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In an extremely limited year for actually dining out, we asked Hot Dinners readers what their best restaurant experiences of 2020 were.

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The first meal/drink out post-lockdown

"The first glass of wine in July when bars were allowed to reopen!" Charlotte (Oak N4 pictured above). 

"Going back to Hawksmoor after Lockdown 1.0 was lifted. A Shaky Pete and a ribeye steak was the perfect way to re-enter the London food scene." Doyin

"The first post-lockdown meal (4 July) at the Drapers Arms. Like kids at Christmas! Just reading the menu filled us with an insane amount of joy!"  Leila

"Kiln on Brewer Street: sat up at the counter again after Lockdown 1 was truly magical, great food, service and atmosphere as always." Ollie

"Eating at Arepa & Co in Bethnal Green just after the end of the first lockdown. Missed restaurants so much and still do." Stephanie

 

cornerstone hackney

Top takeaways

"Eating takeaway oysters with beers outside Cornerstone during lockdown 1.0." Persephone

"Friday night takeouts with the family - whether from the longstanding local Turkish and Vietnamese restaurants or more recent arrivals. Shows the great variety of food available in London and the brilliant entrepreneurial drive of those pushing to keep their businesses alive." Simon

"Asap Pizza, for throwing out the rule book and giving pizza the respect it deserves in the food world by working with incredible suppliers and blowing peoples’ minds with awesome flavour combinations." Rebecca

 

song que que kingsland road

Home delivery redefined

"The brilliant pivot to home delivery: hard to choose but have loved Hawksmoor at Home, Brunswick House and Sabor en Casa. Also appreciate takeaways from Padella and Casa do Frango. Realise we should probably only choose one!" Emma

"Home kits. A saving grace for us foodies." Natasha

"Aulis at Home menu in November was absolutely amazing. And we also loved Feast at home from all the restaurants who couldn’t participate live for the Regent’s Park food festival. Being able to try so many at home was wonderful." Hannah

"& Home by James Knappett allowed us to create a special birthday experience during lockdown" Nicola

"Passyunk Philly Cheesesteak meal-kit - a guilty pleasure on my birthday" Hugh

"Padella at home in second lockdown - the comfort of a great pasta dish!" Jonathan 

"The Hawksmoor at Home ribeye box - fantastic quality and value and more than enough food to feed four of us even though the box said for two. I particularly liked the two massive bone marrow bones to add to the already decadent gravy." Andrew

 

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Securing the hardest restaurant reservation in London

"Finally getting into Sushi Tetsu in January after years of trying was very much the highlight - every bit worth the long wait." Alari

Photo: FatLuStanton

 

rudies brixton

An introduction to jerk in Brixton

"Shout out to Rudie's Jerk Shack in Brixton market for giving my 4 kids, all under 12, the first experience of jerk chicken, pork and lamb!" Andrew

 

patty and bun burger kit

A top-notch burger

"The Patty & Bun DIY kit... easily the best DIY kit that actually tasted like it was almost from one of their kitchens." Luke 

"First takeaway burger in lockdown after being deprived for two months - from Burger & Beyond, eaten on a bench in the Shoreditch Church churchyard." Denise

"Eating a Four Legs burger for the first time. Best burger I’ve ever had." Lorna

 

joy at portobello

Alfresco dining

"Lockdown lobsters on the terrace at Joy at Portobello surrounded by rescued dahlias and drinking french rosé." Callum

"When everything reopened in the summer - sitting outside at Randall and Aubin in Soho, with their new grass terrace. Loving the Soho vibe, streets all open for diners and everyone so happy to be back! Champagne, fruits de mer and a heatwave. Nothing beats London!" Susan

 

top cuvee highbury

The lockdown stars

"Special mention to Top Cuvee. I don't think a group of people have done more to show how you can make even the very worse situation a success and quite frankly I don't think anyone in London is cooking better food right now than Top Cuvee. Also, Shop Cuvee is now my absolute go-to for any wine needs and another example of the ingenuity and foresight they have shown in this wretched climate." Peter

 

 

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