Hot Right Now - London's hottest restaurants - May 2024

This is our monthly round-up of the restaurants causing the biggest stir in town - the hottest at this very moment from the much-awaited return of a restaurant supremo to a Singapore hit in Chinatown.  (If you're looking for classics, see our all-time London's Best Restaurants guide).


LitaNew: Lita

Marylebone - 7 Paddington St, London W1U 5QE

In a nutshell: Luxe live fire cooking

Almost out of nowhere, Lita has quickly become one of the hottest restaurants in town. Crossing over into the space that made Chiltern Firehouse such a big hit, it mixes great cooking with a laid-back-luxe vibe that's proving very popular with the well-heeled Marylebone set. Of course, it helps that the food by chef Luke Ahearne is exceptionally good (the tuna dish pictured is a showstopper) and has already garnered some stellar reviews. In The Standard, Jimi Famurewa called it "a marvel" while Jay Rayner was in "heavenly raptures over the cooking here". 

More about Lita

Read our Test Drive of Lita


Oma and AgoraNew: Oma and Agora

Borough Market - 2-4 Bedale St, London SE1 9AL

In a nutshell: Lively Greek-inspired duo

Coming from David Carter, the man behind Smokestak and Manteca, it was fair to expect big things from his Greek-inspired restaurants in Borough Market, even if they were something of a creative departure for him. But barely weeks after opening, both restaurants are heaving, bringing a taste of Shoreditch vibes to Borough. The walk-in-only Agora channels a busy Greek taverna against live-fire cooking while the upstairs OMA features next-level dishes like their lobster-bisque borek. Breads are baked in-house (the acama is wonderful) and OMA is also blessed with an upstairs terrace that overlooks the market. It's the new party place in the area, for sure. In The Standard, Jimi Famurewa is an early fan, calling it suitably "epic". 

More about Oma and Agora


ABC KitchensNew: ABC Kitchens

Knightsbridge - Old Barrack Yard, Belgravia, London SW1X 7NP

In a nutshell: Jean-Georges latest

The Emory is the brand new suites-only hotel from The Maybourne Group that's right next door to another of their hotels, The Berkeley (and connected to it by a door through to Cedric Grolet). Blessed with a hidden courtyard, it also boasts the latest London restaurant from Jean-Georges Vongerichten (he also teamed up with Maybourne at The Connaught). This is essentially an amalgam of the various ABC restaurants he's opened in America, featuring some of his best-known dishes like the spring pea guacamole. It's already a hit with the Knightsbridge folk, and has a brass-hued interior design that really comes to life at night. 

More about ABC Kitchens


RoeNew: Roe

Canary Wharf - Five Park Drive, Wood Wharf, London E14 9GG

In a nutshell: Fallow goes big

Over the years, Fallow has built a big reputation both for its cooking but also by becoming a master of social media. For their next proper restaurant (outside of spin-off Fowl), the team here have gone a whole lot bigger for their Canary Wharf restaurant Roe. Huge though it is, the style of food that made Fallow such a hit, low waste, with a strong focus on local and sustainable, is very much in evidence here. From excellent skewers to a properly game-changing banana dessert, the food is excellent. At the time of writing, they're yet to serve breakfast but when they do, that'll be perfect for the Canary Wharf workers. 

More about Roe

Read our Test Drive of Roe


Astrid BakeryNew: Astrid Bakery

Muswell Hill - 118a Alexandra Park Road, London N10 2AH

In a nutshell: TBC

North London's bakery game got another big boost with the arrival in Muswell Hill of this new boutique bakery. Journalist-turned-baker Charlotte O'Kelly first had a hit with her weekend bakery box deliveries in the area. Now she has her own place and is open at the weekends. The queues are, as you might imagine, down the street. What everyone wants to try are her cinnamon buns and amazing laminated croissants. But, frankly, you'll take whatever you can get by the time you get to the front of the queue.

More about Astrid Bakery



Borough Market - 2-3 Stoney Street, London SE1 9AA

In a nutshell: French bistro from the Ducksoup team

After success both in London with Ducksoup and out of town with Osteria Emilia, Clare Lattin and Tom Hill's latest restaurant sees them pivot to a pretty traditional French bistro. With ex-P Franco chef Elliot Hashtroudi as head chef, the very French menu is already finding its fans. In The Guardian,  Grace Dent "got the sense that this is a truly great little restaurant" while Jimi Famurewa called it one of the year's "most intoxicating openings".

More about Camille



Victoria Park - 211a Victoria Park Road, London E9 7JN

In a nutshell: Neighbourhood wine bar + pretzels

After his success with Sager + Wilde, Michael Sager has concentrated on his own neighbourhood for his latest opening, a small, cosy wine bar just off Victoria Park. Named after his father, the bar is stocked with many wines from his own private collection and those are backed up with a carby menu that's led by huge filled pretzels. This is exactly the kind of wine bar you want to appear in your neighbourhood and will make you jealous of the Victoria Park locals. 

