Every January, we run a guide to the upcoming London restaurants that think sound the most interesting. This year is... a little different. We're still very excited about the places featured below - but we don't really know when any of them will be able to open. Someday, sooner than it might feel, restaurants will open again. So consider these upcoming openings as the distant light on the horizon. And for the full list of what's planned to open this year, check out our Coming Soon page.
1 Bateman's Buildings, Soho, London W1D 3EN
This is the first new restaurant since Soutine for Corbin and King (leaving aside the relaunched Bellanger). Excitement for this new seafood restaurant in Soho will probably be pretty evenly split between those with fond memories of the original and the many fans of any restaurant that Messrs Corbin & King open. Expect something more similar to Brasserie Zedel in size and approach - with a focus on seafood.
54 Frith St, Soho, London W1D 4SL
He’s already stormed Instagram with his amazing katsu sandos at Yatai and his rainbow chirashi sushi bowls, now chef Angelo Sato is taking on yakitori. The sticks sound great, but even the sides sound must-try. Miso Foie Gras, with black sesame, anyone?
72 Old Compton St, Soho, London, W1D 4UN
This Taiwanese fried chicken joint is moving to the next level, courtesy of a partnership with the folks at Ta Ta Eatery. We defy you to take a look at the proposed menu and not drool. Desserts include the need-it-now deep-fried milk custard and the cocktail list alone would make this worthy of a trip.
18 Shepherd Market, Mayfair, London W1J 7QH
In 2020, Taka restaurant moved to a much bigger restaurant space in Marylebone - but still held onto their original location. In 2021, that original space will be transformed into a 20-course omakase restaurant that will be run by the same people behind Taka. It'll all be about counter dining and a focus on a much more intimate dining experience.
Sheldon Square, Paddington Central, London W2 6HY
It's as high concept an idea as they get. Cheese. On a barge. Given that this is from the team who brought us the cheese conveyor belt restaurant, you can expect Londoners to totally get on board (sorry) the concept of a floating cheese restaurant.
135 Bishopsgate, London EC2M 3YD
If there's anything that'll work to bring Londoners back into office-heavy areas like Bishopsgate in 2021, it'll be a venture like Eataly with its 40,000 square foot space devoted to everything to do with Italian food and drink. Lord knows hardly any of us have been on holiday in the past year, so browsing the aisles and test kitchens here will be like a little taste of abroad.
4 Bow St, Covent Garden, London WC2E 7AT
This is the London version of the New York hotel that once had Eleven Madison Park's Daniel Humm in charge of the food. The connection continues with the London hotel as (once Best Restaurant in the World) EMP-alum Executive Chef Ian Coogan and Leo Robitschek. It looks like little expense has been spared on the fit-out and the restaurant will definitely be one to watch.
Stratton St, Mayfair, London W1J 8LB
For a while, it looked like Mayfair stalwart Langan's was going to be another lockdown casualty, but then news of a rescue arrived. The restaurant will relaunch at some point in 2021 with both a complete refit - but also something that aims to keep true to the original - with a classic French menu on the cards. We'll have to wait and see if it attracts the celebs back in...
22 Clerkenwell Green, Farringdon, London EC1R 0NA
This restaurant, delayed from 2020, has taken over a restored Grade II courthouse in Clerkenwell (with a very shabby chic look) and comes from Ennismore, the people behind The Hoxton hotels. Promised for front-of-house is the legendary Jon Spiteri while Alex Vines (40 Maltby Street, Rochelle Canteen and Sardine) will be in the kitchen.
49 Lexington St, Soho, London W1F 9AP
While 2020 saw that sad closure of Ritas in King's Cross, 2021 will see them reappear in the heart of Soho with a brand new restaurant. They tested the water as a wine shop in the run-up to Christmas, but we can expect a full dine-in affair at some point in early 2021. Menu details are sparse at the time of writing - but we know for sure that their sandwiches will be excellent.
121-123 Mare Street, Hackney, London E8 3RH
Elliot's actually opened its second branch in Hackney in December 2021 - but was forced to go straight into delivery and takeaway only. But when dining-in is back, this should be a sure-fire hit - with a similar menu (top pizzas, small plates and natural wines) to the hit Borough Market original.
More to look out for...
- Will the planned Batman restaurant happen in 2021? (we really hope so)
- Som Saa have been crowdfunding for a new restaurant
- A third Big Mamma restaurant is incoming - this time in Covent Garden
- Corbin & King are planning an opening for Notting Hill - that should arrive by the end of 2021
- And there are rumours that Wendy's may be making a return to London (but we're looking forward to Supermac's more).
Check out our continually-updated Upcoming London Restaurants page for the full run-down of all the restaurants - both confirmed and rumoured - that are heading to the Capital.
And maybe, just maybe...?
The Park Tower Knightsbridge, 101 Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7RN
This restaurant has been on this list for the past three years and we'll frankly be a little sad when we can't include it any more. The erection of the above billboard on Knightsbridge means it's closer than ever but will this year finally herald the arrival of Salt Bae to these shores? Only then will 2021 have delivered greatness as promised.
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