How to get a table at the world’s best restaurants

By the time you actually eat at one of the restaurants that were named in the World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards this year, it would be time for a new list. Some of these fine dining restaurants take bookings months in advance, but tables are snapped up faster than you can pronounce the restaurant’s name when they are released.

Top restaurant Osteria Francescana, for example, is booked out through September. Runner-up El Celler De Can Roca is fully booked for the next – wait for it – 11 months. We’re serious.

Read also: How I travel: Chef John Javier

We break down the reservation terms for the top five restaurants for your convenience, because life is better spent poring over the menu months ahead of the actual meal.

#1 Osteria Francescana

Osteria Francescana
Photo: Osteria Francescana

Where: Via Stella, 22, 41121 Modena MO, Italy

Reservations: Open 3 months in advance

What you need to know: New tables become available at 10am (Italy time) on the first day of the month. In case of Saturdays or Sundays, it will be the first Monday of the month.

Fun fact: The chef, Massimo Bottura, starred in the very first episode of highly acclaimed Netflix documentary Chef’s Table.

#2 El Celler De Can Roca

El Celler De Can Roca
Photo: El Celler De Can Roca

Where: Calle de Can Sunyer 48, 17007 Girona, Spain

Reservations: Open 11 months in advance

What you need to know: A new month becomes available at midnight on the first day of every month.

Fun fact: The restaurant was started by three brothers: Joan, Josep and Jordi Roca. They are the chef, sommelier and pastry chef respectively.

#3 Mirazur

Mirazur restaurant
Photo: Mirazur

Where: 30, Avenue Aristide Briand, 06500 Menton, France

Reservations: Open a year in advance

What you need to know: Mirazur offers a few booking options (standard à la carte alongside a few course menus).

Fun fact: The chef, Mauro Colagreco, has his own backyard farm from which his restaurant gets much of its produce.

#4 Eleven Madison Park

Eleven Madison Park NYC
Photo: Eleven Madison Park

Where: 11 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10010

Reservations: Open 2 months in advance

What you need to know: Reservations are offered for two types of tasting menus – an eight- to ten-course menu in the Dining Room and a five-course menu at the Bar.

Fun fact: Chef Daniel Humm and his team spill some (come on, surely not all) of Eleven Madison Park’s culinary secrets in two cookbooks you can buy now.

#5 Gaggan

Photo: Gaggan

Where: 68/1 Soi Langsuan, Ploenchit Road, Lumpini, Bangkok 10330, Thailand

Reservations: Book at least 1 month in advance

What you need to know: This is a pretty elusive case. When making a reservation online, after you enter your preferred date, time, number of guests, and contact details, it still cannot be considered the final confirmation. You need to wait for an email response, so good luck.

Fun fact: Or perhaps not so fun. Chef Gaggan Anand plans to close Gaggan in 2020 (noooo) and open a small restaurant Fukuoka, Japan, with close friend and fellow chef Takeshi ‘Goh’ Fukuyama.

Read also: This month in Hong Kong: Milanese favourites and roasted elk

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Andrea Tim

Andrea is a serial kopi peng drinker (for fun, not for the caffeine; coffee doesn't wake her up) and believer in keyboard shortcuts. She sees The Dress as blue and black, and hears both Yanny and Laurel. Make of that what you will.

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