The soft lights, the low buzz of conversation, the subtle clink of glasses, and the tantalizing aromas.
When restaurants around the world were forced to close their doors in 2020 and 2021, the ovens went cold and the owners and staff faced an uncertain future, they were sorely missed.
The Industry’s 50 Best Restaurant Awards, which are regarded as the Oscars of the fine dining world, were also forced to take a break last year, but they’re back this year, and the top two restaurants on the list are both in Copenhagen.
Noma, possibly the most well-known name in gastronomy, takes the top spot this year. René Redzepi’s three-Michelin-star restaurant, which first debuted in Copenhagen’s Christianshavn neighborhood in 2003, was named the World’s 50 Best Restaurants winner in 2010.
Previous winners of the top title were ineligible for the list due to a new rule adopted at the 2019 awards, but Noma was able to make the cut because it shuttered in 2016 and reopened two years later in a new Copenhagen location.
Eleven Madison Park in New York, The Fat Duck near London, Osteria Francescana in Modena, Italy, and the 2019 winner, Mirazur in Menton, France, are all excluded due to this significant change in the standards. These restaurants are now part of a distinct “Best of the Best” program, with Noma being the most recent addition.