Notting Hill has some excellent and affordable spots if you know where to look. Here’s our pick of the best restaurants in the neighbourhood.
Jay Dees Caribbean
In between Westbourne Park and Ladbroke Grove tube stations is Jay Dees – a Caribbean cash-only takeaway spot that you really want to know about. You don’t need to spend much to get a lot here. For £7.50 you can get a tupperware packed to the brim with charred jerk chicken, rice and peas, cabbage, beans, and carrots, and covered in a perfectly spicy and fruity sauce. It’s as delicious as it is generous, and there’s lots more on the menu as well, from curried goat to saltfish patties. If the weather’s right walk up the road a minute to Tavistock Gardens, find yourself a spot, and get stuck in.
There are some restaurants that you walk into and, whether it’s a Saturday night or a Tuesday lunchtime, you think ‘right, a bottle of wine is in order’. Mazi is one of those restaurants. This Greek spot just behind Notting Hill Gate station has plenty of rustic wooden tables, faux shutters on the walls, and a stupidly cute outdoor terrace. This place is perfect for dinner with the family, the most romantic outdoor date this side of Santorini, or for a laidback birthday involving a whole lot of tzatziki.
Suzi Tros is two doors down from its big sister, Notting Hill neighbourhood favourite Mazi. Think of this place as the younger, care-free sibling that really appreciates a good, strong cocktail and knows how to have a laugh. Unlike Mazi, this place is walk-in only which is very handy when it feels like the whole of London has decided to descend on Notting Hill for a Saturday night dinner. There’s holiday feel floor tiling, a tiny bar downstairs, super friendly service, and really, if you come here without trying the meatballs and a couple of cocktails, then you’re doing it wrong.
It’s your classic Notting Hill situation. Your mum said she wanted nothing for her birthday. But then last night you got a super subtle text saying ‘that antique ottoman at the market was nice, wasn’t it?’. Fantastic. But, when you’ve spent the day walking the length of Portobello Road, heading for the Singapore vermicelli noodles at Uli is always a good shout. The food here isn’t going to change your life, but it’s the kind of bright, modern spot close to a station that it’s always worth having in your back pocket. Expect crispy aromatic duck, dim sum, lots of seafood, and a big outdoor terrace complete with blankets, cushions, and candles.
Granger & Co Notting Hill
Granger and Co. runs four Australian restaurants in London. The Notting Hill location is the smallest of them, but the menu’s full of the same kind of fresh salads, sandwiches, small plates and main dishes that you’d find at their other spots, or indeed a cool cafe in Sydney – think shrimp burgers, ricotta hotcakes, and plenty of stuff with avocado. The small size and quality food means getting a table might be the hardest thing you’ve done since you tried to walk down Oxford Street on December 23rd, so be sure to book if you’re going at peak times.
Notting Hill feels like it should have a good old-fashioned diner, and it does. The Electric isn’t cheap, but it’s a great shout no matter what time you’re in the area. There’s an all-day breakfast menu from 8am which is generally very satisfying, and a solid selection of uncomplicated but delicious food for a really hearty dinner. The flat iron chicken and a double cheese burger should at the very least be on your table, but the mac and cheese is the only side worth a fiver. If you’re making use of the cinema here, you get 50% off, but even if you’re not this is a lively place with consistently superb service, and it’s well worth your time. The Electric serves three simultaneously noble purposes: hangover cure, pre-cinema-ice-breaker, and a solid all day American diner.