According to the 2010 Zagat London Restaurants Survey, the average cost of a meal fell by 0.4 per cent to £40.39 this year, after rising at an annualised rate of 3.6 per cent since 1997.
The survey of 1,100 restaurants by 5,500 diners revealed that the average number of meals eaten out each week has fallen from 2.5 last year to 2.2, with almost half of all diners claiming they eat out less as a direct result of the recession.
Tim Zagat, chief executive and co-founder of the Zagat Survey, said Londoners were clearly being more careful with their money.
“Their dining habits have clearly changed,” he said. “Although eating out less, our surveyors still take out or eat out 43 per cent of their weekly lunches and dinners, an indication that dining in London is a part of the culture, a part of everyday life – even in these difficult times.”
The survey saw Wagamama voted as the city’s most popular restaurant, while Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, headed by Clare Smyth took the Top Food honour. Also praised highly was Angela Hartnett’s Murano, which was voted Top Newcomer. Raymond Blanc’s Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons was voted the best restaurant for service, despite 72 per cent of Londoners claiming service as their main complaint about eating out.