Numbers Game - The highest rated restaurant and bar experiences in the UK

Whether it be to look up somewhere to go on holiday, find a film to go and watch at the cinema, a restaurant or bar to go on a night out, or even just to buy a product online, the vast majority of us pay at least some attention to online review scores. Across TripAdvisor, Google reviews, Metacritic, Feefo, Reevoo, Yelp and many more, we scour the internet and check for the high ratings, but which area in the UK is the best in terms of reviews?

Seeking out the best of the best? Here is a selection of some of the highest rated restaurant and bar experiences in the UK, throughout some of the country’s most popular areas, as well as a quick look at the fight against negative reviews and their importance.


The Leading Capital

As the biggest city in the UK by far, and one of the biggest and most influential in the world, it comes as no surprise that London is the home to a large ‘portion’ of elite and high-end restaurants. In fact, the monolithic city houses 69 Michelin-starred restaurants, dwarfing any other city in the area.

The highest rated restaurants in London currently include Dobar, Amrutha Lounge, Barge East, Taste if Nawab, and Core. These restaurants offer an impressive variety of dishes, vastly different in locales and also surprisingly welcoming to dietary requirements such as veganism.

Reality check – London’s ‘boujiee’ attitude towards fine dining is in somewhat of a bubble, and you shouldn’t necessarily ‘fork’ out based on the opinions of others. In his book ‘How To Bullsh*t Your Way To Number 1’, prankster Oobah Butler highlighted how he managed to get his non-existent restaurant to the number one position in London on TripAdvisor, showcasing the stupidity of the platform.


The Northern Alternative

As the cities in the Northern Powerhouse and beyond grow in influence, and begin to become an increasingly viable alternative to the south in terms of factors such as job opportunity, more and more amenities and attractions (including bars and restaurants) have the potential to thrive. RW Invest - a property investment company with a 4.9-star rating and over 100 Google reviews – are rooting themselves in Northern cities such as Liverpool and Manchester as they continue to thrive, and this will no doubt have a positive impact on the number of high-end bars and restaurants continuing to grow there.

Example - Liverpool is a city with incredible nightlife, and this is one of the contributing factors that make it such a popular student city. That’s not to say that there isn’t a fair share of luxury, calmer bars however. Ex-directory and Alma de Cuba present some of the popular spots in this city.


Fighting Negative Reviews

Perhaps as a reaction to online negativity, or as an opportunity to highlight the accuracy of these allocated number critiques, many comedians, journalists and outlets are fighting the numbers-based mainstream and delving into the 1- and 2-star depths of the online review sites.

Vice producer Taji Ameen, in his show One Star Reviews, explores the culture of negative and numbered reviews, and its subsequent effect on American businesses and their owners. Visiting questionable barber shops, tattoo parlours, self-defence classes and even plastic surgeons, he in many cases validates many past consumers concerns, but also seeks out some of the positives to these experiences.

Comedian Joe Lycett’s Channel 4 programme Joe Lycett’s Got Your Back goes after scams and fraudsters across the UK, and in one episode highlights the importance of the UK’s food hygiene rating scheme; you might recognise this from the green sticker displayed in the front windows of places that serve food. To demonstrate the ignorance displayed by takeaway apps towards food standards, he opens up and successfully lists a restaurant on UberEATS that operates out of a skip.