The 2011 World's 50 Best Restaurants are...
April 18th, 2011
04:15 PM ET
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Restaurant magazine and S. Pellegrino's annual "World's 50 Best Restaurants" list was released on Monday at an awards ceremony in London's Guildhall - and it seems the Danes have done it again.

The number one spot goes to Restaurant Noma in Copenhagen, Denmark for the second year straight.

Last year's top ranking catapulted Noma and chef René Redzepi's Nordic cuisine into the international culinary spotlight. According to Redzepi, the day after the list came out in 2010, Noma received more than 100,000 requests for a table.

The top honor is just another indication it's been a delicious year for the small European country. Denmark also beat out 23 other countries to take home gold in the 2011 Bocuse d'Or cooking competition - often referred to as the "culinary Olympics."

One visible omission from the list is the five-time "World's Best Restaurant," elBulli. Chef Ferran Adrià withdrew himself and the storied molecular gastronomy restaurant from the awards because elBulli will serve its last meal as a restaurant on July 30, 2011. It will reopen as a nonprofit "think-tank for creative cuisine and gastronomy" in 2014.

The notable list is compiled by The World's 50 Best Restaurants Academy - an 837 member panel of the world's food and drink glitterati - including celebrated chefs, food writers, restaurateurs and other influential industry experts.

“The original aim still stands, that is to promote and celebrate brilliant restaurants,” said Restaurant magazine editor, William Drew.

Six of the restaurants crowned this year - Alinea in Chicago, Illinois; Daniel, Per Se, Le Bernardin, Momofuku Ssäm Bar and Eleven Madison Park (up 26 spots from 2010) in New York - are on American soil. D.O.M. in Brazil jumped from number 18 to number 7, making it the only South American restaurant to grace the top ten. The highest climber, Nihonryori RyuGin, moved up 28 spots.

Here is the full list:

1) Noma (Copenhagen, Denmark)

2) El Celler de Can Roca (Girona, Spain)

3) Mugaritz (Errenteria, Spain)

4) Osteria Francescana (Modena, Italy)

5) The Fat Duck (Bray, England)

6) Alinea (Chicago, Illinois)

7) D.O.M. (São Paulo, Brazil)

8) Arzak (San Sebastián, Spain)

9) Le Chateaubriand (Paris, France)

10) Per Se (New York)

11) Daniel (New York)

12) Les Créations de Narisawa (Tokyo, Japan)

13) L'Astrance (Paris, France)

14) L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon (Paris, France)

15) Hof Van Cleve (Kruishoutem, Belgium)

16) Pierre Gagnaire (Paris, France)

17) Oud Sluis (Sluis, Netherlands)

18) Le Bernardin (New York)

19) L'Arpege (Paris, France)

20) Nihonryori RyuGin (Tokyo, Japan)

21) Vendôme (Bergisch Gladbach, Germany)

22) Steirereck (Vienna, Austria)

23) Schloss Schauenstein (Fürstenau, Switzerland)

24) Eleven Madison Park (New York)

25) Aqua (Wolfsburg, Germany)

26) Quay Restaurant (Sydney, Australia)

27) Iggy's (Singapore)

28) Combal Zero (Rivoli, Italy)

29) Martín Berasategui (Lasarte-Oria, Spain)

30) Bras (Laguiole, France)

31) Biko (Mexico City, Mexico)

32) Le Calandre (Rubano, Italy)

33) Il Ristorante Cracco (Milan, Italy)

34) The Ledbury (London, England)

35) Chez Dominique (Helsinki, Finland)

36) Le Quartier Français (Franschhoek, South Africa)

37) Amber (Hong Kong, China)

38) Dal Pescatore (Mantova, Italy)

39) Il Canto (Siena, Italy)

40) Momofuku Ssäm Bar (New York)

41) St. John (London, England)

42) Astrid y Gastón (Lima, Perú)

43) Hibiscus (London, England)

44) La Maison Troisgros (Roanne, France)

45) Alain Ducasse Au Plaza Athénée (Paris, France)

46) De Librije (Zwolle, Netherlands)

47) Restaurant de l'Hôtel de Ville (Crissier, Switzerland)

