Short list of the World Restaurant Awards announced

IMG, in partnership with Joe Warwick (Creative Director) and Andrea Petrini (Chair of the Judging Panel), have released the shortlists for The World Restaurant Awards. Designed to celebrate excellence, integrity and diversity, they break new ground in the international restaurant awards world by ambitiously combining annually-evolving curated categories, with nominations and inspections by a jury of globetrotting industry insiders.       

The judging panel of 100 (50 men and 50 women) restaurant journalists, influencers and culinary professionals from 36 different countries includes such famous names as Elena Arzak, Alex Atala, Massimo Bottura, David Chang, Hélène Darroze, Daniel Humm, Dan Barber, René Redzepi, Ana Roš, Yotam Ottolenghi and Clare Smyth. 

An intense year of curating, nominating, inspecting and debating will culminate in the announcement of the winners of the 18 categories (12 ‘Big Plate’ and 6 ‘Small Plate’ awards) on February 18, as established and rising restaurant stars from around the globe gather at the Palais Brongniart in Paris to celebrate the very first edition of the awards. 

Ahead of that and following the announcement of the longlist nominations at the end of last year, the released shortlists consist of five restaurants in each ‘Big Plate’ and three in each ‘Small Plate’ category. 

Recognising the need to promote more accessible restaurant experiences, where it is possible to just turn up and eat, the ‘No Reservations Required’ shortlist reflects a diverse range of affordable establishments from Clamato in Paris, where the menu changes according to the day’s catch, to Tokyo fish burger bar Deli Fu Cious, and northern Thai barbecue at London’s Kiln.  

Along with considering environmental issues, the ‘Ethical Thinking’ category is also concerned with how restaurants care for their employees, customers and the wider community. The shortlist includes Silo in Brighton on the South coast of England, a pioneering zero-waste restaurant where they mill flour, churn butter, make their own almond milk and recycle glass bottles into serving dishes. 

The ‘Off-Map Destination’ shortlist highlights remote locations such as Mil Centro in Peru – which sits more than 10,000ft above sea level in the Andes – where Chef Virgilio Martínez, working with his sister Malena Martinez chronicle and revive ancient ingredients and food practices that might otherwise be lost to time. Another far-flung gem, Wolfgat – a 20-seat dining room in a South African beach cottage – serves dishes where most ingredients on the plate are sourced from within a 10km radius of the restaurant, many of them from nearby rock pools and sand dunes.

The World Restaurant Awards has also announced French entertainment legend, Antoine de Caunes as presenter of their first awards ceremony. A regular presence on television screens across the world, famously as one half of the presenting duo fronting Channel 4’s cult late-night show, Eurotrash in the UK, and as a documentary-maker and talk-show host. A veteran of feature films on both sides of the camera, he has also hosted the Césars – the French film industry’s answer to the Oscars. 

Cécile Rebbot, Director of The World Restaurant Awards, IMG, said: “These awards have brought together the industry’s most passionate, curious and well-travelled culinary connoisseurs to create the ultimate restaurant road-map for food lovers around the world. This shortlist reflects our goal to shine a light on the incredibly diverse food, drinks, experiences and destinations that should be on everyone’s bucket list.”

Joe Warwick, Creative Director of The World Restaurant Awards, said: “These shortlists prove that there’s room for a new kind of international restaurant awards. One that acknowledges what’s wonderful about the restaurant world as it is and hints at how it can work to be even better in the future.”  

Andrea Petrini, Chair of the Judging Panel added: “The shortlists are an intriguing, diverse collection of restaurants worthy of further investigation – as were all of those longlisted. It’s taken a lot of work from everyone to produce the shortlists and we couldn’t have arrived here without the support of our judging panel. We’re looking forward to revealing the decisions that the inspection teams have arrived at on 18 February.” 

The World Restaurant Awards is proud to work with a prestigious line-up of partners including luxury kitchen appliance manufacturer Gaggenau; Champagne Laurent-Perrier; Fine Dining Lovers, the fine dining magazine for the foodie community; the Singapore Tourism Board, making Singapore the Official Culinary Destination Partner; Ron Zacapa, one of the world’s most exquisite tasting rums; official credit card partner American Express; manufacturers of excellence, Haviland, and historic French chocolatier CEMOI.

