It’s a really tough life trying to keep up with the constant stream of awesome new bars and restaurants, but FOMO is real and we’re here to help you through it. While you (and your wallet) were undoubtedly ready to call it a day after the December madness, you’ve now had a month of recovery and the land of food and booze waits for no one: use your February wisely by diving back in with London’s 13 best new bars and restaurants.
There are some chefs that seemingly can do no wrong, and Simon Rogan pretty much knocks it outta the park every time. While Fera at Claridge's is pretty spectacular, this tiny six-seater test kitchen tucked in the back is another level. Enter via the main kitchen, sit directly front row and join the conversation with your personal chefs as they walk you through a changing procession of dishes that’ll blow your mind.
If you were looking for plasters and Paracetamol, you’ll leave empty handed. But if your idea of medicine involves coffee, bites, and mega cocktails, the guys from Shrub & Shutter will get you back on your feet with drinks in IV Bags and syringes, food by Joe Knowledge (ex-The Clove Club), Alchemy Coffee, and fresh juices.
While London is still a city that sleeps, it’s slowly getting easier to get solid eats at unsure hours. Tucked in a basement that you enter via the back of a phone booth, La Cabina lets you stuff roasted octopus with mojo picon, pork belly with apple sauce, and Guinness-infused rarebit until 5am on Thursdays through Saturdays, which really beats Macky D’s.
While your mouth totally trusts Chef Brett Redman after his work at Elliots and The Richmond, your ears might have doubts upon hearing he’s opened up a Japanese Yakitori joint in on Kingsland road. With a custom built 'Kama-Asa Shoten’ grill to play with, the menu is chicken heavy with plenty of skewers for snacking and Japanese cocktails to wash it all down.
With fried chicken having its day in the sun, it’s not much of a stretch that this Kiev-focused all day number has opened its doors in Exmouth Market. With a “Kiev Counter” showing exactly how many plates of the garlicky breaded chicken are left, a full menu of comfort dishes, and some seriously retrotastic cocktails (When was the last time you had a Grasshopper?), Coin Laundry has certainly embraced the kitsch aspect, and it plays host to a rotating program of book clubs, pop-up shops, and club nights to ensure you get the most of its two floors of play-space.
This third spot from the growing pie empire that started as one little street oven, Homeslice’s 20” pizza serves massive slices, perfect for folding and inserting straight into your happy face (aka: sharking) and are available in the little dining room when you really need to savor the moment or for takeaway when cooking is just too much of a struggle.
This long awaited little sister to Old Street’s The Nightjar is sexy as hell; in date night terms, it’s doing half the seduction-job for you just by walking in the door. Similar to its sibling bar, the drinks boast plenty of unsocial flavour combos (gouda cheese, chocolate, and Genever anyone?) and crazy garnishes, which can be sipped alongside live jazz.
Fish & Chips. PB&J. Bacon & Eggs. Some things just taste better together. After a lifetime of being grounded to the midnight hours, the guys from the Camden Brewery are bringing kebabs & beer into the daylight with 15 different taps of brew plus more cans in the fridge and three variations of wraps which are a far cry from what you were busy inhaling in your late-night Uni days.
After feeding our eyes and minds with their intellectual glossy covering life pleasures (we’re talking about food and wine, of course), owners Mark Andrew and Dan Keeling have taken their expertise into real life with this small wine bar in Mayfair along with Stephen Harris of The Sportsman in Whitstable.
This latest Alan Yau jewel has been living in the land of rumors and speculation for nearly a decade and feels like the land of dreams. Seductive and glamorous, this glitterati den will take you straight to 1930s Shanghai with plenty of red everything, mirrors, gold chandeliers, and even jazz bands to whisk you away.
From the same crew who have fed and boozed you over at Dalston’s Three Compasses, this former launderette is a new kind of watering hole, loaded with creative cocktails and local craft beer. While it’s still sorting out food, you can grab bites from meze grill Kuzu next door.
The massive third installment of the Big Easy empire is perched atop the new Crossrail down in Canary Wharf with plenty of space for for you to devour the BBQ and lobster classics. The bar has gone for a trip to the tropics with a serious rum focus, that brings tiki drinks alongside live music every night. This location also rocks a massive terrace so, come sunshine, this should be your first port of call amongst the skyscrapers.
The Goodman group are on a roll: Burger & Lobster has become a household name, along with their eponymous steakhouses and feast concept Beast. While the site’s former seafood concept Rex & Mariano didn’t exactly swim, the team has turned things around with what they do best: all the meat. Come for the constantly changing menu plus odd cuts, cocktails, and vermouth on tap.
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Haley Forest is a London-based freelancer. Follow her at @HCForest.
