The best new London restaurants to open in 2016

As long-term Hot Dinners readers know, our New London Restaurants feature is the definitive guide to everything that's opened in London over the past year. But even we have to admit that there are a LOT of restaurants on it. So how do you narrow it down? To help, we've created this feature which edits down all the restaurants that opened in London during 2016 into the definitive list of new restaurants that should be at the top of your list...


El PastorEl Pastor
7a Stoney Street, London, SE1 9AA

Opened in: December 2016

In a nutshell: Barrafina brothers launch a taco joint

The Hart Brothers, the people behind the uber-successful Barrafina restaurants have gone south of the river to Borough Market, where they've opened this tacos restaurant.

Find out more about El Pastor 

Our El Pastor Test Drive



82 Goswell Rd, London EC1V 7DB

Opened in: December 2016

In a nutshell: Tacos and lots more

Breddos have been a huge hit on the street food scene for a few years now, but this sees them land a permanent spot in Clerkenwell. Expect tacos, tostadas and tortilla-based Mexican pizza tlayudas, with all-day options on the menu (including breakfast tacos).

Find out more about Breddos 



88 St John Street, London EC1M 4EH

Opened in: November 2016

In a nutshell: The Clove Club goes Italian

This is the next restaurant from the people behind The Clove Club. It's a traditional Italian, although using local British produce. Expect a regular changing menu and a separate bar menu at the front too.

Find out more about Luca 

Our Luca Test Drive



Tandoor Chop HouseTandoor Chop House
8 Adelaide Street, London WC2N 4HZ

Opened in: November 2016

In a nutshell: Tandoor meets British cooking.

This Covent Garden restaurant mixes the best of British chops with its Tandoor oven to bring a mix of British and Indian food to the table. The Standard calls it a "smoking hot new restaurant that does meat mighty well."

Find out more about Tandoor Chop House 



Temple and Sons Temple and Sons
Tower 42, International Financial Centre, 22 Old Broad Street London EC2N 1HQ

Opened in: November 2016

In a nutshell: Jason Atherton's City grill

It's been a busy year for Jason Atherton with not only Sosharu, but this new City Grill restaurant (opening on the ground floor near City Social). Expect grills and more and a very British menu.

Find out more about Temple and Sons 



No 1 St James’s Market, 1 Carlton Street, London SW1Y 4QQ

Opened in: November 2016

In a nutshell: Nordic restaurant via NYC

The Nordic restaurant Aquavit is a huge Michelin-starred hit in New York. This London outpost is going more for a contemporary all-day dining vibe, but with just as Nordic a menu.

Find out more about Aquavit 



Barrafina Dean Street Barrafina Dean Street
26-27 Dean Street, London W1D 4SL

Opened in: November 2016

In a nutshell: The original Barrafina moves shop

The original Barrafina, the Hart Bros very successful Spanish restaurant, was ejected from its Frith Street spot this year but found a brand new home in Dean Street, taking over a large area of Qua Vadis. Expect many of the Frith St favourites at the new space.

Find out more about Barrafina 



1-3 Green Lanes, Newington Green, London N16 9BS

Opened in: November 2016

In a nutshell: Supperclub settles down in Stoke Newington

The Perilla supperclubs and residencies have proven to be very popular over the years and now they've settled down on the corner of Newington Green. Expect a regularly changing seasonal menu with British ingredients.

Find out more about Perilla 

Our Perilla Test Drive



25 Broadwick Street, London W1F 0DF

Opened in: November 2016

In a nutshell: Underground smoking and tacos

This is Neil Rankin's solo venture in Soho - an underground den that focuses on a combination of original tacos and lots and lots of smoked meats. And that's before we even get to the mezcal and cocktails. Jay Rayner descibed it as " brash and boisterous and macho and ludicrous – and utterly brilliant."

