NOTTING HILL COFFEE & CAFÉ GUIDE
SORTING THE BEAN FROM THE CHAFF
Finding a café in Notting Hill is easy – options are abundant; the real trick lies in finding one suited to your taste.
From buzzing coffee houses and laid-back spaces to some old-school nostalgia, there’s undoubtedly a spot with your name on it.
We’ve visited a lot of the area’s cafés and coffee shops, and many haven’t gotten anywhere near this list. It might have taken a while to refine, but we’re confident you’ll enjoy each and every one on it.
NOTTING HILL CAFÉS
*OUR PICK OF THE BUNCH*
When you think of cafés in Notting Hill – scrap that, in Crouch End, Highbury, Muswell Hill and Notting Hill (Beam’s at all 4) – you’re might conjure up images of surface-level decor and prices that don’t necessarily reflect the overall experience. And that’s a fair assumption. But assumptions are often are wrong. And let me tell you, we were wrong about Beam.
We first heard about this family-owned café from a friend. Safe to say they tend to gravitate towards generic ‘Grammable brunch venues that don’t typically deliver on flavour. We put off visiting for this reason – we made a mistake; we should’ve gone sooner.
The family’s Middle Eastern heritage is the inspiration behind Beam: to be specific, Kahvalti, a social event dating back to the Ottoman Empire. The tradition has carried through to the modern day with communities meeting at their nearest Kahvalti house to connect over the finest of breakfasts.
And on the point of fine food, Beam has taken the family-owned café game and turned it up a notch. Most dishes have a Middle Eastern or Mediterranean twist, and they’re superb. We’re talking the likes of Turkish eggs, a fiery shakshuka, Mediterranean breakfasts (that include filo pastry parcels containing parsley and feta), buttermilk pancakes and an absolute delight of a French toast.
Add to this a calming decor, with natural hues and minimalist artwork, and you’ve got a café that has everything going for it; a place where locals want to be. It’s hard to explain, but this is the Notting Hill café to take a break from life and be in the moment.
We adore it. So much so it made it onto our top spots for brunch in Notting Hill.
PASTRIES TO DIE FOR
This artisanal stone-oven bakery in Notting Hill has been at the top of many locals’ recommended places for some time, and for good reason.
Firmly in the small but mighty category, Fabrique rolls out delicious pastries time and time again. Attention to detail is their mantra: pastries are immaculately constructed with every fold pleasing the eye. It sounds ludicrous but it’s true. It’s rare to eat a pastry and get a hit of every spice they’ve used, yet Fabrique manages it. It’s quite a feat.
We recommend plumping for a cinnamon or cardamon bun: crunchy, soft, sweet, with the right amount of spice – I’m salivating at the thought of them.
I’ve seen other reviewers say that this isn’t the cheapest place – whilst I agree, it’s in Notting Hill so it shouldn’t come as a surprise. It’s also worth noting that table seating is rather limited (around 7 small tables) but don’t let this put you off.
Heaps of nostalgia, charm and hospitality. This is Haminados in a nut shell.
Entering this little Notting Hill café is like stepping into a different era: one when everyone knew each other’s name; when yoga and spinning weren’t perquisites for a coffee; when TikTok and Insta didn’t influence every decision of a café owner – and it’s a cool thing. We’re not saying it’s dated, but rather a capsule of everything good about old-school cafés.
Joseph, the owner, makes everything fresh in the morning – and he is an absolute delight of a man. Friendly, welcoming and a splendid storyteller.
The space isn’t massive: there are 2 large wooden communal tables to sit at which is a great touch – it evokes a feeling of being at a busy home, with everyone gathered round for breakfast. There’s also ample outside space with smaller, more discrete tables.
I went for a spinach quiche – it’s not something I’d normally go for, but the flavour and freshness made me glad that I did.
The London Butler tip: Truth be told, this isn’t the best place for coffee in Notting Hill, but you don’t necessarily come for that – you come here for good coffee, homely food and an escape from the hipster machine that is West London cafés. It’s a cool place to visit.
Over Under Coffee
A BEAUT OF AN AVO ON TOAST
A coffee shop during the day; a cocktail bar come night – Under Over Coffee on Ladbroke Road sure knows its West London audience.
The brand started in 2017 after the founder’s stint as a nanny in New York – as they put it, “he loved the high energy… but didn’t like the pretentious atmosphere.” Fast forward to today and you very much get that New York vibe in Over Under Coffee Ladbroke Grove, without any pretence – the staff are lovely.
At the time of writing, coffee is supplied by Assembly Coffee, a much-loved roaster. The baristas know what they’re doing and you’ll get served a fantastic version of what you’re after – whilst this might not sound like high praise, it is. Getting what you want is the thing that matters most in a coffee house.
The star of the show for us, though, is the smashed avocado on toast with poached egg. We won’t go into detail – simply trust us, give it a go and enjoy the perfectly-poached goodness.
As for the vibe: well, the decor of this Notting Hill coffee shop is in vogue – expect clean lines, splashes of rich colour and a largely minimalist design. The reason we bring this up is it’s very much what you’d expect from a trendy London coffee shop: slightly hipster; a want to be different resulting in it feeling oddly familiar. This may put some people off, but it’s our thing.
A DAMN GOOD CAFÉ
With so much emphasis on being ‘purveyors of the world’s best coffee’, ‘Instagrammable’, and, dare we say it, ‘edgy’, Cherry On takes it back to basics. In the best possible way.
