The Best New London Restaurants of 2016
The modern British menu offers clean, ingredient-led seasonal dishes, perfectly prepared and presented in an understated and elegant space in Chelsea.
Clipstone is the new neighbourhood restaurant in Fitzrovia from the team behind the critically-acclaimed restaurant, Portland.
Clipstone serves a list of cold cuts, summer plates, sourdough flatbreads, larger sharing dishes and a few signature desserts including a Paris-Brest.
The food is excellent, the atmosphere cosy and welcoming and the service is attentive without being intrusive; modern British dining at its best.
Aquavit’s contemporary Nordic dining arrived in London to the recently re-developed St James’s Market.
Like its sister restaurant in New York, the Scandinavian menu features ingredients from the sea, game, berries, mushrooms and other wild food.
More informal than its fine dining sister restaurant, Aquavit offers delicious Scandi flavours and appeal in a stylish, elegant space. Aquavit London also has a beautiful private dining room.
Kiln on Brewer Street in Soho serves inexpensive, regional Thai food where dishes are very hot and spicy! Make sure to try the lamb and cumin skewers and the claypot glass noodles.
There is a no-booking policy so diners are seated on a first come, first served basis.
Located next to the contemporary art gallery Parasol, just off City Road, Sardine is a buzzy, no-nonsense restaurant.
Dishes are fresh and simple, using ‘farmhouse’ cooking, and ingredients are authentically sourced from France, the Basque Country and Italy. Hidden away off City Road, the restaurant is worth the trouble of finding.
Casita Andina is a new Peruvian restaurant from Ceviche founder Martin Morales.
Casita Andina is inspired by Peruvian ‘picanterias’, family-run, traditional restaurants that serve the local community and travellers. The influence of its sister restaurants can be seen throughout from the décor, the laidback atmosphere and the menu.
The Barbary is the new restaurant from the team behind The Palomar in Neal’s Yard, Seven Dials. The Barbary’s menu ‘reflects the countries from the Atlantic Coast through to the Mediterranean Sea leading to Israel’ and the food is exquisite.
The restaurant has only 24 seats and operates a walk-in only policy. Red our guide to the best restaurants in Covent Garden, featuring The Barbary.
Soho House opened a new all-day restaurant on Shaftesbury Avenue this year. The 180-seat restaurant serves a Mediterranean menu of mainly French and Italian favourites.
It’s the perfect place for a pre or post theatre dinner and also for casual nights out with friends.
Sosharu is Jason Atherton’s new Japanese izakaya-style restaurant and bar in Clerkenwell.
Sosharu serves casual yet refined Japanese cuisine using British seasonal ingredients. The space is minimalist and has a funky basement cocktail bar.
The menu at Sosharu includes small dishes, with sections dedicated to different specialities including temaki, hibachi grill, yaki grill, tempura, sashimi and more.
Read our guide to the best restaurants in Clerkenwell, featuring Sosharu.
The duo behind renowned Italian restaurant, Trullo, in Highbury, opened their second restaurant, Padella, this year.
Located in Borough Market, Padella’s menu is made up of eight handmade pasta dishes taken from Trullo’s ‘greatest hits’, using fresh pasta rolled in the window of the restaurant just hours before service.
Encant offers innovative modern Spanish food from chef-patron, Victor Garvey.
The restaurant is dominated by an open kitchen where diners can watch the chefs preparing dishes such as cured salmon rulada, crispy sweet potato, red onion escabeche and wasabi alioli; foie gras crema Catalana; and Iberico pork belly with piquillo pepper glaze.
Encant offers excellent pre and post theatre dining options and is open seven days a week.
Smokestak is an example of the simplest of ideas being carried out masterfully. The cool design of black carbon-stained concrete walls, steel panelling and old workshop furnishings lit by candles complements the food perfectly.
Visit Smokestak to feast on barbecued brisket, spare ribs, and beef rib with a beautifully balanced spice rub with a small selection of side dishes such as smoked cauliflower cheese as well as grilled baby gems with parmesan and some burnt end beans.
The Bon Vivant Journal
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If you enjoyed our guide to the best new restaurants in London for 2016, read some of our best content of the year including the best wine bars in London, the best restaurants in Soho and the best Japanese restaurants in London.
Note: None of the restaurants have paid to be featured in this article. In a year of several excellent new restaurants in London, these are just some of our favourites.