Brimming with great cafés and restaurants, Notting Hill will always have the perfect meal to suit both your tastebuds and budget. From simple fish and chips to modern Michelin-starred cuisine, find the best restaurants for when you're in this desirable part of town. Think we've missed a great restaurant in Notting Hill? Let us know in the comment box below.
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Restaurants in Notting Hill
The former financier behind this stylish restaurant did things his way – he found a chef (co-owner Chris Denney) via a Gumtree shout-out and proceeded to turn the place into a bona-fide success via local word of mouth. Go for the ambitious, intensely flavoured and artistically presented dishes, served in a laid-back industrial lair.
This is one for the purists that, despite its popularity, manages to stay off the tourist trail. It’s a cookbook specialist whose tiny in-house kitchen tests the recipes of the latest titles and serves them as two or three-course lunches at ‘OMG’ prices. There are also loads of cakes, all of which would have Mary Berry coming back for seconds.
Venue says: “Now that the sun is out, come and enjoy some fantastic Italian food at Chucs!”
You know when you wander into a cool boutique, spot something you like, then baulk at the price? Well, Chucs is one of those clothes shops, but with a glamorous Italian restaurant hidden at the back, which serves a collection of well-prepared dishes at wince-making prices (£12 for lentil soup!). However, if you can afford it, you’ll enjoy it.
This wholesome take on the chicken trend smacks of middle-class holidays in France. A whole-roasted happy hen comes to the table, family style, along with your choice of tasty, hearty salads that teem with modern gastro-heroes: think kale, quinoa, avocado, pomegranate, nuts and seeds. Hot sides include classic ratatouille – or the rebel of this goodie-goodie family, mac and cheese.
A hip café-cum-salon with a Mediterranean deli attached, this is a suitably swanky addition to Notting Hill’s Ledbury Road. The menu pushes the right buttons with its glossy-haired punters, with avocado embraced in most dishes on the breakfast and brunch menus, and pricey sandwiches and sharing boards filled with prime ingredients at lunch.
One of London’s oldest Caribbean restaurants offers a self-proclaimed ‘couture’ version of island cuisine in a smart, colourful dining room whose walls bring the food to life via murals of tropical waterfalls and pristine white beaches. Tuck into flawless renditions of classics such as jerk chicken and Guyanese pepper pot, plus more idiosyncratic offerings such as Malibu-glazed prawns.
In the mornings, eggs rule the roost at this bright, rustic-chic café; from noon, the menu expands to include burgers, excellent chicken wings, steaks and moreish desserts. Oh, and cocktails (many shaken with, yep, egg whites). This is an easy-going affair whose good looks and slick service betray the fact that Soho House group has a hand in the operation.
This much older Soho House favourite (formerly Electric Brasserie) was relaunched as an American diner after a pretty huge fire. The supersized menu is stuffed with the likes of Philly cheese whatnots, Reuben sandwiches and wedge salads – definitely order the fries au cheval, topped with mornay sauce and a fried egg (like at the Chicago diner the Electric models itself on).
Harrods heiress Camilla Fayed is the glossy-haired queen bee of this healthy-eating temple, which is filled with similarly luscious-locked locals who prefer ‘clean’ comfort food to actual indulgence: vegan burgers, spelt pasta, and sanctified nachos. The prize for the gimmickiest drink goes to the nutrient-stuffed ‘syringe shots’, but the tasteful interiors whisper (rather than scream) money, and the food tastes good.
When Notting Hill wealth and the cult of clean eating collide, things can swiftly tip into unbearably smug territory. Happily, this charming, colourful café on the Portobello Road cleverly avoids the potential pitfalls of both its postcode and philosophy, serving tasty renditions of the usual suspects (turmeric lattes, acai bowls, superfood salads) in generous portions with a refreshing lack of pretence.
Find Notting Hill bars and pubs
Hands up if you haven’t heard of Polpo. Didn’t think so. This wildly successful group played a starring role in popularising small plates when it opened in 2009, inspired by Venetian cooking. Now it has six branches and three offshoots under different names. Tom Oldroyd was a chef-director at Polpo from the beginning. When he opens the first restaurant under his own banner, you know it’s probably going to be worth a visit. Now that I’ve been there, I would say it’s worth two visits so you (and a couple of pals) can eat everything on the brief menu. The menu isn’t the only diminutive object at Oldroyd, which is located a couple of minutes away from Camden Passage market. It’s a dinky place (40 covers), with space downstairs for just a few tables and a kitchen that’s smaller than many a domestic kitchen. If you’ve eaten at Polpo, you won’t be surprised by the high-impact flavourings and combinations. But here the menu draws on France and Spain as well as Italy. A lively take on panzanella (Tuscan bread salad) brought fresh curd, broad beans and a perfect peach into the picture. And more conventional dishes were no less dazzling. Radishes with smoked cod’s roe made a stunning nibble (£4). Best of all was deeply flavourful paella of squid, rabbit and broad beans, at £11 the most expensive dish we ate. Wine prices on the (dinky) wine list start at £22. Cheese is the priciest pud, at £7. The brunch menu ranges from £7 to £9, and heavenly iced tea is £3 per glass – plus a top
Venue says: “Oldroyd offers a daily-changing European menu built around the best seasonal British ingredients.”