Hardens Guide to the Best Restaurants in London Holland Park
Hardens guides have spent 31 years compiling reviews of the best Holland Park restaurants. On Hardens.com you'll find details and reviews of 29 restaurants in Holland Park and our unique survey based approach to rating and reviewing Holland Park restaurants gives you the best insight into the top restaurants in every area and of every type of cuisine.
Featured Holland Park Restaurants
. Belvedere Restaurant
French restaurant in Holland Park
off Abbotsbury Rd in Holland Park - W8
2021 Review: “There’s not a better setting in London for romance” than this 17th-century former ballroom inside Holland Park: “a walk to the restaurant through the greenery is a joy, the space itself is elegant and light; and in the summer, the terrace offers al fresco dining overlooking the formal gardens”. Some reports still talk of the “pretty ordinary” modern British food and “adequate” service that’s often dogged the place, but overall feedback was more positive this year: “its lean years of so-so food and service are behind it” – “it’s a shame more people don’t go”.
. Enoteca Rosso
Italian restaurant in Kensington
276-280 Kensington High Street - W8
2021 Review: “Go for the wine: there’s a great selection” focused solely on Italy at this Kensington yearling, with bottles lining many of the walls. Even fans can note that the food (pasta, cheese and meat boards, salads) “is not as good”, but it avoids any harsh critiques. Brunch here is also a possibility.
Italian restaurant in Holland Park
148 Holland Park Ave - W11
Limited but good all-round feedback on this smart neighbourhood Italian in Holland Park, whose menu features some interesting Sardinian dishes. ‘Temporarily closed’ as we go to press, we have rated it on its historical performance and hope of a reopening some time soon.
Italian restaurant in Kensington
267 Kensington High Street - W8
Formerly Pizzicotto (RIP) – the Chiavarini family (who have run nearby Il Portico since the ’60’s) have revamped their six-year-old spin-off and in June 2021 took it in a slightly more serious culinary direction. The wood-burning pizza oven is still in operation, but there’s more of an emphasis on trattoria-style dishes, cured meats and pasta. We’ve rated this on the basis that it’s more of a retread than a full re-launch.
. Il Portico
Italian restaurant in Kensington
277 Kensington High St - W8
This “lovely neighbourhood restaurant” opposite the Design Museum on Kensington High Street has welcomed customers with “delicious family cooking” from Emilia-Romagna for 55 years. Current owner James Chiavarini has driven its modernisation since the retirement of his father, Pino, who now runs the family farm in Kent. “It’s not cheap”, but “there’s a reason it’s packed every day without having done a marketing drive”.
. Six Portland Road
British, Modern restaurant in Holland Park
6 Portland Road - W11
This “smart neighbourhood restaurant” in Holland Park is “great value for some quite elevated cooking”, with menus that change daily. It’s “very small” (36 seats), “very friendly”, and has a “super wine list”. It sees itself as a ‘smarter, smaller and more mature relative of Parlour’, the highly rated gastropub in Kensal Green. Top Tip: “well-priced lunch menu”.
. Megan's on the HIgh Street
British, Modern restaurant in Kensington and Chelsea
204 Kensington High Street - W8
With their very “pretty interiors” and “great brunch” – this “reliable chain” of “cheerful” all-day hang-outs has emerged completely undaunted from the pandemic, expanding beyond its south west London heartlands as far as Islington, Marlow and St Albans. With new openings scheduled for late 2021 in Dulwich and Richmond, the roll-out shows no sign of slowing down. They’re very “dog friendly” too.
Italian restaurant in Olympia
3 Russell Gdns - W14
“Always good for a special occasion” – this family-run Italian between Olympia and Holland Park has maintained the highest standards for more than 20 years – and shows little sign of relaxing into veteran status. Still a “slick operation in terms of food presentation and service”, it is a “really lovely place to eat, with good-quality food and wine”.
