See London's best new venues, before anyone else

Get ahead of the crowds with our insider look at the hottest new spots in the capital

Written by Luke Bull - 08 April 2024

The latest 20 London venues

London is a city that is ever-changing. The sheer amount of venues opening every day can feel like a bewildering experience. Do you want to go to the newest rooftop bar or check out the latest immersive gallery?

Luckily, HeadBox is on hand to pick out the best new openings in the capital and guide you through staying on the pulse. Take a look below at our favourite recent openings (some of them aren't even open yet - just keep it to yourself).

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Nuji london new opening
Nuji london new opening

1. A London new opening that brings home-cooked Japanese food to Mayfair: NIJŪ

Mayfair, London

If, like the rest of us, you’ve spent the past few Tuesdays with your eyes glued to the TV screen as Shogun plays, we might have the new London opening for you.

Japanese food is not exactly hard to find in the capital, with ramen, sushi, katsu and more all being well represented by some quality venues. Niju’s take is to focus on ‘Katei Ryori’, or ‘home-style cooking’. What this translates to on the menu is an array of delicious sounding dishes like lamb cutlets with dengaku miso, a range of nigiri, and left-of-field options such as ‘blistered padrons with ponzu & katsuboshi’. Yum.

Private events are catered to, with the Berkley Street address catering to everything from standing canapé receptions to an intimate dining experience.

Mistress of Mayfair London new opening
Mistress of Mayfair London new opening

2. A Parisian-inspired shared-plates experience: Mistress of Mayfair

Mayfair, London

We can only dream of having an Instagram as attractive as Mistress of Mayfair’s. Warm lighting, velvet decor, and red accents make up the picture-perfect backdrop - just add a martini (up, dry, three olives). Fittingly for London’s answer to Monaco, the menu features lobster linguine, beef carpaccio, and Sturia Oscietra caviar.

In a flagrant declaration of war against your Dad, you’ll only find one beer option on the menu. This posh new London opening instead focuses on their extensive list of champagnes alongside both traditional and signature cocktails. The Patron Mule is a favourite from the list - the love child of a spicy margarita and a Moscow mule.

Mistress has two semi-private rooms available for hire for up to 20 guests. This fresh new spot can host your next team event, birthday party, or private dinner.

Alfi London new opening
Alfi London new opening

3. Choose from a selection of European wines on tap: Alfi

Spitalfields, London

Located in Spitalfields Market, Alfi combines the convenience of getting a draft beer from the pub with the elegance of an Italian dinner. The result? 10 wines on tap. For those wanting more: firstly, are you okay? Secondly, they offer 40 other wines from the bottle.

Colourful plates made up of grilled aubergine, heritage tomato salad, and jerusalem artichoke will have you abandoning your infantile crusade against vegetables. Though you can still finish off your meal with chocolate cake and ice cream.

A full rental of this new London opening is available for up to 500 guests for parties, corporate events, and private dining. The Nook, the Terrace, and the Family Tables are also available for smaller events.

Bar du Champagne London new opening
Bar du Champagne London new opening

4. Champagne sourced from houses big and small: Bar du Champagne

Covent Garden, London

Bar du Champagne prides themselves on their champagne (duh). And who doesn’t love a restaurant centred around champagne? Nearly 20 choices of champagne, cava, and prosecco fill the wine list at this new London opening, with additional pages of still wine options.

This spot has perfected the intersection of comfort and luxury with vintage decor and a sharing-style menu, which changes seasonally. This winter you can expect roasted cauliflower and truffled croque monsieur to keep you warm in the cold months.

Private hires are available upon request for your next dinner party or corporate event. You can be sure to satisfy the wine snobs in your life here.

Maroto London new opening
Maroto London new opening

5. A glamorous late-night bar and lounge club: Maroto

Mayfair, London

Maroto delivers an array of music, food, and drinks, inspired by 1930s Brazilian art-deco from Thursday through Saturday from 9pm to “very very late” (aka 3am). True to its location, Maroto is sure to be a high-class night out, where you can have Michelin-star bites from Basso alongside your cocktails.

Low lighting and lounge seating set the mood for listening to resident DJ CASA ATARASHI over cocktails. Dress-code? The best version of you.

