Is there any better way to spend a summer's evening than enjoying a delicious meal? Perhaps only the joy of trying out an amazing new restaurant that you'll be able to tell all your friends and colleagues about.
And because there are so many restaurant openings, to help you keep track, we've teamed up with restaurant site Hot Dinners, the source of all London restaurant news from the latest openings to chef gossip, to bring you insider information about the upcoming openings for each month. But we're not just limited to London, we'll be looking for the hottest new names around the country, too.
Scroll down to read our latest list for which venues will be making their names in July - we've got information about new ventures from the biggest names in food to expansions of current favourites and new local highlights. Please note that all opening dates are subject to change due to the unpredictable nature of opening restaurants.
9-10 Bennett's Hill, Birmingham B2 5RS
Opening date: 2 July
What's the story? Spanish home-cooking restaurant Amantia has been enjoying a long soft launch period, and had its official opening this week. A family-run affair, it is heralded by husband and wife team Marta and Andrea, who have developed their Spanish recipes to blend into the Birmingham background. With after-work pintxos and gin cocktail masterclasses on the cards, it seems like they've hit the nail on the head. Speaking of gin, it's a speciality with a gin and tonic menu nearly as long as the wine list.
Suvlaki, Soho, London
21 Bateman Street, London W1D 3AL
Opening date: 6 July
What's the story? Greek food has been a distinct theme for new restaurants opening this year so this Athenian grill restaurant is firmly on trend. Expect plenty of grilled meats from the robata grill, but there’ll also be salad dishes too such as Elias’ Fresh Herb and Vegetable Salad and Baked Feta. If you like trying something completely new, their all Greek wine list sounds worth a go and we’re intrigued by the rare bottled craft beers from selected Greek microbreweries. With communal tables, it all sounds like a lot of fun - come and pretend you’re still on holiday.
Pidgin, Hackney, London
52 Wilton Way, London E8 1BG
Opening date: 7 July
What's the story? Fans of the late lamented Mayfields will be pleased to see someone new and interesting has taken over this Hackney spot. James Ramsden and Sam Herlihy ran one of London’s longest standing supper clubs The Secret Larder. Now they’ve brought ex-Smokehouse chef Elizabeth Allen on board to cook up interesting modern British dishes. Both the food and drinks menu will change weekly, so there’s no chance of getting bored here.
Barrafina, Drury Lane, London
43 Drury Lane Covent Garden London WC2B 5AJ
Opening date: mid July
What's the story? With its sister restaurant just having been awarded National Restaurant of the Year, Barrafina’s star couldn’t be more in the ascendant. As with Adelaide Street, there’ll be no bookings (unless you can put together a group for the private dining room) so getting a seat here will be worth bragging (and obviously instagramming) about. We’re looking forward to trying chef Nieves Barragán Mohacho’s new dishes like migas y huevos rotos (bread and egg hash).
254 Paradise, Bethnal Green
254 Paradise Row, London E2 9LE
Opening date: mid July
What's the story? Just when you think East London’s eating out scene couldn’t get any better, comes the latest restaurant from the team behind Clapham’s The Dairy and The Manor. This will open in the same stretch of railway arches as the super cool wine hub Mission. Chef Simon Woodrow from The Manor will be heading up the kitchen - his feasting picnic menu based on rabbit sounds worth ordering - while the group’s super-talented pastry chef, Kira Ghidoni will be in charge of sweet things. We reckon the eight seats up at the pass will be the hottest tickets in town.
Hotel Chantelle, Marylebone, London
23 Orchard Street, Marylebone, W1H 6HL
Opening date: 15 July
What's the story? Given the success of New York restaurants finding their way to the Big Smoke in recent years (Balthazar and Smith & Wollensky to name but a few), it's no surprise that East Village favourite Hotel Chantelle has joined the crowd with its first international outpost. With a prime next-to-Selfridges location, a rooftop garden and boozy jazz brunches on offer, it looks like it's going to be a popular one - and that's before we get to the 'haute cuisine' menu. The Manhattan branch is a noted A-list refreshment stop, so the Chiltern Firehouse had better watch its back.
69 St Paul's Street, Leeds, LS1 2TE
Opening date: 20 July
What's the story? Thanks to an influx of new restaurants in recent years with the opening of the Trinity Centre, Loiners are officially full. So what next? A decent wine bar. Wino is the brainchild of a husband and wife team, Sakina and Ben, who are both veterans of the Leeds food scene and offers a stonking wine list (of course) as well as a bar menu to soak it all up with. Located in the business quarter, you might bump into a meeting or two, but the focus is of course on the wine.
Salt and Honey, Paddington, London
28 Sussex Place, London W2 2TH
Opening date: 20 July
What's the story? West London isn’t blessed with the buzziest restaurant scene, so anything new in that part of town is always a welcome surprise. Owners Joseph Antippa and Tyler Martin already run one popular joint Manuka Kitchen so this one, just north of Hyde Park, comes with high expectations. Food-wise they’re describing their menu as “British ingredients with occasional forays into Europe and Australasia”. And yes, honey does make several forays here - as a cure for salmon and in the Manuka honey and saffron brûlée.
Yard and Coop, Manchester
23 Edge Street, Manchester, M4 1HW
Opening date: 24 July
What's the story? With London going cuckoo over fried chicken, and the 'posh fast food' trend rapidly infecting the North, the opening of Yard and Coop was almost inevitable. We don't really need to explain what the main focus of the menu is going to be, but we can tell you buttermilk, marinades and sauces are all involved. Plus killer cocktails and a craft beer menu to make it somewhere to both begin and end your night. Colonel Saunders, eat your heart out.
Austen's BBQ, Kensal Rise, London
109 Chamberlayne Road, Kensal Rise, London NW10 3NS
Opening date: 30 July
What's the story? With every Tom, Dick and Harry opening a barbecue restaurant it would be easy to wonder what on earth a DJ (in this case DJ Yoda) knows about ‘cue. Turns out, quite a lot. Self-proclaimed BBQ maniac Yoda has grand plans for this smokehouse on Kensal Rise. We like the sound of the New Orleans Louisiana style brunch at the weekends with Mimosas and soft shell crab benedict.
If you like to be in the know about the restaurant scene, check back every month for our list of upcoming restaurants, and read our previous guides to find out where's still hot:
Compiled by: Victoria Gray; Images courtesy of the restaurants and Rex Features