Spring is in the air and so are a bunch of impressive-sounding new food and drink openings in our fair city.
There are pubs with fancy food, pubs with no booze, and more seasonal plates than you can shake a stick at, as well a long-time London cult favourite which is turning into a chicken shop for one month only.
Read on for everything you need to know about the best new places to book this month. Then? Let’s eat.
The best new restaurants opening in London in March 2023
1. The hotly anticipated hipster hangout
Papi, London Fields
After an increasingly unhinged social media campaign, Papi is finally swinging open its doors on March 1. The first permanent site by lockdown delivery champ and pop-up prince Matthew Scott of Hot 4 U and his buddy Charlie Carr of Wingnut Wines, Papi will be serving up the kind of experimental food that can only be described as ‘very Hackney’. Coming complete with a subterranean cocktail bar, there will be Pom-Bears served with a selection of dips. There will be devilled-cheese schnitzel. There will be gallons of natural wine. And, yes, there will be much fun.
1f Mentmore Terrace, E8 3PN.
2. The trendy, ubiquitous pizza chain
Yard Sale, Tottenham
Soon there will be a Yard Sale Pizza on every street corner in this city, and, rather disturbingly, one in the corner of your flat, right by the recycling bin. Until then, though, you’ll have to make do with these popular pie shops’ regular new location drops, the latest being in Tottenham, which opens March 6. At Yard Sale’s tenth outlet you can expect the same chewy crusts, trendy toppings and extremely good vegan offerings. Keep your eyes open for their regular celeb collabs, with everyone from Romesh Ranganathan to Loyle Carner getting a slice of the action.
8 Vicarage Parade, West Green Rd, N15 3BL.
3. The legendary cheese toastie and oyster residency
Wine & Rind at Mannions, Tottenham
There’s more good news for Tottenham this month, as cheese hero Wine & Rind is returning to Mannions – aka the greatest pub in north London – with its brilliant Sunday pub grub menu for three months of oysters, scallop-and-bacon baps, and chip butties. Chef Holly Chaves will also be bringing back the stunning cheese toasties she used to dish out on nearby Holcombe Market before shutting up shop to start Wine & Wean, a baby-friendly wine-tasting event. As with Wine & Rind’s last Mannions stint, you can expect guest chefs such as Cafe Cecilia’s Max Rocha to pop by for special kitchen takeovers. Service begins on March 19, from noon to 6pm, every Sunday until the summer.
158 Broad Lane, N15 4QJ.
4. The boozer with no booze
The Lucky Saint, Marylebone
If you attempted Dry Jan, are a sober person, or have even just attempted a few days off the booze (God loves a trier), you’ll no doubt have supped a pint of Lucky Saint, generally regarded as one of the best 0.0% beers about. If it were needed, proof of the brand’s increasing popularity comes in the shape of its first-ever pub, which is opening up inside the bones of the long-shuttered Masons Arms on March 9. Dry by name, but not by nature.
58 Devonshire St, W1W 5EA.
5. The pub with a posh menu
The Parakeet, Kentish Town
Did somebody say ‘ex-Brat chefs’? With Ben Allen and Ed Jennings in the kitchen at what used to be The Oxford Tavern, The Parakeet isn’t just about pints; it’s now a foodie-focused pub with serious pedigree. The 60-cover dining room is what you’ve come to expect from pretty much every new opening in London of late – seasonal, locally sourced, everything cooked over flames etc etc etc – but everything they’ve teased so far sounds exceptional. Think poached oysters with pickled elderflower, braised leeks with pecorino and smoked mushrooms, and wood-roasted rabbit with kohlrabi and curry leaf. North London is ready. Are you?
256 Kentish Town Rd, NW5 2EN.
6. The sleek Soho bistro
Nessa is no shrinking violet. In a neo-baroque building on the corner of Brewer and Warwick Street, and inspired by lavish bohemian types like Bloomsbury Group painter and OG ethical non-monogamist Vanessa Bell, this all-day bistro is asking for you to stare. Open from March 6 on the ground floor of all-new 1 Warwick members’ club, exec chef Tom Cenci will be whipping up all manner of casual culinary showstoppers with a decidedly homespun kind of pride. There’s a British carbonara with celeriac, confit egg, parmesan breadcrumbs and truffle, as well as ox-cheek hotpot with confit potatoes and some deeply old-school English puddings, including roly-poly with custard.
86 Brewer St, W1F 9UB.
7. The cult Thai joint having an identity crisis
Smoking Goat Chicken Shop, Shoreditch
You know and probably love Smoking Goat, but what does the Thai barbecue that has everything do when it wants to shake things up a bit? Turn into a fried-chicken shop, that’s what. After a recent trip to Bangkok, the guys of ’Goat discovered a stall that made an incredible version of the ultimate fast food, all slathered in spicy nam jim sauce, and wanted to bring their own version back home. So that’s what they’ve done, with special fried chicken marinated in fish sauce and coriander root, served with crispy garlic and Thai shallots. They’ll also be serving up other new dishes like wok fried kuaitiao khua kai rice noodles and tom yum nam sai soup with velvet crab, in this month-long chicken shop experiment, from March 3 to April 2.
64 Shoreditch High St, E1 6JJ.
8. The must-have collab dish
Jolly Rushen Tater Tots at Jollibee, Leicester Square
Prince of the pop-up, Whyte Rushen, has joined forces with the cult-like Philippines fast-food joint Jollibee to create some very special tater tots. Covered with a hot honey-and-caramel drizzle and served with smoked-chilli burger sauce, as well as crispy fried shallots and a pickled spring-onion salad, these are no ordinary tots – not least because they’re only available for a month. Grab them from March 12 until April only at Jollibee’s Leicester Square branch.
22 Leicester Square, WC2H 7LE.
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