Best restaurants in Notting Hill

Discover the top restaurants in London’s hip Notting Hill with SquareMeal’s list of the best restaurants in Notting Hill. Notting Hill has long been the favourite London destination of the hip and trendy, and was made world famous by the 1999 film featuring Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts. It is an affluent area of London and very popular amongst visitors, most of whom flock there to see the iconic Portobello Road with its antique shops and market. Notting Hill is also well known for its annual street carnival, one of the largest street festivals in Europe. With so much to offer it is no surprise that Notting Hill also plays host to a fantastic array of great restaurants. To help you choose your Notting Hill restaurants, SquareMeal has created this handy guide to the best restaurants in Notting Hill.

Posted on 12 December 2018

Best restaurants in Notting Hill

Discover the top restaurants in London’s hip Notting Hill with SquareMeal’s list of the best restaurants in Notting Hill. Notting Hill has long been the favourite London destination of the hip and trendy, and was made world famous by the 1999 film featuring Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts. It is an affluent area of London and very popular amongst visitors, most of whom flock there to see the iconic Portobello Road with its antique shops and market. Notting Hill is also well known for its annual street carnival, one of the largest street festivals in Europe.

With so much to offer it is no surprise that Notting Hill also plays host to a fantastic array of great restaurants. To help you choose your Notting Hill restaurants, SquareMeal has created this handy guide to the best restaurants in Notting Hill.

Every one of the Notting Hill restaurants featured in SquareMeal’s list of London’s top Notting Hill 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. As well as the restaurants on this page, we have listings for British restaurants in Notting Hill, French restaurants in Notting Hill and Italian restaurants in Notting Hill as well as many other types of restaurant in Notting Hill. Each SquareMeal listing features an independent review, as well as reviews from diners, together with unique special offers such as free drinks and discounts.


Assaggi

Assaggi

Italian
£50 - £79

39 Chepstow Place, London, W2 4TS

For 20 years, Assaggi served top-quality Italian food to a smart local clientele, so there was much wailing in 2015 when it closed after lease problems. Fortunately, that wasn’t the end, and owner Nino Sassu re-opened in 2016 with the full backing of his landlords. The whole building has been refurbished, and Sassu has turned the huge ground floor into an all-day eatery serving wood-fired pizzas alongside steaks, salads and pastries. 

The cooking at Assaggi proper (upstairs) remains committed to the best Italian ingredients and traditional methods reflecting the chef’s Sardinian childhood. Dishes such as calamari stew or crab with celery, olive oil and lemon may sound simple, but flavours are intense and memorable. Pasta might bring tagliolini with nine different herbs (and no garlic), while capunti is combined with speck and a gentle cream of courgettes, Parmesan and saffron. Substantial grills, regional cheeses and alluring desserts complete the line-up, with drinks running from good-value wines to Negronis.

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Mam

Mam

Under £30
Vietnamese

16 All Saints Road, W11 1HH

All Saints Road has strong form as a location for top-quality Asian restaurants: pan-Asian Uli used to be at No.12 before moving to higher-end premises near Notting Hill Gate, and now Salvation in Noodles founder Colin Tu has chosen the street for this Vietnamese barbecue restaurant. It’s a fairly simple, homespun set-up, with a front dining room by the bar offering more appeal than the space behind. Don’t be deceived by the look of the place though, as the cooking is top-notch; beef was the highlight for us, served as a skewer that’s wrapped up in a sheet of steamed rice vermicelli along with fresh herbs and fish sauce. We also loved the deeply flavoured short-rib atop a pile of rice with half a runny egg to fold into the rich mix, although pork shoulder and chicken thigh skewers were pretty good too – as was an open ‘spring roll’ of chicken and wood-ear mushrooms. To drink, there’s a short and snappy wine list, plus beers and well-made cocktails. The only glitch on our visit was sweet but slow service – a side effect of Mam’s early success that should hopefully improve with time.  

