Few areas sum up London more than Notting Hill. It’s always been full of an interesting and diverse lot of people and places. And you know what comes out of areas like this? We think you do. Here’s our guide to the best places to eat in Notting Hill.
In between Westbourne Park and Ladbroke Grove tube stations is Jay Dees - a Caribbean cash-only takeaway spot that you really want to know about. You don’t need to spend much to get a lot here. For £7.50 you can get a tupperware packed to the brim with charred jerk chicken, rice and peas, cabbage, beans, and carrots, and covered in a perfectly spicy and fruity sauce. It’s as delicious as it is generous, and there’s lots more on the menu as well, from curried goat to saltfish patties. If the weather’s right walk up the road a minute to Tavistock Gardens, find yourself a spot, and get stuck in.
There are some restaurants that you walk into and, whether it’s a Saturday night or a Tuesday lunchtime, you think ‘right, a bottle of wine is in order’. Mazi is one of those restaurants. This Greek spot just behind Notting Hill Gate station has plenty of rustic wooden tables, faux shutters on the walls, and a stupidly cute outdoor terrace. This place is perfect for dinner with the family, the most romantic outdoor date this side of Santorini, or for a laidback birthday involving a whole lot of tzatziki.
Suzi Tros is two doors down from its big sister, Notting Hill neighbourhood favourite Mazi. Think of this place as the younger, care-free sibling that really appreciates a good, strong cocktail and knows how to have a laugh. Unlike Mazi, this place is walk-in only which is very handy when it feels like the whole of London has decided to descend on Notting Hill for a Saturday night dinner. There’s holiday feel floor tiling, a tiny bar downstairs, super friendly service, and really, if you come here without trying the meatballs and a couple of cocktails, then you’re doing it wrong.
It’s your classic Notting Hill situation. Your mum said she wanted nothing for her birthday. But then last night you got a super subtle text saying ‘that antique ottoman at the market was nice, wasn’t it?’. Fantastic. But, when you’ve spent the day walking the length of Portobello Road, heading for the Singapore vermicelli noodles at Uli is always a good shout. The food here isn’t going to change your life, but it’s the kind of bright, modern spot close to a station that it’s always worth having in your back pocket. Expect crispy aromatic duck, dim sum, lots of seafood, and a big outdoor terrace complete with blankets, cushions, and candles.
Granger and Co. runs four Australian restaurants in London. The Notting Hill location is the smallest of them, but the menu’s full of the same kind of fresh salads, sandwiches, small plates and main dishes that you’d find at their other spots, or indeed a cool cafe in Sydney - think shrimp burgers, ricotta hotcakes, and plenty of stuff with avocado. The small size and quality food means getting a table might be the hardest thing you’ve done since you tried to walk down Oxford Street on December 23rd, so be sure to book if you’re going at peak times.
Notting Hill feels like it should have a good old-fashioned diner, and it does. The Electric isn’t cheap, but it’s a great shout no matter what time you’re in the area. There’s an all-day breakfast menu from 8am which is generally very satisfying, and a solid selection of uncomplicated but delicious food for a really hearty dinner. The flat iron chicken and a double cheese burger should at the very least be on your table, but the mac and cheese is the only side worth a fiver. If you’re making use of the cinema here, you get 50% off, but even if you’re not this is a lively place with consistently superb service, and it’s well worth your time. The Electric serves three simultaneously noble purposes: hangover cure, pre-cinema-ice-breaker, and a solid all day American diner.
If the Electric Diner is a go-to in Notting Hill, then Core by Clare Smyth might be the kind of restaurant you’ll only go to once in your life. It’ll be worth it though. Core is fine dining for people who couldn’t care less about the see-and-by-seen scene. Everyone who comes here comes because they like proper food served in a pleasant setting. Yes, it’s pricey, but if big bold flavours from one of London’s top chefs are what turns you on, this should be top of your list.
If you’re discrete, calm, and confident about everything you do, then you’ll be perfectly at home at Six Portland Road. It’s a casual spot on a quiet street at the edge of Notting Hill, serving elegant, unfussy food to well-to-do locals. A night out here is probably going to cost you upwards of £60 per person, but you won’t regret it for dishes like their grilled courgette with preserved lemon and pecorino, or plaice with sea aster and cider butter. And an excellent lunchtime set menu (£21 for three courses) makes it a perfect, intimate and inexpensive spot for a daytime date when you want to feel far, far away from the try-hards on the other side of this neighbourhood.
If you don’t know what to expect when you walk through the door here, you might be confused. Hereford Road has an ultra-modern look, but the food couldn’t be more traditional, with heavy emphasis on old-fashioned British cooking, meat, and the whole ‘nose to tail’ shtick. What we like best about Hereford Road is that nose to tail doesn’t cost an arm and a leg: prices aren’t nearly as high as you’d expect. Order the set lunch for a great deal (£13.50 for two courses), or come by with a date or group for dinner.