What the hell do we mean? Well, rather than obsessing over what’s fashionable, Cherry On’s primary focus is on being a damn good café: on delivering a space in which you want to catch up with friends; somewhere that you know will deliver style AND substance; a place that’s not trying too hard. Call us morose, but the community aspect of a good café is certainly being lost.
Without labouring the point, in a sea of hyperbole, Cherry On delivers what it says on the tin: a café serving delicious cakes, pastries and brunches, with plenty of vegan, gluten-free, keto, and halal options.
My most recent visit involved a beaut strawberry and pistachio cake with a flat white. Lovely stuff.
It also made it onto our Notting Hill brunch list – so be sure to check that out.
To sum it up, Cherry On is quite simply a brilliant Notting Hill café.
Bluebelles of Portobello
A TRUSTED FRIEND OF NOTTING HILL
Bluebelles of Portobello is your trusted friend: be it a hungover Saturday, lazy Sunday or weekday wander, Bluebelles always delivers a quality brunch. It’s a constant you never knew you needed.
The coffee is top-rate and the food is no different: my personal favourite is Rainbow Toast, featuring roasted sweet potatoes, avo, cream cheese with marinated beets, rainbow slaw on a slice of gorgeous sourdough. Oh, and a cameo from feta. So good.
The London Butler tip: This is one of the more popular cafés in Notting Hill and is also for walk-ins only. Whilst they do sit people fairly quickly, even on busy days, we recommend getting here before the lunch rush.
NOTTING HILL COFFEE SHOPS
Sometimes the hunt for good coffee takes you beyond traditional cafés. Step in coffee houses, spaces dedicated to serving the dark stuff. Fortunately, Notting Hill has a bunch of them. And good ones at that. Here are our favourites:
Hermanos Colombian Coffee Roasters
COFFEE WITH A STORY
Given its size, pastel colourway and location, you’d be forgiven for taking Hermanos as a small-scale coffee project; one that’s been serving the community for years and very much rooted in Portobello Road.
Whilst some of that is true – Hermanos has stamped its mark on the area and is a champion of community spirit – it has over 9 locations in London alone. Enough to call it a chain? Not quite, and its entire DNA is rooted in all things coffee chains are not.
Coffee roasting is their thing, and their dedication to sourcing the best coffee over Colombia pays dividends: from the lightest of beans to perfectly-brewed chocolate gems, you can genuinely taste complexity in your coffee.
The space itself is super chilled and makes for the ideal spot for a catch up or a spot of work.
This is one of our favourite coffee shops in Notting Hill and beyond.
Notting Hill Coffee Project
AN OASIS AMIDST COFFEE CHAINS
Blink and you might miss Notting Hill Coffee Project for the sea of café chains that surround it.
Coffee is their proverbial bread and butter. They provide their own hand-roasted, ethically-sourced coffee in partnership with Assembly, a roastery synonymous with quality. In fact, 2 of the Notting Hill coffee houses on this list are partnered with them. What’s more, NCHP donate 25p from every cup to Centrepoint, the UK’s leading youth homelessness charity.
I’ve had many a flat white there – always rich, full-bodied with a smooth texture that gently coats the mouth. You get flavour, something lacking in far too many coffees. It’s top stuff.
As for the space: it’s slick, modern and minimalist. Whilst hardly unique – in fact, many coffee houses focus too much on decor than the quality of coffee itself – NCHP wears it well.
Sitting right outside of Notting Hill Gate Station, NCHP is the jewel in a crown lacking independent specialty coffee options.
Amoret Coffee Portobello
Amoret Coffee. Another gem of a Notting Hill coffee shop and one that also roasts its own beans.
Ethically sourced from across the globe, roasted and packaged in-house, Sadiq’s coffee knowledge is on another level – and he’s more than willing to share his trade secrets. I had a fantastic conversation with him about the different coffee available, including their own roast and a guest filter blend.
I asked for a v60 because I’m that person and was given the story behind the blend in question. It was intense on my first sip, but after allowing it to cool down, I got a smoothness that I hadn’t had with a v60 for some time.
NO FUSS. JUST GREAT COFFEE
Notting Hill is packed with great coffee houses, but Cable Co is one of the other London Butler’s favourites. In her words, “it offers an oasis away from the pandemonium of Portobello Road”.
There isn’t an all-bells-and-whistles approach to get you through the door. They just focus on serving great coffee. The staff are friendly, baristas extremely skilled (we’re talking proper latte artists) and the beans from Climpsons and Sons go down a storm.
Flying Horse Coffee
WHERE COFFEE AND SERVICE TAKE CENTRE STAGE
We’ve only just become familiar with Flying Horse Coffee and it’s already one of our top coffee shops in Notting Hill. A place that delivers on high-quality coffee, presentation and service – like, seriously good service – this article had to be updated to include it.
It’s a small shop but there’s a lovely seating area out the front that catches the early morning sun. With the sun shining and excellent coffee at hand, Flying Horse Coffee sets you up for a banging day.
Let us know your experience of these Notting Hill cafés and coffee shops in the comments below.
And if you’re after more tips on the area, check out our guides to the best Notting Hill brunch, pubs in Notting Hill, our favourite Notting Hill shops and, for those fancying something a bit more substantial food-wise, our pick of the best Greek restaurants in the area.