Hot Dinners recommends

The restaurant scene in London has never been hotter. Big name chefs and restaurants from all over the world have their eyes on us, new trends are popping up all the time and areas previously devoid of decent food are becoming hot culinary destinations.

We update this list regularly with the restaurants causing the biggest stir in town - the ones which reviewers are thrilled about, where tables are like gold dust or places that are just serving the most interesting and inventive food in town right now. We know there are plenty of great classic restaurants (and we're covering them in our Top 40 - London's Best Restaurants feature) but these are the hottest, in alphabetical order....


The ArakiNEW: The Araki
12 New Burlington Street, London W1S 3BH

In a nutshell: Three Michelin-starred Japanese food

The Araki was always a popular and very hard to get into restaurant at the best of times, but with its newly awarded three Michelin Star status, it's immediately become one of the hottest tickets in town. With room available for just nine at the counter and a £300 bill to get you access too, it's clearly not for everyone. But If you can get a spot right now, you're in for one of the best meals in London served up personally by Mitsuhiro Araki..

Find out more about The Araki



Bang Bang OrientalBang Bang Oriental
399 Edgware Rd, London NW9 0AS

In a nutshell: Chinatown goes north and inside

We'd seen a fair few examples of established restaurants gathering together in upmarket food halls in the States - but this was the first time in London. Essentially, some of the great Oriental restaurants in London have gathered together in Colindale to provide a truly unique experience in town. It's VERY popular, and as Jay Rayner says "The regional fracturing of Chinese food in the UK really is a thrilling development. Here, it’s all on show." Expect it to be pretty busy at the weekends.

Find out more about Bang Bang Oriental

Our Bang Bang Oriental Test Drive



Claude Bosi at BibendumClaude Bosi at Bibendum
Michelin House, 81 Fulham Road, London SW3 6RD

In a nutshell: Michelin Chef goes to South Ken

The Frenchman's return to the London dining scene after the closure of Hibiscus has had a lot of love. Jay Rayner in the Observer called Bosi's new digs "a restaurant with a profound understanding of the simple virtues" but warns it's "viciously expensive". while Giles Coren praised Bibendum's food too "the supreme delicacy of some of the starters sends them straight to the top of London’s fancy list." And Bosi getting back his two Michelin stars immediately means this place just got even hotter.

Find out more about Claude Bosi at Bibendum

Our Claude Bosi at Bibendum Test Drive



Core by Clare SmythCore by Clare Smyth
92 Kensington Park Rd, London W11 2PN

In a nutshell: Gordon Ramsay alumnus goes it alone

While at Gordon Ramsay's flagship restaurant, Clare Smyth retained their three stars for years and established herself as one of the greatest chefs in the country. So it's no surprise that her first restaurant is proving a big success, with booking lines already clogged up and reservations apparently not to be had for months..

Find out more about Core by Clare Smyth



CubNEW: Cub
153 Hoxton Street, London N1 6PJ 

In a nutshell: Cocktail bar merges with restaurant

Ryan Chetiyawardana (aka Mr Lyan) has been behind some of London's best bars and the latest incarnation of his Hoxton flagship sees him merging cocktails with food fully for the first time. This spot is also embracing the no-waste trend that's been appearing in a lot of London restaurants as of late. The place to head if you want to be ahead of the curve.

More about Cub

Our Cub Test Drive



Core by Clare SmythNEW: Cubé
4 Blenheim St, Mayfair, London W1S 1LB

In a nutshell: Sushi in Mayfair

Olive magazine enjoyed the sea urchin butter the scallops in this South of Oxford Street spot came with so much "we nearly drank it directly from the scallop shell it was served in." And David Sexton in the Standard thought it "very easy to have a fine time here."

Find out more about Cube

Our Cubé Test Drive



Darjeeling ExpressDarjeeling Express
Top Floor, Kingly Court, Carnaby, London W1B 5PW

In a nutshell: Asma Khan's supperclub goes permanent

Previously existing as a supperclub and as residencies, Asma Khan's Darjeeling Express picked up many a fan along the way - and she's been described by Grace Dent in a recent rave review as "a force of nature: bold, funny, talented, philanthropic and unstoppable". Eager expectations about her solo venture in Carnaby Court have proven to be well founded.

