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A selection of wines and French dishes in white dinnerware at Planque, which has opened in Haggerston
A spread of Seb Myers’s food and wine at Planque in Haggerston.
Anton Rodriguez

The Hottest New Restaurants in London, November 2021

Where to eat in the capital right now

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A spread of Seb Myers’s food and wine at Planque in Haggerston.
| Anton Rodriguez

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. Despite the resumption of indoor dining being months old, this moment remains quite different to when those questions were previously asked, and places that are opening for the first time are still doing so in an unstable present, facing an unknown future — both as a result of the pandemic but also Brexit. Still, there’s serious heat to match the chill in the air, as the city heads into winter. Here’s where’s hot in London this November.

Added November 2021: Rita’s Soho, Vasco and Piero’s, Planque, Rosslyn Coffee, Balady Leather Lane

Added October 2021: Nusr-et London, Brutto, Ramo Ramen, BiBi

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Nusr-Et Steakhouse London

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THE PARK TOWER KNIGHTSBRIDGE HOTEL, 101
London SW1X 7EZ, UK

The truth about Salt Bae is simple: restaurant critics, newspapers, and indeed this writer have less to say about the phenomenon worth listening to than the fact that his restaurants are always full, always ridiculous, and always making an absolute wad of cash. London is no exception, the gold-covered steaks are flying out, and the best thing of all is that it’s possible to just watch it happen on Instagram if all of this leads to existential dread.

Salt Bae doing his signature salt-dashing move over a sliced steak
Salt Bae doing his signature salt-dashing move over a sliced steak
Jean Schwarzwalder/Eater

2. Bibi Restaurant

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42 N Audley St
London W1K 6ZP, UK

Chet Sharma’s new Mayfair addition to the JKS stable is at first glance very smart — with elegant banquettes and a sweeping counter that provides an ideal view of the multi-level sigree grill. But here smart also means intelligent: Sharma’s playfulness appears in opening gambits of papad and kurkure that resemble Quavers and NikNaks respectively, and it persists across the menu, in a departure from prior billing as a tasting menu concession to its locale that feels like a very wise decision.

A selection of dishes from Chet Sharma’s BiBi, on colourful stone-esque plates, on a wooden backdrop.
A selection of dishes from Chet Sharma’s BiBi.
BiBi

3. Ramo Ramen

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157 Kentish Town Rd
London NW1 8PD, UK

Ramo Ramen is known for its creative, clever refraction of Filipino culinary traditions, leading to singular bowls of ramen which feel in tune with the spirit of the most exciting cooking in the city right now. Oxtail collapses into creamy peanut broth in a bowl inspired by kare kare, the Filipino stew, while grilled king prawns bob in a broth pursed by tamarind and lime in a rendition of the soup, sinigang. But in Soho, the stars are the decadent: an outrageous lobster and crab ginataan, and a rich wagyu bistek donburi.

A bowl of oxtail kare kare ramen shot from above, with nori, soft-boiled eggs, pea shoots, spring onions, and shiitake mushrooms
A bowl of oxtail kare kare ramen.
Ramo Ramen

4. Sessions Arts Club

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24 Clerkenwell Green Old Sessions House
London EC1R 0NA, UK

London’s best new dining room sits somewhere between an elegantly distressed Tuscan villa / decrepit British stately home / and fancy art collector London townhouse. It is stunning. On the plate, chef Florence Knight’s food is as clever as it is delicious; the menu a masterclass in variety and composition. The best thing about a dish of fried potato and eel must be kept as a surprise; a squid and tomato calamarata is playful and brilliant; a lonesome crab croquette is a small flavour bomb and textural triumph. Go.

Inside chef Florence Knight’s spectacular new Clerkenwell restaurant, Sessions Arts Club Michaël Protin

5. Trattoria Brutto

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35-37 Greenhill Rents
London EC1M 6BN, UK

An adult, winking Florentine trattoria is Russell Norman’s next contribution to the London restaurant world. There’s a risotto of the day to come shortly, and a bar to be propped up from 11 a.m.; bistecca alla Fiorentina, tonnato with caperberries, and pasta alla vodka are all present and correct. But maybe the smartest thing about this nostalgia-edged restaurant in Farringdon is that it has the know-how and the character to evade any thought of pastiche.

