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11 Bucket List–Worthy Restaurants from Around the Globe

From flagship restaurants of the world's best chefs to unique cuisines in historic settings, these exceptional dining destinations are worth the trip of a lifetime
Photo by: Nikki To
The view of the Sydney Opera House across the harbor provides an unforgettable setting for an evening at Quay Restaurant.

Posted: September 15, 2016

Updated: June 19, 2017

Wine lovers know that dining and travel go hand in hand. There’s often no better way to take in a city than by taking in the culture through its cuisine, and a particularly exquisite restaurant experience can elevate a fun jaunt to a lifelong memory. From a laboratory of gastronomic mad science tucked into a Danish football stadium, to a dining room fit for royalty in a 19th-century Viennese palace, these 11 Wine Spectator Restaurant Award–winning restaurants will invoke your wine wanderlust for their extraordinary settings, championing of local producers and channeling of local flavors into imaginative courses.

To check out more great wine dining spots across the globe, see Wine Spectator’s more than 3,500 Restaurant Award–winning picks, including our 10 bucket list picks from around the U.S. and the 87 Grand Award recipients that hold our highest honor.

Do you have a favorite you’d like to see on this list? Send your recommendations to restaurantawards@mshanken.com. We want to hear from you!

Note: When calling the following establishments from North America, dial 011 and then the telephone number.

Antica Bottega Del Vino

Via Scudo di Francia 3, Verona, Italy
Telephone (39) 0-45-800-4535
Website www.bottegavini.it
Open Lunch and dinner, daily
Grand Award

Carolina Fanni
The cellars at Antica Bottega Del Vino contain a wealth of wine treasures.

Antica Bottega Del Vino has made its mark as one of Italy’s venerable wine institutions, providing a glimpse into Verona's history through its stunning 19th-century interior, menu of local favorites and expansive wine list. Nestled in the heart of the old town, the restaurant has earned a Grand Award since 2004 for its cavernous cellars holding 20,000 bottles, brimming with picks from Tuscany, Piedmont, the Veneto, France, Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne. Wine director Alberto Bongiovanni oversees the 4,500 selections, which span more than 180 pages and include rarities from local maestros, such as the Giuseppe Quintarelli Amarone della Valpolicella Riserva 1990 at 3,000 euros [$3,371] alongside many options in the 30- to 50-euro range. The menu from chef Lucca Dalla Via is classic northeastern Italian, with regional pastas, risottos and meats taking center stage.


Plaza de San Mateo 1, Cáceres, Spain
Telephone (34) 927-242-928
Website www.restauranteatrio.com
Open Lunch and dinner, daily
Grand Award

Joaquin Cortés
The cellar at Atrio is a work of art in itself.

In the historic fortress city of Cáceres, you’ll find one of the most expansive Restaurant Award–winning cellars in Spain at Atrio. Just past the beautiful old town, this temple to wine and adventurous cooking can be found just beyond an unassuming green door. Chef Pepi Giraldo’s modern, regional Spanish cuisine is paired with wine director José Luis Paniagua Martin’s list of 3,800 selections, which has earned the restaurant a Grand Award since 2003 for its strengths in Spain, Bordeaux, Burgundy, the Rhône, Champagne, Germany and Port. The jaw-dropping 42,000-bottle cellar contains gems from small vineyard owners, plus a vertical of Vega Sicilia Único spanning nearly a century alongside Burgundy grands crus and a Château d’Yquem vertical dating back to 1806.


Per Henrik Lings Alle 4, 8., Copenhagen, Denmark
Telephone (45) 699-600-20
Website www.geranium.dk
Open Lunch and dinner, Wednesday to Saturday
Grand Award

Martin Dyrløv Madsen
Owners and longtime friends Søren Ledet and Rasmus Kofoed have created an international dining destination at Geranium.

Tucked away on the eighth floor of the Copenhagen soccer stadium of Danish Cup champion F.C. København is a restaurant with a 20-plus-course tasting menu of eye-popping gastronomic acrobatics. Grand Award winner Geranium, with its 3 Michelin stars and wine list of nearly 1,700 selections, is a far cry from a typical game-day vendor (and is not actually associated with the operation of the stadium): Once inside, diners will find a calm, contemporary dining space with floor-to-ceiling windows that look onto the stately, tree-lined Fælledparken commons, built in 1906. Wine director Søren Ledet’s list earned the restaurant its first Grand Award in 2016 for its strengths in Burgundy, Bordeaux, Italy, Champagne, California, Germany, Austria and Spain; the restaurant also champions a large number of organic and biodynamic wines, with a page devoted to orange wines. Chef Rasmus Kofoed’s modern Nordic tasting menu draws diners from around the world for its delightfully playful and complex dishes, with optional wine pairings.

