THE TOP 100 restaurants in the UK were recently announced – including some in South Wales.

SquareMeal, which is the UK’s leading independent restaurant guide, has announced its UK top 100 for 2023.

London is excluded from this list in a big to celebrate the food scene throughout the rest of the UK – with restaurants in Monmouth, Penarth and Cardiff earning recognition.

Newport missed out on the top 100 – but here are the five best restaurants in Newport according to TripAdvisor.


Italian restaurant Gem42, on Bridge Street, dominates the list. It is rated #1 out of 245 restaurants in Newport on TripAdvisor and has a Travellers’ Choice Best of the Best 2022 award. The award-winning venue also earned three AA Rosettes in 2022.

South Wales Argus:

A recent visitor wrote “the whole experience was magical” praising the “outstanding” food and “wonderful” service.

Another visitor – who tried the New Year’s Eve tasting menu – described the service as “exceptional” adding:

“The food was a gastronomic delight, a really modern and innovative twist on classic Italian food. The chef came out to explain each course which was a lovely touch.”


Marenghi’s is an Italian coffee shop and restaurant, which is based on Chepstow Road, and is rated #2 out of 245 restaurants in Newport with a Travellers’ Choice 2022 award. 

South Wales Argus:

One visitor described the venue as the “best Italian restaurant in Newport” with “lovely” staff. Another wrote:

“An authentic Italian restaurant with fantastic service. The food was cooked to order and fresh and tasty. Owner and son were very friendly and we would highly recommend a visit to this hidden gem.”

Red Fort Caerleon

Red Fort Caerleon is an Indian restaurant which opened on Cross Street in Caerleon in 2019 and has made a splash on Newport’s food scene. It’s rated #1 out of 21 restaurants on TripAdvisor with a Travellers’ Choice 2022 award (among other awards).

South Wales Argus:

A first-time visitor enjoyed a “lovely evening” with “superb [service]” and “friendly faces” adding that portions were “generous” and that they would be returning.

One guest – who visited with her family – described the food as “first class and worthy of a Michelin star”.


Shoboraj, on Malpas Road, is a family run food venue specialising in Bangladeshi and Indian cuisine; it is rated #3 out of 245 restaurants in Newport on TripAdvisor. The venue aims to “daringly different” with its dishes.

South Wales Argus:

A visitor – who booked last minute on a Saturday – described Shoboraj as “lovely” adding:

“The staff are the most polite and friendly people I have ever been served by in a restaurant. Nothing was too much trouble for them.”

Another took her daughter for a birthday treat and said she was treated “like a princess” with “wonderful food” and the team showing “attention to detail”.

A separate reviewer wrote:

“This Indian restaurant is the absolute best place I have eaten in.”

Las Iguanas

The only chain restaurant included in the top five on TripAdvisor, Las Iguanas – based in Usk Plaza of Friar’s Walk – offers a Latin American menu with the two-for-one cocktails proving popular.

South Wales Argus:

One reviewer joked that it’s “basically the only nightclub in Newport” and suggested that is why the venue is “usually fully booked”.

Another guest – who went for food – said she “simply couldn’t fault the experience” praising the “warm welcome” and “the presentation, colours, and tastes” of the cuisine.

But a more recent review claimed they were shown to a “sticky and dirty” table; they wrote that the service was “okay” but the food was “below average”.