The annual World’s Best Restaurant 2021 award, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna, has announced its latest line-up of pinnacle restaurants. This year’s event saw restaurants from 26 countries across five continents place on the list, culminating in the announcement of a new Number One. Renowned chef René Redzepi took double honours for both his restaurant Noma in Copenhagen as The World’s Best Restaurant 2021, as well as The Best Restaurant in Europe 2021.
Noma is joined in the top three by Geranium (No.2), also in Copenhagen, and Asador Etxebarri (No.3) in Atxondo, Spain. This year also saw the introduction of eight restaurants making their debut, along with two returning as re-entries. Amongst countries, Spain and the US lead the way with six restaurants each placing, with Spain boasting two in the top 10: Asador Etxebarri (No.3) and Barcelona’s Disfrutar (No.5). Following close behind are Elkano (No.16) in Getaria and the evergreen Mugaritz (No.14) in San Sebastián.
In the US, New York’s Cosme is No.22, San Francisco’s Benu No.28 and SingleThread No.37. Italy is also well represented with four restaurants in the list including new entrant Lido 84 in Gardone Riviera (No. 15), also the winner of the Highest New Entry Award, sponsored by Aspire Lifestyles. South Africa makes a splash this year with new entry Wolfgat at No.50 winning Best Restaurant in Africa.
Other new entrants into this year’s top 10 include Hong Kong’s The Chairman, rising 31 places to take the No.10 spot, earning it this year’s Highest Climber Award, sponsored by Alaska Seafood. Mexico’s City’s Pujol is No.9 and awarded Best Restaurant in North America. Odette in Singapore at No.8 moves up 10 places and is also awarded Best Restaurant in Asia, and Frantzén in Stockholm rises 15 places to No.6.
Basque grill master Victor Arguinzoniz wins the Estrella Damm Chefs’ Choice Award. Voted on by his peers – the world’s leading chefs – it is awarded to a chef who has had a significant influence on the culinary community. The Gin Mare Art of Hospitality Award goes to Vienna’s Steirereck (No.12), a restaurant renowned for breaking the boundaries of Austrian cuisine. Under the tenure of Heinz and Birgit Reitbauer, the chef and front of house doyenne respectively, Steirereck has become a byword for cutting-edge cuisine rooted in the Styrian countryside.
Boragó in Santiago, Chile (No.38) wins the Flor de Caña Sustainable Restaurant Award 2021. This award is independently audited by Food Made Good Global – the international arm of the Sustainable Restaurant Association – which rates establishments in the list of 100 restaurants that self-nominate for the award based on set sustainability criteria.
Will Goldfarb of Room4Dessert in Bali, Indonesia, takes home The World’s Best Pastry Chef Award, sponsored by Cacao Barry. Goldfarb has been passionately focused on desserts throughout his career and centres much of his work on sustainability, growing plants and herbs for his own restaurant. He opened the first Room4Dessert in New York in 2006, followed by a new iteration in 2014, in Bali, Indonesia, where he currently resides.
Finally, pre-announced special award winners accepting their accolades at the Flanders ceremony include Peruvian chef Pía Léon, of Central, Kjolle and Mil, winner of The World's Best Female Chef Award, sponsored by Nude Glass; French-born, San Francisco-based chef Dominique Crenn of Atelier Crenn, winner of the Icon Award, and London restaurant Ikoyi, winner of the American Express One To Watch Award.
Best of the Best
Those in the elite group of No.1 ranked restaurants (listed below) have more than proved their worth and will now be forever honoured as iconic dining destinations in the Best of the Best hall of fame. The chefs and restaurateurs who have led their restaurants to the pinnacle of the list have expressed their desire to invest in the future of the sector and ‘give back’ to the food world through new projects and initiatives. The following restaurants have been named No.1 in The World’s 50 Best Restaurants since the list’s inception and were therefore not eligible for voting in 2021 and beyond:
- El Bulli (2002, 2006-2009)
- The French Laundry (2003-2004)
- The Fat Duck (2005)
- Noma – original location (2010-2012, 2014)
- El Celler de Can Roca (2013, 2015)
- Osteria Francescana (2016, 2018)
- Eleven Madison Park (2017)
- Mirazur (2019)