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The best new restaurants in London

Where's hot? Where’s great? Err, this lot: London’s best new restaurants and cafés to have opened up in the last 12 months

Peg
Andy Parsons
By Tania Ballantine and Time Out London Food & Drink |
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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 one helluva challenge. But here it is. The very best London restaurants of the last 12 months. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: eating out in London kicks ass.

RECOMMENDED: The 100 best restaurants in London

The best new restaurants in London

1251
Jessica Jill
Restaurants, British

1251

icon-location-pin Angel

What is it: A casual destination restaurant from chef James Cochran.

Why go: For dazzling food in a super-chilled space.

Restaurants, Middle Eastern

Bababoom

icon-location-pin Battersea

What is it: A twenty-first century kebab joint in Islington.

Why go: For a kebab that you won’t regret the following day.

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Restaurants, Italian

Bancone

icon-location-pin Covent Garden

What is it: An Italian pasta bar in Covent Garden. 

Why go: For an £8 plate of ‘silk handkerchiefs’ in a rich, chunky walnut butter.

Restaurants, Spanish

Barrafina King’s Cross

icon-location-pin King’s Cross

What is it: A branch of the tapas restaurant at Coal Drops Yard.

Why go: To snack on Spanish delights like salt-baked prawns and crispy croquetas.

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Restaurants, Middle Eastern

Berenjak

icon-location-pin Soho

What is it: A boho-chic Persian joint in Soho from the group behind Bao and Hoppers. 

Why go: The chargrilled poussin: practically perfect in every way. 

Restaurants, Grills

Blacklock Shoreditch

icon-location-pin Shoreditch

What is it: A new branch of the chophouse in Shoreditch. 

Why go: For a great-value plate of tender, caramelised chops.

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Restaurants, Indian

Brigadiers

icon-location-pin Bank

What is it: A swanky Indian grill spot from the team behind Hoppers.

Why go: Chilli chicken lettuce cups. Ox cheek mini samosa. Sigh.

Venue says Don't miss a wicket with our summer of cricket! Midweek we'll have full Indian nashta's and breakfast shandy's, while weekends are for BBQ's

Restaurants, Burgers

Burger & Beyond

icon-location-pin Shoreditch

What is it: The first permanent eatery from the street food supremos.

Why go: Awesome beef burgers. Meaty bites. Stellar service.

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Restaurants, Contemporary European

Caractère

icon-location-pin Notting Hill

What is it: A neighbourhood restaurant from Emily Roux and ex-Le Gavroche chef Diego Ferrari. 

Why go: For the celeriac cacio e pepe. Eating your veg never tasted so good.

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Chisou
Andy Parsons
Restaurants, Japanese

Chisou

icon-location-pin Mayfair

What is it: A smart Japanese restaurant in Mayfair.

Why go: For sashimi and salads you’ll dream about for days.

Restaurants, Contemporary European

Cora Pearl

icon-location-pin Covent Garden

What is it: A smart Covent Garden bistro from the team behind Mayfair’s Kitty Fisher’s.

Why go: For posh comfort food in a sumptuous vintage setting.

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Restaurants, British

Crispin

icon-location-pin Spitalfields

What is it: A head-turning coffee bar and restaurant in Spitalfields. 

Why go: To order one of everything without anyone judging you. 

Restaurants, Global

Da Terra

icon-location-pin Bethnal Green

What is it: The fine-dining restaurant at Bethnal Green’s Town Hall Hotel.

Why go: For Lego people you can spread on your bread.

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Restaurants, Taiwanese

Din Tai Fung

icon-location-pin Covent Garden

What is it: The flagship London branch of a dumpling chain. 

Why go: For wontons in black vinegar and chilli oil. But do get the prawn and pork pancake too.

Restaurants, Italian

Gloria

icon-location-pin Shoreditch

What is it: A Shoreditch pizza and pasta restaurant with OTT interiors.

Why go: To say you’ve been. Oh, and for pasta carbonara served out of a parmesan wheel.

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Restaurants, Indian

Gunpowder

icon-location-pin Tower Bridge

What is it: A second outing for the Indian small-plates restaurant. 

Why go: For the duck leg. And parsnip crisps. Oh, and the duck leg.

Restaurants, Contemporary Global

Hicce

icon-location-pin King’s Cross

What is it: A King’s Cross small-plates restaurant from Murano-trained chef Pip Lacey. 

Why go: Chorizo and cauliflower. Squid and apple. Crème caramel.