The Greenhouse

27 A Hay’s Mews, London, England
Telephone (44) 207-499-3331
Website www.opentable.com/the-greenhouse
Open Lunch and dinner, Monday to Saturday
Grand Award

The Greenhouse
Chef Arnaud Bignon's artful French courses are the foundation of a memorable evening at the Greenhouse.

On a quiet street in picturesque Mayfair, down a tree-lined pathway, the Greenhouse is a peaceful oasis in bustling London. François Bertrand’s wine list has earned a Grand Award since 2005 for its 3,500 selections, with special focus on Burgundy, Bordeaux, the Rhône, Italy, California, Australia, Champagne, Spain and Germany and offers outstanding vintage depth, including verticals of Château La Mission Haut-Brion Graves back to 1929, Pétrus Pomerol to 1928 and Penfolds Grange to 1961. The contemporary cuisine from chef Arnaud Bignon is rooted in French influences and is available in two, three or six courses; those looking for an element of surprise in their meal can also opt for the chef’s Discovery Menu.

Le Louis XV–Alain Ducasse

Hotel de Paris, Place Du Casino, Monte Carlo, Monaco
Telephone (377) 98-06-88-64
Website www.alain-ducasse.com
Open Dinner, Thursday to Monday
Grand Award

Pierre Monetta
Immerse yourself in the royal atmosphere at Le Louis XV-Alain Ducasse at Monte Carlo's Hotel de Paris.

At the Hotel de Paris in Monte Carlo, overlooking the Mediterranean in the heart of the Riviera, the Michelin 3-star Le Louis XV–Alain Ducasse feels like a portal to another era. The gilded interior—with its high, painted ceilings, chandeliers and flowing drapery—is a palatial setting for the impeccable menu, which showcases Mediterranean cuisine and ingredients in dishes such as gamberoni from San Remo, Provence garden vegetables cooked with black truffle and stocafi à la Monégasque, Monaco's national dish of dried cod and tomato stew. The dining destination’s crown jewel, though, is its Grand Award–winning wine list, managed by wine director Gérard Margeon, which offers 1,000 labels, with particular heft in Bordeaux, Burgundy, the Rhône and Champagne.

Les Amis

1 Scotts Road, No. 01-16, Shaw Centre, Singapore
Telephone (65) 6733-2225
Website www.lesamis.com.sg
Open Lunch and dinner, daily
Grand Award

Les Amis
Stunning French-Asian cuisine is paired with a list of wine gems from Bordeaux and Burgundy at Les Amis.

Line-caught sea bass from St.-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie. Duck foie gras terrine from Vendée. Brittany blue lobster salad. All can be found at Les Amis, the Singaporean institution that has been wowing diners for over two decades with its meticulous French-Asian cuisine and vast wine list. The attention to detail is evident in everything from chef Sebastien Lepinoy’s careful sourcing of ingredients in each course to the kitchen itself: Two years ago, the restaurant underwent extensive renovations, which included installing a custom-made Charvet island stove designed by Lepinoy himself. A Grand Award winner since 1996, the 2,200-selection wine list excels in classic choices from Bordeaux, Burgundy and the Rhône, and offers over six dozen options of Champagne. Celebrating a special occasion? Peruse nine pages of large-format bottle offerings, including an imperial of 1978 Robert Mondavi Napa Valley Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon.

Palais Coburg

Residenz Coburg, Coburgbastei 4, Vienna, Austria
Telephone (43) 1-518-18-0
Website www.palais-coburg.com
Open Dinner, Tuesday to Saturday
Grand Award

Lukas Ilgner
The Yquem cellar at Palais Coburg contains vintages spanning back to the 19th century.

Palais Coburg, the restaurant of a luxury hotel in a 19th-century palace in the center of Vienna, sits above a series of six wine cellars. The France Cellar, the New World Cellar, the Old World Cellar, the Champagne Cellar, the Rare Wines Cellar and the Yquem Cellar house the restaurant’s 50,000-bottle inventory. Overseen by wine director Wolfgang Kneidinger, the 5,400-selection list has earned a Grand Award each year since 2007 and offers an extensive array of options from around the world, but its collections of wines from Bordeaux, Austria, California, Italy, Burgundy, Spain, Germany, the Rhône, Champagne and Port are particularly outstanding. Choose from five to nine courses of chef Silvio Nickol’s artful international cuisine, though if you’re saving room for something sweet, the Yquem cellar contains at least one bottle of every vintage produced back to 1893.