Persian restaurant in Olympia
10 Russell Gdns - W14
2021 Review: “I started eating at Alounak when it was in a container in a car park round the corner” over twenty-five years ago, and this Iranian café over the tracks from Olympia remains a “favourite BYO” to this day, with its “consistently good Persian comfort food”: in particular “superb kebabs”. (A Bayswater ‘Alounak’ is still in operation, but seems now to operate independently of W14.)
Indian restaurant in Kensington
The Barkers Building, Derry Street - W8
“The new Covent Garden branch of Dishoom is spectacular and the food is still ace” – our poll’s most commented-on chain continues to win overwhelmingly rapturous reviews. It helps that the “very different” Indian menu is a winner: “super-tasty” and “excellent value”, with the “out-of-the-box” breakfast options a particular fave rave (“have a bacon naan and a cup of chai, and the world feels a better place”). But, actually, the stand-out feature is the “always buzzing and fun” atmosphere at its individually designed branches; and post-lockdown, WC2 took the wraps off a successful makeover, which mines the heritage of Bombay theatres and early Bollywood talkies. It helps that service is “slick”, from “courteous and attentive staff who never push what they want to sell”. The catch? “painful and lengthy queues” for walk-ins which have, if anything, worsened since they introduced reservations in all locations.
Japanese restaurant in Kensington
1a Argyll Rd - W8
Despite designer interiors and posh locations (the ten-year-old original in a Kensington backstreet; the ‘Ocean House’ spin-off in South Kensington, in a quirky building built as Brompton Library), this off-radar duo perennially inspire surprisingly little feedback. Not only that, such reports as we do get typically say something like “one of the most delicious Japanese restaurants in town”. Perhaps it’s because they are not cheap?
Mediterranean restaurant in Kensington and Chelsea
221 Kensington High Street - W8
On the site of Melabes (RIP), the new occupant since December 2020 of this mezzanine site, with large windows overlooking Kensington High Street, offers an eastern Mediterranean menu (inspirations from Bulgaria, Serbia, Greece and Turkey) with many of the main dishes from the mangal (BBQ).
. Five Guys
Burgers, etc restaurant in Kensington
183 Kensington High Street - W8
2021 Review: “When all you want is an old-school burger”, these US-based arrivals of recent years really “hit the spot” – you can “build your own”, with “tons of accessories”; plus “seriously addictive fries”, “thick milkshakes”, and “more soda flavours than is reasonable”. “The eat-in experience is as depressing as McDonald’s”, though, in fact perhaps more so – “some branches have a strangely gloomy ambience” – but fans feel that “if you don’t mind 1980s-rock, a trip can still be surprisingly fun”.
. Kitchen W8
British, Modern restaurant in Kensington
11-13 Abingdon Road - W8
“The cuisine’s always delicious, seasonal and inventive” at this smart venue in a sidestreet off Kensington High Street – a “top local” more akin to “West End quality” due to the input of stellar chef Phil Howard (of Elystan Street and formerly the Square), who is a part owner, alongside Rebecca Mascarenhas, who has a long history in running excellent establishments. Not everyone agrees about the low-key interior, though – what is “a little souless” to some folks, is, to others, “lovely”.
Indian restaurant in Notting Hill
33c Holland Street - W8
2018 Review: “Beautiful cooking with a high-level modern twist” wins consistent praise for this comfortable Indian, “in a pretty locale” near High Street Ken tube – not at all a standard curry house.
. Hare & Tortoise
Pan-Asian restaurant in Olympia
373 Kensington High St - W14
These pan-Asian pitstops can knock up anything from “reliable Japanese” dishes to “amazing curry laksa” with great speed and efficiency. Launched in Bloomsbury, the chain has expanded slowly over 25 years and now has branches in Ealing, Putney, Kensington and Chiswick.
. The Ladbroke Arms
British, Modern restaurant in Notting Hill
54 Ladbroke Road - W11
This upscale, flower-bedecked gastropub, off the smarter end of Ladbroke Grove, is one of London’s more genteel-looking gastropubs (although it still draws a lively crowd). The food is “always good” and it’s an “enjoyable place for Sunday lunches” – it’s dog-friendly, too, so the perfect culmination of a walk in nearby Holland Park.
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