Looking for Notting Hill restaurants? Check out our ideas for eating and drinking locations in Notting Hill, from Portobello Road to Westbourne Grove and Golborne Road…
Gold, Portobello Road – for neighbourhood vibes
Gold is a buzzing restaurant and late-night bar on London’s Portobello Road which puts cooking over coals at its heart.
Split into raw, charcuterie and cheese, salads, vegetables and plates, all the dishes are designed to share. Portions are hearty though, so start off steady and see how things go.
Charred pears with burrata welcome the salty tang of Tuscan ham, while a bouncy farro salad with sweet peas, broad beans and Berkswell cheese steals the show with its fresh flavours.
The dessert menu is worth bringing a crowd for so you can unashamedly order them all. Honey rum babas arrive as boozy as they should be, with plenty of lemon verbena cream, while buttery sable biscuits layered with raspberry and mascarpone are lifted further with the crunch of praline.
Orasay, Kensington Park Road – for British produce
Modern, cool cooking in a posh end of town, with big flavours and the best British produce, particularly Scottish shellfish, from one of London’s most talked-about chefs.
Any meal that starts with little fried shrimp, dusted in celery salt, that you’re encouraged to eat whole – head, shell and all – has got to be good. And it was, right through to the posh rice pudding at the end, hiding sweet and sour, Pink Panther-hued stewed rhubarb, fired up with ginger, and topped with a crisp brandy snap.
Caractère, Westbourne Park Road – for date night
The debut modern French/Italian restaurant from married culinary couple Emily Roux and Diego Ferrari, in the heart of London’s fine-dining territory.
There are influences from both their ’hoods, namely France and Italy, and an unconventional approach to menu writing, grouping sections as character traits, ‘curious’, ‘subtle’, ‘delicate’, ‘robust’, ‘strong’ and ‘greedy’.
It’s some of the more veg-centric dishes that wow the most. Celeriac cacio e pepe with aged (25 years, no less) balsamic vinegar steals the night early on. Ticking multiple trend boxes without being gimmicky – the al dente root added an earthiness we didn’t know such a classic needed.
Core by Clare Smyth, Kensington Park Road – for fine-dining
The tablecloths might be missing at Clare Smyth’s debut but the tone is undeniably formal. Don’t let that be confused with stuffy, though – Britain’s most lauded female chef has made her first solo mark thoroughly modern.
Décor is stripped back and contemporary – via a small bar (where you can eat, too), you’re led to a dramatic chef’s table in front of the glass-fronted kitchen, and through to the bright dining room.
Colchester crab royale to start comes in three parts – a bowl of sweet white meat surrounded by a moat of brown meat, a crab doughnut and a flute of shellfish broth. A single Isle of Mull scallop is cooked over wood fire and delivered under a cloche of smoke. A brackish, buttery sauce is lifted by herbs and chopped coral pearls of roe.
Trailer Happiness – for cocktails and dancing
Descend from busy Portobello Road into this lively basement tiki bar for an evening of rum-fuelled fun. Bartenders in tropical shirts set cocktails on fire, laid-back locals drape over low-slung chairs and a DJ spins Northern soul and disco tunes from a wooden booth in the corner.
The bar décor is enthusiastically kitsch – think geometric carpets, yellow fish stencilled onto glass doors, and tropical wallpaper. Tiki-style vessels in various shapes and sizes hold punchy rum cocktails. Try the Cotton Mouth Killer, a fiesty combination of Don Q and Wray & Nephew rum with apricot brandy, blue curaçao and guava. There are also playful rum twists on classics – Bacardi Carta Blanca is stirred with watermelon shrub, St Germain and tonic water in the Supersonic Tiki Tonic; and spiced rum is shaken with Tia Maria and Trailer Happiness homebrew coffee to create the Espresso Martiki.
Farina, Notting Hill High Street – for pizza
Nestled on Notting Hill High Street, Farina pizzeria focuses on traditional Neapolitan pizzas, with no pineapple or pepperoni in sight. In the summer, grab a table by the floor-to-ceiling folding glass doors and wait for the smoky scent to waft over, or hunker down next to the small open kitchen.
The 48-hour fermented dough is light, with a pillowy, charred crust – tear some off to save for mopping up the leftover tomato juices at the end.
Order the Farina, topped with ‘nduja, salami and provola if you like something spicy, or the Burratina topped with courgette and burrata for a fresh, creamy topping.
Snaps + Rye, Golborne Road – for scandi vibes
Snaps + Rye, a Danish café on Golborne Road, is an effortlessly cool place. Typically Scandi in design (light and airy, clean lines, soft brown décor and a splash of red in the form of industrial shelves and bar stools), it’s the realised dream of local couple Kell and Jacqueline Skött, who also run a hairdressers round the corner.
Diners choose from an a la carte menu that’s peppered with various wonderful combinations of fish, egg, rye bread, pickled things, berries and potato – so if you like all of the above, you’ll have a great time.
