London has given itself significant Christmas and New Year presents this December—mostly in the form of new restaurant openings. These are also a valuable addition to the city's food culture, which has seen an increased number of vendors and pop-ups being successful.
Going the full-fledged restaurant route is the clearest mark of phoenix-like success for a pop-up or vendor. The reasons and routes could range from a pop-up getting a nod from authorities then having a restaurant follow, or entrepreneurs feeling safer investing in a smaller version of their venture before going all out.
We rounded out what our critics agree are the three most exciting openings of the month, definitely worth exploring in the New Year:
Breddos Tacos won the 2014 Taco Wars, and opened a permanent restaurant in Clerkenwell after having been street vendors. A pig's head taco, and clam and sea urchin tostada set the menu apart from other Mexican establishments in London. The place is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Visit: 82 Goswell Rd, London EC1V 7DB | 020 3535 8301 | www.breddostacos.com | Meal for two: Around £50
Lao Cafe is an offshoot of Rosa's Thai Cafe. Rosa, the owner, comes from Thailand and ran a very successful pop-up last year. The same pop-up has now become permanent in Covent Garden. Traditional Lao salads, curries and grills are the focus. Expect great things.
Visit: 60 Chandos Place, London WC2N 4HG | 020 3740 4748 | www.rosasthaicafe.com/news/laos-cafe-covent-garden | Meal for two: Around £25
Ceru doles out Levantine-focused food, and was set up by husband and wife Barry and Patricia Hilton, who were inspired by their travels in the region. Healthy, exciting salads are on the menu, as well as the usual grilled meats that are synonymous with levantine food. It's likely appeal to those who hope to detox in January.
Visit: 7-9 Bute Street, South Kensington, London SW7 3EY | 020 3195 3001 | www.cerurestaurants.com | Meal for two: Around £30