A diner sits over a plate of pasta, holding a fork, with salad to its left. Everything is on white plates, with white tablecloths, and a half-drunk glass of red wine sits in the centre. Michaêl Protin

6. Marugame Udon

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114 Middlesex St
London E1 7JH, UK

Marugame Udon, the London debut for a chain with hundreds of sites in Japan, might never hit the serene heights of Koya or the neighbourhood intimacy of somewhere like Kiraku in Ealing. But: the arrival of a huge, monied overseas player into a huge site vacated by a chain in decline (Wahaca) is probably a canary in the coal mine of London casual dining over the next five years, and if its competitors bring this dedication to consistency and quality, with noodles made daily and bowls starting at £3.45, then the city will be better for it.

Udon noodles at Marugame Udon in Spitalfields
Udon noodles at Marugame Udon in Spitalfields
Marugame Udon

7. Alhaji SUYA (Peckham)

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15 Peckham Park Rd
London SE15 6TR, UK

London’s preeminent suya specialist relocated to Greenwich during 2020, selling its tozo, meltingly tender beef, guinea fowl, chicken, and lamb from a truck out of the Angerstein Business Park after its original Peckham location burned down. Now, Abdullahi Mai Kano is back in his Peckham Park Road home — but still sending those complex and delicious goods to postcodes across the capital and via UPS nationwide.

A spread of Hausa suya, grilled beef spiced with yaji, served on white plates with a salad of lettuce, tomato, and raw onion. Alhaji Suya/Uber Eats

8. Cafe Cecilia

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32 Andrews Rd
London E8 4RL, UK

Max Rocha’s deceptively simple, unfussy cooking belongs alongside that of the Anna Tobias, 40 Maltby Street, Rochelle Canteen, the River Cafe, and Quo Vadis, with a Continental accent. Modern modern British? Fried potato with cod’s roe and radishes, rare grilled onglet with peppercorn sauce and chips, or, at the weekend a whole roast chicken with chips and salad to share. There will be seasonal salads and tarts and wee snacks like fritters containing an anchovy and a single sage leaf. There are hints of Scandinavia in its look-and-feel, occupying as it does a new build location on the edge of the Regent’s Canal close to the trendy Broadway Market. Cafe Cecilia is cool, it is breezy, and it happens to also be very friendly.

9. Sonora Taquería

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13-23 Westgate St
London E8 3RL, UK

Michelle Salazar de la Rocha and Sam Napier have worn many hats in London Fields. Pollo Feliz, an ode to grilled chicken, became Sonora, an ode to beef in many guises, became Sonora, and ode to beef in one, very singular, very Sonoran guise: carne asada. Freshly reopened after a six week break, it’s as busy, brilliant, and beguiling as ever — the cowboy in their logo finally, it seems, has the hat it always wanted.

A Sonoran beef taco on the steel counter at Sonora.
A Sonoran beef taco on the counter at Sonora.
Michaël Protin

10. Lighthaus cafe

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11 Argall Ave
London E10 7QE, UK

This sun-dappled Walthamstow cafe has always been a hit, but it’s gone up another gear with the arrival of former 40 Maltby Street chef Alex Vines, bringing in an elegant menu for the weekends. Slabs of chicken liver parfait bely a silken texture; skate flops lazily over asparagus; mussels take up a little tartlet with saffron and fennel.

11. Rosslyn Coffee London Wall

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118 London Wall
London EC2Y 5JA, UK

One of the best coffee shops in London now has one of the best new coffee shops in London. Rosslyn, owned by James Hennebry and Mat Russell, has opened on London Wall, bringing over its exactingly playful approach to a drink that can be savoured like wine or mainlined like rocket fuel depending on the mood. Either way, there’s quality, with a core offering from Cornwall roaster Origin backed up by a selection of off-menu frozen coffees which are truly some of the best in the world. When Rosslyn’s original location on Queen Victoria Street hit its stride, it set a template for the evolution of speciality coffee in London; this new opening builds on it further.

