There’s much to love about the leafy North London suburb of Hampstead – the green spaces, the village feel, the proximity to central London. Add to that list, its eclectic mix of great places to eat. Whether you’re looking for a brunch spot with friends, the best restaurant for birthdays or a pub for Sunday roast lunch with the family, we’ve done the tasting menus for you (well, someone had to!) and selected a few favourite places to eat on and around Hampstead Heath.
It’s hard to beat a long walk around the heath followed by a long lunch in a traditional pub. It’s the ideal Sunday experience – or any day of the week come to that. These are a few of our favourite locals near the heath, in which to stop and enjoy good pub grub.
Don’t let the name fool you; you won’t find Spanish tapas in this traditional British pub. This historic inn serves up a brilliant Sunday roast with cracking Yorkshire puds, along with pub classics like fish and chips or seasonal specials.
A popular, traditional Hampstead pub serving up decent Sunday roasts. You’ll find the dining room at the back of the pub. This cosy 18th century inn on Holly Mount does comfort food really well, as well as stylish seafood and local, seasonal dishes.
This local gastropub can be found on Flask Walk, near the Parliament Hill viewpoint. It does pub grub really well, from a good old Ploughman’s to roasts, burgers and Scotch eggs. Oh, and don’t miss the rhubarb and apple crumble for pudding.
If the sun’s out, grab a seat here and soak it up while you can. It’s renowned for its great pub garden in which to enjoy a lazy brunch, a relaxed lunch or even a pint and a packet or crisps.
Directly across the street from the heath (and three of its most beautiful ponds), you’ll find this lovely pub on the beautiful Downshire Hill. It’s a stone’s throw away from Keats House Museum. Best of all, in its cellar, there’s an extremely rare Skittles Alley and the ancient game of skittles is still played there. They serve up some great grub too.
Delicious Mediterranean flavours abound in this North London enclave. Whether you’re looking for family friendly pizza places or a special date night bistro, you’ll find them all near Hampstead Heath.
The best place around for authentic Neapolitan style wood-fired pizza is Antica pizzeria on Heath Street. Expect seriously good pizza at reasonable prices. It’s the kind of place you’ll go back to time and time again.
Just over the road from the south end of the heath, this popular Italian restaurant is the perfect place to gather with friends and enjoy pasta, pizza and typical Italian fare.
A little walk from the heath (down Well Walk and Flask Walk) will bring you to this wonderful restaurant. It’s a bit Spanish, a bit Italian and it’s all about sharing small plates of deliciousness. The wine list is pretty remarkable too, featuring limited editions and memorable finds.
This attractive French brasserie is set on pretty Flask Walk. It serves up all those wonderful French bistro classics with style. Think French onion soup, foie gras, rabbit, creme brulee – a slice of Paris in Hampstead.
Smarter than the average Italian restaurant, this is the place to celebrate birthdays, bar mitzvahs and generally brilliant news. It’s set on pretty Perrin’s Court and there are a few tables outdoors for a special al fresco summer’s evening.
Hampstead boasts a diverse food offering, as you’d expect. You’ll find worldwide cuisine from Turkish kebabs to Korean bbq; fragrant curries from Indian, Thai and Japanese restaurants. These are a few of our favourite local finds.
This not-really-hidden gem in Hampstead Village is the Japanese restaurant of choice. Perch on a stool and watch the chefs perform mesmerising knife skills or grill skewers on coals. The yakitori is sublime.
This gastropub to the east of the heath serves up mouthwatering Thai food. It’s quite a hidden spot near Kentish Town tube, but once you discover it you’ll return for sure.
A favourite Indian restaurant with locals since 1969. It’s handily placed near Hampstead Heath overground station and serves up fresh, fragrant Indian food. It really is a curry lover’s paradise.
Step into a traditional Turkish restaurant in Hampstead Village. This family run eatery serves up fresh, tasty meze and mains full of Middle Eastern flavours.
Forget soggy sandwiches and sausage rolls, you can feast in finer style on Hampstead Heath. There’s only the one cafe located on the heath itself, but there are several delis and coffee shops nearby that can equip you with breakfast, lunch, tea and everything in between.
This remarkable stately home is the only cafe or restaurant which is actually on the heath. The Brew House cafe is a serene spot for a cup of tea and a slice of cake. And in typically British style, they do a good Sunday roast too.
Grab a takeaway bagel from this legendary bakery on Swains Lane, near Parliament Hill lido. The smoked salmon and cream cheese bagel is perfect picnic or post-swim fare. The original Roni’s opened in West Hampstead back in 1989. Its popularity spread and you’ll now find branches in Highgate and Belsize Park too.
This is the delicatessen for tasty picnic food. The homemade focaccia is simply delicious, and then there are the cold cuts, divine dips and great frittata to grab and go to the heath with.
This cute cafe on pretty Perrin’s Court, serves up brilliant coffee, breakfasts and cakes to eat in or take away. Head to the heath armed with your oat latte, gluten free muesli or smashed avo sandwich.
You’ll note that we’ve focussed on mainly local, independent eateries here. Of course, Hampstead hosts plenty of chain restaurants from Gaucho for Argentinian bbq to Wagamama’s noodles and everything in between (and that’s just on Heath St). So there’s something for everyone.
Our local guides will share their recommendations, along with their interesting stories, on our Hampstead Walks.