By Kingfisher Visitor Guides
Middlesex has some of the best fine dining in the country, but its casual offerings are equally good, whether you’re eating in a laid-back pub, a food market or a pizza place.
If you’re looking for pub dining, The Old Orchard in Uxbridge wins the crowds for its beautiful setting looking over Broadwater Lake Nature Reserve. The menu offers traditional pub grub such as steak burgers, chicken Caesar salad, and pies, or you can opt for a sharing platter to graze on as you while away hours taking in the tranquil setting.
Over in Teddington is The Wharf, a 180-seater riverside restaurant opposite Teddington Lock, which offers unrivalled views of the River Thames. It’s particularly strong on fish dishes which include lobster and crab linguine, Cornish haddock laksa and platters of English rock oysters. Come on Sundays for a set menu along with live jazz.
The Teddington Arms, located on the High Street in Teddington, is a modern gastropub that gets packed to the rafters whenever they show a live football or rugby match on their big screen TVs. If you’ve just come for a quiet meal, you’ll find simple, traditional food such as steaks, fish and chips, burgers and hearty Sunday roasts.
Twickenham’s world-famous rugby pub, The Cabbage Patch is a great place to grab a bite pre- or post-match. The food here is traditional with a local twist, and the fish is battered using London Pride from Fuller’s Griffin Brewery, just minutes away in Chiswick. If you want to investigate further, the brewery offers tours and tastings.
Over in Teddington is The Wharf, a 180-seater riverside restaurant opposite Teddington Lock, which offers unrivalled views of the River Thames
For more brewery action, try Crate, a craft brewery set in a striking white building next to the River Lea in Hackney Wick. It has a bar and restaurant serving up traditional and not-so-traditional stone-baked pizzas – sage and truffle, Middle Eastern lamb or Kashmiri dahl topping anyone? It’s also now home to a branch of Silo, the world’s first zero-waste restaurant by Douglas McMaster that’s already made waves in Brighton.
Hackney has plenty more trendy restaurants and drinking holes to choose from including The Kenton, a cosy pub which is renowned for its Sunday roasts.
If you love a good market, Hackney is the place to go, particularly if you’re into street food. Broadway Market has been home to market traders since the 1890s and provides a unique kaleidoscope of tastes and cultures crammed into a little East End street between the Regent’s Canal and London Fields.
Taking place every Sunday, Chatsworth Road Market has all sorts of delicious street food stalls alongside fine cheeses and baked goods. Hoxton Street Market – the oldest market in Hackney – is similarly well-endowed.
Open the first and third Sunday of the month, Ruislip’s Duck Pond Market is heaving with delicious local produce, while on Thursdays and Fridays, Hammersmith’s Lyric Square has street food stalls selling cuisine from around the world, from Caribbean to Vietnamese to hog roasts.
Starting in Hackney, My Neighbours the Dumplings is a hip dim sum joint where the little parcels of joy include potato and truffle and peanut and mixed veg, as well as more traditional varieties. Just nearby in Hoxton, Sông Quê Café serves incredible Vietnamese food in simple, colourful surroundings, including some of the best pho in London.
If you’re looking for a different take on a traditional restaurant curry, head to Hammersmith’s Indian Zing. Like its sister restaurant Indian Zest in Sunbury on Thames, Zing offers dining with beautifully presented dishes such as mussels in a herb and coconut broth, Devon crab with coriander cress and duck breast with Chettinad spices.
Further southwest, in Shepperton, The Ivory Tusk has been bringing some of India’s most authentic dishes to Middlesex for more than 40 years. Established in 1979 by Mr Ahmedur Rashid, the restaurant is now run by his children Musa and Ameena, who keep the punters coming with top-quality traditional dishes such as chicken madras, biryanis and tandoori grills.
Looking for a different take on a traditional restaurant curry? Head to Hammersmith’s Indian Zing. Like its sister restaurant Indian Zest in Sunbury on Thames, they both offer beautifully presented dishes
If you like things done the old-school way then go dining at Esarn Kheaw in Shepherd’s Bush, which has been serving up authentic Thai dishes for almost three decades. The express lunch menu is really good value, and the sea bass dishes and homemade Thai sausages from the main menu are definitely worth a try.
Prefer things on the milder side? Opt for a Mediterranean menu. Izgara restaurant in Hatch End, Harrow serves a selection of mezze dishes as well as hearty grills, all of which can be washed down with a glass (or three!) of Raki. Alternatively try Skewd Kitchen in Barnet, which serves super stylish coal-fired fish and steaks as well as the usual traditional kebabs and mezze. It was named Best Fine Dining Restaurant at the British Kebab Awards in 2019.
There’s plenty of pizza action in Middlesex, but If you’re after a pillowy, blistered Neapolitan number, head to Santa Maria in Ealing – the slow-rise dough is so good you’ll feel as if you’ve been transported to Italy. Opened by owners Angelo and Pasquale in 2010, it features a wood-fired oven imported from Italy and regularly appears in the Sunday Times top restaurant lists. There are further branches in Islington, Fulham, Brentford and Fitzrovia.
If you can afford the rather hefty price tag, The River Café in Hammersmith should definitely be on your restaurant bucket list
If you can afford the rather hefty price tag, The River Café in Hammersmith should definitely be on your restaurant bucket list. Opened on the banks of the River Thames in 1987, originally as the staff restaurant for Richard Rogers’ architectural practice, this restaurant is famous for kick-starting the careers of Jamie Oliver and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. More than 30 years down the line it’s still impressing with the simple yet attentive care the chefs give to the beautiful ingredients they serve.
For plant-based Italian offerings, there’s always Purezza in Camden. It has a broad menu of fantastic vegan pizza and pasta dishes, with gluten-free options too.
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