It is the tradition at Eater to end the year with a survey of friends, rovers of the industry, critics and professional eaters. This year, the group were asked eight questions, spanning meal of the year to biggest dining grievance. Their answers will appear throughout this week. Responses are related in no particular order; cut, pasted, and unedited below. First up, it's time for restaurant standbys of the year.
Grace Dent, former ES Magazine — and soon-to-be The Guardian — restaurant critic: Brasserie Zedel, Smokestak, The Laughing Heart, Singburi in Leytonstone and Zia Lucia.
Adam Coghlan, Eater London editor: Koya Soho, Marksman, P Franco, Delhi Grill, Noble Rot, Roti King, Xi’an Impression, St. John (both the bar at Smithfield and Bread and Wine), Lyle’s.
George Reynolds, Eater London contributor: Oldroyd. BAM continues to go from strength; Noble Rot is still an immensely civilised place for pretty much whatever mood you find yourself in. And P Franco (duh).
Victoria Stewart, food writer: Bar Douro; Saba: Taste of Ethiopia (street food 'restaurant' on Brixton Station Market); Casa Andita; Smokestak.
James Hansen, food writer, editor and Eater London contributor: P Franco, a fixed joy in a turning world, in spite of the spirit of change that makes it the unique place that it is; St. John Bread & Wine, which, to appropriate one of Henderson’s famous phrases, is nothing less than steadying, and Santa Maria — for my money the best pizza in London, either enjoyed in its snug of a restaurant, or fresh out a blue/silver branded hotbox.
Emma Hughes, freelance food writer and Eater London contributor: Kiln, Bao Fitz, Temper Soho, Llewellyn's, Lorne, Xu, Humble Grape in Islington, Perilla, Morito Exmouth Market's breakfast, Noble Rot, Quo Vadis forever and always.
Josh Barrie, food writer and Eater London contributor: Still not bored of Hakkasan, Zedel (lol, obvs), Lyle's even.
Suze Olbrich, freelance food writer and Eater London contributor: P Franco, Brawn, The Marksman, Ombra, Rochelle, Elliot’s, Legs, Club Mexicana, The Typing Room, El Pastor (I like the tuna : p), Luca (bar). (I need to leave the east more, eh?)
Zeren Wilson, restaurant discoverer and author of Bitten & Written: A. Wong, Winemakers Deptford, Black Axe Mangal, Westerns Laundry, Grand Trunk Road, The River Café, Bombetta, Pide, Skewd.
Chloe Scott-Moncrieff, food writer and co-founder of the YBFs: If I don’t want to try anywhere new, I’d fall back on: Moro, St. John, Anglo, The Quality Chophouse.
Sophie Brown, freelance food writer: This will be a very good reflection of my refined (basic) dining preferences: Breddos, Padella and my eternal favourite; Ciao Bella on Lamb's Conduit Street.
Felicity Spector, Channel 4 News writer and pastry lover: Honey and Co, Oldroyd, Quo Vadis, Clipstone, Salon.
Laurel Ives, former food editor of The Sunday Times The Dish: I found myself in Noble Rot again and again. I love the relaxed atmosphere and the retro charm of Lambs Conduit Street. Sometimes I treated myself to Paul Weaver’s top flight food in the restaurant, but mostly I would prop up the bar with friends, nursing a serious glass of wine and a standout cheese plate. I often found myself drawn to comfort food: Dishoom with the family, Padella for a quick pasta lunch, Honey & Co for middle eastern magic, Quo Vadis for the best of British and Kiln for a fiery Thai kick.