Consisting of London areas such as Hampstead, Camden Town, Belsize Park, Kentish Town and St John’s Wood amongst others, North West London is full of great places to visit. If you fancy eating out in one of North West London’s top restaurants check out SquareMeal’s guide to the best restaurants in North West London. Enjoy the eclectic atmosphere of Camden Town with its funky shops and brilliant street markets or head to the more upmarket Hampstead with its fabulous heath and charming village. St John’s Wood is an affluent residential area and also home to Lord’s Cricket Ground whilst Kentish Town is well known for its music scene.
With so many fantastic areas to choose from in North West London, searching for a great restaurant may seem somewhat of a task. SquareMeal’s list of the top restaurants in North West London is a handy guide, detailing the very best dining options in this part of London. For further restaurant choices in North West London take a look at restaurants in Camden Town, Hampstead and Kentish Town.
Every one of the North West London restaurants featured in SquareMeal’s list of London’s top North West London restaurants have been tried and tested by food critics and our own customers so check out the reviews and book a table online with SquareMeal today. Each SquareMeal listing features an independent review, as well as reviews from diners, together with unique special offers such as free drinks and discounts.
£30 - £49
245 Eversholt Street, London, NW1 1BA
“A lovely tapas restaurant”; “fantastic food at great prices” – you’ll rarely hear a bad word spoken about El Parador, where classic flavours, effervescent vibes and rustic good looks combine to make one seriously seductive Spanish venue. With so much garlic and verdant extra-virgin olive oil on the menu, it’s hardly surprising that everything tastes so good. All the classics are here, alongside a few “interesting extras”: boquerones, calamares and albondigas share the billing with, say, bacalao al piquillo (baked salt cod with piquillo peppers, shrimps, garlic and wine) or panceta con cidra (rolled pork belly braised in cider). Vegetarians are treated to some big, bold flavours too, from textbook tortilla to grilled courgettes with spinach and sunflower seeds, while everyone can indulge in sweet treats of orange crème caramel or Santiago tart. El Parador also boasts a beautiful courtyard garden – “perfect for alfresco lunches in summer”.
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£30 - £49
£50 - £79
89 Regent's Park Road, London, NW1 8UY
Occupying its corner spot for more than 30 years, Lemonia must surely qualify for the ‘institution’ moniker by now. The place is run by Greek-Cypriots who do their best to offer a slice of Mediterranean sunshine, even when the weather isn’t playing ball. Cosy booths and hanging baskets help recreate the taverna feel inside, and when the sky is blue the terrace garden with its plentiful foliage comes into its own. The food consists of unreconstructed Hellenic staples – what you might hope for, really, and probably what most people would expect: tarama, hummus, grilled halloumi and suchlike to get going, but there’s octopus salad, too. Main courses have the same familiar ring: it’s like being on holiday on your favourite Greek island. Moussaka, stifado, grilled fish and hearty charcoal-flamed meats rarely disappoint, and Greek bottles star on the wine list. Want a set meal? The meze awaits.
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£30 - £49
64 Parkway, NW1 7AH
Grilling is the name of the game here and all the fiery action is on show as chefs skilfully handle the tandoor, sigri and tawa before your eyes. But that’s not to say this is a rough-and-ready sort of place, not a bit of it. Namaasté Kitchen has creamy leather banquettes, designer light fittings, and even a couple of chef’s tables – in other words, it’s a pin-sharp modern Indian restaurant. The menu reaches well beyond the curry-house favourites, with chukandari venison cooked in the tandoor (flavoured with beetroot and fennel), followed by Goan sea bass served with dhokla, or a Dorset crab vindaloo. Spicing is well judged throughout and everything looks rather splendid on the plate. To finish, mango brûlée is a contemporary fusion that wins the day. The wine list has a decent global spread, including options under £20.
