René Redzepi's Danish restaurant, which held the title in 2010, 2011 and 2012, has re-invented itself over the past year, with a fresh approach and new confidence nudging it back into pole position.
The Roca brothers’ El Celler de Can Roca won the number two spot, while Italy’s Osteria Francescana, owned and run by enigmatic chef Massimo Bottura, held onto third place.
Looking further down the list, 2014 was a fantastic year for the UK – which had two restaurants in the top ten for the first time ever. Dinner by Heston Blumenthal climbed two places to number five and Brett Graham’s The Ledbury was up three spots to number 10.
Additionally, Fergus Henderson from St. John in London won The Diners Club Lifetime Achievement Award for the ‘fundamental contribution’ he has made to the UK’s culinary identity.
World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2014: Interactive Map
Despite the UK’s strong performance this year it was Spain that dominated the World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2014 list, with seven restaurants in the top 50 and three in the top ten - El Celler de Can Roca and the two San Sebastian-based venues Mugaritz and Arzak, placing sixth and eighth respectively. New Spanish entry Arzumendi from Larrabetzu, near Bilbao, debuted at a respectable 26th and picked up the Sustainable Restaurant Award, sponsored by Zacapa.
The US also had seven restaurants on the list, with two in the top ten – the S.Pellegrino Best Restaurant in North America, Eleven Madison Park, in fourth place, and Chicago’s Alinea, which came in at number nine. Saison, in San Francisco, was named the One to Watch, sponsored by Dekton by Cosentino.
France had five restaurants in the top 50 but missed out on a number 10 spot, with Mirazur in Menton moving up 17 places to number 11. Italy had three restaurants in the top 50, with just Osteria Francescana making it into the top ten.
South America and Asia continue to increase their influence on the list, with Asia now boasting seven restaurants in the world including the S.Pellegrino Best Restaurant in Asia – Bangkok’s Nahm - which rocketed 19 places to number 13 this year. Another Bangkok restaurant, Gaggan, was the Highest New Entry at number 17.
Brazilian restaurant D.O.M was named S.Pellegrino Best Restaurant in South America and came in seventh overall, with chef-owner Alex Atala receiving the Chefs’ Choice Award. Other South American achievements included Peruvian restaurant Central’s meteoric climb up 35 places to 15th, and Brazilian chef Helena Rizzo taking home the Veuve Clicquot World’s Best Female Chef Award, while her restaurant Mani rose 10 places to number 36 on the list.