Time Out Eating & Drinking Awards 2012

Best New No-Bookings Restaurant category: without reservations, the biggest trend of the year

There’s been a huge surge in the number of new no-bookings restaurants – bistros that don’t take dinner reservations – over the last year. But which ones are really worth queuing for? Here are some places where we're happy to stand in line.

Best new no-bookings restaurant

  • © Rob Greig

    WINNER: 10 Greek Street

    10 Greek St, W1D 4DH

    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

  • RUNNER UP: Burger & Lobster

    29 Clarges St, W1J 7EF

    Big, buzzy sibling to the Mayfair original, where the menu once again runs to burger, lobster or lobster roll. Alternatively, choose a giant crustacean to share.
    Around £70 for two. br>
    Read Burger & Lobster review

  • RUNNER UP: Pizarro

    194 Bermondsey St, SE1 3TQ (020 7407 7339)

    Classic Spanish dishes in convivial surroundings at this smart, sit-down restaurant from acclaimed chef José Pizarro.
    Around £80 for two. br>
    Read Pizarro review

  • RUNNER UP: Polpo Smithfield

    2-3 Cowcross St, EC1M 6DR

    Possibly our favourite Polpo (it’s the latest of several - www.polpo.co.uk, this branch – on a quiet street close to Smithfield Market – once again teams stylish interiors with sexy Italian small plates.
    Around £60 for two. br>
    Read Polpo Smithfield review

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