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Casa Cruz

Casa Cruz

£50 - £79
International

123 Clarendon Road, London, W11 4JG

Things are going swimmingly for Casa Cruz. Jet-setting designer, financier and restaurateur Juan Santa Cruz has won over the fashionable west London crowd, who now feel at ease within this glamorous Holland Park edifice – a pantheon of burnished copper with a handsome oval cocktail bar and a menu that appeals to voguish ‘clean eating’ sensibilities – think raw dishes, hero vegetables and grills of fish, chicken and grass-fed beef. Quality is everything, as in fresh tomatoes with basil and olive oil, charred beets with horseradish or raw tuna soothed by creamy avocado and a kick of wasabi. A plate of sea bream carpaccio with chilli and lime won’t bother your calorie count, nor will weeny portions of roast cod or grilled monkfish, while bigger appetites might prefer steaks or blackened chicken, perhaps followed by lemon polenta cake with crème fraîche. The wide-ranging wine list covers the best of the Old World, supplemented by Argentinian bottles from Mendoza and Patagonia.

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The Ledbury

The Ledbury

Over £80
Modern European
Two michelin stars

127 Ledbury Road, London, W11 2AQ

“Incredibly inventive”; “consistently wonderful”; “simply outstanding on every level”: readers confirm that The Ledbury is still a paragon of fine dining in the capital. It may radiate old-school affluence, but Brett Graham’s über-suave destination comes across as an inclusive eatery for locals, tourists and perambulating foodies alike – a neighbourhood destination kitted out with arty chandeliers, leather chairs and mirrored walls. Diners descend on the place in search of “top-class contemporary food” from a chef who cooks with vigour, authority and audacious brio. Regulars suggest that tasting menus are the way to go: “every course is a surprise”, whether you begin with a Chantilly of oyster, sea bream tartare and frozen English wasabi or the “stand-out” flame-grilled mackerel with pickled cucumber, Celtic mustard and shiso. There is stupendous meat and game too, perhaps Herdwick lamb with salt-baked kohlrabi, Padrón pepper and garlic or a sanguine-toned dish of Berkshire roe deer accompanied by smoked bone marrow, cherries, red leaves and vegetables. As thoughts turn to sweetness, the kitchen obliges with masterstrokes such as blackcurrant-leaf ice cream paired with buffalo-milk meringues and mead. Impeccable staff “genuinely enjoy their job”, and it’s worth engaging with one of the knowledgeable sommeliers if you want to get the best from the endlessly fascinating list. What more could you want from a two-Michelin-starred sophisticate?

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E&O

E&O

£50 - £79
£30 - £49

14 Blenheim Crescent, London, W11 1NN

The paparazzi don’t stalk this Notting Hill landmark as they did in the glory days of models and movie stars, but a slick, well-heeled crowd is still drawn to Will Ricker’s concept of fashionable pan-Asian small plates. Mouth-watering dim sum include scallops with lemongrass, black cod and king prawn gow gee, various dumplings, ribs and the ever-popular chilli-salt squid, while the roll call of sushi, sashimi, curries, tempura and larger plates of whole crispy sea bass with ‘three flavours’, Wagyu strip-loin or Korean lamb with kimchi will make a sizeable but delicious dent in your bank balance. The restaurant’s interior is restrained and minimalist, with dark wood and crisp white linen, although a lively flash of pink in the bar announces great cocktails and a terrific buzz. Outside are neat banquettes set into the frontage, along with a few pavement tables where you can smoke and dissect your latest deal or shopping spree.

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Al Waha Restaurant

Al Waha Restaurant

£30 - £49
Lebanese

75 Westbourne Grove,Bayswater, London, W2 4UL

One of London’s smarter Lebanese options, Al Waha still has the friendly neighbourhood vibe that has made it a Westboune Grove fixture since the 1990s. Waiters navigate between the closely-set tables in the split-level dining room; tables by the windows have the best atmosphere, while those on the mezzanine are better suited to larger groups. As you might expect, hot and cold mezze are the menu’s highlight and will suit most appetites as an entire meal. Our top picks are hummus kawarmah (topped with diced lamb and pine nuts), the kibbeh nayeh (raw lamb with crushed wheat, spices and garnished with onions), the pizza-like arayes topped with minced lamb, parsley, sesame paste and pine nuts, and sambousek, cheese-stuffed pastries. Should you still have room, chicken, lamb and fish to follow comes with an irresistible smoky edge from the charcoal grill. To drink, the well-priced wine list leads with Lebanon and has loads under £30, while prices overall are very reasonable for the quality of food and the generosity if the portions.

