Oh, how we’ve missed eating in London’s restaurants. Before lockdown, the olive team were eating out in the capital two or three times a week, sussing out the latest openings and hunting down new foodie spots. Now that we’re able to get back out there (albeit for a new kind of dining experience), here are the places we want to visit first. Please check with specific venues for the most up-to-date opening information.
We’ve included below if restaurants are participating in the government’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme. On Monday-Wednesdays in August, there will be 50% off food and non-alcoholic beverages when you eat in participating restaurants, with up to £10 off per diner. Make the most of it!
José Tapas Bar, Bermondsey SE1
“There’s one thing you just can’t replicate in a home kitchen – and that’s the buzz of a tapas bar. Jose’s is one of my favourites in London. I want to drink a cold glass of dry sherry and eat multiple plates of deep-fried, golden croquettes until I’m fit to burst.” Laura Rowe, editor
José Tapas Bar is participating in the Eat Out to Help Out scheme. Find out all about this and our other favourite tapas bars in our round-up.
Lyon’s, Crouch End N8
“I’d only just got used to having this neighbourhood gem around – I’ll be running back for perfectly cooked seafood and killer cocktails.” Janine Ratcliffe, food director
Read our review of this much-missed local restaurant here, and get 50% off food and soft drinks Monday to Wednesday throughout August.
Max’s Sandwich Shop, Stroud Green N4
“We need Max back in north London! I’ll be first in line for a legendary ham, egg and chips butty.” Janine Ratcliffe, food director
Listen to our chat with sandwich guru Max Halley on our podcast.
Sambal Shiok, Holloway N7
“I can’t wait to slurp fragrant laksa and pick up crunchy fried chicken with the background buzz of Mandy’s open kitchen at this cute and friendly Malaysian joint.” Alex Crossley, digital editor
Read about Sambal Shiok in our restaurant review and Islington food guide, and take advantage of the Eat out to Help Out discounts here in August.
Chilli Cool, Bloomsbury WC1
“I’ll be heading straight to this Sichuanese spot specialising in fiery but expertly balanced dishes – from smacked cucumbers and blistered green beans with pork mince to dumplings laced with chilli oil and punchy dan dan noodles.” Hannah Guinness, drinks writer and sub editor
Read more about this Sichuanese hangout in our round-up of London’s best Chinese restaurants.
Cornerstone, Hackney Wick E9
“This was the last restaurant I visited before lockdown and is in one of my favourite (and seriously underrated) corners of London. Close to the gorgeous canal and among beautiful street art, Tom Brown’s fish cookery is some of the finest in the world. I want mackerel pâté and warm treacle bread, and I want it now!” Laura Rowe, editor
Get the lowdown on Tom’s inspired seafood dishes in our restaurant review.
Noble Rot, Holborn WC1N
“Ah, to people-watch from a window seat in the bar all afternoon, drinking wine and nibbling on snacks and small plates.” Jessica Carter, digital writer
Discover more about this and other great wine bars in our round-up, and get discounted food and soft drinks here through the government’s scheme in August.
Ducksoup, Soho W1D
“I cannot wait for a tiny negroni at Bar Termini, before sauntering over to Ducksoup for some seasonal small plates and natural wine perched at the bar, with the team’s vinyl on the decks.” Adam Bush, deputy food editor
Ducksoup is participating in the Eat Out to Help Out scheme throughout August.
Casse-Croûte, Bermondsey SE1
“With your name and reservation time scribbled on paper tablecloths, carafes of wine plonked on the table and a short menu of classic dishes written on the blackboard, this tiny neighbourhood bistro takes me straight back to France.” Alex Crossley, digital editor
Casse-Croûte is offering discounted food and soft drinks Monday to Wednesday through the Eat Out to Help Out scheme in August.
Four Legs at The Compton Arms, Islington N1
“The burger at this charming back-street boozer is like no other pub burger you’ve had – glossy, squidgy brioche bun, caramelised yet juicily dripping patty, tangy diced onion, and a blanket of oozy cheese. I can’t wait to go back!” Hannah Guinness, drinks writer and sub editor
“The outrageous cheeseburger at The Compton Arms was the last meal out I had before lockdown. It’s a riot of buttery Yorkshire meat (nice and charred on the outside), luminous melty cheese, punchy pickles and sweet, pillowy brioche bun. I’ve been thinking about it ever since.” Charlotte Morgan, sub editor
Read our restaurant review of this Islington hotspot.