Find out more about Darjeeling Express



1 St. James’s Market, London  SW1Y 4AH

In a nutshell: West African food in St James's Market

Even before Ikoyi opened, we marvelled at the plates they were previewing on Instagram. Everything looked WONDERFUL. But could the place live up to the the Insta hype? Fay Maschler certainly thinks so, saying "there is a titillating undercurrent of unfamiliarity (for some of us anyway) filtered through a high end, sometimes Nordic skill set, coupled with a sense of celebration and inclusion fostered by amiable staff. Win-win for London." 

Find out more about Ikoyi



Gilly'sNEW: Gilly's Fry Bar
4A Clifton Terrace, London N4 3JP

In a nutshell: Chippy meets Asian food

One of the best restaurants on the Stroud Green side of Finsbury Park is Season Kitchen, so the opening of a new restaurant from the same chap is something for Finsbury Park residents to rejoice over. This new spot mixes tempura serves with raw fish and Japanese whisky highballs to make it a must-visit..

Find out more about Gilly's



jacobpieJacob The Angel
1 16 1/2 Neal's Yard, Seven Dials, London WC2H 9DP

In a nutshell: The Barbary does a coffee house

Really, all we need to tell you about the buzz this new Covent Garden coffee shop is creating is to tell you it's the new place from siblings Layo and Zoe Paskin who are behind The Palomar and The Barbary. "Sheer heaven," said Instagrammer and all round dessert queen Felicity Spector of her preview there. Expect your Instagram feed to be full of their coconut cream pie before too long.

Find out more about Jacob The Angel



Jean Georges at the ConnaughtJean Georges at the Connaught
Carlos Pl, London W1K 2AL

In a nutshell: Big-time NYC chef returns to London

When the restaurant at one of London's greatest hotels, The Connaught, announced it was revamping the restaurant, all eyes were on who would get the prime position. And they landed a big catch with Jean Georges, who is a very big deal indeed in New York. The room looks beautiful and we hear the laid back food is going down a storm with Mayfair locals and hotel guests alike.

Find out more about Jean Georges at the Connaught



Madame DMadame D
76 Commercial Street, London E1 6LY

In a nutshell: The people behind Gunpowder go Himalayan

This is the new restaurant from the people behind Gunpowder, a very popular City Indian spot. It sees them taking their inspiration from Himalayan cooking, and cranking up the heat a little too. It's a small spot, but you can wait with drinks in the bar downstairs until a table becomes free. It doesn't hurt at all that it looks rather beautiful.

Find out more about Madame D's

Our Madame D's Test Drive



10 Heddon Street, London W1B 4BX

In a nutshell: Trolley service meets British small plates

The final opening of Magpie in the West End (it was due to open last year) had a lot of hype to live up. Pidgin is still serving up a storm in Hackney but could that vibe survive a move to the centre of town.We're here to tell you it can and does.

Find out more about Magpie



Neo BistroNeo Bistro
11 Woodstock Street, Mayfair, W1C

In a nutshell: East London style seasonal food in the West End

Ben Norum in the Standard praises the "renegade pairings" of this new restaurant just off Oxford Street. "best-in-show is the marriage between lamb and eel," he decares - "a rich and earthy symphony of the sort that Beethoven would be proud." City AM reviewer Melissa York thinks the "food so intriguing, you’ll be discussing it long after you’ve left."

Find out more about Neo Bistro

Read our Test Drive of Neo Bistro



Nobu ShoreditchNobu Shoreditch
10-50 Willow St, London EC2A 4BH

In a nutshell: Nobu extends its brand to East London

When we visited Nobu Shoreditch recently, very soon after opening, our immediate thought was - "this is VERY busy" with the latest Nobu picking up a large clientele in very quick fashion. Grace Dent said "I loved Nobu Shoreditch, loved the sleek opulence, the chipper serving staff, the open kitchen full of hot chefs and the DJ playing Nineties club classics... But in all fairness I’d have been better fed if I’d been kidnapped." So yes, it IS very pricey but you'll be in for a treat if you CAN afford it. Better still, get someone else to take you.

