SquareMeal, an independent restaurant guide, has announced the best restaurants that the UK has to offer in its Top 100 list for 2024.
SquareMeal’s UK Top 100 is the only list of its kind to exclude London’s restaurants - allowing the wider UK’s dining scene to shine.
Using a combination of thousands of reader votes and SquareMeal’s experts, the UK Top 100 Restaurants list is a true reflection of Britain’s varied dining scene - featuring everything from fine dining experiences through to farm-to-table restaurants and gastropubs.
As part of this year's top 100, 12 Scottish restaurants were named.
SquareMeal’s Restaurants Editor, Pete Dreyer, said of this year's list: "restaurants never cease to amaze us - every year we're blown away by talented teams, who always seem to find new, innovative ways to push the boundaries of food.
"As always we're so grateful to everyone who works in hospitality, and we're forever in awe of the passion and love that goes into restaurants up and down the country.
"A huge thank you also to the thousands upon thousands who voted to support their favourite restaurants this year."
Here's the 12 that made the list, and what the team had to say about them.
The only Scotch whisky distillery with a Michelin Star restaurant, once again features in the SquareMeal top 100 this time at number 11.
The team there wrote: "With just six tables available per night, dinner at this distillery restaurant is pretty exclusive. The trip is absolutely worth it, though, as Mark Donald’s globetrotting menus are out of this world."
In at number 17 is this charming Fife Inn, which opened in September 2019, with chef James Ferguson and partner Alethea Palmer at the helm.
SquareMeal said: "This 17th-century pub and restaurant serves an affordable yet elevated a la carte menu. Produce is primarily sourced from the nearby Balcaskie Estate along with a handful of other local growers to keep menus seasonal and local."
Roberta Hall-McCarron's Little Chartroom is at number 21 in the top 100.
The entry for this reads: "Roberta Hall-McCarron’s cosy Bonnington bistro is a nigh on perfect neighbourhood restaurant - homely, comforting and always welcoming, with a menu full of dishes that you just want to dive into head first."
Green Michelin Star holder, Inver, is named at number 27 on this year's SquareMeal top 100.
The said: "Set in a converted ferryman’s cottage on the Insta-friendly shores of Loch Fyne, Inver blends ultra-fresh local produce - sometimes straight out of the loch - with clever Nordic technique."
In at number 42 is Edinburgh favourite Timberyard.
The SquareMeal team wrote: "Located in the shadows of Edinburgh Castle, family-run Timberyard prides itself on ingredient-led cooking serving simple and precise dishes using locally sourced Scottish produce. It has a rustic feel reminiscent of the 19th century warehouse it’s built in."
This new restaurant, located in the picturesque village of Ballater is from the team behind nearby Fife Arms Hotel.
Charting at number 43, SquareMeal said: "A tiny Scottish village on the edge of Cairngorms might not have seemed like an obvious location for one of the UK’s top restaurants, but Fish Shop Ballater’s commitment to community, simplicity and sustainability have come together to create something really special."
A new addition to the Edinburgh dining scene, Eorna is number 52 in the 2024 top 100.
The SquareMeal entry reads: "Without a battalion of chefs, Eorna is a two-man team with Brian Grigor in the kitchen and sommelier Glen Montgomery attending to service and wines.
"This twelve-seater intimate dining experience showcases exceptional seasonal produce and Scottish innovation."
This laid back restaurant, located in Glasgow's east end, is once again in the top 100, this time at number 57.
"This relaxed, Italian-inspired eatery is headed up by husband-and-wife team Dean and Anna who offer simple, unfussy dishes designed to be shared with loved ones.
"Sustainable initiatives are put into practice too, with many of its biodynamic and organic wines available on tap to reduce glass waste," said the SquareMeal entry.
The first Glasgow restaurant in 17 years to be awarded a Michelin Star back in 2021 is named at number 75.
The entry for Cail Bruich reads: "With a spectacular chef’s table for two, plus a luxurious, contemporary main dining room, Cail Bruich is a special occasion spot worth saving up for. Here you’ll be treated to Lorna McNee’s unique flair for elevating the best of Scottish produce."
At number 78 is Scotland's only two Michelin Star restaurant, Restaurant Andrew Fairlie.
"The legacy of the great Andrew Fairlie continues at this luxury hotel restaurant. You know what you get at Gleneagles - precise, sumptuous dishes, rooted in European tradition and the very best Scottish produce."
Another of Roberta Hall-McCarron's restaurants has made it on to this year's list at number 80.
The entry reads: "Roberta Hall-McCarron’s second restaurant has smashed all expectations. We love the soothing interiors almost as much as we love Hall-McCarron’s delicious, inventive cooking."
This relaxed Glasgow bistro, with an ever-changing menu, is at number 84.
"Described as a dinner house, Big Counter dishes out unfussy comfort food and old-school favourites.
"The menu is subject to daily change but dishes frequently feature chef John Dawson and Claire Johnston’s ‘holy trinity’: butter, cream, and cheese."
Find out more about the top 100 and read the full UK list on SquareMeal's website.