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Just Two London Restaurants Grace the Deeply Flawed World’s 50 Best Restaurants List

Shoreditch neighbours Lyle’s and The Clove Club placed, appropriately, right next to each other

The open kitchen at The Clove Club in London, with chefs on a metal pass framed by blue tiles.
The open kitchen at The Clove Club in London.
The Clove Club

The annual, and deeply flawed, World’s 50 Best Restaurants list was announced at a live event in Antwerp, Belgium, this evening. The new restaurant at #1 is Noma, René Redzepi’s Copenhagen restaurant which has won four times before, but is allowed to win again because it closed and then reopened in a new location.

It is joined on the list by two east London neighbours, the only representatives for the city in the top 50. At #32, The Clove Club, Isaac McHale’s restaurant in Shoreditch Town Hall, and at #33, Lyle’s, James Lowe’s Michelin-starred Shoreditch restaurant, which has held down a spot on the list for the last several years.

The awards, though regularly criticised for their gender bias, Eurocentricity, tasting menu obsession, and privileging of expensive restaurants, remains hugely influential. But after announcing long-overdue structural changes in 2019, and having had two years to reflect on how it might become more representative, there’s still little sign of genuine change. Speaking locally, it feels perplexing that Ikoyi can receive the “One to Watch” award, but rank at 87, despite being in no way discernibly over 50 restaurants “lower” than its London contemporaries, with Brat — also in Shoreditch — above it at 78.

Core by Clare Smyth and Dinner by Heston Blumenthal also made the top 100, at 66 and 65 respectively.

Here’s the full list of the so-called 50 best restaurants in the world:

1. Noma (Copenhagen, Denmark)

2. Geranium (Copenhagen, Denmark)

3. Asador Etxebarri (Atxondo, Spain)

4. Central (Lima, Peru)

5. Disfrutar (Barcelona, Spain)

6. Frantzén (Stockholm, Sweden)

7. Maido (Lima, Peru)

8. Odette (Singapore)

9. Pujol (Mexico City, Mexico)

10. The Chairman (Hong Kong, China)

11. Den (Tokyo, Japan)

12. Steirereck (Vienna, Austria)

13. Don Julio (Buenos Aires, Argentina)

14. Mugaritz (San Sebastian, Spain)

15. Lido 84 (Gardone Riviera, Italy)

16. Elkano (Getaria, Spain)

17. A Casa do Porco (São Paulo, Brazil)

18. Piazza Duomo (Alba, Italy)

19. Narisawa (Tokyo, Japan)

20. Diverxo (Madrid, Spain)

21. Hiša Franko (Kobarid, Slovenia)

22. Cosme (New York City, USA)

23. Arpège (Paris)

24. Septime (Paris, France)

25. White Rabbit (Moscow, Russia)

26. Le Calandre (Rubano, Italy)

27. Quintonil (Mexico City, Mexico)

28. Benu (San Francisco, USA)

29. Reale (Castel di Sangre, Italy)

30. Twins Garden (Moscow, Russia)

31. Restaurant Tim Raue (Berlin, Germany)

32. The Clove Club (London, UK)

33. Lyle’s (London, UK)

34. Burnt Ends (Singapore)

35. Ultraviolet (Shanghai, China)

36. Hof Van Cleve (Belgium)

37. SingleThread (Healdsburg, USA)

38. Borago (Santiago, Chile)

39. Florilège (Tokyo, Japan)

40. Suhring (Bangkok, Thailand)

41. Alléno (Paris, France)

42. Belcanto (Lisbon, Portugal)

43. Atomix (New York City, USA)

44. Le Bernardin (New York City, USA)

45. Nobelhart & Schmutzig (Berlin, Germany)

46. Leo (Bogotá, Colombia)

47. Maaemo (Oslo, Norway)

48. Atelier Crenn (San Francisco, USA)

49. Azurmendi (Larrabetzu, Spain)

50. Wolfgat (Paternoster, South Africa)

Art of Hospitality Award: Steirereck (Vienna, Austria)

Highest New Entry: Lido 84 (Gardone Riviera, Italy)

Chef’s Choice Award: Victor Arguinzoniz (Axpe, Spain)

Sustainability Award: Borago (Santiago, Chile)

World’s Best Pastry Chef: Will Goldfarb (Ubud, Bali)

World’s Best Female Chef: Pía León (Lima, Peru)

One to Watch: Ikoyi (London, UK)

Icon Award: Dominique Crenn (San Francisco, USA)

Champions of Change: Kurt Evans (Philadelphia, PA), Viviana Varese (Milan, Italy), Deepanker Khosla (Bangkok, Thailand)