More about Bruno

Read our Test Drive of Bruno


The Shoap by Auld HagThe Shoap by Auld Hag

Islington - 406 St John Street, London EC1V 4ND

In a nutshell: Scottish deli

After years working as a market stall under the Auld Hag title, Gregg Boyd has gone permanent with this deli, cafe and bar in Angel, immediately proving that there was a pent-up need for "Scottish scran". Since opening, there have been queues out the door for their filled morning rolls, tattie scones, cakes and more. Get there as early as you can to make sure you grab some baked goods, but it's also a great place for a late afternooon/early evening drink in Angel. In The Standard, Jimi Famurewa was impressed, saying that when you leave, you'll be "plotting an immediate return".

More about The Shoap


Sourdough SophiaSourdough Sophia

Islington - 119 Essex Rd, London N1 2SN

In a nutshell: New Islington bakery

London's excitement over a new bakery sees no sign of lapsing any time soon and this second Sourdough Sophia is already a big hit in Islington. Mere days after opening, queues have been building and judging by a repeat mid-week visit, it's already one of Islington's most popular cafes. With excellent pastries, not to mention amazing cereal milk cookies, it's easy to see why this has quickly become a second success for Sophia. 

More about Sourdough Sophia



St James - 20 Arlington St, St. James's, London SW1A 1RJ

In a nutshell: Jeremy King revives Le Caprice

The first of Jeremy King's three new restaurants of 2024 continues to be a massive hit, even without star MD Jesus Adorno. So many A-list celebs have already been through the doors during its testing weeks that it's unquestionably the new place to be seen in right now. Essentially Le Caprice in all but name, it's been a hit with the old and new crowd. Of the former, Giles Coren says "the food is great. Just great." while Jimi Famurewa is a fan of the restaurants which lets you "party like it’s 1989." Yes, it's something of a throwback, but as Grace Dent puts it: "It ain’t broke, and neither is its the clientele, so nobody needs to fix it."

More about Arlington

Read our Arlington Test Drive


Josephine BouchonJosephine Bouchon

Chelsea - 315 Fulham Road, London SW10 9QH

In a nutshell: Claude Bosi's Lyonnaise home

It's been a busy 12 months for Claude Bosi with this being the third restaurant he's opened in that time frame; one of them already has two Michelin stars. This restaurant, a team-up with Bosi's wife Lucy, feels like more of a neighbourhood affair and one that's closer to Bosi's heart, being a local bistro that harkens back to his family's roots. It's become a massive hit for both locals and those further afield. Very much an old-school affair, Jay Rayner calls it "a beautifully executed act of remembrance." Make sure to order the rum baba, served tableside.

More about Josephine

Read our Josephine Bouchon Test Drive



Clerkenwell - 84-86 Rosebery Avenue, London EC1R 4Q

In a nutshell: Perilla does Mediterranean

After success with Perilla in Stoke Newington, the same team has opened a much bigger restaurant close to Exmouth Market that's quite a different beast. Focusing this time on a modern interpretation of Mediterranean dining, they prove that they're no one-hit-wonder with an extremely assured parade of snacks and sharing dishes, all with their own unique spin. In The Standard, Jimi Famurewa says the restaurant "traffics in the sort of rare brilliance that it’s hard to keep secret for very long." meanwhile, Grace Dent says the kitchen is creating "an intense mix of decadent, surprising, weird and usually utterly triumphant dishes".

More about Morchella

Read our Test Drive of Morchella


The DevonshireThe Devonshire

Soho - 17 Denman Street, London W1D 7HW

In a nutshell: Hottest pub and grill in town

Still the very hottest thing in this list of hot restaurants, The Devonshire's success continues to be bigger than really anyone could have predicted with a parade of stars visiting to see what the fuss is about (NYC food royalty Danny Meyer has just been in and even Bono's popped in for a look). The excellent reputation of the grill restaurant has well and truly spread and it's still almost impossible to get a booking. Reviews have also been stellar. Giles Coren best summed it up as "What. A. Place." Even if you can't get into the restaurant, it's well worth squeezing your way into the pub for a Guinness. 

More about The Devonshire

Read our Test Drive of The Devonshire


The Dover

Mayfair - 33 Dover St, London W1S 4NF

In a nutshell: Old-school hospitality in Mayfair

Another restaurant that's been attracting the A-Listers, The Dover continues to be very hot. The man behind it is Martin Kuczmarski, once Nick Jones' right-hand man at Soho House and he's created a slice of old-school, understated Mayfair glamour crossed with a classic New York Italian restaurant (and an excellent bar). Good hospitality and a great menu mix very well here and the spaghetti meatballs have found a fan in Giles Coren who called them "immense. Delicious. Fathomless." It's already quite the A-list hangout spot - Harry Styles and Selena Gomez were the most recent to be spotted heading to the dining room. 