If you want to impress your guests, you can rent this new London opening for up to 150 guests. More intimate events for 25-30 guests can be hosted in the semi-private spaces. Maroto offers a canape menu made up of Basso’s best.

Gilgamesh London new opening
Gilgamesh London new opening

6. Travel through the flavours of the ancient Mesopotamian epic: Gilgamesh

Covent Garden, London

Maybe Gilgamesh succeeded in finding the eternal life he was searching for after all, as his legend lives on in this Covent Garden restaurant. Japanese, Chinese, and Southeast Asian flavours fuse together to create a menu inspired by Gilgamesh’s journey - although we’re pretty sure Gilgamesh wasn’t having the wagyu taco with pineapple salsa for his dinners.

Travel through three stories of Babylonian modernity housed in the Zion, Babylon, and Lounge rooms at this new London opening. Rent the Zion or Babylon rooms for 65 or 100 guests respectively, or go all out and take over the full venue for up to 200 guests. Options for a set menu or canape style are available, in addition to drinks receptions.

7. Skip the Southbank Centre chains, and try something new: La Gamba

Southbank Centre, London

A refresh to the South side of the Thames is La Gamba, the first permanent venue for the brothers behind Applebee’s Fish in Borough Market. The restaurant features traditional Spanish recipes with a British twist.

The La Gamba menu continues its focus on fresh seafood from their wide range of local suppliers. Their seafood rice and squid chipirones are some of the highlights of their selection.

In the warmer months, take advantage of the breezy terrace and soak in the cool air from the other side of the Thames. Grab a few pitchers of La Gamba’s famed sangria to enjoy with friends the next time you find yourself crossing the river in need of a pre-theatre bite.

8. The sophomore iteration of a London Thai phenomenon: Kolae

Borough Market, London

From the team behind London viral sensation, Som Saa, comes another incredible Thai joint based in Borough Market. Don’t worry about confusing the two sister venues, Kolae has a distinctly unique vibe: in a former coach house, the exposed brick and intimate bar seating give the space a cool and industrial feel while not taking away from the authentic Thai cuisine.

The restaurant’s name comes from a grilling technique, based on skewering and drenching ingredients in curry — one signature example of this is their chicken bamboo skewers, a mastery of the technique. The menu is short and sweet, but we’ve always favoured quality over quantity, so no complaints here.

Kolae can seat 80 guests within its lofty three-stories — with the smells from the open kitchen and old-school rock’n’roll wafting through the air, every seat is the best seat. Private dining is also available if you prefer a more quiet setting.

9. The coolest basement bar to visit in South London: Mama Funki

Camberwell, London

If you find yourself in South London looking for a cool and cosy place to grab a drink you can’t remember the name of, check out Mama Funki. From the owners of Funkidory, Mama Funki is the grungier younger sister venue.

The signature drinks are great takes on the classic tipples we know and love, with the Mamarita putting a spin on the tequila classic by adding fermented blackberry cordial. After a few mamaritas (or crocodiles — a sweet rum cocktail with sherry and bitters), dance along to the DJs Mama Funki brings in every weekend.

This basement bar takes inspiration from the 70s with its Persian rugs and comfy seating, and the dimly-lit atmosphere really transports you out of the crowded Camberwell streets. With great music and better drinks, Mama Funki is certainly filling the shoes of its sister venue.

10. A Soho pub-restaurant that stands above them all: The Devonshire

Piccadilly Circus, London

The newest after-theatre drinks spot has risen in Soho. The Devonshire is a massive, three-story pub and grill just around the corner from Piccadilly Circus. The first floor and main pub area is exactly what you would expect from it: crowds overflowing into the street with their pint in hand and a bar where waving your card wildly is the only way to get said pint.

The first and second floor hold the grill and restaurant — the menu is simple yet complex with its unique takes on British pub classics. Their scallops with bacon and malt vinegar were particularly calling our name.

Since its opening in early November, there may still be a window of opportunity to snag a table upstairs or get a seat in one of the three snugs (hidden behind the bar) without the immense crowds The Devonshire is sure to attract.

11. In a neighbourhood full of pubs, be an English wine bar: Finch

Brixton, London

Having freshly opened its doors, Finch Wine Bar has already started to age as gracefully as one of its own fine wines. With seating for just 12 guests, the vibe is quite intimate and is described as “a pocket-sized cabinet of curiosities.

