We update this list monthly with the restaurants causing the biggest stir in town as these are the hottest at this very moment, in alphabetical order. (And if you're looking for all-time classics, see our London's Best Restaurants list).
Mayfair - 42 North Audley Street, Mayfair, London W1K 6ZR
In a nutshell: Contemporary new Indian restaurant
This restaurant is run by Chet Sharma, who was previously at L'Enclume and Moor Hall and most recently development chef with JKS, the people behind Gymkhana and Hoppers. Bibi has him teaming up with JKS again for an Indian restaurant with influences from roadside cafes across India. Jimi Famurewa in The Standard was a fan - "BiBi lights a fire under a somewhat staid fancy Indian dining sector with personality, vibrant distinctiveness and mesmeric, precisely executed food that manages to look back and thrust forward all at once."
Shoreditch - 45 Curtain Rd, Hackney, London EC2A 3PT
In a nutshell: Top Spanish chef in Shoreditch
Not to be confused with Bibi (above), Bibo sees Dani Garcia, a top Spanish chef with Michelin stars to his name, take his Bibo restaurant group to the new Mondrian hotel in Shoreditch (where The Curtain use to be). While rollouits can sometimes be hit or miss - this is definitely in hit territory, with an excellent tapas menu and vibe to match. In the Standard, Jimi Famurewa was impressed, saying Garcia has created a place with a "fun, party-starting hedonism and rough-hewn generosity".
Hackney - Canal Place, 32 Andrews Rd, London E8 4RL
In a nutshell: River Cafe chef goes it alone
There has been much anticipation for Max Rocha's solo restaurant by the canal in Hackney. The chef came from The River Cafe and like many of London's best chefs has also spent time at St John Bread & Wine. It's just breakfast and lunch right now, but dishes like rabbit tagliatelle and sage & anchovy fritti (not to mention Guinness bread ice cream) should make this a very worthwhile trip to the canal. David Ellis in The Standard agrees - "I’m not a very “it” person, to tell you the truth of it, but I think Café Cecilia might quietly just be the one."
Brixton - 67-68 Granville Arcade, Brixton Village, London SW9 8PS
In a nutshell: The sequel to Fish, Wings & Tings
This Brixton restaurant is from Brian Danclair, the man behind the popular Fish, Wings & Tings. The restaurant is best described as Caribbean fusion, while also taking influences from Latin America. It's opened quietly in Brixton, but to immediate acclaim. In The Standard, Jimi Famurewa said, "there is something quietly radical about its forceful sincerity, its unusual juxtapositions and the way it pushes at the edges of what we imagine when we hear the words “Caribbean restaurant”."
Ladbroke Grove - 301 Portobello Road, London W10 5TD
In a nutshell: Chris Denney's latest
Fiend is from Chris Denney, previously of hit Notting Hill restaurant 108 Garage. Here's he's putting together a menu that's trying to be as eclectic as it can in what's described as a "vibrant bohemian restaurant, bar and lounge" that's "provocative, rebellious and inspired". Grace Dent has been an early convert - "The menu was clever, focused, deliciously erratic and ever so slightly bewildering. Fiend sounds like being hijacked by a nefarious presence. The more I think about Denney’s cooking, the more it feels perfectly fitting."
Mayfair - Royal Academy, Burlington Gardens, Piccadilly, London W1J 0BD
In a nutshell: Spanish tapas and art
The Royal Academy has drafted in Jose Pizarro to take over the food at the gallery and it's a near-perfect match. Post-culture tapas and Cava - what's not to like? There's an extensive tapas menu, a surprisingly affordable all-Spanish wine list and the Poster Bar downstairs is a great drop-in place too.
Where: 26 Romilly St, London W1D 5AJ
In a nutshell: Retro Korean pub in Soho
This Korean pub launched with little fanfare but has already gone on to be a big hit. It's all decked out in retro 70s style, with food including Makchang BBQ and Hongdae chicken as well as kimchi jeon, bo ssam and tteok bok ki rice cakes - alongside plenty of highballs to drink. David Ellis in The Standard called it an absolute riot and recommends you "sink the stress of the last year with soju".
Where: 54 Frith St, Soho, London W1D 4SL
In a nutshell: Comb to tail yakitori
This is top chef Angelo Sato's solo Soho restaurant and it's about literally all of the chicken. Every bit of the chicken is put to use in the yakitori menu, so while you can play it safe and choose breast (with plum + shiso) or wing (with shichimi + lemon) you can also opt for Achilles, tail, cartilage and more. Giles Coren says "It’s beer food. Izakaya snacks. Pub grub. And bloody good." while Tim Hayward in the FT said it features "high-quality avian deconstruction."
Carnaby - Top Floor Kingly Court, Carnaby St, London W1B 5PW
In a nutshell: Korean food comes to Carnaby
This Korean restaurant has taken over a prime space at the top of Kingly Court and features a menu from the people behind TA TA Eatery - so you already know you're in for something special. Aiming for an LA Koreatown vibe, it's already one of the busiest new restaurants in the area, the corndogs are top-notch and their kimchi stone pot is showstopping.
