8 Tips for Scoring Reservations at the World’s Most Popular Restaurants

(The Points Guy) Some fine dining lovers book notoriously hard-to-reserve tables almost a year in advance, before even contemplating where to stay and how to get there. So how do you secure a reservation at the likes of Gaggan or Central — both featured on Netflix’s popular show “Chef’s Table — if your boss sends you on a last-minute work trip?

While it might sound like an impossible challenge, smart planning and some insider intel could have you eating at the hottest table in town.

Try an App or Website

While there is no single app that resolves bookings at the world’s Michelin-starred or 50 Best-ranked establishments in one fell swoop, savvy diners look to Tock and Resy. With a largely US focus, Tock covers all major US cities while also dabbling in London, Hong Kong, Sydney and Tulum, among a hundred other destinations. First tempting users with “unique culinary experiences,” Tock then seals the deal with a one-click reservation at, say, Eleven Madison Park. Over on Resy, global options are fewer, but London establishments, for example, outnumber those featured on Tock.

Join the Waitlist

But how do you get a seat at top tables that don’t figure on apps or credit cards? At Gustu in La Paz, Bolivia’s altitudinous capital, head sommelier and manager Bertil Levin Tøttenborg suggests diners turn up regardless, given that those who haven’t acclimatized to its 11,000-foot location are likely no shows.

He said, “If we don’t immediately have a table, we’ll seat you at the bar. We do work with a waiting list, but my advice is to arrive early and take a chance: Getting seated basically depends on who turns up first. [And] accept what you’re being offered; that way, the restaurant will think of you first.”

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