April 29th, 2013
04:30 PM ET
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On Monday, Restaurant magazine revealed its annual "World's 50 Best Restaurants" list in London - and it ended up being a family affair.

Three brothers - Joan, Jordi and Josep Roca – returned the top title to Spain by way of their restaurant, El Celler de Can Roca, in northern Catalonia.

The last Spanish restaurant to hold the top spot was Ferran Adrià's elBulli restaurant in 2009, which has since closed and been converted into the elBulliFoundation.

For the past three years, the highest ranking belonged to Noma in Copenhagen, Denmark.

The announcement comes shortly after 63 guests were infected with norovirus at the innovative Nordic restaurant after eating there in mid-February 2013.

"It is a matter that deeply affects us all, and that we sincerely regret," head chef and proprietor Rene Redzepi said in a statement.

"When the first results came in, indicating norovirus, guests were informed and offered either to return as our guests or to be fully refunded. We are delighted that many guests have already accepted the offer to return to Noma."

The normally celebratory evening took a sobering turn when Restaurant magazine editor William Drew took a moment at the beginning to honor two chefs from Heston Blumenthal's The Fat Duck, number 33 on the list, who were killed in a car crash in Hong Kong in November 2012.

The prestigious yet controversial list is compiled by the World's 50 Best Restaurants Academy - a panel of more than 900 of the world's culinary leaders, including celebrated chefs, food critics and restaurateurs. The list has been criticized in previous years for the scarcity of restaurants outside of Europe and the United States; Restaurant magazine has since created a list for Asia’s 50 best restaurants, as well as Latin America’s.

Each panelist is asked to vote for their seven best restaurant experiences - in order of preference - during the last 18-month voting period; at least three of their votes must be for a restaurant outside their geographical region.

Six restaurants from the United States were honored this year: Alinea in Chicago, Illinois; Daniel, Le Bernardin, Per Se and Eleven Madison Park in New York; and The French Laundry in Yountville, California.

These are the world's 50 best restaurants:

1) El Celler de Can Roca (Girona, Spain)

2) Noma (Copenhagen, Denmark)

3) Osteria Francescana (Modena, Italy)

4) Mugaritz (Errenteria, Spain)

5) Eleven Madison Park (New York)

6) D.O.M. (São Paulo, Brazil)

7) Dinner by Heston Blumenthal (London, England)

8) Arzak (San Sebastián, Spain)

9) Steirereck (Vienna, Austria)

10) Vendôme (Bergisch Gladbach, Germany)

11) Per Se (New York)

12) Frantzén/Lindeberg (Stockholm, Sweden)

13) The Ledbury (London, England)

14) Astrid y Gastón (Lima, Perú)

15) Alinea (Chicago, Illinois)

16) L'Arpege (Paris, France)

17) Pujol (Mexico City, Mexico)

18) Le Chateaubriand (Paris, France)

19) Le Bernardin (New York)

20) Narisawa (Tokyo, Japan)

21) Attica (Melbourne, Australia)

22) Nihonryori RyuGin (Tokyo, Japan)

23) L'Astrance (Paris, France)

24) L'Atelier Saint-Germain de Joël Robuchon (Paris, France)

25) Hof van Cleve (Kruishoutem, Belgium)

26) Quique Dacosta (Denia, Spain)

27) Le Calandre (Rubano, Italy)

28) Mirazur (Menton, France)

29) Daniel (New York)

30) Aqua (Wolfsburg, Germany)

31) Biko (Mexico City, Mexico)

32) Nahm (Bangkok, Thailand)

33) The Fat Duck (Bray, England)

34) Fäviken Magasinet (Järpen, Sweden)

35) Oud Sluis (Sluis, Netherlands)

36) Amber (Hong Kong, China)

37) Vila Joya (Albufeira, Portugal)

38) Restaurant Andre (Singapore)

39) 8 1/2 Otto E Mezzo Bombana (Hong Kong, China)

40) Combal.Zero (Rivoli, Italy)

41) Piazza Duomo (Alba, Italy)

42) Schloss Schauenstein (Fürstenau, Switzerland)

43) Mr & Mrs Bund (Shanghai, China)

44) Asador Etxebarri (Atxondo-Bizkaia, Spain)

45) Geranium (Copenhagen, Denmark)

46) Maní (São Paulo, Brazil)

47) The French Laundry (Yountville, California)

48) Quay (Sydney, Australia)

49) Septime (Paris, France)

50) Central (Lima, Peru)

soundoff (126 Responses)
  1. GiGi Eats Celebrities

    Just as I expected, I have never been to any of those... HOWEVER now that I think of it, I may have gone to a few of the restaurants in France when I was 3... And threw a fit. Awesome. lol

    May 28, 2013 at 11:49 pm |
  2. Chris

    If you are able to dine at El Celler de Can Roca, make sure you take time to visit the awesome Girona Cathedral.

