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The best restaurants in Ladbroke Grove

Check out Time Out’s selection of the best restaurants around west London’s famous thoroughfare.

By Time Out London Food & Drink
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SEPTEMBER 2019: We’ve added some more of our favourite spots in Ladbroke Grove, ranging from Orasay (sharp modern cooking with a bias towards seafood) to Pearl & Groove (a swanky gluten-free café/bakery) and the Lisboa Patisserie (some of the best pasteis de natas in London). The line-up also includes a few local classics like Books for Cooks, the Electric Diner, Fez Mangal (a Med-inspired Turkish grill) and Pizza East Portobello.  

Not far from Notting Hill’s beating heart, Ladbroke Grove has its own vibe and a hotchpotch of colourful restaurants to satisfy any culinary craving, at any price. There are pizza places, Vietnamese BBQ specialists, superior ramen rockers and even the odd Portuguese custard tart on display – not to mention cafés, bakeries and fashionable high achievers peddling modish contemporary food. We’ve compiled a list of our favourites below.

 

 

 

The best restaurants in Ladbroke Grove

Books for Cooks

Restaurants Contemporary European Notting Hill

As a cookbook specialist, this bookshop-cum-café is one for the purists. Each week, its tiny in-house kitchen road-tests recipes from 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. It may be off the tourist trail, but this is a hugely popular spot – so expect to queue.

Electric Diner

Restaurants Portobello Road

Easily outclassing its previous incarnations, this sidekick of Notting Hill’s Electric Cinema is done out like a grungy New York diner – all bare brick, concrete and red leather banquettes. A blaring soundtrack adds to the vibe, while the supersized menu is stuffed with stateside classics – philly chilli cheese dogs, hot reuben sandwiches, wedge salads and unmissable ‘fries au cheval’ (inspired by Chicago’s Au Cheval diner).

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Fez Mangal
Fez Mangal
© Jael Marschner

Fez Mangal

Restaurants Turkish Ladbroke Grove

There’s usually a queue at this ‘Med-inspired’ Turkish grill, but no-nonsense service means you’ll bag a table pretty quickly. While you wait, get the juices flowing by watching Fez’s meat maestros as they rotate the hefty barbecue skewers and shave slices off the own-made doners. They also score with cut-above accompaniments including crunchy red cabbage, spice-rubbed flatbreads and tangy Turkish yoghurt. It’s also BYO and they don’t charge corkage – hooray!

Lisboa Pâtisserie

Restaurants Portuguese Ladbroke Grove

Prepare to queue if you want one of Lisboa’s famous pasteis de nata (Portuguese custard tarts) – especially at the weekend. This little shop/café has been trading on Golborne Road since the ’90s, selling its wares amid packed tables and blue glazed tiles. Service comes with plenty of banter, and Lisboa’s offer also extends to fancy cakes and pastries as well as snacks and savouries. If you fancy lingering, their bica (Portuguese espresso) is good and strong, and they do a nice galão (latte) too.

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Rob Grieg

Lowry & Baker

Restaurants Cafés Portobello Road

A tiny, eccentrically decorated café with total commitment to quality, Lowry & Baker is a local godsend. A couple of hotplates behind the cake-laden counter do duty as a kitchen, knocking out everything from beautifully poached eggs on avocado toast with smoked salmon to beans on toast, pancakes, soups and sarnies. The food is served on a delightful jumble of unmatched crockery, while the perfectly brewed coffee – with beans from Monmouth – comes in well-warmed white cups.

Mam

Restaurants Vietnamese Notting Hill

From the crew behind Salvation in Noodles, this chummy Vietnamese hangout is a sleek Hanoi-meets-London mash-up specialising in huge portions of Vietnamese barbecue with all the trimmings (including steamed rice noodle pancakes for wrapping). Items such as velvety beef short-rib over squidgy rice are the big hitters, but veggies also do well here – think tofu-filled bánh xeo crêpes and meat-free, rice-based com bowls.

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Orasay

Restaurants British Ladbroke Grove

Chef Jason Boxer made his name at St Leonards and Brunswick House, but he’s now flying solo at Orasay – a smart-casual, feelgood restaurant tailor-made for Ladbroke Grove’s fashionable fun-loving hordes. Named (loosely) after the Hebridean island of Orsay, it specialises in seafood (think grilled monkfish with corn and girolles), although we’re sold on the summery grilled peaches with burrata and prosciutto as well as the sublime brown bread ice cream showered with crunchy toasted popcorn.  

Pearl & Groove

Restaurants Cafés Portobello Road

Gluten-free, sugar-free and dairy-free cakes abound at Serena Whitefield’s swanky-meets-playful café/bakery on Portobello Road, making it a safe haven for those with an intolerance as well as a sweet tooth. Ground almonds help make the magic happen, which explains why some items seem a little greasy. Still, treats such as raspberry, honey and almond loaf are pretty damn good – especially when washed down with a rich matcha latte. Vegan salads and soups help things along come brunch time. 

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Pizza East Portobello

Restaurants Italian Portobello Road

Spread over two floors of a restored Georgian pub in the middle of Portobello Market, this branch of Pizza East is an industrial-chic mix of metal pillars, shabby-chic wood panels, dangling lights and battered blue metal chairs, with two wood-fired ovens adding to the vibe. Pizzas with rustic toppings are the main event, but the ovens also turn out everything from salt-baked salmon to chicken cacciatora. Support comes from salads, deli boards and plenty of wines by the carafe.

SNAPS + RYE

Restaurants Danish Ladbroke Grove

A bright, clean jewel on Golborne Road, this Danish café/restaurant is the true embodiment of Scandi hygge, with added satisfaction provided by some creative but understated food. Open rye sandwiches (smørrebrød), Nordic kedgeree, frikadeller (meatballs) and pastries are the daytime staples, backed by coffees including a liquorice latte (a nod to Denmark’s favourite sweet). More ambitious evening menus and boozy ‘snaps’ (that’s a shot) raise the bar even further (Thursday-Saturday).  

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Tonkotsu

Restaurants Japanese Notting Hill

It’s counter-seating only at the mini Notting Hill branch of this Japanese chain, a casual eatery dedicated to the glories of superior ramen. Thin, homemade noodles steeped in rich, slow-simmered pork bone broth come topped with all the good stuff, and service is so swift that you’ll barely have time to order a cocktail before the main event is blowing steam in your face. Savour this soup.

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