Though this is a new year, the London restaurant industry begins 2023 facing a now-familiar set of challenges. It is still dealing with the chronic aftershocks of the COVID-19 and Brexit crises; it is also adjusting to stratospheric energy bills, and coming to terms with rising food costs, difficulties with recruitment, and inflation.
And still, there are those who in spite of all of that see an opportunity. Such confidence is not unfounded: There remains a huge appetite for new restaurants and creative food businesses in an affluent city, and the right ideas will fly.
Here are a few of those that could do just that — the most anticipated restaurant openings for winter 2022.
Address: 2 Westgate Street, London Fields E8 3RN
Key people: John and Yee Li, creators of hit Spitalfields street food stall Dumpling Shack.
What to expect: A first full restaurant for one of London’s most queued-for street food hits, with Sichuan fried chicken sandwiches on the ground floor and its inimitable shengjianbao pork soup dumplings in the basement. Hackney is ready.
Projected opening: 5 January 2023
Address: 27 Uxbridge Street, Notting Hill W8 7TQ
Key people: Palestinian chef and restaurateur Fadi Kattan.
What to expect: The restaurant will draw on Kattan’s process in the West Bank, which leans on ingredients grown in Palestinian territories, as well as local ingredients from its new London home.
Projected opening: January 2022
Address: 208 Stoke Newington High Street, N16 7HU
Key people: Michelle Salazar de la Rocha and Sam Napier.
What to expect: The renowned duo’s first taqueria proper, with seats, a bar, and a “greatly expanded menu” featuring the likes of a Sonoran mixed grill, a full breakfast menu, some more “traditional plates,” as well as soups and tamales. Tacos, too, naturally.
Projected opening: February / March 2023
Address: 332 Andrews Road, Hackney E8 4QF
Key people: Mitshel Ibrahim and the Ombra team.
What to expect: An Italian bakery, cafe, pastificio, and Roman-style pizzeria inside a railway arch in Hackney.
Projected opening: February 2023
Address: 10 Stoney Street, Borough Market SE1 9AD
Key people: Chef and cookbook author Cynthia Shanmugalingam.
What to expect: A Tamil Sri Lankan “diaspora dream,” celebrating the fruited, rich curries of the region. Already a hit in its soft serve guise last summer.
Projected opening: Winter 2023