Corona Virus Pandemic: What is happening at the World’s 50 Best Restaurants?



I took a walk through Instagram today, to get an idea of what the top ten chefs and restaurants of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants List are dong right now, many are lucky enough to be getting ready to open up for service again, while others remain closed for sit-down Service, and are cooking for their communities.

The World’s 50 Best Restaurant awards will not be held in 2020, having been scheduled to take place in Antwerp last week. The awards have been postponed to 2021. In our country Eat Out has announced that it too will postpone its Award ceremony.

News of the Top Ten of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants follows below, together with those very special restaurants that have been former Number One Restaurants, now listed in a ‘Best of the Best’ roll of honour.


1    Mirazur, Menton, France The restaurant is about to reopen for Service, on 12 June, focusing on ‘safety’, and the staff wearing custom-designed masks, with fun motifs of clowns, The Rolling Stones, and sharks …’and always with a smile’ the restaurant posted on Instagram on 26 May. (Main photograph)

Restaurant Review: Mirazur French foraging restaurant in Menton, 6th World’s 50 Best Restaurant, Michelin 2-star!

2    Noma, Copenhagen It opened a Wine & Burger Bar in late May, while it prepares for the reopening of its world-famous restaurant, set to continue until late June, on a sit-down or ‘takeaway’ basis, from Thursdays to Sundays.


3    Asador Etxebarri, Axpe, Spain  Not seen on Instagram


4    Gaggan, Bangkok They write that they closed in February, and spent 45 days ‘to create a menu that matches Social distance, fine dining, and expectations of being in #gaggananand and experience our playful art’. They appear to have reopened.


5    Geranium, Copenhagen  It reopened last week, offering a ‘Geranium Summer Universe’ eating experience. Its sister restaurant Angelika has reopened too.


6    Central, Lima  It does not appear to have reopened, owner Chef Virgilio Martinez using this time to explore new ideas. In April it posted:’We will be back with our strength and all our working force, now applying all measures that are required to maintain everyone’s wellbeing, everyone’s health’.   

Restaurant Review: Peruvian Ecosystem central to Central in Lima in Peru, focus on Altitude but has no Attitude as the 6th Best Restaurant in the World!

7    Mugaritz, San Sebastián, Spain It does not appear to have reopened.


8    Arpège, Paris The restaurant does not have an Instagram account, but its owner Chef Alain Passard is a passionate Instagrammer. He creates the most beautiful masterpieces on a plate, based mainly on vegetables, fruit and flowers. It is not clear from his posts whether it has reopened, Chef Alain only posting photographs of dishes.

Restaurant Review: L’Arpège a temple to vegetables, 19th World’s 50 Best Restaurant, Michelin 3-star!

9    Disfrutar, Barcelona The restaurant is now taking bookings but does not appear to have reopened yet. At the end of May it posted: ‘We will start again and we are more excited than ever’.


10  Maido, Lima The restaurant is currently offering a Delivery and Collection Service.



Best of the Best World 50 Best Restaurants 


Osteria Francescana, Modena, Italy : After posting ‘Kitchen Quarantine’ videos, Chef Massimo Bottura announced last week: ‘WE ARE BACK. After three months of precious time and a lot of work, we are ready with the new me menu ‘With a Little Help from my Friends’,  it appears that the restaurant is open/opening shortly.


The Fat Duck, Bray, UK :  Restaurants in the UK have not yet been allowed to reopen for a sit-down Service.


el Bulli, Barcelona, Spain: No longer operating as a restaurant


The French Laundry, Yountville, Napa Valley, USA: Not on Instagram.


El Cellar de Can Roca, Gerona, Spain. Not on Instagram 


Eleven Madison Park, New York: Owner Chef Daniel Humm despaired in the early days of the Lockdown, but turned his kitchen around to feed New Yorkers, 100000 meals being prepared to date. Bravo! He wrote on 23 May: ‘One of the many lessons that this time has taught us, is that we are in this together. We are one global community. That is why, going forward, I am committed to sustainably creating a more equitable food system. Not only will my restaurants continue to feed our community, but I will be working with Rethink to encourage restaurants around the country, and around the world, to become Rethink Certified’. 

Restaurant Review: Eleven Madison Park thanks its success to Miles Davis, 3rd Best in World, serves New York on a plate!

It was a shock to read that The Ledbury, a World’s 50 Best Restaurant in London, is unlikely to reopen.

Restaurant Review: The Ledbury chic but cold, 14th Best in the World!


About Chris von Ulmenstein

Chris von Ulmenstein, WhaleTales Blog: Tel +27 082 55 11 323 Twitter:@Ulmenstein Facebook: Chris von Ulmenstein Instagram: @Chrissy_Ulmenstein

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