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Ukai

Ukai

£30 - £49
Sushi
Japanese

240 Portobello Road, London, W11 1LL

This is not just any old pub in Portobello. The large corner site is a lively bar with a world-class drinks list, a performance space and an astonishingly good Japanese restaurant tucked away at the rear. (‘Ukai’ refers to the traditional Japanese method of fishing with cormorants.) It’s a magnet for locals and tourists drawn by the cheerful atmosphere, live music at weekends and top-notch cooking.

Chef Alessandro Verros polished his skills at Nobu and Roka and brings a distinctive mix of modern and authentic Japanese cooking overlaid with ultra-fashionable Peruvian touches. There’s a large menu ranging from small-snack ‘japas’ (geddit?) such as vegetable gyoza, rock shrimp tempura and salmon and mango tartare. There are steamed buns with pork belly and cabbage, and a lavish lobster tail tempura with yuzu mayonnaise. There’s an ambitious range of sashimi, nigiri and temaki in combos including dragon roll with eel and avocado.

Sit at tables around the walls or the high counter opposite the robata grill and watch the chefs prepare scallops with orange and tobiko, or spicy lamb chops to die for. It’s all delicious, especially with a Fire Blossom cocktail (pisco, saké, fruits and chilli is a beautiful balance) created by an expert bar team. This is a very classy operation.

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Snaps + Rye

Snaps + Rye

Danish

93 Golborne Road, London, W10 5NL

This funky daytime café and shop celebrates all things Danish, from arty home accessories to foodie provisions and native specialities. Authentic smørrebrød (open sandwiches on rye bread) are the mainstays, with toppings ranging from home-cured herring to Var salmon (from the Faroes) with beetroot and horseradish. You can also come here for frikadeller (veal meatballs), fishcakes or smoked mackerel with pickled beetroot and caperberries – not forgetting freshly baked Danish pastries for breakfast. Dinner is served three nights a week, with a four-course set menu on Fridays – we love the use of spices in dishes such as Cornish sardines with cumin chermoula and the creative thinking behind cod fillet enriched with chicken sauce, crisp skin and scorched lettuce. Drinks run from beers, house-infused snaps, akvavit cocktails and quirky wines to healthy Sealand Birk birch juice and Iskilde (an artesian spring water).

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Flat Three

Flat Three

£50 - £79
Japanese
International

120-122 Holland Park Avenue, London, W11 4UA

At last this fascinating, offbeat eatery is getting the praise it deserves, although it’s a slow burn. The quiet basement site is almost invisible and Flat Three’s complex culinary blend of Japanese, Korean and Scandinavian influences isn’t an easy sell, but it’s worth it for what one fan calls a “cool overindulgence of the senses”. American/Korean owner Juliana Kim Moustakis and chef Pavel Kanja (ex-Roka) have created a repertoire of great originality, and their “seemingly sparse” tasting menu is full of delicate delights: wild salmon draped in lardo with Douglas fir; alliums with smoked tofu and nasturtium; poached sea bass with fermented cauliflower; Wagyu short-rib with mallow and oyster sauce; a Finnish Runeberg cake with cherries and ice cream. There are raw and plant-based dishes for veggies, while the drinks list embraces small vineyards, unusual grapes and wacky juices. The elegant dining room is as cool as the cooking with its vintage Møller chairs, black walnut tables and antique Japanese silk screens decorated with gold and silver leaf. A triumph.

