best new restaurants london 2023

As we wave goodbye to 2023, The Handbook takes a look back at the best new restaurant openings of 2023. 

From art’otel London’s JOIA to Big Mamma Group’s Jacuzzi, we’ve handpicked our three favourite openings from each month. Read on to find out the hottest spots you should be checking out in 2024.

Best Restaurants In January

Akub

Making his UK debut in January, chef and restaurateur Fadi Kattan brought the under-represented culinary history of Palestine to Notting Hill for the first time. 

Adding a modern, refined approach to the country’s vast culinary offerings, the menu showcases the best of Palestinian produce while incorporating quality British seasonal ingredients. Centred around small and larger plates, akub’s menu is designed to be shared. Think labaneh rolled in sumac, zaatar, turmeric and Aleppo pepper; crunchy mansaf featuring rice, pulled lamb shoulder, laban jameed, shrak and garlic; and Dead Sea chocolate cake with tahina ice cream. 

The space has been beautifully designed too, brought to life by award-winning hospitality designer Annie Harrison of FARE INC, incorporating a colour scheme that mirrors Palestine’s landscape – think olive green, earthy pinks, oranges and sandy tones. There’ll also be an internal courtyard covered by a glass roof filled with olive trees and jasmine.

At a time when Palestine needs support the most due to the ongoing humanitarian crisis, make sure you add akub to your 2024 bucket list.

27 Uxbridge Street, Notting Hill, W8 7TQ

www.akub-restaurant.com

Jacuzzi 

© Nacho Rivera

Jacuzzi was the first big 2023 opening from Big Mamma Group, the team behind Gloria, Ave Mario and Circolo Popolare. Boasting a staggering 170 seats and four spiralling floors, the interiors are seriously wow-worthy, complete with alabaster walls, a botanical mezzanine and a giant lemon tree that’s spread its canopy across the stucco ceiling.

Expect a menu filled with beloved Italian delights, including the team’s epic cheese wheel pasta, pizzettes and the first-ever shareable chocolate fondue, made with half a kilo of Valrhona chocolate.

Credit: CHARLIE MCKAY
Credit: CHARLIE MCKAY

94 Kensington High Street, W8 4SH

www.bigmammagroup.com

HUMO

Brought to life from the team behind Michelin-starred Endo and Notting Hill sushi favourite Sumi comes HUMO, a brand new wood-fired concept. Translating as ‘smoke’ in Spanish, this restaurant makes way for a four-metre-long grill, fired using no electricity or gas. 

Led under the culinary wing of Miller Prada, the team serves dishes inspired by Japanese cooking techniques, specialising in the finest fresh produce and fish delicacies. This intimate restaurant boasts a chef’s table for those wanting to see the real heat of the kitchen in action.

12 St. George Street, W1S 2FB

www.humolondon.com

See more January restaurant openings here

February

JOIA 

Renowned for operating the two Michelin-starred Alma and relaxed trans-Iberian spot Tapisco in Lisbon, chef Henrique Sá Pessoa opened JOIA, an Iberian restaurant on the top floors of the new art’otel London Battersea Power Station. 

Inspired by Sá Pessoa’s culinary heritage, the restaurant draws influences from the flavours and cooking techniques of Catalonia and Portugal. The space has been beautifully designed too, with views looking out over Battersea Power Station. 

15TH FLOOR, ART’OTEL LONDON BATTERSEA POWER STATION, 1 ELECTRIC BOULEVARD, SW11 8BJ

www.artotellondonbattersea.com

La Gamba

The brother behind Borough Market’s Applebee’s Fish opened a new restaurant in the form of a riverside tapas spot, La Gamba. 

Boasting views overlooking the Thames, the restaurant is situated on Queen’s Walk at the front of the Royal Festival Hall. It serves up traditional Spanish dishes with a modern twist, curated cocktails and a bountiful wine list taking you on a journey through Spain, from the Douro River to the hills of Rioja.