Grab any of their small snacks like a sampling of local cheeses or the house Giardineira pickles. Wash it all down with a bottle of one of their worldly wines, whether it be a New Zealand Pinot or a cranberry wine from Portugal. Finch also boasts a wide range of English wines as well as unique cocktails — there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

Located in Brixton Village it is a great hideaway from the hustle and bustle. Impress your friends with your refined palette and name-drop one of Finch’s featured independent winemakers.

12. An influencer’s pleasure palazzo in West London: Jacuzzi

Kensington, London

Big Mama has done it again, their latest London venture, Jacuzzi, is a stunning, 4-floor trattoria that embodies Mediterranean elegance. How they manage to seat 170 guests amidst all their treasures and greenery, we’ll never know.

From the decor, atmosphere and food, everything is designed to overwhelm your senses — in the best possible way. Admiring a Roman statue is exactly the thing you’ve been missing out on while enjoying their Italian caviar or famous chocolate mousse.

With exclusive hire available for groups of over 20 guests, you would be hard-pressed to find a group who wouldn’t want free reign of this palace of a restaurant.

13. A restaurant proving that North London can clean up nice: Saltine

Highbury, London

From owners of the coffee shop group Fink’s comes this new and elegant restaurant in Highbury. Saltine is an elevated, soon-to-be neighbourhood classic with a seasonal menu which currently includes fried stracciatella & anchovy sandwiches and mackerel, spigarello & chickpeas. During the day, pastries and coffee will be available (in line with the four cafes that Fink’s operates across London).

The vibe might be more stylish than what people would expect from a former pizza & chicken shop, but the space is multi-dimensional. With a casual bar area at the front of the restaurant, there’s no need to stop across the street at an overcrowded boozer for your pre-dinner drinks, Saltine has you covered with a killer cocktail and wine list. The glass-roofed dining room in the back is sure to be a stunning experience for every season of London (all at once sometimes as we well know).

North London may not have envisioned such a polished joint to pop up this year, but Saltine has all the appeal to win over those hipsters in no time.

14. Satisfy your craving for ‘real’ Italian food just off the Piccadilly Line: Il Gattopardo

Mayfair, London

London’s answer to Monaco isn’t exactly lacking in good quality Italian dining options, but a new heavy hitter is always a welcome addition. Mayfair’s new high-end restaurant takes inspiration from the heydays of 1960s Italy and explores a wide range of classics alongside their own modern interpretations.

The Menu reads well with Sicily, Almafi and the South Islands all getting a decent look in. Particularly exciting is the antipasti menu (Veal magatello with tuna anchovy cream caught our eye).

For the warmer months, there is a courtyard terrace with a fully retractable roof to soak up the sun while enjoying their truffle pizza perhaps. From the restaurant group behind other London favourites like Amazónico, Il Gattopardo doesn’t feel stuffy with its high-calibre menu, but instead provides a relaxed atmosphere to enjoy their incredible dishes.

Available for private hire with various rooms and their terrazza, Il Gattopardo promises to bring ‘la dolce vita’ to London.

15. A brand new West African spot in West London: Akara

London Bridge, London

Taken literally, an Akara is a crispy black-eye pea fritter, but for London, it is a brand-new West African restaurant. The sister venue of Akoko in Fitzrovia, Akara is a more intimate space — seating 40 guests with a private dining room on their mezzanine for 12. It’s a great place to try out their eponymous akaras with fillings like prawn or ox cheek.

The interiors are quite understated, but with such great variety in their food and drink menu, there’s little chance you’ll leave underwhelmed. Located in Borough Yards, skip the Market crowds and try a cuisine that you might not find across other places in London.

16. A seafood restaurant that focuses on sustainability and delicious plates: Faber

Hammersmith, London

Taking menu inspiration from the British shoreline, Faber is the new seafood restaurant to beat in London. This new opening comes from the team behind seafood-centric pub, The Victoria, and their knack for freshly-caught dishes has transferred quite well to this Hammersmith restaurant.

Faber works with a range of sustainably-sourcing suppliers across the UK as well as selling fish straight off the boat. One of the highlights from their ever-changing menu is the half a dozen oysters for £18, and the menu is recreated daily to reflect the season as well as what ingredients they have access to.

