It is the tradition at Eater to end the year with a survey of friends, contributors, rovers of the industry, and professional eaters. Even a year like this one. For 2022, the group were asked 12 questions, covering the best meals and the worst moments alongside 2023 predictions and dining standbys. Their answers will appear throughout this week, with responses relayed in no particular order; cut and pasted below.
Having surveyed the best London restaurant newcomers of 2022, it’s time for the mainstays: the restaurants they went back to time, and time, and time again.
Adam Coghlan, Editor, Eater London: Koya Ko, Sonora, Willy’s Pies, and Pockets for weekday “working” lunch; Quarter Kitchen for weekday “working” breakfast; Hawkers Kitchen for roti canai and char kway teow; Mannoush (e17) for midweek rotisserie takeaway; Singburi for weekend takeaway; Brawn for a treat; Sunlight Caribbean for jerk chicken; Hiba Taboun for freshly baked pita on Sunday mornings; Planque for special occasions; and Saikei for weekend family lunches.
James Hansen, Associate Editor, Eater London: Tetote Factory, My Old China, Lahore Local Acton, Kanenas, and Atari-Ya Acton when at home. Sonora, Paradox, E5 Bakehouse, Koya Ko, Cafe Cecilia, and Pockets when at the office. Quality Wines, Brawn, 40 Maltby Street, and Rosslyn, when out and about.
Apoorva Sripathi, food writer and Eater London contributor: Yard Sale for dependable pizza, Lievito Madre for cold cuts and terrace dates, King & Co for their rotating menu and pub quizzes (we won!!!), and Camberwell for everything else.
Anna Sulan Masing, food writer and Eater London contributor: I say this every year, I think. And I always caveat it with the fact I am biased because Mandy is a friend, and I am going to add a new level of bias-ness but actually I think it is testimony to how it is indeed very good. I have started working a few shifts at Sambal Shiok, and I have to force myself not to have laksa as my staff food every shift purely because otherwise I will turn into a bowl of noodle soup.
The other spot I have kept coming back to is Manteca. I think a “go-to” is somewhere where you get comfort, you know you will be sated, pleased and not bored. It is reliable. Manteca is all of this, and it was my birthday dinner this year, so that counts for a lot. I also found myself constantly returning to Smoking Goat this year, it is also easy comfort and satisfying. Do cafes count? As I feel like restaurant go-ing is a novelty in my world atm ... I spent a lot of time at Bake Street, Weirdough and Ramble Cafe.
Jonathan Nunn, food writer and Eater London contributor: 40 Maltby Street, Uncle Wrinkle, and an assortment of mid Chinese takeaways which somehow all seem to be called Happy Valley.
Nyasha Oliver, food writer and Eater London contributor: Coco Ichibanya, Meatliquor, and Yard Sale Pizza.
Sean Wyer, writer, researcher and Eater London contributor: Bravi Ragazzi, an unusually good neighbourhood pizzeria, whose waiters never fail to sweet-talk me into ordering too many crocchè over the phone.
George Reynolds, writer and Eater London contributor: Date night tier: Quality Wines Farringdon, Hector’s, Bright, the late lamented countertop at Brat where you could order all the puddings.
Mates night tier: Ombra, Jolene, Brawn, Marksman, The Plimsoll.
Solo lunch tier: Towpath, Cafe Deco, Koya Ko and Bloomberg Arcade, Leila’s, Dumpling Shack, Elliot’s, Xi’an Impression, Pockets.
Lunch with spouse / family / close friends tier: Cafe Cecilia, Royal China Club, St John Smithfield, Quality Chop House.
Lunch with my infant son tier: Hawkers Kitchen, Arcade, The Tamil Prince, Tanakatsu, Kanada-Ya.
Summer heatwave tier: Soft n Swirly, Mambow, Studio Kitchen, Baltic Fresh Seafood.
Anniversary splurge tier: A Wong.
Local hero tier: Westerns Laundry, Jolene Colebrooke Row, Tofu Vegan, Plaquemine Lock, Sushi Show.
Bakery tier: Vertige (croissants), Dusty Knuckle (potato sourdough), E5 Bakehouse (everything.)
Takeaway stalwart tier: Cay Tre (especially for the chicken curry and salt and pepper tofu), Delhi Grill, Berber & Q.
God-slash-swiftly-encroaching-on-favourite-restaurant-in-London-tier: Sessions Arts Club (second year running.)
Feroz Gajia, restaurateur and Eater London contributor: Lighthaus, Haringey Corbacisi, All Kaps Pizza, Singburi, 40 Maltby Street, Oren, Quality Wines, Pockets, Sonora Taqueria, 180 at the corner, Planque, Kaieteur Kitchen and many mangals with various names. They sustained and satisified me between all the other erratic eating out I did this year. Also a shout out to both Paradox Coffee and Ngopi who kept me blissfully caffeinated during those few moments I wasn’t at work.
Joel Hart, food writer and Eater London contributor: Master Wei Xi’An, Umut 2000, Mangal I, Noble Rot, Planque.
Angela Hui, food writer and Eater London contributor: The same thing we do every night Pinky. Try to get a booking and eat the blackboard twice at Singburi. Aside from the local, it’s probably the same restaurants on rotation: Bake Street and Wong Kei.
David Jay Paw, food writer and Eater London contributor: Wong Kei and TPT for one-dish magic, Elliot’s Hackney for neighbourhood things, Blacklock for solo meat and Manhattans, Bubala in Spitalfields for impromptu date nights.
Shekha Vyas, food writer and Eater London contributor: The same local mainstays as every year — Thattukada, Kate’s, Le Kitchen, Sichuan Grand, Singburi. I also found myself eating a lot of momo at 012.
Issac Rangaswami, food writer and Eater London contributor: Wong Kei, Randolfi’s, Italia Uno, Maison Bertaux, and Scotti’s Snack Bar.