• The World's 50 Best Restaurants
No.43

Azurmendi

Larrabetzu, Spain

No.43

Innovative cuisine in stunning surrounds with sustainability at the heart

Unique selling point: Far from the straightforward sit-down restaurant experience, at Azurmendi the journey starts in the rooftop vegetable garden where guests inspect the home-grown produce before continuing via the kitchen to an indoor greenhouse for a selection of ‘snacks’. Diners are eventually seated in a section of the dining room, flanked by temporary fabric walls projecting different scenes for different courses.

The chef: Basque cook Eneko Atxa was brought up with the kitchen at the heart of his home and says he’s committed to giving guests the same homely experience. Azurmendi is a family business that also houses a winery run by his cousin, Bertol Izagirre, specialising in Basque txakoli wine.

Other ventures: The chef opened Eneko at One Aldwych, a more relaxed version of Azurmendi, in London in 2016.

On the menu: Highlights include Truffled egg, which is ‘cooked inside out’, with part of the yolk removed and replaced with truffle consommé, while Edible Cotton is a classic snack that guests eat in the greenhouse.

Bonus point: Azurmendi first won The Sustainable Restaurant Award in 2014, and this year it once again gained the highest sustainbility rating, winning the award for a second time. Not only is the restaurant made with environmentally friendly materials, it also recycles its own waste, harvests rainfall and cools itself using geothermal energy.

On the pass

  • Eneko Atxa

Pastry chef

  • Ana Cortes

Style of food

  • Modern Basque cuisine

Standout dish

  • Txangurro (Basque spider crab)

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