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25+ Most Influential Restaurants in the World

By: Nathan Cranford
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Alinea 

The name Alinea is taken from a symbol meaning ‘a new idea.’ After a major revamp of the entire restaurant, Alienea was born again with upscale contemporary features. It features a unique concept of offering three different experiences across its three floors- The Kitchen Table, The Gallery and The Salon. With a menu focusing on New American and avant-garde dishes, Scallop paper noodle and onion wagyu beef are some of the chef's offerings. Not only are the flavors an exquisite work of art, but also the presentation of each and every plate. Alinea believes in molecular gastronomy, which is a new field that incorporates science in the art of food and cooking. It may sound weird, but the food sure tastes great! With an experimental and innovative menu almost everyday, this restaurant lives up to its name. Open only for dinner, be sure to reserve in advance.

Chicago, IL, United States
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Asador Etxebarri

Award winning restaurant Asador Etxebarri is located on the Plaza San Juan (main square) in the village of Axondo. Great for those looking to explore Basque dining, this restaurant is traditionally decorated, and resembles an old Spanish Tavern, making it a warm and friendly placer to dine at. Here you would find local Basque delights prepared in the best possible manner using the finest ingredients. Head chef Victor Arguinz, who is well known, supervises the kitchen and sees to it that each dish churned out is off top quality. The restaurant is famous for bringing home 'La Brasa', a cooking method, wherein the food is cooked using charcoal and grill (usually on open fire). All in all, a great place to get a taste of mouth-watering Basque delicacies.

Axondo, Spain
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Au Pied de Cochon

Chef Martin Picard takes innovative cuisine very seriously; foie gras poutine and the pig's foot stuffed with foie gras are some of his specialties at Au Pied de Cochon. An impressive selection of wines from all over the world complement the food. Delicious seafood platters are the specialty in summer and the gigantic plateau de frits de mer is a must! The restaurant is very warm and welcoming with its rustic look. You'll find the place packed at all times and hence reservations are strongly recommended.

Montreal, QC, Canada
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Blue Hill at Stone Barns

A barn converted into a restaurant, Blue Hill at Stone Barns serves excellent American country cuisine. Renowned Chef Dan Barber believes in showcasing natural flavors, preferably in season. In fact, most of the restaurant's produce comes from the Stone Hill Farm surrounding the restaurant. Blue Hill is an ideal place to go for a Sunday brunch, lazing in the afternoon sun and soaking in the surroundings. Reserve well in advance to avoid disappointment.

Pocantico Hills, NY, United States
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Restaurant Chez Panisse

A world renowned name in the culinary industry, Chez Panisse is known for their innovations in tastes and flavors.Started by Alice Walkers in 1971, it was named after the movie character Honore Panisse. Prepared with fresh, local produce, the restaurant is a spectacular specimen of fine dining. The menu changes daily and is curated keeping the seasonality of ingredients. Through the week, delicacies like Striped bass carpaccio with cardoons and Titone olio nuovo and Huckleberry and Meyer lemon ice creams meringata are served, to name a few. The wine list is extensive, featuring dozens of wines from across the world. With contributions like California style pizza to the ever changing culinary world, the Chez Panisse is no less than a legend.

Berkeley, CA, United States
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Cochon

Cochon serves you the traditional home-made food of Louisiana for that perfect Southern dining experience. The restaurant specializes in pork and receives whole pigs to prepare spicy Andouille Sausage, Fried Boudin and moist patties of pulled pork served over turnips and cracklings. The menu faithfully features the rural Louisiana fare that the chef Donald Link prepares, retaining the authentic flavors. The meal is best washed down with a pint of the locally brewed Abita beer. Also try the restaurant's fine cakes or cobblers and a shot of the small batch bourbon.

New Orleans, LA, United States
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Dooky Chase's Restaurant

Headed by none other than Leah Chase, the Queen of Creole Cuisine herself, Dooky Chase's Restaurant is somewhat of a landmark in Mid-City. Rumor has it that the charming restaurant is more or less unchanged since its inception in 1941. Midst a cozy, homey dining area that has oodles of old-world charm and feel-good nostalgia, the restaurant serves a great range of Creole preparations along with a selection of soul food. Serving some of Louisiana's most-loved dishes like fried chicken, veal parmesan, mac 'n' cheese and such, Dooky Chase's is famous for its incredible lunch buffets that are offered between Tuesdays and Fridays. For fans of Creole cuisine, Dooky Chase's Restaurant is almost a pilgrimage; not to be missed, this one!

New Orleans, LA, United States
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El Bulli

If you ever want to get the feel of an authentic Spanish restaurant in Sydney, head to the El Bulli. This Tapas bar and restaurant is clearly an interpretation of its flagship Spanish counterpart. Like the original, this restaurant also has a huge bull motif on the outer area to attract patrons. Choose from their deep-fried mashed potato dotted with ham, or go for the Baby sardines or the croquetas de jamon and you will not be disappointed. For drinks, try something from their huge mix of tequila lining the bar.

Sydney, NSW, Australia
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The Fat Duck

One of the few restaurants all over the world to serve food based on molecular gastronomy, the dishes served are always full of flavor, and moreover mouth-watering. An unheard-of combination like Salmon Poached in Licorice Gel or Snail Porridge challenges your taste buds, bursting with flavors and interesting textures throughout the meal. The restaurant is considered expensive, but the food is completely worth every penny.

Bray, United Kingdom
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The French Laundry

Foodies from all over the world flock this romantic jewel in the Napa Valley, considered to be one of the most outstanding restaurants in the world. The exquisite American-French food defies description or convention. Chef Thomas Keller takes care to use as much produce from the restaurant's own private garden as possible, as well as making sure no ingredient is repeated anywhere on the nine-course daily tasting menus. The French Laundry's extraordinary food is exceeded only by its excellent service. Patrons are always impressed by the breath and depth of knowledge of Master Sommelier Paul Roberts, whose recommendations are as tasteful as they are informative. A table at the French Laundry is a heavily coveted prize, so make sure to reserve far in advance.

Yountville, CA, United States
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Gramercy Tavern

Chic and supremely popular, Gramercy Tavern is known among the Manhattan elite for its excellent service, superb food, plush interiors, and extensive wine list. The restaurant boasts two distinct dining options: you can enjoy a cozy, à la carte meal in the Tavern or indulge in the prix fixe experience in the Dining Room. Chef Michael Anthony proudly sources ingredients from local vendors, creating sensational dishes that change with the seasons. Whether you're snacking on treats like Wagyu pastrami and fluke tartare in the Tavern or reveling in courses like pork belly with peaches and strawberry brown butter cake for dessert in the Dining Room, you're sure to be amazed by Gramercy Tavern.

New York, NY, United States
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Highlands Bar & Grill

This popular bar and grill, located on 11th Avenue at Five Points South, offers Southern Continental cuisine in an upscale yet relaxed environment. The decor is that of an elegant bistro, with exposed brick walls and track lighting. The menu, though not extensive, offers an ever-changing list of interesting entrees featuring venison, quail, beef, pork and seafood prepared in a continental style.

Birmingham, AL, United States
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