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Farmacy

Farmacy

£30 - £49
Vegetarian
Vegan

74-76 Westbourne Grove, London, W2 5SH

The hot new thing in Notting Hill, Farmacy is putting the joy into healthy food with delicious plant-based cooking free from dairy produce, refined sugars and additives. Filled with sunshine and flowers, the large airy room is a magnet for well-off locals of all ages during the week, with queues from further afield at the weekend. Along with soups, juices and snacks, there are hearty ‘earth bowl’ dishes of various sorts: try quinoa with avocado, seaweed, sauerkraut, greens, sweet potato and sesame ginger dressing. Burgers are made from millet, beans and mushrooms, ice cream from naturally sweet African tiger nut, and pizzas involve spelt sourdough and macadamia ‘cheese’. The menu is studded with on-trend ingredients, while drinks include proper cocktails and sulphur-free biodynamic wines. Despite her glamour and connections, owner Camilla Al-Fayed (of Harrods fame) is no spoilt little rich girl with a new toy: this is ‘clean eating’ in a fun and fashionable setting – and it works. 

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Caractère

Caractère

£50 - £79
Modern European

209 Westbourne Park Road, London, W11 1EA

You don’t need an A level in French to work out that ‘caractère’ is the French word for ‘character’, though ‘famille’ might have been just as good a name for this first solo project from husband and wife Emily Roux and Diego Ferrari. Roux is the daughter of Michel Jnr and met Ferrari when he was head chef of her father’s restaurant, Le Gavroche. At Caractère, Roux is front of house, Ferrari in the kitchen.

The couple’s ambition was to open somewhere ‘casual and contemporary’. It is determinedly contemporary (the menu is divided into six character traits) but unless you spend all your time in Michelin-starred restaurants, not most people’s idea of casual, though it is certainly striking.

Velvety, dusky pink chairs are set at marble-topped tables in a brick-walled room, with herringbone on the floor, dramatic lighting on the ceiling and picture windows running down two sides. The tableware is notably thoughtful: elegant, slimline cutlery, a butter knife that stands up on its base and a miniature ceramic bread board for excellent butter are all covetable items to add to a Pinterest board for a foodie’s Christmas stocking.  

We didn’t find the character theme added anything to negotiating the menu beyond dividing it into meat, fish and vegetable sections, but cooking as good as this doesn’t need any gimmicks. Cacio e pepe has strips of celeriac in place of strands of pasta acting as a subtly flavoured foil to a full-throttle Pecorino sauce, a few drops of intensely concentrated balsamic vinegar, added at the table, cutting through the richness (there is much finishing of dishes at the table).

The same balance of savoury and sharp worked equally well in a beautiful slice of roast wild duck breast sharing a plate with fondant chervil root and blackberries, though you don’t need to order such big flavours: roast diver scallops with salsify purée, mustard and beurre blanc and grilled monkfish with parsley root, grapefruit and aniseed sauce were both appreciated for a gentle lunch. To finish, we preferred a magnificent warm chocolate cake with pecan praline and salted caramel sauce to a rather virtuous-tasting ‘millefeuille’ made out of sliced fig.

An exclusively French and Italian wine list reflects Roux and Ferrari’s family heritage, and while a focus on big names and big prices from Piedmont and Tuscany, Burgundy and Bordeaux reflects local wallets, there are enough interesting wines under £40 to make for rewarding drinking for anyone not on a banker’s salary.

With The Ledbury  almost next door, the recently closed Marianne down the road and Core by Clare Smyth a short walk away, Notting HiIl has a well-established appetite for sophisticated modern cooking served in a high-end setting. Judging by their assured opening weeks, Roux and Ferrari have passed their test of Caractere with flying colours.

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Andina Notting Hill

Andina Notting Hill

Peruvian

157 Westbourne Grove, W11 2RS

Martin Morales, founder of the Ceviche batch of Peruvian restaurants, looks to have conquered smart west London with this latest outpost of Andina. Picanteria is a lively, colourful spot incorporating an authentic Peruvian bakery (Panaderia) next door. Inside you’ll find a busy open kitchen, flexible seating on banquettes, at counters or on regular tables, and large windows looking on to the street. 