48) Varvary (Moscow, Russia)

49) Pujol (Mexico City, Mexico)

50) Asador Etxebarri (Atxondo-Bizkaia, Spain)

soundoff (198 Responses)
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    November 18, 2012 at 7:03 pm |
  4. hannah

    i never have left the united states but the united states food is good

    October 2, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
  5. Vendooza

    Here it is, 13 days after this list was published by and 8 days after the final ridiculous comment was posted. I just stumbled on this list while reading a friend's food blog and eating Sunday morning breakfast. All the comments were pretty amusing and most were just outright stupid. Come on!!! Who would actually take anything that CNN publishes seriously? Some of these people who posted comments were suffering from "righteous indignation" and others were just pumping up their own egos by adding their favorite local eateries...oh and then their were just the "idiots".

    Personally, I could give a rat's ass about where or how a restaurant is ranked. If I like the food and the staff and the environment, I'll eat there again and again regardless of how inventive or traditional or cheap or expensive it is. Euro-centric, American-centric, Western-centric. Missing Asia, Africa, India, the Middle-East and God forbid how could they leave out Canada?

    Get a grip here's for God's sake!!!

    May 1, 2011 at 1:08 pm |
  6. obsy

    pubs serve better food.

    April 23, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
  7. christian

    Bestrestaurant?? Base on what?? Come on..!!

    April 22, 2011 at 10:43 am |
  8. Jim

    So New York (City, I assume) is the only place in the U.S. for a decent meal? My guess is the author is unaware that the rest of the country exists, or perhaps does not care. Personally, if I never find myself in NYC, I'll die satisfied. New York snobs can have it, I'll take the rest of the country.

    April 20, 2011 at 5:14 am |
  9. Solara

    Some people mistake a tummy ache for a gastronomic delight. I ate at #16 Pierre Gagnaire and had to chase my meal down with Evian and some Rolaids. Never again!

    April 20, 2011 at 12:42 am |
  10. Don

    Not one restaurant from Canada, I find that hard to believe?

    April 19, 2011 at 8:15 pm |
  11. Martha

    Anrhony's in Tallahassee, Florida is the greatest

    April 19, 2011 at 7:20 pm |
  12. Andulamb

    I'm sure all of these restaurants make really good food. I'm also sure that 99% of their patrons couldn't tell a $200 dish from a $30 dish. Put a small portion of something on plate, make it look fancy, charge an arm and a leg for it, give it a foreign name, and people will swear it's the best thing they've ever eaten.

    April 19, 2011 at 5:02 pm |
  13. nova

    Momofuku Ssäm Bar (New York)??? you sure you didn't mean Momofuku Ko? because Ssam bar isn't anything special

    April 19, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
  14. Bethaltoguy

    Gentelin's on Broadway in Alton, IL is the best restaurant in the United States hands down!

    April 19, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
  15. Wealthy William

    I've ate at 6 of the 50 listed. I guess I have to go to Denmark this month to try out Noma.

    April 19, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
  16. Jen

    Fuddrucker's has the best burgers, hands down.

    April 19, 2011 at 1:59 pm |
  17. Ty


    April 19, 2011 at 1:49 pm |
  18. Sarah michele

    The French Laundry didn't make the list??? WTF - my meal there was AMAZING. Thomas Keller is a genius.

    April 19, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
  19. TurtleHead

    WaterFront in SD ROCKS!! They have the BEST Cheeseburger HANDS DOWN!!

    April 19, 2011 at 12:39 pm |
  20. Erika

    Buenos Aires, Argentina has the best steak in the world and not on the list...shame

    April 19, 2011 at 12:32 pm |
  21. Tom

    Alinea in Chicago has their menu online. For $195.00 it better be the 6th best restaurant in the world. Take a family of 4, have a drink and you probably spent a cool grand. Damn!

    April 19, 2011 at 11:51 am |
  22. MichelinStars

    What do you think it "costs" to get on this list?

    April 19, 2011 at 11:51 am |
  23. I want da gold!

    @#$% that hoity toity nonsense! Give me Bobcat Bite (Santa Fe, NM) or Kuma's Corner (Chicago, IL) over that overpriced, under portioned, cr@p any day!

