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Guide

The London Hit List: The Best New Restaurants In London

Whether you’re looking for takeaway or delivery, The Hit List is here to help you find a great new spot to support.

14 Spots
Launch Map
14 Spots
Launch Map
Updated March 1st, 2021

It’s a tough time for restaurants and bars, but if the last year has taught us anything, it’s that London establishments are resilient and resourceful. The spots on this guide have been pivoting, popping up, collaborating, and banding together to support their communities since lockdown first started last year. In one way or another they’re all doing something new - and we’re excited for you to discover them.

And that’s what our Hit List is: a guide to our favourite new food and drink experiences in London. We track new openings across the city, and then visit as many as we can. While the Hit List is by no means an exhaustive list of every good new spot, one thing you can always rely on is that we’ll only include places that we have genuinely checked out.

Our goal is for this list to be as diverse as the city itself - inclusive of a wide range of cuisines, price points, neighbourhoods, chefs and owners of all backgrounds, and the multifaceted communities within the industry. If you think we missed a great new place, we want to hear about it. Shoot us an email at london@theinfatuation.com.

Whether you’re looking for outdoor dining, takeaway and delivery, or at-home meal kits, The Hit List is here to help you find a great new spot to support - while taking a much-needed night off from your kitchen. Read on to find your new favourites.

THE SPOTS

Chuku’s

££££
££££ 274 High Rd

Open for collection and delivery.

“There are things you eat that are just lovely background noise to whatever else you’re doing - a bowl of pesto pasta whilst you watch TV, a fresh fruit salad you nibble on whilst you’re in a meeting. And then there are those foods that demand your full attention. Chuku’s, a bright and cheerful little Nigerian tapas spot near Seven Sisters station in Tottenham, is doing DIY wraps packed full of tender meat, big flavours, and sauces that are so good they’ll make you stop whatever else you’re doing and say something ridiculous like ‘would it be weird if I married this wrap?’. The honey suya sauce is a simultaneous blast of spice and sweetness, whilst their house salad comes covered in the zestiest of zesty drizzles. Mix them together inside a soft wrap with plenty of fluffy jollof quinoa and you’ve got one of the best things you can eat in London right now. Plus, they’re delivering nationwide.”

- Heidi Lauth Beasley, Staff Writer

Jake Missing

From The Ashes BBQ

££££
BBQ  in  Hackney Wick
££££ Unit 19

Open for takeaway and click & collect

“London, for all its park form during the summer months - the disposable tin, the burnt sausages, the suspect chicken - is not a BBQ city. At least, not in the cuisine sense. So I was pretty happy when a friend told me about a little hatch around the corner from him in Hackney Wick doing “a buff pork bun and some doughnuts that sound a bit fucked”. His words, it turns out, were 100% accurate. Some of the things at From The Ashes are indeed fucked, in the best possible way. The smoked pork bun, complete with crispy bits, chunky bits, melt-in-your-mouth bits, pickles, and both smoked sriracha marmite and smoked garlic mayo, is lovely. The burnt end beans, positively chuggable. A special of fore rib and chimichurri, pink and juicy and something that isn’t meant to be eaten with your hands, but absolutely should be. As for the doughnut, I can’t comment as they’d run out. Which tells me I’ll be back.”

- Jake Missing, Staff Writer

Trap Kitchen

££££
Seafood  in  Balham
££££ 76 Bedford Hill

Open for takeaway

“Although the whole rise-of-the-pyjamas situation meant that Instagram thirst traps were more of a pre-pandemic thing, some didn’t get the memo. Namely, this Balham spot specialising in hearty seafood platters. Post after post of sizzling prawns, buttery lobster, and snow crab on Trap Kitchen’s hugely popular IG page should be tempting enough to get anyone over to south west London. When I did, it was the meaty lobster tails, spicy mac and cheese, and ever-so-sweet Spanish rice, that made it one of the best places I’ve tried all year. And they’re the reason you should definitely have this place on your list. In the before times, it was a sit down spot, with sofa chairs and a cocktail bar, but due to government regulations it’s become a takeaway only operation, with customers invited to call ahead or head to the takeaway window to place an order and wait. Which you should. It’s tasty, messy, and once you’ve tried it, it’ll be something you crave at least once a week.”

