It’s 2016 and spring is almost here, which means it’s the best time to get in a last-minute trip to warmer weather, or to start planning how to use your vacation days this summer or later in the year. To help you decide where to go, we’d like to debut our third-annual list of the 101 Best Restaurants in Latin America and the Caribbean.
As we’ve done with our past 101 lists, we compiled all the information we have on restaurants in the region — from established veterans to new kids on the block, and from fancy upscale dining to casual beach hangouts — and carefully narrowed it down to a list of 200 options in countries from Mexico and Cuba all the way down to Chile and Argentina (and everything in between) for a total of 32 nations.
From here, we put the 200 finalists into a survey, which was sent out to a panel of judges that consisted of chefs, restaurant and food critics, and an assorted group of bloggers from around the world. In the interests of accuracy and fairness, panelists were asked only to vote for restaurants where they had eaten within the past 12 months. The voting was broken up by region, cuisine, and the style of the restaurant (budget, casual/neighborhood, and serious dining/special occasion), the scores were tallied, and the final list of 101 restaurants for 2016 was born.
We had a lot of newbies in the final list, which was a pleasant surprise. It’s always exciting to see fresh contenders in the world of food, and it speaks to the ever-changing atmosphere of the industry and world.
Of course, this also means some previous winners were bumped off the list. It was heartbreaking to do, but this shouldn’t be interpreted as a knock on those establishments; there are a lot of high-quality, delicious, and enjoyable eateries in the world, and only so many spots to award.
Additionally, some restaurants fell off because they permanently shuttered their doors in 2015 (pour one out for Tutto Bene in St. Croix, Michael’s Genuine in Grand Cayman, and Maiz de Mar in Mexico, among others), which was also tough to swallow.
Here, then, is our list of the 101 Best Restaurants in Latin America and the Caribbean for 2016.
After checking out the list, please share your critiques and compliments in the comments section below — or on Twitter @TheDailyMeal using the hashtag #bestrestaurants — and let us know what places you think should have been included, or should have been left out.