Robuchon Au Dôme

Grand Lisboa Hotel, Avenida de Lisboa, Macao, China
Telephone (853) 8803-7878
Website www.grandlisboahotel.com
Open Lunch and dinner, daily
Grand Award

Robuchon Au Dôme
With its sweeping views of the city of Macao and vast cellar, dining at Robuchon Au Dôme is a wine-lover's dream.

Situated in the opulent glass dome of the Grand Lisboa Hotel, with sweeping views of the city of Macao, is France-focused gem Robuchon Au Dôme, an outpost of globetrotting star chef Joël Robuchon. Sharing the hotel and cellar with fellow Grand Award winner Don Alfonso 1890, the Michelin 3-star fine-dining institution offers both à la carte and tasting menus of four to nine courses that blend chef Robuchon’s signature French cuisine with influences from the restaurant’s Macanese setting. Wine director Paul Lo’s program has earned a Grand Award since 2005; with its 16,800 selections and inventory of over half a million bottles, the two restaurants share the most expansive list and inventory of any Wine Spectator Restaurant Award winner. Regions from around the world are abundantly represented on the 745-page list, particularly Bordeaux, Burgundy, the Rhône, Australia, Germany, California, Tuscany, Piedmont, Spain, Champagne and Portugal.

Tour d'Argent

15 Quai de la Tournelle, Paris, France
Telephone (33) 1-43-54-23-31
Website www.tourdargent.com
Open Lunch and dinner, Tuesday to Saturday
Grand Award

Tour d'Argent
With views of the Seine, a 14,000-selection list and classic French cuisine, a meal at Tour d'Argent is an experience to remember.

Paris' No. 15 Quai de la Tournelle, overlooking the Seine, has been home to the legendary restaurant Tour d'Argent for more than two centuries. Today, its cellar boasts 350,000 bottles and 14,000 selections, and several notable verticals including Domaine de la Romaneé-Conti Romaneé-Conti dating back to 1945. A Grand Award winner since 1986, wine director David Ridgway’s list offers an abundance of choices from Bordeaux, Burgundy, the Rhône, Alsace, Loire, Provence, Languedoc-Roussillon and Port; owner André Terrail also notes the restaurant’s impressive collection of older magnums of Champagne, including Krug, Louis Roederer and Dom Pérignon. The cuisine, engineered by chef Philippe Labbé, is classic French and available both à la carte and in multiple courses, including a five-course duck menu, “Caneton de Fréderic Delair,” named for a previous owner of the restaurant.

Il Gallo d’Oro

The Cliff Bay, Estrada Monumental 147, Funchal, Madeira, Portugal
Telephone (351) 291-707-700
Website www.ilgallodoro.pt
Open Dinner, Monday to Saturday
Best of Award of Excellence

Il Gallo d’Oro
The list of Portuguese wines at Il Gallo d'Oro contains a wealth of older vintages of Madeira.

For one of the finest wine selections in Portugal, head to the south coast of Madeira. There, Il Gallo d’Oro’s Best of Award of Excellence–winning list of local favorites, led by sommelier Sérgio Márques and assistant sommelier Roberto Rodrigues, includes verticals of the island’s famed fortified wines dating back to the 1860s. Equally singular is the restaurant’s view: Those lucky enough to snag an outdoor table will enjoy an evening overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. The Mediterranean menu from chef Benoit Sinthon is available both à la carte and in four or five courses, emphasizing regional ingredients, including Portuguese scarlet shrimp, cheese from Santo da Serra, and local squid, with optional wine pairings.

Quay Restaurant

Upper Level Oversees Passenger Terminal, Sydney, Australia
Telephone (612) 9-251-5600
Website www.quay.com.au
Open Lunch, Friday to Sunday; Dinner, daily
Best of Award of Excellence

Across the harbor from the Sydney Opera House, with breathtaking waterfront views, Quay Restaurant embraces its Australian setting in its cuisine and wine list. Chef Peter Gilmore’s modern Australian cuisine can be enjoyed in four or eight courses with optional wine pairings. Earning its first Best of Award of Excellence in 2016, wine director Amanda Yallop’s 500-selection list emphasizes Australia, Champagne, New Zealand, France and Italy. Biodynamic and naturally produced wines are well-represented, as are large-format bottles from a variety of regions; at the end of the evening, choose from a vast collection of dessert and fortified wines from Australia, Portugal and beyond.

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