10 London restaurants that changed the game in 2017

With both rents and the price of imported ingredients on the rise, and the pool of talented European staff shrinking, last year tested the mettle of even the savviest and most successful restaurateurs in the capital.

A Darwinian survival of the fittest situation is in play, and venues that don’t excel at every level are struggling to stay afloat. Some, like Cantonese tasting menu venue HKK in Shoredtich, Venetian small plates site Veneta in St James’s Market, and the seasonal British Paradise Garage in Bethnal Green, have been forced to close.

But despite these harsh conditions, 2017 was one of the most exciting years in London’s history for new restaurant openings. The diversity of the new kids on the block, from West African site Ikoyi in Piccadilly, to Sri Lankan pancake specialist Hoppers in St. Christopher’s Place, illustrates the depth and breadth of the food offering in the capital today. Take a stroll through any one of London’s street food markets and you can happily munch your way around the world.

While restaurant closures take up more column inches than they used to, 2017 saw the arrival of some of London’s most compelling venues to date. While many surprised and delighted us, there were 10 that stood out, and not necessarily for the same reasons. There is no secret recipe that will keep customers coming back for more – restaurateurs have to make their own magic, but these 10 venues strengthen London’s position as the culinary capital of the world.

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