clock menu more-arrow no yes
Black dal as done by Dishoom in Kensington, served in a bowl with a paratha Haarala Hamilton/Dishoom

The Best Restaurants in Kensington and Chelsea

Where not all have to be for a special occasion

View as Map

Traditionally very much at the upmarket end of London dining, the well-heeled environs of Kensington and Chelsea have nevertheless lured some of London’s best and most interesting chefs into their restaurants, both at Michelin-starred, wallet-emptying price points and, increasingly, with more informal establishments. Thus, while many of these on the list are firmly in the ‘special occasion’ camp, at least some of them offer excellent value in unpretentious surroundings as well.

This guide to Kensington and Chelsea’s best restaurants would pair well with the best restaurants on the King’s Road in Chelsea.

Read More
Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Launceston Place

Copy Link
Launceston Pl, Kensington
London W8 5RL, UK

This svelte neighbourhood restaurant, once the late Princess Diana’s favourite, has had an unexpectedly turbulent last couple of years due to changing personnel, but ex-Woodford chef Ben Murphy has got things back on track. It’s reopened with a new set menu, featuring tuna with strawberry, celery, and yuzu; beef short rib with smoked eel; and a crème caramel with honey.

2. Cambio De Tercio

Copy Link
163 Old Brompton Rd, Kensington
London SW5 0LJ, UK

Rightly regarded as one of London’s best Spanish restaurants, this slightly out-of-the-way Kensington spot serves sublime modern cuisine including hake with baby squid, chargrilled Galician octopus and Andalucian gazpacho soup with lobster. The (Spanish, naturally) wine list is great, too. Prices are surprisingly affordable for the locale and the quality. There are also have sister restaurants next door (tapas and sherry at Capote y Toros) and across the road (Tendido Cero.)

3. Thali Restaurant

Copy Link
166 Old Brompton Rd, Kensington
London SW5 0BA, UK

This much-loved neighbourhood restaurant offers all the curry house staples — including a solid murgh makhani (butter chicken) — that unadventurous diners could wish for, but those who try the more exciting dishes, including venison bhuna, honey lemon duck and tandoori wild mushrooms will find themselves a great deal more satisfied. Prices are good too, for the area.

4. Macellaio RC South Kensington

Copy Link
84 Old Brompton Rd, Kensington
London SW7 3LQ, UK

First in the small London-wide group, this Italian temple to all things beef offers theatrical touches, not least the hanging chunks of cow in the open fridge, visible from the street outside. The tagliata on the bone, which is served simply with olive oil and salt, is some of the best meat anywhere in town.

5. Beirut Express

Copy Link
65 Old Brompton Rd, Kensington
London SW7 3JS, UK

This sister restaurant to the sadly defunct Edgware Road branch attracts both locals and homesick ex-pats, who swear by the excellence of the hot and cold mezze (including maqaneq, Lebanese sausages flambéed in butter and lemon) and the charcoal-grilled meats and fish, plus unmissable (chicken and lamb) shawarma — all at less than £10.

6. Kurobuta Chelsea

Copy Link
312 King's Rd, Chelsea
London SW3 5UH, UK

This is izakaya-style Japanese street food in a rock and roll-heavy setting. This Chelsea spot serves sublime barbecue pork belly buns, miso baked aubergine, and tuna sashimi pizza, along with an impressively strong range of cocktails — including excellent whisky highballs — and wines.

7. Zheng

Copy Link
4 Sydney St, Chelsea
London SW3 6PP, UK

An offshoot of a popular Chinese-Malaysian restaurant in Oxford, Zheng has been lavished with praise that at first seems disproportionate, given the good-but-not-great starters. Then try the crispy cereal king prawns and the rendang chicken, and realise why it’s so adored. Prices are very reasonable for the area, too.

8. Claude Bosi at Bibendum

Copy Link
Michelin House, 81 Fulham Rd, Chelsea
London SW3 6RD, UK

Moving into an iconic restaurant — in arguably the iconic restaurant building — would faze many chefs, but Claude Bosi simply took a Gallic shrug and rejigged his Hibiscus menus, again winning two Michelin stars at the first time of asking. Particular approval goes to the set lunch deal, at £75 for three courses. At dinner, the tasting menu is currently among London’s most inventive and successful.

9. Elystan Street

Copy Link
Elystan St
London SW3, UK

Another Mayfair departee, The Square’s Phil Howard, opened Elystan Street in Tom Aikens’ old restaurant, and swiftly attracted customers old and new. Howard’s menu is at the high end — pluma of Iberico pork with spare rib kromeski is a typical main — and priced to match, although the lunch menu is marginally kinder. With the move, Howard — without going full new Nordic — has also modernised, and lightened his approach.

10. Rabbit

Copy Link
172 King's Rd, Chelsea
London SW3 4UP, UK

This Chelsea restaurant attracted some unwelcome publicity a while back — something to do with shotguns being waved in the street by drunk staff (!) — but concentrate on the excellent modern British food instead, including smoked Jerusalem artichoke with rainbow chard and spaghetti squash and, as the name suggests, a fine rabbit ravioli.

