6. Breddos, London
It’s the classic story: Taco shack in a car park gets so popular they start doing pop-ups and residencies. Those get so popular they get a permanent place in Clerkenwell. Tale as old as time. If you like tacos, you need to go now and try these, as these will blow your mind. Whether you order the chorizo verde or the crispy masa chicken, there’s a symphony of big, bold, sweet, salty flavour in every mouthful.
7. Barking Dog, Belfast
When it comes to food in Northern Ireland, the thing to remember is that down-to-earth, homemade food is what they’ll always do best. Case in point: the Barking Dog, purveyors of deliciously comforting seasonal cuisine. My granny, dad, and I went here for lunch last year, and it still sticks out in my mind as one of the better meals of 2016. Not only did they do the best scampi I’ve ever had, the beer was also on point, and the staff ridiculously lovely.
8. Sticky Walnut, Chester
A gorgeous little bistro that’s well worth making the effort to visit. Expect British and European food done simply but very bloody well: classically good chicken liver pate, sausage cassoulet with melt-in-the-mouth flaked ham hock, and of course, sticky walnuts, hidden in a salad of beetroot, ricotta, and spiced pumpkin seeds.
9. Casamia, Bristol
This place isn’t new – the two brothers who made it into what it is have been lauded up and down the country, most notably being described as “two little geniuses” by Gordon Ramsay. Now, despite the tragic loss of one of the head chefs in 2015, it continues to excel. Maybe not a new suggestion, but if you haven’t been yet, it’s definitely time to make the trip.
10.The Sportsman, Whitstable
I feel like I’ve been recommending the Sportsman for a long time (both the food and views are superior), but this year saw them given the crowning title in the National Restaurant Awards. Which clinches the deal really. Best to go now, before it gets any more popular – if it’s even possible for it to get any more popular.