These Gastropubs Have Been Voted Best in the UK

By Ellie Smith

1 year ago

Britain's 50 best pubs for foodies have been crowned

Pubs are at the heart of British culture. We have great ones dotted all over the country, from cosy boltholes in the Cotswolds to remote Scottish inns and buzzy London taprooms. Particularly special, though, are the gastropubs, where you’re served top-quality food amid relaxed surroundings. We all have our favourites – but which ones have been crowned the UK’s best in the 2023 Estrella Damm Top 50 Gastropubs list?

Securing the gold trophy this year is The Parkers Arms in Clitheroe, Lancashire, which came in second place in the 2022 list. Located in the idyllic town of Newton-in-Bowland, it’s spearheaded by chef-patron Stosie Madi and her business partner Kathy Smith. The pair took on the venue back in 2007, and have spent the past 15 years cultivating a loyal following among the country’s foodies – with visitors coming from far and wide to taste the goods. Diners can expect honest, British food which makes the local produce shine – all ingredients are sourced within a 30-mile radius of the pub.

The Parkers Arms in Clitheroe

This was followed by last year’s winner, The Unruly Pig in Woodbridge, Suffolk. Owned by the famously charismatic Brendan Padfield, with the kitchen run by chef Dave Wall, it offers a twist on classic pub food with British-Italian dishes: think parmesan gnocchi, wild mushroom lasagne and braised pork ravioli. Unlike a lot of pubs, there are good vegetarian, gluten-free and dairy-free options too.

Food at Freemasons pub

In third place is Freemasons at Wiswell in the pretty Ribble Valley village – not far from the winning spot, The Parkers Arms. This one is renowned for its home-from-home atmosphere, with elevated pub dishes created by head chef Steven Smith, including a special tasting menu featuring the likes of guinea fowl pie and Whitby cod with a lobster bisque. 

The Harwood Arms, Fulham, Chelsea

Other top 50 winners included The Mariners, Paul Ainsworth’s Cornish pub, Tom Kerridge’s The Hand & Flowers in Marlow, and The Sportsman in Whitstable. In London, The Red Lion and Sun in Highgate came out tops in tenth place, followed by London’s only Michelin-starred pub The Harwood Arms at number 13.

Newcomers on the list, meanwhile, included north London’s neighbourhood favourite The Baring, which has a focus on sustainability, and The White Horse, a pub-with-rooms set on the Norfolk coastline.

The Estrella Damm Top 50 Gastropubs list is created using hundreds of votes from food critics and writers, gastropub chefs and food influencers. 

Here is the full list of winners:

  1. Parkers Arms, Newton-In-Bowland
  2. The Unruly Pig, Woodbridge
  3. Freemasons at Wiswell, Wiswell
  4. The Sportsman, Seasalter
  5. The Kentish Hare, Tunbridge Wells
  6. The Angel at Hetton, Hetton
  7. The White Swan at Fence, Fence
  8. The Hand & Flowers, Marlow
  9. The Fordwich Arms, Kent
  10. The Red Lion and Sun, London
  11. The Mariners, Rock
  12. The Cornish Arms, Tavistock
  13. The Harwood Arms, London
  14. Shibden Mill Inn, Halifax
  15. The Coach, Marlow
  16. The Beehive, Great Waltham
  17. The Cadeleigh Arms, Tiverton
  18. The Pack Horse, Hayfield
  19. Pyne Arms, Barnstaple
  20. The Black Swan, Ravenstondale
  21. The Moorcock Inn, Sowerby Bridge
  22. The Guinea Grill, London
  23. The Baring, London
  24. The Masons Arms, Knowstone
  25. Canton Arms, London
  26. The Rat Inn, Anick, Hexham
  27. The Pipe and Glass, Beverley
  28. The Longs Arms, South Wraxall
  29. The Dog at Wingham, Canterbury
  30. The Felin Fach Griffin, Brecon
  31. The Hardwick, Abergavenny
  32. The Loch and The Tyne, Old Windsor
  33. The Bull & Last, London
  34. The White Horse, Brancaster
  35. The Black Bull, Sedbergh
  36. The Swan, Bampton
  37. The Bell Inn, Langford
  38. Scran and Scallie, Edinburgh
  39. The Dog & Gun Inn, Skelton
  40. The Duck Inn, Stanhoe
  41. The Duncombe Arms, Ashbourne
  42. The Black Bear Inn, Usk, Wales
  43. Heft, High Newton
  44. The Broad Chare, Newcastle
  45. Woods, Dulverton
  46. The Gunton Arms, Norwich
  47. The French House, London
  48. The Eagle, Farringdon, London
  49. The Butchers Arms, Hepworth
  50. Royal Oak, Whatcote

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Featured image: The Hand & Flowers