The World’s 50 Best Restaurants has announced the winners of this year’s event with Denmark’s Geranium crowned as the top dining establishment on the planet.
Central in Lima, Peru, the first South American restaurant to break into the list’s top three, got second place while Disfrutar in Barcelona snared third.
Another two Peruvian restaurants in Lima, the capital of the country, made it to the list: Maido, a place where the Peruvian and Japanese cultural heritages of Chef Mitsuharu ‘Micha’ Tsumura collide on the plate in #11 and Mayta, which means Noble Land in the Aymara language, in # 32 and where Chef Jaime Pesaque offers refined Peruvian cuisine with its 12-course Yachay tasting menu that attracts diners from all over the world.
Don Julio in Buenos Aires, Argentina, ranked #14 while Boragó in Santiago, Chile, is #43.
Since the list’s inception in 2002, the top prize has been given to 16 out of 19 restaurants in Europe. The other three times went to restaurants in the United States.
“This is a victorious year for Danish gastronomy with Geranium claiming the title as World’s Best Restaurant and two new Danish restaurant entering the top 50 list,” the organization announced.
Located on the eighth floor above Denmark’s national soccer stadium parking lot with panoramic views over the Fælledparken (the Common Gardens), the restaurant specializing in seasonal ‘Scandi” food, was second in last year’s rankings behind the iconic Noma which, after a change of the rules that now declares former winners ineligible to win again, will now move to the Best of the Best list.
The current menu at Geranium, “The Summer Universe,” costs $440 per person and lasts for a minimum of three hours. They offer various wine menus as well as a non-alcohol pairing. From the start of the 2022 season, Geranium removed meat from its menu to focus solely on vegetables and seafood.
Geranium was the first Danish restaurant to receive three Michelin stars and the head chef and co-owner of the restaurant, Rasmus Kofoed, has also won gold, silver and bronze medals at the global cooking competition, the Bocuse d’Or.
The restaurant first opened in 2007, closed in 2009 in order to move to its current location in 2010 in the middle of the financial crisis. “All odds were against us,” explained Chef Kofoed in a speech during the ceremony that took place in London and was hosted by American actor Stanley Tucci.
The ceremony was planned to take place in Moscow but was relocated to London following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
“The menu is a reflection of me, of who I am and how I am evolving as a chef and as a human being,” Kofoed said. “I haven’t been eating meat for the last five years at home, so to no longer use meat on the new menu was a logical decision and a natural progression for Geranium.”
Denmark: culinary capital of the world
Two other Danish restaurants made it to the 50 Best Restaurants ranking, confirming Copenhagen’s reputation as one of the culinary capitals of the world.
Ranked at #18 is Alchemist, a two-star Michelin ‘holistic’ dining experience led by Chef Rasmus Munk with a menu that involves 50 courses or “impressions” that include light, theater, art and sound. The experience lasts between four and six hours and costs $600.
Alchemist is located in a former welding hall in the once-industrial Copenhagen neighborhood of Refshaleøen, also home to Noma.
Jordnær, which means ‘down to earth’ is the new addition from Denmark to the World’s 50 Best list. It enters at #38 and holds two Michelin stars. The current 17-course menu costs $436.
“Head here for huge langoustines, turbot and king crab, generous volumes of caviar and more – all fresh from the ocean,” said host Tucci, adding that the owner-couple, Eric Kragh Vildgaard and Tina Kragh Vildgaard, have six children and deserve an award for parenting as well.
Central, the world’s second-best restaurant
Chefs Virgilio Martínez and Pía León’s flagship restaurant, Central, is an ode to Peru in all forms. The dishes celebrate the unique landscapes, history and traditions of their homeland by using an abundance of locally-sourced produce.
The husband-and-wife team were married just four days after Central’s first appearance on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list in 2013. Nearly 10 years later, Martínez and León have enjoyed their share of success, with the opening of Mil in the Andes and Kjolle in Lima alongside an international outpost in Tokyo called Maz.
León was also voted as The World’s Best Female Chef 2021.
Disfrutar: the # 3 best restaurant in the world
Disfrutar (to enjoy), the Spanish restaurant that ranked third, is a ‘legacy’ from the legendary El Bulli restaurant, (now another member of the Best of the Best group), because its three chefs — Oriol Castro, Eduard Xatruch and Mateu Casañas — all worked there. After that restaurant closed in 2011, they joined forces to open Compartir in Cadaqués, Catalonia, followed by Disfrutar – their most ambitious project – in 2014.
Contemporary techniques, daring combinations and the drive to surprise diners are among the features of Disfrutar. Dishes such as panchino (a fluffy bun) stuffed with caviar and sour cream, and multi-spherical pesto with tender pistachios and eel are designed to “please, surprise and excite.”
With the renowned Eleven Madison Park now, like Noma, on the Best of the Best list, another two New York restaurant, the Korean Atomix at #33 and Le Bernardin at #44 represents the United States in the rankings.
Asia, having been hit particularly hard by pandemic restrictions, made the top 20 with Den in Tokyo. Two other Japanese restaurants, Florilège and Narisawa, also are now included in the list of world’s best restaurants.
Among the special awards, the “One to Watch” went to AM par Alexandre Mazziain Marseilles, which has three Michelin stars and features an African-accented menu.
Olia Hercules and Alissa Timoshkina, founders of #CookforUkraine, won the ‘”Champions of Change” prize.
This is the list of winners, with the new entries marked NE:
1. Geranium, Copenhagen
2. Central, Lima
3. Disfrutar, Barcelona
4. Diverxo, Madrid
5. Pujol, Mexico City
6. Asador Etxebarri, Axpe, Spain
7. A Casa do Porco, São Paulo
8. Lido 84, Gardone Riviera, Italy
9. Quintonil, Mexico City
10. Le Calandre, Rubano, Italy
11. Maido, Lima
12. Uliassi, Senegallia, Italy
13. Steirereck, Vienna
14. Don Julio, Buenos Aires
15. Reale, Castel di Sangro, Italy
16. Elkano, Getaria, Spain
17. Nobelhart & Schmutzig, Berlin
18. Alchemist, Copenhagen
19. Piazza Duomo, Alba, Italy
20. Den, Tokyo
21. Mugaritz, San Sebastian, Spain
22. Septime, Paris
23. The Jane, Antwerp, Belgium
24. The Chairman, Hong Kong
25. Frantzén, Stockholm
26. Restaurant Tim Raue, Berlin
27. Hof Van Cleve, Kruishoutem, Belgium
28. Le Clarence, Paris (NE)
29. St. Hubertus, San Cassiano, Italy
30. Florilège, Tokyo
31. Arpège, Paris
32. Mayta, Lima
33. Atomix, New York
34. Hiša Franko, Kobarid, Slovenia
35. Clove Club, London
36. Odette, Singapore
37. Fyn, Cape Town (NE)
38. Jordnaer, Copenhagen (NE)
39. Sorn, Bangkok (NE)
40. Schloss Schauenstein, Fürstenau, Switzerland
41. La Cime, Osaka, Japan
42. Quique Dacosta, Denia, Spain
43. Boragó, Santiago de Chile
44. Le Bernardin, New York
45. Narisawa, Tokyo
46. Belcanto, Lisbon
47. Oteque, Oslo (NE)
48. Leo, Bogato (NE)
49. Ikoyi, London
50. SingleThread, Healdsburg