No.4 and Pujol in Mexico City at No.5. Pujol also takes home the Flor de Caña Sustainable Restaurant Award.

The full list of Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants 2020, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna:

  1. Don Julio (Buenos Aires, Argentina) *Best Restaurant in Latin America, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna/Best Restaurant in Argentina
  2. Maido (Lima, Peru) *Best Restaurant in Peru
  3. Central (Lima, Peru) *Gin Mare Art of Hospitality Award
  4. A Casa do Porco (São Paulo, Brazil) *Best Restaurant in Brazil
  5. Pujol (Mexico City, Mexico) *Best Restaurant in Mexico/ Flor de Caña Sustainable Restaurant Award
  6. Boragó (Santiago, Chile) *Best Restaurant in Chile
  7. El Chato (Bogotá, Colombia) *Best Restaurant in Colombia
  8. Mishiguene (Buenos Aires, Argentina)
  9. Rosetta (Mexico City, Mexico)
  10. Osso (Lima, Peru)
  11. Quintonil (Mexico City, Mexico)
  12. Oteque (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
  13. D.O.M. (São Paulo, Brazil)
  14. Pangea (Monterrey, Mexico)
  15. Alcalde (Guadalajara, Mexico)
  16. Tegui (Buenos Aires, Argentina)
  17. Sud 777 (Mexico City, Mexico)
  18. Kjolle (Lima, Peru)
  19. Chila (Buenos Aires, Argentina)
  20. Isolina (Lima, Peru)
  21. Lasai (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
  22. Astrid y Gastón (Lima, Peru)
  23. Maní (São Paulo, Brazil)
  24. Mayta (Lima, Peru) *Highest Climber Award, sponsored by illycaffè
  25. Harry Sasson (Bogotá, Colombia)
  26. Evvai (São Paulo, Brazil)
  27. Leo (Bogotá, Colombia)
  28. Parador La Huella (José Ignacio, Uruguay) *Best Restaurant in Uruguay
  29. Rafael (Lima, Peru)
  30. Le Chique (Cancún, Mexico)
  31. Nicos (Mexico City, Mexico)
  32. De Patio (Santiago, Chile)
  33. Mocotó (São Paulo, Brazil)
  34. Gran Dabbang (Buenos Aires, Argentina)
  35. Mil (Cusco, Peru)
  36. Máximo Bistrot (Mexico City, Mexico)
  37. Mérito (Lima, Peru) *Highest New Entry Award, sponsored by Aspire Lifestyles
  38. Osaka (Buenos Aires, Argentina) *New Entry
  39. El Baqueano (Buenos Aires, Argentina)
  40. Narda Comedor (Buenos Aires, Argentina)
  41. Restaurante 040 (Santiago, Chile)
  42. Maito (Panama City, Panama) *Best Restaurant in Panama
  43. Aramburu (Buenos Aires, Argentina) *Re-Entry
  44. Manu (Curitiba, Brazil)
  45. La Mar (Lima, Peru)
  46. Ambrosía (Santiago, Chile)
  47. El Preferido de Palermo (Buenos Aires, Argentina) *New Entry
  48. Nuema (Quito, Ecuador) *Best Restaurant in Ecuador/New Entry 
  49. Celele (Cartagena, Colombia) *New Entry
  50. Corrutela (São Paulo, Brazil) *New Entry

Peru has the greatest number of entries on the 2020 list with 11 restaurants, including Mayta, which is the recipient of the Highest Climber Award, sponsored by illycaffè. Argentina follows closely with 10, adding two new entries in El Preferido de Palermo and Osaka – both in Buenos Aires.  

Brazil claims nine spots, including one new entry, Corrutela, in in São Paulo. Mexico matches Brazil’s performance with nine restaurants on the list.

Colombia and Chile have four entries apiece and Ecuador finds an inaugural berth with Quito’s Nuema, which is named The Best Restaurant in Ecuador.

This year, Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants features six new entries in total. Lima’s Mérito receives the Highest New Entry Award, sponsored by Aspire Lifestyles, after taking the No.37 spot on the list. Osaka  and El Preferido de Palermo in Buenos Aires rank at No.36 and No.47 respectively; Nuema in Quito, Ecuador is at No.48; Celele in Cartagena, Colombia is at No.49; and Corrutela in São Paulo, Brazil is No.50.

William Drew, Director of Content for Latin America’s Best 50 Restaurants, says: “Having built a platform in the international restaurant and hospitality industry over almost 20 years, we at 50 Best feel that we have an important role to play in helping to boost the recovery of the sector. In our eighth edition of Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants, we are proud to celebrate Latin America’s excellence in gastronomy with a special focus on the solidarity of its restaurant community. This year, more than ever, we have seen restaurants come together in an unprecedented way and our hope is that by working together, we will soon thrive again.”

