There are plenty of high-quality restaurants around the globe – hell, even if you stick close to home, you can hit up critically acclaimed places like Bennelong and Quay, or our own two spots that made it onto the 50 Best Restaurants Of 2017Attica and Brae

But there’s just something so… fantastically gloaty about being able to say you got a seat at one of the hardest restaurants to get into in the globe. And whether you end up having the best dining experience of your life or not, you’ll leave satisfied you got your bum on a very sought after seat. 

Here are the some of the longest wait-lists for restaurants world-wide right now – better start making a few calls.

N/NAKA, LOS ANGELES

Here Are The Toughest Restaurants In The World To Get Into

Image: N/Naka.


Wait time: 3 months.


Look, when you land a mention on Chef’s Table, you’re obviously going to blow up, right? That’s the story behind N/Naka, an LA based Japanese restaurant owned by chef Niki Nakayama. She’s the protegee of famous Mori Sushi owner Morihiro Onodera, hence the hype. Every Sunday, the restaurant opens online bookings at 10am – for 3 months in advance. But if you manage to land a reservation, expect delish, fresh fare with a strong seafood focus.

RAO’S, NEW YORK


Here Are The Toughest Restaurants In The World To Get Into

Image: Anne Fishbein.

Wait time: Basically forever.

Good bloody luck trying to get through the door of this Southern Italian restaurant in Harlem. The 120 year old restaurant is rumoured to have been the joint of choice for the actual Godfather, and serves a serious line-up of celeb clientele weekly. It’s not exactly fine dining – more like A+ home-style meals in the vein of pasta dishes and their very famous meatballs. The reason it’s so hard to get a table is there are around 6 available, and most are “owned” by families – kind of a friend-of-a-friend thing. Recently though, Rao’s went nation-wide with openings in LA and Vegas – although it’s the NYC one with the history and hype.

DAMON BAEHREL, NEW YORK


Here Are The Toughest Restaurants In The World To Get Into

Image: Damon Baehrel.

Wait time: Years.


You actually can’t currently even reserve a seat at legendary Damon Baehrel. A notice on site states that, after a heavy influx of reservations in 2014 (2014!!) they’ve decided to close off bookings until further notice. So, even if they do decide to re-open them, expect to be waiting actual years before you’re inside the Upper NY restaurant. Why is everyone so damn keen? Well, it’s probably in part due to chef and owner Baehrel sourcing most of his ingredients from the 12 acre property the restaurant sits on. And the fact the entire dining experience is a real, damn experience – 20 courses are presented, and Baehrel talks about every single one with passion, because he really loves food and his craft. 

EL CELLER DE CAN ROCA, SPAIN


Here Are The Toughest Restaurants In The World To Get Into

Image: El Celler De Can Roca.


Wait time: 11 months.


They’re currently listed as #3 in the world on the Top 50 Best Restaurants list, so it’s no wonder this traditional Catalan restaurant, which is owned by three very talented brothers, is hard to get into. They’re also no stranger to the list in years past – at one stage they even took out the number one spot. If you want in, you’ll have to head to their website on the 1st of the month at midnight – yes, really – and make a booking for the following year. Their big hook is their creativity – they’ve even created meals based around famous perfumes.

THE FRENCH LAUNDRY, CALIFORNIA


Here Are The Toughest Restaurants In The World To Get Into

Image: The French Laundry.


Wait time: 2 months.


A lush French restaurant based in the v. swish Napa Valley, you’ll be waiting 2 solid months for a spot at their daily 9 course tasting dinner. But it’s absolutely worth it – the restaurant is inside a huge old steam laundry (hence the name), so the entire experience is all your rustic dreams come true.

TAKAZAWA, TOKYO


Here Are The Toughest Restaurants In The World To Get Into

Image: Takazawa.

Wait time: 2 months.


With only 10 seats, it’s no surprise Takazawa is incredibly hard to get into. The restaurant is French cuisine with a Japanese twist – the ratatouille for example is a signature dish, that’s served sushi-style. If you want in, you’ll have to fill out an online form on the first of every month, for two months in advance. 

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Image: Takazawa.

Here Are The Toughest Restaurants In The World To Get Into