With its sophisticated interiors and affinity for well-plated dishes, Faber has grown out of the shadow of the old-school boozer it was born from. We doubt there’s anyone offering something fresher than Faber, so stop by when you’re craving the catch of the day.

17. A new Soho spot by bartenders, for bar lovers: Dram Bar

Soho, London

Have you ever dreamed of getting a drink from a vending machine? At Dram, they are making that dream a reality with their canned cocktail machine in their pool room. With three floors containing: a whisky shop, two bars, an outdoor terrace and their aforementioned pool room.

Their basement level is a space for cocktail development by the Dram Bar team or can seat 12 people in the evenings. Another private hire opportunity is the small indoor mews area, perfect for larger groups.

From the cocktail experts who’ve worked in some of London’s beloved bars, Dram is an innovative bar experience in its layout and menus. Shedding itself of London bar norms, Dram is the space to let loose and kick back with a killer drink in hand.

peninsula london new london opening
peninsula london new london opening

18. The first look at a billion-pound hotel: The Peninsula London

Hyde Park Corner, London

After a 30-year quest for the perfect location, one of Hong Kong's leading luxury hotel brands has unveiled its flagship hotel, located just around the corner from Hyde Park on the 12th of September.

The level of detail is brought to new levels at this new opening. To ensure the venue gets the best possible levels of feng shui, the first room key was handed over at exactly 8.08. You don't get that often.

You can experience a classic Peninsula feel, alongside touches of British favourites, such as custom amenities from partners Jenny Peckham or Timothy Han.

Expect 190 luxe rooms and suites, an intimate cinema room, meeting rooms and a ballroom – all available for private hire. They also offer food by Michelin-starred chef Claude Bosi at the rooftop restaurant, so you eat and sleep well. We can't wait to be invited.

boha london new london opening
boha london new london opening

19. Chelsea’s newest restaurant and speakeasy: BOHA London

Fulham Broadway, London

Thank the gods of London’s culinary scene: BOHA has opened its door in the heart of Chelsea’s Kings Road.

With 140 spaces in the main dining room and a covered terrace, there’s plenty of space for all manner of private dining options. Going down, you’ll also find a 1920’s 1920s-inspired speakeasy bar, Shibeen.

Head chef Anthony Fletcher joins from The Ned and is serving up Irish/British food elevated beyond mere pub grub (the oysters and Guinness rarebit have our eye). To take the dining experience to another level of luxury, they offer bespoke menus for private dining.

There is also a secret whiskey room in Shibeen available for groups of up to eight people. Because who doesn’t want a secret whiskey room?

65a spitalfields new london opening
65a spitalfields new london opening

20. A simple, laid-back French restaurant opening in Spitalfields: 65a

Liverpool Street, London

Sometimes you just crave a piece of bread and some fresh onion soup. The menu at 65 a is filled with uncomplicated French traditional dishes like free-range rotisserie chicken and the inimitable moules frites.

The ambience is inviting, with lofty ceilings and elegant arched windows, all creating a visually pleasing dining experience. For those seeking an al fresco meal, the terrace beckons, allowing guests to soak in the lively atmosphere of Spitalfields.

As the temperature drops, don't miss their signature classic French onion soup, a veritable hug in a bowl.

bubba oasis clapham
bubba oasis clapham

21. Clapham, yes Clapham: Bubba Oasis

Clapham, London

Every rugby/hockey/netball university player's favourite London borough has a refreshing new venue washing up on its shores.

Bubba Oasis (of Islington fame) has taken up shop on Clapham High Street and promises to be the ultimate multi-use venue. Billing itself as a 'clubhouse', the bright, light-filled venue proves itself the perfect spot to work, drink, dance and even bring your pet pooch to.

If comfy bean bags and being dog friendly weren't enough (and why the hell wouldn't that be enough, you greedy sadist?), there's also the option for private hire.

London's best new venues

London is a city that is ever-changing. The sheer amount of venues opening every day can feel like a bewildering experience. Do you want to go to the newest rooftop bar or check out the latest immersive gallery? Luckily, HeadBox works with the best new venues in London to make sure your event isn't left in the past. Click below to match with the best new venues and get personal responses from a range of contemporary spaces.

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