- Rianne Shlebak, Editorial Assistant

Chishuru

££££
££££ Unit 9 Market Row

Meal kit delivery available

“The only thing stopping me from demanding that 2020 is removed from my brain is the memory of my evening at Chishuru. That, and maybe one particularly cute corgi sighting on Tooting Common. The rest, take it. But on the memorable night I went to West African spot, Chishuru, I not only drank wine and enjoyed some lovely, carefree chatter about cauliflower with the chef across the tiny open kitchen, but I ate some of the best food I’ve ever had. Not this month, or this year, but ever. From a whacking great piece of goat shoulder covered in green sauce, to the small dollop of pumpkin seed pesto that comes on top of the ekuru, everything here is packed full of big flavours. If that wasn’t enough, their groundnut soup has altered the way I see peanuts forever. It’s not just a nut guys, it’s a spicy texture party waiting to happen, especially when combined with some perfectly charred cauliflower. This Brixton space is small and cosy, but trust me, the food served here is a big deal.”- HLB

Giulia Verdinelli

Noodle & Beer

££££
££££ 31 Bell Ln

Open for takeaway and delivery

“There are multiple reasons as to why I quickly fell in love with Noodle & Beer. The first was before I even ate at this Chongqing noodle and Sichuan spot in Spitalfields. It was their name. It spoke to me both personally and profoundly. The second, third, fourth, and all the rest were very much food-related. Their thick (perhaps even worthy of two cs) tian-shui mian udon was unlike any udon I’d had or have had since: full of bite and sitting in a slurpable pool of a sweet, nutty, and Sichuan pepper-filled sauce. The other thing was the lang-ya tu dou, their handmade crinkle cut chips wok-fried in chilli oil with onion and pepper. Also their gong-bao and their niu-rou mian beef noodle soup. The service was memorably excellent both in regular and ‘new normal’ terms, and, via Instagram, I see that they throw in little Louis Vuitton smelly samples into their takeaway bags. That’s brilliant. I think I might just love everything about it, really.” - JM

Giulia Verdinelli

La Chingada Mexican Food

££££
££££ 206 Lower Road

Open for takeaway and delivery

“London isn’t lacking when it comes to tacos, but it is lacking when it comes to good tacos. There are a few places that are trying to remedy that: Sonora Taqueria is one of them and La Chingada is another. The tiny fluoro taqueria in Surrey Quays is my idea of a messy, saucy, and altogether cheesy heaven. Perching on the pavement outside La Chingada with a suadero taco in one hand, a beer in another, and a trail of chipotle sauce around me, is one of my favourite eating memories of recent times. Sure you could eat their tacos and towering tortas at home, but it’s much better and much more fun in situ.” - JM

Lateef Okunnu

Party Store Pizza

££££
AmericanPizza  in  Brixton
££££ 443 Coldharbour Ln

Open for delivery

“Many times over the last year or so, I’ve thought to myself: if all were right with the world, there would be a deep-dish pizza spot in London serving thick, saucy, cheesy pizzas with crispy crusts. And they would do thoughtful things like offer a selection of sauces to dip those crusts in. They might even have some halal fried chicken on the menu, because they’ll know that in a perfect world, you always have some fried chicken alongside your excellent 10x14inch Detroit-style pizza. Well, even though all is definitely not right with the world, this spot in Brixton’s Market House is doing all these things. Most importantly, it’s doing them right. From the focaccia-like texture, the crispy cheese-covered crusts, and the rivers of tomato sauce, the pizzas at this place are some of the best I’ve had in London.” - RS

Nic Crilly-Hargrave

Sidechick

££££
Takeaway  in  Hackney
££££ 397 Mentmore Terrace

Open for takeaway and delivery

“Chains get a bad rep because of places like Frankie & Benny’s and people like me who are unable to let go of a grudge against a £15 portion of crap meatballs and spaghetti over a decade ago. But there are plenty of good chains in the world, one being Patty & Bun. Their latest venture is Sidechick, a roast chicken delivery service that is the best takeaway I’ve ever eaten. Moist and crispy-skinned roast chicken is an easy win when done well, and it’s done well here. Very well. The za’atar, lemon, garlic, and honey marinade is my favourite, and paired with crispy potatoes, salads, or smoky aubergine with labneh, it’s a downright delicious dinner.” - JM

Akoko

££££
££££ 21 Berners St

Gift vouchers available

“Akoko was the one of the last meals I had sitting inside a restaurant before whatever version of hell we’re living in now. Back in that part of late-2020, meals were weirdly, confusingly, and coldly described as ‘substantial’, but the tasting menu I had at this slick West African spot in Fitzrovia was something that erred on sensational. Their takes on boli and epa (plantain and groundnut) and miyan taushe (pumpkin soup) make me particularly wistful for better and more lobster-in-soup-filled times, but it’s the giddy excitement I felt at Akoko that I miss most. The excitement of eating former Masterchef contestant William Chilila’s food (because yes, I am a sad and avid watcher), of a bit of theatre in a restaurant that doesn’t feel stiff and, more than anything, the excitement that very few tasting menu restaurants in London are playing with these ingredients. It’s fine, but more importantly fun, dining.” - JM

