The new Harden’s Best UK Restaurants 2020 has just been published, and reveals what diners believe are the best restaurants in the country.
The top 100 restaurants list is derived from the 50,000 reports with ratings submitted by the 7,500 diners who contributed to the Harden’s annual survey.
London restaurants accounted for 41 of the Harden’s 100, with 59 entries outside the capital. And the North West had a bumper year.
Marc Wilkinson’s 14-seater Fraiche, near Birkenhead, made number one on the list. The tiny restaurant was amongst the North West’s tally of 10 entries in the Harden’s 100: the highest of any region outside the South East and London, and with five of them making the top 20.
Two restaurants from Manchester made the top 20: Mana, at number three, and Adam Reid at The French at number 19. One other Manchester restaurant also made the top 100: Aiden Byrne’s Restaurant MCR at number 73.
Manchester received 60 entries in the guide in total this year. Last year, despite a higher number of entries in the guide (62), the city failed to achieve any listings at all in the Harden’s top 100.
Other North West entries in the top 20 this year include Aughton’s Moor Hall at number five, and Cartmel’s L’Enclume at 12.
It’s been a bumper year for Ancoats restaurant Mana, headed by Noma alumnus Simon Martin, the highest scorer in the list.
As well as winning Manchester’s first Michelin star for over 40 years, Mana also picked up the Manchester Food and Drink Festival award for restaurant of the year, as well as newcomer of the year and premium and fine dining restaurant of the year.
Looking at the wider picture beyond the elite of the Harden’s 100, Edinburgh regained its position as Britain’s second restaurant city outside London, judged both in terms of the total number of entries in the guide (60) and in terms of the total number of top-scoring entries (20) for any single city.
The other top-scoring cities, in order, were Brighton, Birmingham, Glasgow, Manchester and York.
“This is an exciting time for the quality UK restaurant scene, with a feeling that expectations amongst diners continues to rise ever higher and a sense that the trade is rising to the challenge of meeting those expectations,” said co-founder Peter Harden.
“For many years now it has felt hard to keep up with the pace of change and innovation amidst the capital’s ever-changing restaurant scene, and this dynamism seems now to be ever-more widespread beyond the borders of the capital.”