A flat white coffee with a rosetta latte art design, being held by the barista who poured it. Michaël Protin

12. Balady

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39-41 Leather Ln
London EC1N 7UY, UK

Walking into one of the busiest street food markets in London with three of its most popular offerings — falafel; wraps; and falafel in wraps — is a flex most people would never dare. But Balady’s Sabbo brothers are not most people, and their arrival on Leather Lane from Temple Fortune has drawn queues for its impeccable sabich, hummus, and, yes, falafel from day one. It’s a kind of coming home for Oz Sabbo, who worked on the street before opening in Temple Fortune, and his infectious hospitality suits the buzz to a tee.

Pita is filled at Balady in north London Michaël Protin

13. 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.

The exterior of Soho restaurant Rita’s, with two counters in the windows, either side of a central black door. People sit at the windows eating.
Outside Rita’s Soho on Lexington Street.
Ben McMahon

14. Vasco & Piero's Pavilion Italian Restaurant

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11 D'Arblay St
London W1F 8DT, UK
020 7437 8774

There are probably few restaurants in London less concerned with the business of hype and the attention economy than Vasco and Piero’s, the Umbrian institution best known for quality fresh pasta in Soho before quality fresh pasta in Soho became the thing every landlord wanted. But come 2020, attention came: when the restaurant, resident on Greek Street for 50 years, was relieved of its premises over a rent dispute. After the turmoil, it’s now back on D’Arblay Street doing what it always did: white tablecloths, good wine, good pasta, no faff.

Fresh pasta with broad beans and peas on a white plate.
Fresh pasta with broad beans and peas.
Vasco & Piero’s/Instagram

15. 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.

A selection of wines and French dishes in white dinnerware at Planque, which has opened in Haggerston Anton Rodriguez

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1. Nusr-Et Steakhouse London

THE PARK TOWER KNIGHTSBRIDGE HOTEL, 101, London SW1X 7EZ, UK
Salt Bae doing his signature salt-dashing move over a sliced steak
Salt Bae doing his signature salt-dashing move over a sliced steak
Jean Schwarzwalder/Eater

The truth about Salt Bae is simple: restaurant critics, newspapers, and indeed this writer have less to say about the phenomenon worth listening to than the fact that his restaurants are always full, always ridiculous, and always making an absolute wad of cash. London is no exception, the gold-covered steaks are flying out, and the best thing of all is that it’s possible to just watch it happen on Instagram if all of this leads to existential dread.

THE PARK TOWER KNIGHTSBRIDGE HOTEL, 101
London SW1X 7EZ, UK

2. Bibi Restaurant

42 N Audley St, London W1K 6ZP, UK
A selection of dishes from Chet Sharma’s BiBi, on colourful stone-esque plates, on a wooden backdrop.
A selection of dishes from Chet Sharma’s BiBi.
BiBi

Chet Sharma’s new Mayfair addition to the JKS stable is at first glance very smart — with elegant banquettes and a sweeping counter that provides an ideal view of the multi-level sigree grill. But here smart also means intelligent: Sharma’s playfulness appears in opening gambits of papad and kurkure that resemble Quavers and NikNaks respectively, and it persists across the menu, in a departure from prior billing as a tasting menu concession to its locale that feels like a very wise decision.

42 N Audley St
London W1K 6ZP, UK

3. Ramo Ramen

157 Kentish Town Rd, London NW1 8PD, UK
A bowl of oxtail kare kare ramen shot from above, with nori, soft-boiled eggs, pea shoots, spring onions, and shiitake mushrooms
A bowl of oxtail kare kare ramen.
Ramo Ramen

Ramo Ramen is known for its creative, clever refraction of Filipino culinary traditions, leading to singular bowls of ramen which feel in tune with the spirit of the most exciting cooking in the city right now. Oxtail collapses into creamy peanut broth in a bowl inspired by kare kare, the Filipino stew, while grilled king prawns bob in a broth pursed by tamarind and lime in a rendition of the soup, sinigang. But in Soho, the stars are the decadent: an outrageous lobster and crab ginataan, and a rich wagyu bistek donburi.

