An annual list of the world’s 50 best restaurants is back — and for the first time, one city dominated the top two spots.

Two restaurants in Copenhagen, Denmark — Noma and Geranium — ranked No. 1 and No. 2 respectively, at “The World’s 50 Best Restaurants” awards ceremony held Tuesday in Antwerp, Belgium.

This marks Noma’s fifth time to top the list since 2010.

Since the list’s inception in 2002, European — and occasionally American — restaurants have produced the world’s top restaurant. This year keeps that streak intact.

The annual ranking, which is organized by the U.K.-based William Reed Media, wasn’t published last year due to the pandemic.

Noma — the world’s ‘best restaurant’ — again

Helmed by Chef Rene Redzepi, Noma is known for its “new Nordic cuisine” that relies on foraged and fermented foods.

An inside view of the Danish restaurant Noma, crowned the world’s best restaurant for the fifth time in the past 11 years.

Thibault Savary | AFP | Getty Images

Redzepi produces three menus every year — there’s the ocean season, the vegetable season, and the game and forest season — the latter which is currently being served for 2,800 Danish krones ($436) per person. Wine pairing is an additional $280, and each menu includes around 20 courses.

The menus within each “season” change, and no two experiences at the restaurant are said to be the same.

Suddenly everyone was asking: ‘What’s going on in Denmark?’

Rene Redzepi

chef and founder, Noma

“In 2010, when we stood at this stage and the words from the speaker blasted out that Noma was No. 1, it was truly a shock to my system — to everybody’s system — and certainly a shock to our reservation system…our website crashed multiple times,” said Redzepi at yesterday’s awards ceremony. “Suddenly everyone was asking: ‘What’s going on in Denmark?'”

After the same restaurants dominated the top rankings for more than a decade, the 50 Best organization announced in 2019 that No. 1 winners could not be voted onto subsequent years’ lists. Noma closed in 2016 and reopened in a new location in 2018, making it eligible to compete again.

Noma’s Rene Redzepi (L) is congratulated by Chef Mauro Colagreco (R) of France’s Mirazur restaurant at the awards ceremony of the ‘World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2021’, in Antwerp, Belgium on Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021.

Jonas Roosens | AFP | Getty Images

Previous No. 1 winners are called “The Best of the Best.” Noma will soon join the seven restaurants on that list, which include El Bulli in Spain, The Fat Duck in the United Kingdom and The French Laundry in the United States, as well as “Noma (original location),” as it is written on the list.

The full list

The complete list is:

1. Noma (Copenhagen, Denmark)

2. Geranium (Copenhagen, Denmark)

3. Asador Etxebarri (Atxondo, Spain)

4. Central (Lima, Peru)

5. Disfrutar (Barcelona, Spain)

6. Frantzen (Stockholm, Sweden)

7. Maido (Lima, Peru)

8. Odette (Singapore)

9. Pujol (Mexico City, Mexico)

10. The Chairman (Hong Kong, China)

11. Den (Tokyo, Japan)

12. Steirereck (Vienna, Austria)

13. Don Julio (Buenos Aires, Argentina)

14. Mugaritz (San Sebastian, Spain)

15. Lido 84 (Gardone Riviera, Italy)

16. Elkano (Getaria, Spain)

17. A Casa do Porco (Sao Paulo, Brazil)

18. Piazza Duomo (Alba, Italy)

19. Narisawa (Tokyo, Japan)

20. Diverxo (Madrid, Spain)

21. Hisa Franko (Kobarid, Slovenia)

22. Cosme (New York City, USA)

23. Arpege (Paris, France)

24. Septime (Paris, France)

25. White Rabbit (Moscow, Russia)

26. Le Calandre (Rubano, Italy)

27. Quintonil (Mexico City, Mexico)

28. Benu (San Francisco, USA)

29. Reale (Castel di Sangro, Italy)

30. Twins Garden (Moscow, Russia)

31. Restaurant Tim Raue (Berlin, Germany)

32. The Clove Club (London, UK)

33. Lyle’s (London, UK)

34. Burnt Ends (Singapore)

35. Ultraviolet by Paul Pairet (Shanghai, China)

36. Hof Van Cleve (Kruishoutem, Belgium)

37. SingleThread (Healdsburg, California, USA)

38. Borago (Santiago, Chile)

39. Florilege (Tokyo, Japan)

40. Suhring (Bangkok, Thailand)

41. Alleno Paris au Pavillion Ledoyen (Paris, France)

42. Belcanto (Lisbon, Portugal)

43. Atomix (New York City, USA)

44. Le Bernardin (New York City, USA)

45. Nobelhart & Schmutzig (Berlin, Germany)

46. Leo (Bogotá, Colombia)

47. Maaemo (Oslo, Norway)

48. Atelier Crenn (San Francisco, USA)

49. Azurmendi (Larrabetzu, Spain)

50. Wolfgat (Paternoster, South Africa)

Europe dominated this year’s list, with more than half of the ranked restaurants located there. Asia took eight slots, with Singapore’s Odette (No. 8) awarded the highest position on the continent.

Singapore’s Odette was one of two restaurants in Asia voted into the top 10 of “The World’s 50 Best Restaurants” list for 2021.

Nicky Loh | Bloomberg | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Eight restaurants in North America made the cut, with Mexico’s Pujol named the “Best Restaurant in North America.” South America took six slots, with two — Central and Maido, both in Peru — named to the prestigious top 10 list.   

Africa edged onto the list, with South Africa’s Wolfgat, taking the 50th slot.

Spain left the awards with six restaurants etched onto the list — the most of any country. More than half are located in the Basque Country, an autonomous region and renowned culinary powerhouse near the French border.

How the list is made

Workers prepare drinks and dishes at Barcelona’s Disfrutar restaurant, ranked No. 5 on the 2021 list of “The World’s 50 Best Restaurants.”

Xavi Torrent | Getty Images News | Getty Images

“For one person, the food may be everything; for another the wine list or the atmosphere may play a more important role,” he told CNBC. “There is no set criteria — we don’t believe there is, or should be, a type of restaurant that features in the 50 Best lists.”

Academy members must vote for at least four restaurants outside of their regions. To accommodate restricted travel and dining opportunities caused by the global pandemic, the 2021 list consisted of votes cast in January 2020 — which were never published — as well as updated regional choices, said Drew.

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The 50 best restaurants in the world 2021 from William Reed Media