Best restaurants in Paddington

Paddington foodie guide: where to eat and drink

From a lively bottomless brunch to cinnamon buns and some of the best dim sum in London, here are the best spots to visit in Paddington (perfect if you're waiting for a train)

Looking for Paddington restaurants? Here are our favourite places to eat and restaurants near Paddington station. Check out our ideas for eating and drinking locations in Paddington, from Merchant’s Square to Sheldon Square and beyond…

Advertisement

London Shell Co, Paddington Central – for seafood

From pop-up to permanent, brother-and-sister team Harry and Leah have curated an ode to seafood on a pretty blue barge moored at Paddington Central. It travels down Regent’s Canal and is a classic (but jolly) affair, peppered with theatrical announcements from the small crew. Tables are crammed together, so you’ll be nestled close to other diners, which makes for plenty of chat and camaraderie.

There’s an à la carte midweek lunch, but we suggest hopping on the dinner or weekend cruise for a seasonal five-course tasting menu focusing on British ingredients. Crisp, golden angel hair fries and creamy Jersey oysters lead the way, followed by hand-dived scallop tartare with a zesty coriander and lime dressing. Next, a light and bright seafood stew with springy braised cuttlefish, chickpeas, olives and juicy tomatoes. A hake dish was an ode to an English country garden, with wonky Jersey Royals, bright English asparagus and plump peas in a buttery perry sauce. Desserts are kept simple and British: a twist on an Eton mess, for example, with Kentish rhubarb, sweet strawberries and pistachio kernels adding colour to the cream and meringue shards.

The £55 drinks pairing is very generous, and a great opportunity to try some unusual wines: biscuity Hattingley Valley Hampshire fizz, mineral and floral Greek mountain wine, and a robust Malmont rosé. There’s a refreshing halfway cocktail of Cristallier cider vermouth and tonic, and a ‘Yorkshire Ripper’ cocktail to finish, made with crémant sparkling wine and Yorkshire rhubarb.

olive tip: There’s a small deck at the front, so take your aperitif outside and soak up the sites (leafy Little Venice, Regent’s Park mansions and their pristine back gardens, plus Camden’s edgy lock, to name a few).

londonshellco.com

Two glasses of sparkling wine and a plate of oysters on the front of a barge on the canal
Oysters and English sparkling wine aboard London Shell Co’s dinner cruise

Pearl Liang, Sheldon Square – for Chinese banqueting and dim sum

Business hub Sheldon Square may seem like an unlikely place for one of London’s best Chinese restaurants, but Pearl Liang is constantly brimming with large groups feasting around banqueting tables; business people doing deals over dim sum; and couples getting to know each other against a backdrop of water fountains and Chinese blossom wall murals.

We recommend starting with a selection of dim sum (dumplings filled with gigantic prawns, crunchy prawn rolls wrapped in shredded taro, and juicy pork shu mai), followed by a few starters. Vietnamese spring rolls are deep-fried and crisp, filled with freshly shredded vegetables, and pan-fried chicken wings come in an incredibly moreish caramelised teriyaki glaze.

For mains, pick spicy crispy chilli beef, or a lighter fish dish. We loved whole steamed sea bass with fragrant ginger and spring onion.

olive tip: If you’re part of a crowd, Pearl Liang’s sophisticated interiors and sharing ethos (there are five set menus to choose from) make for the perfect feast.

8 Sheldon Square, pearlliang.co.uk

Pearl Liang Dim Sum

Beany Green, Sheldon Square – for brunch

Beany Green, a coffee shop and brunch spot, brightens up the concrete canal-side area just off Paddington’s Sheldon Square. Stone picnic tables and hot pink deckchairs covered in pop art bananas illustrations spill out onto the AstroTurf that hugs the side of this industrial building, and, inside, the bold and bright theme continues with colourful metal chairs and shaggy fluorescent orange cushions.

There’s a huge counter heaving with healthy treats – vibrant salads, perfectly formed little protein balls and fibre-rich muffins to take away.

olive tip: We recommend sitting in and enjoying the generous two-course bottomless brunch with free-flowing cocktails. Read our full review of Beany Green’s bottomless brunch here.

6c Sheldon Square: daisygreenfood.com

Beany Greens, Little Venice: brunch review

Kioskafe, Norfolk Place – for coffee and cinnamon buns

While away the hours in Monocle Café’s dinky magazine shop on Norfolk Place, complete with on-site coffee bar. Peruse the luxe food and travel magazines from around the world, buy a copy, and enjoy it at your leisure alongside an Allpress filter coffee and scandi-style Fabrique cardamom bun.

31 Norfolk Place, kioskafe.com


Abasto, Connaught Street – for empanadas

Casa Malevo’s airy, glass-fronted café and wine bar is the place to go for homemade empanadas. Mahogany shelves groan with Argentinian produce, and there’s a dedicated empanada cabinet that displays those delicious pastry parcels, filled with everything from creamy chicken and leek to spiced minced beef and vegan curried potato.

Pair your empanada with a side salad and a glass of wine, or enjoy as part of an aperitif board (Manchego, Spanish chorizo, chargrilled artichoke hearts and more). Pop in for a tutored wine tasting, or spend a Sunday morning reading the paper with a coffee and a couple of indulgent chocolate alfajores.

