OFM readers voted for their favourites from around the UK – from The Gingerman in Brighton to The Whitehouse in the Scottish Highlands
Little Viet Kitchen, Islington
Not your standard high-street Vietnamese kitchen, here free-range, seasonal, often organic ingredients are divided into street food, home comforts, skewers, curry and pho.
2 Chapel Market, N1 9EZ; 020 7837 9779
Barbary, Covent Garden
Tiny sister restaurant to 2015 OFM winner The Palomar. Diners sit around the horseshoe bar, with no reservations except at noon and 5pm. Start with a Jerusalem bagel, while you decide whether you’ll have pata negra neck from the Land section or grilled octopus from Sea. The knefe from Heaven is non-negotiable.
16 Neal’s Yard, WC2H 9DP
Frog by Adam Handling, Covent Garden
The chef’s flagship adds a theatrical twist to his technically involved, seasonal creations showcasing produce from the restaurant’s own farm in West Sussex.
34-35 Southampton St, WC2E 7HG; 020 7199 8370
Market Bistro, Kings Lynn
Foragers and local gardeners deliver fresh produce that goes into creating modern English bistro dishes – look for sea aster with clam chowder or halibut, and hedgerow fruits in cocktails and desserts.
11 Saturday Market Pl, PE30 5DQ; 01553 771483
Maison Bleue, Bury St Edmunds
This fine-dining menu in Suffolk’s roots are in seafood and French cuisine: try the native lobster confit in orange butter, or halibut with garlic and potato velouté, saffron and clam jus emulsion.
30-31 Churchgate St, IP33 1RG; 01284 760623
Beloved by locals long before his winning dishes on The Great British Menu, Richard Bainbridge takes pride in making the most of what his home county of Norfolk has to offer.
9 St Benedicts St, NR2 4PE; 01603 926080
Elegant, Japanese-influenced dishes at this veg-centric fine diner in the lovingly converted basement of an old coaching house.
192 Derby Rd, NG7 1NF; 0115 941 3515
Moat House, Acton Trussell
Canalside dining in a pretty hotel near Stafford features crowd-pleasing classics –gin-cured salmon, steak and café de Paris butter, fancied-up peach melba – and a vegan menu.
Lower Penkridge Rd, ST17 0RJ; 01785 712217
Dan Cavell and Mark Fry’s restaurant makes this list again thanks to dishes like duck breast, jerusalem artichoke, caramelised pecan puree, sherry vinegar jelly and feta, and set menus that offer terrific value.
22 Market Pl, CV34 4SL; 01926 410590
The Gingerman, Brighton
A refined approach to seaside flavours –fish ’n’ chips becomes Sussex monkfish, panisse, curry oil and scraps – and a very good three-course lunch for £20.
21A Norfolk Sq, BN1 2PD; 01273 326688
MasterChef: The Professionals winner Steven Edwards’s menu is ingredient-led and enigmatic – diners only get two flavours to describe each course (squash sage; fig blackberry). What they can count on in this contemporary dining room is considered cooking, good wine, and attentive service.
216 Church Rd, BN3 2DJ; 01273 227485
Terre a Terre, Brighton
An institution for more than quarter of a century, where, after vegetables, fusion cooking reigns – plates may have a lot of elements, but lots of them are bang on trend: Korean fried cauliflower, aqua faba meringues, corn husk crackling (though not in the same dish).
71 East St, BN1 1HQ; 01273 729051
Peace & Loaf, Jesmond
Fine dining full of big flavours, such as smoked haddock with black pudding, egg and a cheese pasty, available on the three-hour, 10-course tasting menu. The £25 prix fixe menu is good value.
217 Jesmond Rd, NE2 1LA; 0191 281 5222
A casual but buzzy restaurant named for the Marais region of Paris, with small plates that run the length and breadth of the Mediterranean – think mograbieh and feta, chips and zhug, scallops and bissara, and shawarma.
91 Bold St, L1 4HF; 0151 709 5820
It’s tiny, but the set menu punches well above its starting price of £45 and features Yorkshire produce cooked with a Scandi approach. “Some dishes are merely extremely good,’ said the Guardian, ‘… others are downright extraordinary.” Vegetables are a highlight.
294 Shalesmoor, S3 8US; 0114 299 1539
Riverford Field Kitchen, Buckfastleigh
The restaurant from the Devon veg-box innovator takes a root-to-leaf approach. Short menus are written seasonally and might include dandelion, beets and sauce gribiche.
Wash Farm Bungalow, TQ11 0JU; 01803 762074
It’s just two former shipping containers and a sensational stove, but the owners’ can-do attitude and passion led Jay Rayner to call this 14-seat restaurant “beguiling”.
Unit 10, Cargo 1 Wapping Wharf, BS1 6WP
An Italian accent is applied to local Devon ingredients (85% of produce is sourced from within 15 miles) and seafood is a particular strength – think crab with farinata or clams with potato and garlic – on a reasonably priced menu.
4 The Square, DT8 3AS; 01308 538100
Purple Poppadom, Cardiff
Modern Indian restaurant where innovation sits alongside more traditional dishes: try the signature dish of seared bass with curry-leaf mash and beetroot raita.
185a Cowbridge Rd E, CF11 9AJ; 029 2022 0026
Salt Cellar, Tenby
Pembrokeshire’s coast and fields provide ample inspiration at this relaxed restaurant – crab pâté comes with seaweed butter, and Pembrokeshire earlies are the choice of spud. And kids eat just as well with an enviable menu – who wouldn’t want ham hock croquettes then warm white chocolate cookies with a glass of milk?
Esplanade, SA70 7DU; 01834 844005
The Pod, Newport
Chicken and waffles or smashed avo toast for brunch, while in the evening it’s small plates with flavours big enough to stand up to hoppy craft beers and the multitude of gins.
1 Rodney Rd, NP19 0AP; 01633 535440
James St, Belfast
Brick walls and bare tables lend to the relaxed feel, so all focus is on the award-winning Scottish steaks cooked on the charcoal josper grill.
19 James St S, BT2 7GA; 028 9560 0700
In a smart room overlooking the Lagan, Irish ingredients are cooked with a light French touch in the tasting menu, and sit precise and pretty on the plate.
1 Oxford St, BT1 3LA; 028 9031 4121
Homemade pasta, game in season, cocktails and a tart of the day keep shoppers happy in the Cathedral Quarter.
33 Donegal St, BT1 2NB; 028 9032 5444
Fife chef Billy Boyter gives Scottish ingredients the luxe treatment without faff. Highlights include Highland beef tartare and smoked egg yolk, and Arbroath smokie, heritage potato and crowdie (fresh cheese) and lovage.
24 E Green, KY10 3AA; 01333 310378
The Whitehouse, Lochaline
The mission it takes to get to this Highlands restaurant – on the Morvern peninsula, opposite the Isle of Mull – is more than rewarded with a warm welcome, local seafood and game and big flavours without fuss.
PA80 5XT; 01967 421777
Sugar Boat, Helensburgh
Breakfast, lunch, cream teas, dinner, kids… This smart neighbourhood bistro has a menu for every appetite, plus a courtyard to catch the sun and an adjacent wine shop.
30 Colquhoun Sq, G84 8AQ; 01436 647522