From laidback gastropubs that are perfect for Sunday sessions to lively neighbourhood joints that get extra lively come Notting Hill Carnival, you’ll likely find that the watering holes of Notting Hill have a lot to offer. Yes, some are classy west London pubs, but there are also some down-to-earth boozers in this neck of the woods that are well worth seeking out down the backstreets.
RECOMMENDED: Find more fun in the neighbourhood in our Notting Hill area guide
Best pubs in Notting Hill
Whatever the price and quality of the gastropub fare (sausage and mash for £13), this is a proper Portobello local. The majority of the jolly, bohemian-minded punters hanging around the pleasingly sparse, open-plan interior – probably at the bar – seem cheerfully merry whatever the time of day, which is testament of sorts to the agreeable atmosphere cultivated by the matey staff.
This may just be one of the most popular pubs in London, with tourists heading out west to catch a glimpse of the gorgeous floral canopy that covers the Fuller’s building. Inside is just as out-there, with wartime memorabilia and shiny copper things a-jangling. Grab Thai cuisine in the rear restaurant or sup ale and nibble on cheese at the old-fashioned bar in among the amateur photographers.
Owner Tom Conran was a gastropub pioneer, and the Cow continues to serve fine, pricey, fish-oriented food in its upstairs restaurant. Eating in the smallish downstairs bar is a different proposition: seating is pub-style (small round tables, banquettes and stools); the short menu is chalked on a blackboard, and no reservations are taken. It’s unpretentious, with drinkers at the front putting away well-poured Guinness.
A recent revamp from Hippo Inns means that The Eagle has taken flight as a Notting Hill local, popular in particular for the two tanks of Raw lager balanced on the bartop. Get your schnitzel fix on a menu of Bavarian bar snacks. Don’t worry, they still serve burgers to the pub purists.
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Another of the area’s trad pubs that’s been given a posh lick of paint, the old bar is now populated with bright armchairs in a crushed velvet finish. While there’s a craft beer selection to match any other decent pub, there are over 40 gins to select from in the El Gin Bar (see what they did there?).
This second branch of The Italian Job is just as committed to Italian craft beer (or birra artiginale, if you fancy showing off to your friends) as the original in Chiswick, with 14 on tap to sample. They’re poured in a light-filled, blue-walled beauty of a pub and served alongside some pretty impressive Italian eats.
Previously renowned as a genuine local that belied its salubrious surroundings, this corner pub is now in the reins of a new owner, one that also owns The Rose in Fulham, and has been subjected to a serious spruce-up.
After some turbulent times, this much-loved pub near Portobello Market is back with a vengeance (and a menu from Henry Harris and Ruairidh Summers to boot). The Theatre Bar acts as a venue for music and comedy acts, and as such, a campaign to save the pub was backed by the likes of Eddie Izzard and Cerys Matthews.
The prominent, self-standing pub sign outside proudly declares 'Free House', and sure enough, the Ladbroke Arms is a law unto itself. With smart dining, a drinking terrace out front and a list of wines and ales worth perusing, there seems to be something for everyone here.
A charming, wood-clad backstreet boozer with interesting cask ales from small UK brewers. But don’t forget the option of a bloody mary or Pimm’s in the idyllic pub garden. The Windsor Castle is just as popular on Sundays too, with roasts being served to large family groups and small crews of friends (all well-heeled, obviously).
This tastefully turquoise Young's pub sits right in the middle of Portobello Road, offering plenty of nooks and crannies for drinking and dining as well as outdoor tables to soak up some sun (if you're lucky).
First, you’ll see a sturdy pub, occupying the corner of Portobello Road and Westbourne Grove. Within, there are partitioned areas done out in neat, shiny wood and interconnected by chest-high doorways. Among the photographs – past carnivals, touched-up images of Portobello Market – is another oddity: a wall honouring the man after whom the pub is named, the so-called Yellow Earl, who is most famous as the founder of the AA.
With its ridiculously bright yellow exterior, The Sun in Splendour us hard to miss, even standing out from every single knock-off royal blue 'Notting Hill Bookshop' around the corner. Inside you'll find good beer, good food, and great vibes.
David Beckham and Guy Ritchie bought this gaff back in 2018. While we’ve heard little of rumoured plans for a redevelopment since then, it’s still a good to honest boozer worth seeking out on Ledbury Road thanks to a regularly changing beer list, a pretty island bar and a handsome exterior for pavement-side drinking in good weather.