    April 19, 2011 at 11:28 am |
  24. Not quite fancy, but perfect

    Jack the Horse in Brooklyn Heights

    April 19, 2011 at 11:13 am |
  25. Dirty Joe

    There's a McDonald's down the street from my apartment that should have made this list. That shit's good man!

    April 19, 2011 at 10:40 am |
    • Patrick

      No, redwine and a pimento cheeze sandwich in Spain is good s hit.

      April 19, 2011 at 10:41 am |
    • Ronald McDonald@Dirty Joe

      Adding the McJackson Burger on my menu today. It's 50 year old meat between 10 year old buns. I bet you will love that sh it, man.

      April 19, 2011 at 10:59 am |
  26. Naa

    Obviously my invitation to help craft this list has been lost in the mail again. In order to make it up to me, Pellegrino can pay for me to go to all 50 restaurants.

    April 19, 2011 at 10:10 am |
    • Patrick

      I had the best red wine and pimento cheeze sandwich while dining in Spain.

      April 19, 2011 at 10:23 am |
  27. Eri

    Prestige = quality ¬_¬
    just because they are expensive it doesnt mean they are good
    was in some of them, they werent anything exeptional

    I know severall small, old, "hidden" restaurants that are ways better than these things

    April 19, 2011 at 9:13 am |
  28. rell

    No African restaurants on this list. What about Mama Put-Ibadan, Oyo state

    April 19, 2011 at 8:56 am |
    • rell

      Oyo state, Nigeria

      April 19, 2011 at 8:57 am |
  29. Jorge

    B.S.-I been to Spain, Mexico, California, Netherland Antilles and was born in NY. Done the haute/nouveau/petit food thing (yawn), eaten everything from live baby eels to rocky mountain oysters. Best seafood restaurant that I have ever been to was El Roble on the southern coast of Puerto Rico. Those folks invented island seafood Mojo, which incidentally has been copied in several different forms. They also have a savory fried/mashed plantain and mixed seafood concoction called mofongo tigre that will forever be in your mind as upper stuff.

    April 19, 2011 at 8:32 am |
    • Patrick

      I've been to Spain and had the best red wine and a pimento cheeze sandwich.

      April 19, 2011 at 9:02 am |

    This list is B.S.
    No INDIAN or MIDDLE EASTERN restaurants included.

    April 19, 2011 at 6:04 am |
  31. Deff tone

    Come on! Maybe the list should have more Asian restaurants , but everybody knows Europe is the best place to eat.....especially in Spain, France and Italy.

    April 19, 2011 at 5:51 am |
  32. Gerald F. NcCadden

    The list just ignores Canada all together. Come on! We do have excellent restaurants that do serve more just pancakes and maple syrup with bacon. I worked in the industry and can tell you that in cities like Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver all have excellent places to dine at. The people who put this list together seem to forget we exist or what?

    April 19, 2011 at 4:37 am |
  33. Mariadela

    Check this out

    April 19, 2011 at 3:44 am |
  34. prwiii

    New Orleans have great restaurants.....Wow, I can't believe that they didn't make the list...

    April 19, 2011 at 3:09 am |
  35. Andy Hayler

    At #25 should be Aqua in Wolfsburg, Germany. For some reason you have "nonoured" a restaurant of the same name in Bath in England, where I was born. i wish. However Aqua in Woflsburg is well worth the trip:

    April 19, 2011 at 3:05 am |
  36. Robita

    This list is Eurocentric, and has nothing to do with the best anything. It is political stuck up garbage. Did the people who made this list go to every restraunt in the world? No.

    April 19, 2011 at 2:39 am |
    • Claes

      You can allways just make your own top50 list an present it for the press, and says thats your Top50 best in the world ;). This list doesn't necesary means it is the Top50 best in the world by all means, its only the 800 judges, judgment, what they think and to let others know that.

      Its free for everyone els to make there own judment/decisions.
      Even though and wil never be able to see fastfood as part os the Top50 best in the world, maybe the top50 best fast food places. ;)

      April 19, 2011 at 2:44 am |

    This list obviously omits or fails to capture many of the emerging cuisine.

    April 19, 2011 at 2:21 am |
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