SquareMeal's Hottest New Openings

New restaurants open in London every day, but how do you separate the great from the good? We've done the hard work for you, with our pick of London's Hottest New Openings

Updated on 21 January 2020

If you want to visit the new London restaurant that’s on everybody’s lips, guaranteed to leave you satisfied and right at the centre of the capital’s cultural zeitgeist, this is the only list you’ll ever need. You can expect the most talked-about chefs, the biggest comebacks, white-hot pop-ups-gone-permanent, or simply brand-new restaurants that are knocking it out of the park. Scroll this way for London’s hottest new restaurants and be prepared to block out your diary for the foreseeable future.

Find out all about London’s fabulous new restaurant openings by checking out SquareMeal's Hottest New Openings list featuring only the very best of London’s latest restaurant openings. Of course, London has an incredible portfolio of restaurants but if you're looking for something more specific, you can check out our curated top picks for brunch in the capital, or afternoon teas that are not to be missed. 

Every one of the London restaurants featured in SquareMeal’s list of the Hottest New Openings have been tried and tested by critics and our own customers, so check out the full reviews by cliking through. Each SquareMeal listing features an independent review, as well as reviews from those who have visited, together with unique special offers such as special menus and discounts.

Orasay

Orasay

31 Kensington Park Road, Notting Hill, London, W11 2EU

Friends and business partners Jackson Boxer and Andrew Clarke have teamed up for their third project following Brunswick House in Vauxhall and St Leonard’s in Shoreditch. The dining room is a simple, boho-chic affair with paintings by Boxer’s artist mum Kate lining the walls. On the food menu, expect to come across seafood-focused mains such as grilled seabass with black olives and aubergine, before rounding off your meal with a flourless chocolate cake for pudding.

£50 - £79
British
Fish
SquareMeal London Top 100
Lino

Lino

90 Bartholomew Close , London, EC1A 7EB

Opening at a former linoleum warehouse, this industrial-chic venue is sexier looking than its rather dull history would suggest. On-trend interiors such as dusty pink chairs and pendant lighting are matched with an equally of-the-moment menu, which sees dishes such as cheddar cheese and sauerkraut croquettes, and a daily-changing pasta dish served with a glass of wine. For dessert, Lino’s reimagining of the school dinner staple of bread and butter pudding is an unmissable treat.

Modern European
No. Fifty Cheyne

No. Fifty Cheyne

50 Cheyne Walk, Chelsea, London, SW3 5LR

Lovingly refurbished, what was once Cheyne Walk Brasserie now has a new name. The interiors feature an oh-so-glamorous mix of glittering chandeliers, marble-topped tables and parquet floors, while the menu is just as sophisticated, without ever crossing over into the unattainable. On our visit, we loved the likes of scallop and langoustine in Champagne sauce, while perfectly cooked steaks arrive paired with béarnaise sauce and thick beef-dripping chips. Chatty, friendly staff are a highlight too.

£50 - £79
French
SquareMeal London Top 100
Jolene

Jolene

21 Newington Green, London, N16 9PU

Sadly unaffiliated with queen of country Dolly, this restaurant is in fact from the team behind Primeur and Westerns Laundry. It’s a bakery by day, before opening up as a restaurant in the evening, serving an evolving selection of sharing dishes which are written up on a chalkboard. On our visit, the highlight was ravioli parcels filled with soft pumpkin and sage, while a side of rosemary flatbread was perfect for mopping up any leftovers.

Under £30
French
Gold

Gold

95 Portobello Road, London, W11 2QB

Surprisingly, this Notting Hill newcomer didn’t take its name from one of Spandau Ballet’s greatest hits. Instead, the name comes from the site’s history, as it used to be a pub called Portobello Gold. These days, it is a far more sophisticated affair, boasting Instagram-friendly interiors and an uncomplicated menu of ingredient-led dishes. Chow down on chargrilled skirt steak with salsa verde, wood-roasted cauliflower with spiced yoghurt, and braised rabbit leg tortelloni with porcini butter.

