Sometimes there are just TOO many new restaurants opening. And while we cover them all - sometimes you'll want to know which ones to really zero in on. So here are - in our minds - the best new London restaurants to open in 2018... so far.
Opened in October 2018
209 Westbourne Park Road, London W11 1EA
In a nutshell: Michel Roux Jr's daughter, Emily Roux's restaurant with her husband Diego Ferrari.
The Roux family continues to have a very strong hand in the restaurant business as Emily Roux and her husband Diego Ferrari have set up their own restaurant in Westbourne Park. The restaurant won early praise from Fay Maschler who delared "the celeriac “cacio e pepe” with extra-aged balsamic vinegar... to be a star of the show. It is innovative, delicious, on the ball, of the moment and — if cheese is allowed — vegetarian."
19 Bloomberg Arcade, London EC4N 8AR
In a nutshell: A Wong comes to the City
Andrew Wong's eponymous A Wong restaurant has been a hit in Victoria for years, finally winning a Michelin star last year. And now he's joined the restaurants at Bloomberg Arcade bringing in a menu that's influenced by Chinatown and a bloody great big tree in the middle of the bar (it's rather impressive). No critic reviews as yet, but we've already been and it's definitely a winner.
Opened in September 2018
21 Newington Green, London N16 9PU
In a nutshell: The Westerns Laundry crowd on Newington Green (inc bakery)
Jeremie Cometto-Lingenheim and David Gingell, who brought us Primeur and Westerns Laundry, have stayed local with their third opening. This time they've joined forces with Groove Armada DJ-turned farmer Andy Cato to open this all day space. "So impressed with the on-site milling and the real dedication to producing the best tasting bread." said Instagrammer Felicity Spector. And our meal there (Test Drive to come) was wonderful.
Corinthia Hotel, Whitehall Pl, Westminster, London SW1A 2BD
In a nutshell: Tom Kerridge leaves Marlow for London
Tom Kerridge has been a Marlow institution for years, well before his TV fame, and his Hand and Flowers pub is still the only pub in the UK to have two Michelin stars. This sees him finally arriving in London with an opulent restaurant at the Corinthia. And the critics are loving it too as Grace Dent said "This is a British restaurant that celebrates British things in a charming and non-laboured manner" while Giles Coren praised the truffled egg: "Magnificent dish. Creamy, lush, properly seasoned again, nice and salty."
28-30 Kingsland Rd, London E2 8DA
In a nutshell: The Clove Club goes American
London's foodie crowd have been vying for tables at Two Lights since it opened this week and already the feedback for chef Chase Lovecky's modern American food is good. Chef Tom Hunt says it reminds him of Wildair and fellow chef Lee Westcott praised the "relaxed vibe, tasty food and great drinks." Looks like the Clove Club's third restaurant is going to do very well.
9 Russell Street, London WC2B 5HZ
In a nutshell: New York Chinese import
There are two Red Farms in New York, praised for a modern take on a Chinese Dim Sum menu. And the thing they're really known for are their Pac man dumplings. They look undeniably impressive, but there's much to love about the rest of the menu - including the amazing shrimp-stuffed chicken, which Fay Maschler described as with "ravishingly crisped, magically seasoned skin and a Vi-Spring mattress of juicy prawn." And look out for the hidden bar on the top floor too.
Opened in August 2018
Where: 107 Upper Street, London, N1 1QN
In a nutshell: James Cochran comes to Islington
Buzz surrounding this Islington opening was high, even before a single pot had boiled. Not only was Cochran dealing with legal issues surrounding the trademarking of his own name, but he was also flying high in the current series of The Great British Menu (which he since won). Good job then that the food more than lives up to the hype. As Jay Rayner puts it "James Cochran has been through a lot recently and, as he says, he’s learned much. I hope he carries on learning because at his best he really is touched with brilliance."