Find out more about Nobu Shoreditch

Read our Test Drive of Nobu Shoreditch



Santo RemedioNEW: Santo Remedio
152 Tooley St, London SE1 2TU

In a nutshell: The return of the classy Mexican restaurant

Santo Remedio's closure last year was a blow to many - like us - who loved its take on Mexican cuisine, finally really showcasing what was possible if it was done really well. So their return to London, in their brand new Bermondsey location, is very welcome indeed. If someone tells you they're looking for top Mexican food in London, you'll want to send them here.

Find out more about Santo Remedio



Serge et le PhoqueNEW: Serge et le Phoque
The Mandrake, 20-21 Newman Street, Fitzrovia, London W1T 1PG

In a nutshell: High end French dining via Hong Kong

There's not been much about this new restaurant from boutique hotel The Mandrake, but it just got a rare four stars from The Standard's Fay Maschler who says "A spirit of warmth and bonhomie prevails throughout" and particularly recommends the noisettes of lamb.

Find out more about Serge et le Phoque



7 Maiden Lane, London WC2E 7NA

In a nutshell: Cheese, charcuterie, wine and tapas from Spain and Catalunya in a laid back setting.

Sometime dining companion of Fay Maschler, chef Victor Garvey is always one to watch and his latest restaurant opening in Covent Garden confirmed Grace Dent's opinion that he opens "genuinely, God’s-honest-relaxed places with fabulous wine and tapas worth trekking across town for". Also in the Standard David Ellis called it "very likely the best restaurant I’ve been to this year."

Find out more about Sibarita

Read our Test Drive of Sibarita



Western's LaundryWestern's Laundry
34 Drayton Park, London N5 1PB

In a nutshell: Follow-up Highbury spot from the people behind Primeur.

It's clear we loved Westerns Laundry, but what did everyone else think of this rather beautiful new restaurant tucked away off Holloway Road? US site Infatuation declared it somwhere to go "when you want to want something cool, but want to keep it a little low key". Food blogger and wine expert Zeren Wilson said it "hums in the evening with the same energy, joie de vivre and candlelit charm of Primeur." 

Find out more about Westerns Laundry 

Our Westerns Laundry Test Drive



30 Rupert Street, London W1D 6DL

In a nutshell: Bao does Taiwanese dining in Chinatown.

The third opening from the team behind the two Bao restaurants, Xu is "a couple of tweaks – and a pudding menu – away from being truly excellent" says Matthew Bayley in The Telegraph. He reserves particular praise for the cuttlefish toast - "Imagine the world’s greatest prawn toast." It gets 5 stars from Time Out where Tania Ballantine says "Everything I ate was terrific". Fay was pretty light with her praise but Marina O'Loughlin in the Guardian turned out to be a fan, pronouncing it "quite simply gorgeous". And an initially cautious Giles Coren had "as good an Asian meal as I think you can get in this town. Or country."

Find out more about Xu 

Our Xu Test Drive



Plus all those new Michelin stars and Bib Gourmands

Of course, we've just had the Michelin stars announced and everything we hear from the chefs who have been given one tells us that these also become instant hits. So along with The Araki and Claude Bosi above, read the full list of all the new stars right here.


Ones to watch...


There are always a few just-opened restaurants that aren't quite ready for the list - but worth keeping an eye on...

  • The Wigmore Tavern - quickly becoming our go-to affordable Oxford Circus hangout.
  • Gul and Sepoy - The people behind Gunpowder and Madame D's are already back with another hit in the making.
  • Hoppers - second coming of the Soho favourite from the people behind Gymkhana - but you can actually book here.


Where's Hot, mapped.

Here's how the Hot Dinners "Where's Hot" restaurants are spread across town.

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