We’re halfway through the year and London’s dining scene has been anything but quiet, with a slew of new restaurants opening their doors to the capital’s food lovers. Below, we’ve rounded up 20 of our favourite restaurant launches from the year so far to add to your to-do list.
Why go: 2019’s biggest opening is the name on everyone’s lips, Gloria. Gaining instant fame for its brash excess, party vibe and larger than life menu of Italian comfort food this Shoreditch hot spot is not one to miss.
Must-order: That ginormous wedge of lemon meringue pie that you’ve seen all over your Instagram feed.
54-56 Great Eastern Street, EC2A 3QR
Orasay, Notting Hill
Why go: The third project from chef duo Jackson Boxer and Andrew Clarke (following Vauxhall's Brunswick House and St Leonard's in Shoreditch), Orasay serves pretty-as-can-be plates of the freshest British seafood in a boho-chic dining room.
Must-order: The sliced XL Isle of Mull scallop, which arrives garnished with cubes of caramelised shiitake and a scattering of shisho leaves.
31 Kensington Park Road, W11 2EU
Why go: Italian chef Carlo Scotto is the man behind Xier, an accomplished first-floor fine-diner which is part of a double restaurant concept (the more casual XR can be found on the ground level).
Must-order: Xier exclusively serves a 10-course tasting menu which is full of surprises.
13-14 Thayer Street, W1U 3JR
Tayer + Elementary, Shoreditch
Why go: Although Tayer + Elementary is primarily a (very) experimental bar, the on-trend snacks here are not to be missed.
Must-order: The hallowed Iberian pork katsu sando, which features an unexpected slick of raspberry jam and has already gained cult status.
152 Old Street, EC1V 9BW
Bob Bob Cité, City
Why go: It may have opened 16 months behind schedule, but Bob Bob Cité, with its opulent interiors and pimped-up comfort food, was well worth the wait.
Must-order: The four-cheese lobster mac ‘n’ cheese, which is as decadent as it sounds.
122 Leadenhall Street, EC3V 4AB
Why go: Gezellig serves a seasonally-changing menu devised by a talented foursome of Michelin restaurant veterans, including chef Graham Long and Elystan Street restaurateur Rebecca Mascarenhas.
Must-order: The menu changes seasonally, but on our visit we loved the black forest brownie.
193-197 High Holborn, WC1V 7BD
No. Fifty Cheyne, Chelsea
Why go: Formerly known as Cheyne Walk Brasserie, No. Fifty Cheyne is a classy and grown-up restaurant that is the sort of place you’ll want to get all dressed up for.
Must-order: The scallop and langoustine in a luxe Champagne sauce.
50 Cheyne Walk, SW3 5LR
Soutine, St John’s Wood
Why go: Chris Corbin and Jeremy King (The Wolseley, etc.) have done it again with Soutine, a Parisian-accented neighbourhood restaurant which serves an all-day menu.
Must-order: The plaice goujons served with French fries and tartare sauce.
60 St John’s Wood High Street, NW8 7SH
Why go: The blending of Italian and Japanese cuisines at minimalist spot Angelina shouldn’t work, but it proves to be a masterstroke.
Must-order: The creamy rice pudding which arrives studded with chunks of blood orange, nuggets of pistachio and a sprinkling of chocolate shavings.
56 Dalston Lane, E8 3AH
Why go: An offshoot of one of Istanbul’s most well-regarded restaurants, Yeni injects Soho with a dose of innovative modern Turkish dishes.
Must-order: The slow-cooked beef ribs which are served on a slice of sourdough that soaks up the meat juices.
55 Beak Street, W1F 9SH
Da Terra, Bethnal Green
Why go: On a site which has previously housed restaurant Behemoths, you’ll find playful fine diner Da Terra, which serves hi-spec dishes with a side of Lego (yes, really).
Must-order: Da Terra exclusively serves a blind tasting menu that intrigues and excites.
8 Patriot Square, E2 9NF
Why go: Irish chef Anna Haugh uses Myrtle to repackage the comforting classics of her home nation for the well-heeled Chelsea crowd.
Must-order: The homemade boxty, which reveals a beefy center and eats like an upmarket savoury dumpling.
1A Langton Street, SW10 0JL
Why go: From the team behind P Franco and Bright, comes Peg – a no-frills dining room that’s home to some seriously on-trend dishes.
Must-order: The menu changes daily, but on our visit we loved the canapé-sized eel rice cakes.
120 Morning Lane, E9 6LH
Wild Honey, St James's
Why go: Having flown over from Mayfair, this new iteration of Wild Honey still has oodles of charm.
Must order: The flavoursome octopus tentacle, which is amped up by a helping of smoked cod’s roe.
8 Pall Mall, SW1Y 5NG
Adam Handling, Chelsea
Why go: The former MasterChef contestant thrives in a setting that’s far smarter than the rest of the restaurants in the Adam Handling portfolio.
Must-order: The butter-poached king crab with carrot and sorrel.
Belmond Cadogan Hotel, 75 Sloane Street, SW1X 9SG
Why go: Cult favourite Bao has expanded the menu at its latest branch, while the downstairs karaoke room is an added novelty.
Must-order: The chicken nugget bao is like a grown-up McDonald's treat.
13 Stoney Street, SE1 9AD
Shanghai Modern, Soho
Why go: It may have ‘modern’ in the title, but Shanghai Modern comes across like the Chinese restaurants of old, and it’s all the better for it.
Must-order: The stir-fried aubergine is meltingly soft and mixed in with satisfyingly salty preserved bean-curd paste.
12 Newport Place, WC2H 7JP
Master Wei, Bloomsbury
Why go: Master Wei is a cheap and cheerful Chinese café which serves a menu that boasts occasional flashes of brilliance.
Must-order: Fill up on the smaller dishes, including the boneless chicken in a ginger sauce.
13 Cosmo Place, WC1N 3AP
Lucknow 49, Mayfair
Why go: Classic curry house dishes are cooked to a high standard at Lucknow 49 and prices are a veritable bargain too, considering the moneyed location.
Must order: The spiced lamb leg curry which swims in a sauce with a thick, gravy-like consistency.
49 Maddox Street, W1S 2PQ
Why go: Kanishka is the first restaurant from Atul Kochhar since his departure from Benares, and serves a menu which is far more approachable than what we’re used to from the chef.
Must-order: The venison tartare, pepped up with a sprinkling of chilli.
17-19 Maddox Street, W1S 2QH
Still hungry for more newcomers? Check out all of London’s latest restaurant openings, or whet your appetite with our pick of London restaurants coming soon.