UNIT 3, ROYAL FESTIVAL HALL, SE1 8XX

www.lagambalondon.com

Socca

Michelin-starred chef Claude Bosi and restaurateur Samyukta Nair teamed up to bring a taste of the French Riviera to London. 

The restaurant is inspired by their combined love for the coastal towns of Cannes, Marseille and Nice and bistro institutions like La Columbe d’Or and the stylings of Villa Santo Sospir. Expect sky-blue awnings and a charming garden terrace outside, while the inside is rich with blue and white motifs. 

As for the menu, highlight dishes include carpaccio of Angus beef with rocket pesto; Puglian burrata with truffle; grilled tiger prawns with citrus butter; and confit and grilled lamb chops with sauce maurseque and golden raisins. 

41 SOUTH AUDLEY STREET, W1K 2PS

www.soccabistro.com 

See more February restaurant openings here

March

Rambutan

The long-anticipated arrival of Cynthia Shamnugalingam’s debut restaurant, Rambutan, finally came to a close in March with her Stoney Street launch.  Inspired by her Tamil roots and summers spent exploring markets, milling spices and cooking over fire in her family’s Sri Lankan village, this Borough Market restaurant serves up village-style Sri Lankan regional dishes found in the north of the country. 

Using produce from neighbouring suppliers, the daily changing menus will feature street food snacks eaten on the go in the north’s cultural capital Jaffna, from aged mutton rolls to spicy fish malu buns. Expect plenty of traditional karis, including cashew nut curry, black coconut pineapple curry, pickled pork curry and red beef and bone marrow curry, all served alongside classic hoppers, egg hoppers, dosas and rotis.

10 STONEY STREET, BOROUGH MARKET, SE1 9AD

www.rambutanlondon.com

The Ninth

Returning to Fitzrovia this month was The Ninth following a full refurbishment after a kitchen fire left the restaurant closed for over seven months. The restaurant will feel familiar but different, with refreshed interiors including leather banquettes, new tableware and bathrooms. 

Expect to fall back in love with their classic dishes including salted beef cheek with sourdough, pickled daikon and oxtail vinaigrette; wild duck agnolotti with Jerusalem artichokes and chestnuts; and salt crust seabass with castelfranco, radicchio and daikon.

22 Charlotte Street, W1T 2NB

www.theninthlondon.com

Nessa

The rich history of Soho, artist Vanessa Bell and others from the Bohemian movement inspire this space. It sits on the ground floor of the new 1 Warwick members’ house and has been designed by boutique interior architecture and design firm Fettle. Expect elements of eccentricity and colour, weaving in references to the Edwardian baroque architecture and features from the original building. 

The menu draws on British seasons, expect dishes such as pumpkin and spelt risotto; Cornish cod with garlic mushrooms and buttered sprouts; and roast coronation chicken with charred little gems and curried scraps. 

86 Brewer Street, W1F 9UB

www.nessasoho.com

See more March restaurant openings here

April

Story Cellar

Two Michelin star chef Tom Sellers opened up a Parisian-inspired rotisserie style restaurant in April, complete with counter dining and small plate dishes. 

The main focus of the menu will be rotisserie chicken, served alongside a small menu of baked camembert with grilled sourdough; whole Dover sole, brown shrimps, capers and parsley; and t-bone for two. Set in the heart of Neal’s Yard, this is set to become the new pre-theatre stop-off.

17 Neals Yard, Seven Dials, WC2H 9DP

www.storycellar.co.uk

Riviera

The brand new opening from Emerald Hospitality Group, Riviera is London’s newest high-end restaurant inspired by the South of France. The restaurant comprises three main areas – the dining room, an outdoor terrace and a ground-floor bar and lounge. 

The menu will be inspired by this region of France, centred around sharing-style dishes – think ratatouille and feta cheese brioche; snails with garlic butter and parsley persillade; and grilled beef fillet with black pepper sauce. 

