April 28, 2014 05:30 PM

Courtesy World's 50 Best/Facebook

If you’ve ever sighed happily over a trattoria’s perfect tagliatelle or bistro’s savory coq au van and declared, “That was the best meal ever!” the experts would respectfully disagree.

That is, unless, such a statement were made at Noma in Copenhagen, which was just awarded the top spot in the 2014 big reveal of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants. Selected by an influential group of more than 900 international leaders in the restaurant industry, the list is a who’s who in the global gastronomic scene, from Bilbao to Bangkok.

Known for its seasonal, Scandinavian innovations like sea urchin toast and caramelized milk and cod liver, Noma (overseen by chef-owner René Redzepi) reclaimed its top spot after being dethroned in 2013 by Spain’s El Celler De Can Roca (this year’s no. 2). In other words, 2014 is all about the Danish.

While a globe-trotting culinary jaunt sounds divine, there are plenty of World’s Best options to be sampled Stateside, including Coi in San Francisco (a newcomer at no. 49), The French Laundry in Yountville, Calif. (no. 44), and New York City’s Daniel (no. 40), Per Se (no. 30) and Le Bernardin (no. 21). Breaking into the top 10 are Alinea in Chicago (no. 9) and Eleven Madison Park in N.Y.C (at no. 4, it’s now the hottest restaurant in North America).

More in the mood for tiger’s milk ceviche, pork foot cannelloni or Mozambican langoustine? Foodies with an itch for something more exotic will be well served (literally) in up-and-coming palate-pleasing cities like Lima, Sao Paulo, Stockholm and Cape Town, which all have entries in the top 50 territory. (See the full list below.)

Our “must go now” restaurant roster is expanding by the minute, on multiple continents. Tell us: Which hard-to-get World’s Best reservation is on your wish list?

—Brooke Showell

1. Noma, Copenhagen

Courtesy Noma

2. El Celler de Can Roca, Girona, Catalonia, Spain

Courtesy El Celler de can Roca

3. Osteria Francescana, Modena, Italy

Courtesy Osteria Francesca

4. Eleven Madison Park, New York City

Courtesy Eleven Madison Park

5. Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, London

6. Mugaritz, San Sebastián, Spain

7. D.O.M., Sao Paulo, Brazil

8. Arzak, San Sebastián, Spain

9. Alinea, Chicago

10. The Ledbury, London

11. Mirazur, Menton, France

12. Vendôme, Bergisch Gladbach, Germany

13. Nahm, Bangkok, Thailand

14. Narisawa, Tokyo

15. Central, Lima, Peru

16. Steirereck, Vienna, Austria

17. Gaggan, Bangkok, Thailand

18. Astrid y Gaston, Lima, Peru

19. Fäviken, Järpen, Sweden

20. Pujol, Mexico City, Mexico

21. Le Bernardin, New York City

22. Vila Joya, Albufeira, Portugal

23. Restaurant Frantzén, Stockholm, Sweden

24. Amber, Hong Kong

25. L’Arpege, Paris

26. Azurmendi, Larrabetzu, Spain

27. Le Chateaubriand, Paris

28. Aqua, Wolfsburg, Germany

29. De Librije, Zwolle, Netherlands

30. Per Se, New York City

31. L’Atelier Saint-Germain de Joel Robuchon, Paris

32. Attica, Melbourne, Australia

33. Nihonryori RyuGin, Tokyo

34. Asador Etxebarri, Atxondo, Spain

35. Martin Berasategui, Lasarte-Oria, Spain

36. Maní, Sao Paolo, Brazil

37. Restaurant Andre, Singapore

38. L’Astrance, Paris

39. Piazza Duomo, Alba, Italy

40. Daniel, New York City

41. Quique Dacosta, Dénia, Spain

42. Geranium, Copenhagen, Denmark

43. Schloss Schauenstein, Fürstenau, Switzerland

44. French Laundry, Yountville, California

45. Hof Van Cleeve, Kruishoutem

46. Le Calandre, Rubano, Italy

47. The Fat Duck, Bray, UK

48. The Test Kitchen, Cape Town, South Africa

49. Coi, San Francisco

50. Waku Ghin, Singapore

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