Launch dates are liable to get moved about — we've listed details where available but check in with the venues for the latest word on their openings.
The Clifton, St. John's Wood
Pubs are closed at a startling rate across the country, particularly in the property-hungry capital. At Londonist Towers we're always excited to hear about places bucking the trend — or like The Clifton, reversing it. Closed from 2013 until now, it's resisted development attempts and is being reopened in May, complete with beer garden out the back, mutton rendang croquettes on the bar menu and rumours of managers Ed and Ben Robson's plans to brew their own Clifton beer. We're in. Extremely in.
The Clifton, 96 Clifton Hill, NW8 0JT. Open 15 May.
The Prince of Peckham... Peckham
May's bringing an embarrassment of pub-opening riches, with the Prince of Peckham also dropping dustsheets. Opened by Peckham local Clement Ogbonnaya, it promises a pub for the community by the community — but with rum cocktails behind the bar and White Men Can't Jerk taking the first residency slot in the kitchen, it's surely going to be drawing punters from much further afield.
The Prince of Peckham, 1 Clayton Road, SE15 5JA. Open 18 May.
Jumping on London's single-focus restaurant bandwagon, this Balham restaurant promises a load of balls, in the best possible way. Ball-choices will range from Italianate deep-fried Bomba — chorizo croquettes, only... more explosive? — to beef and Parmesan meatballs in ragu. Crunchy-edged potato rosti balls. And for dessert, Nutella-filled doughnut-balls.
Curveball, 16 Hildreth Street, SW12 9RQ. Soft launch 6-7 May, with 50% off food. Open 8 May.
The Tapas Room, Tooting
The people behind Donostia Social Club are opening a second venture in Tooting Broadway Market. The full menu's still to be released but if it's along similar lines to DSC — also well worth visiting at their Pop Brixton shipping container — expect sharing plates, lesser-spotted beers and a second compelling, Basque-flavoured reason to go south of the river.
The Tapas Room, Unit 3-5 Tooting Broadway Market, 29 Tooting High Street, SW17 0RJ.
Pizza Pilgrims, West India Quay
A new branch of an established favourite is something to celebrate — even more so when it's in Canary Wharf, traditionally a decent-pizza wasteland. And you'll be able to celebrate this one with: Mario Kart on Nintendo Switch; an outdoor pitch for bocce (Italian boules) challenges, and their n'duja-topped pizzas to keep you going through an evening of stiff competition.
Pizza Pilgrims, 12 Hertsmere Road, E14 4AE. Soft launch 5-7 May, with 50% off food. Open 8 May.
Red Rooster, Shoreditch
We've been to Red Rooster's Harlem restaurant for an innocent lunch, and reeled out two hours later, stunned into dazed silence by the enormous soulfood flavours — of the cornbread, honey-soaked, and crunchy fried chicken — and just-as enormous portion size. Marcus Samuelsson's restaurant arriving in Shoreditch means you'll be able to daze yourself on his chicken and waffles in your lunch break now — and get back to the office soul-warmed and sticky with their hot bourbon maple syrup.
Red Rooster Shoreditch, 45 Curtain Road, EC2A 4PJ.
The Ned, City of London
This one's less a new opening than a new bid at London-domination. Soho House is taking over an old bank on Poultry and filling it with hotel rooms, a couple of pools, spa, barbershop... and eight restaurants. The mac and cheese, brisket sliders and rye whisky menu are placing the Nickel Bar as early favourite for first visit, but the steak-heavy, New England members' club vibe of Lutyens Grill is going to be hard to resist.
The Ned, 27 Poultry, EC2R 8AJ.
Duck & Waffle Local, St. James's Market
The Duck & Waffle team are spreading their wings and expanding out of their first restaurant at the top of the Heron Tower. This new venture is in the St. James's Market development on Haymarket, and promises the same inventive cocktails and meat-heavy menu but a more casual style. It won't have the views of the Bishopsgate restaurant — or the 24-hour opening, unfortunately — but there's still duck and there's still waffle, so that's still great by our reckoning. Among other important dishes being brought over from their Heron Tower menu: the Full Elvis, a waffle heaped with peanut butter and jelly, caramelised banana and cream.
Duck & Waffle Local, 52 Haymarket, St. James's Market, SW1Y 4RP. Opens 3 May.