We've always got one eye on any new restaurants opening on the London food scene. Our editors are on the ball for the latest openings in each London neighbourhood, from Covent Garden restaurants to Shoreditch hotspots. For the ultimate list of places to eat in the city, check out our definitive guide to London's best restaurants. These are the places that we consider the crème de la crème, from generations-old spots that have stood the test of time and Michelin-starred dining rooms that get better each year to mind-blowing new openings from this list that we decided deserved a spot on the ultimate round-up of the best restaurants in London.
For new restaurants opening in London this year, we can expect follow-ups from some of the city's biggest-name chefs. The Big Mamma Group (Gloria, Circolo Popolare) has opened two new restaurants, this time in Kensington and Marylebone. Tomas Parry will open a follow-up to his Michelin-starred Shoreditch hangout Brat, while culinary entrepreneur Samyukta Nair has brought refined French-Mediterranean comfort food to Mayfair.
How we choose the tastiest new restaurant openings in London
The best new restaurants in London are the most exciting places to eat that have just opened in the capital city. Ranging from small affairs with daily changing menus from up-and-coming chefs to Michelin-starred spots with fresh new menus, these are London's new restaurants we've got our eye on right now.
Every restaurant on this list has been selected independently by our editors and written by a Condé Nast Traveller journalist who knows the destination and has eaten at that restaurant. When choosing new restaurants, our editors consider both high-end and affordable eateries that offer an authentic and insider experience of a destination. We’re always looking for stand-out dishes, a great location and warm service – as well as serious sustainability credentials. We update this list regularly as new restaurants open in London.
Best new London restaurants in May 2023
Everyone's favourite bun house BAO has just opened a new sibling in Marylebone. Her name is Mary.
Through its many outposts, Bao is slowly introducing more traditional Taiwanese dishes. Mary delivers us dumplings – dried and steamed and utterly delicious. The uber-cool space has a few tables outside under a shaded parasol and little glass-topped metal tables inside with stools tucked neatly below. Sleek wooden interiors frame the open kitchen and an illuminated drinks fridge stocked with Taiwanese beer and sake.
The small plate menu is made to be shared. Fluffy bao buns are still on the menu and are must-orders. The dumplings come in different shapes and sizes – the pan-fried selection includes mushroom and beef with a pot of zingy dipping sauce catered to your spice level. The soft steamed dumplings are served in a fragrant broth and packed with flavours of cull yaw (mutton) and prawn in egg drop soup. Other plates include the aged beef rump on a bed of rice topped with a bright yellow cured egg yolk, Taiwanese fried chicken coated in a hot sauce and the refreshing soft soy braised tofu with mushroom and egg. Finish with the iconic Horlicks bao – Horlicks malted ice cream, wedged between a fried sweet doughnut-like bun. Bao has nailed it yet again. Sophie Knight
Address: Bao Mary, 56 James Street, London W1U 1HF
The Midland Grand Dining Room, Kings Cross
For Harry Handelsman, it’s all about continuity. For over 20 years the developer has made it his mission to liberate the Kings Cross area from its red-light ropiness, establishing the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel in 2002, and following it up with the Booking Office 1869. Now his latest project, the Midland Grand, is channelling the late-Victorian spirit of the same-name hotel that once occupied this building, and bringing French-style haute cuisine to the Euston Road.
Handelsman has enlisted his trusty sidekicks to carry out his restoration vision. Allegra chef Patrick Powell (former head chef at Handelsman’s Chiltern Firehouse) is handling the menu while Hugo Toro, the designer behind the Booking Office 1869, has kept the Gothic Revival style alive. He had no option, really: the porte-cochère entrance simply demands grandness on the inside. Signature drinks like the ‘Ode Fashioned’ (chestnut bourbon, date syrup, Oloroso Sherry) are served beneath ornate ceilings, peacock bas reliefs and velvety upholstery.