2 Bagley Walk, London N1C 4PQ
In a nutshell: High octane Israeli cuisine in King's Cross
This is the first restaurant to open as part of the King's Cross development that will become Coal Drops Yard - and they're off to a good start. It comes from one of the restaurateurs who helped launch The Palomar and has the same frenetic counter/kitchen style. And it's one of a rare group of restaurants to earn five stars from Fay Maschler in the Evening Standard who described is as "the untrammelled joy of enlightening, healthy eating out not undermined by a depressing bill."
125 Caledonian Rd, London N1 9RG
In a nutshell: Authentic Chinese in King's Cross
This opening took us all a bit by surprise (we only found out about it by walking past) but this authentic Chinese restaurant on Caledonian Road has gotten a lot of attention since. It's like nothing else in the area with a broad menu that seems squarely aimed at the Chinese market. Giles Coren may have got into trouble with his review but he said the food was "wondrous to consume." while Fay Maschler said "There are rewards when you look for them."
One Tower Bridge, 4 Crown Square, London SE1 2SE
In a nutshell: The City Indian favourite heads across the river
The original Gunpowder in The City opened quietly and grew into a huge hit. And now they've moved into the new Tower Bridge development, with a much bigger space. But they've lost none of what made the original gunpowder such a hit. The classics like Kashmiri lamb chops make a welcome appearance among many new dishes.
Opened in July 2018
Where: 32 Southwark Street, London SE1 1TU
In a nutshell: Upscale piri piri and more...
This Southwark Portuguese restaurant is cooking up Algarvian-style chicken frango (hence the name) for a new spin on piri piri style chicken, with plenty of focus on their wood-fired grill for that real authenticity. That chicken has been winning praise from Michael Deacon in The Telegraph who called it "glisteningly succulent" while Jay Rayner says "This is an elbows-out, face-down job, which gently wafted me back to the summer of ’78."
Where: 30 Henrietta Street, London WC2E 8NA
In a nutshell: Kitty Fisher's team open a second restaurant
The Kitty Fisher's team follow-up was always going to be a hot ticket and Giles Coren was straight in there with a review that not only felt Cora had some of the naughty vibes of her Shepherd Market sister but that the chips were "the dish of the year. Dish of the decade. Dish of the effing century." BBC's Good Food magazine drew attention to a new trend - seafood on crumpets. The CP version is their brown shrimp Ranhöfer which Good Food described as "amped-up prawns on toast".
Opened in June 2018
Unit Su 59, London Bridge Station, St Thomas Street, London SE1 3QX
In a nutshell: The lobster masters go permanent at London Bridge
After years turning out top seafood and lobster rolls at street food events across London, BOB's lobster have set up a permanent spot in London Bridge - which even incorporates the old van inside too. Expect the usual excellent lobster and crab rolls, plus tuna tacos, shrimp burritos, lobster mac n cheese and more.
1-5 Bloomberg Arcade, London EC4N 8AR
In a nutshell: Indian gastropub in the city (and much more besides)
The restaurants at Bloomberg Arcade have been a cut above the norm (due to the influence of Bloomberg's Richard Vines) and this continues with Brigadiers, from the people behind Gymkhana and Hoppers. With a huge menu of Indian dishes in a warren of rooms, it's really offering something that you just can't get anywhere else in town. As Frankie McCoy in the Standard says, it offers "a solid menu of Indian hits, brilliantly executed by brilliant operators."
59 Wells Street London W1A 3AE
In a nutshell: Ottolenghi does fire and fermentation
Poor old ROVI had barely opened before a bust extraction system caused it to close again. But now it really IS open for business. The "perfect place to take one of your oldest semi-vegetarian, fully gluten-intolerant friends without even the merest sprinkle of resentment at missing out," enthused the Guardian's Felicity Cloake on Instagram. Jay Rayner was also a fan: "This is vivid, thrilling stuff. Yes, if you go for the works you will build up a big bill. But this is cooking that stays with you."
74-76 York St, Marylebone, London W1H 1QN
In a nutshell: Ec Duck and Waffle's Dan Doherty opens a pub
All eyes were on Dan Doherty when he left his previous restaurant overlooking the city, Duck and Waffle. He has a New York restaurant on the way too, but it's the London base that we're particularly interested in - and this is it. He's taken on the Royal Oak in Marylebone and will be gradually refining the menu over the next few months - and there's still the promise of something extra special to come in the space upstairs. If you want to see a chef in his element, watching the development of the menu, this is the place to come. And expect a mean scotch egg too.
