Hot Dinners readers pick their best new restaurants of 2018

Every year for the past five years, it's been a real eye-opener seeing what Hot Dinners readers pick as their favourite new openings of the year. These are the places you not only loved the first time around, but clearly have returned to time and time again. They're where you choose to spend your hard-earned money, catch up with friends, go on first dates and - crucially - eat amazing food. 


No 1 - the readers' favourite - Casa do Frango

Casa do Frango

1 - Casa do Frango
32 Southwark Street, London SE1 1TU

This Portuguese restaurant at London Bridge serves piri piri chicken and lots more in a really beautiful setting. It got a huge amount of votes to be our readers' top new restaurant of 2018. Here are some of your top quotes:

I work near London Bridge and have eaten at most of the restaurants around there. Casa do Frango is one we have begun returning to again and again. A beautiful dining room and food that is simple yet fantastic.
- Gabriel
The best chicken restaurant in town, period. Brings authentic Portuguese cuisine in an amazing setting, I have been numerous times and it’s always been beyond my expectations.
- Naim Kalaji
It’s a great venue, friendly staff and the food is excellent. The quality of the meal stands on its own but it’s also one of the best value restaurants I’ve been to in London.
- James Logan
The food is incredible, love the decor, service is excellent. Small bar is a treat with great cocktails! Love love love this place.
- Meghan

Our Casa do Frango Test Drive

More about Casa do Frango 


Plus - the rest of the top 10 readers' best

Bancone2 - Bancone 
Covent Garden - 39 William IV Street, London, WC2N 4DD

This Covent Garden Italian restaurant serves up freshly cooked pasta and more along its huge counter. 

Such a fantastic experience to watch the chefs make the pasta and prepare the dishes. I love sitting up at the counter, totally mesmerising. I have been here several times since it opened. Food gorgeous, I want to try it all. Shows you can have excellent dining for an affordable price.
- Suzanne Beckley
I could eat here EVERY day. I grew up with my mother making us fresh pasta, a Mediterranean families staple. Bancone wins on every level.
- Corinne Rowe

Our Bancone Test Drive

More about Bancone

Caractere3 - Caractere 
Notting Hill - 209 Westbourne Park Road, London W11 1EA

Emily Roux and Diego Ferrari are behind this Notting Hill restaurant that's already proving a big hit with locals.

The most wonderfully tasty and innovative dishes, served in a cosy relaxed setting. The perfect neighborhood newcomer. Bravo!" Emma Davies
The decor is a perfect mix of colours, light, materials. The food is a perfect mix of the best of Italian inspiration, ingredients and creativity. The team is a perfect mix of know how, generosity, attention and dedication. I dined twice and can’t wait for the third experience." Sylvia

Our Caractere Test Drive

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Kricket Brixton4 - Kricket Brixton
41-43 Atlantic Road, London SW9 8JL

This year Kricket returned to the area where they first began, opening a new permanent restaurant in Brixton - which is also being used to try out new dishes. 

The Kricket team have brought a breath of fresh air to Indian food and elevated it to a new level. It's great to see them return to their roots
- Karen Diamond
Amazing innovative menu with food that exceeds all expectation. I have tried dishes I would never have come across before and absolutely loved them. They have opened up a whole new type of cuisine to me and I am addicted. Plus, great cocktails!
- Polly Phillips

More about Kricket Brixton

Kutir5 - Kutir
Chelsea - 10 Lincoln St, London SW3 2TS

This new Indian restaurant from Rohit Ghai - who had previous success at Gymkhana and Jamavar - also boasts a great looking setting. 

Kutir is simply amazing in terms of atmosphere, interior, food and service is awesome. Love it
- Nisha Kapoor
Because he is one of the most talented chef in his cuisine. And of course the food is also awesome.
- Rajeev Bandil

More about Kutir

Lina Stores6 - Lina Stores
Soho - 51 Greek Street, London W1D 4EH

From the same people who have the deli in Soho, this sees them serve up fresh pasta from a tiny counter. 

The best handmade pasta in town! Service and atmosphere is second to none, there is something magical about this place!
- Morena
Visiting Lina makes it so those of us who don’t have Italian grandmothers to spoil us pretend we do.
- Diana Zeferino

Our Lina Stores Test Drive

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The Drop7 - The Drop
King's Cross - Unit 22-24, Bagley Walk Arches, Coal Drops Yard, London, N1C 4DH

One of the new additions to King's Cross and a brand new venture from The Harts Company (who are also behind Barrafina), this is a cosy wine bar. 

Great atmosphere, excellent wine list, fresh well presented food. Knowledgeable and welcoming staff.
- Trish Davies
If, as Robert Louis Stevenson claimed, wine is bottled poetry, then Drop is a fine anthology of verse for every taste.
- Blake Patel

Our Test Drive of The Drop

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Sorella8 - Sorella
148 Clapham Manor St, London SW4 6BX

This year, The Manor in Clapham closed and was reborn as Sorella - which clearly proved to be a good move. Expect southern Italian cuisine. 

A true neighbourhood Italian and a very welcome addition to Clapham! Warm and welcoming service and amazing fresh pasta.
- Emma
The food is absolutely exceptional and service incredible!
- Anita Leathem

More about Sorella 

Lino9 - Lino
The City - 90 Bartholomew Close, London EC1A 7EB

With an ex-Dairy head chef in charge, Lino was always one to watch. And it's already proving a hit with Londoners. 

Real menu, real people, real service - the real deal. I love the sausage. Plus sustainable. Good stuff from the inside out.
- Felicity Winsley
Good place for drinks, having a good time, with a bit of food. Can see this place being around for a while, and more is yet to come from what I can see.
- Sami Smith

Our Lino Test Drive

More about Lino

Roe10 - Roe
Unit S38, Pop Brixton, 29 Brixton Station Road, SW9 8PQ.

Pop Brixton does seem to have a good eye for attracting interesting new ventures. This seafood restaurant (with a little Irish influence) is a great addition to the area.

Amazing food , great buzz and the personal touch . Fab. Well done Pop for bringing Roe to Brixton, am sure Pop is just the start for Roe.
- Miguel
Superb food, superb staff, superb dining experience at very reasonable prices. A lovely night had by all.
- Padhraic

Our Roe Test Drive

More about Roe 


More of the best of 2018

The best of 2018 - the Hot Dinners Awards
We reveal Londons restaurants, bars, chefs and dishes that restored our cheer this year.
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The best new London restaurants of 2018
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...
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