In the restaurant itself, diners sink into leather banquets next to marble columns and gilded Corinthian capitols. There’s enough space between the tables to frustrate eavesdroppers wanting in on first daters’ murmurings. The scallops starters were just as juicy, however, as were their creamy caviar sauce. Condiments were barely needed for the Irish east-coast oysters, they were so fresh, fat, and creamy. The island of crab toast, drenched in crab bisque stuck in the memory, as did the crispy asparagus in seafood sauce. But the grass-fed sirloin beef in pepper sauce and shallots (pairing nicely with the 2012 Warwick Trilogy), exercised the jaws a little too much. To finish, the crème caramel wiggled beneath a particularly firm membrane, bringing unexpected joy and proving that although Powell is keeping one toe at the Allegra he hasn’t spread himself too thinly. Noo Saro-Wiwa
Address: The Midland Grand Dining Room Restaurant King's Cross, St Pancras Renaissance Hotel, Euston Road, London NW1 2AR
We love a tiny Italian trattoria as much as the next kid, but there’s something that just feels right about an Italian restaurant that specialises in all things maximalism. Big Mamma is known for its decadent interiors, indulgent dishes and more-is-more design, and the restaurant group’s latest opening is no exception. Behind bright-red exteriors and giant gold lettering, enter to delve back into 20th-century Italy. Inspired by New York drinking dens, Italian family-run restaurants and Milanese casinos, the entire space is a personal homage to Italian culture in America – think gilded bars, marble countertops, velvet curtains and red leather banquettes. Furnishings and decorations were pulled together from Italian marketplaces and second-hand stores across Europe, from ancient stone busts to Sicilian crockery and mismatched diner-style chairs. Downstairs, the vibe takes a more sultry turn, with a moody suede lounge, open kitchen and low lighting. As you'd expect from Big Mamma, the menu features giant plates of Italian classics, with extravagant twists and personal touches. Try the fettuccine alfredo, served tableside with shavings of truffle, or opt for the whole de-shelled lobster, drizzled with a beurre blanc sauce and topped with 20g of black Venetian caviar. For something more classic, try the pasta alla norma – a recipe developed by Chef Armando's grandma, with homemade paccheri in a tomato sauce with roasted aubergines, served on a bed of ricotta al limone. To drink, choose between a long list of Italian wines or suitably decadent cocktails – the Rossini, with strawberry-infused Amaro Savoia, cranberry juice and Champagne is wonderfully elegant. Read our full review of this new Italian restaurant that could be the most fun opening of 2023. Olivia Morelli
Address: 77, 78 Marylebone High St, London W1U 5JX
Best London restaurant openings in April 2023
This trendy new kid on the block is the name to know in East London’s foodie circles. What started as the hugely popular restaurant pop-up HOT4U now has a bricks-and-mortar set-up firmly in place. Located just behind London Fields, it’s a small affair with only 28 covers upstairs in the stripped-back dining room, and space for an intimate 14 downstairs. Daily offerings are scribbled on the chalkboard and prepared in the tiny open kitchen, with tasty smells that waft into the dining area. There’s a significant emphasis on zero-waste – chef Matthew Scott goes to great lengths to preserve, reuse and recycle each and every ingredient, from fermenting vegetable scraps to extracting yeast from bread. Most of the seasonal menu changes from day to day; but the mainstay is the garlic bread. A work of art you may have seen on your Instagram feed, it’s made from fermented potato bread, which is then grilled on coals, steamed, coated in browned garlic butter and grilled again before it's topped with piped whipped ricotta cheese and sprinkled with garlic powder grown in the chef’s garden – and yes, it’s as good as it sounds. Other carefully curated sharing plates we tried were a bowl of mussels served in sugo, giant langoustines cooked in wasabi and plenty of punchy experimental plates – there was a daring dish of veal brains with turnips and peas. Pair dinner with a glass of orange wine from the all-natural selection by Charlie Carr of Wingnut Wines and finish with the daily dessert offering (the vacherin ice cream with prune was amazing). Sophie Knight
Address: 1F, 373 Mentmore Terrace
Story Cellar, Covent Garden