Venue says Join us every Sunday throughout summer for Sundowners - Terrace. Sundown. Strictly vinyl. Funk. Disco. Rare groove. Reggae. www.hicce.co.uk

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Jolene
Patricia Niven
Restaurants, Bakeries

Jolene

icon-location-pin Newington Green

What is it: An all-day bakery, restaurant and bar in Newington Green. 

Why go: For just-baked bread and bucketloads of ambiance.

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Restaurants, Thai

Kin + Deum

icon-location-pin Bermondsey

What is it: A modern Thai restaurant serving Bangkok-inspired food. 

Why go: The rice and curry salad: like no ‘salad’ you’ve ever had before.

Restaurants, Filipino

Kinilaw & Buko

icon-location-pin Hoxton

What is it: A Filipino small plate joint in Hoxton. 

Why go: To pop your kinilaw cherry.

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Restaurants, Indian

Kutir

icon-location-pin Chelsea

What is it: A swish Indian restaurant in a Chelsea townhouse. 

Why go: For stone bass and sago pud, plus a curry-load of charm.

Restaurants, Chinese

Kym's

icon-location-pin Bank

What is it: A Chinese restaurant in the Bloomberg Arcade, from the A Wong team. 

Why go: The knife-cut noodles. Dark, slippery, moreish.

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Restaurants, Contemporary European

Lino

icon-location-pin Farringdon and Smithfield

What is it: A Clerkenwell restaurant in a former linoleum warehouse. 

Why go: For the cheddar and sauerkraut croquettes, or the croissant bread-and-butter pud. Or both.

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Restaurants, British

Native

icon-location-pin Bankside

What is it: A larger SE1 incarnation of the celebrated wild food restaurant.

Why go: For the wild meat. Whatever shape it comes in, it’ll blow you away.

Restaurants, Peruvian

Pachamama East

icon-location-pin Shoreditch

What is it: A sibling of the Peruvian fusion restaurant, this time in Shoreditch. 

Why go: Because it’s time you tried Peruvian kimchi for yourself. 

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Restaurants, Contemporary European

Peg

icon-location-pin Hackney

What is it: A neighbourhood restaurant in Hackney serving modern izakaya-style food. 

Why go: Records in the corner. Service with a smile. Drinking food to die for.

Restaurants, Seafood

Roe

icon-location-pin Brixton

What is it: A shipping container restaurant in Pop Brixton, specialising in seafood. 

Why go: The squid ‘noodles’: cephalod meets sesame.

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Restaurants, Middle Eastern

Rovi

icon-location-pin Fitzrovia

What is it: A Fiztrovia small plates restaurant from celebrity chef Yotam Ottolenghi.

Why go: For the squid and lardo skewer. It rocks.

Restaurants, Malaysian

Sambal Shiok

icon-location-pin Holloway Road

What is it: A street food stall-turned-permanent north London laksa bar.

Why go: The laksa, duh. Get ‘The Standard’: it doesn’t need pimping.

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Restaurants, Chinese

Sichuan Grand

icon-location-pin Stratford

What is it: A smart Sichuan restaurant in Stratford. 

Why go: The jellyfish. Black vinegar, garlic and just enough crunch.

Restaurants, Seafood

St Leonards

icon-location-pin Shoreditch

What is it: A stylish modern European restaurant with a raw bar and wood-fired oven.

Why go: For a leek to convert the most ardent of allium-loathers.

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Restaurants, American

Two Lights

icon-location-pin Shoreditch

What is it: A younger sibling to the Clove Club, with creative small plates. 

Why go: For roast artichoke with a sunflower seed and miso dip. Retro heaven.

Venue says A Shoreditch small plates, modern-American restaurant by Chase Lovecky and the team behind The Clove Club.

Restaurants, French

Upstairs at the French House

icon-location-pin Soho

What is it: A British-French dining room above an iconic Old Soho boozer. 

Why go: For the calf’s brains: a hyper-rich hit of offal.

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Restaurants, Middle Eastern

Yeni

icon-location-pin Soho

What is it: The Soho outpost of famed Istanbul restaurant Yeni Lokanta. 

Why go: Snazzy salad. Bread pudding fritters. And everything in between.

Restaurants, Global

Yopo at The Mandrake

icon-location-pin Fitzrovia

What is it: An all-day Fitzrovia dining room with South American influences. 

Why go: For DIY tacos you won’t want to share.

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X'ian Biang Biang
Andy Parsons
Restaurants, Chinese

Xi’an Biang Biang

icon-location-pin Spitalfields

What is it: A sibling to Holloway’s Xi’an Impression, but with more noodles. 

Why go: For the hand-pulled biang biang ‘belt’ noodles. Carbs never tasted so good.

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