Fans of Peruvian food like to tell this story: George Auguste Escoffier, the chef who wrote the rules of contemporary French cooking, once decided to rank the world's top cuisines. In his eyes, the best was, of course, French, followed by Chinese, and, in third place, Peruvian. Italian? Spanish? Not even mentioned. While Escoffier may or may not have created this ranking, it's a prophecy fulfilled: Lima, the capital of Peru, is currently the best place in the universe to get a sampling of the highest-ranking restaurant cooking.
The proof is mathematical, if you use the World’s 50 Best Restaurants as a guide. No city on its list has more than three restaurants in the top 50. The four that pose a triple treat are New York, London, Mexico City, and Lima. If you average the rankings of the three restaurants in each city, Lima has the best, lowest score—(15.6)—followed by New York (23.6), Mexico City (26.6), and London (28.3). Indeed, Lima beats New York by eight points. (Note: Before the closing of Noma last week, Copenhagen had three 50 Best spots, too, at an average of 24.3).