We update this list monthly 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. If you're looking for all-time classics, see our Top 40 - London's Best Restaurants feature) as these are the hottest at this very moment, in alphabetical order...
Where: Olympic Park, 20-22 International Way, London E20 1GQ
In a nutshell: Ex Chiltern Firehouse chef Patrick Powell heads to The Stratford
This restaurant has been a long time in the coming, promised at various times over the summer but now Patrick Powell's east London home has been unveiled. it's in the big new The Stratford building just by the station and a lot of attention has gone into the look of the place. It has an enormous terrace for both the bar and the restaurant and look out for that smoked eel pithivier on Instagram this month. In The Standard, Jimi Famurewa was not a fan of the building, but "This is not to take away from Powell’s cooking, which has an uncommon creative energy, focus and technical meticulousness."
Where: 39-44 Grosvenor Square, Mayfair, London W1K 2HP
In a nutshell: Jason Atherton shacks up in a hotel
It's been a while since Jason Atherton opened a new restaurant in town and this time he's going big. The Betterment is part of the new Biltmore hotel, and Atherton's looking after all the food and drink throughout. With this opening being directly opposite his old boss Gordon Ramsay's Lucky Cat, there will be more than a few folk watching this face-off. Early reviews have been mixed - Marina O'Loughlin was definitely not a fan, but Grace Dent said "Jason Atherton may not have opened the best restaurant in the West End of London this year, but he has opened a more delicious one than Gordon Ramsay."
Where: Rathbone Square, London W1T 1JN
In a nutshell: Big Mamma does Sicilian in Fitzrovia
The second opening from the Big Mamma Group here in London, following Gloria, was an instantly huge hit. It's a freaking dream to look at - if you didn't manage a summer holiday this year, just pop in here and pretend you're on the Med - and the food and cocktails more than live up to that promise. Marina O'Loughlin isn't terribly impressed by the food, but says that doesn't matter - "I go with two pals, if possible even trickier customers than I am, and we have the jolliest time." And Jimi Famurewa in the Standard says it "legitimately feels like the hottest place in town."
Where: 6 Clarges Street, London W1J 8AE
In a nutshell: The best mash in town
After the closure of L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon, following the famed chef's death, a return to London was promised and here it is. This time, they're in Mayfair with a menu that is part Robuchon classics and part new dishes inspired by his repertoire and style. And, most importantly, the "puree" is back, aka the best mashed potato in town.
Where: 70-74 City Rd, Old Street, London EC1Y 2BJ
In a nutshell: Richard Corrigan goes east
Famed Irish chef Richard Corrigan has opened his first new restaurant in over a decade with this Old Street restaurant (which took over from Nuala). The restaurant sees the chef making the most of excellent Irish ingredients in a modern bistro menu. And it's backed up by an excellent Irish pub downstairs. Yes, the Guinness is excellent too. Tom Parker Bowles loved the chicken "Dear God, I don’t think I’ve eaten a better bird".
Where: 10 Argyle St, Kings Cross, London WC1H 8EG
In a nutshell: High rise in King's Cross
We'd have been excited anyway about Bristol Michelin-starred chef Peter Sanchez-Iglesias opening a London restaurant, but when you add in the high rise glamour of this space at the top of the Standard it was always going to be a hot ticket. Fay Maschler didn't have the insta-friendly tortilla and thought the whole thing very spendy but she loved the mushroom bomba rice. Grace Dent says it's "gorgeous, sexy and glamorous as hell" while Giles Coren was very fond of their tacos - "so bright you could taste the colours, like eating a food butterfly."
Where: 26 Curtain Rd, Hackney, London EC2A 3NY
In a nutshell: Top Shoreditch residency
This Shoreditch residency from Nick Gibson and Damian Clisby may only be there for six months, but it's getting a lot of plaudits along the way. Blogger Ed Smith summed the whole thing up nicely on Instagram saying: "good unfussy food conceived and cooked well by skilled hands served on non-small plates and brought to you over three courses by nice people." Fay Maschler agreed - "I am pleased to be in a place imbued with quiet confidence."
1 Bedale St, London SE1 9AL
In a nutshell: Lyle's open a wine bar in Borough
With Lyle's being one of only two UK restaurants in the World's 50 Best, there was great anticipation for their next opening, Flor in Borough. Those expectations have been met and then some. Offering something more of a small plates version of Lyle's, this combines wine bar, bakery and restaurant into what is immediately one of Borough's best places to eat - ideal for dinner or just dropping in for a quick bite and a glass. Giles Coren was an early admirer - with the much-Instagrammed prawns being "So, so good." and in ES Magazine, Jimi Famurewa praised its "lightly challenging, immensely skilled approach".
Where: 20 New Change Passage, London, EC4M 9AG
In a nutshell: The Ivy's new party place
The Ivy has been expanding all over town and beyond in the last few years, but this latest restaurant is a little more of a gamechanger for them. Taking a concept that was originally previewed in Manchester, they've launched something which is almost like a Sexy Fish for the City - but without the Mayfair prices. It looks amazing, is already hugely popular and we think they'll be spinning this one out next if the success here is anything to go by.
Where: 9 Holles Street, London, W1G 0BN
In a nutshell: Very, very handy food hall
The Market Halls that have already launched - Victoria and Fulham - are already impressive enough, but this central location kicks things up a notch. It's bigger than ever, has a few new additions to the group like Yatai, Goodbirds and Pastaio, but it's the location which really changes things. Just steps away from London's busiest shopping street makes this incredibly handy.
