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A spread of southern Thai curries, some topped with fried egg, on a blue tablecloth
A spread of southern Thai curries, rice, and fried eggs at Plaza Khao Gaeng.
Michaël Protin

The Hottest New Restaurants in London, May 2022

Where to eat in the capital right now

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A spread of southern Thai curries, rice, and fried eggs at Plaza Khao Gaeng.
| Michaël Protin

More often than not, readers, friends and family of Eater have one question: Where should I eat right now? Restaurant obsessives want to know what's new, what's hot, which favourite chef just launched their follow-up effort: the “it” places of the moment. As London steps into the spring and with each new day tries to move further away from the pandemic years of 2020—21 into their new normal, there’s serious heat to match the lessening chill in the air. Here’s where’s hot in London this May.

Added May 2022: Plaza Khao Gaeng, Arcade Food Hall, Caravel, Haringey Corbacisi

Added April 2022: Lisboeta, Lahpet West End, Goddard and Gibbs, Towpath Cafe

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Haringey Corbacisi

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7, Salisbury Promenade, Green Lanes, Harringay Ladder
London N8 0RX, UK

The reputation of this newish spot has been bubbling on Green Lanes for a few months now, aided and abetted by applause from chef and writer Melek Erdal and Vittles’s (and Eater London contributor) Jonathan Nunn. It’s the most exciting thing to open on this storied stretch of the A105 in a good while, for several good reasons: its devotion to the soothing, richly homespun depth of soups and stews, whether tangy with yoghurt or rich with lamb’s offal, head, and brain; its being open until 3 a.m. in a city whose “late night food” normally stops at a child’s bedtime; and its being the new darling of London’s Turkish and Kurdish restaurants, whose centrality to the city’s culinary landscape sadly, rarely correlates to anything resembling “hype” when it truly should.

2. Planque

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322-324 Acton Mews
London E8 4EA, UK

Though Haggerston’s Planque is a wine club, its restaurant — and arched, atmospheric dining room — is open to the public. In the kitchen is Seb Myers, whose elegantly fun approach to cooking loosely modern French food is a perfect foil for a place that is devoted to high quality wines and their cellaring but is also in an east London railway arch. When on the hobs at venerable wine bar P. Franco, Myers reconnected it to the Parisian caves à manger that it long touted as inspiration, and brings that sensibility to Planque with the likes of red mullet tartine; grilled leeks vinaigrette with Tunworth cheese; a duck offal choux farcis; and mackerel with coco beans and greens, as well as a stunning caramel tart with blue cheese.

3. Towpath

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42 De Beauvoir Cres
London N1 5SB, UK

Strictly speaking this canalside institution breaks rubric: it’s far from new and in fact over twelve years old. But little is ever hotter in London than seasonal simplicity, and in warmer months the produce thermometer goes into overdrive, so Towpath is — throughout its season — always one of London’s hottest restaurants. At breakfast, get the marinda tomatoes with mojo verde; at lunch, the cheese toastie or the goat curd with roasted garlic. Look out for Napoli sausages, bean stews, radishes, the works.

4. Caravel

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172 Shepherdess Walk
London N1 7JL, UK

One for restaurant obsessives who also love The Lonely Island, Caravel — from Fin and Lorcan Spiteri, sons of current Sessions Arts Club co-owner and former French House and St. John co-founder Jon — is on a boat. But it’s not on a boat in a glib, gimmicky way: this is a dining room, and one that doesn’t move, instead putting out smart, simple pastel dishes with the occasional flourish of wit, like in a duck croquette whose shape might leave diners quacking. Elegance, with a little edge.

