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October 14, 2021 – The list of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2021, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna, was revealed on Tuesday 5th October in Antwerp, Flanders. The list features a fantastic selection of the world’s best restaurants based in over 25 countries and territories – with an incredibly impressive six restaurants being located in Spain. 

Having been placed at number 49, Azurmendi in the Basque Country feels as if visitors are entering the Spanish chef Eneko Atxa’s home. Eneko provide a gastronomic experience in which the flavour and the beauty of each preparation are always linked to the landscape and the culture that shaped it.

At number 20, the 12-course tasting menu at Diverxo in Madrid takes diners through innovative, Asian-inspired dishes such as Iberian pork dumplings filled with Spanish broth and Korean gochujang with grilled cuttlefish and yellow pepper pil-pil. With twists and surprises at every turn, having a meal at Diverxo is like stepping inside Dabiz Muñoz’s limitless imagination.

The chef, Aitor Arregui, of Elkano in Getaria, placed at number 16, says his father claimed that to buy the best fish, one has to look the animal in the eyes and see that it still retains the brightness that means it is fresh. Today, his son and family run one of the most prestigious grills in the Basque Country and Spain.

Mugaritz, San Sebastian, number 14 on the list, is exciting, avant garde and highly innovative. The creative dining experience developed by chef Andoni Luis Aduriz aims to open minds; his plates are designed to be more about providing a unique experience rather than being enjoyed by diners – a fine example of this is the gelatinous pork tendon that arrives mid-way through the experience.

The contemporary techniques, daring combinations and the drive to surprise diners are among the features that Disfrutar, Barcelona, the restaurant placed at number five, embrace. Oriol Castro, Mateu Casañas and Eduard Xatruch create dishes such as panchino (a fluffy bun) stuffed with caviar and sour cream, or multi-spherical pesto with tender pistachios and eel, are designed to ‘please, surprise and excite’.

The top Spanish restaurant on the list, at number three overall, is Asador Etxebarri, found in the lush foothills of the Spanish Basque Country. It has been housed in the same rustic stone building since the 1990s. With sprawling views of mountains and grazing cattle visable from its terrace, where the welcome snacks are served, the restaurant is at one with history and nature. Victor Arguinzoniz is recognised with the Estrella Damm Chefs’ Choice Award 2021.

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