The best restaurants in Notting Hill

Mhairi Mann

18 August 2021

From stylish cafés for the eco-conscious to decadent seafood platters in your local boozer, here’s where to dine out in London’s most colourful quarter, from brunch through to sundown 

18 August 2021 | Mhairi Mann

There may be more bankers than bohemians in Notting Hill these days, but the area still embodies a louche charm that is unmatched by any other neighbourhood in London. A thriving international restaurant scene takes diners from New York to Down Under, where smart interiors and a focus on sustainability come as standard. By day, it’s Instagrammable lattes and Aussie-style brunches; by night it's sharing plates by candlelight, well-crafted cocktails and just the right amount of revelry. Here's our essential guide to the best restaurants in Notting Hill. 

Sunday in Brooklyn

Visit Williamsburg by way of Notting Hill at Sunday in Brooklyn. The much-hyped New York restaurant has landed in London, currently serving a selection of its most popular dinnertime dishes, including grilled beetroot kebabs with pistachio tahini, juicy Hanger steaks and smoky chicken with za’atar fries. Brunch is poised to launch soon and, as one might expect, it will major on all-American staples, including stacks of pancakes and fully loaded vegetarian or patty burgers. The drinks list boasts natural wines and cocktails, including quite possibly London’s best Bloody Mary. 

98 Westbourne Grove, London W2 5RU, sundayinbk.co.uk

The Cow

Courtesy of @thecowlondon

Cited by David Beckham as one of his favourite pubs in London, this unassuming institution on Westbourne Grove has been serving celebrities and locals alike for more than 25 years. Owned by Tom Conran, son of the late designer and restaurateur Sir Terence Conran, it is known for its seafood-strong menu of oysters, crab and langoustines, as well as its kitsch interiors and laidback, mildly mischievous ambience. Earlier this year, The Cow’s future was temporarily put in jeopardy by Westminster City Council during a review of its Premises Licence. Loyal fans jumped to its defence, including model Adwoa Aboah, creative director Alex Eagle, singer Ed Harcourt and chef Robin Gill. Thankfully, its reopening was approved and it remains one of Notting Hill’s most beloved boozers, with ex-Bibendum chef Matthew Harris in the kitchen. Make like the pub’s regulars and wash down a deluxe seafood platter with a pint of Guinness.

89 Westbourne Park Road, London W2 5QH, thecowlondon.com

Core by Clare Smyth

Clare Symth remains the only female chef in the UK to be awarded three Michelin stars, as chef-patron at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay in Chelsea. The Northern Irish chef’s first solo venture, Core by Clare Smyth, was awarded two Michelin stars within its first year of opening, and gained its third in the 2021 guide. Set in a period building on Kensington Park Road, the contemporary restaurant specialises in informal fine dining. Instead of white linen, the light-filled space is furnished with leather-topped tables, brushed brass fixtures and wooden floors. Smyth champions local, British produce, with a focus on low-waste and sustainably sourced ingredients. Diners can either go a la carte or select from two seasonally changing tasting menus.

92 Kensington Park Road, London W11 2PN, corebyclaresmyth.com

Read more: In conversation with Clare Smyth

Farmacy

Opened by Harrods heiress Camilla Fayed in 2016, Farmacy operates an upmarket menu of plant-based comfort food. Highlights include loaded mushroom tacos, hearty earth bowls and house-made sourdough pizzas with artichoke sauce and macadamia ‘cheese’. Diners can perk up with a zingy superfood shot, served in a syringe, or unwind with an impressive list of sulphur-free biodynamic wines. The restaurant lays claim to its own certified plot of land in Kent, where biodynamic vegetables, fruits and herbs are grown for a sustainable farm-to-plate model.

74-76 Westbourne Grove, London W2 5SH, farmacylondon.com

Read more: The best vegan restaurants in London

The Oak

This charming pub-turned-Italian osteria serves wood-fired pizzas and Mediterranean dishes, including spinach and ricotta ravioli and Sicilian-style stuffed aubergine. Flickering candles and rustic wooden tables create an irresistible ambience in the evening, which is perfect for date nights and group gatherings alike. The Oak operates a no-booking policy, but waiting patrons can enjoy a cocktail in the upstairs lounge while their table is prepared.

137 Westbourne Park Road, London W2 5QL, theoaklondon.com

NBHD Portobello

Nestled amongst the pretty pastel houses of Ladbroke Grove is NBHD Portobello, a new late-night pop-up bar serving South American-inspired sharing plates, including sizzling slow roast pork belly and tuna and guacamole tostadas. The team behind the venture comes from Soho House, The Rum Kitchen and Inception Group – so you know you're in safe hands – and there is live jazz and DJs on weekends.

225 Ladbroke Grove, London W10 6HQ, neighbourhood-london.com

Farm Girl

Notting Hill’s Farm Girl cafe gained cult status on Instagram for its picturesque pink lattes, gluten-free granola bowls and vegan pancake stacks, all scattered with pretty flower petals. Opened in 2015 by Australian former fashion publicist Rose Mann and her partner Anthony Hood, the restaurant draws on Melbourne’s health-conscious, colourful brunch scene. Expect round-the-block queues on weekends.

59A Portobello Road, London W11 3DB, thefarmgirl.co.uk

Casa Cruz

Undoubtedly the most glamorous option on this list, Casa Cruz is owned by Chilean investment banker-turned-restaurateur Juan Santa Cruz. It is where Rita Ora infamously held her forbidden birthday party during lockdown and also counts Mick Jagger, Naomi Campbell and Victoria Beckham as high-profile fans. Edging more towards Holland Park, this sexy South American restaurant-come-late-night party spot serves extravagant dishes with Argentinian influences in a glitzy setting. The main restaurant is a dark milieu of mirrors, burnished copper and patterned carpets, suffused with seventies glamour, while the downstairs lounge packs out from 10pm. The real party is on the rooftop smoking terrace, discreetly wrapped in trailing greenery.

123A Clarendon Road, London W11 4JG, casacruz.london

Beam

Beam began as a neighbourhood hangout in Crouch End before opening in Highbury and, most recently, Notting Hill’s fashionable Westbourne Grove. Its Middle Eastern breakfast and brunch offering includes Turkish eggs with garlic yoghurt and a kick of spice; gluten-free buttermilk pancakes and a generous vegan spread of mushrooms, bean salsa, dukkah and avocado. With minimalist, mid-century furniture and towering plants, the all-day menu is accompanied by punchy cocktails and a very warm welcome.

103 Westbourne Grove, London W2 4UW, cafebeam.co.uk

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