Noma — which has a meticulous focus on simple, indigenous ingredients such as snails, moss and cod liver — held the No. 1 spot on Restaurant magazine’s annual ranking of the world’s 50 best restaurants for three years before being bested in 2013 by avant-garde eatery El Celler de Can Roca in Girona, Spain. During a ceremony Monday in London, Noma reclaimed the top spot while El Celler fell to No. 2.
Located on Copenhagen’s waterfront, Noma’s menu is almost obsessively defined by the Nordic landscape. Ingredients often are foraged nearby and the meals at the 45-seat restaurant — which holds two Michelin stars — are meant to viscerally connect diners to the land and sea. The restaurant opened in 2004 and gets thousands of reservation requests a day.
El Celler, which has been run by brothers Josep, Jordi and Joan Roca since 1986, also was ranked No. 2 in 2011 and 2012. The restaurant is known for blending traditional ingredients and innovative cooking techniques.
In third place is Modena, Italy’s Osteria Francescana, the same rank it held last year. The restaurant has placed in the top 10 restaurants since 2010. Seven U.S. restaurants made the list, two of them in the top 10 — Daniel Humm’s Eleven Madison Park in New York was No. 4, up from 5th place last year; and Grant Achatz’ ultra-modernist Alinea placed at No. 9, up from 15th last year. Eric Ripert’s seafood-focused Le Bernardin in New York fell from 19th to 21st, while Daniel Boulud’s Daniel in New York slipped from 29th to 40th.
Thomas Keller’s Per Se in New York fell from 11th to 30th, and his Yountville, Calif., restaurant The French Laundry, rose from No. 47 to No. 44. The French Laundry held the top spot in 2003 and 2004. Daniel Patterson’s Coi in San Francisco — which focuses on modern California cuisine — made it onto the list for the first time, placing at No. 49.
The Top 10: 1 — Noma, Copenhagen, Denmark 2 — El Celler de Can Roca, Girona, Spain 3 — Osteria Francescana, Modena, Italy 4 — Eleven Madison Park, New York, United States 5 — Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, London, Britain 6 — Mugaritz, San Sebastian, Spain 7 — D.O.M., Sao Paulo, Brazil 8 — Arzak, San Sebastian, Spain 9 — Alinea, Chicago, United States 10 — The Ledbury, London, Britain