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.
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 or saltfish fritters, plus more idiosyncratic offerings such as Caribbean-style Caesar salad.
Reminding us why we all hearted gastropubs so much in the ’90s, The Eagle brings this example bang-up to date with a bright, bold look, a properly fun atmosphere, good-quality British dishes with a Bavarian twist (think chicken schnitzel or currywurst alongside good ol’ fish and chips) and regularly replenished tank beer – because why the hell not go that extra mile?
Venue says Spread over two floors, downstairs you’ll find a classic, relaxed pub complete with wood fire and spectacularly fresh Truman’s Raw beer.
Eggs rule the roost at this bright, rustic-chic café: among the all-day eggy offerings – Turkish eggs, Mexican omelettes, the house take on the McMuffin – you’ll find other tempting breakfast bites, from saintly chia pots to devilish French toast. This is an easygoing affair whose good looks and slick service betray the fact that the 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 guilt-free 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.
Having established itself long before anyone heard of clean eating, this no-frills Turkish BBQ keeps doing its thang for its army of regulars. Its charcoal-grilled skewers and own-made doners wipe the floor with those of the competition thanks to attention to detail and cut-above accompaniments: crunchy purple cabbage, peppery wild rocket, spice-rubbed flatbreads and tangy Turkish yoghurt.
This cute chippy confidently walks a tightrope between modern and traditional. The forward-looking bits include sustainable fish, a state-of-the-art fryer that makes a battered fillet about as healthy as it possibly can be, and tasteful interiors that feature Farrow & Balled tongue and groove. The reassuringly familiar offerings, meanwhile, range from saveloys to Sarson’s vinegar to spotted dick. Lovely jubbly.
This Notting Hill institution serves good old-fashioned Spanish grub in convivial, familial surroundings, with no heed whatsoever paid to passing trends – see the coral-hued marble bar and Ronseal floor tiles of its Tardis-like interior for confirmation. However, Galicia’s classic tapas – done as they are in Spain, and served with minimal fuss – keep this place rightly inundated with local fans.
Oh, it’s lovely in here. The shiny, gilded, expensive-looking interiors reflect the clientele, but the vibe is so laid-back that you can, if you’re not careful, watch your brunching self segue hopelessly into your lunching self. Bill Granger’s Aussie-leaning menu is as healthy or as hedonistic as you want it to be, the cocktails flow, and celebrity spots are common.
This suave Brit bistro, the home of nose-to-tail eating in Notting Hill, serves butch, seasonal dishes that are heavy on offal and game – head chef Tom Pemberton trained at St John, natch. He intended Hereford Road as a neighbourhood haunt, and it definitely has that vibe, but the quality of the cooking has made it a foodie destination in spite of itself.
Venue says Friendly, informed staff introduce the daily changing menu that champions well-sourced British food at reasonable prices.
Gastro-nerds describe The Ledbury, somewhat disingenuously, as a neighbourhood restaurant. If this is your local, you must have done something heroic in a previous life, because it’s one world-beating culinary corker. The truth is, although it attracts Michelin gongs and bucket-list diners in equal measure, nothing goes to its head – in terms of friendly fine dining, nobody does it better.
This laid-back café has the goods: vintage furniture, a serious coffee machine, and an all-rounder of a chef who can turn out four-tier cakes and big-hitting brunches day in, day out. But it’s also earned fierce local love. Fans treat Lowry & Baker like an extension of their home – their unwavering commitment means you’ll be lucky to get a table.
If you weren’t expecting a Greek restaurant to make any ‘London’s best’ lists, you’ve clearly been to too many Real Greeks and not enough places like Mazi. This stylish gaff reinterprets Greek classics to impressive effect: think feta tempura sensationally upgraded with lemon marmalade and caper meringue. We’re not in Kavos any more, Toto.
The first branch of this historic gelateria opened in 1932; now it graces the streets of everywhere from Manila to Monaco. Pretty good going for an Italian immigrant to the UK who started selling ice cream from a bike. The Portobello Road branch serves dreamy ice cream-filled cones, cakes, shakes and sundaes; inventive flavours range from banoffee to boozy mojito.
Another healthy eating joint for Notting Hill’s yoga mat-toting crowd, this one cloaked in Californian stylings. The cheerfully colourful, Malibu-esque décor immediately spells sunshine, while a menu primed with poké, ‘power bowls’ and the like somehow manages to slip in some more decadent options (see the buttermilk chicken-topped waffle or the pulled pork tacos, for instance).
This bright and breezy Caribbean canteen, complete with multi-coloured slatted walls and tin chairs (oh, and amazing basement rum bar), looks like it might have blown into London on a trade wind. The menu sticks with failsafe favourites, offering flavoursome, modernised versions of jerk chicken and curry mutton, all served up in an atmosphere of laid-back fun.
This charming, countryside-evoking restaurant’s decorative tools, farmyard wallpaper and oil barrels repurposed as tables all point clearly to its concept. The brothers behind it were raised on a Sussex farm, and much of their produce (including wines) is sourced from there. The resulting dishes are inventive, playful and truly seasonal – but so teeny that the reasonable prices stealthily mount.
Before ‘hygge’ became the word every newspaper supplement addict associated with the Danes, this restaurant was flying the flag for Danish cuisine. We make no secret about how much we heart head chef Tania Steytler – once you taste her brilliant takes on Danish open sandwiches or her £37 four-course set menu, you will too.
Venue says Snaps & Rye is the winner of Best Restaurant in the Time Out Love London Awards 2018!
Everything we say about this casual, rough-round-the-edges Mexican will make you want to head there, like, right now (tip: it’s usually packed). This is the home of messy tacos stuffed with slow-cooked cuts and peppered with spices and salsas, and margaritas that turn every night into an ‘out-out’ Saturday (until the next morning); friendly staff keep it all coming. ¿Vamos?
It’s counter seating only at this mini branch of the mini chain dedicated to superior ramen: thin, homemade noodles steeped in rich, slow-simmered broth and topped with all the good stuff. Service is so swift that you’ll have barely ordered a cocktail before the main event is blowing steam in your face. Savour this soup.