Tom Sellers can be tricky to pin down. The lad from Nottingham, with the tattoos, the orange Rolls-Royce and the bulldog called Boss, left school at 15 to work with Keller, Redzepi, Aikens and the rest; then opened Story in Bermondsey in 2013, aged 26, eventually winning two Michelin stars for dishes including a beef dripping candle inspired by his dad’s Sunday roasts. He’s retained a reputation for a certain spikiness, even while writing A Kind of Love Story, a curiously romantic ode to cooking, containing neither pictures nor recipes. His latest move is Story Cellar, a more casual sister restaurant in Covent Garden, swapping set menus for a brasserie built around serious wines, rotisserie chicken, grass-fed steaks and comforting classics. In a way, the place makes sense for a chef who’s always claimed to be allergic to trends – the cosy banquettes, the parquet floors, the curved countertop open kitchen – but then the Parisian vibes are interrupted by a loudly eclectic pop-rock playlist (‘99 Red Balloons’) and playful femme fatale art (‘I drink to make others more interesting’) by the Connor brothers, whose work might be familiar to Story regulars. Our meal kicked off with a wonderful pig brawn terrine, a scallop in a rich umami XO sauce and langoustines with garlic and tarragon. Cheffy twists are secondary to provenance and deliciousness – even in the rich snail bolognese on toast with wild garlic butter, a more comfortingly classic version of a Story favourite. Half a rotisserie chicken from the Basque country served with perfect French fries and a simply dressed salad is a thing of tender simplicity, which paired nicely with a beautifully balanced Mendoza Malbec from the walk-in cellar downstairs (there are three sommeliers on duty at all times, with a Coravin system allowing for more wines by the glass). A bread and butter pudding tart with orange and Tonka custard is a dessert menu highlight that includes a subtly sublime soft-serve cream with almond and dill. The original Story was closed for upgrades on our visit, so most of the excellent staff were on loan from the parent restaurant. While Sellers plans ‘Story 3.0’, he’s also in the process of opening Dovetale at the upcoming 1 Hotel Mayfair, with a raw bar and grill. For all that Sellers himself remains mercurial, it seems a safe bet that the food will be straightforwardly excellent there, too. Toby Skinner
Address: Story Cellars, 17 Neal's Yard, London WC2H 9DP
Rambutan, Borough Market
Slap bang in the middle of Borough Market, Rambutan is the perfect spot for a spicy Sri Lankan love affair. Run by cookbook author Cynthia Shanmugalingam, the namesake of the restaurant is a sweet Sri Lankan fruit that she associates with her childhood. It’s used within many of her Tamil recipes along with plenty of punchy spices and traditional ingredients, some sourced from Sri Lanka and others purchased locally at Borough Market. Dishes from the menu are made to be shared – the waiter suggested six dishes between two people. Start with the gundu dosas: these spongy, plump dumplings are filled with mustard seeds and served with a fragrant dip, and they’re just as delicious as they sound. We also loved the juicy beef and bone marrow rolls, coated in a crispy batter (warning: the spice levels aren’t for the faint hearted). Larger curry dishes are served in traditional terracotta bowls and include the tempered turmeric potatoes with pandan; the sticky chicken pongal rice pot; and our favourite, the soft devon ray wing curry in mild mustard and turmeric sauce – best paired with a flaky roti for scooping up every last morsel of sauce. Sophie Knight
Address: 10 Stoney Street, London SE1 9AD
Kapara, St James
The tone for this restaurant is set before you even enter. The pink sign on the door, imploring visitors to ‘Push it hard’, suggests a certain level of nudge-wink debauchery at this self-styled ‘Tel Aviv Fantasy’. At Kapara (the Hebrew word for atonement from sin), Israeli chef-owner Eran Tibi has dialled up the party vibes in a large two-floor space, heavy on millennial pink, with a semi-open kitchen on the clubbier lower level, and house music suggesting that the point is to stay and dance ’til the 1am close, even on a Monday night. Most people here order shamelessly maximalist cocktails, like a ‘High 5 Bi*ch’ of spiced rum, oloroso sherry, pineapple, sesame, ginger and more. There’s a more obviously local flavour to the house-made Naughty Gazoz, a take on the ubiquitous sparkling soda of Israeli street stalls in flavour combos like orange, chilli and coriander – served with gin, vodka, prosecco or arak. Tibi’s halal small plates menu, under headings like ‘All-Day Foreplay’ or ‘Bits on the Side’, errs towards the rich and sweet, including a king prawn baklava that could just about be on the dessert menu, and a satisfyingly wobbly aubergine heart that comes with pine nut jam and clementine marmalade. We could have happily shared a hummus with amba spices, and gone straight to the sharing platters: a 12-hour braised oxtail, served family-style in a Le Creuset pot with similarly unctuous, satisfyingly pearl-like couscous; or a show-stopping whole red snapper with burnt sage, baby plum tomatoes and fennel. Toby Skinner
