Paddington area guide

Keep busy in W2 with Time Out's guide to Paddington's best restaurants, bars, pubs and things to do

Londoners may know it best as a transport hub – but whether you’re just killing time before a train or find yourself exploring the area between the handsome northern stretches of Hyde Park and the tempting waterways of Little Venice, there are gems to be discovered here.

The regeneration project of Paddington Basin feels somewhat in-progress, but it’s brought a range of new eateries and public spaces to the canal behind Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s massive station, including a floating park, fortnightly street food market Kerb, and a huge, seasonal pop-up restaurant, Pergola Paddington. You can even work up an appetite paddleboarding down the canal. Head east towards Oxford Street for Connaught Village, a chi-chi enclave of cafes and boutiques, while Edgware Road bustles with Middle Eastern restaurants and shisha bars. 

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The best bits of Paddington

Street food, a floating puppet theatre and canalside strolls
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Street food, a floating puppet theatre and canalside strolls

Forget that marmalade-eating bear: there’s plenty else going on in W2

The complete history of Paddington station
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The complete history of Paddington station

More history than you can shake a season ticket at

Restaurants in Paddington

Casa Malevo
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Casa Malevo

The neighbourhood has a wealthy and exclusive vibe, but Casa Malevo is a little hub of welcoming homeliness. That’s partly thanks to the small, domestic-feeling interior, with its old-fashioned dresser and a back conservatory that overlooks gardens and a children’s play area. Decor includes framed photographs of appropriate images such as steaks or a gaucho’s spur. The bare brick walls (Argentinian steak restaurant standard issue, it seems) are even rougher than most. Happily, flavours followed this intense pattern. Starters came in simple blue and white enamel dishes, but there was nothing basic about the cooking. Sweetbreads were superb, as at sister restaurant Zoilo, their thin, sweet crust giving way to a creamy, quivering interior. A delicate salad of beetroot, goat’s cheese and rocket showed that these grill-masters are sensitive souls really. The salty caramelising on our steaks was just as finely achieved, a sharp hit before the full-flavoured flesh within. Both sirloin and ribeye were first rate. Service was cheery and pally – the staff seemed as happy to be there as we were.  

Time Out says
4 out of 5 stars
Users say
4 out of 5 stars
Book online
Lockhouse
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Lockhouse

Burgers-and-booze joint Lockhouse occupies a neat spot, looking over the water on the edge of Paddington Basin. 

Time Out says
4 out of 5 stars
Users say
3 out of 5 stars
Book online
Satay House
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Satay House

This long-running restaurant (est. 1973) continues to draw people in search of good Malaysian cooking.

Time Out says
3 out of 5 stars
Users say
4 out of 5 stars
Book online
Salt & Honey
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Salt & Honey

Nestled on the edge of a secluded mews just north of Hyde Park, a three-storey modern bistro attracts a moneyed crowd but there's no hint of pretension. 

Time Out says
3 out of 5 stars
Book online
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Things to do in Paddington

Floating Pocket Park
Attractions

Floating Pocket Park

Connect with nature while bobbing on top of the Grand Union Canal at London’s first floating public park.

Users say
4 out of 5 stars
Puppet Theatre Barge

Puppet Theatre Barge

This intimate water-borne theatre is the setting for quality puppet shows.

Users say
5 out of 5 stars
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The best Hotels in Paddington

La Suite West

La Suite West

With its yin and yang interiors, Japanese minimalist furnishings, and on-site Vegan food restaurant Raw, this stylish hotel has made well-being its USP.

Time Out says
4 out of 5 stars
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Stylotel

Stylotel

You might love or loathe the retro-futurist quirks of this trendy hotel, but it’s a clean and convenient resting place for travellers.

