Cardiff is the most affordable city in the UK to eat out at a restaurant, new data can reveal, while London takes the top spot for being the most expensive city.  

The research by professional kitchen experts Maxima Kitchen Equipment analysed the cities in the UK with a population higher than 100,000 and used cost of living data from Expatistan and Numbeo to find where Brits can dine out at the lowest cost.

The analysis was based on average price on costs at an inexpensive restaurant, a three-course meal at an Italian restaurant, a lunchtime meal and a pub meal. 

The study revealed that Cardiff is the most affordable city to visit a restaurant, with an average cost of £29.80 for two people. This comes as a result of having low costs at each type of restaurant including £23 average cost for two people at a pub as well as an average cost of £44 for two people enjoying a three-course dinner at an Italian restaurant. 

The city of Sheffield came in second with the average cost of dining out at a restaurant in the UK. The northern city offers low prices on a range of restaurant types, including pubs. However, the average cost for a trip to an Italian restaurant for two in Sheffield is £48, £4 more than Cardiff, making Sheffield the second cheapest city in the UK. 

Leeds topped the list for the cheapest place to grab a lunchtime meal at a restaurant, costing an average of just £7 per person. Preston is the cheapest city in the UK to visit a mid-range restaurant, costing an average of £37.50 for two people. 

Coventry placed as the cheapest city to enjoy a three course Italian meal for two, costing £41 in total, which helps make it the third most affordable city in the list. The average cost of a meal out in Coventry would be £30.40 for two people. 

In contrast, London was revealed to be the priciest city for food fans to enjoy a meal out with an average total cost of £45, 50% more than the average cost of a meal in Cardiff. 

Edinburgh was found to be the second most expensive city for dining out.  The Scottish city had the joint highest price of an average pub dinner with London, costing £37 for two people. The average price for a meal for two at an ‘inexpensive’ restaurant came to £30 for two people, topping the list compared to Peterborough that had the lowest average cost of £18. In total, a meal out in Edinburgh would have an average price of £42.80 for two people.  

The analysis revealed Plymouth as the third most expensive city in the UK to go out for a meal, setting foodies back £40.60. This average came from the cost of a pub dinner for two costing £28, a dinner at an inexpensive restaurant and a lunchtime meal both costing £20 and a trip to an Italian restaurant for a three-course meal costing £75. Plymouth is the second most expensive city to visit an Italian restaurant behind Luton, which costs an average of £77. 

Commenting on the study, a spokesperson from  Maxima Kitchen Equipment said: “The hospitality industry in the UK has felt the effects of lockdown, however it is fantastic to see people returning to restaurants and enjoying the experience. This research reveals the most cost-effective destinations for those experiences as well as the ones we may need to save up for.”  The analysis was conducted by Maxima Kitchen Equipment, which has more than 40 years of experience in the supply and maintenance of professional kitchen equipment.