Find out more about Temper 

Our Temper Test Drive



1 Norris St, St. James's, London SW1Y 4RJ

Opened in: November 2016

In a nutshell: Tonkotsu gets a sibling

This St James restaurant comes from the same people behind Tonkotsu. While there is ramen on the menu, the real focus here is on the teishoku set menu - steamed rice, pickles and miso soup with a choice of a few main courses including pork and miso cured salmon.

Find out more about Anzu

Our Anzu Test Drive



Smokestak Smokestak
35 Sclater St, London E1 6LB

Opened in: November 2016

In a nutshell: Brisket and more in Shoreditch

Another street food success that has grown roots,this sees Smokestak opening their first permanent spot in Shoreditch. You'll be able to get their legendary beef brisket as well as more ace smoked meats. Fay Maschler described that brisket as "thick, almost impossibly succulent, treacly-edged slices."

Find out more about Smokestak

Our Smokestak Test Drive 



StreetXo StreetXo
15 Old Burlington St, Mayfair, London W1S

Opened in: October 2016

In a nutshell: Michelin starred Spanish chef comes to town

Davis Munoz is best known for his Michelin-starred DiverXO, and this sees him bringing the spin-off to London. Expect a fusion of Asian and Spanish cuisine with a slightly mad touch here.

Find out more about StreetXO

Our StreetXO Test Drive



Dum Biryani HouseDum Biryani House
187 Wardour St, Soho, London W1F 8ZB

Opened in: October 2016

In a nutshell: Single dish restaurant in Soho

We've had many a restaurant focusing on a single dish and this is the latest, concentrating on serving up the best Biryani possible. And it does a very good job indeed of that, as well as adding some great small plates to the mix.

Find out more about Dum Biryani House

Our Dum Biryani House Test Drive



Veneta Veneta
St James's Market, London SW1Y 4SB

Opened in: October 2016

In a nutshell: Venetian dining from Salt Yard

This is the latest from the people behind Salt Yard and Ember Yard, to name a few. They're focusing on Venetian cuisine at this spot in the new St James's Market area. Giles Coren says "it’s all terribly good stuff really."

Find out more about Veneta 



58 Brewer Street, London W1F 9TL

Opened in: October 2016

In a nutshell: Thai counter dining from The Smoking Goat chef

The follow-up to The Smoking Goat was always going to be one to watch, but it's quickly become one of Autumn 2016's biggest hits. Great Thai small plates and another great chef-watching counter dining set-up make this a winner. Fay Maschler gave it five stars saying it's "enough to make you confess you’d never really understood northern Thai food until now."

Find out more about Kiln 



Honey and SmokeHoney and Smoke
216 Great Portland St, London W1W 5NN

Opened in: October 2016

In a nutshell: Honey & Co's Middle Eastern grill

Of COURSE a new restaurant from Honey and Co was gong to be an immediate hit and their new grill restaurant is just that. Honey and Smoke has a menu that will make you want to drop everything and dash across town to it.

Find out more about Honey and Smoke 



Laughing HeartThe Laughing Heart
277 Hackney Road, London E2 8NA

Opened in: October 2016

In a nutshell: Late night wine bar

The unveiling of the late-night tube brought a much-improved late-night dining scene to London and this Hackney Road wine bar is at the forefront. Great wines and an impressive ever-changing menu have already made this a hit with chefs, so you should discover it too. Grace Dent gave it top marks, saying "This is serious destination cooking. Well, serious, with a large tendency for the diner to let their hair down and be silly."

Find out more about The Laughing Heart 



Margot Margot
45 Great Queen St, London WC2B 5AA

Opened in: October 2016

In a nutshell: Mayfair style in Covent Garden

It's run by two people for whom service is particularly important, Paulo De Tarso and Nicolas Jaouën, so you'll notice things running pretty smoothly at Margot. It's adding a slice of Mayfair glamour to Covent Garden, enriching an ever-improving dining scene there.

