Last night saw tapas bar Barrafina Adelaide Street named the best restaurant in the UK at the National Restaurant Awards, which ranks the nation’s top 100 restaurants each year as voted for by a judging team made up of chefs, restaurateurs and food writers.
The accolade comes just ahead of the launch of a third Barrafina restaurant on Drury Lane this summer, and follows it also being named readers’ favourite in the first Evening Standard Best New London Restaurant Awards recently.
It is the first time that a restaurant with a female head chef – Nieves Barragán Mohacho – has topped the list and also the only time that a restaurant which doesn’t take reservations has reached pole position.
51 of the restaurants featured this year are in London, including half of the top 10. After Barrafina, the capital’s top ranking eateries are The Ledbury in Kensington at three, Gymkhana in Mayfair at four, Lyle’s in Shoreditch at five, The Dairy in Clapham at nine and Restaurant Gordon Ramsay in Chelsea at 10.
The highest rated restaurants outside of London were gastropub The Sportsman in Kent at number two, Tom Kerridge’s The Hand and Flowers in Marlow at five, and Simon Rogan’s L’Enclume in Cumbria at seven.
A surprising 45 out of the 100 restaurants on the list were new entries this year – perhaps an indication of how competitive and fast-paced the dining scene has become.
Other awards on the night went to The Square in Mayfair for wine list of the year, Chiltern Firehouse for cocktail list of the year and Bruno Loubet’s Grain Store in King’s Cross for sustainable restaurant of the year.
Nuno Mendes’s new Spitalfields restaurant Taberna do Mercado was named ‘one to watch’.