We started life as a restaurant, then grew into guest accommodation and added on a wine bar. Today, we don’t have the restaurant but (and as much as our customers miss our risotto and tiramisu!) don’t feel too bad because there are plenty of options in Hampstead Village, less than 5 minutes walk from our door.
From Thai noodles to Spanish tapas and from Argentine steakhouses to traditional French cuisine, we think you’ll find at least one of these Hampstead restaurants to your liking!
1. 28 Church RowSpanish-inspired small plates in this intimate dining establishment have made 28 Church Row a recognised name in Hampstead. With friendly staff and a welcoming atmosphere, the portions are small but they‘re super delicious and this is a fine place to dine if you’re a fan of ‘sharing plates.’
Everything’s good but the pork belly, pigeon, broad bean croquettes and zucchini flowers come especially recommended. The wine selection is impressive and their cocktails divine - we recommend the Daiquiri! If you have a sweet tooth, you can’t go wrong with the soft poached pear or the swiss meringue.
Chic, stylish and a great place for a date night.
2. La Cage Imaginaire - FrenchSituated on the historic Flask Walk street, the stylish La Cage Imaginaire serves French-mediterranean cuisine on white-clothed tables and the ambience will leave you thinking you’re in a Parisien bistro on the Left Bank,
Dishes that always seem to go down well include the foie gras, the frogs legs, the French onion soup and the confit duck. For dessert you simply have to order the creme brulee or tarte tatin. The proprietor is charming and it's clear the ethos is all about customer satisfaction.
Finally, they have some outdoor seating so on warm summer evenings take a table on the cobbled streets and watch the world go by….
3. Patara - ThaiSet on the main drag - Hampstead High Street - Patara serves up contemporary Thai food with flavours that really pack a punch. Prawn and pork dumplings, chicken with cashew nuts, wild ginger beef stir fry and sea bass with lime are all divine. There are plenty of vegetarian and vegan options too, from sweet corn fritters and spring rolls to tasty green curries and tofu with lemongrass.
Patar’s attention to detail, when it comes to presentation, is amazing and with a stylish interior and relaxed atmosphere, it’s a great choice of restaurant when you’re in the mood for Far Eastern cuisine. Our tip - order a lychee cocktail - it’s the perfect way to start your meal!
4. Gaucho Grill - SteakhouseAttention carnivores - if you’re in Hampstead and craving some red meat, then hotfoot it down to the Gaucho Grill, next to Hampstead Underground. This Argentinian steakhouse has been in town a long time and once you’ve tasted their cuts you’ll know why.
Try the wagyu beef, tuna ceviche, scallops and any of the steaks, order yourself a glass of Argentinian pinot noir or a cocktail (the El Nino, with rum, coconut and mango goes down a treat) and enjoy. For dessert, you really should try the salted dulce de leche cheesecake.
Service is attentive and friendly and they even have a ‘all you can eat’ Sunday roast option. Prepare yourself!
5. L’Antica Pizzeria - ItalianIf (like many of us) you have the occasional craving for pizza, then you can’t go wrong with a trip to L’Antica Pizzeria. Two minutes walk from La Gaffe, next door to the Gaucho Grill (above) this joint serves up Neoplolian wood-fired pizzas cooked both with quality ingredients and sufficient passion that ensures it’s always busy.
Customers rave about the pizza dough, top-notch sauce and the freshness of the ingredients atop the pizzas. We’d recommend the ‘Massimo Troisi’ (burrata cheese, aubergine, truffle oil and Neapolitan sausage), the ‘Michelangelo’ (smoked mozzarella, gorgonzola, porcini mushrooms and speck) and the ‘Marco Polo’ (tomato, mozzarella, mushrooms, prosciutto ham, artichokes and black olives)
They also offer vegan pizzas and have some fantastic aperitifs - we'd recommend the Bellini. For dessert, it has to be the tiramisu. Oh, and occasionally you’ll be treated to freebies such as olives and focaccia, and a shot of limoncello at the end of your meal if you’ve had to wait a while. Antica Pizzeria is a small place and doesn’t accept reservations so expect a queue at busy times. However, trust us, it’s worth it.
6. Jin Kichi - JapaneseThis small Japanese restaurant down the road from us on Heath Street is one of the few izakaya-style restaurant in London (Izakaya, in Japanese, refers to an informal bar which serves alcoholic drinks and snacks) and if you’re a fan of authentic yakitori and nigiri, then don’t walk past!
Typical dishes there include grilled chicken skewers, black cod, tonkatsu and udon noodles and for the veggies there’s mushroom and asparagus skewers and seaweed salad. If you’re adventurous, try one of the more unusual items on the menu - quail eggs with teriyaki, grilled salmon jaw and ox tongue!) There’s plenty of sushi available as well and whether you order the sake or one of their cocktails you’ll not be disappointed.
Jin Kichi has a ‘neighbourhood’ feel, with modest Japanese furnishings and small booths, and it gets busy quickly so it’s advisable to make a reservation. Top notch food and excellent service make this one to look out for.
7. Paradise - IndianFinally, we couldn’t not mention Paradise restaurant, not just because so many Brits love Indian food but also because this place (which has been around since 1969) is a neighbourhood institution, serving lightly-spiced fare which keeps diners happy and returning.
From bhajis and puris to pasandas and bhunas, you can’t go wrong with anything on the menu. Items that seem to be particularly popular include the lamb pasanda, keema & aloo madras and prawn korai. Veggies and vegans can feast on tarka dhal, chana masala, and ‘Edmunds Biryani’ (garnished with sauteed aubergine).
Furthermore, hospitality here is exceptional with an incredibly friendly owner who always goes the extra mile to make you feel welcome and comfortable. Paradise is mouth-watering, delicious and, for many, addictive.
If you’re coming to London and looking for a place to stay in Hampstead, look no further. Our comfortable, welcoming Hampstead hotel is family-owned and family-run and just a stone's throw, from Hampstead tube. From there, it’s a quick 15-minute journey into the city centre, with world-class theatre, museums, nightlife and shopping at your feet.
To find out more about us, to book a room directly or to chat with one of our staff about coming to stay, contact La Gaffe by email or phone.