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£30 - £49
30 Well Walk, London, NW3 1BX
“Great pub, lovely food and friendly staff”, notes a fan of this gentrified Georgian pub – a fetching asset in the green and pleasant Hampstead hinterland. The ground-floor bar is well stocked with real ales, board games and comfy sofas, while the smart upstairs restaurant cuts a dash with its white linen tablecloths and a menu of aspirational assemblages. A plate of confit duck with celeriac purée, greens and devilled sauce is pure gastropub; alternatively, keep it traditional with smoked haddock kedgeree and a soft-boiled egg or Cumberland sausages and mash. The char-grill knocks out dry-aged steaks and posh burgers, while daily specials might bring venison fillet with butternut squash purée, parsnip gratin and blackberry jus. To finish, play it safe with strawberry pavlova or dark chocolate pot. In keeping with its gastronomic ambitions, The Wells’ wine list runs deep, with plenty of desirable options by the glass or carafe.
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£30 - £49
130 Regent's Park Road, London, NW1 8XL
Odette’s has been a fixture in Primrose Hill since the year north London boy Rod Stewart reached number one with ‘Da Ya Think I’m Sexy?’ That was 1978. Run since 2008 by Welsh chef-patron Bryn Williams, the place remains a shining northern star. It’s a place of balance. From coherent, smart decor to cooking that is satisfyingly modern, the enterprise is far, far more than a humble neighbourhood restaurant. Carte and tasting menus show what Bryn is all about – intelligent combinations, judicious sourcing (plenty of Welsh ingredients) and full-on flavours. Glazed pork cheek comes with apple and lobster bisque in a dynamite little surf & turf combo, with main-course loin of venison in the company of cavolo nero, celeriac and pear. There’s impressive technical skill on show, right up to dessert of lemon curd Arctic roll. The pretty little garden out back and fashionable kitchen table add to Odette’s broad appeal.
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Ostuni Queen's Park
£30 - £49
43-45 Lonsdale Road, London, NW6 6RA
It’s all about Puglia at this “great rustic Italian”, and there are echoes of the coastal region (aka Italy’s ‘heel’) in Ostuni’s white stone walls, tiled floors and all-round rustic charm – doubly so if you’re on the terrace with the sun shining. The open-to-view kitchen turns out good stuff from its wood-fired oven; go for the full-on arrosto pugliese if you can’t make up your mind. Puglia is a major grower of durum wheat, and orecchiette pasta is the regional star, perhaps dressed with bitter rapa greens, chilli, garlic and salted anchovies; otherwise try the spaghettone with crab if it’s in season. Additional tempters might range from wood-roast calf’s liver with pancetta parcels and pickled courgettes to monkish and cuttlefish brodetto, while afters include Puglian biscuits, Puglian cheeses and sgroppino (lemon sorbet with Prosecco and vodka). Not surprisingly, Puglia also dominates when it comes to the all-Italian wine list.
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£30 - £49
£50 - £79
626 Finchley Road, London, NW11 7RR
“Food, food, food – you don’t come here for the decor,” enthuses one fan. Clearly, Café Japan has made little effort in the way of decorative embellishments to win over customers, but no matter. The place has its devotees and the use of the word ‘café’ goes some way to excuse any capital investment. What you get is straight-up Japanese food prepared before your eyes in the open kitchen by the front door. Sushi and sashimi attract the lion’s share of the praise: salmon and avocado inside-out roll, say, or classic nigiri and maki. There are hot dishes, with familiar options such as prawn tempura and chicken teriyaki alongside the more glamorous black cod. The low prices are part of the attraction too, and we reckon these are indeed cause for celebration.
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Bull & Last
£30 - £49
168 Highgate Road, London, NW5 1QS
CURRENTLY CLOSED FOR REFURBISHMENT. REOPENS AUTUMN 2019
With animal heads on its walls (nothing endangered, mind) and a bucolic finish, The Bull & Last has the feel of a country pub in the big city. The ground-floor bar can generate quite a buzz at busy times, so diners might prefer heading up the stairs to the (relative) poshness of the restaurant, where there’s more room to kick back and take in the menu.
Some appealing nourishment is on the cards, treading a line between hearty rusticity and metropolitan refinement. The charcuterie and fish boards offer sharing possibilities, or you could keep scallop ceviche all to yourself. Steak and chips or fish and chips crank up the comfort factor, with the likes of rump of English lamb with Jerusalem artichoke purée and lamb pastilla, and a dessert of black fig Tatin, revealing the culinary chops of the kitchen. London’s microbreweries get a good outing at the pumps.
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