£50 - £79
Modern European
Haya

Haya

184A Kensington Park Road, London, W11 2ES

Tel Aviv is the source of inspiration for this all-day dining restaurant found in Notting Hill. Haya’s head chef Oren King has previous experience at Dinner By Heston, and he’ll be using his culinary knowledge to dish up the likes of crispy prawns with spiced yoghurt and harissa, and seared tuna with dukkah and homemade labneh. There’ll be a weekend brunch to take advantage of too, while the wine list naturally champions varieties from Israel.

£30 - £49
Mediterranean
Lucky Cat by Gordon Ramsay

Lucky Cat by Gordon Ramsay

10 Grosvenor Square, Mayfair, London, W1K 6JP

Overseen by celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay (and replacing his long-standing Maze Mayfair), Lukcy Cat is inspired by the various cuisines of Asia. Its inspiration comes from the drinking dens of 1930s Tokyo, with the menu consisting of plates to share and dishes from a robata grill – tuck into the likes of wagyu tataki with truffle ponzu, pork belly skewers slicked with nikka whisky and yuzu mustard, or perhaps a crispy tofu and avocado bao bun. 

£50 - £79
Pan-Asian
Peg

Peg

120 Morning Lane, London, London, E9 6LH

Too-cool-for-school Peg is the kind of place that your Mum would probably hate (unless your Mum is exceptionally on-trend). It’s a no-frills dining experience where you sit at a counter and feast on a daily-changing list of grilled yakitori skewers and small plates in the Japanese tradition. There’s also a killer wine list, which should come as no surprise considering that Peg is from the same team behind wildly popular wine bars P.Franco and Bright.

£30 - £49
Japanese
Wine Bars
Daffodil Mulligan

Daffodil Mulligan

70-74 City Road, City, London, EC1Y 2BJ

The first London restaurant for Irish chef Richard Corrigan outside of Mayfair, Daffodil Mulligan finds its home in Shoreditch just off of Old Street roundabout. On the menu, expect a few nods to Corrigan's native Ireland, as well as a focus on coastal cuisine. 

£30 - £49
Irish
Fish
Darby

Darby's

3 Viaduct Gardens, Vauxhall, London, SW11 7AY

The latest restaurant from acclaimed Irish chef Robin Gill takes more inspiration from his roots than previous projects such as the Italian-leaning Sorella. Open from breakfast through to dinner, Darby’s serves fried breakfasts and waffles topped with maple syrup in the morning, before moving on to Highland short rib with pickles and mustard or a pappardelle veal ragu in the evening. We would also recommend stopping off at the in-house oyster bar when you visit.

£50 - £79
British
SquareMeal London Top 100
Gridiron

Gridiron

COMO Metropolitan London, 19 Old Park Lane, Green Park, London, W1K 1LB

This meaty grill in the Metropolitan hotel (where you’ll also find celeb favourite Nobu) is the brainchild of Hawksmoor’s executive chef Richard Turner and former Nuala head chef Colin McSherry. Unsurprisingly, the focus here is on flame-grilled cooking, with dishes including the likes of roast turbot with chicken salt and butter. On the drinks side of things, you’ll find twists on classic cocktails, including a Bloody Mary made with vodka, mustard, butter, stock and tomato.

£30 - £49
Steak
British
Arros QD

Arros QD

64 Eastcastle Street , Fitzrovia, London, W1W 8NQ

The debut London restaurant from three-Michelin starred chef Quique Dacosta focuses on paella, remixing the classic Spanish staple as a fine-dining dish. Prices are punchy, but the standard on show is high: highlights from our visit include the cheese-stuffed ‘stones’, the pulled pork slider which benefits greatly from a helping of kimchi and the paella which incorporates pigeon breast. Delightfully charming staff and rather stylish interiors are further draws, as is the central Fitzrovia location.

£50 - £79
Spanish
SquareMeal London Top 100
Julie

Julie's

135 Portland Road, Holland Park, London, W11 4LW

Julie's has a long history with London, having originally opened in 1969 before eventually closing up shop in 2015. Now though, it's returning to the capital in its 50th birthday year, with a new look and head chef. The original Julie's was well known as an A-list favourite, having previously played host to Tina Turner, Kate Moss and Princess Diana - it's yet to be seen whether it can repeat the same success.

