The best UK restaurant openings for May

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The UK has one of the hottest gastronomic scenes in the world, and to help you keep track of the vast number of restaurant openings, 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.

Here is our list of the locations which will be making their names in May - 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.

Meltroom, Soho, London

26 Noel Street, Soho, London W1F 8GY
Opening date: 
May 1
What's the story? One dish restaurants are all the rage at the moment. We’ve had porridge, polenta and cereal, but it’s surely a good sign that we’re moving from grains to dairy. This is one we've been excited about for a long time: Meltroom’s speciality is that late night snack that everyone loves - the cheese toastie. Expect a lot of added extras - including rare roast beef, slow cooked lamb shoulder and lots of breakfast options like a Benedict Melt too.

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Yauatcha City, Broadgate, London

Broadgate Circle London, EC2M 2QS
Opening date: 20 May
What's the story? It’s been 10 whole years since Alan Yau first opened his ground-breaking Yauatcha on Broadwick Street. Although Yau’s since bowed out, the restaurant is going from strength to strength, hence opening a new place in one of London’s hottest new restaurant destinations, Broadgate Circle. Expect the dim sum that made everyone love the original plus there’s a separate patisserie in case you need a quick macaron fix.

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Polpo, Chelsea, London

81 Duke of York Square, London SW3 4LY
Opening date:
 18 May 2015
What's the story? We were gripped by Russell Norman’s brilliant advice in his TV show The Restaurant Man as he helped new restaurateurs find their feet. Russell himself has hit his stride, of course. Now it’s Chelsea’s turn for his magic as he opens a new Polpo there. Specialising in Venetian small plates this latest branch, just off the King’s Road, has loads of alfresco seating - grab a Negroni and enjoy the oligarch-watching.

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Pieminster, Leeds

17 Duncan St Leeds, West Yorkshire LS1 6DL
Opening date: 11 May
What's the story? They're pies, but not as you know them. If this restaurant were launching in London it would be seen as a gimmick, but Pieminster's winning formula that has already succeeded in Bristol is coming to Leeds. With a burger-like approach to pies, with ingredients from chorizo to halloumi to add into your pastry casing, and a beautiful Victorian setting, they're on to a winner.

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Sesame, Covent Garden, London

23 Garrick Street, London WC2E 9RY
Opening date: 15 May
What's the story? Noam Bar is the lesser known director behind Ottolenghi, and his first solo venture will be heavily influenced by foods from his own Middle Eastern childhood. Expect pittas stuffed with fresh vegetables and meat, morning paninis and amazing salads of course. Sounds like it’ll be a handy place to grab a restorative snack after fighting your way through Covent Garden on a weekend, with sesame brittle and rose-flavoured brownies on the menu.  

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Tartufi, Knightsbridge, London

Harrods, 87-135 Brompton Road, London SW1X 7XL
Opening date: 5 May
What's the story? There’s a certain wondrousness to the bling factor at Harrods as evidenced by their latest opening which is devoted to truffles. At Tartufi there’s apparently nothing that a generous shaving of fresh truffle can’t enhance - even the house cocktails. If you haven’t already blown all your money in the shoe or bag departments here, order their £75 white truffle hamburger with some foie gras thrown in for good measure.

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Taberna Do Mercado, Shoreditch, London

Old Spitalfields Market E1 6BG
Opening date: 11 May Soft launch 4-10 May.
What's the story? Quite apart from being one of London’s nicest chefs, when he opened at Chiltern Firehouse last year Portuguese chef Nuno Mendes also became one of London’s hottest chefs. Now, in addition to Chiltern, he’s opening a new restaurant in Old Spitalfields Market that will specialise in Portuguese tapas. With room for just 40 diners, expect this to be ragingly hard to get a table at.

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Five Guys, Glasgow Braehead

Kings Inch Road, Glasgow, G51 4BN
Opening date: May 11
What's the story? Five Guys, an American burger chain that has been going since the '80s, is quietly taking over the burger world, having headed over to the UK last year, and now being enjoyed at six locations around the UK, it has now heading for Scotland. The Manchester branch which opened this week was full to bursting, and the new Glasgow branch will definitely go down as well as the rest of the brown paper bag signs. Soon they'll take on Starbucks.

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Fu Manchu, Clapham, London

15-16 Lendal Terrace London SW4 7UX
Opening date: Open now, soft launch until 14 May
What's the story? Hidden under a railway arch near Clapham North tube station, Fu Manchu combines a "Victorian Opium Den with a modern graphic edge". Confusing aesthetics aside, it serves dim sum and killer cocktails late into the night, and will certainly add a touch of edge to the Clapham gastropub scene. Better still, the soft launch season last for the next two weeks.

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Tonic and Remedy, Shoreditch, London

151-157 City Road, London EC1Y 1BE
Opening date: 5 May
What's the story? Star of the Great British Menu, Paul Welburn has teamed up with Jeremy Pascal to create this flavour-filled concept, based around Shoreditch's history as London's centre for innovation. In the 18th and 19th century it was the home of doctors, medicine makers and apothocaries, leading the way in medical development. This apothocary history is referenced in the lozange shape of the building and unique herbs and spices used in the cocktails and to create the dishes - yesterday's scientific innovators are today's hungry tech developers.

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Also opening in May

Delayed from April, the much-anticipated Broadgate Circle restaurant Jose Pizarro, from the eponymous Spanish chef, will now open in May. And over in Westfield Stratford, US burger chain Shake Shack will open their second outlet. Skylounge has launched its summer offering, Nantucket Beach Club, a taste of New England in the heart of the city.

Complied by: Victoria Gray, Images courtesy of the restaurants

Visit Hot Dinners online and on Instagram for all the latest London restaurant news and reviews 

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Stylist Team