One Middle Eastern restaurant gets into World's Restaurant Awards

Copenhagen restaurant Noma has been voted the best restaurant in the world for the third year in a row.

The list, announced at the 10th annual World's 50 Best Restaurants awards in London, offered few surprises - the two runners-up, El Celler de Can Roca and Mugaritz, both in Spain, also won the same accolades in 2011.

Unlike the star-based Michelin system, restaurants that land on the World's 50 Best list are voted on by a panel of more than 800 food critics, chefs and restaurant owners. Voters must have eaten in the restaurants they nominate in the last 18 months.

Zuma in Dubai was the Middle East’s only entry in the list. It missed the top 50, making the top 100 at no.83.


  • Spain saw five restaurants hit the top 50 list; its Arzak also won head chef Elena Arzak the World's Best Female Chef, and the Chef's Choice award went to Mugaritz chef Andoni Luis Aduriz in San Sebastian.
  • Although British chef Heston Blumenthal saw his restaurant The Fat Duck drop eight spots to 13th this year, his new restaurant, Dinner by Heston Blumenthal in London, shot straight to the ninth spot to take the Highest New Entry award.
  • La Grenouillère in Montreuil-sur-Mer, northern France, was named the 2012 One to Watch.
  • London restaurant The Ledbury also rose 20 places from No. 34 to No. 14 this year, to take the Highest Climber award.
  • Quay restaurant, which overlooks the Sydney Harbour, took home the award for Best Restaurant in Australasia.
  • Asia had six restaurants on the list, led by Iggy's in Singapore, voted the Best Restaurant in Asia.
  • The US was represented by eight restaurants on the list this year. New York restaurant Per Se was awarded the Best Restaurant in North America and its chef, Thomas Keller, won the Lifetime Achievement Award.
  • Brazilian restaurant D.O.M. in Sao Paulo claimed the Best Restaurant in South America.