23 ST JAMES’S STREET, ST JAMES’S, SW1A 1HA

www.riviera-london.co.uk

Ploussard 

Brought to life by hospitality duo Matt Harris and Tommy Kempton, Ploussard offers up a seasonal menu filled with delights. Menu highlights include duck live and plum tartlet; lamb and anchovy crumpet; monkfish with mussels and salsify; and the delicious 30-month comté with crab apple jelly. 

The space is filled with cosy carved-out wooden booths, oat-coloured table tops and notes of burgundy and light pink filling the restaurant throughout.

97 ST JOHNS ROAD, SW11 1QY

www.ploussardlondon.co.uk

See more April restaurant openings here

May

Carlotta

Credit: Jerome Galland

Another entry from Big Mamma Group, Carlotta is the restaurant you’ve probably seen plastered all over TikTok and Instagram. Offering Italian cuisine, it pays homage to those who set up little corners of Italy in countries around the world, including America. 

From the ruby red terrace perfect for late-night drinks to the skylit dining room, as always the interiors wowed. 

The menu explores traditional Neapolitan and Sicilian classics, whilst bringing an American twist to the table. The giant ten-tiered chocolate fudge cake is enough to keep you coming back for more…

Credit: Jerome Galland
Credit: Jerome Galland

77-78 MARYLEBONE HIGH STREET, W1U 5JX

www.bigmammagroup.com

20 Berkeley 

This new Mayfair restaurant gives the British Isles the love it deserves. The new restaurant from the team behind Humo, its menu is seasonally changing, showcasing the best of British produce.

Expect a farm-to-fork approach with earthy flavours taking centre stage. 

20 Berkeley Street, Mayfair, W1J 8EE

www.20berkeley.com

The Midland Grand Dining Room

Hidden away inside St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel, The Midland Grand Dining Room offers guests the chance to dine on traditional French dishes with a contemporary creative twist. 

You’ll soon be tucking into delicacies like grilled langoustines with smoked seaweed butter; venison loin with blackberry, kale and celeriac; barbequed baby chicken with red pepper and almond; and roast duck a l’orange with braised lentils, duck sausage and confit leg.  

ST. PANCRAS RENAISSANCE HOTEL, EUSTON ROAD, NW1 2AR  

www.midlandgranddiningroom.com 

See more May restaurant openings here

June

Little Kudu

Husband and wife duo Amy Corbin and Patrick Williams, the masterminds behind the Kudu Collective, have opened up their next venture.

Little Kudu is a South African-inspired tapas-style restaurant. Bringing his South African roots to the forefront will be chef patron Patrick Williams’ menu, featuring small plates of pork belly with rooibos and ancho chilli; citrus cured stone bass with kalamansi and jalapeno; and smoked peri-peri mussels. 

133 QUEEN’S ROAD, SE15 2ND 

www.kuducollective.com

Empire Empire

Notting Hill’s much anticipated Empire Empire landed this June, bringing to life the late 1970s Indian disco era. Brought to life by Harneet Baweja, the brains behind Gunpowder, Empire Empire has music and art at its core, from a Marshall jukebox and Bollywood bangers to vintage LP covers lining the walls.

The restaurant’s menu features flavours from the old Pubjab Empire, from Bihar to Afghanistan. Think Lasooni tangdi kebab; chicken malai curry; and lobster dum biryani. 

16 ALL SAINTS ROAD, W11 1HH 

www.empire-empire.restaurant

Mountain

The restaurant that’s been on everyone’s bucket list in 2023 has been Mountain. Located on Beak Street, it’s the latest opening from Tomos Parry and the team behind Brat. 

The wood grill and wine bar is inspired by Tomos’ favourite meals from travels across Spain. Vermouth made in Sicily will be poured from a tap, alongside blood orange Garibaldis and spritzes, while the snack menu will feature two types of Sobrasada, sourced from an organic farm in Mallorca. Sharing dishes spide crab omelette; Pembrokeshire cockles; whole lobster caldereta; and John Dory. 

