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 at The Fish House to modern cuisine at the Notting Hill Brasserie, find Notting Hill 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
St John in Farringdon has become something of a culinary academy, sending its graduates out across the city to spread the word. Hereford Road is run by one of those nose-to-tail champions – head chef Tom Pemberton has taken his use-every-cut training to this moneyed part of west London. Food takes centre stage here – and what food it is. Sit and wonder how the restaurant can manage to serve two courses for £13.50 at lunch as you tuck into hearty dishes like devilled duck livers with shallots, brill with roasted cauliflower, or onglet and chips.
Few haute establishments have the hospitable hum of the Ledbury. Whether it’s due to the off-centre location, the Aussie input, or diners’ sheer delight in securing a table, this former pub remains top-tier for gustatory good times. British ingredients – Hampshire buffalo milk curd, smoked eel, Cumbrian lamb – line up alongside delicacies such as Tokyo turnips, Bresse chicken and black truffle, but it’s chef Brett Graham’s clever contemporary treatment of them that sets the place apart.
The northern branch of the Notting Hill Tribe loves Lowry & Baker – so much so that one local advises against even trying to get in at the weekend. This is the kind of local café most people dream about: warmly welcoming and with a laid-back attitude that makes you feel immediately at home. Indeed, our local informant said: ‘It’s like being in your living room – staff talk to customers and customers talk to each other.’ A small, reasonably priced menu of uniformly high-quality food includes good soups, sandwiches, salads and sweet things worth crossing town for.
This stylish addition to the capital’s Hellenic dining scene opened in 2012 in what used to be Costas Grill. Its food has more in common with the creations of leading Athens restaurants than anything you’d find in London – and the relief from the city’s Greeks is almost palpable. Purists might be troubled by the progressive presentation – mezédes are served in Kilner jars; tyrópitta is separated into filling and filo for DIY crumbling – but the flavours are reassuringly authentic.
Scandinavian cooking has been a big deal here in London for a few years, but much of it has been Swedish in origin or orientation. Snaps & Rye is Danish. You’d have to be well versed in the region’s cuisines to spot the finer points of difference, but whatever the national origin, the result is sensationally good. This place embodies all that’s best about Scandinavian design: simple and functional, but every detail designed or chosen with aesthetic pleasure in mind. But Snaps & Rye isn’t just a pretty space. The owners have clearly taken great pains to make their food, prepared by a British chef called Tania Steytler, as good as it can possibly be.
From a distance, with its white wooden cladding and high pitched roof, this restaurant does look suspiciously like a shed. Home for years to the old Ark restaurant, under brothers Oliver and Richard Gladwin it’s had a playful makeover that’s as much barnyard as back-garden, with piggy portraits, bits of tractor, and charming staff in check shirts. It’s a fitting setting for the food, which goes beyond the usual hackneyed take on British. Plates are small, meant for sharing, and divided into sections such as ‘mouthfuls’, ‘fast cooking’ and ‘slow cooking’.
Books for Cooks runs on a simple but very successful formula. From the small open kitchen, co-owner Eric Treuillé puts recipes (one starter, one main) from the cookbook(s) of the day to the test. There’s no choice – until it comes to pudding, when there’s an array of must-try cakes (lemon victoria sponge, raspberry and pear cake, or chocolate and orange cake, say) – but the standard of cooking is high. So popular is the bargain lunch in the tiny café at the back of this specialist cookbook shop that regulars start lurking from 11.45am to secure a table.
Farm Girl, at the southern end of Portobello Road, has its share of local wealth-kissed health-seekers. But we still love it. The room abounds in colour, on the walls (lovely greens) and even in the oatmeal napkins (bleach-free) and pink salt (probably Himalayan). There’s a huge wall-mounted fruit basket. Colours are joyful again in the salad combos, sold in two sizes. Dressings are zingy, ingredients cooked right on the knife-edge between al dente and al chewy.
‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ seems to be the philosophy of Galicia, which has changed little in its many years of serving Spanish food to north Notting Hill. The grudging effort at décor, the rarely smiling (but still efficient and personable) service, the cooking – all emphatically reject food fashion. The locals clearly like this just as much as we do. On a Saturday lunchtime the place is heaving, with a nicely mixed clientele, including Spanish men clustering in the bar. The tapas are old-fashioned dishes you will find all over Spain, and not just in the north-western region that gives the restaurant its name.
Most London restaurants calling themselves diners aren’t really diners at all: diners have a long, diverse menu. That complaint is pretty much the only one we can make about this tiny outpost of Tom Conran’s empire. The American-retro decor is a smile from floor to ceiling, with outsized, wildly kitsch figurines stealing the show. The menu is 90% breakfast, burgers and outlandishly rich desserts, plus drinks including craft beers, some cocktails and many shakes.