The World Restaurant Awards is supporting the Perennial Farming Initiative, its charity partner for 2019, which is dedicated to combating climate change by mobilising support for regenerative agriculture in the food world. Co-founders Karen Leibowitz and Anthony Myint have a history of leadership in the restaurant industry – notably as co-founders of The Perennial, which has been lauded as the most sustainable restaurant in the world.

The winners will be announced at the glittering awards ceremony on Monday 18 February 2019 at the Palais Brongniart in Paris.

Who was shortlisted? (long list you can see here.)




Original Thinking

1. Enigma, Spain

2. Ikoyi, United Kingdom

3. Mugaritz, Spain

4. Noma, Denmark

5. Le Clarence, France

Off-Map Destination

1. Mil, Peru

2. Bootshaus, Austria

3. Wolfgat, South Africa

4. Tokuyamazushi, Japan

5. Riley’s Fish Shack, United Kingdom

No Reservations Required

1. Clamato, France

2. Kiln, United Kingdom

3. Mocoto, Brazil

4. Deli fu cious, Japan

5. Retrobottega, Italy

House Special

1. Gazela / ‘Hot dog’, Portugal

2. Yat Lok / Roast Goose, Hong Kong

3. Obana / Unajyu, Japan

4. Trishna / Soft Shell Crab, India

5. Lido 84 / ‘Cacio e Pepe’ cooked in pig’s bladder, Italy

Forward Drinking

1. Cub, United Kingdom

2. Mugaritz, Spain

3. Dersou, France

4. Amass, Denmark

5. Godenya, Hong Kong

Event of the Year

1. Refugee Food Festival, France (and worldwide)

2. Parabere Forum, Norway

3. Al Meni, Italy

4. Game at Lyle’s, United Kingdom

5. The Presidential Train, Portugal

Ethical Thinking

1. Blue Hill at Stone Barns, United States

2. Food For Soul, Italy (and worldwide)

3. Noma, Denmark

4. Saint Peter, Australia

5. Silo, United Kingdom

Enduring Classic

1. Peter Luger’s, United States

2. Paul Bocuse, France

3. La Mère Brazier, France

4. Hyotei, Japan

5. Elkano, Spain

Collaboration of the Year

1. Vespertine X This Will Destroy You, United States

2. Mirazur X Huilerie Saint Michel, France

3. Cafe Paradiso X Gort na Nairn Farm, Ireland

4. Single Thread Farm X Bloodroot Blades, United States

5. Frantzen X Jacob Marsing-Rossini, Sweden


1. Punk Royale, Denmark

2. Vespertine, United States

3. Chambre Séparée, Belgium

4. Astoria Seafood, United States

5. Machneyuda, Israel

Arrival of the Year

1. DaGorini, Italy

2. Inua, Japan

3. Virtus, France

4. Angler, United States

5. Kjolle, Peru




Tweezer-Free Kitchen of the Year

1. Bo.Lan, Thailand

2. Racines, France

3. Black Axe Mangal, United Kingdom

Trolley of the Year

1. Ballymaloe House, Ireland

2. Otto’s, United Kingdom

3. The Grill, United States

Tattoo-Free Chef of the Year

1. Clare Smyth

2. Alain Ducasse

3. David Thompson

Instagram Account of the Year

1. @little_meg_siu_meg

2. @mattymatheson

3. @alain_passard

Long-Form Journalism

1. Lisa Abend, ‘The Food Circus’, Fool Magazine

2. Helen Rosner, ‘What Jonathan Gold meant for food writing’, The New Yorker

3. Jonathan Gold, ‘Anthony Bourdain Opened the Working Class Kitchen to the World’, LA Times

Red-Wine Serving Restaurant

1. Noble Rot, United Kingdom

2. Roscioli, Italy

3. Le Baratin, France


For the complete list of judging panel members, please visit

Follow the awards on social media #worldrestaurantawards @worldrestawards 

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