£50 - £79
British
Kebab Queen at Maison Bab

Kebab Queen at Maison Bab

4 Mercer Walk, London, London, WC2H 9FA

Possessing our favourite restaurant name of 2019, Kebab Queen is housed beneath Maison Bab. Seating just 10, guests sit around a chef’s table and are served a tasting menu of kebabs (yes, really). There is no cutlery here either and diners eat directly from a germ-resistant countertop – it’s the kind of concept that could be gimmicky, but head chef Manu Canales stops that from happening thanks to the obvious passion that informs his ever-evolving menu.

£50 - £79
Middle Eastern
Turkish
Circolo Popolare

Circolo Popolare

40-41 Rathbone Place, London, W1T 1PB

This sequel to Gloria has created just as big a splash. The location in an office block off Oxford Street means that the cool factor is dialled down, but it’s still as much fun as you can have in a restaurant and get change from £50.

£30 - £49
Pizza
Italian
SquareMeal London Top 100
Wild Honey St James

Wild Honey St James

8 Pall Mall, St. James's, London, SW1Y 5NG

The much-loved Wild Honey restaurant has flown over from its original site in Mayfair to St James, now taking up residence at the Sofitel hotel. On our recent visit, the cooking was just as high quality as we remembered, with the menu taking in the likes of roasted halibut with crushed potatoes, spring greens and seaweed butter, or Welsh lamb and sweetbreads with peas, pearl barley and smoked aubergine. Breakfast and Sunday lunch are also available.

£50 - £79
Modern European
British
French
SquareMeal London Top 100
Myrtle

Myrtle

1A Langton Street, London, London, SW10 0JL

Irish chef Anna Haugh built her CV by working at the likes of The Square in Mayfair and Soho’s Bob Bob Ricard. Now, she’s opened this neighbourhood joint in Chelsea, which takes inspiration from her homeland without it ever feeling like a cliché. Dishes to try include black pudding tied up with a bundle of fried potato strings or roasted beef fillet with beef-stuffed boxty, while desserts see the likes of dark chocolate tart with orange ice cream. 

£50 - £79
Modern European
Irish
Angelina

Angelina

56 Dalston Lane, London, London, E8 3AH

A restaurant which serves both Japanese and Italian dishes sounds like a recipe for disaster (pardon the pun), but Dalston based Angelina has struck upon a winning formula with its gentle blending of these two ever-popular cuisines. The five-plate menu is the way to go here, with dishes you might be served along the way including unagi risotto with burnt soy butter and dashi, and a black sesame panna cotta with milk chocolate for dessert.

£30 - £49
Japanese
Italian
Heritage

Heritage

18-20 Rupert Street, London, W1D 6DF

Heritage is a Soho restaurant that is inspired by the cuisine of Switzerland and boasts a bar featuring a dozen Rieslings, but there’s more to tempt you here than just booze. The food menu consists of both classic and contemporary Swiss fare, which means you’ll find dishes such as fondue and charcuterie served alongside the likes of a lobster and roasted fennel tart. Heritage also scores bonus points for its seductive dark and moody interiors.

£50 - £79
Swiss
Fare Bar + Canteen

Fare Bar + Canteen

11 Old Street, London, EC1V 9HL

A wine list which spans 250 bottles is enough to tempt most Londoners to try this all-day restaurant and bar in Old Street, but Fare doesn’t just rely on its selection of booze – the food is also excellent, while the interiors are a masterclass in rustic-chic. The dining room is lit by candlelight and adorned with hanging foliage. The menu changes regularly, and is more complex than its vague descriptions suggest – prepare to be wowed.

Modern European
Isla at The Standard

Isla at The Standard

10 Argyle Street, King's Cross, London, WC1H 8EG

This all-day restaurant at The Standard hotel in King's Cross serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. It may be a hotel restaurant, but it manages to shake off any sense of stuffiness, instead coming off as seriously cool. The menu comprises of a selection of small sharing dishes which come with unexpected, yet welcome twists. Top shouts include the burrata dressed with slices of pickled courgette and the fuzi pasta which is showered with black truffle. 