Find out more about Margot 

Our Margot Test Drive



Dominique Ansel Bakery Dominique Ansel Bakery
17-21 Elizabeth Street, London SW1W 9RP

Opened in: September 2016

In a nutshell: The Cronut® comes to London

Take a look at that ® above. Many have imitated it but there's only one Cronut® that has its own trademark. The London version of this New York hit has brought the queues with it, alongside some great-looking local additions.

Find out more about Dominique Ansel Bakery 



Elystan Street Elystan Street
43 Elystan Street, Chelsea, London SW3 3NT

Opened in: September 2016

In a nutshell: Philip Howard's quick return

He may have only just left the Square earlier this year, but Philip Howard made a speedy return to the kitchen at this Chelsea spot, taking over the space left by Tom Aikens. It shows he's still a master in the kitchen.

Find out more about Elystan Street 

Our Elystan Street Test Drive



Chick n Sours Seven Dials Chick n Sours Seven Dials
1 Earlham St, London WC2H 9LL

Opened in: September 2016

In a nutshell: Fried chicken marvel comes to the centre of town

We haven't been exactly reticent in shouting our praises of Chick n Sours, so it's very pleasing that when they came to Seven Dials, everything that was good about the Dalston original survived the trip. And yes, the Szechuan Aubergine is still wonderful.

Find out more about Chick n Sours 

Our Chick n Sours Test Drive



19-21 Blandford Street, London W1U 3DH

Opened in: September 2016

In a nutshell: Ravinder Bhogal's Marylebone restaurant

After many a supper club and TV appearance, this is Ravinder Bhogal's first restaurant - with her famed scotch eggs making an appearance too. As Marina O'Loughlin said about one dish "This shepherd’s pie on steroids I’d quite happily inhale through a tube".

Find out more about Jikoni 



50 Baker Street, London W1U 7BT

Opened in: August 2016

In a nutshell: Mangal and Raki bar on Baker Street

This mangal bar features raki cocktails from the great Matt Whiley, alongside a great buzzing vibe in a very large room and has had the critics singing its praises, including Olive which called it a "dynamic, cosmopolitan interpretation of Turkish dining in the capital."

Find out more about Yosma 

Our Yosma Test Drive



95 Curtain Road, London EC2A 3BS

Opened in: August 2016

In a nutshell: Basque in Shoreditch

While Sagardi have plenty of their Basque restaurants in Spain, this is the first to come to the UK. It's mix of Galician beef and authentic basque food has won over many a critic including Tom Parker Bowles, who said "where else can you find braised bay lamb’s feet, and salt cod that’s taken as seriously as this?"

Find out more about Sagardi 

Our Sagardi Test Drive



Blanchette East Blanchette East
204 Brick Lane, London E1 6SA

Opened in: August 2016

In a nutshell: Blanchette with a touch of North African cuisine.

The French small plates restaurant Blanchette headed eastwards to Brick Lane but brought a slight reinvention with it - adding a touch of North African cuisine to the menu. The result is something that's even better than the original.

Find out more about Blanchette East 

Our Blanchette East Test Drive



149 Upper Street, London, N1 1RA

Opened in: July 2016

In a nutshell: Nordic BBQ in Islington

The second Rok (following the successful Shoreditch original) brought with it the same menu but that's no bad thing when the food is this good. Plus the upcoming next-door bar will be a huge draw when it opens.

Find out more about Rok 

Our Rok Test Drive



15 Micawber Street, London N1 7TB

Opened in: July 2016

In a nutshell: The Med comes to Old Street

This restaurant just off Old Street comes from a Stevie Parle protege who has created a homely Mediterranean menu in this spot next to the parasol gallery. Fay Maschler said "I absolutely love Sardine the first time I go" and we have to agree.

Find out more about Sardine 

Our Sardine Test Drive



Bao FitzroviaBao Fitzrovia
16 Neal's Yard, London WC2H 9DP

Opened in: July 2016

In a nutshell: Bao goes north and gets bigger

A mainstay of this very list for a long time, the original Bao in Soho was one of the most popular London restaurants of last year. And now they've expanded to Fitzrovia for their next. With new dishes (and a striking black cod bao bun), a slightly larger space that should help with the queues, they're still proving themselves to be one of London's top restaurants. AA Gill was quite taken with it, saying their bao buns "combine the gastro dopamine of soft, crisp, sweet, sharp, hot and umami with a close harmony, in a way that nothing else quite manages."

