The River Caf¨¦
Ruthie Rogers¡¯ simple Thames-side restaurant is a national treasure, and a beloved spot that continues to endure as one of the best restaurants in London. Guests book weeks in advance for the light lemon-coated zucchini fritti and chargrilled squid with chilli and rocket. We recommend making the most of the primi: risotto ¨C with clams, zucchini flowers and Castello di Neive Langhe Arneis, bowls of pappardelle with rabbit rag¨´ or taglierini with cherry and marigold tomatoes and basil. Pasta in London doesn¡¯t get much better than this ¨C it’s still deserving of its Michelin Star 22 years later.
Address: The River Caf¨¦, Thames Wharf, Rainville Road, Hammersmith, London W6 9HA
Telephone: +44 20 7386 4200
This fabulously kitsch, colourful and eclectic restaurant is the place to go for traditional Lebanese food and the warmest of welcomes. The owner, who mans the stove in his tiny open kitchen, truly cooks for his guests as if he¡¯s welcoming them into his home ¨C and it does feel as though you¡¯ve stepped into his living room, the mantelpiece crowded with knick-knacks. Order the set mixed-meze plate for parsley-flecked tabbouleh, bowls of hummus and puffed-up pittas, and follow up with something from the grill, then a saucer of sticky-sweet baklava and an equally sugar-soused mint tea. Portions are huge, as are the flavours, but it¡¯s the atmosphere that will keep you coming back.
Address: Mes Amis, 1 Rainville Road, Hammersmith, London W6 9HA
Telephone: +44 20 7385 5155
Decent, authentic Japanese food used to be very hard to come by in Hammersmith, but this low-key neighbourhood joint has been redressing the balance since it opened in 2017. In the small, minimalist room, black timber contrasts with white-painted brick walls, a bottle of Kikkoman soy sauce the only adornment for each table. The vibe is relaxed and friendly, and the menu lists a selection of sushi, tempura, teriyaki and noodles that allows you to explore Japanese food without the often hefty price tag. The warming salmon udon soup is a fine choice, as is the crispy tuna roll, while bento boxes are particularly popular at lunchtime, when local workers fill the metal-framed chairs and the banquette running along one wall.
Address: Kenta, 106 Fulham Palace Road, Hammersmith, London W6 9PL
Telephone: +44 20 8741 8111
Website: no website
The lamb chops will blow your socks off at this fantastically low-key Punjabi restaurant Order some alongside a bowl of shahi paneer (Indian cottage cheese in a creamy tomato sauce) and a pillowy garlic naan for a simple supper, or go with friends and take some time to explore all the options the lengthy menu has to offer. Starters take in street-food favourites such as momos (stuffed steamed dumplings from the Himalayas) and khati keethi kapdi khat (crispy wafers topped with potatoes, yogurt, chutney and pomegranate, and the house-special lamb dopiaza is aromatic and spicy. The decor is simple, enlivened with a judicious scattering of plush patterned cushions, fretwork screens and woven wall hangings.
Address: Rangrez, 32 Fulham Palace Road, Hammersmith, London W6 9PH
Telephone: +44 20 8563 7176
One of the original vegetarian restaurants in London, and still entirely worthy of a visit. You¡¯ll walk up a flight of stairs to an oasis of hanging plants and folded linen under a gloriously high ceiling ¨C the light and modern vibe is the perfect platform for the inventive, elegant food. Try miso-glazed aubergine to start, or crispy arancini balls studded with sweet pops of pea. Mains, such as aubergine schnitzel with Applewood-smoked cheddar and basil pesto and the Asian-influenced Green Dragon salad, borrow international flavours. Pudding brings classics such as tiramisu, prune and apple crumble and sticky toffee pudding, and the wine list is chosen to match plant-based food, all certified vegan.
Address: The Gate, 51 Queen Caroline Street, Hammersmith, London W6 9QL
Telephone: +44 20 7833 0401
Pizzeria da Mariano
The owner of this straight-up pizzeria, Mariano Del Sole, learnt his art at a very early age in some of the best pizzerias in Naples, so the guy knows his dough. Neapolitan-style pizzas with fluffy charred crusts are generously topped: try cacio e pepe with smoked mozzarella, or the Cetus with yellow tomatoes, basil and tuna. There are some great small fried bites too, including mozzarella-stuffed potato croquettes and moreish strips of deep-fried pizza. An Italian take on the rum baba (which is also on the menu), the baba al limoncello is a pudding and digestif in one.
Address: Pizzeria da Mariano, 93 Fulham Palace Road, Hammersmith, London W6 8JA
Telephone: +44 20 8563 9558
Meander along the Thames past pretty pubs, boats and lycra-clad joggers and eventually you¡¯ll stumble across Mari Delicatessen. It¡¯s an unassuming end-of-terrace spot, but don¡¯t discount it for its appearance ¨C the honest-to-goodness Italian cooking has a lot to recommend it. The vibe is traditional Firenze deli meets lunch at your Italian friend¡¯s Nonna and Nonno¡¯s house. It¡¯s warm, friendly and home to people whose mission is to make sure you¡¯re well fed. All the classics are here ¨C a gooey aubergine parmigiana, bruschetta loaded with juicy tomatoes and basil and a mean Aperol spritz. If the sun¡¯s out, a few of Mari¡¯s antipasti, boxed to go, with a couple of flaky sfogliatelle pastries or ricotta-stuffed cannoli, make an excellent riverside picnic.
Address: Mari Delicatessen, 1a Eyot Gardens, Hammersmith, London W6 9TN
Telephone: +44 20 7041 9251
The colourful furnishings and generous terrace at this spirited modern Indian restaurant in London combine to make you feel as though you have wandered into a buzzing food bazaar, and the street food-influenced menu continues the theme. The scents of spices escaping from the kitchen are mouth-watering ¨C start with tamarind-spiked pani puri and flaky samosa chaat before getting serious with lamb shank Rogan Josh and Portuguese-influenced wild-boar vindaloo made with slow-cooked belly meat. To drink, there¡¯s gently spiced masala chai as well as kali chai ¨C a tea served black with fresh mint, lime and peppercorn ¨C and puddings include cardamom-scented cr¨¨me br?l¨¦e and pistachio or mango kulfi on a stick.
Address: Potli, 319-321 King Street, Hammersmith, London W6 9NH
Telephone: +44 20 8741 4328
Another scene-setter, Azou is decked out with coloured-glass lanterns and generous swathes of jewel-toned Berber fabric. The welcoming staff at this family-run North African restaurant serve up Moroccan, Algerian and Tunisian food that packs a flavourful punch. Start with harira, a traditional meat soup with vegetables, pulses, spices and herbs, or brik, a Tunisian speciality of crisp thin pastry filled with tuna, potato and egg. Tajines are a speciality, and there are 11 to choose from, including a fish option flavoured with preserved lemon, and a tomato-laden one made with kofte meatballs. Mop up rich sauces with fluffy couscous or sesame-sprinkled bread before rounding things off with a plate of honey-soaked baklava and strong, sweet cardamom-scented Arabic coffee.
Address: Azou Restaurant, 375 King Street, Hammersmith, London W6 9NJ
Telephone: +44 20 8563 7266