Chefs cutting meat in Disfrutar restaurant kitchen

Disfrutar in Barcelona Named World’s Best Restaurant for 2024

Every year, a panel of over 1,000 culinary experts comes together to celebrate the very best the restaurant world has to offer and 50 Best has just announced its ranked list for The World’s 50 Best Restaurants of 2024. Celebrating the title for the number one restaurant in the world is the Barcelona-based restaurant Disfrutar. The achievement coincides with the restaurant’s 10-year anniversary and highlights its consistent progress toward this ultimate goal, as Disfrutar was named the third best restaurant in the world in 2022 and the second best in 2023.

The origin of Disfrutar plays no small role in its swift ascendence. It was opened in 2014 by the three chefs Oriol Castro, Mateu Casañas, and Eduard Xatruch. All three founders met each other working at the legendary restaurant El Bulli, which is credited as the origin of such legendary innovations as culinary foam and spherification. When El Bulli closed its doors for good back in 2011, Castro, Casañas, and Xatruch decided to open up their own restaurant. They initially opened Compartir in 2012 before opening Disfrutar in 2014.

The restaurant is famous for its playful plating style, mastery of the craft, and experimental menu. Popular food critics have been stunned by Disfrutar’s avant-garde desserts, which include an entire table with hidden compartments full of various sweets and goodies – each of which requires immense culinary knowledge to produce and a full-throated dedication to achieving the very best quality at any cost.

Disfrutar excels at avant-garde experimentation grounded in technical mastery

Chefs working in Disfrutar restaurant kitchen

If you’re ever in the neighborhood and want to dine at Disfrutar, you’ll be greeted with two menu options. The first menu is the Classic, which will treat you to a veritable parade of the very best dishes Disfrutar has ever produced and the meals it’s made its name on. The Festival menu is for adventurous eaters who want to experience the surprisingly creative ethos that drives the Disfrutar team. You simply pick which menu you’d like and let the staff do the rest as you’re treated to a roughly 30-course meal over a span of several hours.

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On their list of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, 50 Best pointed out Disfrutar’s playful antics by highlighting the dish Fear: The Prawn, which has you dunking your hand into a miasma of dry ice to fish out the titular seafood. Fully exploring the entire repertoire of Disfrutar could fill several books, but the element of surprise and novelty is part of the restaurant’s appeal. Better to go in with an open mind and an empty stomach if you want to get the full experience – and what an experience it is.

There is something theatrical and fantastic about the way Disfrutar engages with its guests that helps to elevate them above its more stodgy and formal competitors. Every meal is exciting without being gaudy and experimental while staying grounded in the bleeding edge of culinary science. It’s the edible embodiment of the type of crazed genius that greatness is born from.

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