Betway’s new study reveals the best and worst cities in the UK for a roast dinner, as well as the most expensive locations for a roast
It’s All Gravy: A definitive list of the UK’s roast dinner capitals
Whether you’re all about the crispy potatoes, or salivate at the thought of beef dripping in gravy, roast dinners are a staple of British culture. We all know us Brits enjoy a roast whatever the season, but as the weather turns colder, there’s no better winter warmer than a hot Sunday lunch. So, where in the UK is the best place to indulge in the traditional British dish?
To find out, Betway has conducted new research, looking at 30 of the UK’s most populated cities and ranking them based on the number of roast dinner restaurants per capita and the percentage of restaurants that serve roast dinners. The study also analyses data at 179 Toby Carvery, Greene King and Brewers Fayre restaurants, to reveal the most expensive and affordable cities for roast dinners.
Top 10 best cities in the UK for a roast dinner
Taking into account availability and price, the study has revealed the best (and worst) locations in the UK for getting your Yorkshire pudding fix.
Bristol has been crowned the best place in the UK for a roast dinner, with eight roast dinner restaurants for every 10,000 people. Nearly one in five (18%) restaurants in the city serve roast dinners – the highest number of all cities analysed.
The average price of the dish is a little higher than the rest of the top five though, at £12.29. However, of those restaurants included in the study, two Bristol locations serve roast dinners for under a tenner, with Greene King’s the Wishing Well and the Star charging just £9.99 for a medium sized carvery on the weekend.
Newcastle is in second place. The northern city has the most roast dinner restaurants per 10,000 people of all locations analysed, at 10, and 11% of all restaurants in the city serve roast dinners – pretty good going considering the city is home to 1,760 restaurants. The average cost of a weekend roast dinner lunch is £11.89, though the Story Book pub in Bolden offers them for as low as £9.99.
With nine roast dinner restaurants per 10,000 people, York has come in third place. Over one-sixth (16%) of eateries in the northern city serve roast dinners, and they cost a little less than in Bristol, at £12.24. According to the study, Riverside Farm in Skelton is where you want to head for an affordable roast, with the restaurant serving dinners for £10.49.
Portsmouth has come in fourth place, and is one of three coastal cities to have made it into the top 10 best places in the UK for roast dinners. The port city is home to seven roast dinner venues per 10,000 people, with one in six (15%) dining spots serving the dish.
Roasts in the city average £12.32 though, which is actually the seventh most expensive of all cities analysed. There are a few pubs included in the study that offer slightly cheaper weekend roasts however, with Farmhouse Inns’ Langbrook Farm and Brewers Fayre’s The Clarence Pier charging £11.49 for their weekend carveries.
Despite only having five roast dinner restaurants per 10,000 people, Southend has come in fifth. 17% of eateries in the coastal city serve roasts, which is the second highest amount of all cities on the list. Roasts are relatively affordable in the city too, averaging around £11.99. For a slightly cheaper meal, head to Greene King’s Dick Turpin pub for a Sunday lunch costing just £9.99.
Rounding off the top 10 are Peterborough, Manchester, Wolverhampton, Blackpool, and Derby. Wolverhampton actually has the least number of roast dinner restaurants per 10,000 people in the top 10, with just three to choose from, but it is the cheapest place for a Sunday dinner on average, at a cost of £10.99.
Top 10 worst cities in the UK for a roast dinner
Coming in as the worst place in the UK for a roast dinner is London. The capital city has just one roast dinner restaurant for every 10,000 people, and only 3% of dining spots in the city serve roast dinners. Given there are a huge 37,517 different places to eat in London however, perhaps this is not surprising.
Despite the city being notoriously expensive, it actually isn’t home to the priciest roast dinners. On average, roast dinners cost around £12.12, although the London Borough of Bexleyheath is home to one of the most expensive Toby Carvery prices analysed in the study, at £14.99.
With just three roast dinner restaurants per 10,000 people, Leicester has come in second place. Just 7% of all restaurants in the city serve roast dinners, and it offers the second most expensive roast dinner of all locations analysed, at £12.89, on average.
Birmingham has come in third place, offering diners just two roast dinner restaurants per 10,000 people. A mere 4% of dining spots also serve a roast dinners, and the average cost is around £12.05.
In fourth place is Aberdeen, and similarly to Birmingham, the city has just two roast dinner restaurants, plus only 5% of venues in the city serve the dish. It does offer the cheapest average roast dinner of all the cities in the top 10 worst list though, at £11.82.
