We visited hundreds of restaurants in 2016 in search of innovative, high quality, halal-friendly food. Here’s our pick of five of our favourite restaurants which you must check out in 2017:

Chit Chaat Chai

Image: Chit Chaat Chai

Image: Chit Chaat Chai

Chit Chaat Chai is an Indian Street Eats restaurant run by Tania Rahman whose journey started with trading at food markets across London. We’ve seen a number of restaurants pop up with the concept of sharing plates being a hit in the city (see Talli Joe, Darbaar, Kurobuta, Oliver Maki) and there is little doubt that Chit Chaat Chai will be a hit too. Having met Tania, it’s obvious how passionate she is about her restaurant and the food served. Located in Wandsworth, the restaurant is bursting with character and most of it was designed by Tania herself. It’s no surprise that it was nominated for the Best Intelligent Design award at the SBID International Design Awards.

We love seeing fellow female foodie founders following their passions and would recommend you make the trip to Wandsworth for a Chit Chaat and Chai!

Boondocks

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Image: Boondocks

If you’ve visited Stax Diner you’re probably already familiar with the food created by one of our favourite chefs, Bea Vo. While Stax has an impressive menu and offering given its tiny space, Boondocks (its newly opened sister restaurant in Old Street) has a much larger kitchen and site. The menu includes iconic dishes from Stax plus new American dishes like Sloppy Joe’s and S’mores with homemade Graham crackers complete with a mini campfire brought to your table. We visited Boondocks for a preview (you can read our review here) and have been back countless times since – most recently for their Festive Cinema Club.

‘Below Boondocks’ (quite literally the space below Boondocks) is able to accommodate up to 120 people making it a great venue for events. The space has already seen the return of Bea’s famous Crawfish Boil and will hold a bi-monthly Cinema Club where you can get your hands on Chilli Cheese Hot Dogs and Cajun popcorn. We hosted a movie night catered by Chef Bea Vo as part of our halal dining club so trust us when we say that you’re going to want to book a ticket even if it’s just for the food!

We’re excited to see what Bea Vo has in store this year and can’t wait for the launch of her next venture, Famous Flames.

Darbaar

Image: Darbaar

Image: Darbaar

Located in the heart of the city, Darbaar is the first solo project from Chef Abdul Yaseen. Inspired by the banquets of the Indian Royal Court, Darbaar boasts a 220 cover restaurant with an open kitchen, private dining room and chef’s table which makes it perfect for parties, events and intimate dinners. Having just won Newcomer of the Year at the British Curry Awards, Darbaar is set for an exciting 2017. With a menu taking inspiration from various regions of India, Darbaar creates a sense of theatre and grandeur with its high ceilings and stunning interiors. The Japanese technology in their bathroom makes those impressive too!

Redemption Shoreditch

Image: Redemption

Image: Redemption

We first visited Redemption when their Notting Hill site opened (read our review here) and we were excited to see founder Catherine Salway expand the concept to Shoreditch. Challenging the idea that you need alcohol to have a good time, Redemption is London’s first alcohol free bar with a menu that is dairy-free, wheat-free and sugar-free. Redemption not only challenges conventions surrounding alcohol but also the idea that vegan food is ‘boring’ with beautifully presented and great tasting dishes. You can see these incredible dishes here.

With Veganuary and Dry January kicking off, why not head to Notting Hill or Old Street to ‘spoil yourself without spoiling yourself’. If you’re on a health kick this year (or know someone who is) you should check out the fantastic offer they have on their nutritious Buddha Bowls. Find out more here.

Grounded Coffee Company

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Image: Grounded Coffee Company

2016 saw Grounded Coffee Company become one of our favourite breakfast spots in the capital. Located in the heart of East London, just around the corner from Brick Lane, Grounded is one of the few places in London serving a good quality halal breakfast.

We’re always on the lookout for new halal breakfast spots in London. If you have a suggestion we’d love to hear from you here or via Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.