171 Holloway Rd, London N7 8LX
In a nutshell: Laksa and more as this Malaysian restaurant goes permanent
Sambal Shiok has been popping up in various locations all over town for five years, serving up great Malaysian food - and most importantly what's viewed by many as the BEST laksa in town. Now owner Mandy Yin has set up a permanent position on Holloway Road, and she describes it as "like a ramen bar but instead focusing on Malaysian Nyonya laksa". In a visit to the pop-up, Jay Rayner said " It’s powerful, satisfying and for me at least, the very stuff of memories." And visiting the new restaurant, Giles Coren said: "Sambal Shiok is a place of joy and great cooking."
70 Leonard Street, London EC2A 4QX
In a nutshell: Brunswick House's Jackson Boxer teams up with chef Andrew Clarke in Shoreditch.
With hits like Brunswick House (and the much-missed Rita's), all eyes were on Jackson Boxer's next opening, St Leonards which has taken over the big Shoreditch space vacated by Eyre Brothers. Teaming up with Andrew Clarke, they've the very best mix of raw bar delights mixed with flaming cooking (and a spacious bar space that is much-needed in the area). Jay Rayner hints that it may divide people - "Dinner at St Leonards, lubricated by well-priced, classic French wines, is not so much a meal out as a funfair ride." However, Marina O'Loughlin is in love: "To my “ideal restaurants” list, I’m now adding St Leonards. It has all the hallmarks of a classic in the making."
Opened in May 2018
1 Westgate Street, London E8 3RL
In a nutshell: P Franco open their first standalone restaurant
The much-loved Clapton wine bar was always a highlight of East London when it came to food. Then they went one step further, opening their first full restaurant in Netil House where Ellory used to be. James Ramsden (co-owner of Pidgin and Magpie) said their Cantonese style duck hearts were the "best thing I've eaten all year" and Instagrammer Felicity Spector found herself "literally gasping in admiration at a dish of crab in a kind of ajo blanco." The FT's Tim Hayward concurred, admiring the kitchen team's "quiet self-confidence".
316 Queensbridge Road, Hackney, London E8 3NH
In a nutshell: Tom Oldroyd's Hackney pub
There was huge anticipation of the second Oldroyd restaurant, not least because the head chef is Rory Shannon, coming off a very well reviewed stint at Winemakers Deptford. Both the main dining room and the pub are worth separate visits, and the crab and chip butty is worth travelling for. Not to mention the slow roasted duck on the Sunday lunch menu. As Fay Maschler puts it "The menu is a delight, French but arguably not exactly as the French know it."
41-43 Atlantic Road, London SW9 8JL
In a nutshell: Kricket returns to its home ground
When Kricket moved into Soho, it was a great move for them but many were obviously going to miss them on their home turf of Pop Brixton. Now they're back in a permanent restaurant with all the hits and a lot more besides (not least the ability to book a seat). And if you're after the newest dishes from them, this is the place to go as they'll be on this menu before they appear in Soho or White City.
64 Grafton Way, London W1T 5DN
In a nutshell: Selin Kiazim's Oklava follow-up
Selin Kiazim's Oklava in Shoreditch has been a quiet, consistent hit, so there was always going to be a lot of attention on their follow up. This Fitzrovia restaurant sees her once again teaming up with Oklava's Laura Christie for this Turkish restaurant. And it's already impressed The Standard, as David Sexton said "Kyseri is a treat of the kind that only a restaurant culture as vigorous and varied as London’s makes possible."
51 Greek Street, London W1D 4EH
In a nutshell: Italian deli turns its hand to a restaurant.
