British gastropubs serve better food than many traditional bistros in France, a new guide says.
Friendly pub staff give customers a warmer welcome than some "surly" waiters across the Channel, according to Egon Ronay's 2006 Guide.
Inspections of more than 400 gastropubs disprove French President Jacques Chirac's comments about "bad" British food, Mr Ronay said.
The guide names The Star in Harome, North Yorkshire, its Gastropub of the Year 2006.
China Tang at The Dorchester in London is the guide's Restaurant of the Year
Guide editor Egon Ronay said the emergence of gastropubs was the biggest change in British catering over the last 50 years.
They often produce food of restaurant standards despite having "cramped" kitchens and overburdened cooks, the guide says.
Its findings are based on anonymous inspections of 430 gastropubs - a term used for pubs which serve food and keep draught beer.
The guide states: "The great importance and the greatest difference from French bistros - which strike you as soon as you cross the threshold - lie in the immediate friendliness and heartiness of the welcome, often by the family of the proprietor. Another attractive aspect is that the great majority of gastropubs take pride in local produce which they actively and laudably promote."
The guide warns that prices are often "dangerously" near those charged by restaurants.
Describing the emergence of gastropubs Mr Ronay said: "Though around for some time they are a phenomenon having spread explosively with a surprisingly high standard of cooking and warm-hearted atmosphere - altogether the biggest change in the catering scene in my fifty year' experience as a restaurateur and critic.
"And it shows how hasty and ill-informed President Chirac's condemnation earlier this year of the British food scene has been."
During the run-up to the Olympic bid announcement, President Chirac reportedly said of Britain: "After Finland, its the country with the worst food."
Egon Ronay's 2006 Guide launched yesterday.
The guide gives top threestar ratings to just four restaurants: Gordon Ramsay, London; Hibiscus, Ludlow; Tom Aikens, London; and The Waterside Inn, Bray, Berkshire.
The top ten gastropubs, all of which have two stars, are as follows: The Alma, London; Black Boys Inn, Hurley, Berkshire; The Bull's Head, Ashford-in-the-Water, Derbyshire; The Guinea Grill, London; The House, London; The Salusbury, London; The Star, Harome, North Yorkshire; The Three Fishes, Mitton, Lancashire; The Waterdine, Llanfair Waterdine, Shropshire; and The Yorke Arms, Ramsgill-in-Nidderdale, North Yorkshire.