Tripadvisor’s Best of the Best restaurants awards

by Deborah Cater
Tripadvisor's best of the best restaurants awards

Spain’s cuisine has been recognised worldwide for decades now. This year is no exception with Spanish restaurants featuring in TripAdvisor’s Best of the Best restaurant awards lists.

Yesterday (21st July), Tripadvisor announced the winners of its 2021 Travellers’ Choice® “Best of the Best” Restaurants awards, with five new categories of must-visit restaurants no matter where you are or what you crave, based on traveller reviews of people who have dined there before. From favourite Fine Dining establishments for the more discerning taste buds and the Best Brunch Spots to fill up on avo toast and mimosas, to the Hottest New Restaurants and Best Vegan Spots serving up some of the tastiest plant-based grub. These award-winning restaurants have something to suit every type of palate.

The 2021 Best of the Best Restaurants Awards are calculated based on the quality and quantity of traveller reviews and ratings for restaurants on Tripadvisor collected from January 1, 2020 – April 30, 2021, specific to each award subcategory, as well as an additional editorial process.

Fine dining restaurants – Europe

Spain has no less than four restaurants in the top 25 fine dining restaurants in Europe. The top spot went to a UK restaurant, but Spain clinched the 4th, 5th, 16th and 19th spots.

In 19th place is El Celler de Can Roca in Girona (Catalonia), while 16th went to Raíces in Talavera de la Reina (Toledo). 5th place was awarded to Martin Berasategui in Lasarte-Oria (Basque Country), with a review saying, “The best combinations of flavours we have ever experienced. The meal was culinary poetry.” One place above, in 4th, is El Xato in La Nucia (Alicante).

El Xato has been run by the Cano family sine 1915. Heading it now is Cristina Figuiera who started working there with her mother-in-law when it was a tapas bar.

Hottest new restaurants – World

It’s not just the established restaurants that are getting noticed in Spain. There are two restaurants in the top 15 hottest new restaurants in the world category.

In 4th place is MareaViva in Seville. Specialising in fish and seafood, brought in fresh from the Atlantic, its tapas are unique. One reviewer said, “The best tapas and the best service period.”

Hot on its heels was Malaga restaurant Tercer Acto. Located in the Soho district close to the theatre, its website says “Everything is designed for aesthetic pleasure also. Come see and taste it yourself.”

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Picture perfect restaurants – World

Again Spain is showing it has style and panache with two spots in the top 20 picture perfect restaurants in the world.

In 11th place is Samsha in Valencia, where the food is most definitely the star of the picture show. Molecular gastronomy abounds with dry ice, colourful foods and taste sensations. One review described it as “Black Mirror of food experience”.

Just behind in 12th place is Entre Dos Fuegos in Toledo. In a pretty stone building, one reviewer said, “What a lovely and intimate little place. You’ll be seated at the bar desk where the cooking is done by the two chefs. It’s a real show. They explain everything in detail, so you’ll know exactly what you’re getting.”

Best vegan spots – World

Many of the places in the top 20 vegan spots in the world went to restaurants in Asian countries, where vegetarian and vegan food is a speciality. However, Spain had a highly placed restaurant in this awards list.

In 2nd place is Blu Bar in Barcelona. Located on Rambla del Poblenou, it has a cool vibe and relaxed eating experience. One review reads, ““I can’t find a recommendation for improvement! The menu is so diverse, the food is very tasty, and the service has a warm energy.”

Best brunch spots – World

The aptly named Billy Brunch in Barcelona claimed 4th spot in the Best brunch spots in the world award. Joining it, in 12th place is Valencia’s Eggcellent Brunch Café.

One review for Billy Brunch says, “We had the best brunch at Billy’s! From the moment we walked in we felt so welcome and it was so clear that each and every worker was excited to be there and wanted to foster community within the restaurant.

Spain has it all

Whatever food you like, whether you want to push the boat out or enjoy a tasty vegan dish, you’ll find it in Spain. And don’t forget the award-winning hotels.

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