Time Out says
4 out of 5 stars
Users say
5 out of 5 stars
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Bars and pubs in Paddington

Heist Bank
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Heist Bank

The folks behind Coin Laundry on Exmouth Market are responsible for this dapper beer and pizza venture and it’s good to see that they’ve brought their trademark playfulness to the sprawling space. There’s a games room downstairs, a pool table on the main level that offers respite from the nine-to-five, along with all manner of fancy craft beers, cocktails and slick wood-fired pizzas. They even do flowers, too.  Beer connoisseurs will be chuffed with the 12 brews on tap from hometown locals Beavertown Brewery and Fourpure, plus two guest beers on rotation. If you want to get one of those refreshing badboys to go, you can get it in a takeaway three-pint growler for six quid. There’s also a good pick of cocktails for less than a tenner, like a punchy bramble with gin, lemon and blackberry liquor. There’s more gin in the wicked G&Ts, which have their own dedicated section on the menu and come in nine varieties at £9.50 a pop. In spite of being in a sleepy corner of works-in-progress Paddington Basin, Heist feels like a trendy Shoreditch spot. The space is cool and inviting, all industrial interiors and eye-catching art. It’s also strong on the important stuff: solid booze, sweet staff, a decently priced menu. Now all it needs is more people. It was pretty much a ghost town mid-week, but assuming it gets going on Friday and Saturday evenings, Heist has the makings of a destination venue, for a proper good night out on the Westside. Tell a friend. 

Time Out says
4 out of 5 stars
Users say
4 out of 5 stars
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Victoria
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Victoria

Queen Vic looks down disdainfully from her sign on to a mini roundabout beside this stately pub, a favourite with Churchill, Dickens, the Dracula Society and sundry debating and speaking clubs. In a corner of London without too many outstanding pubs, the Victoria is a reliable option, no more and no less than a well-run corner boozer. It’s perhaps best described as ‘accommodating’, and the trad-pub decor and unpretentious ambience will be comfortingly familiar to fans of other pubs in the Fuller’s group. The beer is good (Chiswick, Discovery, London Pride, Honey Dew); wines begin around £3.50 a glass and edge up towards £30 a bottle. The food is as old-school as the venue in which it’s served: cheddar and chutney sandwiches, pies, pork belly. Watch yourself descending the steep staircase to the toil… sorry, ‘lavatories’.

Time Out says
3 out of 5 stars
Users say
5 out of 5 stars
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Bridge House
Bars and pubs

Bridge House

Can any theatre bar in London be as convivial as this one? Beneath the Canal Café, the Bridge House comprises a waterside terrace and a spacious, relaxing interior. If it’s sunny, sit outside and listen to the lapping of the Regent’s Canal; when it’s chilly, curl up around the fireplace. Refurbishments are planned, but for now the place has a charged, slightly naughty feel, thanks to velvety banquettes, bright red beaded lightshades and Anna Runefelt’s faintly erotic photos on the wall; even the toilets are concealed behind thick curtains. In the middle of the room, a bar dispenses ales (Landlord, London Pride and the like) and continental beers (Kozel, Franziskaner, Peroni), plus a list of wines available by both glass and bottle. An all-day kitchen deals with an extensive and affordable seasonal menu, snacks (crab and wasabi cakes, mini pies) complemented by smartened-up pubby mains (pork belly with bacon and sage mash, crispy duck salad, four types of Sunday roast).  

Time Out says
3 out of 5 stars
Royal Standard Cocktail Bar & Restaurant
Bars and pubs

Royal Standard Cocktail Bar & Restaurant

With chilled out San Francisco vibes, this cocktail bar just around the corner from Paddington Station offers up two floors of chic space in which to grab a beverage and a bite to eat. There’s a good range of cocktails on offer, mostly for under a tenner, and a selection of craft beers. Check out the margaritas that come in an array of flavours such as kiwi and blueberry. Lunch and dinner are Mediterranean- and French-inspired – choose from charcuterie boards to steak while you settle down for the evening.

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The perfect weekend in Paddington

Party: Pergola Paddington
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Party: Pergola Paddington

The vibey two-floor dining pop-up is back for winter: eat, drink, and be merry. 

Explore: Little Venice
Things to do

Explore: Little Venice

Directly north of Paddington is the tranquil pocket of picturesque canals affectionately known as Little Venice. 

See: Paddington Bear
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See: Paddington Bear

Pay a visit to everyone's favourite bear: a bronze statue awaits inside Paddington Station. 

Picnic: Merchant Square
Attractions

Picnic: Merchant Square

Pack your marmalade sandwiches for a picnic on top of the Grand Union Canal at London’s first floating public park. 

Users say
4 out of 5 stars

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