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.
The laidback younger sibling to White City’s Michelin-starred Endo at the Rotunda, Sumi offers chef Endo Kazutoshi’s signature fare in a much more unassuming setting, but with the same sensory impact. Sumi’s menu is inspired and driven by Japanese tradition, with highlights including Japanese A4 Wagyu striploin with charred brassica and a yuzu onion sauce, hand-rolled Temaki sushi and an extensive selection of nigiri finished ‘Aburi style’, with a naked flame, for a crispy-chewy texture and creamy sweetness.
157 Westbourne Grove, W11 2RS, visit sushisumi.com
Granger & Co.
Promising ‘sunshine food and sunny vibes,’ Australian all-day dining space Granger & Co. has been a proud fixture of Notting Hill for over a decade, thanks to its scrumptious brunches and easygoing atmosphere. Visit during the day for a taste of the restaurant’s famed ricotta hotcakes with banana and honeycomb butter, and sweetcorn fritters with roast tomato, spinach and bacon. Alternatively, stop by in the evening for a feast of small plates, including tuna tartare with nashi pear and green kimchi and Brixham crab toast or larger plates of parmesan crumbed chicken schnitzel with creamed corn and shredded fennel. The beef burger with pickled green chilli, herb mayo and fries is not to be missed.
175 Westbourne Grove, W11 2SB, visit grangerandco.com
Sunday in Brooklyn
Visit Williamsburg by way of Notting Hill at Sunday in Brooklyn. The much-hyped New York restaurant landed in London in 2021, serving a selection of its most popular dinner time dishes, including pressed lamb shoulder with braised chickpeas and grilled sea bream with Gaujillo chilli crisp. Brunch majors on all-American staples, including Sunday pancakes with hazelnut maple praline, and brown butter, fully loaded vegetarian or patty burgers, and a Don Reuben omelette with spicy mole sauce, goat’s cheese, roasted mushrooms and butter lettuce salad. The drinks list boasts natural wines and cocktails, including quite possibly London’s best Bloody Mary.
98 Westbourne Grove, W2 5RU, visit sundayinbk.co.uk
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, W11 2PN, visit corebyclaresmyth.com
Opened by Harrods heiress Camilla Fayed in 2016, Farmacy operates an upmarket menu of plant-based comfort food. Highlights include loaded falafel waffles, 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 vegetables, fruits and herbs are grown for a sustainable farm-to-plate model.
74-76 Westbourne Grove, W2 5SH, visit farmacylondon.com
This charming pub-turned-Italian osteria serves wood-fired pizzas and Mediterranean dishes, including aubergine parmigiana and apulian burrata with parma ham. 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, visit theoaklondon.com
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, W11 3DB, visit thefarmgirl.co.uk
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, W11 4JG, visit casacruz.london
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, W2 4UW, visit cafebeam.co.uk