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Restaurants of 2022
Time Out

The best new restaurants of 2022

London's most delicious new spots, as chosen by – and eaten at – the staff of Time Out

Leonie Cooper
Edited by
Leonie Cooper
Written by
Time Out London contributors
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It takes guts to open a new restaurant, especially in 2022.

With the London food world still struggling with the fallout from so many lockdowns, coupled with Brexit-induced inflation, staffing issues, the rising cost of bills and rents, and everything else terrible that comes with a cost-of-living crisis, opening a new dining location seems like absolute madness. 

But the capital’s restaurateurs have persisted and we thank them heartily for their service to our stomachs. From small independent sushi spots to multi-million-pound Mayfair joints, pubs serving up spectacular south Indian cuisine, hole-in-the-wall bagel bakeries and low-key vegan Sichuan spots, loads of great new places arrived on the scene this year.

Here are the Time Out London team’s favourites.  

Why not have a look at the 22 best songs of 2022.

Or even the 33 best films of 2022.

Best new restaurants of 2022

The Tamil Prince
Anton Rodriguez

1. The Tamil Prince

Between The Hemingford Arms, The Albion and The Drapers Arms, Barnsbury already had far too many pretty places to drink pints for its own good. Then this year it got another, The Tamil Prince, a stylish spot that so happens to double as a hyped (and very, very good) southern Indian restaurant. The kitchen is run by Prince Durairaj, formerly of Roti King, and the star dish is the channa bhatura: a puffy pillow of deep-fried dough served with a zingy chickpea curry. You’ll be salivating at the thought of it for months. – Huw Oliver, UK editor

115 Hemingford Rd, N1 1BZ

Plaza Khao Gaeng
Photograph: Courtesy of Plaza Khao Gaeng

2. Plaza Khao Gaeng

This no frills joint is one for the spice fans as the food is off the Scoville scale. It serves up proper southern Thai canteen food like massaman curries, shrimp paste relish, and miang kham. A highlight was the muu hong, a glossy and sweet braised pork belly that disintegrated under my fork, cut through with tangy morning glory, with a mountain of gooey rice to soak up the sauces. Wash it down with the Thai-ami Vice cocktail, a bubblegum pink concoction that’s sort of like a pina colada, but better. A carnival in a glass. – India Lawrence, contributing writer

103-105 New Oxford St, WC1A 1DB

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Mount St Restaurant 
Mount St

3. Mount St Restaurant 

Too lazy to visit both a fabulous new restaurant and also a fantastic art gallery? Then why not swing by Mount St, Mayfair’s glitzy new homage to quintessential British food (high end bubble and squeak, lobster pie and mock turtle croquettes, yes ma’am), which happens to packed to the rafters with £50mil’s worth of art from world-class gallerists Hauser & Wirth. Mind not to get any ketchup on the Picasso. – Leonie Cooper, food and drink editor

41-43 Mount St, W1K 2RX

Acme Fire Cult
Steve Ryan

4. Acme Fire Cult

Acme Fire Cult is the sort of restaurant which seems to be tailor-made for hype. A ‘live fire concept’, it’s run by a bunch of tatted blokes who look like literal Vikings, and since spring it’s been based at the very hip 40FT Brewery in Dalston. Tote bag-touting east London foodies flock there in their droves, but for good reason! The ever-evolving menu is brilliantly creative, and largely focuses on elevating vegetables. You’re talking beefsteak mushroom ‘carpaccio’ with mushroom-kelp XO sauce, or smoked delica pumpkin brushed with corn husk ‘tare’, or vegan caesar salad made with sourdough miso. It’s all wildly inventive, and crucially, absolutely delicious. – Rosie Hewitson, Events and Newsletter Editor, London

Abbot St, E8 2LX

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Tofu Vegan
Photograph: Tofu Vegan

5. Tofu Vegan

Tofu Vegan. Not a great name for a restaurant, but a great time in my mouth – and that’s the main thing, right? As a vegetarian with fond childhood memories of meaty Chinese dishes, this Islington gem is up there with the best things I’ve discovered all year, even if it did actually open in 2021. Order the fiery ‘hot and fragrant deep fried tofu’. Savour every bite of the flavourful wantons. And whatever you do, smash the crispy, twice-cooked ‘fish’, its uncanny seafood-flavour achieved with seaweed and what I can only assume is magic. – Rose Johnstone, head of commercial content

Tofu Vegan, 105 Upper St, N1 1QN

Facing Heaven
Photograph: SAM A HARRIS

6. Facing Heaven

Facing Heaven is the kind of place you go to if you’re keen on eating mouth-numbing vegan Chinese while surrounded by Hackney hipster types (so, perfect for me). Channelling a seasoned dive bar, the place has you crammed in under dimmed neon lights, with ‘00s indie music chiming from the speakers, and a kind of comforting chaos emanating from the open kitchen. I think about the chilli dumplings often; the slap-you-around-the-face flavour and mysterious meaty faux-pork came together in a brilliantly spicy harmony. Because really, all good restaurants should leave you a little dazed and sweaty. – Georgia Evans, deputy commercial editor

1a Bayford St, E8 3SE

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Papo’s Bagels
Micaela McLucas

7. Papo’s Bagels

If there’s been any silver lining to the last few years, it’s the exciting food projects born out of lockdown. That’s when homesick New Yorker Gabriel ‘Papo’ Gomez started obsessively recreating NYC-style bagels. His handmade rings of glory are the hol(e)y grail: breadier than the Brick Lane variety, and available topped with the previously hard-to-find everything sprinkle. After nearly two years of home deliveries, Papo’s Bagels opened as an industrial bricks-and-mortar in Dalston. They’re not the only Big Apple-influenced bagel-slinger in town – big shout-out also to The Bagel Guys in Netil Market – but they’ve certainly helped make my year a lot more bearable. – James Manning, travel editor

73-75 Shacklewell Ln, E8 2EB

8. Kinome Sushi

Somehow, Tottenham is home to two jaw-droppingly good local sushi restaurants. Sushi Heads is the old favourite, but Kinome opened this year and it's genuinely excellent, despite being in what is clearly temporary, slightly shonky accommodation. Their sushi tacos, seasoned fish in crisp, puffed shells, are outstanding, but their whole menu is full of ultra-fresh, perfectly preferred sushi. – Eddy Frankel, art editor

38 Philip Ln, N15 4JB

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  • Restaurants
  • Malaysian
  • Brockley

A bold southern pretender to Roti King’s throne, Malaysian Deli is a joyful addition to Brockley’s food scene. Its roti chanai is great, of course (though there’s no lamb version, which is a demerit in my book) but don’t miss spicy delights like mackerel sambal, impressive nasi kerabu with floral blue rice or gado-gado tofu salad. Almost all dishes come in vegan versions, so there’s really no excuse for not checking it out. – Chris Waywell, deputy editor 

338 Brockley Rd, SE4 2BT.

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