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Whole turbot at Brat restaurant, one of London’s iconic dishes. Ben McMahon/

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The Most Impressive Restaurant Newcomers of 2018

In a year of openings, which ones stood out?

It is the tradition at Eater to end the year with a survey of friends, contributors, 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 and pasted below. Restaurant standbys have been chosen — now it’s time for 2018’s best newcomers.

Adam Coghlan, Editor, Eater London: Jolene, Brat, Sabor, Limin’, Blacklock Shoreditch, and Xi’an Biang Biang Noodles.

James Hansen, Assistant Editor, Eater London: Bright; Xi’an Biang Biang Noodles; Jolene; Brat; Kaki; Blacklock Shoreditch; Two Lights. Good year for sequels.

Anna Sulan Masing, food writer and Eater London contributor: Scully, Stem, Sambal Shiok, Coal Office.

Katsu sando at Bright, London Fields, one of east London’s best snacks
The very 2018 chicken katsu sando at the very 2018 Bright in London Fields

Jonathan Nunn, food writer and Eater London contributor: Predicting everyone’s answers for this will be Boring, Repetitive, And True. Also, Kaki and Rice Coming have been the best additions to London’s Sichuan and Hunan scenes in the last 5-6 years.

Sejal Sukhadwala, food writer and Eater London contributor: A surprisingly large number of highly acclaimed and award-winning places have not been good for vegetarians – not interesting enough veggie options, and in a few cases, no options at all. Stokey Veg Vegan, Wildflower and Oliveira are three impressive new vegetarian restaurants that opened this year. Plus I liked Rovi, Jolene, Lina Stores, Barrafina Kings Cross, Brigadiers and Indian Accent.

Sichuan specialities at Sichuan Chinese restaurant Kaki on Caledonian Road, London, one of the hottest restaurants in London right now
Kaki left its mark on Caledonian Road, and Giles Coren

Emma Hughes, freelance food writer and Eater London contributor: Sambal Shiok, Stockwell Continental, and some other excellent places not beginning with S, like Kyseri.

George Reynolds, food writer and Eater London contributor: You’d probably have to nod to the sheer scale of Hide and Brigadiers, or the ambition and skill on show at Cornerstone, Maos and St Leonards. But I haven’t been back to any of them — and, again, this is probably not a coincidence. Instead, it’s Brat, Sabor and The Coach — cheaper, tighter, less fancy, more intimate — that I’m still revisiting even now, and it’s this that takes them to the top for me.

Shekha Vyas, food writer and Eater London contributor: There have been a host of brilliant newcomers this year and, for me, without getting to them all it would be hard to rate. Both Coal Drops Yard and Victoria Market Hall are significant achievements in enhancing London’s restaurant scene and I thought it was important that Lahpet secured a permanent site. I have also enjoyed Leroy, 1251 and Brigadiers this year.

London’s best new restaurants in 2018: Sabor in Heddon Street
The dining room at Sabor, another hit for Nieves Barragàn Mohacho
Chris Terry/Sabor

Helen Graves, food writer at Food Stories and Eater London contributor: Brat, for the grown-up spin on live fire cooking and the fab room; Bright for the long summer afternoons I lost in there (many, so many); Kudu - such an original new local restaurant for Peckham and beautiful use of South African flavours.

MiMi Aye, food writer, cookbook author, and Eater London contributor: Brat, Nest, and Bright. They all sound like apps for controlling your central heating though.

Zeren Wilson, food writer at Bitten and Written and Eater London contributor: Jolene — just opened, just getting into its stride, just brilliant; Brat; The French House; Berenjak; Sabor; Sambal Shiok; Kin+Deum; L’Antica Pizzeria High Barnet; The Duke of Richmond; The Coach and Horses, Leyton; The Cleveland Arms, Paddington

Daisy Meager, food writer and Eater London contributor: Kaki, St Leonards, Bright, Kyseri, Cornerstone, Brat, Sabor.

Angela Hui, food writer and Eater London contributor: Brat, Bright, Din Tai Fung, Kaki, Sabor, Sambal Shiok.

Din Tai Fung’s xiaolongbao dumplings let down food critic Tim Hayward at world-famous dumpling chain restaurant in London.
Hyped, but matched it: Din Tai Fung
Tomas Jivanda/Eater London

Leila Latif, Eater London contributor: 1251, Hicce, and Bun Shop at Market Hall Victoria.


35-37 Heddon Street, , England W1B 4BR 020 3319 8130 Visit Website

Indian Accent

Lodhi Road, CGO Complex, DL 110003 098711 17968 Visit Website


4 Redchurch Street, , England E1 6JL Visit Website

Sambal Shiok

171 Holloway Road, London, Greater London N7 8LX


, , England N1C 4DQ 020 3869 8200 Visit Website


43 Drury Lane, , England WC2B 5AJ Visit Website


51 Pimlico Road, , England SW1W 8NE 020 7730 5712 Visit Website


4 St James's Market , London , SW1Y 4QU


59 Wells Street, , England W1A 3AE 020 3963 8270 Visit Website


3 Prince Edward Road, London, Greater London E9 5LX +44 20 8986 3922 Visit Website

Market Hall Victoria

191 Victoria Street, , England SW1E 5NE Visit Website


119 Queen's Road, , England SE15 2EZ 020 3950 0226 Visit Website


125 Caledonian Road, , England N1 9RG 020 7278 0004 Visit Website

Stockwell Continental

169 South Lambeth Road, , England SW8 1XW 020 3019 0757 Visit Website


85 Piccadilly, , England W1J 7NB 020 3146 8666 Visit Website


64 Grafton Way, , England W1T 5DN 020 7383 3717 Visit Website


1-5 Bloomberg Arcade, , England EC4N 8AR 020 3319 8140 Visit Website

Lina Stores

18 Brewer Street, , England W1F 0SH 020 7437 6482 Visit Website


1 Westgate Street, , England E8 3RL 020 3095 9407 Visit Website


5 Princes Street , London , W1B 2LF Visit Website

The Coach

26-28 Ray Street, , England EC1R 3DJ 020 3954 1595 Visit Website

St Leonards

70 Leonard Street, , England EC2A 4QX 020 7739 1291 Visit Website

Xi’an Biang Biang Noodles

62 Wentworth Street, London, Greater London E1 7AL Visit Website


54 Great Jones Street, Manhattan, NY 10012 Visit Website

Two Lights

28-30 Kingsland Road, , England E2 8AA 020 3976 0076 Visit Website