Bombay Bustle, Mayfair W1S
“I had surprisingly few takeaways during lockdown, but one of the best by far was from Bombay Bustle, which I was first introduced to by our brilliant columnist Maunika Gowardhan earlier this year. I can’t wait to feast on dum lamb biryani, Kerala fish curry and dabba dal, at this super glamorous, art deco Mumbai-via-Mayfair setting.” Laura Rowe, editor
Take advantage of Eat Out to Help Out discounts here, Mondays to Wednesdays in August.
Nopi, Soho W1
“As soon as I can, I’m headed back to Ottolenghi’s Nopi to load my plate high with fancy veggie salads (I hope roast aubergine with sake cream is still on). And it will be a big bowl of baked chocolate ganache with orange oil for pudding.” Charlotte Morgan, sub editor
Save on Nopi’s dishes through the Eat Out to Help Out initiative.
Trullo, Highbury N1
“Bring on chef and owner Tim’s famous pici cacio e pepe along with lamb cutlets on the charcoal grill and a few punchy negronis, all in an intimate candlelit setting.” Alex Crossley, digital editor
Read about Trullo in our round-up of the best Italian restaurants in London and take advantage of discounted food through the Eat Out to Help Out scheme.
Pizza Pilgrims, across London
“I’ve happily waited in line for an oven-roast mushroom and truffle pizza at this place more times than I care to remember. It’s loud, laid-back and friendly, and I’ve missed the taste of its slow-proved pizza dough and the clink of its prosecco tumblers.” Charlotte Morgan, sub editor
Get half-price eat-in pizzas, Monday to Wednesday throughout August.
Credit: Paul Winch-Furness
Xi’an Impression, Highbury N7
“I’ve had a Chinese comfort-food-shaped hole in my life the past few months, so I’m counting down the hours until I can have my spirits lifted by these hand-pulled noodles, slicked in spicy, umami-laced sauces.” Jessica Carter, digital writer
Check out this relaxed hangout in our list of the city’s best Chinese restaurants.
The Anglesea Arms, South Kensington SW7
“I can’t wait to sip a smooth pint of Guinness and demolish a bowl of roast potatoes with its own little jug of gravy at the bar of this cosy and familiar pub.” Adam Bush, deputy food editor
The Anglesea Arms is taking part in the Eat Out to Help Out initiative, offering discounted food between Monday and Wednesday.
Three Sheets, Dalston E8
“Cocktails at this acclaimed, stripped-back east London bar always hit the spot. I can’t wait to drink a whole bottle of its stellar, pre-bottled take on a French 75. Floral, bubbly and dangerously easy to drink.” Hannah Guinness, drinks writer
Check out this Dalston bar in our review.
Yard Sale Pizza, Finsbury Park N4
“I’m looking forward to an 18-inch Holy Pepperoni and a tumbler of red – it’s dog-friendly, too, so my dog Marlon gets the crusts!” Janine Ratcliffe, food director
Check out our chat with Yard Sale Pizza’s Nick Buckland in this special podcast episode.
Rochelle Canteen, Shoreditch E2
“This is the first table I’ve booked post lockdown. It had been on my list for a while, and I spotted Nigella dining there on Somebody Feed Phil during one of my many Netflix binges over the past three months, and I knew I had to visit. There’s a gorgeous outside courtyard and, with chef Margot Henderson at the helm, I know I’m in for a good meal – think anything from deep-fried rabbit loin with radish, fennel and aïoli to pig skin and rouille.” Laura Rowe, editor
Discover more about this hangout – which is participating in the Eat Out to Help Out initiative – and other great London restaurants-with-a-view in our round-up.
Credit: Patricia Niven
Roti King, Euston NW1
“I’m looking forward to the excitement building as I wait in line and watch people devour hot roti canai in this no-frills joint behind Euston station.” Adam Bush, deputy food editor
Hear our chat with Sugen Gopal about his cult restaurant on our podcast, and take advantage of the Eat Out to Help Out discounts here throughout August.
Bone Daddies, Soho W1
“In my mind, there’s no ailment a really good ramen can’t take the edge off (it works on anything from a stuffy nose to a bad mood) and I plan to alleviate them all as soon as possible with big bowls of steaming broth here.” Jessica Carter, digital writer
Learn how to cook Bone Daddies’ ramen here and get a discount on the real thing this August through the Eat Out to Help Out initiative.