Bradford is in fifth place, with only 5% of eateries serving roast dinners, and just two roast dinner restaurants per 10,000 people in the whole city. The price of a roast isn’t too much more than in Aberdeen however, at £11.93.
Swansea, Edinburgh, Sheffield, Gloucester, and Nottingham round off the top 10 worst places in the UK for roasts. If this is anything to go by, perhaps those looking for a good roast might want to avoid the Midlands, as three of the top 10 worst places for a roast are in the centre of the UK.
Top 5 cheapest cities in the UK for a roast dinner
We’ve also analysed data at 179 different Toby Carvery, Greene King, and Brewers Fayre restaurants across the country to reveal the most and least expensive places to get a weekend roast dinner.
Taking the top spot as the cheapest city for a roast dinner is Wolverhampton. Roasts cost an average of just £10.99, which is nearly 20% less than in Swansea – home to the most expensive roast.
In Wolverhampton, one Greene King location, the Nickelodeon, is as cheap as £9.49, the lowest price of any roast dinner in the study. Prices do go as high as £11.49 at some locations analysed in the study, however this is the standard price at most Brewers Fayre locations across the country.
Glasgow has come in second place. Roast dinners in the Scottish city average £11.52, just 5% more than in Wolverhampton. There’s not too much of a price range in Glasgow, with all roast dinners analysed in the study ranging from £11.49 to £11.69.
In third place is Newcastle, with roast dinners costing around £11.70 in the city. As mentioned above, one Greene King location offers roasts for as low as £9.99, but there are a couple of restaurants included in the study that are a little pricier, at £13.79 – a 38% difference in price.
4. Stoke and Aberdeen
Stoke is in joint fourth place, with roast dinners costing around £11.82 on average. According to the study, two Greene King restaurants in the city offer roasts for as low as £9.49, but the Talke Toby Carvery charges as much as £14.29, which is over 50% difference.
With the average roast costing the exact same as Stoke, Aberdeen is in joint fourth place. In particular, the Balquharn Brewers Fayre offers one of the lowest prices of any Brewers Fayre restaurant, with a weekend carvery costing just £10.49.
Top 5 most expensive cities in the UK for a roast dinner
Coming in as the most expensive city for roast dinners is Swansea, with average prices around £12.89. The most expensive restaurant is the Cockleshell Toby Carvery, which offers roasts for as high as £14.29, though there are a few locations in the city where you can get a roast for £11.49 – a 25% difference in price.
With an average of £12.57, Leicester is in second place. There are two locations included in the study where diners can get a roast dinner for £10.99, including the Farmhouse Inns’ Grove Farm pub, though one location analysed is as high as £13.99.
In third place is Gloucester, with average roast prices of £12.49. The most expensive prices included in the study are around £14.79, but, thanks to the trusty prices of Brewers Fayre, diners will find roasts for as low as £11.49 in the city.
Edinburgh is in fourth place, with prices around £12.43. There are several locations in the city where you can get a roast dinner for £11.49, though two Toby Carvery locations in the Scottish city charge as much as £14.49.
Rounding off the top five most expensive places for a roast dinner is Peterborough, with the city offering roasts for just 1p cheaper than in Edinburgh, at £12.42. You can get roasts for as little as £11.49 at select restaurants, but Peterborough’s Toby Carvery does charge £14.29 for its dinners.
So, now you know where in the UK is best for roast dinners, where will you be heading for your next Sunday lunch fix?
Methodology & Sources
Betway pulled together a seedlist of the 30 most populated cities in the UK. Cities with only one of the three restaurant chains looked at were removed from the data due to this not providing a comprehensive enough story for how much a roast dinner costs in this city.
The cities were then ranked according to the following metrics:
Number of roast dinner restaurants per 10,000 – The term ‘roast dinner’ was searched on Restaurant Guru to determine the number of restaurants serving roast dinners in each city. This was then divided by the population figure to determine the number of restaurants per 10,000 people.
Percentage of restaurants serving roast dinners – This was calculated by dividing the number of restaurants that serve roast dinners with the total number of restaurants in each city. The total number of restaurants in each city was sources from Restaurant Guru.
Average price of a roast dinner – This was calculated by taking the average cost of a roast at a Toby Carvery, Greene King, and locations in each city. Toby Carvey restaurants within each city was used, Greene King and Brewers Fayre restaurants within 10 miles of the city were used. The cost of an adult sized, medium or standard Sunday carvery was taken. Where only weekend and weekday prices are available, the cost for a weekend roast was taken.
Data correct as of 28/09/2023.