Is it his fifth win, or his first? René Redzepi’s Noma was crowned Best Restaurant in the World yesterday at a live ceremony in Antwerp, Belgium, for the World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2021.
The prestigious awards had previously announced that all former number one restaurants were disqualified from the list this year. But there was a loophole. This is actually Noma’s first win in its new location, and for its tasting menu. Noma was originally located in the Christianshavn neighbourhood in central Copenhagen. After a hiatus, Noma reopened in February 2018 at its current location at Refshalevej 96.
Judged by more than 1000 industry experts, including chefs, food critics, publishers and restaurateurs, the annual World’s 50 Best releases rankings separately for the top 50 and a supplementary 51 to 100. Two Australian restaurants – Attica and Brae – were named in the 51 to 100 category, at 97 and 57, respectively.
“Dan Hunter’s culinary ingenuity [makes] Brae one of Australia’s most enduring standout restaurants,” said the judges about the Victorian restaurant.
Though no Australian restaurants made the top 50 this year, two Australians did – chef David Pynt, who was born in Perth, is currently on the pass at Burnt Ends in Singapore, which made it to 34. Plus, restaurateur Danny Yip, who spent more than a decade opening restaurants in Canberra, came in at number 10 for Hong Kong restaurant The Chairman.
“What an incredible moment for us all in Copenhagen. We are so happy and proud of our team being voted the no. 1 restaurant in the world,” said the Noma team in a tweet – including a video of the ecstatic staff in Denmark celebrating their achievement.
Second place went to another Copenhagen restaurant, Geranium. Third place went to Spain’s Asador Etxebarri in Atxondo. At fourth place was Peruvian restaurant Central in Lima, and fifth place went to another Spanish restaurant, Disfrutar in Barcelona.
The awards have faced criticism over the years for being too Euro-centric, and this year for its loophole decision. Two years ago it controversially awarded bartender Charles Schumann an “Industry Icon”, even after Schumann claimed “A bar is no place for a woman”. The bartender returned the award days later.
See the full list of winners at theworlds50best.com.
This article was updated on October 26, 2021.