The irresistible cooking ranges from dainty small plates of plant-based ingredients to gutsy meat and fish dishes. Snack on carrot fritters with a complex herb-based sauce, fresh bread from the bakery or cassava crisps with a broad bean dip. Braised aubergine laden with feta is teamed with a quinoa patty while sea bass ceviche arrives zinging with Morales’ signature tiger-milk marinade, punchy and unforgettable. Larger dishes include a fine piece of hake with seaweed in a fragrant broth, a typical Andean vegetarian stew featuring potato and roast pumpkin, and a lovely braised adobe pork leg. 

Pisco Sours head a spot-on drinks list of wines, beers, cocktails and mocktails. To finish, banish any dietary plans by ordering chocolate tart with dulce de leche ice cream. Notting Hill will love this newcomer.

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Six Portland Road

Six Portland Road

£50 - £79
Modern European

6 Portland Road, London, W11 4LA

Oli Barker and chef Pascal Wiedemann (key players from Terroirs) hit all the right buttons when they opened this laid-back eatery in 2016: honest, sensibly priced modern cooking combined with cheerful service is proving to be a winning formula. Inside, soothing colours set the mood, with an open kitchen at the rear, a sharing table for casual drop-ins and a bar dispensing specialist beers alongside imaginative European wines – including trendy tipples from trail-blazing importers Les Caves de Pyrène. To eat, we suggest kicking off with some Italian cured meats or glistening ‘petits lucques’ olives, before tackling crab mayonnaise, rabbit and pork terrine or mackerel with romesco sauce and watercress on toast. Spanking-fresh brill is served with sea vegetables, capers and brown butter, while full-flavoured chicken leg comes with artichokes, fennel and aïoli. Proper puddings and perfectly ripe cheeses are further signs of the owners’ effortless all-round professionalism. In short, a great addition to posh W11.

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Core by Clare Smyth

Core by Clare Smyth

Over £80
British

92 Kensington Park Road, London, W11 2PN

Since leaving the three-Michelin-starred world of Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, Clare Smyth has “forged her own special path” – much to the delight of readers who have fallen head over heels in love with her new venture. Core is cor-blimey brilliant rather than a hardcore, haute-cuisine ordeal, complete with the sort of high-end interiors that covetous Notting Hillbillies dream about – think cute handbag stools, feather-light Zalto glassware and Bridget Riley artworks. Unclothed tables, meanwhile, indicate we’re in casual-luxe territory, while “gracious” staff do their very best to make the whole experience extra-special.

The room may be gorgeous in its own right, but everyone is here for food – and rightly so. Readers already have their favourites from Core’s carte and tasting menu: for some it’s the ‘potato and roe’ (actually a dish of skin-on charlotte potato topped with herring and trout roe sitting in a slick of seaweed beurre blanc), while our tip for signature status is the whole carrot topped with braised lamb served alongside a dollop of sheep’s milk yoghurt. These are “smile-inducing” dishes that extract almost unbelievable flavour from the humblest of ingredients.

Elsewhere, brilliant hits abound: a sweet Colchester crab doughnut alongside a glass of crab consommé; an even sweeter Roscoff onion stuffed with rich oxtail to accompany beef short-rib; countless nibbles including crispy smoked duck wings and jellied eel misted with a malt vinegar spray. And then there are the ravishing desserts – exquisitely reimagined versions of cherry Bakewell or warm chocolate tart, for example. Quite simply, this is “the epitome of thoughtful, stylish and technically brilliant gastronomy”.

The “fabulous” French-led wine list is a real head-turner, with plenty of fine drinking below £50, and you can also eat in the handsome bar, which is a cocktail destination in its own right. We’re in no doubt that Core is headed for the very top, and its many fans agree: “One of the best evenings we've ever had in a restaurant. Superb, understated excellence from start to finish”.

