With Boris Johnson’s coronavirus lockdown reopening roadmap and Rishi Sunak’s Budget under their belts for better or for worse, London restaurants planning for when they will reopen after lockdown have a luxury they’ve not had for a long time: time. As the run-up to reopening rolls on, expect more and more new openings, and a clearer picture of what (central) London’s restaurant landscape will look like.
- One mainstay of the first reopening that won’t be coming back is Eat Out to Help Out. Chancellor Rishi Sunak ruled out a new version of the restaurant discount scheme at the start of this week.
- A spate of new opening news tells a story of consolidation, safe bets, and plenty of burgers. Gordon Ramsay, the abusive chef who keeps being given investor money, is opening a second “gourmet” burger restaurant near Leicester Square with a view to establishing a chain. It’s replacing Byron, a “gourmet” burger chain that collapsed because there were too many “gourmet” burger chains. Pattern recognition alert: activated.
- Meanwhile, hypey gourmet burger chain Patty and Bun is opening a permanent version of its lockdown Nando’s rip-off right next to ... Patty and Bun, on James Street, also in central London.
- And less hypey pizza chain Pizza Pilgrims is planning to open eight (8) new restaurants in 2021, all of them in London.
- More opening stories outside zone one offer some ballast against what feels like an increasingly unstoppable hegemony in the centre. Top Dalston bakery The Dusty Knuckle is also on the expansion, into Green Lanes, while top Fitzrovia coffee residency Good as Gold has noped out of Sharps and put down roots in Brockley, south east London.
- The news that Uber must legally classify its drivers as workers, not contractors, is expected to change the food delivery economy. Right now the how and why are pretty complex, so here’s an explainer of what the Uber Supreme Court ruling means for food delivery. Also in labour news: McDonald’s workers continue to doubt the company’s safety priorities, while Amazon expands it’s nearly staff-less supermarkets in London.
- The new season of Masterchef is here: here’s how it’s going so far.
- Increasingly chaotic commuter fave Pret a Manger is putting frozen croissants in Tesco.
- What to eat on Nowruz, which is this Saturday.
Dining guides for staying in this weekend...
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- And here are some condiments to put on them, or indeed anything else.
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- Champion chicken wings, for takeaway or delivery.
- The best restaurants for delivery and takeaway.
- The best meal kits from London restaurants.
- What London’s standout 38 restaurants are doing right now.
- Where to find fish and chips for the weekly ritual.
- Some top sushi for takeaway.
- The best bakeries in London for takeaway pastries and bread.
- 10 brilliant burgers for lockdown.
And where to order takeaway and delivery in...
- Where to buy produce, meat, fish, pantry items, wine, and beer, with more bottles than Tottenham Hotspur.
- Some gear to make great coffee at home.
- And some gear to wear: tees, totes, mugs. #Gear
Until next week, eat well and be safe.