The 50 Best Restaurants

The 50 Best ranking crowns the Disfrutar as the best restaurant in the world

It is the third Catalan establishment to achieve this after El Bulli and El Celler de Can Roca

4 min

BarcelonaDisfrutar is already the best restaurant in the world. This has been decided by the votes of 1,080 restaurant experts, who have placed it at number 1 in the world in The World's 50 Best Restaurants 2024 ranking. Since the restaurant's three chefs –Oriol Castro, Eduard Xatruch and Mateu Casañas– They received the third Michelin star, in November in Barcelona, the belief was established that this should be their year. So it was. "It was a magical moment, we didn't expect it," said Oriol Castro, visibly excited and nervous. Xatruch vindicated the gastronomy of our land, the restaurant team and the family, who also suffers the sacrifice of all the time "they have not been at home." Mateu Casañas recalled "that through this profession many people are made happy" and that they are "happy to take on the challenge."

The moment in which the Disfrutar has become the best restaurant in the world.
The Disfrutar  team toasting the nomination.

At a gala held in Las Vegas in front of 1,200 people this morning, Spanish time, the traditional list has been announcing who they consider to be the best 50 restaurants in the world in descending order. To continue the gala, all the Disfrutar workers gathered at the restaurant to see together how the place at the top of the list was reached. The nerves have been present throughout the gala, and have ended up exploding in a shout of joy and a pineapple from the entire team. Only they know what it has cost them to get here. At one point during the ceremony, a figure of a bird in a box appeared in the Disfrutar. They have explained that this figure has been in the premises since before the Disfrutar was installed, and they consider him one of the team. The little animal, which is more friendly than pretty, has brought the desired luck.

Nil Dulcet has been following the gala since the Disfrutar. The chef at Share Barcelona was the restaurant's head chef for six years. Excited, he acknowledged that he was still assimilating it and that everything happened very quickly: "It seems impossible," he said. But yesterday he spoke to the three cooks and they told him that, that it was impossible. “They deserve it more than anyone. “For effort, sacrifice, work and good people,” said Dulcet. For his part, Vicente Lara, who has been there since the first day and is the head of the room, has said that this award "came as a surprise" and that they take it as a "reward for their work" and encourages them "to have more desire to work and improve.” Finally, Paco Lara, who joined as an intern six years ago and is today the head chef, wanted to highlight the humiliation and good energy of his bosses. And he has sent a message of peace of mind to Las Vegas: "Today the service will be just as good as yesterday and tomorrow."

Disciples of El Bulli, the three chefs are celebrating this year 10 years since the opening of their restaurant on Villarroel Street. Precisely, El Bulli was the first Catalan restaurant to get first place on that list. And it did so on five occasions: in 2002, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009. The second Catalan restaurant to achieve it was El Celler de Can Roca, which was in 2013 and 2015. From then on it became part of the category The Best of the Best, and therefore no longer participates in the ranking and emerges unscathed from its oscillations. Joan Roca, in fact, had a small intervention at the gala, presenting one of the individual awards, the Hospitality Award, at the Parisian restaurant Plénitud.

The bird that is the amulet of Disfrutar.
The Disfrutar team connecting with the three chefs.

Completing the podium on the prized list is Asador Etxebarri, which rises from fourth to second place, and remains one of the most difficult restaurants to reserve in the world. Third place went to the Parisian Table by Bruno Verjus, which was in tenth position.

In the disappointments section, Dabiz Muñoz and his Madrid restaurant DiverXo drops one position, from third to fourth place. This is not a bad position, but we must keep in mind that last year the chef aspired to number one. For its part, the position of the Copenhagen restaurant Alchemist was one of the great unknowns and one of the surprises. The rumor mill placed Rasmus Munk's Danish restaurant as a possible competitor to Disfrutar. In the end they had to settle for eighth position, which implies a drop from fifth position last year.

If we continue sifting through the list of the 50 best restaurants we find other nearby restaurants: Quique Dacosta and his restaurant in Dénia, which rises from number 20 to 14, and number 28 for the restaurant in Getaria Elkano, which fell from position 22.

Viva Las Vegas

The gala was held at the Encore Theater, located in the Wynn Las Vegas hotel-casino. This theater often hosts entertainment for visitors to Nevada City: names like Duran Duran, Lionel Richie and Jay Leno have recently passed through the venue. The link between the space and the city with gastronomy is not obvious, but to organize these events, infrastructure and financial support are necessary that justify the choice. Last year the gala was held in Valencia.

If we go back to the list and take a look at the expanded version, the one that goes from 51 to 100, it is worth highlighting the climb of the Enigma restaurant, by Albert Adrià. From number 82 last year it rises to 59. It seems that the voters on the list have applauded the restaurant's turn when abandoning the menu and return to the tasting menu. In the expanded list we do not find another Catalan. In Spain, from Puerto de Santa María, there is the Aponiente restaurant, by Ángel León, which is at number 72 (last year it was 64). Finally, it is worth highlighting the great failure of the Basque restaurant Mugaritz, by Andoni Luis Aduriz, which drops from 31st position to number 81. The description made by the same list makes the reasons for this drop quite clear, and that is that the proposal does not convince everyone: "It is increasingly experimental and provocative. It presents an exciting culinary universe, sometimes dark, always unexpected. The conventional rules of gastronomy are put aside to give way to a diet without limits," the ranking states.