Other award winners announced include:

  • The Latin America’s Best Pastry Chef Award 2020 is presented to Sofia Cortina of La Vitrine in Mexico City, Mexico. Cortina was classically schooled in French patisserie and has worked the pastry section of some of the world’s leading restaurant kitchens. She creates indulgent cakes and delicate fruit-topped éclairs along with her signature dish – a twist on the classic French dessert, Vacherines, that combines layers of meringue, coulis and light sorbets.
  • The Flor de Caña Sustainable Restaurant Award 2020 is presented to Pujol in Mexico City. The award recognizes the establishment in the list that achieves the highest overall sustainability rating, as audited by sustainability experts Food Made Good Global. Chef-owner Enrique Olvera and his team’s commitment to sourcing ingredients from local producers and preserving the region’s biodiversity has increased during the pandemic and Pujol’s commitment to its staff is unwavering.
  • The Gin Mare Art of Hospitality Award 2020, which recognizes excellence in restaurant service and dining experience, is awarded to Central in Lima. Run by husband and wife duo Virgilio Martínez and Pia León, the restaurant itself is a showcase of Peru’s biodiversity. The service style is laid-back and welcoming but always highly professional, with the team trained to impart the stories behind the menu and ingredients with passion and personality.
  • Occupying No.24 on the list of Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants, Lima’s Mayta is awarded with the Highest Climber Award 2020, sponsored by illycaffè, after climbing 25 places from No.49 last year. Chef Jaime Pesaque’s solo venture first gained a spot in Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants in 2019 and was lauded for its inventive use of local ingredients and flavors, married with accomplished technique.
  • Debuting on the list at No.37, Mérito in Lima is presented the Highest New Entry Award 2020, sponsored by Aspire Lifestyles. At the restaurant, Venezuelan chefs Juan Luis Martínez and José Luis Saume update dishes from their homeland while giving Peruvian ingredients a new identity.

Pre-announced awards included:

Latin America’s Best Female Chef 2020 was presented to Narda Lepes, chef-owner of Narda Comedor in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Now in its eighth year, the award aims to support and promote inclusivity in the culinary sphere and provide the opportunity for female role models to inspire future generations of young women both in the kitchen and beyond.

Janaina Rueda, chef-owner of A Casa do Porco and O Bar da Dona Onça in São Paulo, Brazil, took home the American Express Icon Award 2020, which celebrates an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the restaurant industry and has used their profile to raise awareness and drive positive change. The award reflects her commitment to the community, from campaigning for healthy school meals and inclusive gastronomy, to mobilizing industry leaders around Covid-19 relief efforts and helping vulnerable communities during the pandemic.

Fauna in Valle de Guadalupe, Mexico, helmed by David Castro Hussong and Maribel Aldaco Silva, was given the Miele One To Watch Award 2020. The award recognizes an outstanding emerging restaurant with the potential to rise into the Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants ranking in future years.

Leonor Espinosa of Leo in Bogotá was honored with the Estrella Damm Chefs’ Choice Award 2020. Voted for by the chefs of the Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants 2020 list, the award recognizes an individual who has earned the respect of their peers for inspirational work and leadership in the hospitality sector. Espinosa is renowned for her pioneering intent to revive Colombian culinary traditions and for using food to promote cultural and social development in indigenous, afro-descendant, and rural communities.

To spotlight the region’s broad and diverse gastronomic scene and to support the recovery of the hospitality sector, Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants – in association with S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna –  also announced El Espíritu de América Latina, an unranked collection of restaurants that have had a positive impact on their communities and local cuisines, whether during the recent crisis or over a sustained period of time. Featuring establishments in 43 cities across 17 countries and covering more than 9,000km from Monterrey in the north of Mexico to Puerto Natales in the south of Chile, El Espíritu de América Latina reflects the region’s diversity, rich culinary traditions, and ancestral cuisines.
For the full collection of restaurants that are part of El Espíritu de América Latina, click here.

How the Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants list is compiled
The Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants Academy is comprised of more than 250 regional voting members, each of whom is hand-picked for his or her 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 four regions: Mexico & Central America, South America (North), South America (South), and Brazil. Each region has an Academy Chair and 62 other voting members, made up of journalists, food critics, chefs, restaurateurs, and well-travelled gourmands. This year, each member submitted 10 votes on what they considered their best dining experiences of the previous 15 months (due to the pandemic, this year’s voting period ran from January 2019 to March 2020), with at least four of these votes going to restaurants outside their own country. To see more details on Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants voting process, click here.

About William Reed Business Media
The list of Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants, now in its eighth edition, is published by William Reed Business Media, which also publishes The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, launched in 2002, and Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants, launched in 2013. William Reed Business Media is responsible for 50 Best: organizing the awards, collecting the votes and producing the list. The 50 Best organization aims to bring together communities across the hospitality sector to foster collaboration, inclusivity, diversity and to help drive positive change.

About the main sponsor: S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna
S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna are the main sponsors of Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants. S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna are the leading natural mineral waters in the fine dining world. Together they interpret Italian style worldwide as a synthesis of excellence, pleasure and well-being.

Other partners

  • Miele – Official Home Appliances Partner; sponsor of the Miele One To Watch Award
  • American Express – Official Credit Card Partner, sponsor of the American Express Icon Award
  • Estrella Damm – Official Beer Partner; sponsor of the Estrella Damm Chefs’ Choice Award
  • Gin Mare – Official Gin Partner, sponsor of the Gin Mare Art of Hospitality Award
  • Flor de Caña – Official Rum Partner, sponsor of the Flor de Caña Sustainable Restaurant Award
  • Aspire Lifestyles – Official Concierge Partner, sponsor of the Highest New Entry Award
  • Illycaffè – Official Coffee Partner, sponsor of the Highest Climber Award

Press Contacts
Rebecca Charur/Felicia Arguello
[email protected]
+1 (305) 860-1000

Results 

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Note to media: To register for and access the 50 Best media centre, please visit: https://www.theworlds50best.com/latinamerica/en/mediacentre/media-contacts.html

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SOURCE Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants