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
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.
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.
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.
The food is incredible, love the decor, service is excellent. Small bar is a treat with great cocktails! Love love love this place.
Our Casa do Frango Test Drive
Plus - the rest of the top 10 readers' best
2 - 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.
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.
3 - 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
4 - 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
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!
5 - 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
Because he is one of the most talented chef in his cuisine. And of course the food is also awesome.
6 - 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!
Visiting Lina makes it so those of us who don’t have Italian grandmothers to spoil us pretend we do.
7 - 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.
If, as Robert Louis Stevenson claimed, wine is bottled poetry, then Drop is a fine anthology of verse for every taste.
8 - 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.
The food is absolutely exceptional and service incredible!
9 - 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.
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.
10 - 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.
Superb food, superb staff, superb dining experience at very reasonable prices. A lovely night had by all.
More of the best of 2018
Subscribe to hear the latest from Hot Dinners