50 best restaurants in Latin America

This article was originally published in September 2015.

Story highlights

Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants awards took place in Mexico City Wednesday night

For the second consecutive year, Lima restaurant Central won the top spot

Rio de Janeiro's Lasai was the highest new entry, coming in at 16th

CNN  — 

Latin America’s best restaurant is still in Peru, after Lima’s Central took the top spot at the Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants awards for the second consecutive year.

In fact, Peru continues to flex its culinary muscles on the continent after snatching three of the top five places: Astrid & Gastón ranked third while Maido, a Nikkei (Peruvian-Japanese fusion) restaurant, ranked fifth.

Taking first place in Latin America was an additional feather in the cap for Central’s husband-and-wife team of Virgilio Martínez and Pía Leon, whose elaborate tasting menu draws from ingredients sourced from Peru’s varying altitudes.

Central ranks fourth on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list, announced in June 2017.

“I’m very thankful to Mexico – everyone has been celebrating for us and a lot of love and pride has been directed towards Latin America,” said Martínez while accepting the award.

“Winning is a responsibility, but we’re well aware of what that means.”

Other big wins of the night went to host nation Mexico as well as Argentina, both picking up 10 places a piece. However iLatina, a Colombian-Caribbean restaurant in Buenos Aires, took home the One To Watch award, taking Argentina’s overall haul to 11.

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Hosted at the Antiguo Colegio de San Ildefonso in Mexico City, the top 10 awards were given to restaurants in Chile, Brazil, Mexico and Argentina.

Santiago’s Boragó, a close contender for the top spot, came second; chef Rodolfo Guzmán also took home the “chefs’ chef” accolade.

Sao Paulo’s D.O.M. led by Alex Atala, who picked up 2014’s lifetime achievement award, came fourth. Mexico City’s Quintonil was awarded sixth spot and Buenos Aires’ Tegui seventh, edging up two notches on 2014.

While Pujol was Mexico’s top-ranking restaurant in 2014, it was all change this year following Quintonil’s higher placement. Regardless, Pujol’s chef Enrique Olvera was compensated with 2015’s lifetime achievement award, much to the joy of a mainly Mexican audience.

Other surprises included a huge drop from 16th to 48th for Tarquino, a Buenos Aires establishment renowned for its “Cow Sequence” beef tasting menu, while Uruguay’s seafood-focused La Huella rose from 17th in 2014 to 11th this year.

Meanwhile, Brazil’s chef Roberta Sudbrack of her eponymous Rio de Janeiro establishment was crowned Latin America’s best female chef, while her restaurant was given 14th place.

As for new entries on the list, Argentina managed to slip in a second Buenos Aires steak house, Don Julio, at 48 (La Cabrera snuck back up into the top 20 to rank 19th), while Lima’s beef-focused Osso Carnicería & Salumeria came in at 34.

Rio de Janeiro’s Lasai was the highest new entry, coming in at 16th.

Latin America’s 50 best restaurants

1. Central (Lima, Peru)

2. Borago (Santiago, Chile)

3. Astrid y Gaston (Lima, Peru)

4. D.O.M. (Sao Paulo, Brazil)

5. Maido (Lima, Peru)

6. Quintonil (Mexico City)

7. Tegui (Buenos Aires, Argentina)

8. Maní (Sao Paulo, Brazil)

9. Pujol (Mexico City)

10. Biko (Mexico City)

11. Parador La Huella (Jose Ignacio, Uruguay)

12. La Mar (Lima, Peru)

13. Pangea (Monterrey, Mexico)

14. Roberta Sudbrack (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)

15. El Baqueano (Buenos Aires, Argentina)

16. Lasai (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)

17. Gustu (La Paz, Bolivia)

18. Criterión (Bogotá, Colombia)

19. La Cabrera (Buenos Aires, Argentina)

20. Malabar (Lima, Peru)

21. Chila (Buenos Aires, Argentina)

22. Amaranta (Toluca, Mexico)

23. Olympe (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)

24. Harry Sasson (Bogota, Colombia)

25. Osaka (Santiago, Chile)

26. Epice (São Paulo, Brazil)

27. Sud 777 (Mexico City)

28. Aramburu (Buenos Aires, Argentina)

29. Alto (Caracas, Venezuela)

30. El Cielo (Bogota, Colombia)

31. Fiesta (Lima, Peru)

32. Ambrosía (Santiago, Chile)

33. Restaurante Leo (Bogota, Colombia)

34. Osso (Lima, Peru)

35. Mocoto (Sao Paulo, Brazil)

36. La Picantería (Lima, Peru)

37. Elena (Buenos Aires, Argentina)

38. Remanso do Bosque (Belem, Brazil)

39. Oviedo (Buenos Aires, Argentina)

40. La Bourgogne (Punta del Este, Uruguay)

41. Maximo Bistrot (Mexico City)

42. Andres Carne de Res (Bogota, Colombia)

43. Resto (Buenos Aires, Argentina)

44. Rosetta (Mexico City)

45. Parrilla Don Julio (Buenos Aires, Argentina)

46. 99 Restaurante (Santiago, Chile)

47. Restaurante Nicos (Mexico City)

48. Tarquino (Buenos Aires, Argentina)

49. Restaurante Dulce Patria (Mexico City)

50. Rafael (Lima, Peru)

Sorrel Moseley-Williams is a British journalist based in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She specializes in culture, food and wine and luxury travel in Latin America.