How the lists and rankings work, and why we do it the way we do.

In the past we’ve had categories for bars, restaurants and casual venues. The 2023 Guide, launched in November 2022, saw a shuffle. We now have a single list of restaurants, the Top 100, which puts food first. Whether these venues call themselves restaurants, bars or casual diners, we recommend them as places to eat first and foremost, even if they blur a line between categories. Our separate list of Best Bars is where you’ll find the venues we recommend as essential pit-stops for drinks first, even if the kitchens are a cut above.

As usual, the highest-scoring venues come at the top of our lists, but fine diners don’t necessarily have an advantage over holes in the wall or sandwich shops, and our scoring is built to reward all kinds of venues, making the list one that offers variety throughout and gives our readers plenty of scope to explore and discover new experiences. 

Each review is based on at least one anonymous, independent visit to the venue, food and drinks are paid for by us, scored according to our criteria, then fact-checked with the venue. Our goal is for each review to be as accurate and useful as possible, shining a light on those things that make the venue unique, and helping you to have a good time.