Thirteen Merseyside venues are included in the region's first dedicated restaurant guide
As the North West’s booming restaurant scene continues to outperform the rest of the UK in terms of growth, the Confidentials team has released the region's first dedicated restaurant guide - the Top 100 Restaurants in the North West.
The launch of the new web and mobile guide took place on Monday 10 September at an event held at the Museum of Science and Industry Manchester (MSIM), attended by over 200 representatives from restaurants all over the region.
The inclusive Top 100 list features Michelin starred establishments, bistros, pubs, steakhouses and street food diners
Since the launch, social media has been abuzz with support from chefs, restaurants and food lovers pleased to finally see a guide which celebrates the best the North West (and a little beyond) has to offer and acts as an alternative to the majority of south east-centric restaurant guides.
Simon Rogan’s L’Enclume ultimately claimed the number one spot, with Moor Hall in Aughton, run by L’Enclume’s former head chef Mark Birchall, coming a close second. Michael O’Hare’s Man Behind The Curtain in Leeds placed third, while The Moorcock from Sowerby Bridge took fourth, and Fraiche from the Wirral took fifth.
The new guide 'loosely spans' the North West, with restaurants from Merseyside, Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Cumbria and Cheshire joined by those from within the Confidential catchment areas in Yorkshire and Derbyshire.
The inclusive Top 100 list features a variety of dining establishments; from Michelin star-winners like The Box Tree and Fischer's Baslow Hall to Indian street food diners (Bundobust, Indian Tiffin Room), steakhouses (Hawksmoor, Stockdales), bistros (Wreckfish, Joseph Benjamin) and gastro pubs (Freemasons at Wiswell, The Church Green).
Fraiche (5th) was Liverpool's highest ranking restaurant, followed by Roski (15th), Wreckfish (20th) and the Art School (30th). Maray, Belzan, Bacaro and Spire also featured in the Top 100 (see below).
Lancashire gastro pubs have a particularly good showing in the Top 100, with the likes of the White Swan at Fence (11th), Parker’s Arms (16th), and The Cartford Inn (28th) all making the top 30, while The Church Green and The Roebuck in Cheshire also make the cut.
Masterchef alumni also feature heavily on the list, with Anton Piotrowski (Roski, Liverpool), Liz Cottam (Home, Leeds), Simon Wood (Wood, Manchester) and Matt Healy (The Foundry, Leeds) all making the cut.
Meanwhile, independent and affordable operations continue to challenge the more traditional establishments, with casual and cheap eats restaurants accounting for more than half the Top 100, while the 48 entries from rural and suburban locations – such as Bistrot Verite in Birkdale Village – show it’s no longer all about central city locations.
How it looks:
Confidentials publisher Mark Garner said: “The North West food scene is increasingly evolving and thriving, outperforming much of the UK. Yet the region, and the North in general, always feels underrepresented in most major restaurant guides. And that just won’t do.
“We’ve published thousands of restaurant reviews over the last seventeen years, and have been looking for a way to collect all that hard earned knowledge together to create something new and, most importantly, something useful. We think we’ve achieved that with the Top 100 Restaurants in the North West.”
The new guide has been compiled by a panel, which includes Confidential’s team of restaurant critics, independent writers and food industry experts. The rankings have been allocated using Confidential’s Top 100 scoring system, taking into account Confidential’s own scored reviews (where appropriate), the panel’s visits and revisits, and the collective ratings of other trusted guidebooks and critics.
“What this guide shows is that there is an array of talent and creativity in the region, producing some exciting and top quality food,” added Mark Garner, “but the competition is tough out there, so the top 100 will need to stay on their toes to keep their place on the list.”
You can see the full Top 100 list below and at confidentialguides.com
The Top 100 Restaurants in the North West 2018:
The Man Behind the Curtain
Adam Reid at the French
The Box Tree
Where The Light Gets In
The Freemasons at Wiswell
White Swan at Fence
The Forest Side
Lake Road Kitchen
The Burlington Restaurant, Devonshire Arms
El Gato Negro
The Art School
Alderly Edge Hotel
Alston Bar and Beef
Bird at Birtle
Eagle and Child
Fischers Baslow Hall
Harvey Nichols 2nd Floor
Hrishi at Gilpin
Maray Bold Street
Matt Healy The Foundry
Old Stamp House
Ox Club Headrow
Peacock at Rowsley
Rogan and Company
Rudy's Peter Street
San Carlo Cicchetti
San Carlo Manchester
Simon Radley at The Chester Grosvenor
Stockdales of Yorkshire
Sugo Pasta Kitchen
The Church Green
The Craft House
The Hearth of the Ram
The Hinchliffe Arms
The Indian Tiffin Room
The London Carriage Works
The Pen Factory
The River Restaurant at The Lowry
The Swine that Dines
The White Hart at Lydgate
Vice & Virtue
White Rabbit Todmorden
Yu & You