Best restaurants in Hampstead

Along with Highgate, its twin on the other side of the Heath, Hampstead is one of the few London villages that still feels like a small community – even if the villagers these days are millionaires with jobs in the City and weekend homes in The Cotswolds. Still, it’s easy to see why so many people want to live here. With its cute alleys leading off buzzy Heath Street and its hilly lanes stuffed with higgledy-piggledy cottages, grand villas and some iconic examples of modernist architecture, NW3 is one of the most desirable postcodes in the capital – and that’s before you take Hampstead Heath into account, 790 acres of parkland, bathing ponds and panoramic views over central London below.

Updated on 21 January 2020

But while Hampstead is overflowing with charm, it has traditionally been a desert for eating out. However, the gastropub movement of the past 25 years has been good to the area, with new arrivals forcing historic boozers to improve their food offering, while Hampstead’s bohemian past (it was the home of Victorian artists and 20th-century intellectuals) means it’s never been short of good places to drink. Alongside these, you’ll find some independent dining gems, too, whether you’re in the mood for French, Italian, Indian or Japanese. Read on to find our pick of the best restaurants in Hampstead.     

Paradise Hampstead

Paradise Hampstead

49 South End Road, Hampstead, London, NW3 2QB

A popular spot with Hampstead celebrities and with a terrific location opposite Hampstead Heath (with open frontage and pavement seating in summer), this superior Indian lives up to its name. Meat and veg dishes are handled equally deftly.
Under £30
Indian
Jin Kichi

Jin Kichi

73 Heath Street, Hampstead, London, NW3 6UG

It’s refreshing to find somewhere as low-key looking as Jin-Kichi in high-rolling Hampstead, but the quality of the skewers that come off the robata grill transcend the humdrum setting. Sushi is another speciality, washed down with saké.
£50 - £79
Sushi
Japanese
Mimmo La Bufala

Mimmo La Bufala

45a South End Road, Hampstead, London, NW3 2QB

A trattoria of the old school, Mimmo La Bufala blends motoring memorabilia and photos of Italian film stars with crowd-pleasing cooking and pizzas festooned with classic toppings. Pastas and Sunday lunches are very family friendly.
£30 - £49
Pizza
Italian
Singapore Garden

Singapore Garden

83 Fairfax Road, Swiss Cottage, London, NW6 4DY

Just over the border in NW6, this smart dining room has Hampstead locals making the short drive to Swiss Cottage. Despite the name, this is a high-end Chinese for a well-heeled neighbourhood, though there are some Singaporean specials.
£30 - £49
The Holly Bush

The Holly Bush

22 Holly Mount, Hampstead, London, NW3 6SG

You need to be seriously in the know to find this historic pub hidden away in the alleyways above Hampstead Village. The reward for searching is solid British pub grub served in ultra-atmospheric, olde worlde surrounds.
£30 - £49
Pubs
British
La Cage Imaginaire

La Cage Imaginaire

16 Flask Walk, Hampstead, London, NW3 1HE

One of Hampstead’s longest-serving restaurants, this cute dining room on picture-postcard Flask Walk mixes classic French cooking with some more modern ideas. Simpler lunches keep locals happy, as too a terrific wine list.
£30 - £49
French
Spaniards Inn

Spaniards Inn

Spaniards Road, Hampstead, London, NW3 7JJ

John Keats and Charles Dickens are just two of the literary giants who have had a pint at the Spaniards, though with a history dating back to 1585, who hasn’t dropped in to this historic hostelry at some point?
Under £30
Gastropub
The Wells

The Wells

30 Well Walk, Hampstead, London, NW3 1BX

This revamped Georgian pub is a handy staging post en route from Hampstead tube to the Heath. Real ales, board games and loungey sofas might see you lingering longer than expected, as too the modern British cooking.
£30 - £49
Gastropub
L

L'Antica

66 Heath Street, Hampstead, London, NW3 1DN

Pizzas cooked with 24-hour fermented flour is the calling card of this independent pizzeria on buzzy Heath Street. Just as much care goes into the toppings while the Italian drinks list is equally on theme.
Under £30
Pizza
The Horseshoe

The Horseshoe

28 Heath Street, Hampstead, London, NW3 6TE

A gastropub in the modern mould, The Horseshoe might not look the traditional Hampstead part but the trade off is beer brewed down the road at Camden Town Brewery and cooking that’s light and modern.
£30 - £49
Gastropub
Gaucho Hampstead

Gaucho Hampstead

64 Heath Street, Hampstead, London, NW3 1DN

The north London outpost of the Gaucho empire serves the same top-notch Argentinian steak as its central London siblings but what marks this Hampstead branch apart is a decked terrace for summertime alfresco eating.
£50 - £79
Steak
Argentinian
£30 - £49
The Freemasons Arms

The Freemasons Arms

32 Downshire Hill, Hampstead, London, NW3 1NT

Olde worlde pubs aren’t exactly a rarity in Hampstead but few have a garden that’s almost as big as Hampstead Heath (which is at the end of the road). Gastropub cooking and cocktails underline the cosmopolitan air.
£30 - £49
Pubs

Looking for something grungier? Try our list of the Best Restaurants in Camden Town