11. Restaurant Gordon Ramsay

Copy Link
68 Royal Hospital Rd, Chelsea
London SW3 4HP, UK

Despite the recent departure of head chef Clare Smyth, Big Sweary Ramsay’s three Michelin-starred (one of only three in the capital with that accolade) flagship restaurant continues to attract discerning and wealthy diners, spending big money on his signature lobster ravioli and Cornish turbot with langoustine. Head chef Matt Abé has just been made co-chef-patron, suggesting Ramsay doesn’t want another departure on his hands.

12. Capote Y Toros

Copy Link
157 Old Brompton Rd, Kensington
London SW5 0LJ, UK

Go for a Kensington dinner southern European-style at this Andalusian bar on Old Brompton Road. It’s the kind of place to settle in for a few hours — tapas of jamon, croquettas, patatas bravas, padron peppers, gambas, and pulpo — to the backdrop of live flamenco music.

13. Dishoom Kensington

Copy Link
4 Derry St, Kensington
London W8 5SE, UK

The Bombay cafe-inspired group’s site off Kensgington High Street is a good place for a cup of chai and a bacon naan in the morning, a chicken ruby murray or black dal at lunch, or for a group meal with a few beers at the end of a long day pounding the streets.

14. Hagen Espresso Bar (Hagen Chelsea)

Copy Link
151 King's Rd
London SW3 5TX, UK

The smallest of the mini-chain of espresso bars is tucked away between two shops about half way down the King’s Road. Taking its cue from Copenhagen, the handsome tiled space dispenses open-faced rye sandwiches and pastries alongside its super-strong, almost boozy-tasting cold brew. Of course, there are the excellent filter- and espresso-based beverages — right now the beans are from east London-based Dark Arts, with some very special coffees from the likes of Gardelli Coffee Roasters.

15. Sichuan PoPo 婆婆面

Copy Link
35 Earls Ct Rd
London W8 6ED, UK

From the team behind outstanding Chinese restaurants Xi’an Biang Biang Noodles and Tofu Vegan, Sichuan Popo brings a fleet of Sichuanese and Shaanxi dishes to W8. Chengdu’s xiao su rou, a starter of crisp, meltingly rich fried pork with Sichuan peppercorn, could be followed by mapo tofu, dan dan noodles, Xi’an biang biang noodles, or a hero dish from Xi’an Biang Biang: Chongqing xiaomian noodles in a lusciously oily, numbing broth.

Loading comments...

1. Launceston Place

Launceston Pl, Kensington, London W8 5RL, UK

This svelte neighbourhood restaurant, once the late Princess Diana’s favourite, has had an unexpectedly turbulent last couple of years due to changing personnel, but ex-Woodford chef Ben Murphy has got things back on track. It’s reopened with a new set menu, featuring tuna with strawberry, celery, and yuzu; beef short rib with smoked eel; and a crème caramel with honey.

Launceston Pl, Kensington
London W8 5RL, UK

2. Cambio De Tercio

163 Old Brompton Rd, Kensington, London SW5 0LJ, UK

Rightly regarded as one of London’s best Spanish restaurants, this slightly out-of-the-way Kensington spot serves sublime modern cuisine including hake with baby squid, chargrilled Galician octopus and Andalucian gazpacho soup with lobster. The (Spanish, naturally) wine list is great, too. Prices are surprisingly affordable for the locale and the quality. There are also have sister restaurants next door (tapas and sherry at Capote y Toros) and across the road (Tendido Cero.)

163 Old Brompton Rd, Kensington
London SW5 0LJ, UK

3. Thali Restaurant

166 Old Brompton Rd, Kensington, London SW5 0BA, UK

This much-loved neighbourhood restaurant offers all the curry house staples — including a solid murgh makhani (butter chicken) — that unadventurous diners could wish for, but those who try the more exciting dishes, including venison bhuna, honey lemon duck and tandoori wild mushrooms will find themselves a great deal more satisfied. Prices are good too, for the area.

166 Old Brompton Rd, Kensington
London SW5 0BA, UK

4. Macellaio RC South Kensington

84 Old Brompton Rd, Kensington, London SW7 3LQ, UK

First in the small London-wide group, this Italian temple to all things beef offers theatrical touches, not least the hanging chunks of cow in the open fridge, visible from the street outside. The tagliata on the bone, which is served simply with olive oil and salt, is some of the best meat anywhere in town.

84 Old Brompton Rd, Kensington
London SW7 3LQ, UK

5. Beirut Express

65 Old Brompton Rd, Kensington, London SW7 3JS, UK

This sister restaurant to the sadly defunct Edgware Road branch attracts both locals and homesick ex-pats, who swear by the excellence of the hot and cold mezze (including maqaneq, Lebanese sausages flambéed in butter and lemon) and the charcoal-grilled meats and fish, plus unmissable (chicken and lamb) shawarma — all at less than £10.

