Top UK culinary guide describes Edinburgh's restaurant scene as 'still unrivalled outside London'

Edinburgh's culinary scene has been described as "still unrivalled outside London" by a respected UK restaurant guide.

Published 15th Dec 2017
Updated 31 st Oct 2023

The country's top 100 restaurant list has been revealed by Harden's Best UK Restaurants guide, with a £385-a-head sushi restaurant in London named as the best dining experience and Manchester crowned the fastest improving city for food lovers

The Araki in the capital's Mayfair, which seats nine people and recently gained three Michelin stars, beat Bristol's Casamia and The Ledbury in London in the poll of thousands of diners for the leading guide.

While it gave plaudits to Manchester it also described Edinburgh as "still unrivalled outside London" when it comes to the city's culinary scene with 55 listings and 13 restaurants among the top scorers, including Restaurant Martin Wishart in ninth place, The Kitchin (47) and Norn (66).

Andrew Fairlie's eponymous restaurant in Auchterarder (35), The Peat Inn in Cupar (94) and The Three Chimneys on Skye (68) were the only other Scottish eateries to make it in the top 100.

Bath and Bristol climbed to joint seventh place from joint 11th position for their number of top scoring restaurants, while Wales achieved five rankings in the top 100.

The 27th annual list was based on a survey of 8,500 diners who contributed 50,000 reviews of their restaurant experiences.

The guide's editor and co-founder Peter Harden said: "Regarding Scotland and it’s national performance relating to restaurants it’s impressive that two of the most exciting cities for restaurants outside London in the life of the guide have been Edinburgh and Glasgow.

"But whereas Edinburgh has consolidated its position as the UK’s second restaurant city outside London there’s a feeling Glasgow has more to give.

"Like Manchester it has a very broad variety of quality restaurants but also like Manchester really needs to develop a few culinary champions worthy of our Hardens 100 to showcase its attractions."

Mr Harden said The Araki's success was down to its "fabulous level of attention and ingredient quality".

Old Course Hotel welcome ex Claridge’s and Inverlochy Castle chef to oversee restaurants

"We often find that smaller restaurants do better because the chef can really focus on your meal and your experience."

The 100 best restaurants in the UK, according to Harden's, are:

1. The Araki, London
2. Casamia, Bristol
3. The Ledbury, London
4. Restaurant Nathan Outlaw, Port Isaac
5. The Fat Duck, Bray
6. Marianne, London
7. Waterside Inn, Bray
8. Black Swan, Oldstead
9. Restaurant Martin Wishart, Edinburgh
10. The Clove Club, London
11. Gidleigh Park, Chagford
12. Fraiche, Oxton
13. Restaurant Sat Bains, Nottingham
14. Ormer Mayfair, London
15. Gareth Ward at Ynyshir, Eglwys Fach
16. Sushi Tetsu, London
17. Story, London
18. L'Enclume, Cartmel
19. Yorke Arms, Ramsgill-in-Nidderdale
20. The Greenhouse, London
21. Midsummer House, Cambridge
22. Le Gavroche, London
23. Pied a Terre, London
24. Sketch, Lecture Room, London
25. Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat' Saisons, Great Milton
26. Umu, London
27. Bubbledogs, Kitchen Table, London
28. The Five Fields, London
29. Raby Hunt, Summerhouse
30. Moor Hall, Aughton
31. Bohemia, Jersey
32. Adam's, Birmingham
33. Texture, London
34. Estiatorio Milos, London
35. Andrew Fairlie, Auchterarder
36. Morston Hall, Morston
37. Helene Darroze, London
38. Tyddyn Llan, Llandrillo
39. The Box Tree, Ilkley
40. Le Cochon Aveugle, York
41. Petrus, London
42. Hedone, London
43. Hambleton Hall, Hambleton
44. The Neptune, Old Hunstanton
45. The Ritz, London
46. Roux at Parliament Square, London
47. The Kitchin, Edinburgh
48. Murano, London
49. Llangoed Hall, Llyswen
50. Paul Ainsworth at No 6, Padstow
51. 108 Garage, London
52. Hakkasan Mayfair, London
53. Chez Bruce, London
54. Lympstone Manor, Exmouth
55. Jamavar, London
56. Hunan, London
57. The Forest Side, Grasmere
58. The Art School, Liverpool
59. Andre Garrett At Cliveden, Taplow
60. House Of Tides, Newcastle upon Tyne
61. Artichoke, Amersham
62. 5 North Street, Winchcombe
63. Goodman City, London
64. Trishna, London
65. Wilks, Bristol
66. Norn, Edinburgh
67. One-O-One, London
68. The Three Chimneys, Dunvegan
69. Elystan Street, London
70. Typing Room, London
71. La Trompette, London
72. Where The Light Gets In, Stockport
73. The Man Behind The Curtain, Leeds
74. Restaurant James Sommerin, Penarth
75. Marcus, The Berkeley, London
76. The Whitebrook, Whitebrook
77. Pollen Street Social, London
78. Gauthier Soho, London
79. Zuma, London
80. La Petite Maison, London
81. Locanda Locatelli, London
82. Northcote, Langho
83. The Harrow at Little Bedwyn, Marlborough
84. The Woodspeen, Newbury
85. The Sportsman, Seasalter
86. The Glasshouse, Kew
87. Wiltons, London
88. Purnells, Birmingham
89. Coya, London
90. La Dame de Pic London, London
91. Roka, London
92. Seafood Restaurant, Padstow
93. The Seahorse, Dartmouth
94. The Peat Inn, Cupar
95. Scott's, London
96. Stovell's, Chobham
97. Trinity, London
98. Portland, London
99. Min Jiang, London
100. Medlar, London

Driven by a passion for all things drinks-related, Sean writes for The Scotsman extensively on the subject. He can also sometimes be found behind the bar at the world famous Potstill bar in Glasgow where he continues to enhance his whisky knowledge built up over 10 years advising customers from all over the world on the wonders of our national drink. Recently, his first book was published. Dubbed Gin Galore, it explores Scotland's best gins and the stories behind those that make them.
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