This huge three storey pub and dining room in Notting Hill might not have a Gary Kemp lookalike serving their seasonal small plates, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t excellent. Although you’re looking at bigger prices than your average pub situation, dishes like wood-roasted whole sea bream and chargrilled squid are worth the extra spend. The upstairs dining room is all exposed brick and linen banquette seating, but the downstairs area with its palm trees and glass ceiling is where you really want to be. Heads up, they’re open until 1am at the weekend.
Mam is a a Vietnamese spot on the Westbourne Park side of the neighbourhood serving a short but varied menu full of dishes like fish sauce-marinated chicken wings. What you’re here for is the BBQ. We recommend ordering the marinated BBQ pork, beef, chicken and shrimp bahn-hoi style, which comes with vermicelli pancakes and extras to wrap around your meat. The pho is solid, and if you’re looking for a cool neighbourhood spot then you should definitely come here, but do book ahead as it gets busy.
Snaps and Rye is as Scandinavian as Scandinavian can be - thick rugs on chairs, maps of Copenhagen along the walls, and simple but stylish cooking. The food is classically Danish with lots of beautifully prepared fish and meat packed full of hearty flavours, and all balanced really nicely with fresh herbs or pickled vegetables. And of course there’s homemade rye bread. Snaps and Rye is open all day and it’s perfect for a light lunch if you’re in the area, although make sure to book ahead at weekends when it gets busy. Their set menus generally make for a very good evening meal, and it’s decent value too.
Much like the participants of surf competition in the 80s, Natoora really enjoys using the word ’radical’. This bougie greengrocers and deli is all about ‘Radical Seasonality’ (that’s the WiFi password as well, by the way) and silly as that sounds, they clearly care about their produce. This Notting Hill outpost is part cafe, part shop, and it makes for a comfortable place to grab a coffee, do some work, and have a bite from the daily changing menu. Think things on toast and bowls of whatever’s fresh. Radical, dude.
Books for Cooks is a cookbook shop that also runs a café at lunchtime. The dishes all come from recipes in books they’re testing, so the no-choice menu changes every day. Check their Twitter feed to find out what’s cooking, and bring a bottle – there’s no alcohol license. Book-buying is optional but recommended: they have the biggest selection in the country.
The Cow is a good 15 or 20 minutes north by foot from Notting Hill Gate, so use a different station to get here. But do get here. This was one of the early gastropubs and it’s maintained consistent quality with a simple formula of pub menu downstairs and fancier stuff in the dining room on the first floor. Seafood is a speciality: a pint of Guinness and six oysters is one of the most popular orders. A good number of the people in here are going to be platinum-card-carrying members of the one per cent, but you won’t feel out of place if your credit limit barely makes it into four digits.
This is one of the liveliest restaurants in the area, and it serves some of the best tacos in town. The servings are small-plate size so you’ll need three for two people, plus a couple of sides and/or nibbles. Plus a small bathtub’s worth of margaritas and beer. Bright lighting and very basic seating make this a venue for all-out embarrassing behaviour rather than a quiet date. Go with a gang, and don’t miss the fish tacos.
Farm Girl goes all in on the Australian healthy-eating thing, right down to the coconut ‘bacon’, macadamia butter, and optional sprinklings of superfoods. If you want to roll your eyes, by all means, go for it. But you should also know that the whole health thing here actually comes with some very good food attached. Sandwiches and salads are great, and so are the drinks. ‘Liquid Gold’ - lime juice, ginger, cinnamon, turmeric, nutmeg, astragalus, and honey - would be worth drinking even if it weren’t allegedly good for you. The location guarantees a mob scene on Saturdays, but you’re just as likely to queue on Monday.
Plot twist: Eggbreak serves a lot of egg based dishes and is a decent spot to take a break in Notting Hill. We know, shocking. This is one of the area’s many casual brunch options, with a menu split into eggs, healthy, buns, and, err, naughty, which translated means they serve everything from shakshuka to pancake stacks. The food can be a little hit and miss but they do a good eggs benedict, it’s a cool and casual space, and always worth keeping in mind if the queue for Farm Girl has started to feel like a bit of a never ending story.
Saporitalia serves some of the best Italian food in west London, in an unpretentious, friendly, family-run space. Get the mixed antipasto or soup to start, and then pasta or a grilled veal chop to follow. Or one of the pizzas, best of all. The crusts are thin and light, toppings are mostly simple. At lunch there’s a cheap set menu. In the evenings, take advantage of the well priced wine list. Walk-ins are a breeze during the week, but you definitely need to book at the weekend. And when you get there, remember: looks aren’t everything.
Come here for good fish and chips in a simply decorated restaurant a short walk from Notting Hill tube and Portobello Road market. The location and the quality mean it’s usually pretty rammed, even though the tables are packed pretty close together.