London restaurants are showing signs of recovering from the impact of the economic slowdown, with 40 percent of respondents saying the dining scene has improved from a year ago, Zagat Survey said.
People are spending more on eating out and there has been a dramatic increase in openings as chefs and restaurateurs from the U.K. and overseas invest in new establishments, the New York-based guide said, citing reports from 9,583 diners.
Yet Londoners are still only eating out an average 2.2 times a week, well below the rates in New York, Paris and Tokyo, which range between three and four times, Zagat said today in an e-mailed release to mark the publication of its 2013 survey.
Google Inc. (GOOG) spent $151 million last September to acquire Zagat Survey LLC. Mountain View, California-based Google, the world’s largest Internet-search provider, is using acquisitions to add services and find new sources of advertising.
Zagat’s London survey found Italian is the most popular cuisine, with 25 percent of votes, followed by French (17 percent) and Japanese (14 percent). Only one in 10 diners said British food was their favorite.
Here’s how Zagat respondents rate London restaurants, with last year’s placing in parentheses:
Popularity: 1 Wolseley (1) 2 Hakkasan (7) 3 Le Gavroche (9) 4 Ivy (5) 5 River Cafe (11) 6 Ledbury (10) 7 Gordon Ramsay (2) 8 J Sheekey (3) 9 Dinner by Heston Blumenthal (-) 10 Gordon Ramsay at Claridge’s (6) Top Food 1 Waterside Inn (6) 2 Dinings (3) 3 Le Gavroche (5) 4 Barrafina (48) 5 Roganic (-) 6 Petrus (-) 7 Ledbury (1) 8 Gordon Ramsay (8) 9 Yashin Sushi (-) 10 The Square (9) Best by Cuisine American: Burger & Lobster BBQ (Int’l): Pitt Cue Co. British (Modern): Roganic British (Trad.): Wilton’s Chinese: Hunan Chophouses: Hawksmoor Eclectic: Viajante European (Modern): La Trompette Fish ’n’ Chips: North Sea French (Bistro): Brula French (Brasserie): Angelus French (Classic): Waterside Inn French (New): Petrus Indian: Babur Italian: River Cafe Japanese: Dinings Lebanese: Ishbilia Mediterranean: French Table Mexican: Tortilla Pizza: Portobello Rist Seafood: Wilton’s Spanish: Barrafina Thai: Pepper Tree Vegetarian: Chutneys
Zagat’s “2013 London Restaurant Survey” costs 10.99 pounds. Zagat’s ratings and reviews are available free on http://www.zagat.com/.
(Richard Vines is the chief food critic for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. He is U.K. and Ireland chairman of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards. Opinions expressed are his own.)
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