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.
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.
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.