5. Hawker's Kitchen

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64 Caledonian Rd
London N1 9DP, UK

Roti King’s roti king may no longer be central London’s standard bearer for roti prata (canai). The best version of the rich, flaky bread used to mop up good dhal or even better sour fish curries might now be found in this newish Malaysian spot by King’s Cross on Caledonian road. Word is that it’s truly elite when fresh, merely very good when reheated. Elsewhere there are outstanding plates of kway teow goreng , flat noodles which hold onto an umami-heavy seasoning, with bamboo shoots, chilli, crispy onions, and scallions; protein is more or less irrelevant. Make sure to order a side pot of sambal and be prepared to compete with the c.millions of delivery orders flying in and out throughout a sit-down meal.

6. Goddard & Gibbs

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100 Shoreditch High St
London E1 6HU, UK

Taking over the iconic Shoreditch dining room formerly home to Hoi Polloi, Goddard and Gibbs is a new all-day, hotel restaurant specialising in seafood and brasserie classics — lobster and chips; fish pie; roasted skate with XO sauce. This is the type of restaurant which is is low-key and suitable for a bit of breakfast, a little work, or a light lunch by day, and a seen-to-be-seen vibey night time spot.

7. Lisboeta

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30 Charlotte St.
London W1T 2NG, UK

Pioneering Portuguese chef Nuno Mendes’s London restaurant career has traversed interpretations of molecular gastronomy at Viajante, Portuguese taberna fare at Taberna do Mercado, and ultra-modern kitchen-dining cooking at Mãos. It appears he has settled, in 2022, with a restaurant that distils those styles, one which — with a negroni mixing ginjinha with campari and vermuth, and dishes such as bacalhau à Brás; plumas de porco preto; and arroz de mariscos — is rooted both in London and Lisbon, the two cities which have most influenced Mendes.

8. The Ledbury

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127 Ledbury Rd
London W11 2AQ, UK

Brett Graham’s two-Michelin-starred Notting Hill restaurant shut abruptly in summer 2020, when he said: “The economy is smashed; there are no customers in hotels, no international flights ... The business model is not viable.” Come 2022, it clearly is: the tasting menu is back, priced up to accommodate increased costs, and immediately one of the hottest tables in town, for gastronauts and relieved regulars alike.

9. Arcade Food Hall

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103-105 New Oxford St
London WC1A 1DB, UK

As above, so below: JKS Restaurants — the group behind a suite of the city’s best, (Michelin-starred), and most innovative kitchens — has managed to transform Arcade Food Theatre into something worthy of the name (while getting rid of the name altogether. The new new Arcade Food Hall is less of a collection of kitchens and more of a panoptic restaurant in its own right. A new ordering system, with table service and no queueing, makes dining feel effortless, while the range of food on offer makes it as suited to a dinner occasion as to a soaker-upper after a night out in the West End. Hits include Nashville hot chicken and smashburgers at Manna (from Bake Street’s Feroz Gajia); butter chicken everything at Hero; and surprising substance in a tempura prawn nori sando from Sushi Kamon.

10. Plaza Khao Gaeng

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103-105 Oxford St
London WC1A 1DB, UK

Located on the mezzanine floor of Arcade Food Hall, chef and grower Lukie Farrell’s new southern Thai restaurant is an instant, complex hit. Self-consciously decked out to not just reference, but mimic its forbears in Bangkok, with strip lighting and blue tablecloths, and reliant on ingredients grown and prepared not just in Thailand, but in Dorset, it is an embodiment of an evolution in what “authenticity” can mean in food. It is also an outstanding restaurant, with hot and sour curries; some ferociously dry (khlua kling moo, heady with long pepper and turmeric) and some puckeringly sauced (gaeng som talay, of mussels and squid) served over rice, next to fried eggs with crisply billowing skirts.

11. Roketsu Restaurant

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12 New Quebec St
London W1H 7RF, UK

This Marylebone kaiseki (Japanese multi-course, tasting menu) restaurant

comes from Daisuke Hayashi, a chef who brings to London the experience of two decades’ training at one of the world’s foremost kaiseki restaurants, Kikunoi Honten, in Kyoto. The small, serene restaurant, which was designed in Japan, serves just one menu — at dinner — priced at £190 per person.