16-18 BEAK STREET, W1F 9RD 

www.mountainbeakstreet.com

See more June restaurant openings here

July

The Portrait Restaurant

Irish chef and restaurateur Richard Corrigan expanded his repertoire of restaurants this July, launching The Portrait Restaurant at the National Portrait Gallery. 

Created in partnership with Searcys, the restaurant pays homage to Corrigan’s culinary career, featuring classics and new favourites. Dishes will champion the best of British and Irish ingredients, featuring the likes of sweet and sour tomato scarpinocc, a new take on the vol-au-vent; clam ceviche; and poached pork with onion soubise and pickled cabbage.

NATIONAL PORTRAIT GALLERY, ST MARTIN’S PLACE, WC2H 0HE 

www.theportraitrestaurant.com

Sushi Kanesaka 

An intimate counter restaurant opening at 45 Park Lane, this is the first restaurant outside of Asia Pacific by omakase chef Shinji Kanesaka. Bringing his mastery of Edomae sushi to the table, expect up to 20 courses prepared using the finest seasonal ingredients. Accompany your experience with sake pairings, wine, beer or Japanese whiskies for the ultimate dining extravaganza. 

The space is small but mighty, boasting a petite nine-person counter and a four-person counter within a private dining room.

45 PARK LANE, MAYFAIR, W1K 1PN

www.dorchestercollection.com

Pavyllon London

For a meal filled with theatrics, book in for Pavyllon, the newest addition to Four Seasons Hotel London at Park Lane’s ever-expanding dining experience.

The hotel called it the “British expression of multi-starred French chef Yannick Alléno’s passion for life”, and we couldn’t agree more. The menu is rooted in French cuisine and techniques while celebrating seasonal British produce. 

FOUR SEASONS HOTEL LONDON AT PARK LANE, HAMILTON PLACE, MAYFAIR, W1J 7DR

 www.pavyllonlondon.com

See more July restaurant openings here 

August 

Grass-Fed

Landing in Camden, GrassFed is the brainchild of culinary whizz Paul Foster. Following the success of Michelin-starred Salt in Stratford-upon-Avon, he has opened his latest restaurant in the capital, focusing on high-quality Irish grass-fed beef. 

The menu is set to be made up of small plates such as salt pig charcuterie with pickles; grass-fed ribeye steak; beef snag with truffle mayonnaise, pickled and crispy shallots; and dreamy beef fat potatoes. 

Arch S12 Water Lane, Hawley Wharf, NW18JY

www.grassfedrestaurant.co.uk

Fazenda

On the hunt for a new South American dining destination? Introducing Fazenda, the first London opening from the premium South American restaurant group. 

Opening up in Bishopsgate, the restaurant spans two floors and boasts 170 covers featuring three private dining rooms, a mezzanine lounge and an expansive standalone bar and lounge with al fresco tables. The menu centres around the traditional South American grill and the Rodizio concept that the brand is renowned for.

100 BISHOPSGATE TOWER, EC2M 1GT 

www.fazenda.co.uk

Bancone Borough Yards

Anyone who knows anything about London’s pasta scene knows just how popular Bancone is. The restaurant already boasts flagship restaurants in Covent Garden and Soho, but in July, it took its hand-made pasta to Borough Yards too. 

You can expect all of their classic dishes to be on the menu, including their Insta-famous silk handkerchiefs with walnut butter and confit egg yolk. As well as dishes such as mackerel in seaweed butter with paccheri; duck ragù with fazzoletti and crackling; and bucatini cacio e pepe. 

ARCH 213, STONEY STREET, BOROUGH YARDS, SE1 9AD 

www.bancone.co.uk 

See more August restaurant openings here  

September 

The OWO 

The long-awaited arrival of Raffles London at The OWO finally comes to a close this month, with the 120-room hotel opening its doors on 29th September.

