London’s fast-paced restaurant scene is always evolving – and with new kids opening their kitchen doors all the time, 2015 looks set to be big for food fanatics. The beloved burger continues to win our hearts, while share plates and communal eating seem here to stay. To help you keep on top of the latest trends, we’ve compiled a list of everything the cool set will be tucking into this year and where to find it. And one more thing: forget kale, this year’s vegetable darling is cauliflower.
- Third-wave burgers at Patty & Bun
The fast-food favourite is still going strong with a host of hip offerings popping up across the city. With an emphasis on quality British-sourced ingredients, the Patty & Bun team can be found in their 30-seater space behind Oxford Street throwing beef, lamb, chicken and chunky Portobello mushrooms on the hotplate for hungry punters to enjoy alongside a Red Stripe beer. And now the Liverpool Street branch has gone head to head with the nearby McDonalds, offering gourmet breakfast options – think bacon in brioche with eggs, cheese and green tomato salsa served on weekdays from 7:30-9:30am.
54 James Street, Marylebone W1U 1HE and 22-23 Liverpool Street, The City EC2M 7PD (pattyandbun.co.uk)
- Cauliflower at Grain Store
It’s been years in the making, but the massive regeneration of the King’s Cross area is nearing completion, meaning 2015 is the time to wave goodbye to the bitumen wasteland that was and hello to a stunning new public space surrounded by restaurants and galleries. Leader of the pack is renowned French chef Bruno Loubet’s Grain Store, where the vegetables come first and the meat comes second. So what better place to get reacquainted with the humble cauliflower? Low in carbohydrates and bursting with anti-inflammatory properties, dismiss this nutrient-packed member of the cabbage family as pale and uninteresting at your peril. The good vibes continue through to the wine menu, where organic grapes and biodynamic production techniques rule. Grab a glass at the stunning bar space or sprawling outside terrace
1-3 Stable Street, King’s Cross N1C 4AB (grainstore.com)
- Gin at Ask For Janice
Thanks to a handful of small-batch artisan distillers tinkering with various botanicals, London’s historically infamous ‘Mother’s ruin’ is back on the menu at a host of hipster bars in the big smoke. And nowhere is the spirit more celebrated than at Smithfield Market’s Ask For Janice, where 50 varieties are detailed on the menu along with recommendations for the ‘perfect serve’ – perhaps the Portobello Road dry gin with lemon and bitter orange, tonic and a wedge of lime? Soak it all up with their naughty share plates of posh comfort food – from the oozing cheese toasted sandwiches to the teeth-sticking beef croquettes.
50-52 Long Lane, Farringdon EC1A 9EJ (askforjanice.co.uk)
- Whole chicken at Chicken Shop
Southern-style buttermilk fried chicken might have been the order of the day in 2014, but this year we can expect to see more and more restaurants pare down their approach to poultry. Like free-range chickens from Banham’s Farm in Norfolk served straight from the rotisserie spit. You just need to choose whether you want a quarter, half or whole bird. There are four sides, and three desserts. We said it was simple, right? Opened by the group behind Soho House, the original Chicken Shop recently spread it wings with restaurants in Whitechapel, Holborn and Tooting.
79 Highgate Road, Kentish Town NW5 1TL (chickenshop.com)
- Street food at Urban Food Fest
The saying ‘from little things, big things grow’ couldn’t be truer of many of the city’s best places to grab a bite. Having started life as street food stalls, Pizza Pilgrims, MeatLiquor and Violet Cakes now have brick-and-mortar outlets. But London’s love of eating alfresco (even if that means sharing pavement space with a few hundred strangers) continues. And now the East End just got cooler – and even more affordable to eat out – thanks to the dozens of food trucks and up-and-coming performers that have found a new home in a derelict car park on Shoreditch High Street. With a regularly rotating line-up of global food offerings – from Greek to Korean to Jamaican – this place is pumping come Saturday night when hungry revelers stop by between bars and clubs to refuel.
162-175 Shoreditch High Street, Shoreditch E1 6HU (urbanfoodfest.com)