Published on 17/12/18

Birmingham has most top-100 restaurants in England after London, according to diner poll

In its number of exceptional, top-100 restaurants, Birmingham outdid every other city in England this year according to Harden’s Best UK Restaurants 2019: the UK’s most comprehensive print restaurant guide, published today. The guide is also on release digitally (as an app, available in both the Apple and Google stores).
Of the 18 Birmingham establishments listed, seven were amongst the guide’s top-scorers and, of those, three achieved a ranking in the Harden’s list of the UK’s top-100 Restaurants.
Harden’s derives its reviews and ratings from one of the country’s most detailed surveys of regular restaurant-goers. Harden’s 28th poll of diners, surveyed 8,000 participants who contributed 50,000 reviews. These nominations, as curated by the editors, form the basis for the inclusions and ratings in the guide and on the website.
Of the three Birmingham restaurants winning a place in the Harden’s 100, the highest-ranking was “classy and comfortable” Adams (at 22), whose “outstanding food continues to impress with its high quality sourcing, and real innovation – without resorting to gimmicks – to focus on letting ingredients shine”. Edbaston’s Simpson’s is next (at 42) praised for its “first class food and outstanding service from wonderful staff”. Purnell’s (at 59) is also extolled for being “stunning…, fantastic…, exceptional every time…” with diners “blown away by the innovative cuisine” produced by TV-chef Glynn Purnell’s luxurious 45-cover HQ”.
Further north in the country, Harden’s reports a surge in interest in the York dining scene, whose rather staid dining culture has been transformed in recent times with the arrival of a slew of ambitious modern openings.
Of the Harden’s 100 Best UK Restaurants, the No. 1 slot went to the Sanchez-Inglesias family’s Casamia in Bristol (up from No. 2 last year). With tickets to eat in the restaurant sold four months in advance, the Harden’s review applauds “an attention to detail you don’t see in other fine dining restaurants” but notes that “it’s the theatre and introduction by the chefs that really rounds off the experience”.
Peter Harden, the guide’s editor and co-founder remarked:
“Birmingham out-did every other city in England this year, other than London, in terms of the number of Harden’s 100 restaurants it has to offer – the culinary crême de la crême. And for top-scoring restaurants in general it punches well above its weight, ranking 4th in the UK as a whole.
Top Scorers in Birmingham
Birmingham has four restaurants on the guide’s list of Top Scorers (those scoring 5/5 at any price point, or 4/5 above £60 per head), listed below in descending price order:
Above £60
• Adam’s
• Carters of Moseley
• Lasan
• Purnells
• Simpsons
• The Wilderness

Below £60
• Harborne Kitchen

Other notable Birmingham restaurants
Other Birmingham restaurants judged as providing very good value for money (achieving a score of 4/5) were:
• Asha’s Indian Bar and Restaurant
• Jyoti’s Vegetarian
• Original Patty Men
Top Restaurant Cities in the UK by Quality and Overall Coverage
Birmingham has the UK’s second largest number of high scoring restaurants outside of London (behind Edinburgh) and the 3rd highest number of restaurants listed in the guide.