Home to 85 private residences, nine restaurants, three bars, Guerlain’s first London spa and wellness by Pillar Wellbeing, this is the year’s hottest opening. Taking over Whitehall Palace, Britain’s Old War Office has undergone a six-year transformation and the outcome beats our expectations. 

On the food and drink front, there’s a whole host of options to choose from. Café Lapérouse is a Parisian-inspired space serving up beautiful interiors and signature dishes, while Langosteria is an Italian must-visit. Paper Moon will be bringing the timeless flavours of Italy to the table, Mauro Colagreco at The OWO will focus on hyper-local, hyper-seasonal ingredients and Saison will serve up an all-day Mediterranean menu. The three bars will each have their own distinct style, from The Spy Bar’s speakeasy vibes to The Guards Bar’s majestic views over the Horse Guards.

57 WHITEHALL, SW1A 2BX

www.theowo.london

LIMA CANTINA 

This September saw the Peruvian staple transform into LIMA CANTINA, a vibrant space filled with Latin American spirit and authentic dishes. 

The new Covent Garden restaurant has added a touch of modernness to the traditional cuisine, filled with a sharing-style menu. The centrepiece of the menu is the ‘Pollo a La Brasa’, a Peruvian-style rotisserie chicken made using a classic charcoal-rotisserie oven. Think rich smoky flavours and a crispy skin every time. 

14 GARRICK STREET, WC2E 9BJ 

www.lima-cantina.com

Claridge’s Restaurant

Formerly known as Claridge’s Restaurant over 20 years ago, the art deco doors gracefully opened up once again this September, embarking on a new era. 

Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, the restaurant pays homage to the hotel’s art deco design heritage. Designed by Bryan O’Sullivan’s studio, expect plenty of marble countertops, wooden furniture and gold accents.

CLARIDGE’S, BROOK STREET, W1K 4HR

www.claridges.co.uk

See more September restaurant openings here 

October

Bambi

James Dye, the co-owner of Frank’s Café and The Camberwell Arms, opened a new music-led wine bar and restaurant in October. 

Named after his great-grandmother, Bambi is the new space to soak up great music, wine and food. The wine bar-cum-restaurant has been designed really stylishly, with an expansive record collection curated by Run Dem Crew founder Charlie Dark MBE. 

On the food front, the kitchen is set to be headed up by Henry Freestone (of Peckham Cellars fame) and will feature a mix of bar snacks and larger dishes designed around sharing. Think cauliflower cheese arancini; smoked mackerel pate with pickled cucumber coppa; braised butterbeans with kale and goat’s curd; and Dedham Vale rump with lemon and confit garlic. 

NETIL HOUSE, 1 WESTGATE STREET, E8 3RL

www.bambi-bar.com

Kolae

Mark Dobbie and Andy Oliver, the names behind som saa, have brought Thai flavours to Borough Markets with the opening of Kolae. 

Kolae is a style of cooking found in Thailand’s southern provinces. It sees ingredients coated in a curry-like coconut marinade before it’s grilled over open flames, and this new restaurant will specialise in this technique. 

The signature dish will include half kolae chicken, marinated in a sauce with lemongrass, fresh turmeric and black pepper, as well as seasonal fish, seafood and vegetarian specials.

6 PARK STREET, SE1 9AB 

www.kolae.com 

Il Gattopardo 

Inspired by 1960s Italy, Il Gattopardo transports its guests to the Italian Riviera from the moment they arrive. 

The restaurant is the latest member of the restaurant group behind brands including COYA, Amazonico and Bar des Pres. It features a mix of Italian classics and modern dishes, with a focus on Sicily, Amalfi and the Southern Isles. 

Outside, you’ll find London’s hottest new hidden courtyard terrace with a fully retractable roof, perfect for both summer and winter.

27 ALBEMARLE STREET, MAYFAIR, W1S 4HZ 

www.gattopardo.restaurant 

See more October restaurant openings here

November 

The Tamil Crown

If there’s one thing we’re loving the rise of, it’s the advance in really good foodie pubs. The arrival of Islington’s Tamil Prince last year is a testament to this. Famed for bringing a taste of South Asian cuisine to London, the team has brought these flavours to Angel, with the launch of The Tamil Crown. 

