OpenTable, an online restaurant-reservation service company that allows users to search for restaurants and reservations based on parameters such as date, time, cuisine, and price range, has just announced its Top 50 Fit for Foodies list for 2019.
Determined by analysing more than 851,000 reviews left by verified OpenTable diners, the list collects the very best restaurants from all across the UK that are committed to serving up world-class dishes coupled with impeccable service.
As the weather starts to improve (we hope) and the desire to leave the warmth of your home increases, you’ll no doubt be on the lookout for some fantastic restaurants to spend your evenings at this summer. With the help of this list, and a couple of our regional Food & Drink Guides in your hand, finding that perfect restaurant to have an unforgettable foodie experience at in the next few months has never been easier.
Read the list below, and continue reading to find out more about our favourite restaurants that appear in both this list and our regional food and drink guides.
Top 50 Fit for Foodies 2019 rated by verified OpenTable diners
Ranked Top 10
- Carters of Moseley – Birmingham
- The Chefs Table – Chester
- Röski – Liverpool
- Wilson’s – Bristol
- Peace and Loaf Restaurant – Newcastle upon Tyne
- Wreckfish – Liverpool
- Paco Tapas – Bristol
- Number 16 Restaurant – Glasgow
- Hispi – Manchester
- The Black Rat – Winchester
(Scroll to the bottom of this page for the other 40 top restaurants on the list or continue reading to find out more about our favourite restaurants that feature in both OpenTable’s Top 50 Fit for Foodies 2019 and our regional food and drink guides.)
From our review: Mixing an atmospheric Old Town setting with chic, contemporary style, you can expect the unexpected at Angels with Bagpipes. Its name was inspired by a wooden carving in the Thistle Chapel of the St Giles’ Cathedral, and a version created by artist Alex McFadyen can be seen on display in the restaurant. The menus are just as much of a talking point, with dishes that feature local produce given an Angels’ touch.
Diners can expect both modern, innovative dishes and traditional Scottish treats with a twist. My scallops starter arrived with apple, black pudding and deliciously tangy pickled walnut. This was followed by a main of beautifully cooked sea-reared trout with red pepper, cabbage, quinoa and salsa verde. My companion tucked into tender lamb, accompanied by pea panna cotta, asparagus and mint.
From our review: In just over a decade since opening in 2007, The Black Rat has gone from strength to strength. It’s the second business venture from David Nicholson, who also runs The Black Boy, Hole and Bottle. Having received a Michelin star within a couple of years after opening, it is clear that this former pub is something special.
The menu changes regularly, and relies on seasonal, local produce to evoke unique and special flavours that you won’t find anywhere else. Living up to its Michelin star, the winter menu we sampled featured five starters; the smoked eel enhanced by Alexanders, spätzle, Jerusalem artichoke and shallots was a highlight with stunning presentation. Mains included the earthy and sumptuous plate of ibérico pork presa, parsley, gnocchi, truffle and locally foraged mushrooms. For dessert, a twist on the classic chocolate gateau: chocolate marquise, yoghurt ganache, sloe gin, nougat and refreshing forest fruit sorbet proved the perfect treat. The seasonal dishes are designed to showcase incredible flavour combinations without being pretentious.
From our review: The three-AA-rosette-awarded Chapter One in Orpington first opened over 20 years ago. Since that time, the restaurant has gained a reputation as one of Kent’s best dining spots. Following a major refurbishment in early 2019, Chapter One relaunched with a more modern approach, tempting guests with greater variety and quality. Under the direction of acclaimed chef Andrew McLeish, modern European cuisine is available in two formats. In the restaurant, sophisticated seasonal dishes are served in a refined setting with a weekly changing three-course lunch menu priced at £24.95, a seasonally inspired seven-course tasting menu, and an à la carte option. Exciting dishes include gin-cured chalk stream trout with compressed cucumber, dill and yoghurt dressing, and braised shoulder and roast rump of lamb with grilled aubergine, tahini yoghurt and lamb jus – perfect for special occasions and corporate dining.
