OX in Belfast has been named on the Top 100+ European Restaurants List by Opinionated About Dining, with The Greenhouse and Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud also appearing on the Top 100+ European Classical list. 

Positioning itself as a democratic and user-based review system, Opinionated About Dining (OAD) was set up by Steve Plotnicki in 2007 as an extension of his food blog. His core aim was to find a way to include voices that are usually underrepresented in other best restaurant lists and award systems, like the Michelin Guide or The World's 50 Best Restaurants. Now, with over 6,000 reviewers and seven categories, the OAD top 100 lists are viewed by some as the most comprehensive food guides available. The reviewers, which include restaurant critics, industry professionals and everyday food lovers alike, can either sign up to be part of the review system or, if they're 'prominent' enough, Plotnicki will invite them to join. The result is a review process that ensures a broad, wide-ranging list of restaurants and chefs are highlighted.

Yesterday, OAD announced their Top 100+ European list, which saw Restaurant Frantzén in Sweden take the top spot. The restaurant was recently awarded a third Michelin star, which is a first for Sweden. Other entries in the top ten include Schloss Schauenstein in Switzerland, Asador Etxebarri in Spain, L’Arpège in France and Restaurant Quique Dacosta in Spain.

The top ten restaurants in Europe, OAD 2019:

  1. Restaurant Frantzén, Sweden
  2. Schloss Schauenstein, Switzerland
  3. Asador Etxebarri, Sapin
  4. Restaurant Quique Dacosta, Spain
  5. Daniel Berlin, Sweden
  6. Le Calandre, Italy
  7. L’Arpège, France
  8. La Marine, France
  9. Noma 2.0, Denmark
  10. Lido 84, Italy

Five of the best from Ireland

Five Irish restaurants were featured on the 2019 lists, with OX in Belfast the only one to appear on the top restaurants in Europe list. Four other Irish restaurants were included on the Top 100+ European Classical Restaurants list, with Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud coming in at number 14 and The Greenhouse awarded number 26. Chapter One and L'Ecrivain were included on the other recommended restaurants list, but not included as part of the overall Top 100+ European Classical Restaurants list.

Speaking to F&W about OX, which won Best Restaurant award at the 2018 F&W Awards, being named as one of the best restaurants in Europe, head chef Stephen Toman said he was delighted to be included on such a prestigious list. 

"I am absolutely delighted. I think there are definitely more worthy restaurants in Ireland that should be on the list, but in saying that we're delighted to be mentioned. Any mentions on any lists are all good. It helps to put Belfast on the map and any positivity towards the city and our restaurant is great. The team are buzzing about it too. It's great for morale."

Stephen Toman, head chef at OX. Photo: Elaine Hill.

Stephen Toman, head chef at OX. Photo: Elaine Hill.

To read the full list of the OAD’s top 100+ restaurants, click here.