The best of the year 2010

2010 has been a mixed year, but our critics have found plenty to shout about: quirky boutiques, really great restaurants, the arrival of Boris bikes and more. So, read on for our highlights of London life in 2010

  • The best of the year 2010

    © Time Out/Rob Greig

    • Photo for “Best London attractions of 2010” Dmitri Moor, Be on Your Guard, 1921

      Best London attractions of 2010

      Despite the transport chaos and the economic climate, energy and persistence have been much in evidence this year. Parts of London showed great team spirit in the autumn, stepping up with donations to ensure Blackheath fireworks went ahead when Greenwich Council withdrew its funding, leaving Lewisham to foot the bill. Read more

  • Best London shops of 2010

    This year saw continuing innovations within our major department stores and brave independents offering something truly unique. Euro-brands like Vanessa Bruno and Acne opened their first London outposts and jumbles, craft fairs and quirky pop-ups continued to add eccentricity to London's shopping landscape. Read more

  • Best London restaurants of 2010

    Recession? What recession? This was a record year for really great restaurants, cafés and bars, especially the more price-conscious ones. The artisanal coffee-bar boom has continued, and the sheer quality of food and meals at the budget end has gone from strength to strength. Read more

  • Best art exhibitions in London 2010

    In the year the museum machete fell, their exhibitions struggled to escape the icy hand of recession fodder. Both Tates blew hot and cold, Camden and Whitechapel weren't at their best and only a brightened South London Gallery and the evergreen Chisenhale flew the not-for-profit flag. Read more

  • Best music in London 2010

    Against stiff competition from Justin Bieber-Fever and various 'X-Factor' alumni, homegrown grime-pop took over the charts, making stars of Tinie, Tinchy and even little N-Dubzy. Meanwhile, dubstep continued its ascent from the underground to mainstream acceptance – next stop, remixing the 'Go Compare' ads. Read more

  • Best West End theatre of 2010

    2010 didn't quite equal 2009's gold standard. The year was defined by two great Shakespeareans: Rory Kinnear's 'Hamlet' and Derek Jacobi's 'King Lear' were the best we've ever seen. A lack of homegrown musicals blighted the West End, however. Read more

  • Best comedy in London 2010

    This year has been 'mahoosive' for comedy. The megadomes of the O2 Arena, Wembley Arena and Hammersmith Apollo have been packed with hundreds of thousands of people eager to see the likes of Kay, McIntyre, Boyle, Howard, Minchin, Bishop, Gervais and Bridges. Read more

  • Best London clubs of 2010

    2010 got off to a rocky start. Two of the capital's most important venues, Matter and Plastic People, were in trouble (Matter is back in January; Plastic People reopened in July), and rising DJ feed fuelled debate about 'the death of clubland'. Yet the inventive, brilliantly programmed nights soared. Read more

  • Best dance in London 2010

    Two powerful new pieces from Akram Khan and a premiere from the ever-interesting Wayne McGregor made it a solid year for the Brit big guns. A chance to see Mark Morris's masterwork 'L'Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato' was a treat too. Read more

  • Best cabaret in London 2010

    A breakthrough year for cabaret, both in Edinburgh and with the continued crossover success of 'La Clique' and 'La Soirée'. The calibre of regular showcases like Boom Boom and Sideshow is strong while the upstart Blue Stocking Society and Double R Club show a robust audience for progressive niche work. Read more

  • Best classical concerts in London 2010

    Happily, the recession seems to have had little effect on the enthusiasm of programmers and audiences, reflected by another sell-out BBC Proms, for instance. While anniversaries are all very well, can you have too much Chopin or Schumann? Read more