Manchester Hailed as Fastest Growing Dining Destination as Harden’s Publishes its Top 100 Restaurants List for 2018

Manchester Hailed as Fastest Growing Dining Destination as Harden’s Publishes its Top 100 Restaurants List for 2018 banner image

Manchester has been the true battleground for many years now in the fight for Michelin stars and gastronomic prowess outside of London. With heavyweight chefs such as Simon Rogan, Michael Caines, and Aiden Byrne, all raising their colours (and some lowering them as well) in recent memory. Even the cathedrals of cattle from London’s much-loved Hawksmoor extended the ranch to the north-west a few years ago, too. A visit in October was one of the best Hawksmoor experiences I’ve ever had (and there have been many). Manchester continues to be on the up; today’s announcement of Harden’s Top 100 Restaurants for 2018 confirms it.

The 27th edition of the UK’s foremost diner-led restaurant guide surveyed 8,500 participants, contributing 50,000 reviews, which, as curated by the editors, form the basis for inclusions and ratings in the guide. Harden’s co-founder Peter Harden said, “the same week that saw TripAdvisor crown a shed serving Iceland ready meals as London’s top restaurant, saw our guide name the capital’s The Araki as the UK’s best. Both systems rely on user feedback, but it is the careful collation of the Harden’s survey that creates authoritative rankings, rather than trash listings based on seemingly unfiltered garbage data.”

In the Harden’s 100 best UK restaurants, listed below, the split in representation between London and non-London restaurants is exactly fifty-fifty (so long as you include Kew in the capital). This is the first year the Harden’s 100 has been published independently from The Sunday Times, who made the ranking the basis of their annual Food List supplement for six years from 2010 to 2015.

Even the top ten yields some surprises. The £385 per head Araki in London, having claimed three Michelin stars this year, deservedly tops the bill, and Yorkshire’s Northern Powerhouse – The Black Swan at Oldstead – comes in at number eight. The surprise is Casamia in Bristol taking second place – and therefore becoming the highest ranked restaurant outside of London, described as “a magical experience with clever cuisine, impeccable service, and yet somehow still with a cosy and friendly feel about it”.

Manchester has notched up sixty-six entries in the new listings, the second highest number outside the capital, and it’s good news for Scotland, also. Edinburgh, with fifty-five listings, is still unrivalled outside London in terms of quality, with thirteen restaurants amongst the guide’s top scorers.

The new guide lists over 1,400 eateries at all price levels outside the capital. It includes a similar number of restaurants inside London, to create the most comprehensive of the UK’s guides, with approximately twice the number of listings in The Good Food Guide.

The Harden’s 100 ranking of the UK’s best restaurants in full  

  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 à 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. Hélène Darroze, London
    38. Tyddyn Llan, Llandrillo
    39. The Box Tree, Ilkley
    40. Le Cochon Aveugle, York

    41. Pétrus, 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. André 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 StreetSocial, 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


Harden’s Best UK Restaurants 2018, £15.99, is available in all good bookshops, including Waterstone’s and Amazon, and from