Spitalfields - 1-3 Widegate St, Spitalfields, London E1 7ES
In a nutshell: Noodles in Spitalfields
Marugame Udon has been a massive hit wherever it's landed before, so it's no surprise that their first London restaurant would be all over Instagram and TikTok. They have hundreds of sites all over the world (and they're already planning a second in London). Expect udon noodles at surprisingly great prices (which is part of why they're such a hit). Grace Dent is a convert and calls it "a bit Wagamama with a nod towards an Ikea cafe" and "what Marugame Udon has in buckets is a sense of fun, low prices" and that's a real winner right now.
Knightsbridge - The Park Tower Knightsbridge, 101 Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7RN
In a nutshell: Salt Bae has arrived!
Whatever your thoughts about Salt Bae, there's no getting around the fact that this is the restaurant that everyone is talking about at the moment. Years in the planning, the arrival of the human salt dispenser has delighted his fans while leaving others aghast at the prices, as the £600 cost of a Tomahawk steak had social media reeling. We await the first reviews with interest - once the writers get the editors to sign off on that expense...
Soho - 77 Brewer St, Soho, London W1F 9ZN
In a nutshell: Batman in Soho
While some reports of this DC Comics-inspired restaurant in London have been mixed, it's certainly got everyone talking (as you can see from our own TikTok). A huge space, it maybe could still lean into the Batman mythos a little more but it's had immense interest both in this country and further afield. And there's definitely nothing in town like their immersive Monarch Theatre, where you're completely surrounded by a changing video projection for your whole meal.
Where: Conrad London St. James, 22-28 Broadway, Westminster, London SW1H 0BH
In a nutshell: Sally Abé's main home
She won loads of plaudits for her time at The Harwood Arms and now Sally Abé has moved to the Conrad St James. The chef is in charge of all the food at the hotel and The Pem is her main restaurant there, aiming to "build on the foundations of British cuisine" and they're turning out an extremely impressive array of dishes that are in the fine dining-but-generous territory, with a focus on game that's very much in Abé's wheelhouse.
Fitzrovia - Treehouse London, 14-15 Langham Pl, London W1B 2QS
In a nutshell: Top LA chef comes to London
Nancy Silverton is a BIG name back in the states where the LA Pizzeria Mozza is a big draw. This sees her arriving in London (and spending some time herself to help get it off to a good start) with a pizzeria which really does turn out excellent pizzas (and with a menu that's a good deal different from the norm) as well as huge desserts. As Marina O'Loughlin says, the "pizzas are sublime... There’s magic in this dough. "
Clerkenwell - 24 Clerkenwell Green, Farringdon, London EC1R 0NA
In a nutshell: Florence Knight in Clerkenwell
London has seen some pretty beautiful restaurants opening of late and this Clerkenwell restaurant is a particularly good example - the stripped-back approach to the decor on the Grade II building is stunning. Reviews of both the look and Florence Knight's cooking have been great. Grace Dent called it "hugely convivial, like a time before any of the Bad Things happened" while Marina O'Loughlin said "This is a place for four-hour lunches, for cinq à sept, for abandoning all idea of restraint or frugality."
Soho - 47 Great Marlborough Street, London W1F 7JP
In a nutshell: Latin America in Soho
This Soho restaurant is housed in a truly spectacular dining room (with chandeliers made from decanters) and has a menu by superstar chef Fernando Trocca. Open fire cooking is the main name of the game here and make sure that the empanadas and the crab tostada are on your to-try list. The bar downstairs (Abajo) is also well worth a look with its glow-in-the-dark cocktails.
Notting Hill - 98 Westbourne Grove, London W2 5RU
In a nutshell: NYC brunch and more in London
Sunday in Brooklyn has been a big hit in New York - now they're one of a few NYC restaurants making a home this side of the pond n Notting Hill. Their hazelnut and brown butter pancakes are the main attraction (you'll want a whole stack) and the all-week-long brunch is a big deal too. It's quickly become hugely popular in Notting Hill, constantly bringing in the crowds.
Farringdon - 36-37 Greenhill Rents, Cowcross St, London EC1M 6BN
In a nutshell: Russell Norman returns
He changed London's restaurant scene with Polpo and now Russell is back a decade later with this new opening in Farringdon/Smithfield that's inspired by the trattorias of Florence. There are signature touches throughout - the decor is beautiful and the lighting is low - which sit beside a menu of classic Italian dishes and enormous T Bone steaks. Plus they have negronis for a fiver - that's certainly going to pull the crowds in.
Ones to watch...
Also opened recently which we think are worth keeping an eye on...
- Ekstedt at The Yard (St James) - Swedish chef Niklas Peter Ekstedt brings his fire-cooking to London
- Planque (Hackney) - Ex P Franco chef Seb Myers runs the restaurant in this new wine-centric Hackney space
- Manthan (Mayfair) - Kutir's Rohit Ghai returns to the area where he made his name at Gymkhana
- MiMi Mei Fair (Mayfair) - A High-end, glitzy Chinese restaurant from the people behind Jamavar
- Sonora Taqueria (Hackney) - This taco shack is the home of some of London's best tacos and it's just returned after a summer break.
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.
Pem photography: Food Story Media Ltd
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