12. Rita's

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49 Lexington St, Carnaby
London W1F 9AP, UK

Missy Flynn and Gabe Pryce’s latest iteration of Rita’s sees them put down roots in Soho. The listed building on Lexington Street’s limitations have been turned to advantages, with an unfussed-with design and an opportunity to more fully develop Pryce’s version of Americana cooking and Flynn’s approach to exactingly fun drinks. This is a place for lunch and dinner, not for bits and bobs on small plates: a barbecue beef tartare with herbs; quail and grits; sharing steaks, potatoes, and greens. It’s a Proper Restaurant, with the vibe of cool dinner party.

13. Lahpet West End

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21 Slingsby Pl
London WC2E 9AB, UK

Lahpet’s arrival in the middle of Covent Garden is a bit of a placing-the-flag moment for Burmese cooking in London, in the wake of some of the cuisine’s best-known restaurants in the city closing their doors in recent months. So while Lahpet is very much continuing what’s it done in Shoreditch, delivering Myanmar staples like the pickled tea leaf salad, lahpet thohk, for which the restaurant is named, its ability to open a second, on prime real estate, is something of a statement.

14. Toklas Cafe and Bakery

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9 Surrey St
London WC2R 2ND, UK

While its restaurant — also from the founders of renowned art magazine and festival Frieze — is winning plaudits for simple European cooking, Toklas Bakery is reaching even greater heights in the hype stratosphere. A roscón de reyes unseated its French cousin the galette des rois from its epiphany cake throne, while luminous brioche laminations and thick slices of tarts blessed with citrus from Todoli are more quotidian beauties.

15. Cédric Grolet at The Berkeley

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Wilton Pl
London SW1X 7RL, UK

The £135 dessert tasting menu restaurant in Knightsbridge was always going to make headlines and draw attendant queues. This restaurant — whisper it, dessert bar — is not only not for everyone, it’s for hardly anyone, such is the price tag and the niche. And yet, with some of the most immaculate sweet creations to be found anywhere in Europe and the London opening being something of a coup, it is of course — by some definitions — one of the hottest spots in the city.

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1. Haringey Corbacisi

7, Salisbury Promenade, Green Lanes, Harringay Ladder, London N8 0RX, UK

The reputation of this newish spot has been bubbling on Green Lanes for a few months now, aided and abetted by applause from chef and writer Melek Erdal and Vittles’s (and Eater London contributor) Jonathan Nunn. It’s the most exciting thing to open on this storied stretch of the A105 in a good while, for several good reasons: its devotion to the soothing, richly homespun depth of soups and stews, whether tangy with yoghurt or rich with lamb’s offal, head, and brain; its being open until 3 a.m. in a city whose “late night food” normally stops at a child’s bedtime; and its being the new darling of London’s Turkish and Kurdish restaurants, whose centrality to the city’s culinary landscape sadly, rarely correlates to anything resembling “hype” when it truly should.

7, Salisbury Promenade, Green Lanes, Harringay Ladder
London N8 0RX, UK

2. Planque

322-324 Acton Mews, London E8 4EA, UK

Though Haggerston’s Planque is a wine club, its restaurant — and arched, atmospheric dining room — is open to the public. In the kitchen is Seb Myers, whose elegantly fun approach to cooking loosely modern French food is a perfect foil for a place that is devoted to high quality wines and their cellaring but is also in an east London railway arch. When on the hobs at venerable wine bar P. Franco, Myers reconnected it to the Parisian caves à manger that it long touted as inspiration, and brings that sensibility to Planque with the likes of red mullet tartine; grilled leeks vinaigrette with Tunworth cheese; a duck offal choux farcis; and mackerel with coco beans and greens, as well as a stunning caramel tart with blue cheese.

