Good Food Guide 2022: London reacts as Birmingham named ‘most exciting food destination’

Two Birmingham restaurants made the Good Food Guide Top 20, along with one in Solihull, while London had five venues in the listing
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Birmingham has been hailed as Britain’s ‘most exciting food destination’ in the Good Food Guide 2022 - the accolade came after two of the city’s restaurants made the top 20, along with a venue in nearby Solihull.

London, on the other hand had five restaurants make the top 20 - and many in the capital appear to be a bit miffed that the guide’s long-standing editor Elizabeth Carter bigged up Brum at the launch event at The Groucho, a private members club in Soho.

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The London Evening Standard ran with the headline: Birmingham beats London to be named Britain’s ‘most exciting foodie destination’. And many of their social media followers reacted, defending London’s dining scene as the best for ‘international food’ and more.

The two Birmingham restaurants making the top 20 were The Wilderness in the Jewellery Quarter (no 10) - headed up Alex Claridge, which prides itself on its rock and roll fine dining; and Carters of Moseley (no 18) - one of the city’s Michelin starred venues which also serves modern British dishes.

In Solihull, it was Grace & Savour at Hampton Manor in Hampton in Arden that made it in at number 16 for its new kind of luxury in immersive dining embracing sustainability. Ms Carter also praised Michelin starred Opheem - headed up by Aktar Islam and serving Indian fine dining; and Harbone Kitchen - an informal neighbourhood restuarant serving modern British cuisine.

Carters of MoseleyCarters of Moseley
Carters of Moseley

So what did Good Food Guide editor Elizabeth Carter say about Birmingham’s exciting food scene?

Ms Carter, who has headed up the guide for 15 years, said: “No other [British] city is as well served with such a range of unique and frequently exceptional restaurants right across the price range.

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“At the top of the range, three exceptional restaurants from the Birmingham area feature in our 20 most exciting restaurants in Britain – an extraordinary feat. But getting the balance just right extends to others including Opheem, with its unmistakably curry-based but uniquely modern-British approach, and Harborne Kitchen, where Jamie Desogus pulls off a real coup, making the restaurant a bit of a holy grail in terms of packing mass-appeal into posh nosh.

“Nowhere but in Britain — and perhaps even more specifically in Birmingham — could this cooking occur.”

The Wilderness restaurant in the Jewellery QuarterThe Wilderness restaurant in the Jewellery Quarter
The Wilderness restaurant in the Jewellery Quarter

So what did the Londoners say about Birmingham’s ‘exciting’ accolade?

Responsing to the Evening Standard story, one person posted on social media saying: “They are trying to promote Birmingham. However London is still where the best International foods are served. Thank you very much.”

Another added: “Says the culinary committee promoting Birmingham.”

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Yet another said: “If you into a LOT of curries then yes ! I think I’ll stick to my London though got a very weak stomach.”

“Yeah I think I’m gonna stick with the west end on this one, Birmingham don’t sound delicious at all,” said another.

The posts continued with: “I mean it isn’t, ye, it has a few Michelin star restaurants, but osay it’s better than London is ridiculous.”

And: “Yeah I think I’m gonna stick with the west end on this one, Birmingham doesn’t sound delicious at all.”

Good Food Guide 2022 top 20 restaurantsGood Food Guide 2022 top 20 restaurants
Good Food Guide 2022 top 20 restaurants

What do Brummies think about the Birmingham dining scene?

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If you ask Brummies, the reaction is wildly different. People are so proud of of the hospitality scene which is brimming with creativity and quality.

West Midlands Mayor Andy Street said: “ The UK’s foodie capital is … BIRMINGHAM. We already knew it but it’s now official - our region is home to Britain’s most exciting food scene This is fantastic news. Whether it’s fine dining, street food or our independent favourites, we have something for everyone.”

Birmigham food fan, Bite You Brum, Tweeted: “Bosh. And great to see the likes of The Wilderness (among others) in the top 20 from Brum. Well done.”

Another food blogger tweeted: “I’m delighted ot have been at the Good Food Guide... and see Birmingham named as Most Exciting Food Destination and three brilliant restaurants in the top 20.”

A message from the editor:

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