Find out more about Bao Fitzrovia

Our Bao Test Drive



5 Clipstone Street, London, W1W 6BB

Opened in: July 2016

In a nutshell: Portland goes north (a bit)

This restaurant is from the same people behind Portland - one of very few restaurants to receive the fabled full marks from AA Gill. This sees them opening not that far from Portland with another very seasonal menu, adding some pretty fine flatbreads to the menu. And leave something for the desserts too, as Fay Maschler awards a "Gold medal for the dessert of Paris-Brest".

Find out more about Clipstone

Our Clipstone Test Drive



Blandford ComptoirThe Frog
2 Ely’s Yard, Old Truman Brewery, Hanbury Street E1 6QR

Opened in: June 2016

In a nutshell: Adam Handling goes east.

Adam Handling previously won a lot of fans at his previous place, Caxton Grill - but this sees him taking up a spot that should gain him a lot more. He's taken some of his popular dishes, added new ones and created tasting menu that's one of the best value ones in town. And there's THAT chicken butter as well. As Tom Parker Bowles puts it: "you won’t find this level of cooking, at these prices, anywhere in Britain."

Find out more about The Frog

Read our Test Drive of The Frog



Curio + Ta TaCurio + Ta Ta
258 Kingsland Rd, London E8 4DG

Opened in: June 2016

In a nutshell: Chinese food with a Portuguese twist

Ta Ta Riceatery has been winning plaudits for their residencies and street food for some time now, and this is the first time they've settled down. They've teamed up with Curio coffee in Haggerston. Expect the usual dishes to pair with rice, even the rice cream dessert, of which Time Out says "It’s creamy, crunchy and chewy, salty and sweet. It’s divine".

Find out more about Curio + Ta Ta



Petit Pois Petit Pois
9 Hoxton Square, London N1 6NU

Opened in: June 2016

In a nutshell: Un petit peu of Paris in Hoxton

The chaps behind this East London slice of France may have form in bars (Happiness Forgets and Original Sin) but they've done a sterling job of switching to restaurants, given how well their first has been received. Grace Dent declared herself "emotionally restored" by dinner here. Jay Rayner went one further taking "extreme pleasure" in his meal here. The sole meunière and Bloody Mary & Eggs Benny are the most-instagrammed dishes.

Find out more about Petit Pois



Black Axe MangalThe Barbary
16 Neal's Yard, London WC2H 9DP

Opened in: June 2016

In a nutshell: The Palomar Mark 2

The original Palomar restaurant was one of the biggest instant-success stories in recent years, so all eyes were on this place as soon as it was announced. Concentrating on Barbary Coast cuisine, it mixes small plates with a counter-dining-only room (much like Barrafina). It's become an instant hit - the tiny room fills quickly - even The Standard's queue-phobic David Sexton admits "If you have to queue, queue.".

Find out more about The Barbary

Our Barbary Test Drive



195 Hackney Road, London E2 8JL

Opened in: May 2016

In a nutshell: Moro's sibling goes big in Hackney

Until now, Moro and Morito have ruled Exmouth Market - but this sees them venturing further east for the first time. While the original Morito was quite teeny, this Hackney venture keeps the small plates but is MUCH bigger. Fay Maschler says "for someone who loves Greece (e g, me) this Cretan bias to the menu at Morito in Hackney is as seductive and stirring as a Psarantonis melody." while Giles Coren asserted that it was "unquestionably the restaurant for the summer of 2016."

Find out more about Morito

Our Morito Test Drive



Blandford ComptoirBlandford Comptoir
1 Blandford Street, London W1U 3DA

Opened in: May 2016

In a nutshell: Mediterranean food from 28:50 man.

