Once one of the first homes to London’s Afro-Caribbean community, Notting Hill has become gentrified and now counts trustafarians, would-be bohemians, and bankers as its residents. As might be expected from one of west London’s most expensive areas, there are regrettably few signs of its original inhabitants and their cuisine, but nonetheless the eclectic range of dining available comes as a pleasant surprise. From the world-class likes of The Ledbury and Clare Smyth’s Core to local dining that offers a wide range of high quality places to eat that cater to budgets great and small.Read More
14 Outstanding Restaurants in Notting Hill
From Vietnamese barbecue to some of London’s finest fine-dining
1. Sporting Clube de Londres
The ex-pat Portuguese community has been going to this fantastic place for years, where visitors can expect barbecue-cooked meats, cold beers and extremely low bills. A perfect place to watch football and while away a summer’s evening out west.
2. 108 Garage
This much-heralded Golborne Road spot belies its rough and ready appearance with food (from chef Chris Denney) of remarkable complexity and excellence, mixing British and Asian influences but remaining its own creation. Red mullet and monk’s beard and lamb ragu agnolotti keep satisfied diners coming back for more. One of 2017’s hardest-to-get-into restaurants.
Vietnamese barbecue Mam is the newest restaurant from Colin Tu, the maestro behind Salvation in Noodles. He’s brought over some of his own signature dishes, including fish sauce chicken wings, but Mam is proud of its robata grill and its offerings, and the braised short rib and pork belly are some of the very best in west London.
Also Featured in:
Emily Roux, along with her husband Diego Ferrari, proved that she wasn’t just a beneficiary of one of London’s most famous chef names when she opened this casual-yet-adventurous spot. Dishes are marked ‘robust’, ‘curious’ and ‘greedy’, and the Roux pedigree can be found in the likes of slow-cooked veal shin ravioli, cod with artichoke and spinach and a banana tarte tatin with whisky ice cream.
5. The Ledbury
If Brett Graham’s two Michelin-starred gastronomic temple doesn’t quite have the reputation it possessed a few years back, that’s more a reflection of changing tastes rather than any decline in dishes that include Herdwick lamb with salt-baked turnips, clay-baked candy beetroot with Exmoor caviar and John Dory with fennel and elderflower. Given a number of The Ledbury’s former chefs — among them, Isaac McHale and Tim Spedding — have gone on to redefine fine dining, it remains one of the city’s greatest incubators of talent.
6. Books For Cooks
One of London’s best kept secrets is the lunch hour at this charmingly bohemian bookshop. Every day, a selection of dishes are cooked from one of the thousands of cookery books — such as crispy chicken with couscous. The cost? £7 for two courses; £9 for three.
Jackson Boxer’s third restaurant opened on Kensington Park Road early in 2019, and focuses mainly on fish and seafood, with a couple of vegetarian and carnivorous options. Particular acclaim has gone to the starter of Isle of Mull scallop with shittake mushrooms and the sharing main dish of a wood-grilled John Dory with smoked bone marrow bordelaise. In this light, elegant dining room, there are several interesting wines by the glass and carafe, and the well-heeled locals are loud in their appreciation for head chef Gareth Saywell’s cuisine.
8. Al Waha
Referred to as ‘London’s best Lebanese restaurant’ by virtually everyone, the confidence in having a name that means ‘oasis’ is justified by the excellence of the food, ranging from the tabbouleh to vine leaves that, for once, actually taste how they are supposed to. Plenty of carnivorous and fish options, too.
Also Featured in:
9. Cocotte Notting Hill
This is about the best, and best value, spit-roasted fowl that you’re likely to find in London, and extras such as the chicken soup and the legendary truffle mayo make it all the more tempting. There’s also a great weekend brunch which is, as you’d expect, heavy on the eggs.
10. Hereford Road
London W2 5BB, UK
To try St John-quality food, but at a considerably kinder price (especially the £15.50 set lunch, one of London’s great bargains), then ex- St John head chef Tom Pemberton’s bistro inside a butcher’s shop is unmissable. Dishes include deep fried calves’ brain, hake with roast cauliflower and brown bread ice cream.
11. Andina Notting Hill
If you’ve sampled any of Martin Morales’ restaurants, you’ll have an idea what to expect; to-die-for ceviches and pisco sours that will probably finish anyone off after too many. New here is the Peruvian bakery, serving brunch and cakes, and the restaurant proudly boasts that it’s the only place to serve roast Amarillo chicken in London.
12. CORE by Clare Smyth
Clare Smyth is the only woman in Britain to have been awarded three Michelin stars, for her cooking at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, and her first stand-alone establishment has attracted plaudits for a menu that is heavy on vegetables and seasonality, such as the lamb braised carrot with sheep’s milk yoghurt. The restaurant is also at pains to (if only moderately) informalise fine dining.
13. The Shed
It might be one of London’s most intimate (read: cramped) restaurants, but this excellent spot, the first in the Gladwin brothers’ mini-empire, punches above its weight with a menu of fresh and foraged fare, including cured grouse with parsley root puree and scallop with pork crackling.
14. Da Maria
Aka ‘the restaurant they couldn’t close’. A traditional family-run Italian restaurant on Notting Hill Gate that was threatened by the planned expansion of next door’s Gate cinema — now defeated — it serves exemplary antipasti, and tiramisu that led Jay Rayner to write “it needs to be tried by everyone else attempting to make one.”
Also Featured in: