For London’s restaurants, 2021 was a time for recovery. April’s relaxation of restrictions and pent-up demand led to an explosion in visits and demand, while an effective vaccination rollout and high uptake allowed the trajectory to continue. Though the Omicron variant and uncertainty around the winter – and what support will be offered – looms in the mind of diners and restaurants alike, the majority are (thankfully) in a better place than 12 months before, even with the likelihood of pre-emptive closure.
This past year, a slew of new openings offering theatre, comfort, and a spirit of adventure were also a reminder of the city’s tenacity and reserves. From the crunch of fried sage leaves at the sleek Café Cecilia, to the familiar joys of candlelight and a great tiramisu at Russell Norman’s Brutto, London’s restaurants offered familiarity, but also took risks that paid dividends – and created memorable experiences. With that, please welcome our Best of the Hit List for 2021.