Noma tops World’s 50 Best Restaurants list

Middle Eastern restaurants didn’t make the cut, despite the launch of MENA’s 50 Best Restaurants next year

Culinary stars from around the globe converged for The World’s 50 Best Restaurants Awards 2021 in Antwerp, Flanders. 

After a hiatus last year as a result of the pandemic,  this year’s event saw restaurants from 26 countries place on the list, culminating in the announcement of a new – though not surprising – number one, Noma in Copenhagen, Denmark. As well as taking the award for The World’s Best Restaurant 2021, founder-chef René Redzepi also took to the stage to collect double honours for The Best Restaurant in Europe 2021.


Taking over the top position from Mirazur, which had been automatically elevated to the ‘Best of the Best’ hall of fame, Noma climbed from the number-two spot in 2019. Noma is joined in the top three by Geranium in second place, also in Copenhagen, Denmark, and Asador Etxebarri in Atxondo, Spain, in third place.

As per the event rules, Noma will now move to the Best of the Best list of restaurants and will not be eligible for inclusion in next year’s ranking, leaving room for Geranium – or other contenders – to move up to the top slot.

Disappointingly for the Middle East’s chefs, none of the region’s restaurants ranked on the list, despite the recent announcement that organisers will host the inaugural MENA’s 50 Best restaurants in Abu Dhabi on 7 February 2022.

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