The restaurant took the top spot on the prestigious annual list published by Restaurant magazine and co-sponsored by S. Pellegrino and Acqua Panna.
The magazine released its 2013 list today during an awards ceremony in London.
El Celler de Can Roca ranked #2 last year. It's run by three Catalan brothers, the Rocas, who grew up working in their mother's restaurant nearby. They serve native Catalan fare with a cutting-edge twist, using molecular gastronomy and creative displays to turn food into art.
The restaurant also has three Michelin stars, and serves a tasting menu that starts at €135 ($176).
According to World's 50 Best:
Head chef Joan is alone a cook of the very highest order: he helped pioneer the widespread use of sous-vide cooking in the ’90s via his Roner machine, and is a technical maestro. Josep is the head sommelier who runs the supremely smooth front-of-house operation: understated but passionate. Jordi is the rule-breaking pastry chef whose creations blow the imagination.
The standout dish at the restaurant is a c harcoal-grilled king prawn, king-prawn sand, ink rocks, fried legs, head juice and king prawn essence, according to World's 50 Best.
2013 marks the first time in four years that Noma — the Copenhagen restaurant known for serving "foraged" fare — did not take the top spot.
Noma, where dinner for two can run upwards of $900, received some bad press earlier this year when dozens of diners got sick with a norovirus after eating there.
The World's 50 Best list, widely considered to be the definitive list of top restaurants around the globe, is decided by a group of 900 industry insiders around the world.
You can see the full list of winners below:
#50 Central (Peru) *new entry
#49 Septime (France) *new entry
#48 Quay (Australia)
#47 The French Laundry (USA)
#46 Mani (Brazil) *new entry
#45 Geranium (Denmark)
#44 Asador Etxebarrri (Spain)
#43 Mr. And Mr. Bunch (China) *new entry
#42 Schloss Schauenstein (Switzerland)
#41 Piazza Duomo (Italy) *new entry
#40 Combal Zero (Italy) *re-entry
#39 8 1/2 Otto E Mezzo Bombana (Hong Kong) *new entry
#38 Restaurant Andre (Singapore) *new entry
#37 Villa Joya (Portugal)
#36 Amber (Hong Kong)
#35 Oud Sluis (Netherlands)
#34 Fäviken (Sweden)
#33 The Fat Duck (UK)
#32 Nahm (Thailand)
#31 Biko (Mexico)
#30 Aqua (Germany)
#29 Daniel (USA)
#28 Mirazur (France)
#27 Le Calandre (Italy)
#26 Quique Dacosta Restaurant (Spain)
#25 Hof Van Cleve (Belgium)
#24 L'atelier De Joel Robuchon Paris (France)
#23 L'astrance (France)
#22 Nihonryori Ryugin (Japan)
#21 Attica (Australia) *highest new entry and best in Australasia
#20 Narisawa (Japan) *best in Asia
#19 Le Bernardin (USA)
#18 Le Chateaubriand (France)
#17 Pujol (Mexico)
#16 L'arpege (France)
#15 Alinea (USA) *chefs choice
#14 Astrid y Gaston (Peru) *highest climber
#13 The Ledbury (UK)
#12 Frantzen & Lindeberg (Sweden)
#11 Per Se (USA)
#10 Vendome (Germany)
#9 Steirereck (Austria)
#8 Arzak (Spain)
#7 Dinner by Heston Blumenthal (UK)
#6 D.O.M. (Brazil) *best in South America
#5 Eleven Madison Park (USA) *best in USA
#4 Mugaritz (Spain)
#3 Osteria Francescana (Italy)
#2 Noma (Denmark)
#1 El Celler de Can Roca (Spain)
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