It may come with the sense that summer is officially over and a mild sense of dread at the cold weather to come, but there’s something to be said for the cracking venues that opened in the capital this October (not to mention an entire weekend of Halloween celebrations). Whether it’s ramen, rogan josh or ravioli you’re after, here are nineteen great venues that opened in October.
What: Japanese Ramen
Why: Japanese food is having a moment right now, and frankly we can’t get enough of it. Especially when it comes in the form of a steaming bowl of ramen, filled with noodles, broth, egg, seaweed and whatever else the masters at Yamagoya decide to throw in. The crowd-pleasing pop-up came from humble beginnings and, to the delight of its devotees, opened its first permanent site in October.
Where: 64 The Cut, London SE1 8LZ
What: Grab ‘n’ Go Sushi
Why: Step away from the supermarket’s lunchtime meal deal and say konnichiwa to the sushi hand roll concept of Inigo. Combining the portability of a sandwich with traditional sushi, Soho’s new Japanese food haven offers a delicious sushi experience. Don’t think the portions won’t be enough though – this is Japanese food made for the appetite of a hangry Brit, and size-wise looks more like a burrito.
Where: Unit 1 Ham Yard, 33 Great Windmill Street, London W1D 7LR
What: Wine and Seasonal Produce
Why: The start of October saw Vinoteca open its largest site yet at Bloomberg Arcade, the Square Mile’s new culinary destination, offering not only seasonal British and European cuisine and an expansive wine cellar, but also a dedicated wine shop with over 200 varieties to choose from. Along with weekday breakfast and lunch menus, the site offers brunch at the weekends, complete with brunch cocktails like Bloody Marys.
Where: 21 Bloomberg Arcade, London EC4N 8AR
What: Travel-Inspired Food
Why: Another October addition to Bloomberg Arcade, travel-inspired restaurant Caravan brought its flavours from around the world to the City with breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner menus, plus coffee roasted on site and cocktails. Whether you want pizzas, eclectic brunch options, puddings or a selection of Spanish cheeses, Caravan has something to suit all tastes, from whichever part of the world. We can’t wait to jump on this
Where: 22 Bloomberg Arcade, London EC4N 8AR
Flour & Grape
What: Pasta, Wine and Gelato
Why: Bringing Londoners the best of Italian cuisine, Flour & Grape offers authentic gelati, an array of Italian wines and eight house-made pastas to choose from. Opening at the end of October, it came just in time to satisfy our winter pasta cravings – take your pick from varieties like bucatini (tomato, capers, olives, basil), gigli (sausage ragu), tortelloni (roasted pork shoulder, sage butter) and reginette (tiger prawn, prawn bisque, basil). If you still haven’t got your fill of their incredible pasta, fresh pastas and sauces can be bought from the pasta counter to take home.
Where: 214 Bermondsey Street, London SE1 3TQ
Motu Indian Kitchen Islington
What: Indulgent Indian Delivery Kitchen
Why: From the family behind Michelin-starred Gymkhana came the fourth Motu Indian Kitchen, this time north of the river in Islington, covering the areas of Camden, Holloway, Islington and Clerkenwell. With British takeaway favourites like tandoori chicken wings and lamb shank rogan josh, as well as new Indo-Chinese specials, the menu is centred around ‘feast boxes’, inspired by the meals delivered on tiffins in Indian cities. The kitchen is open daily for dinner, as well as for lunch at weekends, and its popularity is showing no sign of slowing down – there’s another Motu opening in Swiss Cottage in November.
Where: Camden, Holloway, Islington and Clerkenwell
What: New Past/Present/Future Menu
Why: Pascal Aussignac’s restaurant earned a Michelin star for its Southwestern French cuisine, and it sprung back to life in October after being refurbished with a contemporary look and a new à la carte menu, dedicated to the past, present and future of Club Gascon. The past section features their classic, much-loved dishes, the present showcases seasonal produce and the future part shines a light on vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options.
Where: 57 West Smithfield, London EC1A 9DS
What: British Classics and Superfood Salads
Why: Drake & Morgan are offering the perfect daily escape with their new Shoreditch venue, The Allegory, comprising a large bar and alfresco terrace. It’s got just about everything you could want: hearty British mains like haddock and chips and beef and ale pie; supercharged salads like the chargrilled tuna salad with green papaya, cucumber, peanuts and lime dressing; charcuterie and mezze boards; extensive choices of wine from around the world; breakfasts offerings; hand-crafted coffee and beautiful cocktails that are perfect for post-work drinks.
Where: 1A Principal Place, Worship Street, London EC2A 2FA
The Botanist Sloane Square
What: Elegant New Look and Menu
Why: After its extensive makeover, popular Chelsea haunt The Botanist on Sloane Square reopened with green, navy and rose hues, a brass bar and intimate lighting, along with their notorious botanical cocktails and a new menu. Diners can enjoy the à la carte, pre-theatre or weekend brunch menus, all using the freshest ingredients. Ideally situated at the end of the King’s Road, it’s the perfect venue for sophisticated all-day dining.
