Time Out Eating & Drinking Awards 2012: the winners

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Discover the very best of the newest bars, cafés and restaurants in London

Our experts have eaten and drunk their way (incognito, as always) through hundreds of London restaurants, bars and cafés over the last 12 months. They’ve spotted trends, queued for no-booking restaurants, and taken notes. Now it’s time to hand out the dinner gongs and reveal the most eagerly awaited news of the culinary year… This year’s judges: Tania Ballantine, Jessica Cargill Thompson, Guy Dimond, Alexi Duggins, Euan Ferguson, Susan Low and Cathy Phillips. Here are the winners in all our categories. Do you agree with our winners? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter.


Best new cheap eats

  • Helen Cathcart

    Boqueria Tapas

    192 Acre Lane, SW2 5UL. (020 7733 4408) Clapham North tube

    Combining traditional and contemporary, this Brixton tapas joint offers modern twists such as roast pork rendered stunningly refreshing by a little ball of lemon sorbet on a pool of apple sauce. Simple classics such as pan con tomate – good crusty bread rubbed with garlic and a smear of tomato – are also done well. There’s no faulting the quality of ingredients, from tender flakes of cod in a sweet tomato sauce to a full-flavoured complimentary starter of rosemary-scattered olives. Best of all, the tapas cost around £4-£8, so you can assemble a great meal without causing a deficit the size of the Spanish trade gap.
    Around £50 for two.
    Read Boqueria Tapas review

    Book online

Best new restaurant

  • © The Delaunay

    The Delaunay

    55 Aldwych, WC2B 4BB (020 7499 8558) Temple tube.

    Taking inspiration from Europe’s ‘grand cafés’, this glam all-day brasserie is the younger sibling of The Wolseley, and has a similar put-your-glad-rags-on, special-occasion feel. The menu celebrates the heritage dishes of Central Europe, including tarte flambée (a pizza-like flatbread from Alsace, savoury with smoked bacon, sweet with soft shallots) and a golden Wiener schnitzel of veal beaten thin, crisply fried. Desserts include strudels and a sensational Sachertorte. Refreshingly, you’re treated with equal decorum whether you’re a big spender or just popping in for Welsh rarebit or hot chocolate. A real treat.
    Around £120 for two. br>
    Read The Delaunay review

    Book online

Best new local restaurant

  • Ming Tang Evans

    Abbeville Kitchen

    47 Abbeville Rd, SW4 9JX. (020 8772 1110) Clapham South tube.

    With its retro-distressed styling, open kitchen and mostly small-plates menu, this Clapham newcomer wouldn’t be out of place in Soho. It brings smart, on-trend metropolitan dining out of the West End to the sort of backstreet locale that’s a joy to stroll along. All our food was tremendous, from tender Hereford veal with an intense gravy and a large mound of cheesy polenta to a simple bowl of boiled red potatoes with minty butter, or buttermilk pudding with gooseberries and toasted hazelnuts.
    Around £80 for two. br>
    Read Abbeville Kitchen review

    Book online

Best new no-bookings restaurant

  • © Rob Greig

    10 Greek Street

    10 Greek St, W1D 4DH. (020 7734 4677) Tottenham Court Rd tube.

    It at first appears to be yet another trendy, no-bookings restaurant in the same mould as a plethora of others that opened this year, but punching well above its weight, this tiny Soho enterprise delivers exceptional cooking in relaxed, buzzy surroundings: clams and mussels in a fragrant parsley and leek broth, say, or succulent, ruby-centred lamb. Best of all, a berry-packed champagne jelly came with a heavily perfumed lavender ice cream. In spite of witty touches (such as tap water in milk bottles) and hip staff, it remains hugely welcoming. Call ahead to book a seat for lunch or queue for a no-bookings dinner.
    Around £75 for two. br>
    Read 10 Greek Street review

Best new meat restaurant

  • Tramshed

    32 Rivington St, EC2A 3LX. (020 7749 0478). Old Street tube/rail

    Mark Hix’s latest meat-centric venture serves chicken or steak. To be precise: roast chicken for one or to share, steak, chicken salad or steak salad. (A few ‘bar snax’ break out beyond these restrictions; think ox cheek croquettes or radishes with celery salt.) The birds are top-quality, while the beef is aged in a ‘Himalayan salt chamber’ which results in a fabulously sweet and tender steak. All this meat is meted out in a former industrial building in Shoreditch by some of the friendliest staff we’ve encountered in London.
    Around £70 for two. br>
    Read Tramshed review

    Book online

Best new Latin American restaurant

  • © Lima London

    Lima London

    31 Rathbone Place, W1T 1JH. (020 3002 2640). Tottenham Court Rd tube.

    The dishes at this understated restaurant – our pick of this year’s Peruvian influx – look like modernist works of art. Artichokes with green lime, fava beans, tree tomato emulsion and molle pink pepper is a beauty, as impressive for its bold appearance as for its vibrant flavours. It’s not often in London that we see innovative, extraordinary Latin American cuisine like this; it left us scratching our heads slightly, but vowing to come back for more.
    Around £100 for two. br>
    Read Lima review

    Book online

Best new beer bar

  • © Michael Franke

    Crown & Anchor

    246 Brixton Rd, SW9 6AQ. (020 7737 0060) Brixton tube/rail.

    Sibling to Stokey’s Jolly Butchers, this south London boozer has had a no-frills refurb (bare bricks, smart grey window frames) – the most exciting feature is the lengthy bar offering seven cask real ales plus 14 keg beers and ciders. Regularly featured breweries include Redemption, Dark Star, Magic Rock, Camden Town, Brewdog, Brooklyn and Kernel; bottles take a worldlier approach and include a fair few Belgians. Bridging the apparent divide between Camra-endorsed real ale and its hip young cousin, craft beer, this is a pub for all.
    Read Crown & Anchor review

Best new design

  • Mari Vanna

    116 Knightsbridge, Wellington Court, SW1X 7PJ. (020 7225 3122) Knightsbridge tube.

    Thanks to the talents of Russian-born and British-educated interior designer Yuna Megre, Mari Vanna is a marvel of old-fashioned Russian cooking in a setting that fleshes out the homely fantasy. Waitresses in flowery domestic aprons invite you to eat comfort food in their ‘sitting room’, where flea market curios fill every inch: there’s ornate crockery, French lace, crystal from St Petersburg, lamps draped with fringed shawls, Lenin pins, antique boxing gloves, an old accordion and so on. A visit to the bathrooms, where they play Russian folk songs and have installed old pull-chain toilets, is part of the adventure.
    Around £120 for two. br>
    Read Mari Vanna review

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