1. Aulis at FeraBrook Street, London
2. First Aid Box119, Dulwich Road, London
3. La Cabina232 Kingsland Rd,
4. Jidori89 Kingsland High St, London
5. Coin Laundry70 Exmouth Market, London
6. Homeslice13 Neal's Yard, London
7. OrioleEast Poultry Avenue, Smithfield
8. Camden's Daughter289-291 Kentish Town Road, London
9. Noble Rot51 Lambs Conduit Street, London
10. Park Chinois17 Berkeley Street, London
11. Machine No. 3271 Well St, London
12. Big Easy12 Maiden Ln, Covent Garden
13. Zelman Meats2 St Anne's Court, London
After you've cozied into your suite at Claridge's, one of London's most famous hotels, settle in to an elegant meal at Aulis at Fera, an intimate six seat resto cooking farm fresh, artisanal fare using ingredients from the UK's most premiere organic purveyors. The bespoke dishes are all made to order and can modified according to the diner's preferences and dietary restrictions. Treat yourself to a priceless meal at this boutique spot.
Modern English fare rules at this Brixton bistro and bar off Dulwich Road. Serving up "health-inspired" cocktails and fresh juices alongside a menu of savory and sweet small plates, First Aid Box is a colorful and friendly neighborhood spot perfect for breakfast and lunch (and brunch!).
Tapas are what's on order at this cozy, underground British-Spanish fusion bistro in Shoreditch. Small plates are comprised of savory meat, cheese, and seafood arrangements, and go perfectly with the house cocktails and sangrias. Settle in at this warm, energetic spot for a meal full of flavor, wicked DJs, and an eclectic aesthetic: tin-tiled ceilings, neon signs, exposed Edison lightbulbs, and brick walls Open late.
Named after a Japanese chicken dish, Jidori, an Insta-ready resto in Dalston, specializes in all things yakitori and umami. These savory, salty, sweet dishes are colorful and inventive-- perfect for sharing, and enjoying alongside an Eastern-inspired cocktail, like the Yuzu daiquiri.
Love the 70s? Hightail it to this boutique bistro on Exmouth Road that serves up disco-era realness in the form of groovy, colorful food and drink using ingredients from premiere UK organic purveyors. This relaxed spot offers more than delicious food all day long-- they've also got plenty of board games available to play. What could be better than some entertainment while you eat?
This former food stall has now found a permanent home to serve up unique pizzas and Prosecco on tap. The large, 120-seat space has a cocktail bar, dining area and takeout section, and a dedication to fresh, seasonal ingredients is the primary focus.
This subterranean spot in Clerkenwell is a sweet spot to go belly up on craft cocktails and bar fare. The internationally influenced menu of small plates includes plenty of vegetarian options, as well as savory bar snacks, and the cocktail menu has an equally worldly flair: it's full of tropical drinks made with spirits from across the globe.
Camden Brewery's little sister, Camden's Daughter, describes itself as the "Coney Island of Kentish Town," meaning it serves up hearty pub fare in an unpretentious atmosphere. Craft beer, kebabs, and Middle Eastern inspired small plates are what's on the menu here. Enjoy 'em in this unfussy establishment where you'll be sure to meet some locals.
Conceptual foodie mag Noble Rot's wine bar and restaurant in Fitzrovia is the perfect place to hang with your squad. Crudites, cheese boards and organic, small-batch wines are menu standbys; the main courses change with the release of each new Noble Rot issue. Hot off the presses has a whole new meaning.
Prolific restauranteur Alan Yau (Wagamama, Hakkasan) has a new venue: Park Chinois. In the heart of Mayfair, this gourmet hotspot offers internationally inflected fusion Chinese food. Try traditional Moo Shu with caviar (!!!), sea urchin carbonara, and whole dover sole, to name a few.
Wandered into this former laundromat and you'll find craft cocktails a plenty. Machine No. 3, Hackney Wick's new cocktail bar and lounge, is a lively, warm venue with live music amd an extensive, creative drink menu (we love the Japanese Negroni, which uses Yamazaki whiskey and plum wine instead of gin and dry vermouth). If you're feeling hungry, the folks at Kuzu next door will deliver some choice Mediterranean/Middle Eastern eats right to your table.
These guys boast some of the craziest limitless menus in town, and they really aren't kidding. Monday-Wednesday they have daily specials from which, if you can keep eating, they’ll keep bringing more. And just so you know what you're getting into, The Big Pig Gig (Mondays) has ribs, chopped pork, chicken, slaw, beans, hush puppies, fries, and a jug of beer.
Founded by the guys behind London carnivore mainstays Goodman, Beast, and Burger & Lobster, meats are king at Zelman. The menu at this ingredients driven resto is handwritten and changes daily, but you can be sure what you'll be eating will be fresh and cooked to perfection.