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 Spain and Portugal.
The Daily Meal’s list of the 25 Best Restaurants in Spain and Portugal 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 100 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 Peter Black, Jonell Galloway-White, Agusti Jausas, Dino Joannides, David Leite, Joe Ray, Xavier Roig, and Emily Stone.
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 25. Restaurants offering a variety of cuisines, from classic French to fusion were considered. We did not discriminate on location; no town or island was off the table. The list is populated entirely with restaurants serving Spanish and Portuguese cuisine that runs the gamut from traditional Basque to modern nouvelle. Interestingly, El Motel Restaurant at Hotel Empordà in Figueres, Spain, and Moo at Hotel Omm in Barcelona, which appeared on The Daily Meal’s 101 Best Hotel Restaurants Around the World, also made this list, while Santceloni at Hotel Hesperia in Madrid — though outstanding — did not.
While The Daily Meal’s first list of the 101 Best Restaurants in Europe won’t be revealed until December, The Daily Meal 25 Best Restaurants in Spain and Portugal are sure to whet your appetite for more.
Lauren Mack is the Travel Editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @lmack.