The World's 50 Best Restaurants 2021: two top spots go to restaurants in Copenhagen

Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Deputy Editor

The World's 50 Best Restaurants celebrated its return to physical events today, hosting its awards ceremony for the first time in two years in Antwerp, Flanders.

Noma and Geranium took the two top spots, days after Noma received three Michelin stars and eleven years after the first iteration of Noma was number one on The World's 50 Best Restaurants list.

The top 10 World's 50 Best Restaurants 2021 are as follows: 

  • 1st and Best Restaurant in Europe, René Redzepi's three Michelin-starred restaurant Noma
  • 2nd Rasmus Kofoed's Geranium in Copenhagen, Denmark
  • 3rd Assador Etxtebarri in Atxondo, in Spain's Basque Country
  • 4th, also the Best restaurant in South America, is Central in Lima, Peru
  • 5th Disfruitar in Barcelona, Spain
  • 6th Stockholm's Frantzen
  • 7th Peruvian/Japanese fusion restaurant Maido, in Lima, Peru
  • 8th and Best Restaurant in Asia: Odette in Singapore
  • 9th: Mexico City's Pujol 
  • Highest Climber and in 10th position, The Chairman in Hong Kong, China

A new entrant at number 50, also Best Restaurant in Africa is South Africa's Wolfgat. Maeemo is back in the top 50 at 47; Borago in Chile was named Sustainable Restaurant of the year, as well as ranking 38th. The first British restaurant to make it into the top 50 is James Lowe's Lyle's, at 33, followed by Isaac McHale's The Clove Club at 32. 

Quintonil stayed high up on the list at 27, as did Arpège at no 23; Diverxo in Madrid Spain went straight in at 20; Don Julio in Buenos Aires clung on to one of the top spots at 13.

The highest new entry award was given to Lido 84 in the Gardone Riviera in Italy.

Voted in by fellow chefs, The Chef's Choice Award went to no 3 on the list, Victor Arguinzoniz at Asador Extebarri in Axtono in the Basque Country.

The icon award for 2021 went to Dominique Crenn for her work as a chef across her three San Francisco restaurants and her positive influence on the hospitality and food industries.

Upon receiving the title for Noma, René Redzepi thanked his team, to whom he said: "I think of you as the best team in the f***ing galaxy and I can honestly say - and you know me through my ups and downs - being with you during the pandemic was my rocket fuel.

"In the depression and unknowing moments, knowing that we were together, that was what made me feel safe, knowing that we were going to get through it. Thank you.

Knowing that once you take the top spot, you can never take it again, he added: "And to the World's 50 Best and to all of you here tonight, thank you for your support. Honestly, you do not know what you have done for our team and our region. It is a transformation forever. Thank you for a wild ride and goodbye." 

The World's 50 Best spent the past year and a half focusing on its 50 Best for Recovery fundraising project​, running an auction of 150+ lots donated by restaurants and chefs featured on its recent lists, as well as releasing an  e-cookbook entitled Home Comforts: simple lockdown recipes from the world’s best chefs and bartenders​.

It used the funds to distribute grants of up to US $5,000 per establishment in need, as well as giving donations to non-profit organisations supporting restaurants and bars get through the Covid-19 pandemic.

Last month, it released its 51-100 ranking, which saw 13 new additions including Iré Hassan-Odukale and Jeremy Chan's West African restaurant, Ikoyi, which came in at 87, as well as receiving the title of 'One to Watch; and both of World's Best Female Chef 2021 Pía León's Peruvian restaurants, which came in at 90 (Mil) and 95 (Kjolle).

You can view the full World's 50 Best Restaurants list here.

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Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Deputy Editor 5th October 2021

The World's 50 Best Restaurants 2021: two top spots go to restaurants in Copenhagen