Hampstead has long been known for its ridiculously gorgeous hilltop views and array of greenery to make other bits of London, well, green with envy. The jewel in the crown is, of course, Hampstead Heath’s 790 acres of woodland, playing fields, swimming ponds and meadows, with Parliament Hill providing some truly spectacular views across the city. But as well as wonderful options for outdoors, Hammersmith also boasts incredible historical buildings, independent shops, cool cafes and some superb restaurants and pubs.
If you think we’ve missed an essential Hampstead gem, let us know in the comments section below.
Restaurants in Hampstead
Bars and pubs in Hampstead
The perfect weekend in Hampstead
Love London Awards: last year’s winners
Ippudo, a super-slick international ramen chain, has around 120 restaurants with branches in New York, Hong Kong, Singapore, Sydney, Tokyo and across Japan. This is the Japanese company’s first foray into Europe. The interior is dark, polished and brooding, with lots of glass and metal, and the staff, Japanese and other nationalities, make liberal use of a handful of Japanese phrases. This can cause a cacophony at times, but overall service is accommodating. The speciality here is tonkotsu with pork loin slices, crunchy kikurage (cloud ear mushroom) and thin, own-made noodles (in the dish called Shiromaru Hakata Classic). As ramen goes, this bowl’s not exactly a looker. But what it lacks in beige appearance it makes up for in flavour. For added oomph, order it with a dollop of spicy miso paste and a dash of black garlic oil (in the variant called Akamaru Modern). Vegetarians are not left out at Ippudo: there’s a seaweed and mushroom broth-based version that’s topped with fried tofu. Some ramen joints make it a noodles-or-nothing proposition. Here you’re spoilt for non-ramen choice, with dishes such as black cod with miso, seared Wagyu beef or deep-fried chicken. One of our favourites is Yamitsuki Goma Kyuri (sliced cucumber with salt, chilli, sesame oil and seeds). God knows how they got so much flavour into such as simple dish. And the cocktails are fun too. Sadly, this is another no-bookings restaurant, and despite running to 80 covers, queues have been enormous so far.
Venue says: “New spacial ramen, the 'tomato tonkotsu', has just been launched! Be the first one to try it!”