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Noma, one of the world’s best restaurants, is closing its doors

The good news: The Copenhagen dining room will remain open until 2025.

Ice cream made from quince and fermented rice with oyster caramel; and (right) chef Rene Redzepi. (Photo: @reneredzepinoma and @NomaCPH, Instagram)

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And you already thought it was difficult to get a reservation at Noma.

The Copenhagen restaurant, one of the world’s most famous and a top destinations for food tourism, has given notice that it will permanently close its doors to regular service.

The good news for fine-dining groupies: The closing won’t come until the end of 2024.

Rumors that Noma would close have been swirling for months. Rene Redzepi, chef-owner of Noma, said Monday that it wasn’t possible to make the math of fine dining work for his almost 100 employees and himself. “We have to rethink the industry,” he told the New York Times. In 2021, the restaurant lost money, even with government support, while selling $700 ( 57,651 approx.) lunches.

Noma turned Copenhagen into a culinary destination, put New Nordic cooking in the world’s lexicon and made foraging the coolest pastime a chef could engage in. After opening its doors in 2003, it operated mostly under the radar until snagging the No. 1 spot on the World’s 50 Best in 2010. It has won that title five times in total, as recently as 2021.

Now Redzepi will focus on Noma Projects, the lab and fermentation studio that has begun selling products like their sold out smoked mushroom garum, a condiment made from mushrooms that have been cured with salt and the rice fungus koji and then cold-smoked. Redzepi and his team are expanding production of the facility.

The closing of Noma is another bad omen for fine-dining restaurants, where dinners routinely cost $500 ( 41,178 approx) or more. At the end of 2022, the noted California chef David Kinch closed the doors of his three Michelin star Manresa in Los Gatos, Calif. “Three-star restaurant dining is transitioning really hard,” Kinch told Bloomberg. “Chefs who were used to having armies of people have had to rethink their operating manual.”

If you just can’t get a table at Noma, there are other opportunities to dine on Redzepi’s cooking. Noma Kyoto will operate at the Ace Hotel Kyoto this spring. And Redzepi also operates Popl, a burger bar he started during the pandemic that now has a permanent place in Christianshavn.


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