From our review: Tucked away in Edinburgh’s West End you’ll find Forage & Chatter, a truly unique destination serving exceptional modern Scottish food. Using produce sourced locally and placing strong emphasis on foraged ingredients, the team showcases the best that Scotland has to offer at surprisingly reasonable prices. The decor fuses contemporary style with traditional touches – think exposed stone walls, Balmoral tweed upholstery and rustic wooden furniture. In keeping with the restaurant’s focus on foraging, leafy potted plants adorn the various nooks and crannies inside.
Those dining may start with delights such as mushroom Carpaccio with goat’s cheese and herbs, or liver parfait, parsnip, endive and honey. Follow with the sensational monkfish accompanied by squid ink barley and sea vegetables, or succulent roasted lamb rump served with sweetbreads, carrot and fennel. Dessert offerings are equally sumptuous, with the likes of Valrhona Dulcey mousse complemented by Scottish raspberries, sorbet and white chocolate, and Alunga chocolate ganache served with orange and cocoa nibs.
From our review: Teddington is something of a foodie paradise, but the latest addition to the charming High Street is truly a cut above. One One Four boasts fresh, seasonal dishes presented smartly in an elegant and airy dining room. The central gin bar is a fun addition and you simply must sample their superb gin cocktails.
The menu represents incredible value for money, offering two courses for £25 or three for just £30, with amuse-bouches and delicious cocktail tasters between courses. Highlights include starters such as the delicate terrine of confit rabbit, wrapped in Iberico ham and served with lightly pickled mustard and baby vegetables. The lamb rump and cutlet compose a delectable main course – cooked to perfection and generously portioned, they were accompanied by sweet garden peas, mint and charred lettuce. Another favourite of ours is the beef rump, served with a crispy oxtail bon bon, smoked onion purée and rainbow chard. The beef was expertly cooked, with a texture more akin to fillet. It’s just one example of the culinary wizardry on display in the open kitchen at One One Four.
From our review: The Poet at Matfield is the epitome of the idyllic countryside retreat. The decor is warm and inviting, as is the friendly team, led by co-owner Andy Urbanek.
When it comes to the menu, everything is incredible. Talented chef-patron Petrus Madutlela and his team balance flavours, textures and colours to create dishes that are beautiful as well as delicious. The menu changes regularly to showcase fresh, seasonal ingredients, with each option accompanied by a suggested wine pairing. The team works with a trusted list of suppliers, ensuring everything is of the highest quality. Perhaps begin with venison Carpaccio and lobster with truffle mayonnaise, turnip and pumpernickel, or the vegetarian-friendly tomatoes, labneh, aubergine and green olive tapenade. From the main-course offering, choose from the likes of lamb rump matched with glazed beets, pommes Anna and cauliflower purée, or pork collar with soy-braised pork cheek, spring onion and turnip. If you’d prefer to complement your meal with a spirit rather than wine, The Poet at Matfield works closely with local distillers to offer patrons a bespoke collection of gin.
The rest of the list (in alphabetical order)
Angles with Bagpipes – Old Town
Brawn – Bethnal Green
Chapter One – Orpington
Coal Office – King’s Cross
Core by Clare Smyth – Notting Hill
Farmacy – Notting Hill
Forage & Chatter – Edinburgh
Frog by Adam Handling – Covent Garden
Gauthier Soho – Soho
Harwood Arms – Fulham
Hawksmoor Manchester – Manchester
La Dame De Pic London – Tower Hill
Mere – Fitzrovia
Morito Hackney – Hackney
Murano – Mayfair
No. 97 – Surbiton
NOPI – Soho
One One Four – Teddington
Ottolenghi Islington – Angel
Ottolenghi Spitalfields – Spitalfields
Pidgin – Hackney
Pollen Street Social – Mayfair
Roux at the Landau – Oxford Circus
ROVI – Fitzrovia
Smiths Restaurant Wapping – Wapping
Spring Restaurant – Covent Garden
St. John Bread and Wine – Spitalfields
Sticky Walnut – Chester
Stones Restaurant Matlock – Matlock
Tattu Leeds – Leeds
Tattu Manchester – Manchester
The French Table – Surbiton
The Ivy St. Helen’s Square – York
The Laughing Gravy – Southbank
The Oxford Blue – Windsor
The Poet at Matfield – Tunbridge Wells
The Quality Chop House – Farringdon
The Three Oaks – Gerrards Cross
The Westwood Restaurant – Beverley
Westerns Laundry – Holloway