Italian deli Lina stores has been a beloved fixture of Soho for over 75 years, so the news that they were opening a pasta restaurant on Greek Street was clearly news for celebration. Primarily all about fresh pasta (which London can't get enough of lately, it seems). Susannah Butter in the Standard says "they’ve mastered the pasta. That should be enough to ensure it becomes a Soho institution like the deli." And Marina O Loughlin said, "I like it so much that, in a rare move, I go straight back."
5 Princes Street, London W1B 2LF
In a nutshell: Modern British in Mayfair
Mark Jarvis has expanded expanding his modern British empire by opening a new Mayfair restaurant - the third in the group that also includes Anglo and Neo Bistro. Expect a modern ever-changing menu that's good value too. As Jay Rayner says "for this quality of cooking in this location, the price point is enough to restore your faith in humanity."
Mercers Walk, Covent Garden, London
In a nutshell: Pizza, meet fire and vermouth
Neil Rankin's temper restaurant once again reinvents itself, this time the fire-based chain will focus on pizzas with an extensive list of vermouths too. As The Infatuation says, "It’s fearless, but more importantly, it’s fun. That’s what you want most from someone or something trying to do something a bit different."
Opened in April 2018
3 Prince Edward Road, Hackney Wick, E9 5LX
In a nutshell: Seasonal dining in Hackney
Tom Brown's had plenty of seafood experience, most recently at Outlaw's at the Capital - but now he's opened his own place in Hackney and there's still plenty of seafood on the menu. Food blogger Elizabeth Auerbach said she "was immediately impressed with his cooking from the first bite on" and Giles Coren declared the food "out of this world... I’ve never been one for tarama on veg. So I smeared it on their otherworldly sourdough toast with dripping and my eyes just rolled back in my head …".
85 Piccadilly, London W1J 7NB
In a nutshell: Dabbous mk II. And then some.
Of course, the pre-opening buzz surrounding Ollie Dabbous' new venture with Hedonism Wines was crazy, but then the Standard review came out and it was a good 'un. The place looks completely amazing, and it's definitely one to put on any self-respecting London foodie's list. And if your budget is tight, go for breakfast instead. Frankie McCoy gave it five stars in the Standard, saying "Don’t overthink it. Dabbous is knocking out his most fabulous five-star food yet." And Fiona Beckett in The Decanter said; "It’s worth ordering the extra course of what is simply described as ‘Cornish Fish in two services’ to experience one of the best fish stews you’ll ever have eaten."
27 King Street, London WC2E 8JD
In a nutshell: The famed floral restaurant comes to the centre of town.
The buzz on the foodie grapevine was good for this serious new Covent Garden endeavour - just try getting a table here for dinner and you'll see how good. Instagrammer Clerkenwell Boy saved his greatest praise for the "incredible pistachio and hazelnut semifreddo." Unfortunately Marina O'Loughlin wasn't as impressed feeling "it has none of the insouciant, bucolic charm of the original.". Praise is reserved for its second restaurant, La Goccia, of which The Standard said "Petersham Nurseries may be selling a lifestyle aspiration, but La Goccia is also just a great Italian joint."
41 Redchurch Street, Shoreditch, London E2 7DJ
In a nutshell: Next level supperclub
Nuno Mendes' next project will be an intimate restaurant seating diners around one table in a space in Shoreditch. Picky Glutton said "While the overall experience was undoubtedly intimate and convivial, providing a possible template for others to use in attracting novelty-seeking high spenders, in the end this is outweighed by the booking palaver."
Opened in March 2018
Where: Redchurch Street, Shoreditch, E1 6JJ
In a nutshell: Ex Kitty Fisher's chef Tomos Parry's Shoreditch restaurant
He was an instant hit when he started at Kitty Fisher's (after a successful stint at Climpson's Arch) so all eyes were on Tomos Parry for his next venture. This sees him cooking in a restaurant that's directly above Smoking Goat in Shoreditch. An impressive open kitchen makes the cooking on fire that's central to the restaurant a real focus, and a partnership with the people behind Noble Rot means that the wine's pretty decent too. The turbot and the beef chop should both be on your list and don't miss the small plates, as Keith Miller in the Telegraph says - "spider crab, one of many Basque touches on the menu, was tossed with cabbage – perfect with its slightly funky flavour – and fennel. "
Somerset House, Strand, London WC2R 1LA
In a nutshell: The Odette's chef takes on an institution
Odette's chef Bryn Williams has opened a fruit and veg-focused restaurant overlooking the river at Somerset House. Expect British dining with lots of Welsh produce in a room that's been remodelled to give you a view of the Thames.
