How the List is Created

The Estrella Damm National Restaurant Awards has an elite and authoritative judging academy, using a panel of over 200 experts drawn from across the industry including food writers, chefs and restaurateurs.

The UK is split into 11 regions, with members of the academy voting for the top seven restaurants that they have dined at in the last 12 months, weighted in order of preference. The results are compiled, and the top 100 list of the best restaurants is created.

Special awards are also highlighted within the list including Best Wine List, The Service Award, Best Cocktail List, Chef to Watch, Chef of the Year, Restaurateur of the Year and Lifetime Achievement. These are voted for separately by the same academy of experts while the One To Watch award is chosen by Restaurant magazine.

We review the judging system – and update our voting academy – on an annual basis. While we recognise that restaurant rankings are not beyond criticism, we remain confident that the awards provide a credible annual snapshot of the UK restaurant scene.

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