Hardens Guide to the Best Restaurants in London Hampstead
Hardens guides have spent 32 years compiling reviews of the best Hampstead restaurants. On Hardens.com you'll find details and reviews of 12 restaurants in Hampstead and our unique survey based approach to rating and reviewing Hampstead restaurants gives you the best insight into the top restaurants in every area and of every type of cuisine.
Featured Hampstead Restaurants
1. Jin Kichi Japanese restaurant in Hampstead 73 Heath St - NW3
“Sit at the counter and you might almost think you were in Tokyo… until you step outside and walk back to town over Hampstead Heath” from this “favourite Japanese” – one of NW3’s best claims to culinary fame. “A small place, it feels so down-to-earth and unassuming, and then blows you away with delicious sushi and yakitori grilled dishes, with even humbler items like seaweed salad made to perfection”. We’ve rated it in accordance with its long-term trend, but – having closed for much of the last year – it reopens in summer 2022 almost doubled in size. Here’s hoping they’ve kept the best facets of its former quaint and “most authentic” style.
2. The Horseshoe British, Modern restaurant in Hampstead 28 Heath St - NW3
2019 Review: This “buzzy” gastropub has a “hipper atmosphere than most in Hampstead”. The “good honest local food” is a “reliable bet” to accompany “great beer” from the in-house Camden Town Brewery – founded downstairs in the cellar and now brewed nearby.
3. La Cage Imaginaire French restaurant in Hampstead 16 Flask Walk - NW3
2019 Review: Few restaurants enjoy such a picture-book location as this little French restaurant in a gorgeous-looking Hampstead backwater. Over many years, it has never provoked huge feedback, and on occasion the cuisine can seem “tired and unimaginative” but, so long as you go with moderate expectations foodwise, it can provide a “charming” experience.
4. Holly Bush British, Traditional restaurant in Hampstead 22 Holly Mount - NW3
“A cosy gem” – this postcard-pretty Grade II listed Georgian tavern in a “lovely location” down a narrow street has been a must-visit in Hampstead village since Dr Johnson dropped in. It’s an “expensive” place to eat by pub standards, but it’s by no means a standard pub. “Go just for the real fire!”.
5. L' Antica Pizzeria Pizza restaurant in Hampstead 66 Heath St - NW3
2021 Review: “A Hampstead institution”, this “small” Neapolitan with a “classic, buzzy-pizzeria ambience” is “the real deal and excellent value” – so it’s “always packed, especially at weekends (when you can’t reserve)”. There’s also a range of appetizers and pasta dishes, and a spin-off branch in New Barnet.
6. Villa Bianca Italian restaurant in Hampstead 1 Perrins Ct - NW3
“Classic old-school Italian” in a “lovely setting in Hampstead”, with white linen and walls living up to its name. Even some who consider it “an old favourite” acknowledge that the experience is “hit ’n’ miss”, with sometimes “snooty service” but it still draws an enthusiastic crowd: “my business days are over, but judging by the other diners there must be plenty of business going on!”
7. 28 Church Row Spanish restaurant in Hampstead 28 Church Row - NW3
Serving “the best tapas in Hampstead” – this “wonderful little hideaway” serves “simply exceptional vegetable plates” as well as “great fish and meat”, with Italian as well as Spanish dishes on the menu. In the gracious approach to St John-at-Hampstead – it’s “a brilliant conversion: they really got the ghost out of this basement”, ensuring a “fun visit every time”.
8. Ginger & White Hampstead Sandwiches, cakes, etc restaurant in Hampstead 4a-5a Perrins Court - NW3
This “ever-popular” haunt serves “excellent coffee”, while “the food menu is perfectly acceptable”, and includes a “really precise and delicious shakshuka”. Any negatives? – “finding a spot can be a trial”.
9. Patara Thai restaurant in Camden 82 Hampstead High St - NW3
With its “authentic Thai food” (the mother restaurant is in Bangkok), this international group is still a “go-to Thai brand in the capital” for many reporters, especially if you want an experience “more up-market than at many of its competitors”. Restaurateur Khun Patara Sila-On opened her first London branch in South Ken 33 years ago, and has added five more in central London, Hampstead and Wimbledon.
10. Delicatessen Middle Eastern restaurant in Hampstead 46 Rosslyn Hill - NW3
2022 Review: “A varied menu” of sharing plates and burgers sits alongside more ambitious dishes at this modern Middle Eastern restaurant in Hampstead, whose “great atmosphere, excellent food and rustic decor” create an “enjoyable” experience.
11. The Wells Tavern British, Modern restaurant in Hampstead 30 Well Walk - NW3
“Possibly the best overall eating experience in NW3” – this characterful Georgian tavern in Hampstead (run for two decades by Beth Coventry, sister of the veteran restaurant critic Fay Maschler) is a great all-rounder. The “consistent food is excellent for a local pub”, “the setting is delightful” (choose from three different dining rooms) and “it’s a friendly place that combines well with a walk on the Heath”.
12. Zest, JW3 Kosher restaurant in West Hampstead 341-351 Finchley Rd - NW3
2019 Review: This “much-loved eatery” in West Hampstead’s JW3 Jewish community centre channels the flavours of contemporary Tel Aviv. “London is very short of decent kosher restaurants... and the food here isn’t bad at all.”
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