157 Kentish Town Rd
London NW1 8PD, UK

4. Sessions Arts Club

24 Clerkenwell Green Old Sessions House, London EC1R 0NA, UK
Inside chef Florence Knight’s spectacular new Clerkenwell restaurant, Sessions Arts Club Michaël Protin

London’s best new dining room sits somewhere between an elegantly distressed Tuscan villa / decrepit British stately home / and fancy art collector London townhouse. It is stunning. On the plate, chef Florence Knight’s food is as clever as it is delicious; the menu a masterclass in variety and composition. The best thing about a dish of fried potato and eel must be kept as a surprise; a squid and tomato calamarata is playful and brilliant; a lonesome crab croquette is a small flavour bomb and textural triumph. Go.

24 Clerkenwell Green Old Sessions House
London EC1R 0NA, UK

5. Trattoria Brutto

35-37 Greenhill Rents, London EC1M 6BN, UK
A diner sits over a plate of pasta, holding a fork, with salad to its left. Everything is on white plates, with white tablecloths, and a half-drunk glass of red wine sits in the centre. Michaêl Protin

An adult, winking Florentine trattoria is Russell Norman’s next contribution to the London restaurant world. There’s a risotto of the day to come shortly, and a bar to be propped up from 11 a.m.; bistecca alla Fiorentina, tonnato with caperberries, and pasta alla vodka are all present and correct. But maybe the smartest thing about this nostalgia-edged restaurant in Farringdon is that it has the know-how and the character to evade any thought of pastiche.

35-37 Greenhill Rents
London EC1M 6BN, UK

6. Marugame Udon

114 Middlesex St, London E1 7JH, UK
Udon noodles at Marugame Udon in Spitalfields
Udon noodles at Marugame Udon in Spitalfields
Marugame Udon

Marugame Udon, the London debut for a chain with hundreds of sites in Japan, might never hit the serene heights of Koya or the neighbourhood intimacy of somewhere like Kiraku in Ealing. But: the arrival of a huge, monied overseas player into a huge site vacated by a chain in decline (Wahaca) is probably a canary in the coal mine of London casual dining over the next five years, and if its competitors bring this dedication to consistency and quality, with noodles made daily and bowls starting at £3.45, then the city will be better for it.

114 Middlesex St
London E1 7JH, UK

7. Alhaji SUYA (Peckham)

15 Peckham Park Rd, London SE15 6TR, UK
A spread of Hausa suya, grilled beef spiced with yaji, served on white plates with a salad of lettuce, tomato, and raw onion. Alhaji Suya/Uber Eats

London’s preeminent suya specialist relocated to Greenwich during 2020, selling its tozo, meltingly tender beef, guinea fowl, chicken, and lamb from a truck out of the Angerstein Business Park after its original Peckham location burned down. Now, Abdullahi Mai Kano is back in his Peckham Park Road home — but still sending those complex and delicious goods to postcodes across the capital and via UPS nationwide.

15 Peckham Park Rd
London SE15 6TR, UK

8. Cafe Cecilia

32 Andrews Rd, London E8 4RL, UK

Max Rocha’s deceptively simple, unfussy cooking belongs alongside that of the Anna Tobias, 40 Maltby Street, Rochelle Canteen, the River Cafe, and Quo Vadis, with a Continental accent. Modern modern British? Fried potato with cod’s roe and radishes, rare grilled onglet with peppercorn sauce and chips, or, at the weekend a whole roast chicken with chips and salad to share. There will be seasonal salads and tarts and wee snacks like fritters containing an anchovy and a single sage leaf. There are hints of Scandinavia in its look-and-feel, occupying as it does a new build location on the edge of the Regent’s Canal close to the trendy Broadway Market. Cafe Cecilia is cool, it is breezy, and it happens to also be very friendly.

