Top 50 Gastropubs: The Red Lion and Sun crowned London’s best gastropub as Parkers Arms takes UK title

Local hero: The Red Lion and Sun  (Press handout)
Local hero: The Red Lion and Sun (Press handout)

Highgate pub the Red Lion and Sun has been dubbed London’s best for food, according to this year’s edition of Estrella Damn’s annual Top 50 Gastropubs list.

Rising from number 16 on last year’s list to 10 in 2023, the neighbourhood pub serves a seasonal, rustic British menu in the leafy surrounds of Highgate Village, and is the only London venue to make the top 10.

A small handful of familiar London pubs also made the list, with many climbing and falling from their position in 2022.

Most notably, the once beloved Guinea Grill — previously London’s best and formerly ranked seventh nationally — tumbled to twenty-second place, falling behind the Michelin starred Harwood Arms, who saw their position rise from 15 in 2022 to 13 this year. The Guinea Grill lost its longstanding landlord Oisin Rogers in the summer of last year.

That said, eight pubs in total from London made the list this year, up from just six in 2022. New London additions to the list include Islington’s Baring at number 23 and pioneer of the “gastropub” category, The Eagle, a new entrant at 48. The Baring was described by the awards as “the ideal neighbourhood pub” and also took the crown for highest new entry on the entire 50-strong list.

Elsewhere in London, the Canton Arms climbed from 38 to 25 and whilst it didn’t make the main list, the Brook House in Fulham won the award for best front of house team.

That said, the Bull and Last in Highgate saw their position fall from 21 to 33 and the Soho institution The French House dropped from 29 to 47.

Nationally, the Parkers Arms in Newton-in-Bowland, Lancashire, improved on their second place finish in 2022 to top the list this year. The pub, headed up by Stosie Madi and Kathy Smith, has long been recognised for their exceptional cooking and last year was also rated in the top 50 at the National Restaurant Awards. Last year’s gastropub winner, the Unruly Pig, fell just one place to number two in the list.

Publisher Chris Lowe said of the awards: “We are thrilled to see such a strong list of contenders this year, including five new entrants”.

He added “the Top 50 Gastropubs provides a space for food and drink lovers the opportunity to explore the best that the UK has to offer”.

The full Top 50 Gastropubs list can be viewed at