Address: Kapara, James Court, Manette Street, London W1D 4AL
Best London restaurant openings in March 2023
Amid the throng of new restaurants around London, all touting exciting concepts and innovative angles, few can successfully cut through the noise. Mayfair’s latest arrival, however, has done so triumphantly. Bringing a fresh new take on wood-fired cooking, HUMO takes creative cooking seriously. The kitchen runs without gas or electricity; chefs cook on a four-metre-long wooden grill stretching across the middle of the restaurant. Chef Miller Prada cut his teeth under the watchful eye of Endo Kazutoshi and has efficiently taken the precision and skill from his omakase training and paired it with a distinct understanding of the London foodie crowd’s desire for food served with a side of drama. The menu is split into four sections, each relating to food cooked differently: ignite, smoke, flame and embers. While the cooking process acts as HUMO’s main draw, my favourite aspect of the menu was the personal touches inspired by restaurant team members. The yellowtail dish, for example, features seven-day aged tuna, served with a zingy soy and citrus sauce and Castillo coffee from Miller’s family farm in Columbia. The sea bass is a mellow dish, topped with Mexican vanilla and cracked Malagasy pepper and drizzled with homemade olive oil from Giacomo’s family in Lazio. The wine list also offers a refreshing take, listing bottles by geographical location rather than country – sections include island, coastal and high altitude. There’s a reason this restaurant went viral on Tik Tok: the attention to detail on delicately balanced dishes combined with the relaxed, free-hand style flame cooking methods create a genuinely unique experience bang in the centre of London’s most sophisticated neighbourhood. Olivia Morelli
Address: 12 St George Street, London W1S 2FB
Topping the Art’otel at Battersea Power Station, the 15th-floor views at JOIA are worth the trip south of the river alone. But the reason this slick, salmon pink spot has been buzzing since its recent opening is down to Portuguese chef Henrique Sá Pessoa. His Lisbon restaurant Alma earned him two Michelin stars, making him the third chef in the country to receive the accolade. For his first London venture, JOIA, which means jewel in Portuguese, the menu aptly mines Sá Pessoa’s impressive culinary heritage as well as Catalonian and Portuguese cooking techniques. Everything is made to share, and the portions are generous, particularly the recommended Bacalhau à brás. The salted cod with shoestring potatoes dish arrives looking perfectly pretty (even David Guetta couldn’t resist snapping a photo when he dined the previous week) before the waiter mixes it up at the table into a crunchy yet gooey delicious mess. It does come with a serious salt warning – the sharp side green salad with apple balances it out beautifully. Wash it down with a glass of Portuguese wine, enthusiastically recommended by the endearing sommelier, simply known as Ab. There’s plenty to feast on (don’t sleep on the deliciously tangy wild British mushrooms escabeche), but do save room for pudding. Especially if you’re adventurous – the unusual options include raspberry ganache with red pepper and olive oil sorbet and dark chocolate mousse with chorizo ice cream. The one to try though is the Pão de Ló, a traditional fluffy yet moist Portuguese sponge cake served warm and wrapped in brown paper with a genius dollop of goat’s cheese ice cream on top. Lauren Burvill
Address: 15th Floor, 1 Electric Boulevard, Nine Elms, London SW11 8BJ
Stereo, Covent Garden
Experimental Group (Experimental Cocktail Club, Henrietta Hotel) has completely reimagined the space formerly belonging to Roadhouse, with an altogether more sophisticated experience in mind. Cleverly designed by London-based studio Afroditi, there are zones for each part of your evening. Guests can sip cocktails at low squashy sofas around glossy tables and head through to a New York-meets-Paris-style restaurant at the back to sample fare from resident chef Andrew Clarke, all while listening to live music from the stage. Clarke’s dishes are exactly what you want to eat in this buzzy, moody, cocktail-fuelled setting; his menu is full of American classics with French influences, including steak & eggs, cheeseburgers and hot wings. The shrimp cocktail was one of the best we’ve had – overflowing with prawns and topped with a sprinkling of trout roe, while the fried delica pumpkin was light and crisp, with a burnt scallion crema for dipping. The lobster and fish pie is pure comfort and, if there’s still room, the pecan pie is worth grabbing a couple of forks for. You could easily lose a whole evening at Stereo – arriving to stay for cocktails and supper and then, several hours later, accidentally finding yourself dangerously close to the dance floor – and we’re not mad about it. Sarah Allard
