23 Restaurants Chefs & Foodies Have Booked Post-Lockdown

Next week, we’ll be able to sit inside at restaurants again, which means even more of our favourite spots will finally be reopening their doors. Here, some top foodies and chefs share the places they have a reservation at – from old favourites to new openings – and the dishes they can’t wait to eat.

Katie Toogood, Prawn on the Lawn

The River Café is still one of my favourite restaurants of all time. We’ve booked a table here in July and are hoping to take full advantage of the beautiful terrace on the river. Me and my husband Rick have been dreaming about eating at Brat again ever since we heard restrictions were being lifted. Tom’s food is so fresh and well sourced and it’s our favourite restaurant in London to visit. Dreaming of that turbot and those pillowy soft grilled breads. The Sportsman’s Arms is our mate’s place in Yorkshire. The team has got ‘The Tent at the Sportman’s’ running at the moment, cooking local produce on a big charcoal set-up with a Bertha wood oven that we’ll be visiting in the next month or so. Then there’s Sabor, Nieve’s and Jose’s place tucked away just behind Piccadilly. Walk through the door and you’re transported to Spain with a friendly welcome and excellent food. It’s probably the nearest we’ll be getting to eating abroad this year!”

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Lucy Carr-Ellison and Jemima Jones, Wild by Tart

“We love east London spot Som Saa for incredible Thai food, which has been hard to come by in lockdown. Not only is the food amazing, but so are the cocktails, and the vibe is so good, too. Levan in Peckham is also on the list – the gnocchetti, ricotta, peas and courgette looks so good. We had a table booked at Christmas, but we had to move our booking when lockdown was announced, so we’re excited to try it! Brat is an all-time favourite of ours, too, and such a treat especially when tucking into the killer wine list. We hope the crab tartlet is still on the menu! And finally, Smoking Goat, just because it's insanely delicious.”

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Bettina Campolucci Bordi, Bettina’s Kitchen 

Fallow is one of my all-time favourites. The dish to order is its epic corn ribs – the kombu salt sprinkled on them is a winner. The kitchen’s leek dishes are always good too. The menu is small, but well planned with sustainability at the helm. I’ve also booked a table at The River Café. I have never been, so it has been on my list for a very long time. Finally, Cornerstone. I have been once – before all the the buzz and the Michelin star – and it was excellent. I’m looking forward to trying out some of the new dishes that they have been teasing us all with on social media.”

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Alexandra Dudley, Food Writer & Come For Supper Podcast Host

Ducksoup is one of my favourite restaurants in London. They serve heavenly small plates, mainly inspired by the Mediterranean and Middle East. The fritters, which come in various seasonal guises are always a must whenever I go. Their wine list is excellent too and focuses on natural, low-intervention wines. I’ve already booked to go to Elliot’s twice. It’s an excellent restaurant-meets-wine bar in Borough Market. The Cantabrian anchovy toast is something I’ve been dreaming of since we went into lockdown and I highly recommend the stone-baked pizzas too. Brutto is another one I am very excited about and it’s set to open later this year. It’s the newest restaurant from Russell Norman – the man behind Polpo – and is inspired by the trattoria of Florence. And finally, The Connaught. The best place for a martini, in my opinion.”

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Erchen Chang, Bao

“I’ll be back at my favourite spot at 40 Maltby Street. I have been missing it a lot over the last few months so can't wait to have Steve’s food and their wine. Other favourites are northern Chinese restaurant Silk Road for ultimate comfort food and the Guinea Grill for my old steak and a pint of Guinness ritual.”

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Pamela Yung, Flor

“I can’t wait to go back to Brawn – it was the first restaurant I visited when I moved to London a few years ago, so it has a special place in my heart. It’s got such a great vibe, friendly staff, fantastic food and wine. During lockdown, I have had takeaway from Pho Thuy Tay on the Old Kent Road restaurant a few times and it was remarkable. I’m sure it’s even better in person, so I’m looking forward to visiting properly.”

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Lily Jones, Lily Vanilli

“I went to Bibendum this week as it's perfect for a blow-out, glamourous and decadent lunch  – it also has the perfect outdoor space for this grizzly weather we’ve been experiencing, with proper cover and heaters. I'm looking forward to going back to Little Georgia as I've been desperately missing Tbilisi and Georgian food and wine – they have two sites and they both serve up hearty, warming traditional Georgian stews, borscht and khatchapuri (Georgian cheese bread). I'm also missing my local, Morito, for the polenta-fried aubergine with labneh, mint and date molasses. I actually tried to make my own in lockdown, it’s so good and I missed it terribly.”

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James Lowe, Lyle’s

The River Café and Rochelle Canteen are top of the list at the moment. Lunch at Rochelle and a lunch or early evening at The River Cafe are two of my favourite things in London. Crudo, pizzetta, wood-roasted fish and artichokes are some of my favourite things and they're all a fairly safe bet to be on the menu at The River Cafe. They're really nice places to eat with my daughter Eve who's three, and isn't overly keen on sitting down at a table for a long period of time, which is no problem as both have gardens for her to run around in. I’m also looking forward to Planque opening in Haggerston alongside a second site from The Sea, The Sea team. These are the sorts of small openings that continue to make east London one of the best areas.”

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