Which European city has the most bars, cafes and restaurants?

Study reveals the top UK and European cities for those wanting to eat and drink their way round a destination.

Neal's Yard in Covent Garden
Neal's Yard in Covent Garden

The best destinations for cafes, bars, and restaurants in Europe have been revealed in research by mobile payments platform, SumUp.

The top 10 cities with the highest number of cafes, bars, and restaurants were identified by first selecting the 100 most populous cities across Europe.

The research then identified how many food and drink establishments could be found in each place as part of the Small Business Index 2019. London ranks first overall in the index.

But when the density of cafes, bars, and restaurants is taken into account, the UK capital drops to sixth place and Paris takes the top spot.

  • London comes top as the European city with the most bars, cafes, and restaurants overall
  • Manchester ranks second for the UK and 23rd for Europe. The northern city has "an impressive number of cafes and bars"
  • Paris is second in Europe behind London. The French capital outnumbers London for restaurants but trails behind in cafes and bars.
  Country      City  Cafes/Bars    Restaurants    Rank  
UK London 10 9.91 1
France Paris 9.82 10 2
Spain Madrid 9.91 9.82 3
Germany Berlin 9.64 9.73 4
Spain Barcelona 9.73 9.55 5
Italy Rome 9.27 9.64 6
Portugal Lisbon 9.45 9.18 7
Italy Milan 9 9.45 8
Austria Vienna 9.18 9.27 9
Spain Valencia 9.36 9 10

It reveals greater choice within a smaller radius in the French capital. 

Those wanting a selection of cuisine in a quieter, less-populous destination, would be wise to head to Rome or Berlin, the reports says.

Findings for Europe:

  • London, UK may have the most cafes and bars, but Paris, France boasts the highest number of restaurants
  • UK cities London, Manchester, and Birmingham score in the top 25% of the Index, and only Coventry in the bottom 25%
  • Essen, Germany, in 45th place outranks Bristol, UK, in 49th place; and Cardiff, UK, in 52nd
  • Spain takes three places in the top 10, with Madrid, Barcelona, and Valencia home to plenty of food and drink establishments - particularly bars and cafes

The rankings for this study were calculated as an average of the number of restaurants, cafes, and bars.

The research also produced a ranking for top UK cities

City Cafes/Bars  Restaurants  National Rank   European Rank   
London 10 9.91 1 1
Manchester 8.73 6.55 2 23
Birmingham 9.09 6.09 3 24
Edinburgh 7.91 5.91 4 33
Liverpool 8.82 4.91 5 34
Glasgow 8.09 5.27 6 36
Leeds 8.18 4.82 7 38
Bristol 7.27 4.27 8 49
Cardiff 6.73 4 9 52
Leicester 5.91 3.64 10 63
Sheffield 6.55 3 11 64
Wakefield 6.82 2 12 65
Coventry 4.55 1.73 13 76

  • The Scottish capital Edinburgh outranks Glasgow despite the old industrial hub having an impressive number of cafes and bars

  • Bristol ranks eighth with a vast number of cafes and bars but comparatively lacking in restaurants

  • The cities with the lowest number of restaurants overall are Coventry and Wakefield, in the Midlands

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