The food is partly inspired by Cornish head chef Tania Steytler’s seaside upbringing, although there are also snippets that hark back to Kell’s childhood in Denmark – a surprisingly rich mushroom, nut and cream pâté, for example, that’s been a secret family recipe for decades.
Listen to us get a lesson in snaps with Snaps + Rye here
Andina, Westbourne Grove – for Peruvian sharing plates
The first West London location for Martin Morales’ Peruvian empire, focusing on traditional dishes served in family-run picanteria restaurants across the Andes.
In the style of a traditional Peruvian picanteria, the restaurant has an open kitchen counter where you can sit and watch chefs mix up marinades for ceviches, dress dishes with nasturtiums, and drizzle sauces over slow-cooked meats. Even on a weeknight the space has a buzz, helped by the constant stream of cocktails being shaken up at the bar at the back (try the exemplary pisco sours).
Andina Picanteria is all about bold flavours and unusual ingredients from the Andes. Start with sweet potato sourdough with Andean hummus, made with almonds and peanuts to give a slightly sweeter taste than the Middle Eastern version, or super fresh tuna tartare with neat blobs of avocado purée, crunchy kiwicha seeds (also known as mini quinoa) and pearly trout caviar.
Order a couple of ‘big plates’, split into vegetarian and fish/meat sections. A huge octopus tentacle was marinated with chilli and finished on the plancha grill, then served on a bed of squash dressed with a punchy uchucuta sauce (feta, spinach, coriander and, according to our waiter, “cariño, siempre cariño (love, always love)”). Beef shin was cooked for eight hours so the meat fell apart into a rich veal stock and vibrant yellow carapulcra stew made with dried potatoes and plenty of spice.
157 Westbourne Grove
Egg Break, Uxbridge Street – for brunch
The people behind Soho House and The Hoxton Hotel Group together opened an egg-based café on a residential street in Notting Hill.
Split into basics (eggs on toast, egg benedict etc), buns, plates, salads and sides, the most dishes at this daytime café come with an egg of some sort, be it poached, fried or – surely the most fashionable egg of the moment – 63 degrees: cooked slowly in a waterbath at, you guessed it 63 degrees.
Zayane, Golborne Road – for Moroccan food
Head chef at Zayane, Chris Bower – previously of Thackeray’s and The Ivy – uses a mixture of British seasonal ingredients and imported spices to bring modern Moroccan food to London. The air here is laced with cardamom and the room is decorated like a mini bazaar, peppered with colourful cushions, little wooden stools upholstered in yellow fabric, vibrant wall hangings, glowing lanterns and North African teapots on shelves behind the bar.
The Zayane platter was a collection of pretty Moroccan bowls filled with ‘chakchouka’ (otherwise known as shakshuka), beans in fresh tomato sauce, salmon terrine and zaalouk. The latter, a kind of aubergine and tomato stew, was silky and delicate – we loved the buttery chunks of slow-cooked aubergine so much that we asked for seconds. Our platter came with warm, pillowy wholemeal flatbreads made fresh that day.
Electric Diner, Portobello Road – for brunch
Electric Diner’s interiors are true to its name – ribbed red leather banquettes are set up, train carriage-style, down one side of the narrow room, condiments are waiting to be used on wooden tables, and the buzzy atmosphere bounces off low curved ceilings and exposed brick walls. Slide into a booth or sit on a green leather stool looking onto the open kitchen to make sure your eggs are being prepared just how you like them.
The egg-heavy brunch menu features omelettes laden with Gruyere cheese, scrambled eggs with smoked salmon, and all of the classics – Benedict, Florentine and Royale.
Bucket, Westbourne Grove – for seafood
We might be in leafy west London but the vibe inside Bucket is more upmarket beach club, with chairs and tables under canopies and a palette of soft, weatherworn neutrals. Place settings are decorated with sprigs of fresh rosemary, and cut lemons perfume the air around each table.
Starters include the likes of cockles with chorizo and squid-ink crackers, and mains range from salmon crudo with grapefruit and pink peppercorns to seafood linguine. The main draw, however, are the seafood buckets. Selections change according what can be (sustainably) sourced at the time, but on our visit we could choose from calamari, whitebait, prawns and fritto misto (plus tempura of banana blossom, viola artichoke and fennel for the veggies). Mussels came in a choice of sauces that ranged from classic white wine, garlic and parsley to coconut and chilli.
A decadent prawn and lobster toastie acquitted itself well, its rich, creamy filling lifted by tarragon (less impressive was the tuna tartare, which need a zingier sauce than the avocado mayo it came with) but it was the buckets that impressed the most, namely a pail of small but succulent spicy prawns and – best of all – fat, juicy mussels in a decadent lobster and brandy sauce, for which it would be a crime not to order extra bread or fries for dipping in.
Look out for the cocktails – our seaweed martini, made with Hendrick’s, St Germain, seaweed, sea algae and cucumber was super-fresh and clean, with a subtle briny edge.
Words by Alex Crossley, Charlotte Morgan, Ellie Edwards, Hannah Guinness, Laura Rowe
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