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Sandwich at Bodega Rita’s at Coal Drops Yard, King’s Cross

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London’s Most Anticipated Restaurants for Spring 2021

A kaiseki master in Marylebone, a peripatetic duo taking root in Soho, and full debuts for the places hamstrung by COVID-19

Rita’s [Official Photo]

Late spring 2021 will be the first time in a year that London’s restaurants might open and — barring a reversal of fortune far starker than any in the last twelve months — stay open. With the “roadmap” to reopening after coronavirus lockdown pencilling them in for outdoor dining on 12 April, and indoor dining from 17 May, and the vaccine rollout remaining on schedule, opening a new restaurant in London feels a little less scary; not that it isn’t scary with or without a global pandemic.

That opening in some ways remains out of their hands: Those with terraces, outdoor spaces, or permissive councils can open earlier; those without must sit on those hands another month. But after 12 months of shock, readjustment, and reassessment, having time now feels less like a burdened void and more like an opportunity to plan, consolidate, and be ready for whatever 2021 and later has in store. This is particularly true of the 2020 restaurant openings that never got a run — those that made their debuts for months, weeks, or even mere days, before being forced to close before they could get started.

With this in mind, here are the restaurants to keep an eye on this spring.


Angelo Ambrosio and Pasquale Chionchio of Santa Maria one of London’s best pizzerias Santa Maria [Official Photo]

Vergine Maria

Address: 15 St. Mary’s Road, Ealing W5 5RA
Key people: Pasquale Chionchio and Angelo Ambrosio
What to expect: Vegan pizza and other dishes from the founders of Santa Maria, taking over its original restaurant.
Projected opening: March 2021

Bodega Rita’s at Coal Drops Yard, King’s Cross: Missy Flynn and Gabe Pryce outside their sandwich shop and deli
Missy Flynn and Gabe Pryce outside their sandwich shop and deli Bodega Rita’s in King’s Cross, now closed
Bodega Rita’s

Rita’s

Address: 49 Lexington Street, Soho W1F 9AP
Key people: Missy Flynn and Gabe Pryce
What to expect: The next iteration of Rita’s, the much-loved, irreverent, and peripatetic restaurant and wine bar from Flynn and Pryce.
Projected opening: April 2021

Prawn “in” toast with brioche at Mr Ji in Soho
The prawn in toast at Mr Ji in Soho
Jessica Wang/Mr Ji

Mr Ji

Address: 72 Old Compton Street, Soho, W1D 4UN
Key people: Mr Ji founder Samuel Haim, with consultation from Tātā Eatery and Tōu’s Zijun Meng and Ana Gonçalves
What to expect: A rejigging of the Taiwanese fried chicken nook, with a deep-fried chicken thigh sando; a cucumber salad with black fungus and yuba; and a riff on prawn toast that puts the prawns not on top of the toast, but... Inside the toast.
Projected opening: April 2021

Nomad London

Address: 28 Bow Street, Covent Garden, WC2E 7AW
Key people: Ashley Abodeely and Leo Robitschek
What to expect: Two restaurants, one, Nomad Restaurant, more smart, and two, Side Hustle, a pub-like environment focussed on Mexican sharing food.
Projected opening: May 2021

The original pork bao, at Bao’s Fitzrovia site
The original pork bao and its tickbox menu at Bao’s Fitzrovia restaurant
Tomas Jivanda/for Eater London

Bao Shoreditch

Address: 1 Redchurch Street, Shoreditch E2 7DJ
Key people: Erchen Chang, Shing Tat Chung, and Wai Ting Chung
What to expect: A new iteration for London’s slickest restaurant group, with a license for music and cinema promising ... Music and cinema.
Projected opening: April 2021

A dish from Roketsu’s kaiseki residency at Brown’s Hotel Mayfair
A dish from Roketsu’s kaiseki residency at Brown’s Hotel Mayfair
Roketsu/Brown’s Hotel

Roketsu

Address: 12 New Quebec Street, Marylebone W1H 7RP
Key people: Daisuke Hayashi
What to expect: A kaiseki restaurant from one of its true masters, in a city that is yet to fully take to one of the great culinary traditions in history.
Projected opening: May 2021

“The Traitor” Red Carpet - The 72nd Annual Cannes Film Festival
Salt Bae is coming to London this spring
Photo by Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images

Nusr-Et Steakhouse

Address: The Park Tower Knightsbridge, 101 Knightsbridge, SW1X 7RN
Key people: Nusret Gökçe aka Salt Bae
What to expect: Theatrically-served food, Instagrammable experiences and expensive cuts of meat.
Projected opening: 17 May 2021

Jolene bakery, restaurant and wine bar in Newington Green
Jolene in Newington Green
Samuel Ashton

Jolene

Address: 67 Redchurch Street, Shoreditch E2 7DJ
Key people: Jeremie Cometto-Lingenheim and David Gingell of Jolene, Westerns Laundry, et al
What to expect: A second satellite bakery from the Newington Green hit, with the first opening on Essex Road in March.
Projected opening: May 2021

Imad Alarnab in 2018
Help Refugees [Official Photo]

Imad’s Syrian Kitchen

Address: Kingly Court, Kingly Street, Soho W1B 5PW
Key people: Imad Alarnab
What to expect: The quality falafel, lamb shoulder, and other Syrian dishes that have made Alarnab’s frequent pop-ups a hit.
Projected opening: May 2021

Adejoké Bakare, outside Chishuru, her restaurant in Brixton, south London which is currently closed due to the coronavirus lockdown in England
Adejoké Bakare, outside Chishuru, her restaurant in Brixton
Michaël Protin/Eater London

London

, , England Visit Website

Westerns Laundry

34 Drayton Park, , England N5 1PB 020 7700 3700 Visit Website

TŌU

101-103 Oxford Street, , England WC1A 1DB Visit Website

E2

, , England E2

BAO

590 Valencia Street, , CA 94110 (415) 658-7453 Visit Website

Ji

Chalk Farm Road, , England NW1 8AH 07398 682956

Xier

13-14 Thayer Street , London , W1U 3JR Visit Website

TĀTĀ Eatery

152 Old Street, , England EC1V 9BW Visit Website

Colbert

50-52 Sloane Square, , England SW1W 8AX 020 7730 2804 Visit Website

HIDE

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

Mere

74 Charlotte Street, London, W1T 4QH Visit Website

Lamb

94 Lamb's Conduit Street, , England WC1N 3LZ 020 7405 0713 Visit Website

St Leonards

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

Jolene

54 Great Jones Street, Manhattan, NY 10012 (646) 429-8383 Visit Website

Santa Maria

11 Bond Street, , England W5 5AP 020 8840 4998 Visit Website

The Wolseley

160 Piccadilly, , England W1J 9EB 020 7499 6996 Visit Website

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