The man who died was shot as he sat down for a meal at the "Place To Be" Caribbean restaurant in Kensal Rise, north-west London.
Two other diners were hit, one of them seriously injured, when a gunman opened fire with a shotgun shortly after 6pm.
Armed police cordoned off the area around the restaurant in Station Terrace, but the killer was still at large last night.
Scotland Yard said the motive for the attack remained unclear and could not say whether it was drugs-related or a revenge attack. All three victims were young black men.
The owner of the restaurant, 62-year-old "Gee" Artrey, described hearing five or six shots fired in quick succession.
Local councillor Bertha Joseph said residents in the area would be shocked at what had happened. "This is a lovely area, both the council and the residents work very closely with the police," she said.
"I've lived in the area for 25 years and nothing like this has happened here before."Reuse content