Noma Takes Top Spot, but U.S. Dominates World’s 50 Best Restaurants

Denmark's Rene Redzepi and his restaurant Noma won for third year in a row, but U.S. makes a splash with eight of the world's top spots. How many have you eaten at?

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Lisa Maree Williams / Getty Images

Restaurant magazine’s World’s 50 Best Restaurants list was announced at London’s Guildhall yesterday and though Denmark’s Noma reigns at no 1. for the third year in a row, the U.S. boasted the most entries with eight restaurants.

Not surprisingly, Chef Rene Redzepi’s Noma firmly held its top spot, followed by Spain’s renowned El Celler de Can Roca and Mugaritz at two and three. Redzepi recently appeared on another list – TIME’s 100 most influential people – and also graced the magazine’s international cover earlier this year.

(MORE: Can the World’s Best Chef Teach Danes the Joy of Hay?)

New York-based Per Se moved up on the list ranking at no. 6 followed by Grant Achatz’s Alinea in Chicago at no. 7. More notable placements include New York’s Eleven Madison Park at 10, Le Bernardin at 19 and Daniel at 25.  Asia tallied six restaurants in the top 50, and organizers announced plans for an Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants awards ceremony to be held in Singapore in February 2013.

The list is determined by input from more than 800 international restaurant pundits, the site claims, with no criteria or measuring standard but by a simple tally of votes. Judges are divided into 27 world regions, to which a chairman designates 30 jurors who can vote for seven restaurants in total. Like most rankings, the Restaurant-published list receives its share of criticism, but it is the only list of its kind to rank restaurants globally.  In its tenth year of existence, the list is one of the premier restaurant ranking systems, often catapulting chefs and their kitchens into the spotlight. Redzepi recently posted on Twitter that he had 1,204 people waitlisted for that evening in comparison to the total of 14 guests he served the same day at Noma two years before.

MORE: The World’s 50 Best Restaurants: How a List Got Big