Where: St Mark's, North Audley Street, London W1K 6ZA
In a nutshell: Food hall in a church
Opening the same time as Market Hall West End, this food hall is a very different beast. First of all, its location in an old church (which was turning to ruin before they came along) makes it quite unlike anything else in town. Add to that an eclectic range of food (with a bias to Italian cuisine) and a truly excellent wine bar in the basement cloisters and you've a great new addition to Mayfair.
Where: 45 Camberwell Church St, Camberwell, London SE5 8TR
In a nutshell: Popular Kurdish spot expands to Camberwell.
People really love Nandine - and we mean REALLY love it. There's something about the Kurdish food and the hospitality that goes down a treat with Londoners. Jay Rayner loves the popular mezze dish in his review for The Observer which he declares: "an extremely diverting plateful for just £5.50." In ES Magazine Jimi Famurewa says: "I’m struggling to conceive of anyone stepping through its doors without falling in love."
Where: 8 Charlotte Street, Fitzrovia, London W1T 2LS
In a nutshell: Ben Tish does Sicilian in Fitzrovia
Ex Salt Yard chef Ben Tish was already responsible for the food at The Stafford, but this restaurant has them teaming up in a completely different location, with a focus on Sicilian cooking. This partnership is pairing up nicely with a rave review from Fay Maschler who says "I keep going back" - so it must be good, plus another good one from Giles Coren who said the menu "is incredibly thrilling and unfamiliar." And Jay Rayner said "It was that joyous thing: a new restaurant genuinely worth being excited about."
Where: The White Building, Unit 7, Queens Yard, Hackney Wick, London E9 5EN
In a nutshell: No-waste powerhouse in Hackney
Douglas McMaster has always been at the forefront of the no-waste movement in the UK, and his decision to move Silo from its original Brighton home to London was a bold one. The entire restaurant - from the food to the light fittings - has the no-waste ethos baked through. This would be for naught if he hadn't delivered on the food, but it's an excellent operation all-round.
Where: 14th Floor, 40 Blackfriars Rd, South Bank, London SE1 8PB
In a nutshell: High rise seafood
This high-rise restaurant is in the Hoxton hotel in Southwark - a brightly hued, airy restaurant on the top floor. The look of the place is impressive enough - it has a really gorgeous terrace - and that's paired with a pretty great menu. It's courtesy of the same people behind Brooklyn's Maison Premiere and they deliver an inventive seafood menu as well as a great oyster bar - and one of the biggest seafood towers we've seen. A great space, buzzy vibes and a good menu make this an instant hit. Fay Machsler suggests ordering: "the pan con tomate, which is a markedly good specimen, and also octopus roll, a grilled tentacle clasped in a baton of soft glazed bread laced like a sneaker with spicy aioli and accompanied by Padrón peppers."
Where: Unit 119a Coal Drops Yard, London N1C 4DQ
In a nutshell: Pidgin do Sarnies
This elevated sandwich spot by the folks behind Pidgin already has a doozy of a review from ES Magazine's Jimi Famurewa who called the sandwiches "structurally precise monsters that... prompt inexpressible joy and tend to be physical acts of antisocial concentration."
Where: 36 Snowsfields, Bermondsey, London SE1 3SU
In a nutshell: Fat Duck alums come to town
When an almost entirely ex-Fat Duck brigade takes over the old Londrino site you can expect London's foodies to get rather excited. So far they've had a brace of restaurant folk including European chefs Josh Niland and Alan Bates flying in, to try the food. Most Instagrammed dish so far? The "Hokkaido Potato” - a baked potato millefeuille with sake and white chocolate mousse, butter and sake gelato.
Where: 2-4 Boundary St, London E2 7DD
In a nutshell: TBC
The basement at Terence Conran's Boundary has been through a few changes over the year. But while others have struggled, newcomer Wilder has gotten off to a good start. Richard McLellan has taken it over with a contemporary British menu. The Standard sent both of its reviewers to cover it. Fay Maschler said her meal here was "wilder" than "the usual classic French meal that Terence would espouse." but Jimi Famurewa was more fulsome in his praise, saying it's "underpinned by warm hospitality and unexpected, fortifying deliciousness."
Ones to watch, open now...
From London's recently-opened restaurants here are the ones who aren't quite ready for the list but are worth keeping an eye on...
- Bong Bong's Manila Canteen - aka BBQ Dreamz, bringing Filipino cuisine to Bethnal Green
- Dandy - the much-loved cafe returns on Maltby Street
- Lucky & Joy - Chinese-inspired dishes in Clapton
- Lyon's - a hugely impressive local restaurant in Crouch End
- Oren - from residencies to his own place, Oded Oren brings a touch of Tel Aviv to Dalston
- Singapaluh and Arome - Singapore restaurant and bakery in Soho
- SO LA - Taking the place of Rambla, this sees the same team do Californian cuisine
- Stoney Street - The 26 Grains people come to Borough market
- Sussex - The Gladwin Brothers (also behind Rabbit) take over the Arbutus site in Soho.
For more - read our guide to all the new restaurant openings in London.
Ones to watch, opening in December...
As Autumn continues, there are lots more new restaurants on the way...
- Bancone - The popular pasta bar comes to Soho
- Casa Do Frango - Hot Dinners readers' favourite restaurant of 2018 comes to Shoreditch
- Davies and Brook - Yes, it really is happening in December. Probably the most eagerly-anticipated opening of the year - top US chef Danial Humm takes over at Claridge's.
- Prairie Fire - BBQ masters go from pop-up to permanent in White City
- Wild Tavern - Mediterranean cuisine in Chelsea from the people behind Goodman, Burger & Lobster and Zelman Meats.
For more restaurant openings - read our guide to upcoming restaurants in December.
Where's Hot, mapped.
Here's how the Hot Dinners "Where's Hot" restaurants are spread across town.
Subscribe to hear the latest from Hot Dinners