Welcome to our Good Taste Awards.
We asked you, and our favorite travel experts, to tell us about the people, places, and big ideas that embody good taste right now. What is "good taste"? It's a chef and restaurateur perfecting their recipe for flawless hospitality and it's anti-food-waste activists working to make imperfect fruit more attractive. It's Thomas Keller on a ship, vegetarian food in Berlin that'll make you forget currywurst, and the other 34 winners we can't wait to visit below...
Readers' Choice Winners
Hotel with the Most Character
The Peabody, Memphis
The Peabody is famous for two things: its rooftop parties, where bands from around the world play beneath the best skyline view in Memphis, and it’s daily duck walk, when the hotel's “Duckmaster” leads the hotel’s paddling of Mallard ducks on a parade through the lobby.
Splurge-Worthy Dining City
Paris has always been the Platonic ideal of white tablecloths and dressed up waiters. And it is, but with even better food. The home of the second highest number of Michelin-stars in the world, other cities are still catching up to match the innovation and opulent luxury of the city’s temples of haute cuisine, like Alain Passard’s prescient vegetable-focused L'Arpège.
Finest Modern U.S. Cocktail Bar
The Aviary, Chicago
At The Avairy, cocktails are raised to the level of performance art, thanks to a battery of high-tech gadgets (a rotary evaporator, a blast chiller) that are used for drinks like the Loaded to the Gunwalls, a spicy Batavia Arrack cocktail that is served in a glass ship in a bottle.
Destination-Worthy Old-School Bar Scene
Looking for an easy way to navigate Dublin’s 1,000-strong pub scene? Skip the newer bars jumping on the craft brew bandwagon, and choose an old hole-in-the-wall. Behind stained glass doors, you’ll find fewer tourists, ice-cold brews, and plates of freshly fried fish.
Favorite U.S. Classic Restaurant
Commander's Palace, New Orleans
Since the late 1800s, Commander’s Palace has been a New Orleans institution. Now James Beard Award-winner Tory McPhail follows in the footsteps of legendary Commanders chefs Paul Prudhomme and Emeril Lagasse, to bring diners Haute Creole cuisine like turtle soup au sherry and roasted-chile-and-suckling-pig boudin.
Best Modern Restaurant
Arzak, San Sebastian, Spain
Gastronauts flock to Basque country to see Father-daughter team, Juan Mari Arzak and Elena Arzak Espina, celebrate the region's culinary traditions with wild creativity in dishes like foie-gras ice cream and monkfish and gooseberries served on a computer screen.
Where to Go Next
While it’s always lured tourists with its unreal scenery, New Zealand’s incredible biodiversity—and ingredients like feijoa fruit and Bluff oysters—are fueling up-and-coming food scenes in Kiwi wine destinations like Hawkes Bay and Waiheke Island.
Greatest Little Food City
With a population of just 128,000, Charleston’s got a culinary scene to rival much bigger cities, with game-changing Southern spots like Sean Brock’s Husk and Mike Lata’s FIG that rework low-country traditions with a fresh perspective to create dishes like sassafras-glazed pork ribs and buttermilk chess pie with benne seed.
World-Class Winery Experience
Vietti (Langhe, Italy)
Like visiting a family, a trip to Vietti Winery in the Barolo-zone of Castiglione Falletto, Italy, feels both welcoming and intimate—which is just the type of setting in which you want to enjoy a Piemonte sunset and a big glass of wine.
Best Hotel Bar
New York Bar, The Park Hyatt, Tokyo
On the 52nd floor of the iconic Park Hyatt Tokyo, the New York Bar was famously made famous in Sofia Coppola's 2003 indie hit Lost in Translation. While a chance meeting with Bill Murray in unlikely, the bar has unparalleled views of Tokyo's glittering skyline, expertly executed classic cocktails, and, of course, a premium selection of Japanese and international whiskeys.
World's Greatest Breakfast City
Finest Cruise Line Dining
Starting in 2016, Seabourn Cruise Line will partner with star chef Thomas Keller to introduce the first By Thomas Keller restaurants across its fleet, bringing the chef’s signature locally-sourced cooking to cruises from Greece to the Caribbean.
Outstanding U.S. Airport for Dining
Outstanding International Airport for Dining
Hong Kong International (HKG)
Six-hour layover? Hong Kong’s airport has dozens of tantalizing options, including an outpost of celebrated Hung’s Delicacies (order the sliced goose), the elegant, sit-down Maxim’s (for dim sum), and Tsui Wah Eatery (where the fish balls are made fresh daily).