And while that’s great and all, we couldn’t help but notice that with all the effort that takes, you’re left with very little time to stay completely on top of London’s latest openings.
Which is why we’ve taken the time to assemble this list of only the very best openings of the last few months, so you can continue crushing it. Whatever it is.
The Strangers Dining Room | Westminster
The House of Commons dining room is now open to actual commoners. It’s all thanks to the Strangers Dining Room, which first opened in 1867 to act as the exclusive haunt of MP’s who wanted to grab lunch with guests (aka “strangers”). After opening it up to Joe Public during the latest parliamentary recess, they’ve decided to make the move permanent, with a twice-weekly slot available to any and all who want them. READ MORE
Clarette | Marylebone
It’s a new wine bar in Marylebone, taking over a former mock Tudor pub and filling three floors with an admirable selection of French and international wines, hand-selected by founder and Chateau Margaux heiress, Alexandra Petit-Mentzelopoulos. A fact which it’s probably wise to impress your date with at the start of the evening, rather than after a few glasses… READ MORE.
Comptoir Cafe & Wine | Mayfair
There comes a time in every man’s life when, having both opened and worked at Michelin-starred institutions, acted as Chief Sommelier at Hotel du Vin and been at one point the world’s youngest Master Sommelier, he just finds himself in need of something new… and luckily for you, the result of that is Comptoir, a new restaurant in Mayfair, and the man behind it is restaurateur and sommelier extraordinaire, Xavier Rousset. READ MORE.
The Roof Deck Restaurant & Bar | Marylebone
Selfridges. They don’t actually sell fridges. But they are still extremely cool, as evidenced by the latest building-topper to crown their summit: The Roof Deck Restaurant & Bar. It’s a California-style space with a retractable roof covering (shrewdly acknowledging the fact that we don’t actually share a climate with California), distressed parquet flooring, and wicker lampshades… READ MORE.
Scout | Shoreditch
Scout comes to us from cocktail legend Matt Whiley. For those not entirely in the Matt Whiley loop, he’s a bartender (“not a mixologist” he insists) who’s set up and run innovative drinkeries like The Talented Mr Fox and The Peg + Patriot, as well as consulting on the menus for places like Fera, and Tom Seller’s Story. READ MORE.
Machiya | Piccadilly
Kyoto. It’s the anagram lovers’ Tokyo. And it’s also the inspiration for Machiya, which takes its name (and feel) from the traditional townhouses of the city; the simple wooden furnishings give the two-floor space a sparse, elegant feel. Set in Piccadilly, It’s the first non-ramen restaurant/bar from the people behind the now-legendary noodle palace Kanada-Ya… READ MORE.
Patty & Bun | Notting Hill
The burger behemoths are making their first foray into West London, but they’re taking a little of the East with them, with bare brick walls, plush leather booths and counter seating all featuring in their spacious new joint.
Soft Launch? £5 burgers, 17th-19th April
Tamarind Kitchen | Soho
Taking over the old Imli Street site is Tamarind Kitchen, a sister also to the Michelin-starred, fancy white-tableclothed Tamarind Mayfair. Only since it’s Soho, expect a more relaxed setting, subterranean cocktails and some dang fine Indian sharing plates. READ MORE.
Summers | Kilburn
Pubs. They used to just serve toasts. But thanks to the gastro-revolution, nowadays getting excellent food in a pint-palace is actually not too uncommon at all. And it’s what ex-St. John chef Ruairidh Summers delivers with his self-titled spot above the freshly refurbed Sir Colin Campbell pub in Kilburn… READ MORE.
Andi’s | Stoke Newington
Judge not, lest ye be judged …unless ye want to run a cooking talent competition. Like The Great British Menu. Then a judge is more or less essential. And yes, that judge is certainly opening themselves up to considerable critical scrutiny by opening up a restaurant of their own, but something tells us that Andi Oliver will be just fine. READ MORE.
Flight Club Bloomsbury | Bloomsbury
Flight Club hit the bullseye with their first venue (sorry), so they’re going for the double (sorry again) and have been working round the clock (treble sorry) to open a newer, bigger sophomore darts bar in Bloomsbury. READ MORE.
Dandy | Stoke Newington
Australian cuisine. It’s not just prison food. A fact more than exemplified by Dandy Cafe, who’ve moved out of their shipping container space in London Fields into an actual, bonafide bricks-and-mortar restaurant. Of course, when we say ‘bricks-and-mortar’ what we mean is white-painted breeze-block walls, with an unpolished concrete floor, simple wooden furnishings, a large coffee bar, and plant pots dotted around, well, everywhere. READ MORE.
Claude Bosi at Bibendum | South Kensington
Bibendum, the famed Kensington restaurant set in Michelin House (a former tyre factory), and sporting several huge stained glass window designs featuring the Michelin Man, are finally getting a Michelin Star-worthy chef. Because in their 30-year history as a restaurant, in a stroke of thick, rubber-coated irony, they’ve never won one. But all that is probably about to change… READ MORE.