This is the latest restaurant from Xavier Rousset, the man behind Texture and 28:50. Serving Mediterranean food and with a big focus on wine as usual, it's already won fans in the critics. Giles Coren has referred to dishes on the menu as "sexual" and Jay Rayner says "It’s the kind of place where lunch makes things better."

Find out more about Blandford Comptoir



120-122 Morning Lane, London E9 6LH

Opened in: May 2016

In a nutshell: Wine matched food in Morning lane

This tiny Hackney restaurant comes from Magnus Reid, who was such a big hit over at the Rooftop Cafe before. Here's there's a regularly changing small plates menu backed up with a similarly changing wine list from small producers. As Time Out says "Every dish is a delightful tumble of texture and taste: superficially simple but using bold, bright combinations that elevate them well past the ordinary."

Find out more about Legs

Read our Test Drive of Legs 


Som SaaSom Saa
43A Commercial Street, London E1 6BD 

Opened in: April 2016

In a nutshell: Top Thai in Spitalfields

Before it opened, Som Saa was already one of the most anticipated restaurant openings of 2016, so there was a lot to live up to. Thankfully, this Thai restaurant has been showered with praise ever since it opened the door. Time Out says "Som Saa will blow you away: literally and metaphorically." Giles Coren said "This place is freaking awesome..." and Tom Parker Bowles in the Mail says it's "not just the best Thai food in London, but Thai tucker that would pass muster in the homeland."

Find out more about Som Saa 



Cafe MonicoCafe Monico
39-45 Shaftesbury Avenue, London W1D 6LA

Opened in: April 2016

In a nutshell: Rowley Leigh comes to the Theatre district

After the sad demise of Cafe Anglais, everyone was all-eyes to see what Rowley Leigh was going to come up with next. And for this, he's teamed up with Soho House for a new brasserie that is bringing much-needed life to Shaftesbury Avenue. The fabled anchovy toast and parmesan custard has returned and as Tom Parker Bowles in the Mail says, it's "exactly what you’d expect with Leigh at the helm. He is a master."

Find out more about Cafe Monico

Read our Test Drive of Cafe Monico



6 Southwark Street, London SE1 1TQ

Opened in: March 2016

In a nutshell: Top class speedy pasta

This pasta bar, opening up just outside Borough Market from the people behind Trullo, proved to be an instant hit. There's a short menu of some of the freshest pasta in town and the reviews have been highly praiseworthy. As Marina O'Loughlin in the Guardian says: "even in food-stuffed Borough, Padella stands out." and even AA Gill had to admit that the "pasta here is perfectly made and ideally cooked".

Find out more about Padella

Our Padella Test Drive



Sexy FishSosharu
64 Turnmill Street, London EC1M 5RR

Opened in: March 2016

In a nutshell: Jason Atherton does Japanese

Jason Atherton's latest restaurant has, for him, been quietly building a following. This time, he's gone with a Japanese feel (including a separate kappo restaurant). Fay in the Standard picked out various "culinary hits" including the Miyazaki wagyu tataki which she says is an "ingenious assembly" if you can afford the £19 price tag. Although Jay Rayner says that the "expense feels justified".

Find out more about Sosharu 

Our Sosharu Test Drive



The Woodford The Woodford
59 High Road, South Woodford, London E18 2PA

Opened in: March 2016

In a nutshell: Koffmann protege opens Essex outpost

If you follow AA Gill you know how hard it is to get him out of Chelsea, so having him not only travel to Woodford Green to review this restaurant, but love it to boot is VERY impressive. "The skill of the kitchen is exemplary," he declared. The Standard's Fay Maschler agreed to a certain extent, describing it as a "signally ambitious gastronomic venture with Michelin stars in its eyes". It;s been a hit all year, bringing home loads of awards too.