322-324 Acton Mews
London E8 4EA, UK

3. Towpath

42 De Beauvoir Cres, London N1 5SB, UK

Strictly speaking this canalside institution breaks rubric: it’s far from new and in fact over twelve years old. But little is ever hotter in London than seasonal simplicity, and in warmer months the produce thermometer goes into overdrive, so Towpath is — throughout its season — always one of London’s hottest restaurants. At breakfast, get the marinda tomatoes with mojo verde; at lunch, the cheese toastie or the goat curd with roasted garlic. Look out for Napoli sausages, bean stews, radishes, the works.

42 De Beauvoir Cres
London N1 5SB, UK

4. Caravel

172 Shepherdess Walk, London N1 7JL, UK

One for restaurant obsessives who also love The Lonely Island, Caravel — from Fin and Lorcan Spiteri, sons of current Sessions Arts Club co-owner and former French House and St. John co-founder Jon — is on a boat. But it’s not on a boat in a glib, gimmicky way: this is a dining room, and one that doesn’t move, instead putting out smart, simple pastel dishes with the occasional flourish of wit, like in a duck croquette whose shape might leave diners quacking. Elegance, with a little edge.

172 Shepherdess Walk
London N1 7JL, UK

5. Hawker's Kitchen

64 Caledonian Rd, London N1 9DP, UK

Roti King’s roti king may no longer be central London’s standard bearer for roti prata (canai). The best version of the rich, flaky bread used to mop up good dhal or even better sour fish curries might now be found in this newish Malaysian spot by King’s Cross on Caledonian road. Word is that it’s truly elite when fresh, merely very good when reheated. Elsewhere there are outstanding plates of kway teow goreng , flat noodles which hold onto an umami-heavy seasoning, with bamboo shoots, chilli, crispy onions, and scallions; protein is more or less irrelevant. Make sure to order a side pot of sambal and be prepared to compete with the c.millions of delivery orders flying in and out throughout a sit-down meal.

64 Caledonian Rd
London N1 9DP, UK

6. Goddard & Gibbs

100 Shoreditch High St, London E1 6HU, UK

Taking over the iconic Shoreditch dining room formerly home to Hoi Polloi, Goddard and Gibbs is a new all-day, hotel restaurant specialising in seafood and brasserie classics — lobster and chips; fish pie; roasted skate with XO sauce. This is the type of restaurant which is is low-key and suitable for a bit of breakfast, a little work, or a light lunch by day, and a seen-to-be-seen vibey night time spot.

100 Shoreditch High St
London E1 6HU, UK

7. Lisboeta

30 Charlotte St., London W1T 2NG, UK

Pioneering Portuguese chef Nuno Mendes’s London restaurant career has traversed interpretations of molecular gastronomy at Viajante, Portuguese taberna fare at Taberna do Mercado, and ultra-modern kitchen-dining cooking at Mãos. It appears he has settled, in 2022, with a restaurant that distils those styles, one which — with a negroni mixing ginjinha with campari and vermuth, and dishes such as bacalhau à Brás; plumas de porco preto; and arroz de mariscos — is rooted both in London and Lisbon, the two cities which have most influenced Mendes.

30 Charlotte St.
London W1T 2NG, UK

8. The Ledbury

127 Ledbury Rd, London W11 2AQ, UK

Brett Graham’s two-Michelin-starred Notting Hill restaurant shut abruptly in summer 2020, when he said: “The economy is smashed; there are no customers in hotels, no international flights ... The business model is not viable.” Come 2022, it clearly is: the tasting menu is back, priced up to accommodate increased costs, and immediately one of the hottest tables in town, for gastronauts and relieved regulars alike.

127 Ledbury Rd
London W11 2AQ, UK

9. Arcade Food Hall

103-105 New Oxford St, London WC1A 1DB, UK

As above, so below: JKS Restaurants — the group behind a suite of the city’s best, (Michelin-starred), and most innovative kitchens — has managed to transform Arcade Food Theatre into something worthy of the name (while getting rid of the name altogether. The new new Arcade Food Hall is less of a collection of kitchens and more of a panoptic restaurant in its own right. A new ordering system, with table service and no queueing, makes dining feel effortless, while the range of food on offer makes it as suited to a dinner occasion as to a soaker-upper after a night out in the West End. Hits include Nashville hot chicken and smashburgers at Manna (from Bake Street’s Feroz Gajia); butter chicken everything at Hero; and surprising substance in a tempura prawn nori sando from Sushi Kamon.

