Just two British restaurants have been featured in this year’s prestigious list of the world’s 50 best restaurants. The annual ranking, known as the “Oscars of gastronomy”, sees more than 1,000 respected food writers, critics, chefs, restaurateurs and culinary experts vote for the world’s best. Both UK winners are based in the east London borough of Hackney and located less than a mile away from one another.
Described as “quintessential British with a twist”, The Clove Club came in 32nd place. The restaurant was commended for a bill that is “refreshing and full of surprises” that “playfully mingles with tradition”.
Down the road, Lyle’s, which is housed in a former Lipton tea factory, was recognised for its “short and sweet micro-seasonal menu, showcasing what’s best on any given day in London and the UK”. Coming in 33rd place, the Shoreditch restaurant was also commended for its “attention to detail” and work with producers.
Denmark scooped both top spots, with Noma and Geranium coming in first and second place respectively.
Located in the Danish capital of Copenhagen, Noma is described as “one of the most coveted restaurants on the planet” responsible for creating New Nordic Cuisine and “fermentation sorcery from the world’s most future-gazing chef”.
The restaurant also topped the top spot in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2014, before closing in 2016 and reopening in a new location in 2018.
Noma is now level with Ferran Adrià’s El Bulli for the most top finishes.
A video shared to social media showed the Noma team clapping and celebrating their win, with the caption: “What an incredible moment for us all in Copenhagen. We are so happy and proud of our team being voted the no. 1 restaurant in the world. #Worlds50Best.”
In second place, the creations at three Michelin-starred Geranium are described as “pure art on a plate that uses Scandinavia’s seasonal larder as its palette”.
Other restaurants in the top ten included two from Spain and two from Peru.
The list was unveiled at a ceremony in Antwerp in Belgium on Tuesday evening.
No award was given last year because of the pandemic.
A rule introduced in 2019 prevents previous winners, including Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck in Bray, Berkshire, Eleven Madison Park in New York, and Osteria Francescana in Italy, from competing, but Noma qualified due to its 2016 closure and reopening with a new address and concept two years later.
Although the judging panel consisted of 50 per cent men and 50 per cent women, the list drew criticism for being too male-dominated, expensive and European-heavy.
Only four restaurants in the top 50 were headed by women chefs, one fewer than in 2019.