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Restaurant Guides Used

At Leading we combine and list restaurants and their associated ratings from all major UK and Ireland restaurant guides. Our site is certainly not a replacement for these excellent guides (which go into much greater detail about each restaurant listed), just an attempt to make the restaurant rating data more accessible. Below are full details of all the restaurant guides we reference.

Michelin Guide

First published in the UK in 1974, the Michelin Guide is probably the most well known restaurant guide in the world. Michelin Stars are highly sought after, and at Leading we list all restaurants currently holding Michelin Stars, a Bib Gourmand or a Michelin Plate.

AA Guide

The AA Guide continues to be the most comprehensive restaurant guide in the UK and Ireland, with over 2,000 restaurants currently holding AA Rosettes. At Leading we list all 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 AA Rosette awarded restaurants in the UK and Ireland.

Good Food Guide

The Good Food Guide is a well established UK restaurant guide, having been first published in 1951. The guide combines the results of expert restaurant inspections with feedback from readers. We list the rating and position of their Top 50 restaurants.

World's 50 Best Restaurants

Sponsored by S.Pellegrino, the World's 50 Best Restaurants (actually 100) is a well known and often referenced list, and probably the most well known 'best restaurant in the world' list in existence. We list all UK and Ireland restaurants in the current top 100.

Sunday Times Top 100 Restaurants

The Sunday Times Top 100 is a yearly restaurant list, now based on feedback from industry experts. At Leading we list all UK restaurants appearing in the current Sunday Times Top 100.

Hardens Top 100 Restaurants

Harden's Guides, is a London-based publishing firm with a proud 24 year history of publishing user-sourced ratings and reviews. At Leading we list all UK restaurants appearing in the current Hardens Top 100.
All guides use slightly different criteria for how they rate restaurants. Most restaurant guides (claim to) base their awards solely on the food provided, but some might include service, value and other such factors. Below is a breakdown of how the three main UK restaurant guides (Michelin Guide, AA Guide and Good Food Guide) score and rate the leading restaurants included in their guides.

Michelin Guide

Award Critera
Michelin StarMichelin StarMichelin Star Exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey.
Michelin StarMichelin Star Excellent cooking, worth a detour.
Michelin Star Very good cooking in its category.
Michelin Bib Gourmand Good cooking at moderate prices.
Michelin Plate Fresh ingredients, capably prepared: simply a good meal.

AA Guide

Award Critera
AA RosetteAA RosetteAA RosetteAA RosetteAA Rosette The pinnacle, where cooking compares with the best in the world. These restaurants have highly individual voices, exhibit breathtaking culinary skills, and set standards to which others aspire to, yet few achieve.
AA RosetteAA RosetteAA RosetteAA Rosette Among the top restaurants in the UK, where the cooking demands national recognition. These restaurants exhibit intense ambition, a passion for excellence, superb technical skills, and remarkable consistency. They will combine appreciation of culinary traditions with a passionate desire for further exploration and improvement.
AA RosetteAA RosetteAA Rosette Outstanding restaurants that achieve standards that demand recognition well beyond their local area. The cooking is underpinned by the selection and sympathetic treatment of the highest quality ingredients. Timing, seasoning and the judgment of flavour combinations will consistently be excellent. These virtues tend to be supported by other elements, such as intuitive service and a well-chosen wine list.
AA RosetteAA Rosette Excellent restaurants that aim for and achieve higher standards and better consistency. A greater precision is apparent in the cooking, and there will be obvious attention to the selection of quality ingredients.
AA Rosette These restaurants achieve standards that stand out in their local area. They serve food prepared with care, understanding and skill, using good quality ingredients. The same expectations apply to hotel restaurants, where guests can eat in with confidence and a sense of anticipation.

Good Food Guide

Award Critera
10 Just perfect dishes, showing faultless technique at every service; extremely rare, and the highest accolade the Guide can give.
9 Cooking that has reached a pinnacle of achievement, making it a hugely memorable experience for the diner.
8 A kitchen cooking close to or at the top of its game - highly individual with impressive artistry. There is little room for disappointment here.
7 High level of ambition and individuality, attention to the smallest detail, accurate and vibrant dishes.
6 Exemplary cooking skills, innovative ideas, impeccable ingredients and an element of excitement.
5 Exact cooking techniques and a degree of ambition; showing balance and depth of flavour in dishes.
4 Dedicated, focused approach to cooking; good classical skills and high-quality ingredients.
3 Good cooking, showing sound technical skills and using quality ingredients.
2 Decent cooking, displaying good basic technical skills and interesting combinations and flavours. Occasional inconsistencies.
1 Capable cooking, with simple food combinations and clear flavours, but some inconsistencies.
Leading is not affiliated with, nor endorsed by any of the above restaurant guides. In addition to the main guides above, we also list review data from TripAdvisor UK, Google and our own independent restaurant reviews.