Address: Stereo Covent Garden, 35 The Piazza, London WC2E 8BE
Best London restaurant openings in February 2023
Akub, Notting Hill
Franco-Palestinian chef Fadi Kattan has done more than anyone to raise the status (and stake the rights) of Palestine’s gastronomic identity. He created Fawda Restaurant & Café in Bethlehem’s Old City, the sine qua non of modern Palestinian cuisine – of which he is the father. Now, behind the sage-green facade of a Notting Hill townhouse, he has unveiled petite Akub with his friend Rasha Khouri. Named after a flowering Palestinian thistle, it is a four-level earthy, imaginative space in a quiet symphony of natural greens, lemony yellows and poured creams. Walls are touched with significant objects: hopeful olive branches; a series of keys that allude to the Palestinian right of return. The menu celebrates aspects of his terroir – the seafood-heavy accents of the coasts and Gaza; the maftool and freekeh of the traditional, olive-grove-filled centre; and the dried yoghurts and salting and drying traditions of the desert nomads. Our feast is prefaced by zaatar bread, crackers with bitter nigella seeds, coriander- and sumac-lashed focaccia, and dips, including fiery fermented red chillies. An intensely violety Jordanian Saint George Petite Syrah accompanies us through plates of salty-spongy Nabulsi cheese; Sheikh El Mahshi baby aubergines with pickled herbs and walnuts; Rye Bay skate fish kofta and a slow-cooked lamb spiced with mahlab and mastic. Then they bring us the best pudding I’ve had in years: baba, a brioche soaked in cardamom and fenugreek syrup drenched in pistachio cream. Kattan says cuisine is inherited, “passed down in the transmission of the hand movement my grandmother made as she cooked”. Akub is a gourmet legacy writ large in the heart of Notting Hill. Lydia Bell
Address: Akub, 27 Uxbridge Street, London W8 7TQ
When Socca opened on Mayfair’s Audley Street, it had big shoes to fill as successor to the venerated Richoux cafe. But if anyone can rise to the challenge it’s French Michelin-starred chef, Claude Bosi (of Bibendum in Chelsea), and culinary entrepreneur Samyukta Nair, who have teamed up to bring a new Riviera-style bistro that’s attracting faithful locals. The interiors’ sea-and-sand palette conjures Cote d’Azur vibes, with blue banquettes, honey-coloured wooden floors beneath timber panelling. Bosi’s menu riffs on French Mediterranean comfort food, his melt-in-the-mouth starters including raw tuna slices with shallots and tangy sauce balanced by the black pepper rim, and crab on taramasalata slathered on bouncy chunks of focaccia. The langoustine with lemon and sunflower seeds was forgettable, but the Provençal-style socca pancakes – perfectly toasted, with an aubergine, shallot and pepper chutney – hit the spot. Stealing the show was the lobster mains with orecchiette drenched in a creamy bisque, followed closely by the grilled prawns stroked with citrus butter. Other standouts include the turbot, cooked to perfection in butter so aromatic it made the Romesco sauce redundant; while Bosi’s richly flavoured ‘mum’s tripe and cuttlefish gratin’ is an elevated take on traditional home cooking. Socca has strong land legs too, the marinated lamb chops pairing well with (over salty) mescal salad. The excellent desserts were reassuringly heavy on the classics, like warm chocolate coulant and tarte au pomme with vanilla ice cream. Those who prefer their sugar in liquid form will knock back the exquisite La Colombe d’Or cocktails (Seven Tails XO, lemongrass and ginger cordial, apple and celery bitter) like there’s no tomorrow – just remember you’re in Mayfair when the bill arrives. Noo Saro-Wiwa
Address: Socca, 41A S Audley Street, London W1K 2PS
Lulu's, Herne Hill