56-58 Marylebone Lane, London W1U 2NX
In a nutshell: Levantine spot on Marylebone Lane
The couple who opened turkey restaurant Strut & Cluck in Shoreditch are behind this new Eastern Mediterranean kitchen on Marylebone Lane and they've been inspired by their family heritage. Ben Norum in The Standard says "Settle in for small plates and go by-the-glass to make the most of the varied and vibrant flavours at this stylish spot."
238 West End Lane, London NW6 1LG
In a nutshell: Neighbourhood spot in West Hampstead
An ex Ledbury and ToastED chef is in the kitchen for this new West Hampstead opening which has a strong brunch offering and will offer a regularly changing menu. Fay Maschler praises the brunch: "Hām Breakfast of scrambled eggs, bacon, sausages, mushrooms, tomatoes, avocado and toast is excellent in each of its particulars although the sausage might be a little too virtuous — a certain amount of filler and fat is desirable."
18 Phipp Street, London EC2A 4NU
In a nutshell: Michelin-starred Ellory moves to Shoreditch
A big hit in London Fields - and Michelin-starred to boot - there have been changes for Ellory. They've moved from their original digs into the heart of Shoreditch, and changed the name in the process (it was the nickname of the original). With that comes more of a bistro focus. David Sexton was a fan of their asparagus dish - "This felt like a delicious rebuke to the sloppiness of asparagus with hollandaise, an impressive composition more than it was commonplace food." And Grace Dent declared the move a total success saying: "Ellory was good – we all loved Ellory – but Leroy is much, much better."
80 Cleveland Street, London, United Kingdom
In a nutshell: Philly cheesesteak champions
The Philly cheesesteak is a much-loved dish for many folk, but it's often easy to get it oh-so-wrong. Not so for Passyunk Avenue who have been perfecting their own version as a Spitalfields food truck and who have now moved into their permanent Fitzrovian accommodation. Part fast food, part dive bar - if you want the best Philly cheesesteak in London - here's where to go.
378 Kingsland Road, London E8 4AA
In a nutshell: A proper wine bar in Dalston.
We fell quite in love with this elegant new wine bar and restaurant on Kingsland Road. David Sexton in The Standard was won over too, calling it "a brilliantly conceived, devotedly delivered, mini-palais of taste and pleasure that would grace any quarter" and that fits right at home in Dalston too.
4 St James's Market, St. James’s, London SW1Y 4QU
In a nutshell: Ex NOPI chef goes it alone
Ex NOPI chef Ramael Scully has opened up his first restaurant in the St James's Market development and it's getting as much praise as his Ottolenghi-helmed previous restaurant. Here you can expect a range of cuisines that draw across family influences that include Chinese, Indian, Irish and Balinese with the arepa, eggplant sambal, and bergamot labneh being an early favourite. Plus the menu should grow and evolve as all the pickling and preparation Scully has put in takes fruit later in the year - and that's what ES reviewer Robert Peston says made "most of what we ate mind-blowing." Tim Hayward agreed saying the tomato shrub salad, "I guarantee will change the way you think about salads."
1A Shepherd St, Mayfair, London W1J 7HJ
In a nutshell: Shepherd Market gyoza bar
This new gyoza spot in Mayfair completely won over the Financial Times reviewer Tim Hayward who said: "It’s also got a seriously talented chef who seems to want to create unique food that makes people happy. And that’s kind of heart-warming."
Opened in February 2018
28 Rupert Street, London W1D 6DJ
In a nutshell: 11 seater restaurant from the Palomar folk
The ambience is relaxed, as though the whole restaurant is at the same dinner party," says Vogue.com of the latest opening from the Palomar crowd. And blogger Chris Pople of Cheese and Biscuits praised the "gorgeous lean, minerally oysters" on Instagram. And Kate Spicer in The Standard said "The food was split between good and the last three dishes we ate, which moved into a different realm of awesome."
