How the entries are scored

The Good Food Guide scores explained

We add and reject many restaurants during the compilation of the Good Food Guide. There are always subjective aspects to rating systems, but our inspectors are equipped with extensive scoring guidelines to ensure that bench-marking around the UK is accurate. As we take into account reader feedback on each restaurant, any given review is based on several meals.

The Good Food Guide scores explained




Capable cooking, with simple food combinations and clear flavours, but some inconsistencies.


Decent cooking, displaying good basic technical skills and interesting combinations and flavours. Occasional inconsistencies.


Good cooking, showing sound technical skills and using quality ingredients.


Dedicated, focused approach to cooking; good classical skills and high-quality ingredients.


Exact cooking techniques and a degree of ambition; showing balance and depth of flavour in dishes.


Exemplary cooking skills, innovative ideas, impeccable ingredients and an element of excitement.


High level of ambition and individuality, attention to the smallest detail, accurate and vibrant dishes.


A kitchen cooking close to or at the top of its game – highly individual with impressive artistry. There is little room for disappointment here.


Cooking that has reached a pinnacle of achievement, making it a hugely memorable experience for the diner.


Just perfect dishes, showing faultless technique at every service; extremely rare, and the highest accolade the Guide can give.

Not all restaurants are scored. 

Local Gem reviews are not scored but are some of the best neighbourhood eateries in the country. Simple cafés, bistros and pubs, these are the places that sit happily on your doorstep, delivering good, freshly cooked food.

Readers Recommend reviews are direct quotes from our reader feedback and highlight places that have caught the attention of our loyal followers. 

Related Items

How the Guide is compiled

How we choose our inspectors