No longer synonymous with bland, overcooked British pub grub, London is now the European culinary epicentre. And as such, each year more and more restaurants open their doors to cater to the city’s discerning gourmands. Last year the British capital gained more new restaurants than in any year previously and it’s a trend that shows no signs of slowing down. Now is the perfect time to be hopping on a flight to London and start exploring these new culinary offerings.
From hipster-fuelled food and lifestyle concept spaces, to the new Italian restaurant using seawater in its dishes; these new dining venues won’t fail to disappoint. Grab your knives and forks and follow Flight Centre’s insider guide to London’s hottest new eats.
It’s a truth universally acknowledged that the best pizza is found in Naples, but now Londoners will be able to get a little slice of Neapolitan pizza pie in their backyard thanks to new restaurant, ‘O ver.
Labelled as the the UK’s first “authentic Neapolitan restaurant”, the eatery - which is situated next to hip foodie centre, Borough Market, between London Bridge station and the Tate Modern - has only been open for a months yet is already pulling in an impressive crowd.
Specialising in healthy, tasty Neapolitan street food, the restaurant’s authenticity isn’t its only unique selling point. According to its creators, ‘O ver will also be the first restaurant in the UK to use pure seawater harvested from the Mediterranean in many of its dishes. From fresh pastas and wood fired pizzas, to seasonal salads and even desserts; the restaurant is championing the wonder ingredient, which they say has multiple health advantages, in addition to improving both the flavour and texture of food. Great seasonal Italian fare aside, the marble topped bar, which looks out across the light, airy and minimally chic restaurant is the perfect place for downing a Prosecco or two.
N.A.C - or ‘North Audley Cantine’ - may be another hip fusion of cocktail lounge and tapas, but this time it’s not Italian or Spanish, it’s French.
The brainchild of three twentysomething Frenchies, N.A.C is housed in prime Mayfair real estate. Interior-wise its edgy styling fits the bill with exposed brick, whitewashed walls and industrial-style, dimly-lit chandeliers enticing guests to the split-level space, which holds a 50-seat dining room and basement cocktail bar.
Though primarily French (think pastries for dessert and cooked seasonal vegetables with a lemon and olive oil dressing for starters) the tapas here also nods towards international cuisine with the likes of mac ’n’ cheese with truffle and churros with dulce de leche ice-cream finding their way on the menu.
Trade Union is more than just a place to eat and drink - it’s a bona fide one-stop lifestyle destination in addition to being the city’s newest hipster playground.
A giant slide (yes, really) takes you into the main bar and restaurant area, where seasonal cocktails and microbrews are available throughout the day and a tasty menu features New York-style sourdough pizza courtesy of Bushwick Pizza Co. and speciality dishes, such as crab mac ’n’ cheese and salted beef reuben sandwich. The resident coffee shop is run by specialty London coffee house, Vagabond, which roasts its own beans sourced from Colombia in addition to selling home-brewing equipment. Gentleman visitors can also get groomed at the barber’s station, run by hairdresser Drakes of London, who offer traditional shaves, beard trims and haircuts. Finally, freshly caffeinated, shaved and fed, you can also pick up flowers from an outlet of hot London florists, Maua.
Situated in historic Wapping between St Katharine’s Docks and the new London Docks landmark development, the blended concept fills an impressive 6,700 square foot of space. A range of classes are on offer too, from pizza dough rolling and cocktail mixology, to coffee making. There’s even a space offering communal hot-decking, with wifi and charging ports. You really don’t ever need to leave!
May Fair Kitchen
Officially launched late last year in the hotel and suburb from which it takes its name, May Fair Kitchen offers a new take on Spanish and Italian cuisine.
A tapas restaurant and lounge bar, its development has been overseen by former head of private dining at Nobu. Here a sharing plates menu includes a selection of antipasti, salads, pizza, pasta, risotto, seafood and meat and poultry. Think chicken and chorizo sliders with avocado and chilli mayonnaise, Jerusalem artichoke risotto with truffle oil, seared tuna with caponata and calamari with chilli lemon mayonnaise.
A sophisticated, yet unassuming interior with marble and copper accents create the perfect backdrop to a long lunch or dinner and a private dining room and terrace are available for special occasions.
For London’s hottest new brunch - and a “bottomless” one at that - newly opened Scandinavian themed restaurant, KuPP, is the place to go.
A decade in the making after its British founder developed a fascination with Scandinavian food, drink and culture, KuPP’s casual, all day dining concept uses typical Scandi ingredients in a very British way.
Drinks-wise, the team here are obsessed with Fika (the famous Swedish coffee and sweet combo) and as such there’s a range of speciality coffee available at any hour. Another standout are the large tanks of Krusovice beer - the oldest Czech beer sold in the UK - which ensure punters are never thirsty.
When it comes smorgasbords to food, smorgasbords are the house speciality, with ‘bords’ including everything from Atlantic prawn Skagen and home-smoked trout, to homemade pork meatballs and potted rabbit. Speaking of, it’s the weekend bottomless smorgasbord brunch that really pulls in crowds. For less than $60 you can enjoy 90 minutes of unlimited Smorgasbord refills alongside bottomless Czech beer, spice infused Aquavit cocktails or Bloody Marys. Bargainous!