Eat your way around the world with these 10 diverse Notting Hill restaurants.
Famous for its Carnival and Caribbean roots of its diverse population, Notting Hill is a melting pot of culture whose diversity is evident in the variety to be found within its culinary scene. Tastes of the Caribbean remain easy to find but the neighborhood restaurants will take you on a journey all over from Peruvian comfort food to hip Danish gastronomical delights. Balancing price points to include a blend of luxe fine dining establishments and unmissable neighborhood classics, here are 10 of the best restaurants in Notting Hill.
If Michelin stars are what you’re after then The Ledbury is the place to go, with Chef Brett Graham’s contemporary British cuisine consistently keeping it at the top of the game. You can expect to pay a high price for the exceptional fine wines and signature four-course set menu that features the likes of Cornish cod, buffalo milk curd, and roasted onions and stem ginger ice cream but it’s worth it. Relatively formal—think pressed white tablecloths—a visit is an excuse to dress up.
Books for Cooks
It seems obvious, if you’re a cookery-biased bookstore, to run an onsite kitchen sampling the recipes from the hundreds of cookbooks on the shelves, which is the beauty of the small restaurant at Books for Cooks. Resident chefs deliver a daily changing menu (often tweeted out in the morning) of dishes from a book of the day, which is served until it runs out. The food is no frills—the books of Heston Blumenthal are left on the shelves—and value is incredible. Best of all, it’s something totally different that allows visitors to slot straight into a space beloved by the community and its regulars.
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Core by Clare Smyth
Core by Clare Smyth is simply a stunning restaurant, serving food by one of the best chefs in the country. In Notting Hill fine dining terms, the Ledbury is the established classic and Core is the new kid on the block, serving invention and imagination through a menu that plays with seasonal specialties and complex gastro techniques. If you want a meal that doubles as a true one-off experience, then book a table at Clare Smyth’s restaurant.
Launched by the same team that created the sublime Salvation by Noodles over in East London’s Dalston, Mam is a Vietnamese BBQ joint that has people traveling the length and breadth of the city to dig into the mixed menu of build-your-own banh hoi pancakes, fish sauce chicken wings, and, yes, noodles. Pho and rice bowls with toppings of short rib, braised pork belly, and tofu flesh out the heartier side of the menu. Stylishly executed, the restaurant is a charming blend of Scandi-chic meets Hanoi street food stall, which works extremely well.
Notting Hill’s Caribbean community forms a strong part of the neighborhood’s history, not least for inspiring the birth of Carnival, and you can find the food of the region at Cottons. Expect comfort food like jerk chicken, oxtail stew, and salted cod with ackee served up within a colorful space that matches the unpretentious, laidback atmosphere. If rum is your thing then be prepared, the restaurant has over 350 different labels to choose from.
There are other branches of Andina in London but nowhere fits chef Martin Morales’ vision of establishing a traditional Peruvian restaurant with a family, community-friendly vibe than Notting Hill. Go for the lively atmosphere in a sophisticated setting, drink the excellent pisco sours, and order the pork belly chicharron and grilled octopus. After, head next door to the Andina Café for takeaway Peruvian pastries to take back to the hotel.
Not strictly a shed but exceptionally shed-like, the aptly named, The Shed, is a delightfully rustic eating spot tucked behind an unassuming façade close to Notting Hill Underground Station. Given its commitment to farm to table eating, you can expect a shifting menu of fresh, seasonal, foraged ingredients, much of which come fresh from the owners’ own family farm. Due to its eccentric interior and intimate evening atmosphere, it makes a great spot for a romantic dinner.
Snaps and Rye
Snaps and Rye has consistently evolved since it opened, scoring points with its delectable open sandwiches and well-designed restaurant space. The Danish restaurant is a smart, comfortable place modeled on that inimitable Scandinavian interior balance. The lunchtime Danish sandwiches may not sound like much but they truly are, very much indeed. And so are the evening mealtimes, only open on Thursday through Saturday, when the restaurant ups the ante with the likes of Nordic fishcakes, pork and veal meatballs, and pickled herring to go along with a large dose of hygge.
As its name suggests, Gold has a degree of flashiness to it that will appeal to anyone with a foodie-led Instagram account to service. The menu here was devised and executed by a former River Café chef who delivers a Mediterranean inspired menu that puts an in-house wood oven to good use and features a collection of pasta dishes that have inspired rave reviews. It’s romantic, hip and slightly over the top in a good way. If you can choose where to sit, opt for the Garden Room oasis for indoor eating that feels alfresco.
Since its birth in the noughties, E&O has continued to attract rave reviews for its bold, adventurous Asian fusion. Once a favorite of the celebrity set, its relative old age, in restaurant terms at least, means that the exclusivity that once labeled it a see and be seen kind of place has receded, and now regular folk can score a table without too much trouble. One thing that hasn’t changed over the years is the standard of cooking, with the all-day dim sum, sushi, and Asian curries dominating a menu that marks E&O as one of the best restaurants in Notting Hill for a guaranteed good time.