Coming just weeks after the restaurant was finally awarded three Michelin stars, the accolade is described by 50 Best as 'a testament to Redzepi and his team’s unerring focus on unusual seasonal ingredients'.
Rasmus Kofoed’s fellow Copenhagen restaurant Geranium climbed three places to take the number two spot; while Basque grill master Victor Arguinzoniz's Asador Etxebarri held its third place position from the 2019 list, with Arguinzoniz also receiving the Estrella Damm Chefs’ Choice Award.
Noma originally opened in 2003 and previously topped The World's 50 Best List on four occasions in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2014. In 2017 the original restaurant closed, with Redzepi opening it in a new space in Copenhagen a year later. Dubbed Noma 2.0, the new restaurant was created to further push Redzepi’s style of cooking 'without the fear of failure'.
Restaurants that have previously topped The World's 50 Best list now leave the list and enter the Best of the Best hall of fame. However, this new iteration of Noma is eligible for The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list due to three key changes from the original restaurant: its location, concept and ownership. As such, it is considered a new restaurant.
Last night's ceremony marked a return to physical events for The World's 50 Best Group following the Coronavirus pandemic, during which it devoted its resources to its 50 Best for Recovery fundraising project.
Sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna, The World's 50 Best Restaurants Awards 2021 list has restaurants from 26 countries in total, with eight making their debut and two returning as re-entries.
As was the case in 2019, just two UK restaurants made the ranking - both hailing from Shoreditch in London.
James Lowe and John Ogier’s Lyle’s, which debuted in the list back in 2018, climbed one place from 34 to 33; while Daniel Willis, Isaac McHale and Johnny Smith's The Clove Club dropped slightly, from 27 to 32.
Spain and the US led the way this year with six restaurants each in The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list, with Spain boasting two in the top 10 including Asador Etxebarri and Barcelona’s Disfrutar, which was ranked at number five.
Lido 84 in Gardone Riviera, Italy, was announced as the Highest New Entry, sponsored by Aspire Lifestyles, debuting on the list at number 15; and The Chairman in Hong Kong, China, received the Highest Climber Award, sponsored by Alaska Seafood, rising 31 places to number 10.
New Nordic champion
With Noma, Redzepi helped develop a New Nordic cuisine that takes a minimalist approach to cooking, champions terroir, uses under-utilised ingredients and takes seasonal cooking to new levels. The restaurant was also at the vanguard of the trend for chefs leaving the kitchen to serve guests the food, breaking down the barriers between front and back of house.
“Noma has arguably been the most influential restaurants of its generation, setting new standards in terms of research and ingredient sourcing, dish development and presentation," says William Drew, director of content for The World’s 50 Best Restaurants.
"It has become one of the most sought-after dining destinations by consumers from all over the world and we are delighted to announce it as this year’s World's Best Restaurant.
"It is also wonderful to see eight new restaurants making their debut as well as two re-entries after one of the most challenging periods the sector has seen. It has been an honour to witness the resilience and community spirit of so many restaurants on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list and beyond.”
Having topped The World's 50 Best Restaurants Awards list in 2019, Mauro Colagreco’s three Michelin-starred French restaurant Mirazur now enters the Best of the Best hall of fame, joining previous winners including Heston Blumenthal's The Fat Duck (2005); Ferran Adria's now-closed El Bulli (2002, 2006-2009); Thomas Keller's The French Laundry (2003-2004); and Daniel Humm's Eleven Madison Park (2017).
Launched in 2002, The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list is created from the votes of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants Academy, comprising more than 1,000 international restaurant industry experts.
Last month The World's 50 Best longlist (numbers 51-100) was released, and featured four more UK restaurants: Core by Clare Smyth came in at number 64; Dinner by Heston Blumenthal at 65; Tomos Parry’s Brat entered the list at 78; and Jeremy Chan and Iré Hassan-Odukale's Ikoyi ranked for the first time at number 87, with the restaurant also named as the American Express One To Watch 2021.
The list of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2021 in full:
A Casa do Porco
Castel di Sangro
Restaurant Tim Raue
The Clove Club
Ultraviolet by Paul Pairet
Hof Van Cleve
Alléno Paris au Pavillon Ledoyen
Nobelhart & Schmutzig