The Punchline

The S. Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants

Katharine Crnko Apr 19, 2011

Many restaurants boast having the greatest “something” in the world — coffee, pie, meatloaf. But only 50 restaurants are lucky enough to make S. Pellegrino’s elite list of the world’s best restaurants.

Copenhagen’s Noma has taken the proverbial cake, landing in the number one spot for the second year in a row. Chef Rene Pedzepi made headlines last year when he ousted famed Spanish restaurant elBulli from the top spot it held for four years. ElBulli was not included in this years list — it is closing later this year.

Alinea in Chicago was North America’s top scoring eatery, coming in at number six. The restaurant’s unique “deconstructed food” and “unfamiliar flavour” earned the coveted spot.

Other U.S. establishments in the list included Daniel Boulud‘s New Yourk flagship Daniel, Per Se in 10th place, Le Bernardin (18th), Eleven Madison Park (24th) and Momofuku Ssam Bar (40th).

The list — originally created in 2002 — is organized by Restaurant magazine, and is the culmination of the opinions and experiences of over 800 international considered restaurant industry experts. According to the list’s website, “what constitutes ‘best’ is left to the judgment of these trusted and well-travelled gourmets. Given that this well-constructed list is based on personal experiences it can never be definitive, but we believe it is an honourable survey of current tastes and a credible indicator of the best places to eat around the globe.”

The Top 50

1 Noma, Denmark (1)

2 El Celler De Can Roca, Spain (4)

3 Mugaritz Spain (5)

4 Osteria Francescana Italy (6)

5 The Fat Duck, U.K. (3)

6 Alinea, U.S. (7)

7 D.O.M, Brazil (18)

8 Arzak, Spain (9)

9 Le Chateaubriand, France (11)

10 Per Se, U.S. (10)

11 Daniel, U.S. (8)

12 Les Creations De Narisawa, Japan (24)

13 L’Astrance, France (16)

14 L’Atelier De Joel Robuchon, France (29)

15 Hof Van Cleve, Belgium (17)

16 Pierre Gagnaire, France (13)

17 Oud Sluis, Netherlands (19)

18 Le Bernardin, U.S. (15)

19 L’Arpege, France (Re-Entry)

20 Nihonryori Ryugin, Japan (48)

21 Vendome, Germany (22)

22 Steirereck, Austria (21)

23 Schloss Schauenstein, Switzerland (30)

24 Eleven Madison Park, U.S. (50)

25 Aqua, Germany (34)

26 Quay, Australia (27)

27 Iggy’s, Singapore (28)

28 Combal Zero, Italy (35)

29 Martin Berasategui, Spain (33)

30 Bras, France (Re-Entry)

31 Biko, Mexico (46)

32 Le Calandre, Italy (20)

33 Ristorante Cracco, Italy (Re-Entry)

34 The Ledbury, U.K. (New Entry)

35 Chez Dominique, Finland (23)

36 Le Quartier Francais, South Africa (31)

37 Amber, China (New Entry)

38 Dal Pescatore Italy (36)

39 Il Canto, Italy (40)

40 Momofuku Ssam Bar, U.S. (26)

41 St John, U.K. (43)

42 Astrid Y Gaston, Peru (New Entry)

43 Hibiscus, U.K. (49)

44 La Maison Troisgros, France (44)

45 Alain Ducasse Au Plaza Athenee, France (41)

46 De Librije, Netherlands (37)

47 Hotel De Ville, Switzerland (14)

48 Varvary, Russia (New Entry)

49 Pujol, Mexico (New entry)

50 Etxebarri, Spain (Re-Entry)
Have you visited any of these restaurants? Tell us about your experiences in the comment section below.

There’s a lot happening in the world.  Through it all, Marketplace is here for you. 

You rely on Marketplace to break down the world’s events and tell you how it affects you in a fact-based, approachable way. We rely on your financial support to keep making that possible. 

Your donation today powers the independent journalism that you rely on. For just $5/month, you can help sustain Marketplace so we can keep reporting on the things that matter to you.