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Hot Topics > Guides & awards

Zagat 2013: The Wolseley, Wagamama and Roganic among winners

By Luke Nicholls , 10-Sep-2012
Last updated on 10-Sep-2012 at 17:05 GMT

The Wolseley all-day café-restaurant in London’s Piccadilly has been named the capital's most popular restaurant for the second year running by eating-out guide Zagat.

The 2013 Zagat Survey, released today (10 September), provides an annual review of London’s culinary scene by nearly 10,000 surveyors. Fine-dining Chinese restaurant Hakkasan and Michel Roux Jr’s Le Gavroche were voted the second and third most popular restaurants respectively.

Fast-casual noodle chain Wagamama was voted favourite chain, while Indian street food restaurant Mooli’s was hailed as the best buy. The Michelin-starred Waterside Inn in Bray claimed the accolade for top food and Simon Rogan’s Roganic scooped the award for top service. Sketch - Lecture Room & Library was voted number one for decor. 

Despite London’s restaurants facing an on-going battle with a tough economic climate, Tim Zagat, co-chair of the survey, was quick to point out a number of signs that the capital’s dining scene is recovering.

Before unveiling the results of this year’s survey at the new Duck and Waffle restaurant on the 40th floor of Heron Tower, Zagat said: “Despite the general doom and gloom of the British economy, there are many signs of recovery. First, 40 per cent of local diners say the dining scene is better today than a year ago; only 3 per cent say it’s worse.

“Second, surveyors report spending more this year than last. And third, there has been a rise in the number of restaurant openings this year and many of these newcomers such as Pitt Cue Co (28), Pizarro (25), Burger & Lobster and Cut at 45 Park Lane have achieved very high ratings in their first year.

“Finally, numerous sophisticated chefs and restaurateurs both from here and abroad have placed a vote of confidence in London’s dining future by making investments in new restaurants.”

Sourcing and hygeine

The survey also revealed a trend towards locally sourced, organic and sustainably raised food, with 73 per cent saying these issues are ‘important’ to their choice of restaurant and 56 per cent adding that they would be willing to pay more to have such ingredients. The majority of surveyors also believe that restaurants should be required to post food hygiene ratings in their windows.

“A staggering 71 per cent of surveyors said that restaurants should be required to post the results of food hygiene inspections in their windows,” added Zagat. “These two survey results send a clear message to the industry that Londoners are placing ever more importance on the sources of their food and hygiene standards.”

When it comes to which cuisine Londoners most want to eat, Italian cuisine came out on top (25 per cent), followed by French (17 per cent) and Japanese (14 per cent). Only one in 10 diners voted British cuisine as their favourite.

The 2013 edition of the Zagat restaurant guide is the first to be published following the acquisition of the business by Google for an undisclosed sum. These ratings and reviews are now integrated throughout Google, including Search, Maps, Google+ and mobile.

Zagat’s top 10 most popular restaurants in London:

1 Wolseley (1)

2 Hakkasan (7)

3 Le Gavroche (9)

4 Ivy (5)

5 River Cafe (11)

6 Ledbury (10)

7 Gordon Ramsay (2)

8 J Sheekey (3)

9 Dinner by Heston Blumenthal (-)

10 Gordon Ramsay at Claridge’s (6)

Top food:

1 Waterside Inn (6)

2 Dinings (3)

3 Le Gavroche (5)

4 Barrafina (48)

5 Roganic (-)

6 Petrus (-)

7 Ledbury (1)

8 Gordon Ramsay (8)

9 Yashin Sushi (-)

10 The Square (9)

Favourite chain:

1 Wagamama

2 Pizza Express

3 Nando’s

4 Gaucho

5 Café Rouge

6 Zizzi

7 Jamie’s Italian

8 Busaba Eathai

9 Wahaca

10 Gourmet Burger

Best by cuisine:

American: Burger & Lobster

BBQ (Int’l): Pitt Cue Co.

British (Modern): Roganic

British (Trad.): Wilton’s

Chinese: Hunan

Chophouses: Hawksmoor

Eclectic: Viajante

European (Modern): La Trompette

Fish ’n’ Chips: North Sea

French (Bistro): Brula

French (Brasserie): Angelus

French (Classic): Waterside Inn

French (New): Petrus

Indian: Babur

Italian: River Cafe

Japanese: Dinings

Lebanese: Ishbilia

Mediterranean: French Table

Mexican: Tortilla

Pizza: Portobello Rist

Seafood: Wilton’s

Spanish: Barrafina

Thai: Pepper Tree

Vegetarian: Chutneys

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