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Denmark's Noma restaurant finally gets 3 stars as Michelin announces 2021 Nordic ratings

The first incarnation of Danish restaurant Noma in Copenhagen, taken on March 14, 2012
The first incarnation of Danish restaurant Noma in Copenhagen, taken on March 14, 2012 Copyright DRESLING JENS/AP
By Jez Fielder
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Michelin has awarded the world-famous Noma restaurant 3 stars for the first time. 2021 is also the first year the Guide has been published in a digital format only.


René Redzepi’s world-beating restaurant, Noma, in Copenhagen, has finally received three Michelin Stars. For many, this has been a very long time coming.

Opening the first time round in 2003 and smashing the accolades like an establishment possessed, Noma won the title of World's Best Restaurant in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2014. Known for putting Nordic cuisine firmly on the culinary map, Redzepi still couldn't grasp that elusive third star, despite sitting on top of the world rankings according to Restaurant magazine.

The Michlin Guide Nordic Countries 2021 covers Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, and the new stars were unveiled on the evening of Monday 13 September during a televised launch at the Stavanger Concert Hall, Norway.

Michlin said Noma "has a strong connection to nature and its holistic approach sees unusual seasonal ingredients showcased in creative and complex dishes."

Moving to new premises gave rise to the second and current incarnation of the restaurant, and brought with it a reignited focus on seasonal food. 

On achieving the 3-star rating, Redzepi looked stunned. 

"I'm completely flabbergasted. I really, honestly am completely surprised," he said, with a glass of wine still intact in his left hand. I feel something I haven't felt before, I don't know what to express right now.

This is 14 years of waiting. We have patience, but at one point you also think maybe it's just never going to happen."

Welcome back, Esben!

Maaemo in Oslo, Norway, also received a 3-star rating, as well as a Michelin Green Star for its sustainability credentials.

Chef Esben Holmboe Bang said he had been nervous in the lead-up to the announcement as he had moved to a new location as wasn't sure if he would retain his stars.

"For me, 3 Michelin stars is the biggest honour you can achieve as a chef and as a team, and as a restaurant. It's been a very emotional journey," he said.

Two stars for French-influenced Mark Lundgaard

Kong Hans Kælder in Copenhagen gets an upgrade from one to two stars in 2021. It has been running for 45 years and has a famously beautiful gothic setting. 

Michelin said: "The luxurious ingredients and rich flavours are rooted in French cuisine, but chef Mark Lundgaard also stamps his own imaginative mark on these accomplished modern dishes."

Nine 1-star awards

Finnjävel Salonki in Helsinki (New to the Guide), Aira in Stockholm (New to the Guide), Project in Gothenburg (Promoted from a Bib Gourmand), ÅNG in Tvååker (New to the Guide – and also awarded a Michelin Green Star), Hotell Borgholm (Promoted) on the island of Öland, The Samuel in Copenhagen (New to the Guide), Substans in Aarhus (New to the Guide – relocated), LYST in Vejle (New to the Guide) and Syttende in Sønderborg (New to the Guide).

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