£30 - £49
Modern European
Madera at Treehouse London

Madera at Treehouse London

14-15 Langham Place, Oxford Circus, London, W1B 2QS

This organic ingredient-led eatery offers creative interpretations of Mexican food and cocktails spanning breakfast, lunch, dinner and weekend brunch, placing it at the intersection of elevated Mexican cuisine and experiential dining. It also boasts sweeping views from 15 floors up, stylish interiors and attentive service, making it a top new spot in the capital.
£50 - £79
Mexican
Soutine

Soutine

60 St John’s Wood High Street, St John's Wood, London, NW8 7SH

Soutine doesn’t set out to re-invent the wheel, just offer a very reassuring package, slickly presented. Anglo-French comfort food is served up in atmospheric fin-de-siècle–style bistro surrounds by white-aproned waiters.

£30 - £49
French
Nutshell

Nutshell

30 St Martin’s Lane, Covent Garden, London, WC2N 4EJ

Designed by the team behind Lyle’s and Gymkhana, Nutshell is as much about the interiors as the food. Sharing-style small plates evoke the warmth of their mother country, with dips, breads and stews on offer. 

£30 - £49
Persian
Middle Eastern
Kolamba

Kolamba

21 Kingly Street, Soho, London, W1B 5QA

This small plate Sri Lankan restaurant serves up colourful sharing dishes in insta-friendly surrounds. Expect well balanced curries, fermented hoppers and a range of perfectly paired cocktails.
Under £30
Sri Lankan
AOK Kitchen and Bakery

AOK Kitchen and Bakery

52-55 Dorset Street, London, London, W1U 7NQ

Boasting one of the prettiest dining rooms in the capital, A.O.K Kitchen & Bakery is a chic and stylish space, which serves an agreeable menu of inclusive dishes (much of the menu is gluten- and dairy-free). Ignore the rather jarring name and instead focus on the delights of dishes such as fleshy wild tiger prawns dusted with lightly spicy chermoula, and a pumkin sticky toffee pudding that is served alongside a scoop of ginger ice cream.

£50 - £79
International
Sons and Daughters

Sons and Daughters

The Pavilion, Lower Stable Street, King's Cross, London, N1C 4DQ

From the pair behind Michelin-starred restaurant Pidgin, James Ramsden and Sam Herlihy are back with a more casual dining experience in Coal Drops Yard King’s Cross. Serving up craft beers, organic coffees and six different sandwiches to pick from,  go for the ‘MORTADELLA S+DWICH’ on focaccia or the ‘MERGUEZ S+DWICH’ with spicy lamb sausage and pickled shallots. Alternatively grab a quick breakfast of bircher museli at the trendy eatery before starting your day.  

Under £30
International
IT London

IT London

28-29 Dover Street, Mayfair, London, W1S 4LX

This London outpost of the Ibizan original serves up Italian food by Michelin chef Gennaro Esposito in a luxe Mayfair setting. Come the weekend guests can expect party playlists courtesy of an ever-revolving line up of live DJs.

£50 - £79
Italian
Xier

Xier

13-14 Thayer Street, Marylebone, London, W1U 3JR

If you love occasion dining and frequenting restaurants where you are not required to top up your own water glass or pull out your own chair, Xier is the place for you. As well as that top-notch service which is a rare find in the capital these days, Xier also excels with its food – a 10-course tasting menu which intrigues and excites, with dishes such as rose-cured salmon accompanied by foie gras and Bramley apple.   

Over £80
Modern European
SquareMeal London Top 100
The Betterment

The Betterment

The Biltmore, Mayfair, London, W1K 2HP

The latest opening from Michelin-starred chef Jason Atherton finds its home at the new Biltmore Mayfair hotel. The chic restaurant is an all-day affair which majors in meat and fish dishes cooked on a central wood-fired grill. Atherton will also be in charge of the hotel's other food and beverage offerings, including its Terrace, Tea Lounge and drinking spot, The Pine Bar.