Find out more about The Woodford 



30 St Cross St, London EC1N 8UH

Opened in: March 2016

In a nutshell: Tasting menus in Farringdon

The food at Anglo is described as "accessible modern British fine dining" and has brought a very affordable tasting menu right into the heart of Farringdon. And the restaurant has had many raves too, including from Grace Dent who gave it full marks and even won over AA Gill, who said "It was the most accomplished thing a kitchen can achieve: classic flavours made harmonious, but also beguiling and ingénue fresh."

Find out more about Anglo

Our Anglo Test Drive



Pharmacy 2Pharmacy 2
Newport St Gallery, Newport Street, London SE11 6AJ

Opened in: February 2016

In a nutshell: Damien Hirst's 90s restaurant returns

The return of Damien Hirst's Pharmacy was a very long time coming (the original was a HUGE deal in late '90s Notting Hill). But this collaboration between him and Mark Hix seems to have done the job and Fay Maschler praised it, calling Pharmacy 2 " a very, very modern restaurant." while the Telegraph said the liked "pretty much everything about Pharmacy2"

Find out more about Pharmacy



Pitt Cue CoPitt Cue
1 The Avenue, Devonshire Square, London EC2M

Opened in: February 2016

In a nutshell: Pitt Cue overhauled and relocated

Pitt Cue co has finally departed its original teeny Carnaby location (although a part of them remains) and moved to bigger and better premises in the City. That move has brought with it a big change to the menu. It's still focused around meat - but less so the pulled pork and brisket that every other BBQ place is serving. The bone marrow mash is a must-order too. Marina O'Loughlin said "This isn’t a barbecue joint, it’s a restaurant that barbecues: and a thunderingly good one." while David Sexton gave it full marks in the Standard and said it has the "most memorably good fat you’re likely ever to have encountered."

Find out more about Pitt Cue Co

Our Pitt Cue Test Drive



Native Native
3 Neal's Yard, Seven Dials, Covent Garden, London WC2H 9DP

Opened in: February 2016

In a nutshell: Wild Food in Covent Garden

This Covent Garden restaurant combines both nose-to-tail and roots-to-stem eating with its take on wild food. But beside their ethos, as Jay Rayner says, "what really matters is what’s on the plate, and here at Native that makes the best argument for itself",

Find out more about Native



Frenchie Frenchie
16 Henrietta Street, London WC2E 8QH

Opened in: January 2016

In a nutshell: Parisian in London

There have been a few Parisian imports to London, but it's fair to say that Frenchie has been the most successful. This is a sibling restaurant to the French original with British seasonal ingredients being the focus of the menu here. The Covent Garden restaurant has won many plaudits since opening, including a four star review from Fay Maschler, who praised the "extremely strong patisserie section" and while Marina O Loughlin had an issue with portion size, but praises the chef as being "of undoubted talent and wit".

Find out more about Frenchie

Our Frenchie Test Drive



Lucky Chip Burgers and WineLucky Chip Burgers and Wine
23-25 Ridley Road, London E8 2NP

Opened in: January 2016

In a nutshell: Burgers AND wine.

The coming of a permanent Lucky Chip had been a very long time coming, but this was well worth the wait. Their Dalston restaurant has all the wonderful burgers you've come to expect from them and much more besides. Not only is there a very strong wine list, but there's 54-day-aged Galician prime-ribeye steak and chicken parmigiana too. As The Standard puts it, the burgers "are easily among the very best in London".

Find out more about Lucky Chip Burgers and Wine

Our Lucky Chip Test Drive



Frenchie Galley
105 Upper Street, London N1 1QN

Opened in: January 2016

In a nutshell: High end in Islington

Islington's restaurant scene has gone through something of a renaissance of late but until now it's been missing a restaurant of the type of buzz that you'll see in Soho - now Galley's changing that. Combining a buzzy atmosphere with some excellent seafood dishes (from a Randall and Aubin chef), it's just what Islington needs.

Find out more about Galley

Our Galley Test Drive




Best of 2016, mapped.

Here's how the best London restaurants of 2016 are spread across town.