65 Old Brompton Rd, Kensington
London SW7 3JS, UK

6. Kurobuta Chelsea

312 King's Rd, Chelsea, London SW3 5UH, UK

This is izakaya-style Japanese street food in a rock and roll-heavy setting. This Chelsea spot serves sublime barbecue pork belly buns, miso baked aubergine, and tuna sashimi pizza, along with an impressively strong range of cocktails — including excellent whisky highballs — and wines.

312 King's Rd, Chelsea
London SW3 5UH, UK

7. Zheng

4 Sydney St, Chelsea, London SW3 6PP, UK

An offshoot of a popular Chinese-Malaysian restaurant in Oxford, Zheng has been lavished with praise that at first seems disproportionate, given the good-but-not-great starters. Then try the crispy cereal king prawns and the rendang chicken, and realise why it’s so adored. Prices are very reasonable for the area, too.

4 Sydney St, Chelsea
London SW3 6PP, UK

8. Claude Bosi at Bibendum

Michelin House, 81 Fulham Rd, Chelsea, London SW3 6RD, UK

Moving into an iconic restaurant — in arguably the iconic restaurant building — would faze many chefs, but Claude Bosi simply took a Gallic shrug and rejigged his Hibiscus menus, again winning two Michelin stars at the first time of asking. Particular approval goes to the set lunch deal, at £75 for three courses. At dinner, the tasting menu is currently among London’s most inventive and successful.

Michelin House, 81 Fulham Rd, Chelsea
London SW3 6RD, UK

9. Elystan Street

Elystan St, London SW3, UK

Another Mayfair departee, The Square’s Phil Howard, opened Elystan Street in Tom Aikens’ old restaurant, and swiftly attracted customers old and new. Howard’s menu is at the high end — pluma of Iberico pork with spare rib kromeski is a typical main — and priced to match, although the lunch menu is marginally kinder. With the move, Howard — without going full new Nordic — has also modernised, and lightened his approach.

Elystan St
London SW3, UK

10. Rabbit

172 King's Rd, Chelsea, London SW3 4UP, UK

This Chelsea restaurant attracted some unwelcome publicity a while back — something to do with shotguns being waved in the street by drunk staff (!) — but concentrate on the excellent modern British food instead, including smoked Jerusalem artichoke with rainbow chard and spaghetti squash and, as the name suggests, a fine rabbit ravioli.

172 King's Rd, Chelsea
London SW3 4UP, UK

11. Restaurant Gordon Ramsay

68 Royal Hospital Rd, Chelsea, London SW3 4HP, UK

Despite the recent departure of head chef Clare Smyth, Big Sweary Ramsay’s three Michelin-starred (one of only three in the capital with that accolade) flagship restaurant continues to attract discerning and wealthy diners, spending big money on his signature lobster ravioli and Cornish turbot with langoustine. Head chef Matt Abé has just been made co-chef-patron, suggesting Ramsay doesn’t want another departure on his hands.

68 Royal Hospital Rd, Chelsea
London SW3 4HP, UK

12. Capote Y Toros

157 Old Brompton Rd, Kensington, London SW5 0LJ, UK

Go for a Kensington dinner southern European-style at this Andalusian bar on Old Brompton Road. It’s the kind of place to settle in for a few hours — tapas of jamon, croquettas, patatas bravas, padron peppers, gambas, and pulpo — to the backdrop of live flamenco music.

157 Old Brompton Rd, Kensington
London SW5 0LJ, UK

13. Dishoom Kensington

4 Derry St, Kensington, London W8 5SE, UK

The Bombay cafe-inspired group’s site off Kensgington High Street is a good place for a cup of chai and a bacon naan in the morning, a chicken ruby murray or black dal at lunch, or for a group meal with a few beers at the end of a long day pounding the streets.

4 Derry St, Kensington
London W8 5SE, UK

14. Hagen Espresso Bar (Hagen Chelsea)

151 King's Rd, London SW3 5TX, UK

The smallest of the mini-chain of espresso bars is tucked away between two shops about half way down the King’s Road. Taking its cue from Copenhagen, the handsome tiled space dispenses open-faced rye sandwiches and pastries alongside its super-strong, almost boozy-tasting cold brew. Of course, there are the excellent filter- and espresso-based beverages — right now the beans are from east London-based Dark Arts, with some very special coffees from the likes of Gardelli Coffee Roasters.

151 King's Rd
London SW3 5TX, UK

15. Sichuan PoPo 婆婆面

35 Earls Ct Rd, London W8 6ED, UK

From the team behind outstanding Chinese restaurants Xi’an Biang Biang Noodles and Tofu Vegan, Sichuan Popo brings a fleet of Sichuanese and Shaanxi dishes to W8. Chengdu’s xiao su rou, a starter of crisp, meltingly rich fried pork with Sichuan peppercorn, could be followed by mapo tofu, dan dan noodles, Xi’an biang biang noodles, or a hero dish from Xi’an Biang Biang: Chongqing xiaomian noodles in a lusciously oily, numbing broth.

35 Earls Ct Rd
London W8 6ED, UK

Related Maps