SquareMeal’s list of the top restaurants in the UK forms the backbone of what we represent as a brand. It’s a chance for us to shout about the best-of-the-best in both emerging and established culinary roles and allows us to celebrate the incredible chefs and hospitality teams out there going above and beyond to give their diners top-class experiences.
We say it every year, but this year truly must have presented the highest calibre of restaurants yet. Whittling down the UK’s burgeoning dining scene into just 100 top spots was an excruciating job that took months of planning and deliberation by both our team, and you, our readers.
Despite incredibly tough economic circumstances, our homegrown hospitality professionals have overcome it all and managed to deliver top-class experiences for diners, with flair, ingenuity and individuality.
Top spot in this year’s Top 100 UK Restaurants list goes to Pine in Northumberland - a restaurant that perfectly encapsulates those characteristics. A renovated Northumberland cow barn isn’t somewhere you’d ordinarily expect to find the UK’s best restaurant, but Pine is far from ordinary. Staunchly attached to sustainable principles, chefs Cal Byerley and Ian Waller embrace boundless creativity and techniques from all over the world to create exciting new flavours and dishes.
With a whole host of new openings included in the ranks below, there’s never been a more exciting time to explore our Great British Isles in pursuit of a one-in-a-lifetime meal. That being said, it’s some of the old-timers, the classics, that stood out to us most. While you might have already heard of them, we’re here to tell you they’re still at the top of their game and are worth adding to your eating itinerary over the next 12 months.
Each of the top 100 results are a unique combination of our own in-house critic-led opinions and thousands of diner votes. It’s this dual approach that makes our list incomparable, representing not only our professional opinion but thousands of real-life experiences that help to reinforce and bolster our final decisions.
When we say this list is months in the making, we really mean it. We take huge care and pride in making sure only the very best in the industry find a place on the list, and have eaten at hundreds of restaurants over the past 12 months to whittle down the winners.
While there is an ever-reliable fine-dining set on our list, there are also some surprising hyper-relaxed restaurants that prioritise produce over plating and offer gorgeous combinations of just a few key ingredients. Whether you’re looking for a special occasion destination or an all-new regular nearby, our list of the best restaurants in the UK offers up something for every occasion and every budget. If you’re paying the capital a visit, why not check out our list of London’s Top 100 Restaurants for 2024.