The World’s 50 Best Restaurant Awards – an event considered the Oscars of the fine dining world – was also obliged to take a hiatus last year, but it’s finally back, and the two eateries at the top of the list are both in Copenhagen.
Geranium serves a meat-free, seasonally based Scandi menu in the unusual environs of the eighth floor of Denmark’s national soccer stadium. It’s open just four days a week, a choice made by head chef Rasmus Kofoed and co-owner Søren Ledet in order to keep to an ethos of work-life balance.
The two friends hugged joyfully as they celebrated winning their award at a lavish ceremony held Monday night in London’s Old Billingsgate, a Victorian building that was once the world’s largest fish market. Hollywood actor and CNN presenter Stanley Tucci hosted the ceremony, resplendent in a white tuxedo jacket on what was the UK’s hottest day of the year.
Restaurants are only permitted to scoop the awards’ top prize once, after which they’re entered into a separate “Best of the Best” program. Members of that elite group include Geranium’s Copenhagen neighbor Noma, as well as New York’s Eleven Madison Park, The Fat Duck near London, Osteria Francescana in Modena, Italy, and Mirazur in Menton, France.
The rest of the list
South American restaurants also fared well. In Lima, chefs Virgilio Martínez and Pía León’s Central climbed two places to the second spot, while Maido, which serves Japanese-Peruvian fusion, slipped down to No. 11.
Brazil’s A Casa do Porco – a celebration of all things porcine – climbed 10 places to No.7.
Spain’s showing this year was also solid. Barcelona’s Disfrutar was at No. 3, Madrid’s Diverxo shot up to fourth place, while Larrabetzu’s Asador Etxebarri – where all dishes, even dessert, are flame-grilled – slipped down to No. 6.
Mexico City was represented by fifth place winner Pujol – this year’s Best Restaurant in North America – and Quintonil, which climbed all the way from last year’s No.27 to land in the No. 9 spot.
Italy’s Lido 84 and Le Calandre also moved up the rankings this year. Uliassi, in Italy’s Senigallia region, was – at No. 12 – this year’s Highest New Entry.
It’s not until No.20 that an Asia-based restaurant makes an appearance, with Den in Tokyo earning the highest place on this year’s list.
In the 20 years the awards have been running, no restaurant outside Europe or North America has ever won the World’s 50 Best prize. All winners so far have come from Spain, the United States, the UK, Denmark, Italy and France.
The world’s 50 best restaurants
2. Geranium (Copenhagen, Denmark)
2. Central (Lima, Peru) *Best Restaurant in South America*
3. Disfrutar (Barcelona, Spain)
4. Diverxo (Madrid, Spain)
5. Pujol (Mexico City, Mexico) *Best Restaurant in North America*
3. Asador Etxebarri (Axpe, Spain)
4. Central (Lima, Peru) *Best Restaurant in South America*
8. Lido 84 (Gardone Riviera, Italy)
9. Quintonil (Mexico City, Mexico)
10. Le Calandre (Rubano, Italy)
11. Maido (Lima, Peru)
12. Uliassi (Senigallia, Italy)
13. Steirereck (Vienna, Austria)
14. Don Julio (Buenos Aires, Argentina)
15. Reale (Castel di Sangro, Italy)
16. Elkano (Getaria, Spain)
17. Nobelhart & Schmutzig (Berlin, Germany)
18. Alchemist (Copenhagen, Denmark)
19. Piazza Duomo (Alba, Italy)
20. Den (Tokyo, Japan) *Best Restaurant in Asia*
21. Mugaritz (San Sebastian, Spain)
22. Septime (Paris, France)
23. The Jane (Antwerp, Belgium)
24. The Chairman (Hong Kong)
6. Frantzén (Stockholm, Sweden)
7. Maido (Lima, Peru) (up three places)
27. Hof van Cleve (Kruishoutem, Belgium)
28. The Clarence (Paris, France)
29. St. Hubertus (San Cassiano, Italy)
30. Florilege (Tokyo, Japan)
31. Arpège (Paris, France)
32. Mayta (Lima, Peru)
33. Atomix (New York City)
34. Hiša Franko (Kobarid, Slovenia)
35. The Clove Club (London, UK)
8. Odette (Singapore) *Best Restaurant in Asia*
37. Fyn (Cape Town, South Africa)
38. Jordnær (Copenhagen, Denmark)
39. Sorn (Bangkok, Thailand)
40. Schloss Schauenstein (Fürstenau, Switzerland)
41. La Cime (Osaka, Japan)
42. Quique Dacosta (Dénia, Spain)
43. Boragó (Santiago, Chile)
44. Le Bernardin (New York City)
45. Narisawa (Tokyo, Japan)
46. Belcanto (Lisbon, Portugal)
47. Oteque (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
48. Leo (Bogotá, Colombia)
49. Ikoyi (London, England)
50. SingleThread (Healdsburg, California)