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Two Lights in Shoreditch, the east London restaurant neighbourhood regarded as 2018’s best in the Eater London year in review Anton Rodriguez

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London’s Best Dining Neighbourhoods for 2018

New developments breathed new life north and south, while an east London enclave went from strength to strength

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 and London newcomers have been chosen, and the 2018 restaurant industry has been summed up in just one word: now it’s time to celebrate the neighbourhoods that defined how Londoners dined in 2018.

Adam Coghlan, Editor, Eater London: There’s a very small argument for Victoria having gone from one of the worst to one of the best with the opening of Market Halls. The City, as predicted, is a way better proposition than it was 18 months ago: Alongside Sweetings, there’s now a Koya, a Shake Shack, Brigadiers, and Kym’s, together, they’ve transformed the Square Mile. But, it remains hard to look beyond the triangle starting at Old Street, stretching to Shoreditch High Street Overground station and up to Hackney City Farm — Brat, Lyle’s, The Clove Club, Kêu, Blacklock, St Leonards, Oklava, Smoking Goat, Brawn, Leroy, Morito, Marksman, and The Laughing Heart. And there’s more to come.

James Hansen, Assistant Editor, Eater London: A new development does not a neighbourhood make; historic connections and influences trammel along streets, not walkways; I hope London takes note of this in 2019, but it won’t. The Shoreditch Triangle is still the most compelling concentration in the city, but Holloway Road, and Green Lanes’ run from Harringay station down to Newington Green — Trangallan, Jolene, Perilla, and the like in attendance to so many wonderful Turkish restaurants — are always winners. Fitzrovia threatened to run away with things midway through the year, but it still feels like an area devoted to a formula, rather than the other way around.

Market Halls Victoria, in 2018
Market Halls breathed some — some — life into Victoria
Christopher Horwood/Market Halls Victoria

Anna Sulan Masing, food writer and Eater London contributor: Newington Green.

Jonathan Nunn, food writer and Eater London contributor: Wembley.

Sejal Sukhadwala, food writer and Eater London contributor: Shoreditch, Hackney, Notting Hill, Peckham. I also love West Hampstead – so many excellent restaurants, food shops and a good, small farmers’ market.

London’s best dining neighbourhoods include Shoreditch, Hackney, and Columbia Road
Brawn, part of the Shoreditch — Hackney stretch that consolidated its hold on London dining
Ola Smit

Emma Hughes, freelance food writer and Eater London contributor: Highbury — annoying, given I live on the opposite side of London. The Victoria line sees a lot of me.

George Reynolds, food writer and Eater London contributor: I mean, it’s still the one mile stagger linking newcomers like Brat and Smoking Goat with old favourites like Rochelle Canteen, Brawn, Morito, Marksman and The Laughing Heart, isn’t it? Any one of those would be a beacon in another part of town, bringing in punters from zones away. Factor in the great places — new and old — in Hoxton, Clapton and Shoreditch proper and it remains a no-brainer. Don’t @ me, Kings Cross or Victoria.

Shekha Vyas, food writer and Eater London contributor: My favourite dining neighbourhood is still my neighbourhood, around East Ham and Upton Park, with its abundance of comforting cuisine. That said, I work in Soho and think it still has an edge for the sheer number of high quality new openings it has seen.

Helen Graves, food writer at Food Stories and Eater London contributor: Shoreditch.

MiMi Aye, food writer, cookbook author, and Eater London contributor: Going by the dishes I stared at jealously whilst browsing Instagram, I’d say London Fields/Hackney way.

Zeren Wilson, food writer at Bitten and Written and Eater London contributor: Tottenham. Joking? Only partly. Biggest rapid improvement in a London postcode. The trailblazers include Wine ’n’ Rind, The Highcross, The Bluecoats, Joka Sushi, Loven Pizza, True Craft, Maki Mayo, Pembe Sultan Kebab, Five Miles. Coming to N17 so many times for non-football related reasons was a new feeling — more to come next year.

Daisy Meager, food writer and Eater London contributor: Hackney (cliché but there’s a reason I don’t want to move.) However as a born and bred southeast Londoner, I think Deptford’s dining scene deserves a shout-out, going from strength to strength in the last couple of years with old stalwarts alongside exciting newcomers.

Angela Hui, food writer and Eater London contributor: Shoreditch has had a v. good year for food hasn’t it?

Leila Latif, Eater London contributor: King’s Cross.

Coal Drops Yard, New King’s Cross Restaurant District, Opens in London
Coal Drops Yard brought sequels galore to N1
Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images

Rochelle Canteen

16 Playground Gardens, , England E2 7FA 020 3928 8328 Visit Website


32 Exmouth Market, , England EC1R 4QE 020 7278 7007 Visit Website

The Clove Club

380 Old Street, , England EC1V 9LT 020 7729 6496 Visit Website

The Square

6-10 Bruton Street, , England W1J 6PU 020 7495 7100 Visit Website


16a Bedford Street, , England WC2E 9HE 020 3034 1394 Visit Website


4 Redchurch Street, , England E1 6JL Visit Website

St Leonards

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


18 Phipp Street, , England EC2A 4NU 020 7739 4443 Visit Website


62 Newington Green, Islington, Greater London N16 9PX


54 Great Jones Street, Manhattan, NY 10012 Visit Website


49 Columbia Road, , England E2 7RG 020 7729 5692 Visit Website

Smoking Goat

64 Shoreditch High Street, London, E1 6JJ Visit Website


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

Shake Shack

89 Buckingham Palace Road, , England SW1W 0QL Visit Website


39 Queen Victoria Street, , England EC4N 4SF 020 7248 3062 Visit Website


254 Hackney Rd, London, Greater London E2 7SJ +44 20 7739 7393 Visit Website


74 Luke St, , England EC2A 4PY 020 7729 3032 Visit Website

The Laughing Heart

277 Hackney Road, , England E2 8NA 020 7686 9535 Visit Website