15 Catherine Street, London WC2B 5JZ
In a nutshell: Yakitori, izakaya and karaoke in Covent Garden
The second Jidori, following the popular Dalston original. Yakitori and other Japanese treats tare at the heart of the menu, and if you're in the mood, head to the basement for sake and karaoke.
4-5 London Road, London SE1 6JZ
In a nutshell: Latin American cuisine in Lambeth
Paladar is bringing the best of Latin America to Lambeth, drawing from areas as wide as Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico and Peru. There's a varied menu as well as a bodega where you can stock up, and a courtyard garden for warmer weather. Ben Norumin The Standard says "This might not be the first very good South American restaurant in town, but it’s the first I can think of that successfully combines a slick setting and creative cooking with such a genuinely homely vibe."
35 Heddon Street, London W1B 4BR
In a nutshell: Ex Barrafina chef Nieves Barragan opens her own restaurant
The restaurant from the person who propelled Barrafina to its success has proven to be a huge instant hit. With two separate entities - the downstairs restaurant and the upstairs asador, both have proven to be winners. Grace Dent in The Guardian said "it’s still – and this is testament to Barragán and Etura – some of the best Spanish food in Great Britain." And of the Asador upstairs, Giles Coren said "This is Spain. This is how they eat and live. And that is how slow-cooked natural piglet tastes and smells. Terrible and delicious."
Opened in January 2018
21 Kingly St, Soho, London W1B 5QA
In a nutshell: Crab and a lot more in Carnaby
Claw's signature dish "drenched in garlic and lime butter... are a lovely thing to eat," says blogger Samphire and Salsify. "It’s wonderful to see businesses like @clawfood go from market stall to pop up to restaurant. Especially when they champion sustainable British seafood. XO crayfish a highlight," declared food writer Miranda York on Instagram.
29 Romilly St, Soho, London W1D 5HP
In a nutshell: French food, Champagne and a Soho boutique hotel
Nearly 150 years ago, Auguste Kettner opened Kettner’s, which was one of the first restaurants in London to serve French food. Now after a brief lull, it’s reopened with more French food, bath loads of Champagne and looking more gorgeous than ever. Eyes peeled for the stunning 18th century spiral staircase...
119 Queens Road, Peckham, London SE15 2EZ
In a nutshell: Peckham gets a South African inspired eatery
"A vibrant new addition to the neighbourhood," concluded the Standard's Ben Norum, who loved the Pigs head tortellini which he says "burst with a deep meaty flavour that neatly contrasts the gently fragrant broth they bob in." While babka expert Felicity Spector said, "the food is wonderful and it’s warm and welcoming and beautifully designed."
5-7 Blandford St, Marylebone, London W1U 3DB
In a nutshell: Simon Rogan is back in London
Back in town with his revival of Roganic, Simon Rogan is getting great reviews. In the Telegraph, Katherine Flett says "we consume everything punctuated by countless oohs, amazings and I-didn’t-expect-thats" but isn't so sure about the "fun" of it all. And Grace Dent was wowed by the desserts - "A mini caramelised douglas fir tarte tatin was a bewildering work of apple architecture: what felt like a million tiny, dainty slivers somehow arranged into a coherent, edible artwork."
148 Clapham Manor St, London SW4 6BX
In a nutshell: Classic coastal Italian food from The Dairy crowd
Fay Maschler gave Sorella a rare four stars, saying their "tagliatelle with pork and nduja ragù at the second meal was everything you want from a bowl of pasta including comfort and joy." Expect to see reviews in soon from Giles Coren and Grace Dent both of whom have been in recently.
That's not all...
We've more ways for you to find the restaurant that's right for you.
Too much choice? Then check out the very hottest restaurants in London with our ever-updated Hot Right Now list.
Not enough choice? Our list of all the restaurants that have opened in the past year is what you'll need. And there are a LOT.
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