Why Noma Couldn't Win The Award For 2022's World's 50 Best Restaurant

You might have heard Noma is the best restaurant in the world. So, when 50 Best announced that they will compile the World's 50 Best Restaurant list, you might have expected Noma to reach the top position. 

In fact, Noma was named the world's best restaurant in 2021. The Guardian covered in October how since its founding in 2004, Noma has led the New Nordic cuisine movement from its location in Copenhagen. It highlights seasonal, hyperlocal, and often foraged ingredients on its menu. William Drew, World's 50 Best Restaurants' director of content, described to The Guardian how "[Noma had] arguably been the most influential restaurant of its generation, setting new standards in terms of research and ingredient sourcing, dish development and presentation." 

However, Noma wasn't honored with the title of the world's best restaurant in 2022 nor will it be in contention in 2023. The issue is that, as mentioned, Noma has already been named number one in previous years. And so, it is not an eligible candidate for any part of the list. Nor are previous number one restaurants El Bulli, The French Laundry, The Fat Duck, El Celler de Can Roca, Osteria Francescana, Eleven Madison Park, Mirazur, and Geranium, the last of which came second to Noma last year and won this year.

Noma has won it enough times

You shouldn't feel bad for Noma, however. Even compared to the other restaurants that have been barred from contention, Noma has enjoyed more than enough celebration.

When Noma won the title of the world's best restaurant in 2021, The Counter issued the headline "Noma is the best restaurant in the world, again." You see, Noma had already won the title in 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2014. The Guardian also notes that Noma came second in 2019.

Of course, there is the critique that restaurant awards like Michelin stars have a strong bias for European establishments. Noma goes a bit further than just enjoying the bias of the judge though. The Guardian writes that in 2019, the rule banning previous winners was implemented. And yet, Noma won. Noma won because it closed its original building in 2016 and later reopened in a new location with a new concept. So, Noma has won enough. That said, Geranium, which won in 2022, is also in Copenhagen. It may take a while before new faces show up then.