Dom’s Subs

££££
££££ 262 Hackney Road

Open for takeaway and delivery

“Dom’s has been on my personal hit list from the day it opened on the Hackney Road. I’ve followed the trail of breadcrumbs these guys have been leaving from their sandwich escapades at Visions Canteen and Lanark Coffee like a toddler with a lust for bread. So when I started seeing pictures on Instagram of home baked semolina rolls, absolutely heaving with everything from cold cuts to Thai ground chicken, it was something close to love at first sight. I’d say there’s little to say that I haven’t said already, but somehow I, or someone I know, keeps finding words. Some recent highlights include: “I think I dislocated my jaw in happiness”, “I had a sandwich for breakfast but I still want Dom’s for lunch, and “I love the sub, but I love the nap more”. Never has the phrase ‘gotta get that bread’ been more relevant. Especially as they’re opening a new location in the City.” - JM

Napoli Gang

££££

Delivery only

“I would like to preface this by saying that my adoration cannot and will not be bought through stickers. Unless they are very, very good stickers like the ones that come as part of any Napoli Gang delivery. What can I say, the way to my heart is through my arts and crafts drawer. But importantly, it’s also through my stomach. This delivery service from the people behind loud and proud trattorias Circolo Popolare and Gloria, are bringing excellent pizzas, pastas, and - chef kiss - bottles of limoncello directly to your door. On top of all the gloriously silly XXL desserts and a lasagne I like to elegantly eat straight from its metal container as part of my ‘self-care routine’, they’ve also somehow managed to turn food delivery into an instant party. Yes, you get fun stickers but you also get a party playlist that can quickly stop any rubbish mood in its tracks. Even if you feel like the epitome of Eeyore mid-gloom fest, I challenge you to not have a good night accompanied by a little nduja pizza and a whole lot of the Napoli Gang’s party spirit.” - HLB

Jake Missing

Fen Hand Pulled Noodles

££££
££££ Spitalfield Market

Open for takeaway and delivery

“I don’t really subscribe to the whole ‘food as fuel’ thing. Unsurprising really, as a prerequisite for this job is to think about pak choi in the same way a hormonal teenager thinks about... well, everything. With that said, there are still some meals, often on-the-go, where I’m like ‘that’ll do’. Fill-a-holers. It’s what I (thoughtlessly) thought as I walked by Fen in Spitalfields Market, before soon realising I was chewing on some of the best noodles I’d eaten in London. It’s not that I didn’t think Fen would be good. I just didn’t think it would be this good. Their take on big plate chicken - bouncy belt noodles laying in a slippery bath of Szechuan chilli oil with slowly stewed chicken, potatoes, and peppers on top - is fantastic. And it’s the best big-plate-but-not-big-plate-chicken (it’s a one person portion) I’ve had. I probably should’ve known better - Fen is from the same people as Dumpling Shack, after all - but it’s a nice reminder that high expectations can always be exceeded.” - JM

Jake Missing

The Clarence Tavern

££££ 102 Stoke Newington Church St

Open for takeaway and delivery

“The Clarence is another gastropub from a lineage of excellent London gastropubs. Older siblings the Anchor & Hope and the Canton Arms are two of the most consistently delicious pubs around that still maintain a feeling of comforting pub-ishness. There’s no danger of seeing a mini shopping basket full of chips here. Anyway, The Clarence on Stoke Newington Church Street is their latest venture that somehow feels like it’s been making fried pumpkin, roast brill, and slow-cooked lamb shoulder with dauphinoise forever and ever. Simultaneously relaxed and delicious, it manages to make lots of effort seem effortless, and it’s instantly one of my new back-pocket favourites.” - JM

Jamie Lau

Elliot's

££££ 12 Stoney St

Open for takeaway and delivery

“Elliots was never a bad restaurant. In fact, it was always a very good restaurant, home to a winning burger and some Isle Of Mull cheese puffs that might as well have been called Fuck Me, These Are Fantastic. But when this class act reopened after the first lockdown they set up a terrace under one of the big arches in Borough Market and an al fresco star was born. Never has feeling like you’re on holiday also felt so quintessentially London. Sharing seafood to the hum of Stoney Street chatter, sipping natural wine with the smell of ale in the air, and fighting over the last spoonful of limoncello sorbet as the sun sets. Come winter, they put up a heated gazebo and carried on serving their legendary cheese puffs and things that taste fantastic with peppercorn butter. Long live Ell Fresco.” - HLB

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