Everything You Need to Know About the World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2021

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After taking a hiatus in 2020 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the World’s 50 Best is once again resuming its mission to rank the globe’s culinary output.

What to Expect from the World’s 50 Best 2021

There will be a new No. 1 restaurant. In 2019, the organization announced a rule change that stipulated that previously No. 1 restaurant. That year, Mirazur in Menton, France went on to win the No. 1 spot, becoming only the eighth restaurant to hold the top slot since the list debuted in 2002.

But it will most likely be Noma, which isn’t exactly new. While other previous top restaurants like Osteria Francescana and El Cellar de Can Roca are no longer eligible, it’s worth noting that it’s only the original Noma that’s precluded from ever appearing on the list again. New Noma — which exists in a different Copenhagen space and with a different, rotating menu concept — debuted on the 2019 list at No. 2, and, fresh off finally winning its third Michelin star, is easily the most likely candidate to take the No. 1 slot in 2021. Noma earned top honors on the list in 2014, 2012, 2011, and 2010. If Noma wins, it will tie with Ferran Adrià’s legendary restaurant El Bulli for the most wins ever.

Does Eleven Madison Park going vegan count? Nope!

There could be more demographic and regional diversity this year. The organization will be launching a new regional lists for the Middle East and North Africa in 2022, as well as continuing to produce its Latin America 50 Best list and its Asia 50 Best list — hopefully that all will translate onto the global list which has historically leaned towards Eurocentric tasting menus helmed by white male chefs.

Since pausing the list, the organization launched several panel discussions and other programs, and committed to gender-parity in its voting panel; perhaps that will translate into more women being represented among the top 50 winners. Because of the pandemic, the 2021 list will determined from the votes cast in 2020 plus votes from a March 2021 “refresh” in which voters could update their choices from their own region. Restaurants that permanently closed during the pandemic will not be eligible.

There are also some big-picture changes expected in how the voting panel is assembled and how the overall process works, but that likely won’t take effect until 2022. Locally, Philadelphia Inquirer food editor Jamila Robinson has assumed the role of North American Academy chair, and she will be responsible for assembling the voting panel for the region on the 2022 list.

When Is the World’s 50 Best 2021?

This year, the red carpet event will be happening in Flanders on Tuesday, October 5th at 4:30 local time. For those following along from the U.S.A., that means 10:30 a.m. EST and 7:30am PST — with the No. 1 slot expected to be revealed two hours later.

How to Watch the World’s 50 Best 2021?

The event will be live-streamed on the World’s 50 Best Facebook page and YouTube channel, the YouTube stream is embedded below.

—Hillary Dixler Canavan

World’s 50 Best 2021: Cosme Remains in Top U.S. Spot Despite Loss of Star Chef

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The latest World’s 50 Best Restaurants list — the annual, controversial compilation of mostly Eurocentric tasting menu restaurants — was announced today after a pause in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Three NYC restaurants made the list this year. Chef Eric Ripert’s Le Bernardin, the esteemed Midtown seafood palace, came in at No. 44, moving down considerably from its spot at 36 back in 2019. Meanwhile, Korean fine dining destination Atomix joined the top 50 lineup for the first time, coming in at No. 43 (previously it was at No. 119).

Back in 2019, Cosme was given the No. 23 spot, making it at the time the highest ranking restaurant amongst U.S. contenders. This year, it remains the highest spot in the U.S. Despite star chef Daniela Soto-Innes’ departure from Cosme (and its sister spot, Atla) last winter — and the Mexican food destination’s lengthy hiatus during the pandemic — the restaurant nevertheless moved up a slot this year to No. 22. Previously, back in 2019, Soto-Innes had also been given the much-discussed, backhanded compliment of “World’s Best Female Chef.”

This year marks the 19th time that the World’s 50 Best list has been published. Following the awards’ pandemic hiatus, the list has reemerged with a few new rules: namely, the stipulation — announced back in 2019 — that any restaurant that held the No. 1 slot previously would be ineligible for consideration on the lists going forward. Of course, this announcement is not without some bending of the rules for the reincarnation of Noma, which is being treated as a new concept despite its previous chokehold on the No. 1 spot from 2010 to 2012, and then again in 2014.

World’s 50 Best has been controversial in the industry and this year seems to be no different. In the past, the list’s efforts to diversify its voting body and candidate pool has been considered among critics to be largely lip-service, despite subtle shifts and new initiatives to the program. In 2019, the list still was mainly dominated by European, high-end restaurants, in dining rooms largely helmed by white male chefs. World’s 50 Best also remains seemingly problematic for the ways in which having the most connected — not to mention costly — PR teams can aid restaurants in gaming access.

In a year that’s been especially harrowing for restaurants just trying to stay afloat, World’s 50 Best mostly stuck to championing past favorites — even those that have stayed closed through much of the pandemic.

How to watch the World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2021 announcement

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How to watch the World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2021 announcement

If you’re looking to watch the ceremony for the World’s 50 Best Restaurants announcement today, then look no further. The ceremony, in Antwerp this year, kicks off at 3.30pm UK time and you can watch the results, as they’re announced, right here.

The outlier list from 51-100 has already been released, with two new London entries on it. But what we’re really looking for is whether there are any brand new UK entries and whether any of our restaurants can break into the Top 10. The closest right now is London’s Clove Club at No 27.

We’ll be live-tweeting our response to it as it happens, so if you want to know what we’re thinking, keep an eye on us on Twitter (provided that doesn’t go down today) here.

More about the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list

When is it? 5 October 2021 from 3.45pm GMT.

Find out more: Visit their website

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