Defying the hugely challenging obstacles that the global pandemic and subsequent lockdowns brought upon restaurants, London’s dining scene witnessed an impressive amount of outstanding new openings in the past 18 months, with chefs navigating the circumstances with passion, dedication and a heavy dose of optimism.
Now that restrictions have been completely lifted, it’s time to step it up a notch and start tasting your way through the capital’s most exciting new offerings, one restaurant at a time. We’ve whittled it down to our favourite newcomers – most of which are already a big hit with members.
London restaurant openings
Bar des Prés
16 Albemarle Street, Mayfair W1S 4HW
An offshoot of Michelin-starred French chef Cyril Lignac’s Le Bar des Prés in Paris, and his first international venture, this stylish Mayfair restaurant was making waves even ahead of its opening. A household name in France thanks to his successful restaurants, chocolaterie and patisserie stores, and cocktail bar (not to mention bestselling cookbooks and TV appearances), Lignac’s new London menu is filled with Franco-East Asian creations and must-try desserts – he’s also a renowned patissier.
20 Sidworth Street, London Fields E8 3SD
Andy Beynon, Jason Atherton’s former development chef, won a Michelin star in a record 20 days after opening his 18-cover chef’s-table-style restaurant on the edge of London Fields. The sustainable fish-focused tasting menu gives an intimate behind-the-scenes look at chefs at work, with diners having a full view of the open kitchen – it’s an immersive dining experience that has taken the capital by storm.
9 Park Walk, Chelsea SW10 0AJ
Clean, fresh and healthy Asian food is the order of the day at this new restaurant from the team behind Notting Hill’s ULI. Located on Park Walk, aka ‘Chelsea Beach’, HUŎ’s menu features carefully selected dishes from around China and Southeast Asia, all prepared from scratch using traditional Chinese, Thai, Malay and Singaporean cooking methods. The setting is relaxed, warm and welcoming, and the bar creates delicious Asian-inspired cocktails alongside Japanese whiskies, vodkas and craft beer.
28 Bow Street, Covent Garden WC2E 7AW
Worth the wait – New York’s famed NoMad Hotel has finally made it to British shores, taking over the Bow Street Magistrates’ Court in Covent Garden. A lushly landscaped, high-ceilinged glass atrium offers an impressive setting for the restaurant, which is headed up by executive chef Ian Coogan – who joined from Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s James Beard Award-winning ABC Kitchen in New York.
21A Foley Street, Fitzrovia W1W 6DS
The Brighton and Hove favourite opened the first London outpost of its casual Italian bistro, Cin Cin, in Fitzrovia in May. Expect classic aperitivos, summery Italian dishes such as wild garlic, potato and ricotta anolini pasta with preserved lemon and oyster mushrooms, and an outdoor terrace ideal for long summer evenings.
Fenwick of Bond Street, 63 New Bond Street, Mayfair W1S 1RQ
Having already changed his Gauthier Soho menu to become entirely vegan, Michelin-star chef Alexis Gauthier follows suit here, with a new casual dining concept and vegan sushi bar on the ground floor of Fenwick of Bond Street. Bringing together influences from all over the world, including Southern California, Mexico, Thailand and Southern France, his plant-based menu is full of flavour.
The White Horse
5 White Horse Street, Mayfair W1J 7LQ
Mayfair’s first wine-led pub, courtesy of high-end wine merchants Hedonism Wines, has a suitably impressive wine offering – there’s an extensive list of fine wines by the glass and bottle, but also the option to order from Hedonism’s full range of 6,000 wines. The innovative small-plates menu, featuring the likes of barbecued aubergine with wild garlic pesto, and pistachio mortadella, coppa and fennel seed salami, is a great match for the wines.
38 Threadneedle Street, London EC2R 8AY
A gastronomic experience rooted in classic Italian cuisine is at the heart of this upscale London restaurant, which is located in a beautifully restored Edwardian banking hall. The menu, curated by chef Remo Mazzucato, offers a selection of dishes characterised by fresh Mediterranean flavours and high-quality seasonal ingredients, along with an extensive wine list.
Native at Browns
39 Brook Street, Mayfair W1K 4JE
Native has returned to London, taking up residence in luxury retailer Browns’ new flagship store on Brook Street. Expect a fashionable affair with zero-waste sustainable and ethical dining as well as an emphasis on foraging, with ex-HIDE chef Joe Knowlden at the helm. In summer, the secret courtyard, featuring a special Garden Bites menu, is the place to meet friends post shopping spree.