Expect the same flare and precision to go into this neighbourhood spot, featuring a mix of small and large plates, as well as some of the best bar snacks in the city. Menu highlights include lime leaf roasted chicken with pineapple chutney; aubergine curry; coconut prawn moilee; robata lamb chops; and the tastiest orka fries you’ll try.

16 ELIA STREET, N1 8DE 

www.thetamilcrown.com 

Dalla

Hackney has got a new local, neighbourhood Italian specialising in home-cooked regional Italian cuisine. 

While its founder’s background, Gennaro Leone, isn’t solely hospitality, Gennaro has brought his passion for Italian design to the table. Working with his brother Gianmarco Leone (previously Claridge’s) and Mitchell Damota (previously head chef at P.Franco), the menu serves a timeless menu, featuring Italian favourites as well as older, lesser-known staples. 

The Wolseley City 

The Wolseley is a London restaurant institute. Everyone worth their salt has graced the dining room here, so when we heard about the group’s latest opening, we knew this would be exciting. And we weren’t wrong. Aiming to be a sister, not a replica, The Wolseley City houses a larger dining space, complete with two private dining rooms and three bar spaces. 

Keeping The Wolseley’s glamorous reputation alive, the space draws inspiration from the original architect of 160 Piccadilly, designed by William Curtis Green in 1921. While the menu is inspired by the Grand European Café tradition, offering Wolseley favourites and new specialities.

68 KING WILLIAM STREET, EC4N 7HR

www.thewolseleycity.com

See more November restaurant openings here 

December 

Gilgamesh 

If you’re a noughties foodie, you’ll remember this flagship spot. If you aren’t, let us introduce you to Gilgamesh. Back by popular demand, the institute has reopened its hallowed doors in Covent Garden with a reincarnation of its iconic Camden site. 

Designed with theatrics in mind, this space combines drinking, dining and late-night antics. The 160-cover space spans across three floors and is inspired by ancient mythology. 

On the ground floor, you’ll find a lounge bar with a mezzanine space bursting with lush foliage, cocktails and sushi. Hero dishes include crispy duck; watermelon and cashew nut salad; and a Robata grilled selection, from Black Angus ribeye to aubergine miso. 

4A UPPER ST MARTIN’S LANE, WC2H 9NY

www.gilgameshlondon.co.uk 

Temper

The fifth restaurant opening from the brand, expect a spectacular menu of sizzling steaks, smoked meats and expertly mixed cocktail concoctions.

Opening up at Paddington Basin, the restaurant’s fires will be lit from lunch through to dinner. Tasty sharing starters include beef-fat cornbread with gochujang; caramelised spicy corn and aged beef nachos; and yellowfin tuna tostadas. 

Save room for Temper’s famous steaks, featuring cuts like Porterhouse, Pincaña, Château and T-Bone, all sourced from North Yorkshire farmer Charles Ashbridge.

PADDINGTON BASIN, NORTH WHARF ROAD, W2 1LF

www.temperrestaurant.com

The Butcher’s Tap & Grill

The latest endeavour from Tom Kerridge saw the celebrity chef bring his famed Marlow pub to London’s Chelsea. The Butcher’s Tap & Grill brings Kerridge’s signature hearty, yet refined pub grub to the table, serving up a British-focused menu. 

Expect to be dining on the likes of towering beef burgers, sizzling hot dogs, butcher-style cuts and sharing light bites. 

Taking over the old Queen’s Head pub, The Butcher’s Tap & Grill has been transformed with a new redesign. You’ll find a classic pub-style space, with green bar stools lining the pub counter and dark wood furnishings completing the look.

27 TRYON STREET, SW3 3LG

www.tomkerridge.com

See more December restaurant openings here


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