From early morning queues to waiting lists lasting14 years—check out our list of the world’s toughest restaurant to find a seat. By Shikha Pushpan
Owned by the legendary Roca Brothers—Joan, Jordi, and Josep Roca—this Girona-based restaurant needs no introduction. Ranked No. 1 twice by the World’s 50 Best Restaurants, the place is popular for its 14plus-course menus that can double for modern art. Reservation here is made only through the website at midnight on the first of every month, and can take anywhere between 11 months to a year to get a table.
- Sushi Dai, Tokyo
If it’s your first time here, chances are you will not spot Sushi Dai until you trace the source of that unusually long queue of diners at the Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo. A 12-seater restaurant incredibly popular for its sushi breakfasts, the place sees waiting as early as 3 am for the first sushi served at 5 am. The place takes no online reservations and closes at 2 pm. 5-2-1 Tsukiji Tsukiji Fish Market 6th Bldg., Chuo 104-0045 Tokyo Prefecture
With just two tables and one seating per night, Pennsylvania-based Talula’s Table is probably one of the most exclusive restaurants in America. Book one year in advance to savour the nightly eight-course menu here. Since the chef’s table is invite-only, usual diners can find a spot only on the farm’s table which seats 10-12 people. Try to visit on a weekday, or keep a lookout on the website for any cancellations, to get a quick spot here.
Coming from the house of legendary Spanish Chef Ferran Adria, it’s no surprise that getting a table at Tickets can take up to two months. “There is no other tapas bar in the world quite like Tickets,” says a description on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants website, which ranked it 25 in the 2017 list. Reservations open online at midnight.
The eponymous restaurant by Chef Damon Baehrel stopped accepting reservation in April 2014, since its already booked through 2025! Situated in the basement of the chef’s Albany, New York, apartment, the restaurant serves 15-course menus. Once in a whilem the loyal guests from the waiting list are treated to a one-off private seatings with the Chef.
No matter what time you arrive, you’ll likely wait at least 4 hours to get a seat at the lunch-only restaurant, Franklin Barbecue. Open to public at 11 am, the place sees long queues of diners as early as 6 am, who bring their chairs and card tables along to keep themselves occupied! Expect leaner crowds on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.
Interestingly, arriving late is the trick at this Washington DC-based, no-reservation restaurant. While waiting start as early as 3pm for dinners, it is advisable to walk-in after 8:30 pm for better chances at grabbing a seat. P.S. If you are willing to eat at the bar, turnover can be slightly quicker.
Saturdays are the busiest here, with the management claiming to have a couple of thousand people registered on the waiting list. It is advisable to book a table at least three months in advance on the first Monday of every month. You have a better shot with tables for six people, instead of two to four people.
One of the world’s most expensive and exclusive places to dine at, the estimated waiting time at Club 33 by Walt Disney is 14 years. Yes, you heard that right! Plus, the place demands a joining fee of USD19,100, followed by USD7,500 a year and extras for food and drink. The perks include access to the club and restaurant, upgrades on Disney cruises, and behind-the scene tours of Disney attractions.
A regular in the World’S 50 Best Restaurants List, Takazawa serves a maximum of 10 people every night. No shortcuts to reservations here, one has to wait for as long as three months to taste the restaurant’s unique fusion of Japanese and French cuisines.