South Africa

The world’s best restaurants including three from South Africa

The best restaurant in the world is Geranium in Copenhagen.

At Geranium, the specialty is seasonal Scandi food, served on the 8th floor of a football stadium with views of the park. It was opened in the middle of the financial crisis, in 2010. “All odds were against us,” said chef-owner Rasmus Kofoed, in a speech after he won.

It’s the second year in the row that a restaurant from the capital of Denmark was at the top of the list. Last year, Noma won the No. 1 spot.

The world’s second best restaurant this year is Central, in Lima. No. 3 was Disfrutar in Barcelona.

The ceremony took place in London at Old Billingsgate, a repurposed fish market on the Thames in the midst of London’s brutal heat wave; the night was projected to be the hottest in the city’s history at around 30C (86F). The event was hosted by actor Stanley Tucci. There was little mention of the heat wave at the ceremony.

Some past No. 1 winners, including Jean Roca of El Celler de Can Roca in Girona, Spain, popped in throughout the ceremony to present awards. The most surprising was Will Guidara, the former co-owner of Eleven Madison Park, who had a well-publicized split with chef Daniel Humm, current owner of the restaurant, which was recently hit with negative press about living wages for staff.

In February, World’s 50 Best announced it was moving the awards from the original location in Moscow, in a swift response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. There are no restaurants in Russia on this year’s list, although last year there were two Moscow spots in the top 30.

Former winners are not eligible to win again. That notably includes Noma, which has won the award five times, including last year. It now features in a ‘Best of the Best’ category which includes Mirazur in the South of France, which won in 2019 and was the world’s best restaurant for two years, because the awards were cancelled in 2020 as a result of the pandemic.

With Eleven Madison Park also in the emeritus category, the top US restaurant is New York’s Korean tasting-menu destination Atomix at No. 33. Asia, having been hit particularly hard by pandemic restrictions, just made the top 20 with Den in Tokyo. Last year, multiple Asian restaurants were in the top 10.

This year’s rankings were compiled from the votes from 1,070 people in the food world, from 27 regions around the world.

The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list is organized and compiled by UK-based William Reed Business Media. The list got started in 2002, in Restaurant magazine.

The second half of the list, places ranking 51-100, was announced in early July. Winners included the Mexican-accented Kol in London, from Noma alum Santiago Lastra, as a new entry at No. 73. Another London restaurant, Brat, came in at 81, despite landing in the No. 3 position on the Estrella Damm National Restaurant Awards earlier this year.

‘One to Watch’ went to AM par Alexandre Mazziain Marseilles, which has three Michelin stars and features an African-accented menu. Among the other dedicated awards, one went to #CookforUkraine founders Olia Hercules and Alissa Timoshkina as ‘Champions of Change.’

The last time a restaurant from the Middle East featured on the list was 2016, when the Dubai branch of a France-based chain, La Petite Maison, was No. 99. This year, the region’s restaurants were more prominent: the experimental Trèsind Studio jumped onto the list as a new entry at No. 57.

Another Dubai spot, Orfali Bros Bistro, was No. 87. Not coincidentally, the Worlds 50 Best introduced Middle East and North Africa’s 50 Best Restaurants earlier this year.

This year’s list also features an unusually high number of new entries, 28 in total, and 20 in the 51-100 list alone. “The gastronomic landscape has changed significantly since the last full year of voting,” said Drew. He notes that there are many reasons why some regions have a lack of representation which can range from varying Covid restrictions to “shifting culinary tastes.” Or, he added, “it could also represent that a geographical area is becoming more important.”

Here are the winners (with last year’s place in parentheses). A new appearance on the list is marked by “New Entry.”

1. Geranium, Copenhagen (2)
2. Central, Lima (4)
3. Disfrutar, Barcelona (5)
4. Diverxo, Madrid (20)
5. Pujol, Mexico City (9)
6. Asador Etxebarri, Axpe, Spain (3)
7. A Casa do Porco, São Paulo (17)
8. Lido 84, Gardone Riviera, Italy (15)
9. Quintonil, Mexico City (27)
10. Le Calandre, Rubano, Italy (26)
11. Maido, Lima (7)
12. Uliassi, Senegallia, Italy (52)
13. Steirereck, Vienna (12)
14. Don Julio, Buenos Aires (13)
15. Reale, Castel di Sangro, Italy (51)
16. Elkano, Getaria, Spain (30)
17. Nobelhart & Schmutzig, Berlin (45)
18. Alchemist, Copenhagen (58)
19. Piazza Duomo, Alba, Italy (18)
20. Den, Tokyo (11)
21. Mugaritz, San Sebastian, Spain (14)
22. Septime, Paris (24)
23. The Jane, Antwerp, Belgium (66)
24. The Chairman, Hong Kong (10)
25. Frantzén, Stockholm (6)
26. Restaurant Tim Raue, Berlin (31)
27. Hof Van Cleve, Kruishoutem, Belgium (43)
28. Le Clarence, Paris *New Entry
29. St. Hubertus, San Cassiano, Italy (54)
30. Florilège, Tokyo (39)
31. Arpège, Paris (23)
32. Atomix, New York (43)
33. Hiša Franko, Kobarid, Slovenia (21)
34. Clove Club, London
35. Odette, Singapore (8)
36. Fyn, Cape Town *New Entry
37. Jordnaer, Copenhagen *New Entry
38. Sorn, Bangkok *New Entry
39. Schloss Schauenstein, Fürstenau, Switzerland (59)
40. La Cime, Osaka, Japan
41. Quique Dacosta, Denia, Spain
42. Boragó, Santiago (38)
43. Le Bernardin, New York (44)
44. Narisawa, Tokyo (19)
45. Belcanto, Lisbon (42)
46. Oteque, Oslo *New Entry
47. Leo, Bogato (46)
48. Ikoyi, London (87)
49. SingleThread, Healdsburg (37)


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