£50 - £79
Modern European
Bao Borough

Bao Borough

13 Stoney Street, London, London, SE1 9AD

The third London location for cult restaurant Bao finds itself right next to Borough Market, in a larger space than we’re used to seeing from the group (although things are still pretty intimate). For the most part, the menu is the same as previous iterations, but there are some new additions including a ‘chicken nugget’ bao and some noodle dishes. There’s also a fun downstairs karaoke room which can be booked out for private parties.

Under £30
Taiwanese
Ugly Butterfly

Ugly Butterfly

55 King’s Road, Chelsea, London, SW3 4ND

We’re willing to venture that there’s no other restaurant in London – or the UK, for that matter – where you can tuck into fried chicken feet, caviar and a glass of Champagne, with a side of serotonin. That’s because this new collaborative concept on the King’s Road, spearheaded by chef Adam Handling, is the first of its kind.

Demonstrating just how luxurious zero waste can be, this new collaboration between Handling, Cadogan (a family-run property investor), Quintessentially Foundation (who provide funding and build awareness for UK charities) and The Felix Project (a London-based charity which collects edible food waste and distributes it to vulnerable people) aims to turn ingredients that are usually discarded as waste into a delicious menu of snacks and small plates. And as if that wasn’t noble enough, a percentage of the profits will be donated to The Felix Project to support its many projects fighting food waste.

When we read about the emphasis on the four most-wasted ingredients – bread, milk, eggs and bananas – we did wonder what might be on the menu besides banana bread, but it turns out there’s plenty to be crafted from ‘waste’ if you’re as inventive as Handling. The menus include some daring dishes, such as crispy fried chicken feet with caviar, lobster shell soup, broccoli stalk Caesar salad, and overripe fruit jam, all of which go hand in hand with Champagne from the region’s top wine makers.

It’s not only the food that’s blazing a trail for sustainability either. The interiors at Ugly Butterfly have been created using upcycled and re-utilised materials throughout, and the site is set to become a hub for those working in the sustainable food and drink, fashion, technology and arts and crafts industry to meet, start conversations and raise awareness of sustainable living. Ugly Butterfly will open for walk-in diners from lunch time until the late evening from Wednesday to Sunday.

£30 - £49
Modern European
Gloria

Gloria

54-56 Great Eastern Street, Shoreditch, London, EC2A 3QR

Arguably one of the most buzzed-about openings London has seen in years, Gloria has smashed it out of the park with it’s over the top interiors and equally as extra menu. Come here to enjoy the height of Italian campiness, (even if the restaurant is actually owned by a French company) via the likes of pasta presented in a wheel of cheese and a singular giant profiterole smothered in cream and lashings of chocolate sauce.

£30 - £49
Italian
SquareMeal London Top 100
The Ivy Asia London

The Ivy Asia London

20 New Change Passage, St Paul's, London, EC4M 9AG

Serial restaurateur Richard Caring has opened his second Ivy Asia site, following the launch of the concept in Manchester’s Spinningfields in late 2018.

Caring, whose Caprice Holdings group is responsible for the flashy, celeb-baiting likes of Sexy Fish and Annabel’s, plans to open the restaurant on the former site of Jamie Oliver’s Barbecoa in St Paul’s.

Caprice Holdings has swooped on three former sites of Oliver’s, having also snapped up two now-closed Jamie’s Italian restaurants in Cardiff and Oxford. An Ivy Brasserie is planned for Oxford, while the group is still figuring out which of its brands will be the best fit for Cardiff.

The menus for the St Paul's site are similar to the current Ivy Asia in Manchester, comprising Asian-inspired dishes such as miso black cod, duck massaman curry, wagyu beef tataki and a selection of sushi and sashimi dishes. The restaurant also serves up a wide range of cocktails inspired by the continent.

Caring, who is reported to have a net worth of over £1 billion, has bucked current industry trends which have seen several mid-market chains collapse in recent times. Conversely, Caring’s The Ivy Collection now comprises of 32 locations around the UK and Ireland, with each restaurant christened as either a ‘Brasserie’, ‘Garden’, ‘Market Grill’ or ‘Café’. Of course, all of these off-shoots are nods to The Ivy’s legendary original site in Covent Garden.  

