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First came The Daily Meal's 101 Best Restaurants in America, then 101 Best Hotel Restaurants Around the World. Now, The Daily Meal has set its sights on Europe. Each week this fall, The Daily Meal will highlight the best restaurants in various regions in Europe, culminating with the debut of our first list of the 101 Best Restaurants in Europe in December.
Perennially on the quest to find the best places to eat and dine in cities large and small, The Daily Meal continues its European culinary tour in Central Europe.
The Daily Meal’s list of the 20 Best Restaurants in Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia was carefully curated through a two-month-long nomination process; we consulted the Michelin Guide and other trusted sources and gathered recommendations from The Daily Meal’s editors, who have traveled and dined extensively around the world.
Once we compiled a preliminary list of more than 150 restaurants, we reached out to a panel of knowledgeable judges, comprised of restaurant critics, food and lifestyle writers, and bloggers with wide restaurant-going experience. They added their own favorites, and then voted for the winners. Some of our judges requested anonymity. Among those we can thank publically are Anne Skoogh of Anne's Food, Laurent Vanparys of Gastros on Tour, and Trine Lai of Very Good Food.
Panelists voted in two categories: cuisine and style/décor/service. From innovative menu options to plating and presentation to freshness, quality, and taste, panelists evaluated each restaurant’s cuisine and only voted for the restaurants which they believe are extraordinary. For the second category, panelists evaluated the dining experience, from the restaurant’s interior and dining room ambiance to the service, voting for the restaurants which they believe offer an unrivaled experience. Each restaurant had the chance to be voted on twice during the survey. Finally, the percentage scores from each category were averaged to arrive at the final ranking.
With dozens of restaurants to choose from, it was a culinary challenge to whittle the list down to a select 20. Restaurants offering a variety of cuisines, from classic French to fusion, were considered. We did not discriminate according to location; no town or village was off the table. The list is populated with restaurants serving cuisine that runs the gamut from European fusion at Café Oranżeria at the Kossak Hotel in Warsaw, Poland to traditional homestyle fare at Liviano Restaurant in Bratislava, Slovakia.
Nearly all the restaurants are in larger cities like Bratislava in Slovakia, Budapest in Hungary, Kraków and Warsaw in Poland, and Salzburg and Vienna in Austria, but one restaurant is further afield — Chef Zoltán Huszák's Chateau Visz on Lake Balaton in Berencsepuszta, Hungary. The Lichfield Café, Restaurant & Bar at Augustine Hotel in Prague and Panorama at Gellért Hotel in Budapest, which appeared on The Daily Meal’s 101 Best Hotel Restaurants Around the World, did not make this list.
While The Daily Meal’s first list of the 101 Best Restaurants in Europe won’t be revealed until December, The Daily Meal 20 Best Restaurants in Central Europe are sure to whet your appetite for more.
Sean Flynn is a Junior Writer for The Daily Meal. Follow him on Twitter @Buffaloflynn.