Rumpus Room | Southbank
Up on 12th floor of the glossy Sea Containers building, one of London’s best-looking bars has just made itself somehow better looking, and even more rumpus-raising. There are mirrored corridors, a striking new colour scheme, sweeping fronds of tropical foliage, and the famed floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the terrace overlooking all of London. READ MORE.
Blacklock City | The City
The City. It’s the best place for bringing home the bacon. A fact clearly not lost on the ex-Hawksmoor trio behind Blacklock, who are bringing the bacon right back, by opening a second branch in the City. Just over 2 years after launching their flagship in Soho, the chop titans will be setting up shop in an old electricity substation that’s been built on the site of a medieval meat market – appropriate given both their chosen fare, and the fact that their Soho branch was founded in a former brothel. READ MORE.
Bun House | Soho
Taking culinary inspiration from 60’s tea houses and the open-air street food stalls of Hong Kong, Bun House are plating up classic Canton-style steamed buns filled with meat, fish and veg – as well as their signature bao with char siu BBQ pork belly, and house-made pickle. READ MORE.
The Cheese Bar
Sure, they can be gouda. Maybe even fetastic. But as you’ve just seen, they’re mostly just unbrielievably bad. So we’ll just cut straight to the good stuff, and tell you about the permanent brick-and-mortar upgrade from The Cheese Truck that’s been roaming the UK’s more curd-addicted parts for the past four years selling point-perfect toasties, and other oozy goodness. Yes, this is a restaurant dedicated to cheese. READ MORE.
Hot Pot | Soho
Fearlessly flying in the face of the warning that “too many cooks spoil the broth” is new Soho restaurant Hot Pot, where they’re literally encouraging big groups to get together, and cook up a hot pot. Parked on Wardour Street, it’s a cosy two-floored affair, with warm mustardy walls, vintage industrial lighting, and spacious booths and communal tables equipped with mini burners. READ MORE.
Florentine | Lambeth
If you wouldn’t want to take one on solo, you’re probably a chicken.
But you’ll be fine at Florentine, an all-day diner on the Southbank near Waterloo opening on March 23rd. Because they’re going to be serving ostrich eggs to share between four people. And cocktails. And 1 kilo steaks. READ MORE.
Sparrow | Lewisham
Sparrows. They usually break their news by Tweeting. But this Sparrow deserves much more attention – because it’s a new restaurant venture coming to Lewisham from culinary couple, Terry Blake & Yohini Nandakumar. Between them, they’ve had roles at St. John, Bao, Pollen Street Social and The Square, and now they’re coming together for a labour of love that’ll serve up…well, whatever they fancy, from the sounds of it. READ MORE.
Soft launch: 50% off food from the 21st until the 26th (NOTE: Unless you’re a Nudge Member. Then you get a soft launch until April 11th)
LASSCO Bar and Dining | Bermondsey
It’s a good thing the two young chefs here are so talented, because the beautiful and bizarre bazaar that is LASSCO could be preeetty thunder-stealing otherwise, as you’ll tuck in to your meal surrounded by an Aladdin’s cave of vintage homewares, carpentry and salvage pieces. READ MORE.
Hill Station Bar | Tooting
Climbing the world’s tallest mountain can take its toll both physically and emotionally. Sometimes it can be hard to see the point. Which is why the hill stations dotted along the way to the summit are so very important. And paying homage to this is The Hill Station Bar – a tiny wooden refuge hidden in the midst of Tooting Broadway Market, offering weary travellers a refreshing pit stop on the way to – well, just about anywhere else in London… READ MORE
The Game Bird | Green Park
James Durrant’s had Michelin plaudits thrown at him every which way, and now he’s heading up the refurbed restaurant at The Stafford Hotel for a feast of locally and responsibly-sourced seafood and game – including a tableside trolley of cured and smoked fish, and caviar. READ MORE.
Mere | Fitzrovia
Monica Galetti’s new venture is, ironically, far more than a mere restaurant opening. Because the Masterchef judge has never before opened her own place – and finally, after 16 years with Michel Roux Jr., she’s now offering up her dishes for you to judge (probably very positively). READ MORE.
Pizza Pilgrims | Shoreditch
Pizza Pilgrims are giving power to the people – because their latest branch comes in the form of both a BYOB and a BYOCB (bring your own chocolate bar), which they’ll happily encase in dough and blast in the oven for a calzone like no other. READ MORE.
Number 177 Bar & Kitchen | Hoxton
What this place lacks in title originality, it more than makes up for in pretty much every other way, with food offerings to please vegans and carnivores alike, punch-packing cocktails, a nightclub, photobooth, art gallery and monthly events like burlesque life drawing all in the offing. READ MORE.
Lorne | Victoria
As venues for professional meet-cutes go, The Square has to be up there with the best. And now sommelier Katie Exton and chef Peter Hall are going steady with Lorne, a relaxed restaurant in Victoria where the wine gets equal attention to the food – so essentially, it’s all perfect. READ MORE.