    It's a beautiful historic city.

    May 28, 2013 at 7:47 pm |
  3. Boo

    If you're even in NYC..check out Daniel's. It's expensive but worth every penny.

    May 2, 2013 at 1:28 pm |
  4. Patrick

    The people who make up this list put way too much emphasis on presentation. Every restaurant's website I visited featured pictures of culinary sculptures instead of plain old plates of food. Not that there's anything wrong with artful presentation, but they should strive for a better-rounded list.

    April 30, 2013 at 11:32 pm |
    • Buck

      I don't think they put too much emphasis on presentation. A great presentation makes the meal that much more enjoyable.

      May 1, 2013 at 11:22 am |
  5. Lord Barrington

    You can call me crazy, but I don't want to take a picture of my meal. I actually want to eat it. Especially the 72oz steak at The Big Texan in Amarillo.

    April 30, 2013 at 11:32 pm |
    • Jose De brito

      My girl friend grow up in Amarillo.......She tell me that she would never go back; she rather go with me to the michelin rated restaurants !!!!! Already 20 under our belt, 30 to go.......I would probably never see Amarillo in my life!!! My girlfriend has no problem with it!!

      May 1, 2013 at 1:25 am |
      • Fun101

        Wow, why are you raping the exclamation mark like that? Calm down, damn.

        May 1, 2013 at 1:37 am |
      • Lord Barrington

        Well, I will be the first to admit that Amarillo is best seen in a rear view mirror. But, I smoked so much Indica in preparation for my battle with the 72oz. steak And, I lost, anyway. But, the ride home was an adventure in itself. Cheech and Chong all over again. Hooah.

        May 1, 2013 at 5:20 am |
  6. robert

    All of these restaurants and not one from San Francisco. Still, it is not the first time SF was found to be overrated: ever taste sourdough bread or Rice a Roni? Patooee. Gag.

    April 30, 2013 at 7:36 pm |
    • Lord Barrington

      What is even worse, there is not one from New Orleans. That should be punishable by death.

      April 30, 2013 at 11:24 pm |
      • Rachel

        No New Orleans restaurants? I don't believe in this list for one second.

        May 1, 2013 at 12:38 am |
        • Lord Barrington

          'Laisser les bon temps rouler'. If these snob joints 'ain't' got dirty rice, mud bugs or bouidin (on Thursdays), then they 'ain't' got diddly-squat.

          May 1, 2013 at 5:09 am |
    • BlackSharpiePen

      Enjoy your suburban Chik-Fil-A, Robert. We in San Francisco will continue eating at our world class restaurants.

      April 30, 2013 at 11:46 pm |
      • VladT

        Chick-fil A is good. Sourdough bread is also.

        Rice-a-roni, though.....must agree with original poster

        May 1, 2013 at 9:44 am |
  7. adam

    My response to this article is to equate the pursuit of excellence with elitist snobbery and to insist that the celebration of mediocrity is the only true American value!

    April 30, 2013 at 7:16 pm |
  8. Gordon

    They should include a snooty factor in with the list. I wonder what the average bill is? How about the top 50 restaurants where you can dine for under $40 for 3 courses?

    April 30, 2013 at 6:44 pm |
    • MikeyZ

      I bet you could raise that minimum to $100 per head, and still not find a single one on the original list.

      April 30, 2013 at 11:21 pm |
  9. canadian_george

    Why isn't McDonalds on the list?

    April 30, 2013 at 5:44 pm |
  10. Typical American

    How come none of the wine lists contain Four Loko?

    April 30, 2013 at 3:21 pm |
    • Mike

      That was the first comment that made me laugh in a long time.

      May 1, 2013 at 10:14 am |
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