32 Andrews Rd
London E8 4RL, UK

9. Sonora Taquería

13-23 Westgate St, London E8 3RL, UK
A Sonoran beef taco on the steel counter at Sonora.
A Sonoran beef taco on the counter at Sonora.
Michaël Protin

Michelle Salazar de la Rocha and Sam Napier have worn many hats in London Fields. Pollo Feliz, an ode to grilled chicken, became Sonora, an ode to beef in many guises, became Sonora, and ode to beef in one, very singular, very Sonoran guise: carne asada. Freshly reopened after a six week break, it’s as busy, brilliant, and beguiling as ever — the cowboy in their logo finally, it seems, has the hat it always wanted.

13-23 Westgate St
London E8 3RL, UK

10. Lighthaus cafe

11 Argall Ave, London E10 7QE, UK

This sun-dappled Walthamstow cafe has always been a hit, but it’s gone up another gear with the arrival of former 40 Maltby Street chef Alex Vines, bringing in an elegant menu for the weekends. Slabs of chicken liver parfait bely a silken texture; skate flops lazily over asparagus; mussels take up a little tartlet with saffron and fennel.

11 Argall Ave
London E10 7QE, UK

11. Rosslyn Coffee London Wall

118 London Wall, London EC2Y 5JA, UK
A flat white coffee with a rosetta latte art design, being held by the barista who poured it. Michaël Protin

One of the best coffee shops in London now has one of the best new coffee shops in London. Rosslyn, owned by James Hennebry and Mat Russell, has opened on London Wall, bringing over its exactingly playful approach to a drink that can be savoured like wine or mainlined like rocket fuel depending on the mood. Either way, there’s quality, with a core offering from Cornwall roaster Origin backed up by a selection of off-menu frozen coffees which are truly some of the best in the world. When Rosslyn’s original location on Queen Victoria Street hit its stride, it set a template for the evolution of speciality coffee in London; this new opening builds on it further.

118 London Wall
London EC2Y 5JA, UK

12. Balady

39-41 Leather Ln, London EC1N 7UY, UK
Pita is filled at Balady in north London Michaël Protin

Walking into one of the busiest street food markets in London with three of its most popular offerings — falafel; wraps; and falafel in wraps — is a flex most people would never dare. But Balady’s Sabbo brothers are not most people, and their arrival on Leather Lane from Temple Fortune has drawn queues for its impeccable sabich, hummus, and, yes, falafel from day one. It’s a kind of coming home for Oz Sabbo, who worked on the street before opening in Temple Fortune, and his infectious hospitality suits the buzz to a tee.

39-41 Leather Ln
London EC1N 7UY, UK

13. Rita's

49 Lexington St, Carnaby, London W1F 9AP, UK
The exterior of Soho restaurant Rita’s, with two counters in the windows, either side of a central black door. People sit at the windows eating.
Outside Rita’s Soho on Lexington Street.
Ben McMahon

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

14. Vasco & Piero's Pavilion Italian Restaurant

11 D'Arblay St, London W1F 8DT, UK
Fresh pasta with broad beans and peas on a white plate.
Fresh pasta with broad beans and peas.
Vasco & Piero’s/Instagram

There are probably few restaurants in London less concerned with the business of hype and the attention economy than Vasco and Piero’s, the Umbrian institution best known for quality fresh pasta in Soho before quality fresh pasta in Soho became the thing every landlord wanted. But come 2020, attention came: when the restaurant, resident on Greek Street for 50 years, was relieved of its premises over a rent dispute. After the turmoil, it’s now back on D’Arblay Street doing what it always did: white tablecloths, good wine, good pasta, no faff.

11 D'Arblay St
London W1F 8DT, UK

15. Planque

322-324 Acton Mews, London E8 4EA, UK
A selection of wines and French dishes in white dinnerware at Planque, which has opened in Haggerston Anton Rodriguez

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

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