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Photograph: Ola O Smit
Photograph: Ola O Smit

The best new restaurants in London

The city's best new restaurants and cafés

Isabelle Aron
Angela Hui
Written by
Isabelle Aron
&
Angela Hui
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Every week, a frankly stupid amount of brilliant new restaurants, cafés and street food joints arrive in London. Which makes whittling a shortlist of best newbies down to manageable size a serious challenge. But here it is. The very best new restaurants in the capital. Go forth and eat.

RECOMMENDED: The 100 best restaurants in London

The best new restaurants in London

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  • Restaurants
  • British
  • Hoxton

Caravel is a restaurant on a boat, but don’t expect any ahoying. Strictly only chic modern British and European classics such as duck croquettes and crunchy rostis.

  • Restaurants
  • Gastropubs
  • Great Portland Street

A prettily decked-out pub restaurant serving up the ‘best of British’ – but not in an annoying way. Expect flavour-packed meat and fish dishes, generous sides, hearty desserts. Basically, the good stuff.

 

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  • Restaurants
  • Burmese
  • Covent Garden

A relaxed, low-key haunt for anybody looking to escape the Covent Garden hordes. Prepare for punchy Asian flavours from a cuisine that’s criminally underrepresented in the UK.

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  • Restaurants
  • Portuguese
  • Fitzrovia

A casual, relaxed and buzzy place where you can pretend you’re on holiday. Chef Nuno Mendes is playing all the greatest hits of Portugal.

  • Restaurants
  • Turkish
  • Soho

A buzzy Turkish hotspot with a powerful hot-and-cold mezze and mighty platter menu. Order the prawns, chicken and baklava if you know what’s good for you.

30-32 Foubert’s Place, W1F 7PS

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  • Restaurants
  • Argentinian
  • Soho

Experience a little pocket of Latin America in the heart of Soho. It’s all about open-fire cooking from chef Fernando Trocca in a breathtakingly glitzy dining room. Try the veal sweetbreads, cheddar empanada and Iberico matambre pork.

47b Great Marlborough St, W1F 7JP

  • Restaurants
  • Middle Eastern
  • Queen’s Park

The team behind Berber & Q, brothers Josh and Paul Katz and Mattia Bianchi have gone west in Queen’s Park. Expect a grown-up all-day Eastern Mediterranean menu involving small plates like tumeric-roasted cauliflowercured sardines with lemon verjus and smoked lamb neck shawarma with shio koji (a fermented grain marinade).

23-25 Lonsdale Rd, NW6 6RA

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  • Restaurants
  • Taiwanese
  • Oxford Street

The super-hyped Taiwanese spot Din Tai Fung’s second restaurant at Selfridges in Bond Street brings diners legendary soup dumplings and cute robot cat waiters. Irresistible. 

4th Floor, 400 Oxford St, W1A 1AB

 

  • Restaurants
  • Filipino
  • Regent Street

Don’t walk, trot to chef Ferdinand ‘Budgie’ Montoya’s second Filipino restaurant Sarap just off Regent Street. The small-plates menu is big on sour, salty and sweet flavours. Don’t miss out on the famous lechon, a boned out rice-stuffed pig’s trotter, and slow braised kale laing.

10 Heddon St, W1B 4BX

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  • Restaurants
  • American
  • Soho

Rita’s has taken some prime real estate in Soho. It serves up delicious dishes such as hot bean devilled eggs, grilled sugar-pit pork neck and a bistro-style ‘steak dinner for two’ with smoked-anchovy caesar and fried potatoes. You can also expect natural and low-intervention wines as well as punchy Margaritas (that’s what Rita’s is short for, FYI).

49 Lexington St, W1F 9AP

  • Restaurants
  • North African
  • Seven Dials

The Barbary Next Door is a tiny 10-seater restaurant tucked away in Neal’s Yard. The menu takes inspiration from Moroccan courtyards and backstreet Andalusian bars where you can lap up smoky and spicy small sharing plates. Also, in good news for early birds: you can pretend you’re on holiday with its new continental breakfasts on the heated outdoor terrace or along the counter, where the windows will be pulled ajar to welcome the spring sunshine. 

16a Neal’s Yard, WC2H 9DP

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  • Restaurants
  • British
  • Finsbury Park

Loosen a belt notch or two and prepare for pub grub like no other. Following the end of their residency in the Compton Arms, the Four Legs lads have opened a boozer in Finsbury Park and you can work your way through well-executed and creative menu with dishes like chipolatas with dijonaise, Comté fritters and, of course, the famous Dexter cheeseburger.

52 St Thomas’s Rd, N4 2QW

  • Restaurants
  • Italian
  • Farringdon

Restaurateur Russell Norman’s (ex-Polpo) solo venture is a big Tuscan-inspired trattoria right in the middle of Farringdon. Order beige with a side of beige and the best carbs done in a hundred different ways. 

35-37 Greenhill Rents, EC1M 6BN

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  • Restaurants
  • Italian
  • Shoreditch

The Smokestak founder David Carter and former Kitty Fisher’s chef Chris Leach, a culinary super-duo, have settled into a more permanent outpost in Shoreditch and been making some serious waves. This Britalian nose-to-tail rest specialises in house-made charcuterie and hand-rolled pastas. 

49-51 Curtain Rd, EC2A 3PT

  • Restaurants
  • Contemporary European
  • Clerkenwell

Chef Florence Knight, artist Jonny Gent and frontman Jon Spiteri have tag-teamed to create something truly beautiful. Amid its grandeur, a deceptively simple, seductive Brit-Mediterranean menu is on offer, with crab croquette, mackerel tomato and capers. It’s a place to bring your lover, your mother, your sister and your friends. Order the eel potato, squid with calamarata pasta and chocolate tart.

The Old Sessions House, 24 Clerkenwell Green, EC1R 0NA

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