Where: 7 Sloane Square, London SW1W 8EE
Mc & Sons
What: Irish Pub with Thai Food
Why: Family-owned Windmill Taverns’ newest addition to its collection of Southwark watering holes is a classic Irish pub with an authentic Thai kitchen, serving up mouth-watering dishes that are bursting with flavour. It opened on 16th October – just after National Curry Week – and judging by the popularity of their existing sites (The Kings Arms and The Windmill also offer Thai food) Mc & Sons will be another hit. It’s high Thai-m you sample their sizzling stir-frys and craft beers for yourself.
Where: 160 Union Street, London SE1 0LH
What: Breddos Opens a Soho Branch
Why: The Mexican taco heaven that is Breddos made October a whole lot better with the opening of a second venue, in Soho. Inspired by the taquerias of the founders’ travels in Mexico and America, their legendary tacos have got a name for themselves as the stuff of legend. The punchy ingredients pair perfectly with the venue’s drinks menu, offering a host of beers, wine and suitable cocktails like the Nomade (tequila, passion fruit, triple sec, lime and agave).
Where: 26 Kingly Street, London W1B 5QD
What: Seafood Pop-Up Opens a Permanent Site
Why: Ever since sustainable seafood company Claw first popped up in London it has been delighting customers around the city with its deliciously unpretentious food offerings, and October saw the opening of its first permanent site in Soho. With a particular focus on crab but offering other seafood too, there are some fantastic menu options to get your claws on, such as the bacon and scallop muffin and the crab mac and cheese.
Where: 21 Kingly Street, Soho, London W1B 5QA
What: Australian Doughnuts Come to London
Why: Doughnut say you can’t be tempted by the epic creations Doughnut Time has brought to London. The firm has over 23 sites down under and now they’re bringing their doughnuts to the rest of the world, starting in London (thank you, Australia). If the witty names aren’t enough (Melon Degeneres or Donutella Versace, anyone?), the flavours, textures and designs are on another level. It’s one of the best hand-held experiences we’ve had.
Where: 96 Shaftesbury Avenue, Soho, W1D 5EB
What: Pac Man Dumplings from NYC
Why: You read that line right. New Yorker-approved dim sum restaurant Red Farm has landed in London – with the Pac Man dumplings it’s most famous for. Covent Garden is the new home for this restaurant, which serves up modern Chinese dim sum and funky cocktails with a New York vibe.
Where: 9 Russell Street, Covent Garden, London WC2B 5HZ
Mr White's English Chophouse
What: Marco Pierre White's First London Chophouse
Why: If it’s a juicy hunk of premium quality meat you’re craving, look no further than this chophouse, brought to the New Road Hotel (also new) by renowned chef Marco Pierre White. Offering classic British food with the French influences White is known for, the menu will be centred around steaks, grills and chops.
Where: 103-107 New Road, Whitechapel, London E1 1HJ
What: Italian on Selfridges Rooftop
Why: If the crowds of Oxford Street are getting a bit much, this is the perfect little hideaway to escape from both the crowds and the cold. Head Chef Luca Terraneo has brought his authentic dishes and seasonal produce from Italy to Selfridges’ new rooftop restaurant, Il Tetto, and is providing the windswept shoppers of Oxford Street with a warming Italian meal to enjoy alongside top views of London. It is also open for brunch and afternoon tea.
Where: Selfridges, 400 Oxford Street, London W1A 1AB
What: Mischievous Chelsea Venue Relaunches
Why: The name is a pretty good indicator of what can be expected from Tonteria (silliness) and Chelsea’s favourite bar for naughty knees ups and scandalous shenanigans reopened in October after undergoing a makeover. The bar’s tapas and eclectic cocktails go hand in hand with the intriguing new look and décor – a Day of the Dead skull of LED lights takes centre stage among the booths and floor. There is also a catwalk platform for the skin-bearing performances common to Tonteria – refurbished the outlet may be, but some things never change…
Where: 7-12 Sloane Square, London SW1W 8EG
Homeslice Bloomberg Arcade
What: Homeslice's Fourth Site
Why: Bringing a slice of their 20” pizzas to the City, Homeslice opened their fourth venue mid-October at central London’s Bloomberg Arcade. Whether you’re wanting a classic margherita to satisfy your cravings or a pizza that’s a bit different, such as the lamb shoulder, savoy cabbage and sumac yoghurt, the kimchi, porcini cream and basil or the caramelised onion, Kalamata olive and anchovy, Homeslice has got you covered. And if you can’t make your mind up, you can split the flavour 50/50. You can also order by the slice, making it an ideal lunch stop.
Where: 69-71 Queen Street, London EC4R 1EE
Rochelle Canteen at the ICA
What: Shoreditch Canteen Comes to The Mall
Why: Known for their Shoreditch canteen in the walls of an old schoolyard, Margot Henderson and Melanie Arnold have brought Rochelle Canteen to the Institute of Contemporary Arts. The restaurant’s menu offers diners the likes of quail escabeche, pheasant and trotter pie, or a whole pig’s head to share, if you really want to pig out. The café and bar area serves up Caravan coffee and homemade daily bakes, alongside classic cocktails and beers from Melanie’s son, Fin Spiteri, who is heading the bar. A great spot to indulge after getting your fill of culture at the ICA, or being touristy up the road at Buckingham Palace.
Where: The Mall, St. James's, London SW1Y 5AH