 

£50 - £79
Pan-Asian
Berenjak

Berenjak

27 Romilly Street, London, London, W1D 5AL

Anything that the JKS group (Gymkhana etc.) touches turns to gold, so it’s no surprise that Berenjak is a thrilling ride. The Iranian-inspired grill serves small plates and a range of kebabs, inside a tiny space featuring counter seating and a few booths. Top shouts when we visited included a mixed meat shawarma lashed with homemade chilli and garlic sauce, while we also loved the house fruit cordials, boasting flavour combinations like saffron and apple.

£30 - £49
Persian
Middle Eastern
Two Lights

Two Lights

28-30 Kingsland Road, Shoreditch, London, E2 8AA

Two Lights is the antithesis of flashy, over the top dining. Here, you’ll find a fuss-free dining room with only a handful of tables, and a daily-changing menu of what is touted as ‘modern American’ cuisine. In our opinion, things were more European with hints of Asian influence, but there are some real winners on the menu. The best dish on our visit was the chip shop-style beef-fat chips, which are topped with succulent shredded crab.

£50 - £79
Modern European
Legare

Legare

Cardamom Building , Tower Bridge, London, SE1 2YR

Legare specialise in taking a few ingredients and using them cleverly for maximum flavour and minimum fuss. Headed up by an ex-Trullo chef, the kitchen works hard to produce plates of hearty, comforting pasta plus sharing plates.
Under £30
Italian
Imperial Treasure

Imperial Treasure

9-10 Waterloo Place, St James's, London, SW1Y 4BE

Already operating a handful of sites across Asia, Imperial Treasure has now set up shop in London at an expansive site in Waterloo. Spreading itself across three floors, Imperial Treasure serves the decadent likes of Peking duck (carved at the table) and Wagyu beef to moneyed diners, but more simple offerings such as prawn toast and dim sum are also lifted into another realm entirely thanks to Imperial’s use of high-quality ingredients and skilful techniques.

Over £80
Chinese
Dim Sum
Tayer + Elementary

Tayer + Elementary

152 Old Street, London, London, EC1V 9BW

You don’t often go to bars for their great food, but Tayer + Elementary appears to be the exception to the rule. We fell head over heels for the much talked about Iberico pork katsu sando when we visited recently, but the drinks here more than hold their own too – sip on custom-made mixes in the two bar spaces, which might include cocktails made from typically waste ingredients or non-alcoholic serves masquerading as boozy fixes.

£30 - £49
Modern European
Bars
Norma

Norma

8 Charlotte Street, Fitzrovia, London, W1T 2LS

Elegantly fusing Italian cuisine with Moorish influences, Norma by Ben Tish runs a line up of dishes ranging from a raw bar selection to a handful of pasta plates. While service is lighthearted and bubbly, the food is certainly taken seriously. We enjoyed a rich mushroom-filled arancini, while an ice cream sandwich for dessert hit the sweet spot. 

£30 - £49
Italian
Adam Handling Chelsea

Adam Handling Chelsea

Belmond Cadogan Hotel, 75 Sloane Street, London, London, SW1X 9SG

Adam Handling’s graffiti-splashed Frog restaurants (currently operating in Hoxton and Covent Garden) nod to his youthful sense of cool, but his food has always been a refined affair. Here at the Belmond Cadogan, his high-quality dishes are finally married with an equally as high-class dining room, showcasing the likes of freshly made linguine in a Champagne butter sauce, and roasted lamb rump with lovage. You can also pop by for afternoon tea with free-flowing Champagne.

Over £80
British
Din Tai Fung Covent Garden

Din Tai Fung Covent Garden

5 Henrietta St, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 8PT

The first London site for Din Tai Fung arrived amidst a blaze of publicity and reports of five hour long queues to get through the doors. Reviews from national critics have been lukewarm though, so is Din Tai Fung a victim of its own hype? Perhaps, but that’s not to say that the food is bad – we’re fans of the signature xiao long bao, while the chocolate dumplings for dessert aren’t to be missed either.

£30 - £49
Taiwanese
Dim Sum

If you want a more complete picture of London's restaurant scene, check out our regularly updated list of all of London's latest restaurant openings.