The Hit List: New London Restaurants To Try Right Now

We checked out these new restaurants—and loved them.
Spread of modern European dishes and glasses of wine on a wooden table, with beige booths in the background.

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

When new restaurants open, we check them out. This means that we subject our stomachs and social lives to the good, the bad, and more often than not, the perfectly fine. And every once in a while, a new spot makes us feel like Paul Hollywood at Mr Kipling's house. When that happens, we add it here, to the Hit List. 

The Hit List is where you’ll find all of the best new restaurants in London. As long as it opened within the past several months and we’re still talking about it, it’s on this guide. The latest addition might be a sceney new restaurant with an abundance of Salomons and burrata. Or it might be a takeaway-only spot where you’ll eat life-changing jerk in a supermarket car park.

New to The Hit List (14/5): 67 Sourdough


photo credit: 67 Sourdough


East Finchley

$$$$Perfect For:Casual Weeknight DinnerUnique Dining Experience


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A car dealership in East Finchley is an unlikely place to eat some of London’s best pizza, but that’s where you’ll find 67 Sourdough serving thin-crust, New York-style pies. The main dining area looks out onto gleaming classic Porsches and vintage Ferraris, and come evening, tables are filled with locals in the know. The sound of revving engines is replaced with Britpop and clattering from the busy open kitchen, and the excellent pizzas are a good distraction from falling in love with a car you’ll never be able to buy. The crisp sourdough bases and crunchy crusts with a pleasing chew are great, and toppings well-balanced: the pepperoni with hot honey, and ‘nduja and burrata are standouts.

Oma is just as fun and cool as its wilder and louder sibling spot, Agora. The dining room at this Greek restaurant in Borough Market is moody and dark, and filled with people who look like they own art galleries and wardrobes full of Loewe. And the friendly servers make you feel welcome even though you’re still not sure how to pronounce Loewe, by recommending dips and carefully scooping out bone marrow and mixing it through rich giouvetsi (beef stew). The pillowy bagel-like açma is excellent, the spreads are silky, and the charred skewers require getting stuck in and eating with your hands.

Richness runs through Lita’s veins like butter pulsing through every ridge of its lardo-draped morel mushrooms. The Mediterranean restaurant in Marylebone prides itself on a lavish decadence that could seem vulgar if the extortionate food wasn’t so goddamn delicious. The room has a warm amber hue to it—fitting given that most people dining here look at a packet of Kerrygold and assume it’s gold leaf—and it’s hard not to lean in from the very first bite of moreish pan con tomate. Share smaller plates at one of the many lively counters, and go for a Galician beef rib or a whole turbot in a group. Just try not to think about the bill.

Do not go to Agora if you have a sore throat. The Borough Market souvla bar is walk-in only and upon entering you’re met with a wall of sound: roars of laughter from groups who’ve nabbed a counter seat and are now watching pork slowly spin on a rotisserie, and couples leaning in, shouting in each others’ ears to be heard. The Greek food is delicious. A humble-sounding tahini spread is silkier than the anti-ageing pillowcases we overpaid for, and a slow-cooked chickpea braise is the edible equivalent of a comforter. This is the place to be, and as you stumble out from the dark, cave-like space, you’ll feel lucky to have been a part of this buzzing scene.

There’s nothing subtle about the wooing process at this French spot in Fulham. Heavy, red velvet curtains frame the door, dangling, low-level lanterns light the space, and between all the white tablecloths and breathy candle flames, there’s the feeling that someone could propose at any second. But Josephine Bouchon isn’t stuffy. Champagne arrives with a bowl of moreish pork and duck scratchings, garlic splatters from excellent buttery frogs legs create a Jackson Pollock number on tablecloths, and waiters banter with you while whipping out a ruler to measure how much wine you’ve drunk. If Josephine was an actual person, her goal in life would be to make you fall completely and hopelessly in love with her. And she'd succeed every time.

Tower Hill—a void between the City and the Tower of London—is somewhere we never want to be. But thanks to Dream Xi’an, there’s now a reason to visit. It’s from the people behind beloved Xi’an Impression and Master Wei, and the standard of these excellent Xi’anese dishes is just as high. Wonderfully chewy beef tripe and bean curd skin skewers come bathing in a nutty, spicy sesame and chilli oil sauce. And the noodles—liangpi and biang biang—are delicious. Come solo with a good book or for a big group three-hour catch-up: the staff make the inviting, red-accented place somewhere you can settle into, welcoming you in with a big smile and endlessly topping up water in teapots.

Morchella is an airy restaurant and wine bar in Clerkenwell full of stylish design touches that will make you look at your Ikea Brimnes shelves with uncontrollable self-loathing. Unusual for a restaurant this good-looking is that Morchella brings style and substance together at pretty much every juncture. The green-tiled kitchen counter, with nifty fold-out stools and views of the room and chefs, is the perfect place to acquaint yourself with a menu of modern Mediterranean bits. Snack on wonderful spanakopita or juicy mussel pil pil, and swill a glass of cloudy Greek wine while couples tuck into sea-scented vongole. Bigger plates, like salt-baked poussin, are perfect for a candlelit evening in one of the cushy booths at the back.

If linen curtains on gold rails, blackboard menus, and flickering candles get you going, you’ll love Camille. If not, the shatteringly crispy confit potatoes will make you fall for this Borough Market spot. The French bistro first woos with nooks perfect for a tête-à-tête and vases of fresh flowers that’ll make you go all doe-eyed after a hard day. Servers charm you with a wink as they top up your wine glass. But it’s the incredible things the chefs do with fat that’ll seal the deal: the generously salted, creamy butter with fresh baguette, tender, rich ox tongue draped with chanterelles, crisp pastry base on the sweet shallot tatin, and completely decadent burnt milk tart.

The Dover in Mayfair is a dimly lit Italian restaurant with big-plate aubergine parmigiana and an if-you-know-you-know feel to it. Walk into the unmarked spot, past the heavy maroon curtains, into what feels like an invite-only members' club. Except at this one, it’s all smiles and "buon appetito" from the friendly servers, and the food is actually great. Everything from the complimentary bread, to rich chocolate paste topped with crunchy hazelnuts, and the citrussy dover sole in between is a hit. Bring a date and flirt on intimate corner tables, or come with a gaggle of friends when feeling fabulous is a priority.

At Kolae, the focus is on southern Thai flavours and marinated things cooked over a very hot coconut—and some of those things are very, very good. A gently steamed mussel skewer is a revelation and instantly one of London’s great molluscs—even if that category isn’t exactly overcrowded. Similar exclamations can be said about the deep-fried prawn heads. The slick, three-floor spot in Borough Market suits all kinds of get-togethers, but the kitchen counter is where the action is and where Kolae feels most alive. Go upstairs and the thrills of the grill dissipate a little. Kolae’s soul is in the food and you want to be as close to it possible.

This tight-knit Malaysian restaurant has gone from street stall, to pop-up, to food hall concession to, now, its own small but superb space in Clapton. Flavours at Mambow dance around Malaysia and Singapore, from five-spice pork and prawn bean curd rolls, to sensational Sarawak black pepper chicken curry, to fiery otak-otak prawn toast. It’s all deeply flavoured, aromatic, and enlivening stuff. The kind of food that will have you scraping the plastic plates clean and doing a little jig. Not that there’s much room for that, mind. But the music is pumping, the wines are juicy, and this is somewhere for Mambow to finally call home.

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