194 Wandsworth Bridge Road, Fulham SW6 2UF
The team behind Hackney hotspot Nest has expanded west with this new seasonal British restaurant on Wandsworth Bridge Road. The heavily British list of ingredients translates into culinary highlights such as hand-dived Scottish scallop with chicken-butter sauce and British rose veal with sweetbread, black garlic and courgette. Book the terrace for al fresco dining.
Camden Stables Market, 87/88 North Yard, Camden NW1 8AH
Having taken over the beautifully restored, Grade II-listed former horse hospital and stables building in Camden Market, this recently opened neighbourhood pub and restaurant offers modern-rustic dining and artisan drinks, with a big focus on natural wine. The Sunday roasts are already a big hit with our members, as is the heated courtyard, replete with a fire pit.
Nobu Portman Square
22 Portman Square, Marylebone W1H 7BG
Nobu Matsuhisa’s second London hotel features a huge new Nobu restaurant (replacing the closed-down Berkeley Street branch), complete with sushi counter and a private dining room. Nobu’s signature black-cod miso makes an appearance on the menu, as well as Berkeley Street favourites lobster tempura and crispy pork belly with apple wasabi salsa. Floor-to-ceiling windows, with views over Portman Square, set the scene, with an outside terrace serving Nobu’s famous cocktails and a shorter menu of Nobu classics.
The Silver Birch
142 Chiswick High Road, Chiswick W4 1PU
This charming new neighbourhood restaurant is conveniently set in the heart of Chiswick High Road, near the old cinema and the flower market. Head chef Kimberley Hernandez worked in several Michelin-starred kitchens in the UK and abroad before heading up the kitchen at The Silver Birch, which offers a European menu with fun flavour combinations. The street-side terrace makes for a lovely summer dining spot.
9 Seymour Street, Marylebone W1H 7BA
‘Mexican soul, British ingredients’ is what Santiago Lastra’s buzzing restaurant is all about. Diners can expect seasonal dishes, with wine specifically created by Slovakian winery Slobodné to bring out the natural flavours of langoustine and lamb. Covering two floors, the restaurant includes the main dining area and a chef’s table, with the cool Mezcaleria in the basement worth a stop pre- or post-dinner.
34 Duke Street, St James’s SW1Y 6DF
Well-known restaurateur François O’Neill’s contemporary brasserie in the heart of St James’s offers an all-day dining menu, featuring classic French cuisine with dishes such as pâté en croûte and a grilled pork chop with mustard sauce. Be sure to save room for desserts such as tarte tatin, served from the trolley.
Unit 1, 8 Melior Street, Bermondsey SE1 3QP
The brainchild of husband-and-wife team Woongchul Park (formerly at The Ledbury and Koffmann’s) and Bomee Ki (former pastry chef at The Arts Club), the highly innovative Sollip (the Korean word for pine needle) successfully marries the team’s European cooking style and Korean background in a brilliant fine-dining package – with both the food and setting offering just the right amount of pared-back minimalism.
2 Bubbling Well Square, Ram Quarter, Wandsworth SW18 1UQ
Modern British fine dining meets innovative Asian cooking techniques at this Wandsworth newcomer, the first restaurant from Cordon Bleu-trained Assem Abdel Hady and Andres Bernal. Head chef Nico Fitzgerald’s culinary delights include roast cod with pickled mussels and ginger broth, and stone-bass fennel salad with hazelnut and smoked gazpacho. There’s also a great terrace area from which to enjoy the glorious food.
15 Henrietta Street, Covent Garden WC2E 8QG
The makers of sought-after Gloria and Circolo Popolare have come up with this new Italian culinary experience, set within a 7,000sq ft Florence-inspired venue in Covent Garden. Take your pick from the skylight-lit ambience in the green-and-white Duomo-striped dining room, ‘70s-style mirrored basement nightclub with pizzeria, or indoor courtyard with dining terrace. The 60cm-tall stracciatella ice-cream cake is a photogenic standout.
If you’ve already had your fill of exploring new London restaurants, why not go back to one of the country’s oldest traditions? Read our list of the 10 most tempting afternoon teas London has to offer right now.