Over three quarters of Londoners are eating out as much or more than they did two years ago, despite prices having risen by 3.3% on last year, according to Zagat’s 2007 London restaurant guide. Zagat, which is the world’s leading provider of consumer survey-based dining, travel and leisure information, questioned 1,005 restaurants and talked to 5,273 diners for its latest survey. The research showed that London is now rated the second most expensive city after Tokyo, with the cost of an average meal having increased to £38, which is nearly twice the cost of dining out in New York. As a result, Londoners only consume an average of 2.4 meals out each week, compared to 2.9 in Paris and 3.4 in New York. The survey also showed that smoking remains an important issue, with 74% of London restaurant goers stating that smoking in restaurants negatively effected their decision to eat there. However, bad service was cited as the number one irritant of diners. Gordon Ramsey at 68 Royal Hospital Road won the award for top food, Nobu Berkeley for best newcomer and Wagamama for most popular restaurant. Tim Zagat, co-founder and chief executive officer of Zagat, said: “It has been a vintage year for London with 115 new Zagat reviewed restaurants opening their doors.” The survey also highlighted key elements of London’s dining scene, with the capital rated excellent for the range of diversity offered by restaurants, good for chefs’ creativity, while only fair for table availability and service.