More about The Dover

Read our Test Drive of The Dover


Liu XiaomianLiu Xiaomian

Carnaby - First floor, Kingly Ct, Carnaby, London W1B 5PW

In a nutshell: Spicy noodles go permanent

Previously popping up in residencies, Liu Xiaomian's noodles have been very popular, counting none other than Nigella Lawson among their fans. Run by Chongqing expats Liu Qian and Charlene Liu, this sees them finally getting a permanent space in Carnaby's Kingly court. The menu centres around two dishes - Xiaomian wheat noodles in an aromatic and spicy broth and a hot and sour glass noodle dish with new pig's trotter noodles making the menu too. It has a new fan in The Sunday Times' Charlotte Ivers who says "I’ll definitely be back a fourth time."

More about Liu Xiaomian



Notting Hill - 2-4 Farmer St, London W8 7SN

In a nutshell: Omakase with a Mexican influence in Notting Hill

We may have contributed to the buzz around this tiny new restaurant tucked away upstairs in Los Mochis in Notting Hill after our Instagram reel garnered over half a million views. But while we're unlikely to ever get a seat here again given that there are only six, we can't be sad if that's because more of you are heading down to try this exceptional omakase spot. A recent visitor was Giles Coren, who loved the much more lively nature of this omakase restaurant. 

Read our Test Drive of Juno



Broadway Market - 129A Pritchard’s Road, London E2 9AP

In a nutshell: Broadway market winner

Sune comes from a couple who have some pretty impressive restaurants in their CVs, Honey Spencer and Charlie Sims (along with ex-Pidgin head chef Michael Robins). It's a beautifully-designed restaurant with a menu that's both innovative and comforting. From dishes like the excellent grilled pork chop with prawn and lemongrass sauce to a really great toastie, all backed up by a truly great wine list, this emerges as something well worth crossing town for. Jimi Famurewa in The Standard agrees, saying it features "the sort of vivid flavours that make you want to howl in delight." While Grace Dent proclaimed that "There is some amazing destination cooking going on at Sune."

More about Sune

Read our Test Drive of Sune



Hackney - Unit 3, 143 Mare Street, London E8 3RH

In a nutshell: Supperclub supremo goes permanent

Every so often, a hit restaurant manages to open with surprisingly little fanfare but immediate presence and that's certainly the case with Whyte's, the first restaurant from supperclub chef Whyte Rushen. It's easy to see why it's been a hit in this case. The chef has an impressive background, having been at Scully and Brat and the restaurant is blessed with a menu that reads incredibly well (oyster topped with Monster Munch and Comte sounds great). The menu shifts regularly and after a visit Grace Dent called it “weird but still pretty wonderful”

More about Whyte's



Clapton - 78 Lower Clapton Road, Lower Clapton, London E5 0RN

In a nutshell: Modern Malaysian v 2.0

When Abby Lee first launched Mambow as part of Market Peckham, it was already clear that it was something special. We said at the time "we can see Lee going onto big things after this" and so it has proved, with the modern Malaysian Mambow moving across town to a bigger, standalone spot.  It's already becoming a big hit with the Clapton folk and the larger restaurant means a slightly bigger offering too and the amazing lor bak is still on offer but. In The Standard, David Ellis said Abby Lee has "achieved a triumph".

More about Mambow


New - KolaeKolae

Bought Yards - 6 Park Street, London SE1 9AB

In a nutshell: Som Saa sequel

It's been six years since the opening of Som Saa which proved to be an instant hit, but the launch of Kolae from Mark Dobbie and Andy Oliver shows that it's been worth the wait. A small pivot into grilled food focused on the Southern provinces of Thailand has proved to be very popular - and those skewers (particularly the Kolae chicken) are a must-have. It got a rare five-star review from Jimi Famurewa in The Standard who said "Kolae are doing very exciting things."

More about Kolae

Read our Kolae Test Drive



Fitzrovia - 3 Great Titchfield St., London W1W 8AX

In a nutshell: West African restaurant v 2.0

After initial success in Brixton, Adejoké Bakare has taken Chishuru to a bigger space in central London and the restaurant is better than ever, winning a Michelin star in near record time. Here, you'll find the same modern West African cuisine that proved such a hit at the original opening with a regularly-changing set menu on offer. It's one of the most impressive new openings of the year. In the Standard, Jimi Famurewa calls Bakare "one of the most blisteringly gifted and original chefs in the city" and we have to agree. 

More about Chishuru

Read our Chishuru Test Drive



Warming up...

Here are a few more restaurants creating buzz recently that we think are worth keeping an eye on...

Niju (Mayfair) - 20 Berekely has been completely reinvented as a Japanese grill restaurant and sushi bar

Bangers (Shoreditch) - In they're own permanent space, this is the new spot for breakfast in Shoreditch

Thirty7 (Covent Garden) - The Oysterment have created a very welcoming neighbourhood bistro.

Los Mochis City (City of London) - Up on the rooftop, their second Mexican-Japanese is a much grander affair. 

Cloth (Smithfield) - Early looks at this new wine bar and restaurant are looking very promising. 

Bistrot at Wild Honey (St James) - Wild Honey's offshoot is going down very well

The Cocochine (Mayfair) - While still rather quiet, we've been hearing good things about this Larry Jayasekara restaurant

For more - read our guide to all the new restaurant openings in London.


Where's Hot, mapped.

Here's how the Hot Dinners "Where's Hot" restaurants are spread across town.



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