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Southam Street

Southam Street

Under £30
Peruvian
Japanese

36 Golborne Road, W10 5PR

Housed in a converted Victorian pub in the shadows of the Trellick Tower, this second venue from the duo behind hot-ticket 108 Garage brings some much-needed glamour to Golborne Road – no wonder well-heeled locals are already packing the place for its take on Japanese/Peruvian fusion food. The proprietors have certainly done a good job in creating a cool destination, sparing no expense on decor (note the downstairs ceiling) and providing a buzzing soundtrack to keep the vibe upbeat. However, we found the on-trend (if somewhat unoriginal) menu rather hit-and-miss: a moreish heritage tomato and horseradish mascarpone dish stood out among the starters, while a tender piece of sea bass with yuzu koshu rub was the pick of the mains; by contrast, our flavourless soft-shell crab harumaki roll was instantly forgettable, and a Waygu rump needed its accompanying chilli ponzu to bring out the flavour. Drinks-wise, diners can pick from a handful of cocktails and a wine list that (surprisingly) favours the Old World. Beware: lots of small dishes and just six wines below £30 mean that the bill can add up quickly. 

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Hereford Road

Hereford Road

£30 - £49
British

3 Hereford Road, W2 4AB

As comfortable as your Uggs but twice as stylish, this trusted neighbourhood favourite is now an essential part of Notting Hill’s DNA, appealing to old hippies and new money alike. Tom Pemberton’s cooking nods to his background at St John, but it’s very much his own distinct take on things. Starters of Jerusalem artichokes with hazelnuts, quail with medlar jelly or lightly cooked duck livers tossed with capers, tarragon and green beans suggest British food handled with flair and integrity. To follow, there might be a tranche of hake with roast cauliflower and nutty brown butter, devilled kidneys with mash, roast game birds or steak and kidney pie to share, while wonderfully old-fashioned desserts include treacle tart, fruit crumble and custard or warm rice pudding with jam. Regulars make as beeline for the snug red-leather seating by the busy open grill, although there’s more space at the back with larger tables and illumination from the huge circular skylight. A few street-side tables are much in demand, whatever the weather.

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108 Garage

108 Garage

£50 - £79
Modern European

108 Golborne Road, London, W10 5PS

A tie-in between maverick money man turned rookie restaurateur Luca Longobardi and whizz-kid chef Chris Denney (ex-Viajante and The Square), this laid-back neighbourhood eatery is a mash-up of mesh chairs, bare light bulbs and Portobello Market crockery in a brick-walled, concrete-floored space that references 108’s former life as a garage. Denney also trained as an artist – something that’s apparent in still-life compositions such as pink slices of presa ibérica draped in a silky veil of lardo or a blackened hunk of ‘Jacob’s ladder’ beef adorned with a pretty jumble of dill-pickle tartare. His “refreshingly imaginative” approach to ingredients is akin to “food alchemy” (according to one disciple), as he wows diners with flavour-bombs that expertly balance rich satisfaction with startling sharpness: creamy veal sweetbread offset by charred king cabbage, say, or translucent slices of pickled fruits cutting through tangy Cheddar crumbled onto a sweet cracker. By contrast, the rest of the operation is refreshingly laid-back, with “surprisingly reasonable” prices and young staff who are engagingly friendly – if not always on the ball. Still, chilled-out locals are thrilled to have a chef of Denney’s talent on their doorstep.

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Peyotito

Peyotito

£30 - £49
Mexican

31 Kensington Park Road, London, W11 2EU

A far cry from the cheap and cheerful clichés of Mexican food, Peyotito features refined cooking by Eduardo Garciam, whose Maximo Bistro in Mexico City is in the Latin American premier league. Zingy ceviches such as scallops with chilli, tomato and a hint of coconut set the tone, ahead of more elaborate mains – perhaps crisp sea bream with a slick of salsa verde or charred poussin accompanied by a complex sauce involving hints of coffee, sesame, chilli and chocolate. There are definitely no refried beans on this upscale menu, although desserts such as mascarpone cheesecake with cactus and fig compote stay in familiar territory. Wine buffs have a short international list, while cocktail fans should try the signature Margarita, its salty rim enhanced by chilli and a small bottle of mezcal on the side. Peyotito’s industrial-chic interior has exposed brickwork, a concrete bar and neon sculpture announcing ‘Tequila is for the living, mezcal is to wake the dead’.

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