The north-west’s suburban good food desert

In the first series of The Trip, Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon visited Good Food Guide-recommended restaurants in the north of England. More specifically, they visited restaurants in the rural north of England, avoiding cities.

They needn’t have done. Based on the 2017 edition of the guide, there is no problem finding good places to eat in Manchester and Liverpool – but it is much harder in suburbia, particularly in the hinterland between the two city centres.

This map shows all the restaurants listed in the 2017 Good Food Guide in Greater Manchester, Merseyside, Halton and Warrington. As well as marking the restaurant locations, I have colour-coded local authority areas based on how many such restaurants they have. Manchester has 17; Salford has none, although the presence of all those broadcasters at Salford Quays seems likely to change that given enough time. Liverpool has nine, while the areas immediately to its east again have none.

Entries in the Good Food Guide tend to be located in three types of places: city centres, the countryside and some well-off suburbs. This is a fair reflection of the fact that Britain’s good food culture has strong roots in cities and other places with money to spare, but certainly isn’t spread evenly across the country.

For a larger version of the map, click here.