Oh, summer. Filled with beautiful blue skies, tropical temperatures, and a cornucopia of new restaurants opening every day. Okay, so two of those might have been a lie, but the restaurant thing is true, and here's the proof...
Acquired Taste: Blood Rice Cakes With Timothy DeLaGhetto and Justina Valentine
Brixton From life as a food stall in Dublin to a brick & mortar in Brussels, and now with a second location in London, it’s safe to say these alternative fish & chips are catching some attention. With a foundation of environmentally sustainable practices, it's putting out inventive flavours like lemon & fennel panko crust with lemon basil sauce and seaweed chips.
Borough What happens when you take three ex-Brindisa food geeks, give them a cave-like venue, and free reign to cook what they want? Plate after plate of meat, cheese, and and seafood incl. ribeye steak with pan-fried foie gras, cazon en adobo (marinated and fried dogfish), and all the chorizo you could ask for. That’s what happens.
Stoke Newington It feels a bit like these guys can’t do wrong. The second outpost of the little sister of Hawksmoor, this neighborhood restaurant is pared back and simple, allowing the food and gentle smiles of its staff to win people over. Five pepper squid; short rib with kimchi; huge brunches filled with fried chicken, eggs, and croissants, the menu reads like food porn and disappears quickly when placed in front of you. Easy and just what you want.
Soho Way more then just a cinema, this is pretty much the ultimate date spot. With a cafe for quick bites and casual pancakes, the restaurant on the first floor is designed by Martin Brudnizki (Soho House & The Ivy) and has a menu filled with dishes like slow-cooked spiced lamb shoulder with pomegranate. Also -- there’s a members-only roof terrace coming soon.
Hackney Cleaned up, but without losing its old-school charm, this recently relaunched pub has some serious heavyweight food cred going on. It's owned by two best friends and joint head chefs who served some time at St John and Fifteen, the food is fantastic, and is accompanied by a solid selection of beer and an easy wine list, making it still very much a pub.
Mayfair Already an institution in NYC when it comes to brunch, late-night eats, and everything in between, HC has finally opened its first international outpost in London. With a menu filled with something between molecular gastronomy, comfort food, and haute cuisine, it’s playful, but good.
Covent Garden After picking up a Michelin star for the original site, these guys are expanding and going strong. Expect similar small plates as the other sites, but hopefully with shorter queues across the board. Just like the first Barrafina, there are only 28 bar stools, but they also kept the idea of a private room downstairs for parties of eight or more.
Bethnal Green If you’re sick of trekking down to Clapham for the perfect eats at The Dairy and The Manor, the same crew is expanding to Bethnal Green. On the road of good eats -- AKA the aptly named Paradise Row where Mission, Craft Cocktail Co, and more already feel at home -- you can get some farm-to-table traditional British fare while watching the chefs do their thing in an open kitchen.
Islington After he built a reputation as the executive chef for the Polpo Group, it’s about time Tom Oldroyd opened his own place. With a small cafe downstairs and a bistro upstairs, this spot has a menu that’s somewhere between the regional Italian we know him for and the British produce we know everyone else for, giving inspiration to dishes like peach & cow curd panzanella, and smoked pork belly & pea croquettas w/ truffle mayo.
Soho With five different flavours of meatballs, plus four different sauces, you’ll find dozens of combos, incl. Wagyu balls w/ pesto sauce, or the chicken balls, laced with thyme & Dijon with the romesco sauce.
Notting Hill It’s a simple concept -- it serves eggs, and in virtually every style you can think of, from the basics (on toast, in a full English), to buns (w/ pork belly, fried chicken, etc.), to plates (w/ ribeye & jalapeño fries, w/ polenta & mushroom ragu...). The list goes on and it’s pretty damn good.
Sign up here for our daily London email and be the first to get all the food/drink/fun in the capital.