The new outpost from the team behind Herne Hill’s much-loved Llewelyn’s is an adorable spot to add to your London foodie wishlist. This tiny eatery is a deli and shop during the day, but at night transforms into an intimate (and stellar) wine bar with dishes created by executive chef Lasse Petersen. This is the place for a cosy winter evening, with low lighting, candles burning and walls laden with quality produce and considered wines. Petersen’s time at Amass, Westerns Laundry and Moro makes for a tantalising and unique experience, with nods to European, Nordic and Middle Eastern flavours. We started off with a tart Marmalade Martini paired with a Gilda, which had us enjoying a string of pickled olives and capers wrapped with a fresh anchovy. Next were the devilled eggs garnished with a trout roe, which added a lovely balance to the creamy flavours. And lastly, we enjoyed the most unique squid dish I have ever encountered; imagine a chicken noodle soup – but make it chicken with squid noodle soup. It’s delicious, but you have to taste it to believe it. Lulu’s is sure to have Herne Hill locals flocking to its doors for an evening spent catching up with friends while enjoying a lovely glass of wine. Amber Port
Address: 291 Railton Road, London SE24 0JP, United Kingdom
Best London restaurant openings in January 2023
Rumoured to have cost upwards of £25 million, the interiors of this new Mayfair spot are the work of Martin Brudnizki (The Beekman, Soho House Hotels). In true Richard Caring style (Annabel's, Sexy Fish), the opening of Bacchanalia was a high-profile launch party that saw Florence Welsh entertain guests including Naomi Campbell and Harris Reed. Inside, the statues gazing over you as you take your seat? Damien Hirst, of course. Service from waiters draped in togas is fun, but certainly not suited to low-key diners. No amount of decadence can make up for terrible food, of course – so hopes were high ahead of our visit. Athinagoras Kostakos, the chef behind Scorpios Mykonos, has devised a menu celebrating the best of Greek and Italian cuisine – these are dishes you know done well rather than intricate plates with Michelin aspirations. Cheese croquettes filled with taleggio, provolone and cheddar are paired with indulgent truffle mayonnaise, although the must-order among the starters is the flawlessly seasoned keftedes – melty meatballs on a smoked yoghurt base. We opted for the bucatini bolognese, but as authentic as the bolognese ragu was, the density of the pasta meant it sat heavily on the stomach for some time afterwards. We topped crusted baby potatoes with slithers of sea bream – buttery, caper-infused fish and crispy skin – and washed it down with a Sicilian white picked by our attentive sommelier. For pudding, order the soft-serve greek yoghurt ice cream – the sweet silkiness is interrupted by chunks of syrupy walnut cake. Or the signature tiramisu – mercifully light, mousse-like and dusted in bitter cocoa powder – the perfect finish, albeit lacking a boozier hit. Connor Sturges
Address: Bacchanalia, 1-3 Mount Street, London W1K 3NA
Jacuzzi, High Street Kensington
London is not short of beautiful restaurants. Some of the world’s dreamiest places to eat are here, from sky-high dining spaces with jaw-dropping views to underground eateries with a penchant for theatrics. But Big Mamma is staying firm as the name to know when it comes to London's most dramatic restaurants. Inspired by childhood memories of exploring a grand Venetian villa, Jacuzzi brings a world of epicurean opulence to West London. Set across three stories, each floor presents a different take on the theme. The first feels like an old-fashioned dining hall, with soaring stucco ceilings, backlit shelves creaking underneath the weight of bottles and a giant lemon tree centrepiece. Up a grand sweeping staircase lies the mezzanine level, transporting guests straight to an Italian courtyard, with a retractable roof lets sunlight stream in. Upstairs again, the final floor is more of a boudoir, with white and green latticed walls, tasselled pink table lamps and another blossoming tree centrepiece. The food is classic Big Mamma style: big plates of Italian classics, each with an ornate flourish. Try the culatello, a thinly sliced cured meat, draped over gnocco fritto (pillowy cushions of fried dough); Maldon Rock oysters drizzled with balsamic vinegar and drops of chilli oil; lobster seafood risotto with a cuttlefish ragù and frutti di mare, For pudding, order the giant chocolate mousse. Made with half a kilo of Valrhona chocolate and drizzled with coffee praline, it's served tableside for good reason – waiters will continue to pile it high into bowls until the customer says to stop (easier said than done once you get a whiff of that chocolatey delight). Read our full review of this new restaurant, that could easily be London’s most beautiful place to eat. Olivia Morelli
Address: Jacuzzi, 94 Kensington High St, London W8 4SJ