Rail House Café | Victoria
The Riding House Café has birthed a 2 floor restaurant with all-day dining, a second floor bar and an al fresco cocktail terrace to boot.
It’s big for its age. READ MORE.
Hawksmoor Borough | Borough Market
There’s little that needs to be said about the sixth branch of meat maestros Hawksmoor, but we’ll say it anyway: there’s a solid cocktail list, unbelievable steaks, and swathes of indulgent starters and sides – only this time, the produce has only had to travel about 10m from Borough Market, so somehow everything tastes that bit better. READ MORE.
Yard Sale Pizza | Walthamstow
You couldn’t find a better pizza in your own back yard. Because, unlike this group of friends, you don’t have an authentic stone-baking oven from which to pluck crispy based, chewy-topped pizzas.
Unless you do, in which case, hats off. READ MORE.
La Bonne Bouffe | East Dulwich
If Ratatouille had been set in an actual restaurant, this would probably be it. But, you know, with all the authentic provincial French food, and none of the mischievous vermin. READ MORE.
Bon Vivant | Bloomsbury
Melted cheese and cocktails. And yes, some other things, like a glossy Parisian interior decked out with rose walls and teal velvet booths, gloriously tender meat dishes and bottomless brunch au terrasse… but also, melted cheese and cocktails. READ MORE.
The Other Naughty Piglet | Westminster
…is usually left out of the nursery rhyme, because “opened a second fine-wine drenched Modern European bistro in the newly renovated St. James Theatre, now known as The Other Palace” doesn’t quite scan properly. READ MORE.
Untitled | Dalston
Tony Conigliaro once again pools all his imaginative resources into his cocktails, rather than pesky things like bar names. But when said cocktails arrive in bespoke 3D printed vessels and contain ingredients like zinc, beeswax and yoghurt, it’s easily forgiven. READ MORE.
Nape | Camberwell
Nape is the English name for coppa, which is the Italian name for the cured meat taken from the neck of a pig. And you’ll be able to coppa load of that – and other assorted cured meats – at this meat bar from butchers Cannon & Cannon, alongside low-intervention wines and cosy, unpretentious surroundings. READ MORE.
Hai Cenato | Victoria
It translates as “have you eaten?” – and you’d better hope the answer’s no, because then you have the perfect excuse to check out Jason Atherton’s latest addition, a familial Italian spot in the new NOVA complex in Victoria. There’s also an upstairs bar decked out like a vintage train carriage – pretty good if you fancy an Express Martini. READ MORE.
Farang | Highbury
You Farang, and they answered – with the first solo venture from ex-Smoking Goat and Begging Bowl chef, Seb Holmes. He’s serving up the best of Thai in this six month residency, with a view to going permanent. READ MORE.
L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele | Stoke Newington
There’s a chance the queues have died down to just a three hour wait now, so it’s a good time to head along to check out what has been praised, pretty much universally, as “the best pizza in the world”. And as only its second branch in almost 150 years, it’s about time. READ MORE.
Exmouth Market Grind | Exmouth Market
Another addition to the Grind family opened earlier this year, with all-day dining, coffee-infused desserts and, of course, those Espresso martinis. READ MORE.
Palatino | Clerkenwell
Apparently not one to break habit, Stevie Parle – the man who brought you Rotorino, Craft and Dock Kitchen – is continuing to just be a really excellent chef. Palatino is his fourth offering, serving up indulgent Italian in Clerkenwell. READ MORE.
The Whitechapel Refectory | Whitechapel
Coming from the team behind 10 Greek Street and 8 Hoxton Square, the Whitechapel Refectory is a seasonal café tacked on to the Whitechapel Gallery that transforms into an after-hours wine bar called “After Hours”. READ MORE.
Duck Duck Goose | Brixton
Generally, eating in the middle of Duck Duck Goose is a recipe for indigestion. Unless you’re eating in the restaurant, Duck Duck Goose – in which case it’s a recipe for a feast comprising delicious barbecued meat, steamed fish and Cantonese sides. READ MORE.
Bobby Fitzpatrick | West Hampstead
The 1970s. We can look back and laugh now, at the flared trousers, platform shoes and sudden wave of hirsutism affecting the population. And there’s few better places to do so than at the devotedly themed West Hampstead bar and restaurant, Bobby Fitzpatrick. READ MORE.
Bala Baya | Southwark
Ex-Ottolenghi chef Eran Tibi opened his Tel Aviv inspired resto earlier this year to such acclaim, it’s probably just as accurate to refer to Ottolenghi as pre-Tibi. It’s also home to London’s first gazoz bar, which, if you didn’t know you were waiting for, you were. READ MORE.
Kricket | Soho
The POP Brixton favourite has put down roots in Soho, serving up Indian small plates like Keralan fried chicken and samphire pakoras from an open kitchen straight to the counter. Trust us, you’ll be bowled over. READ MORE.
Timmy Green | Victoria
Aussie brunch. READ MORE.
Main image: Kricket
Want to know what’s coming up? Well, luckily there’s a guide for that, too.