103-105 New Oxford St
London WC1A 1DB, UK

10. Plaza Khao Gaeng

103-105 Oxford St, London WC1A 1DB, UK

Located on the mezzanine floor of Arcade Food Hall, chef and grower Lukie Farrell’s new southern Thai restaurant is an instant, complex hit. Self-consciously decked out to not just reference, but mimic its forbears in Bangkok, with strip lighting and blue tablecloths, and reliant on ingredients grown and prepared not just in Thailand, but in Dorset, it is an embodiment of an evolution in what “authenticity” can mean in food. It is also an outstanding restaurant, with hot and sour curries; some ferociously dry (khlua kling moo, heady with long pepper and turmeric) and some puckeringly sauced (gaeng som talay, of mussels and squid) served over rice, next to fried eggs with crisply billowing skirts.

103-105 Oxford St
London WC1A 1DB, UK

11. Roketsu Restaurant

12 New Quebec St, London W1H 7RF, UK

This Marylebone kaiseki (Japanese multi-course, tasting menu) restaurant

comes from Daisuke Hayashi, a chef who brings to London the experience of two decades’ training at one of the world’s foremost kaiseki restaurants, Kikunoi Honten, in Kyoto. The small, serene restaurant, which was designed in Japan, serves just one menu — at dinner — priced at £190 per person.

12 New Quebec St
London W1H 7RF, UK

12. Rita's

49 Lexington St, Carnaby, London W1F 9AP, UK

Missy Flynn and Gabe Pryce’s latest iteration of Rita’s sees them put down roots in Soho. The listed building on Lexington Street’s limitations have been turned to advantages, with an unfussed-with design and an opportunity to more fully develop Pryce’s version of Americana cooking and Flynn’s approach to exactingly fun drinks. This is a place for lunch and dinner, not for bits and bobs on small plates: a barbecue beef tartare with herbs; quail and grits; sharing steaks, potatoes, and greens. It’s a Proper Restaurant, with the vibe of cool dinner party.

49 Lexington St, Carnaby
London W1F 9AP, UK

13. Lahpet West End

21 Slingsby Pl, London WC2E 9AB, UK

Lahpet’s arrival in the middle of Covent Garden is a bit of a placing-the-flag moment for Burmese cooking in London, in the wake of some of the cuisine’s best-known restaurants in the city closing their doors in recent months. So while Lahpet is very much continuing what’s it done in Shoreditch, delivering Myanmar staples like the pickled tea leaf salad, lahpet thohk, for which the restaurant is named, its ability to open a second, on prime real estate, is something of a statement.

21 Slingsby Pl
London WC2E 9AB, UK

14. Toklas Cafe and Bakery

9 Surrey St, London WC2R 2ND, UK

While its restaurant — also from the founders of renowned art magazine and festival Frieze — is winning plaudits for simple European cooking, Toklas Bakery is reaching even greater heights in the hype stratosphere. A roscón de reyes unseated its French cousin the galette des rois from its epiphany cake throne, while luminous brioche laminations and thick slices of tarts blessed with citrus from Todoli are more quotidian beauties.

9 Surrey St
London WC2R 2ND, UK

15. Cédric Grolet at The Berkeley

Wilton Pl, London SW1X 7RL, UK

The £135 dessert tasting menu restaurant in Knightsbridge was always going to make headlines and draw attendant queues. This restaurant — whisper it, dessert bar — is not only not for everyone, it’s for hardly anyone, such is the price tag and the niche. And yet, with some of the most immaculate sweet creations to be found anywhere in Europe and the London opening being something of a coup, it is of course — by some definitions — one of the hottest spots in the city.

Wilton Pl
London SW1X 7RL, UK

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