The top 50 best restaurants in the world have been revealed in what is widely believed by chefs, food producers and food lovers to be the "Oscars of the food world".

The 2021 World's 50 Best Restaurants awards is a prestigious event, and is accepted as the definitive ranking system for restaurants. Food fans will recognise some of the names from Netflix's Chef's Table, which became popular for its deep dives into the kitchens of some of the 50 world's best restaurants.

It's voted on by 1,000 gastronomes including food writers and critics, chefs, restaurateurs and international culinary experts and is keenly competitive.

This year, Copenhagen emerged as the leading culinary powerhouse in the world, as the new Noma from the chef René Redzepi was crowned the Best Restaurant in the World.

Noma, located in the Christianshavn district in Copenhagen, first opened in 2003 and quickly dazzled guests and reviewers alike with its keen focus on nature, foraging, seasonality and creating experiences of nature on a dinner plate.

As the editors of the awards note, "no trip to Noma is ever the same", and menus in the past have included "a groundbreaking vegetarian celeriac shawarma, a duck dish of leg, brain and heart served with claw, feather and beak, and sweet crab meat served on a flatbread cut into the shape of a crab".

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The restaurant runs three seasonal menus a year: seafood season from January to June, vegetable season during the summer and game and forest in the winter. The current menu – "game & forest season" – costs 2,800 Danish kroner (€376), plus 1,800 kroner (€242) for the accompanying wines.

They're especially celebrated for their deft fermentation skills, which they bring into many of their dishes, and the entire team plays a role in foraging for new and intriguing ingredients.

It was only this year that they picked up their third Michelin star, winning praise for their "strong connection to nature and holistic approach … which sees unusual seasonal ingredients showcased in creative and complex dishes".

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The sleek restaurant has won the top award in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2014 before closing in 2016 and moving to a new location in 2018. A new rule brought into place in 2019 stated that previous winners could not compete, but thanks to Noma's shift in location, they could technically apply again.

With no awards given last year thanks to the pandemic, they missed out until this year saw them snap up the award once more, bringing them joint top with Ferran Adrià's El Bulli for the most no. 1 finishes.

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But Noma wasn't the only Danish destination to be awarded, as three Michelin-starred restaurant Geranium was voted into the no. 2 spot.

Known for its focus on seasonal produce and delicate ingredients, Geranium's mission statement is to "create meals that involve all our senses - restores, challenges and enriches". Its current menu, the 16-course "autumn universe" menu created by Rasmus Kofoed, includes everything from melted smoked lard to quail with thyme seeds.

Rounding out the top three was Asador Etxebarri in Axpe, Spain, a richly atmospheric restaurant set in the lush foothills of the Spanish Basque Country that delves into the unique cuisine of the region. The focus here is fire and grilling, with chef Victor Arguinzoniz renowned for his grilling prowess.

He even designed the kitchen's grills and utensils himself, including six fully adjustable grills that can be raised and lowered on a pulley system, and mesh pans that he invented.

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Dishes include house-made chorizo, salted anchovies, buffalo cheese, the freshest prawns from Palamos, tender beef chops, all worked with with respect and time to coax out the nest flavours.

World's 50 best restaurants

  1. Noma (Copenhagen, Denmark)
  2. Geranium (Copenhagen, Denmark)
  3. Asador Etxebarri (Axpe, Spain)
  4. Central (Lima, Peru) Best restaurant in South America
  5. Disfrutar (Barcelona, Spain)
  6. Frantzén (Stockholm, Sweden)
  7. Maido (Lima, Peru)
  8. Odette (Singapore) Best restaurant in Asia
  9. Pujol (Mexico City, Mexico) Best restaurant in North America
  10. The Chairman (Hong Kong) Highest climber award