Connaught Street, abasto.co.uk


Satay House, Sale Place – for Malaysian food

For proper Malaysian food in a laid-back setting, head to this family-run restaurant on Sale Place just off Praed Street. The dishes are true to their origins – favourites include chargrilled chicken satay with peanut sauce, classic nasi lemak steamed rice with prawn sambal, and kway teow goreng, a flat rice noodle stir-fry originating from Penang. Hearty meat dishes include traditional Malaysian lamb curry, and Malay braised beef with coconut milk and fragrant spices.

Sale Place, satay-house.co.uk


Kerb Paddington, Sheldon Square – for street food

Twice a month, London’s hottest street food vendors descend on Paddington with the reputable market, Kerb. The 12 traders rotate each time, so you can eventually try fare from all over the world: crispy Filipino pork belly from BBQ Dreamz, loaded burgers from Mother Flipper, or Cyprus Kitchen’s pitta pouches stuffed with slow-roast lamb, roasted aubergines, or charred halloumi. Look out for dates on the Kerb website.

Sheldon Square, kerbfood.com


Heist Bank, North Wharf Road – for pizza and craft beer

Follow the yellow road sign for ‘pizza, beer and flowers’ by Paddington’s Regent’s Canal to this foliage-filled restaurant and bar, complete with concrete walls, exposed piping and floor-to-ceiling windows. Come with your mates for an informal dinner – help yourself to cutlery from concrete pots and choose a pizza and a pint (there are around 20 beers and ales, 10 of which are on tap).

When it comes to session IPAs, Beavertown Neck Oil is the most popular and rightly so, due to its easy-drinking crispness, while Gipsy Hill Hepcat is a little more bitter and hoppy. There are also plenty of beers from the fridge, including caramel and chocolate Wild Beer Co Millionaire milk stout, and Fourpure Shapeshifter (dry hoppiness with mango, grapefruit and pineapple notes). 

On the food front, we suggest sticking to the super-crisp pizzas, cooked in a wood-fired oven in the open kitchen and loaded with inventive toppings. Go for spiced lamb with crumbly feta, wild rocket and lemon, or radicchio with pears, toasted walnuts and gorgonzola, both on a tomato base. The creamy white pizzas are also worth a try – we love the wild boar sausage topping with sliced potatoes, rosemary and chilli.

olive tip: All of the beers on tap can be taken away in a 3.3 pint reusable ‘growler’ container. Plus Heist Bank hosts semi-regular beer festivals, so keep an eye out for more craft beer fun. 

5 North Wharf Road: heistbank.com

Pizzas on wooden boards at Heist Bank Paddington

Darcie & May Green, Paddington Central – for antipodean food on a canal boat

Prue Freeman and her team of cool and collected Aussies from Daisy Green Collection (Beany Greens in Paddington is our favourite) have brought their Aussie dishes and killer coffees to two canal boats on Grand Union Canal. Sister vessels Darcie and May Green float elegantly outside Paddington station, brightening up the office block surroundings.

Legendary pop artist Peter Blake is the man behind the design (his signature is playfully scribbled on the side of each boat), so expect a bold and bright look – hearts, rainbows, swirls and stars in primary colours, greens, purples and pink.

Visit Darcie Green, the restaurant canal boat, to bob around with a cocktail and some antipodean-inspired snacks (avocado tzatziki with chia crackers, halloumi fries with pomegranate yogurt, Aussie BBQ lamb cutlets with homemade chilli pesto), or tuck into the group’s brunch favourites (including their epic posh bacon sarnie, charcoal sourdough and squidgy banana bread).

olive tip: There’s a little lawn on each roof with wicker chairs and palmy plants for when the sun’s out and the evenings are longer.

Read our full review of Darcie & May Green here.

Plates of food on marble table
Photograph by Leyla Kazim

Pergola Paddington Central, Paddington Central – for a night out

The guys behind Pergola on the Roof have collated some of London’s best street food folk under one pretty roof in urban Paddington Central. Past vendors include Decatur; Birmingham-born Tom Browne (who served Louisiana-inspired food, such as chargrilled Maldon oysters and crunchy buttermilk fried chicken burgers); D/F Mexico and its vibrant Mexican food; and Patty & Bun, with its legendary burgers.

Order an Aperol spritz or a Pimms from the bar and take a seat at one of the brushed wooden tables beneath the pergola, while you listen to some great guest DJs. There are blankets in case it gets chilly, and an open air bar upstairs with plenty of day beds for lounging on during summery evenings.

5 Kingdom Street: pergolaontheroof.com

Decatur at Pergola Paddington Central

Salt and Honey, Connaught Village – for a bistro lunch

This cosy sister restaurant to acclaimed Fulham bistro Manuka Kitchen resides in Connaught Village, a quiet neighbourhood just north of Hyde Park in London.

Peanut butter pretzel tart is rightly famous at Manuka Honey and has been incorporated into the menu here. At first the combination of salty pretzel tart crust, rich chocolate filling and peanut butter cream feels OTT, but the feeling passes after a few spoonfuls!

Click here to read our full review on Salt and Honey


Lockhouse, Merchant Square – for burgers

The industrial interiors of Lockhouse provide a trendy hangout for after work drinks, brunch and a bloomin’ good burger. Try the Locked and Loaded, a juicy beef patty topped with Norfolk smoked streaky bacon, American cheese and all the works in a brioche bun. If you fancy something fiery, the Hothouse burger gets its kick from jalapeños and Sriracha sauce.

The selection of beers is impressive, with 14 on tap and 10 craft bottled beers, including London’s Beavertown, Czech lager Hobo and even a couple of beers from Kona Brewing Company in Hawaii.

Advertisement

3 Merchant Square: lockhouselondon.co.uk

Lockhouse Paddington Burger