These Are the Best 100 Restaurants in the UK
The Sportsman (pictured), a seaside pub, on Monday was named the best restaurant in the U.K. for the second year in a row, beating the finest establishments London has to offer, at the Estrella Damm National Restaurant Awards. The two-Michelin-star Ledbury, in the capital’s Notting Hill, placed second.
The annual rankings are based on the votes of 180 chefs, restaurateurs and food writers, including me. Each member of the panel casts seven votes, based on his or her best restaurant experiences over the previous 12 months.
The list tends to favor informal establishments over temples of gastronomy. Two of the UK's four three-Michelin Star restaurants don’t make the Top 100: The Fat Duck (15) and the Waterside Inn (21) are there, but Gordon Ramsay and Alain Ducasse are not.
A Wong, a Chinese restaurant near the Victoria train station, jumped to third place from 19th. International recognition is growing for chef Andrew Wong’s modern Chinese cooking. Alongside Som Saa and Kiln, it was one of three Asian venues in the top 10, when there were none last year.
The Sportsman, chef Stephen Harris’s establishment in Seasalter, Kent, also won the best gastropub award. Chef Jason Atherton was named best restaurateur, while Frenchman Claude Bosi of Bibendum (London) took the chef’s chef award.
There are other, similar rankings, but this one—in its 10th year—is probably the most closely watched here. It’s organized by Restaurant magazine, which is also behind the World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards.
My favorites this year included A Wong; Lorne, a modern European restaurant where lunch may cost as little as £15; and Man Behind the Curtain, an avant-garde restaurant in Leeds, where chef Michael O’Hare creates dishes with exciting flavors and dramatic presentation: Miyagi oyster with strawberry kimchi, anyone?
Here’s the Top 100, with last year’s rankings in parentheses if applicable:
The Sportsman, Seasalter (1) The Ledbury, London (3) A Wong, London (19) Som Saa, London Barrafina Adelaide Street, London (2) Casamia, Bristol (12) The Clove Club, London (6) Elystan Street, London Kiln, London Hedone, London (4) The River Café, London (10) Lyle’s, London (9) Hoppers, London (17) The Palomar, London (42) The Fat Duck, Bray (68) Restaurant Sat Bains, Nottingham (14) L’Enclume, Cartmel (8) Coombeshead Farm, Lewannick The Dairy, London (13) The Walnut Tree, Abergavenny (11) The Waterside Inn, Bray (23) Gymkhana, London (45) Claude Bosi at Bibendum, London The Elephant, Torquay (32) The Raby Hunt, Darlington Midsummer House, Cambridge (43) Restaurant Nathan Outlaw, Port Isaac (5) Brawn, London (53) Bulrush, Bristol 64 Degrees, Brighton (16) Primeur, London (73) The Coach, Marlow (59) 108 Garage, London Temper, London Chez Bruce, London (71) Noble Rot Restaurant & Wine Bar, London (21) Frenchie, London (20) Le Gavroche, London (18) Padella, London Clipstone, London The Hand & Flowers, Marlow (33) 40 Maltby Street, London (30) The Quality Chop House, London (25) The Little Fish Market, Hove The Man Behind the Curtain, Leeds (27) Trinity, London Sticky Walnut, Chester (74) Bocca di Lupo, London (62) The Smoking Goat, London (55) Lake Road Kitchen, Ambleside (15) The Crown, Burchetts Green Adams, Birmingham Gidleigh Park, Chagford Hispi, Manchester Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, Great Milton (39) Jikoni, London P Franco, London The Black Swan at Oldstead Typing Room, London Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, London (34) Margot, London Timberyard, Edinburgh Black Axe Mangal, London (24) Blacklock Soho, London El Pastor, London Holborn Dining Room, London Pollen Street Social, London (46) StreetXO, London Bao Soho, London (44) Moor Hall, Ormskirk Paul Ainsworth at Number 6, Padstow (51) Quo Vadis, London The Marksman, London The Pony & Trap, Bristol Rochelle Canteen, London The Seahorse, Dartmouth (47) Freemasons at Wiswell, Clitheroe El Gato Negro, Manchester (81) Hawksmoor Air Street, London Kricket, London Sosharu, London The Star Inn, Harome The Hardwick, Abergavenny (40) Wine & Brine, Moira Box-E, Bristol Morito, London Restaurant Andrew Fairlie, Gleneagles (22) Norn, Edinburgh Ondine, Edinburgh (60) Portland, London (41) Lorne, London Murano, London The Beehive, White Waltham The Kitchin, Edinburgh (75) St John Bread and Wine, London Simpsons, Birmingham (56) Forest Side, Grasmere Pizarro, London The Pig, Brockenhurst Gunpowder, London
Article by Richard Vines, chief food critic at Bloomberg.