Harden's London Restaurants 2022: Core by Clare Smyth and Da Terra are the best restaurants in the capital

Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Deputy Editor

Core by Clare Smyth and Da Terra are the best restaurants in the capital, according to the 2022 edition of Harden's London Restaurant Guide released today.

Collated on the basis of 30,000 reviews by 3,000 contributors, the restaurant guide has resumed publication, having taken a year out last year due to the pandemic.

Aside from its rankings of restaurants - from 'best gastronomic experience' and 'best bar/pub' to the less complimentary 'most disappointing cooking' -  it notes that based on a two year average, London's gastronomic scene has experienced the slowest growth since 1991, when the guide was first published.

This is due to a record number of restaurant closures, especially at the higher end - with 125 on average over the past two years, including iconic sites such as The LedburyAlyn Williams at The Westbury, Roux at Parliament Square, The Greenhouse, The Square, both of Mark Hix's London outposts, Siren at The Goring and many more.

What's more, it establishes that the average price of a meal has risen quite significantly in that same period of time, approximating 4 percent a year both in 2020 and 2021, nearing the 8 percent mark at higher price point restaurants - likely the result of soaring food costs, consequences of both Brexit and Covid-19.

On a brighter note, the past two years have seen a rise in numbers of Japanese, African and Afro-Caribbean restaurants indicating their increasing in popularity across the board, with a number of fine-dining concepts joining the ranks of the handful of them prior.

Below are the top 10 locations for each of the categories classed in the guide, from top to bottom based on the number of nominations each restaurant received:

Top gastronomic experience:

  • Core by Clare Smyth 
  •  Le Gavroche 
  • Chez Bruce 
  •  La Trompette
  • The Five Fields
  •  The River Café 
  •  Elystan Street 
  • Scott’s 
  • A Wong 
  • Above at Hide 

Best breakfast / brunch:

  • The Wolseley 
  •  Dishoom 
  •  Côte 
  •  The Delaunay 
  • Granger & Co 
  • Megan’s 
  • Caravan
  •  Breakfast Club 
  •  The Ivy Grills & Brasseries 
  • Hawksmoor EC2 


  • Chez Bruce
  • La Trompette
  • Core by Clare Smyth
  •  The Wolseley
  •  Bocca di Lupo
  • The River Café
  • Elystan Street
  • Gauthier Soho 
  • The Ritz
  • Rules 

Best bar / pub food

  • Harwood Arms 
  • The Anchor & Hope 
  • Bull & Last 
  • Canton Arms 
  • The Eagle 
  • The Drapers Arms 
  •  The Red Lion & Sun 
  •  The Carpenter’s Arms 
  •  The Windmill 
  • The Anglesea Arms 

Best for business

  • The Wolseley
  • Hawksmoor
  • The Delaunay
  • Brasserie Zédel
  •  Le Gavroche
  • Scott’s
  •  Galvin La Chapelle
  • The Goring Hotel
  •  45 Jermyn St.

Most disappointing cooking

  • Oxo Tower 
  • Gordon Ramsay 
  •  Dinner by Heston Blumenthal 
  •  Kanishka 
  •  Hélène Darroze, Connaught 
  • La Trompette 
  •  Nutbourne 
  •  Rick Stein 
  • The Wallace 
  • Huo 

Best for romance

  •  Clos Maggiore 
  •  La Poule au Pot 
  • Andrew Edmunds 
  •  Le Gavroche 
  •  Mere 
  •  The Five Fields 
  • The Ivy 
  •  Café du Marché 
  •  The Ritz 
  •  Chez Bruce 

Most overpriced restaurant

  • The River Café 
  • Sexy Fish 
  • Dinner by Heston Blumenthal 
  •  The Chiltern Firehouse 
  •  Gordon Ramsay 
  •  Oxo Tower 
  •  Alain Ducasse 
  •  Wiltons 
  • Hélène Darroze, Connaught
  • 10 Rules 

Below are the top 5 restaurants in the guide for each category defined by average marks awarded for food, service and ambience:



Da Terra
Endo at Rotunda
Core by Clare Smyth
La Dame de Pic London
Five Fields


Nobu, Metropolitan Hotel
St John Smithfield


1 Behind
2 A Wong
3 Carousel
4 Sabor
5 Palomar


1 50 Kalò di Ciro Salvo
2 The Wet Fish Café
4 Kricket
5 Kiln

£44 or less

1 Bubala
2 Dastaan
3 Mercato Metropolitano
4 Bao
5 Monmouth Coffee



Endo at Rotunda
Da Terra
Core by Clare Smyth
Kitchen Table
Pied à Terre


1 Cornerstone
2 St John Smithfield
3 Chez Bruce
4 Bob Bob Ricard
5 Portland


1 Behind
2 Carousel
3 Sams Riverside
4 Randall & Aubin
5 Sabor


1 The Wet Fish Café
2 50 Kalò di Ciro Salvo
3 Masala Zone
4 Noble Rot Soho
5 Darjeeling Express

£44 or less

1 Dastaan
2 Bubala
3 Roti King
4 Tayyabs
5 Silk Road

The full 2022 guide can be purchased in bookshops, on the Harden's website or app for £15.99.

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Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Deputy Editor 18th November 2021

Harden's London Restaurants 2022: Core by Clare Smyth and Da Terra are the best restaurants in the capital