Restaurants & Nightlife

5 MINUTE READ

Notting Hill's best bars

Words by Georgie Young

Updated 14 May 2024

Luxury bar interior with blue chairs at Viajantes87, Notting Hill

Vinyl-filled caverns, hidden agave dens, and cosy wine bars – here are six places to drink in W11.

Notting Hill’s never really been known for its nightlife. It’s generally had the spotlight for its colourful streets, antiques, and – especially in the last few years – a clutch of trendy restaurants. However, that doesn’t mean good bars don’t exist here. In fact, you’ll find vinyl-filled caverns, hidden agave dens, and cosy wine bars if you know where to look – or if you read our edit of Notting Hill’s best bars, below.

Gold

With a natural wine list and seasonal cocktail menu, the ground-floor bar at this local restaurant has established itself as a prime drinking spot. Enter through the dramatic mural on the front of the building to dark and stylish interiors – the perfect environs for a drink later in the evening (unlike many places in the area, Gold is open until 12.30am or 1am most nights).

Try the House on Fire, a fiery interpretation of a margarita using mezcal and habanero syrup, or a glass of Sicilian orange wine. There are also good options if you’re not drinking, such as a pomegranate and basil fizz or ginger lemonade.

Dining table with blue sofa seating underneath large plant hanging at Gold, Notting Hill
Waiter carrying Negroni cocktail served in a short glass 2 with sugar around rim on a serving tray at Gold, Notting Hill
95–97 Portobello Road, London W11 2QB

Viajante87

You wouldn’t expect a bar on Notting Hill Gate to be this good. Nor would you expect to take a tour across Latin America on a Thursday evening – but that’s what happens at Viajante87. The menu is designed to take you ‘from tourist to local’ via a selection of creative mixes – and, as expected from the sibling to locally loved restaurant Los Mochis, the bar snacks are heavenly (order the taco pato – crispy rice topped with shredded hoisin duck).

Everything on the cocktail menu is excellent and worth trying, but we particularly recommend ¿Pechuga Que? (a bittersweet mix made from mezcal the mixologists have distilled themselves) and Synergy, which blends 12-hour-cooked Shiitake mushrooms, coconut, and a side of Amazonian ants (yes, really).

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87 Notting Hill Gate, London W11 3JZ

Caia

Sitting pretty much at the foot of Trellick Tower, this open-fire restaurant has also become a bit of a local hotspot for late-night drinks – thanks, in part, to its great selection of red, white, rosé, and orange wines. The other reason, though, is its subterranean dining room that turns into a dancefloor after 10pm, with a vinyl DJ (and sometimes the owner, Tim, himself) spinning through a crate-digger’s nirvana of vinyl.

During the day, though, you can’t beat sipping a French 75 on the street-level terrace whilst watching street sellers peddling antiques further up the road – it feels very Notting Hill.

Vintage photo of bartender making a cocktail at Caia, Notting Hill
Person playing with vintage stereo deck at Caia, Notting Hill
46 Golborne Rd, London W10 5PR

Golborne Fine Wine & Deli

Situated on the quieter Golborne Road, this rustic Italian deli also has a small wine shop and bar, with a few tables out front in summer. Its wine list spotlights natural, organic wines, with a helpful sommelier – Sam – consistently on hand to help you select your bottle of choice.

The bar menu features an evolving roster of wines by the glass, with the option to buy a bottle in-store and drink it there for a small corkage fee. Plus, on Wednesdays from 5–7 pm, Sam hosts tastings on the long, wooden table in the centre of the store, with the aim of introducing patrons to a greater variety of wines.

Exterior of Golborne Fine Wine & Deli, Notting Hill Exterior of Golborne Fine Wine & Deli, Notting Hill
100–102 Golborne Rd, London W10 5PS

Naked & Famous

Tucked beneath Zephyr (the self-styled ‘Greek experience restaurant), this subterranean bar is a softly lit, retro cavern with a focus on agave spirits – if you’re on the hunt for Notting Hill’s best margarita, you’ll find it served here with a splash of pineapple.

With just 35 seats, it’s small enough to feel intimate but with enough of a vibe to create that ‘Friday night’ feeling on any day of the week – although it is closed on Sundays and Mondays. Whenever you visit, though, you should absolutely book a table upstairs for dinner – the sea bass is excellent.

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100 Portobello Rd, W11 2QD

Franklin’s Wine Bar

Franklin’s has that cosy, neighbourhood vibe that so many central London restaurants try unsuccessfully to copy nowadays. But there’s nothing but authenticity to be found here. Family-run and sommelier-led, Franklin’s is a wine shop first and foremost, with walls of hand-selected bottles and genuinely helpful staff who’ll help pick the one for you.

But it’s in the downstairs bar that things reach peak cosiness. Art-filled and cushion-smattered, it’s a comfortable space to try some of the bottles or one of the signature cocktails. It’s all complemented by light bites and a Cuban cigar menu – whatever makes your perfect day, night, or weekend.

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305 Westbourne Grove, W11 2QA

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Georgie Young

As our Digital Editor, Georgie writes about all types of luxury – whether that’s deep dives into London restaurant trends, interviews with famous faces, or travelogues from all over the world.

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