Noma Is Officially Closing For Good

The best restaurant in the world is closing. Noma, deemed number one for many years on the World's 50 Best restaurants list, will be shutting its doors at the end of 2024. The creator of Noma, René Redzepi, informed The New York Times that the restaurant's regular service will cease to exist in the next two years after serving high-paying customers for over two decades.

Located in Copenhagen, Denmark, Noma is most famous for its new Nordic cuisine and unexpected ingredients that focus on three different menu themes throughout the year (seafood in the spring, vegetables in the summer, and game and forest foods in the winter). "Our origin is rooted in an exploration of the natural world, which began with a simple desire to rediscover wild local ingredients by foraging and to follow the seasons," the restaurant's website explains. Chef Redzepi earned three Michelin stars as Noma became a crown jewel of the fine dining scene. This begs the question, if the world's best restaurant is officially closing, what's next for Redzepi?

Noma is turning into a food innovation lab

If you've never scored a coveted table at the restaurant, don't worry —this is not the end of Noma. Per Noma's announcement online, the highly acclaimed restaurant will officially be transformed into a "pioneering test kitchen" fostering food innovation for Noma Projects (the brand's online commerce outlet). The initiative has been named "Noma 3.0" and will occur in 2025 after the regular service has halted. "In this next phase, we will continue to travel and search for new ways to share our work," the website claims.

Noma confirmed that there will be a some sort of pop-up restaurant in Copenhagen once the chef garners "enough new ideas and flavors." Currently, further details of that development may be hard to come by. 

As for why Redzepi has chosen to close Noma, he called the restaurant "unsustainable" both "financially and emotionally," as the industry simply hasn't figured out how to pay highly qualified, hardworking fine dining employees fairly while turning a profit. The comments section on The New York Times article suggests that most people saw Noma's closure as long overdue, calling for more inclusive dining experiences, payment models that allow employees a fair quality of life, and an end to the abusive culture in fine dining kitchens.