Whether it’s brunch, sushi or afternoon tea, you’re sure to find it in the bustling restaurants South Kensington and Kensington High Street have to offer. If you’re looking for restaurants near the Natural History Museum or brunch in South Kensington, this guide will help. Find craft beer, real ale and cocktails at these South Kensington pubs and High Street Kensington bars.
Take a break from museums, galleries and shopping at some of the best restaurants and bars in Kensington and South Kensington.
Fill your boots with classic modern British fare at South Kensington restaurant Bumpkin. The eclectic interior is jolly and bright, while the menu is full of comfort food: steamed mussels in cider, haddock and chips, pie of the day and sticky toffee pudding – and don’t forget to try the famous Bumpkin ale.
Find well-executed British dishes at Scoff and Banter restaurant near Gloucester Road station, where the large, airy dining room, like the menu, has a modern vintage feel. Scottish salmon and fish pie sit alongside smoked Applewood cheese and broccoli pies (there are satisfying vegetarian choices here) and classic Sunday roasts.
Relish in the quality of the meat at Macellaio RC. This no-nonsense Italian steak restaurant in South Kensington will butcher carefully aged Fassona beef right in front of you. There’s also charcuterie, offal, pasta and a highly rated wine list, and with Italian classic desserts like tiramisu and panna cotta, you won’t leave hungry.
Relax in this calm, sleek, modern South Kensington Vietnamese restaurant and savour chef Jeff Tan’s fresh, zesty cooking. Go Viet’s beef wrapped in betel leaves, sticky short ribs or pan-fried scallops with fresh herbs and chilli will charm your tastebuds. Alongside the wine list, try the Vietnamese beers or a Saigon take on a mojito.
Enjoy the elegance and warmth of Polish cuisine and hospitality at South Kensington’s Ognisko, a stylish restaurant near the Natural History Museum. Roast duck, pork schnitzel, spiced chicken livers and vanilla-poached plums will tantalise you, while the extensive vodka menu will add a sparkle to your evening.
Treat yourself to the healthy menu at Squirrel, a woodland-themed cafe in South Kensington that serves salads, wraps and all-day snacks. The breakfast menu’s granola bowls, berry pots and poached eggs will get you bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, while the coffees and cold-pressed juices will refresh and revive you.
People-watch to your heart’s content at this classy, big-windowed South Kensington cafe wine bar. Fernandez & Wells takes you right through from breakfast (eggs on sourdough) and lunch (soups, sandwiches, salads) to night, when the charcuterie, cheese plates and tempting selection of European wines come into their own.
Slip into luxury at The K Bar, a plush, oak-panelled South Kensington bar within the Kensington Hotel that regularly appears on global best bar listings. Dimly lit and buzzing with a sophisticated crowd, the space is complemented by its alluring cocktail list, attentive staff and extra-long selection of single malts.
Rock up to the Gore Hotel’s Bar 190, a bar near the Royal Albert Hall that’s sultry and moody like the musicians who’ve patronised it over the years. The extensive cocktails (classic and modern) are creatively designed and expertly mixed, with an eclectic gin and tonic menu and impressive collections of whisky and rums.
Join the locals at Piano Kensington; with its cracking cocktails and jazz pianists six nights a week, it’s an institution. To guarantee a table, book for dinner. Then as the bar fills up, don’t be surprised to find yourself singing and dancing with new-found friends – by the end of the night they’ll feel like family.
Turn sleuth for the night at this secret Kensington cocktail bar – book in advance and prepare your backstory, then head to the speakeasy’s hidden entrance and past the big cheese in the Evans & Peel Detective Agency office. Downstairs, intriguingly experimental cocktails await you, along with a menu of smoked ribs, pulled pork and buffalo cauliflower.
Get a taste of tradition at The Scarsdale Tavern, an old-school British pub near Kensington High Street. With hanging baskets outside, Fullers beers on tap and proper pub grub, including excellent Sunday roasts, it’s textbook top-of-the-class stuff, and loved by the locals as a result.
Find a slice of Britain at this proper British pub in South Kensington. The Hereford Arms serves Fullers beers, plus a wide range of bottled beers, ciders and wines. Cottage pie, beer-battered fish and chips and black pudding scotch eggs all grace the menu, along with Sunday roasts and British nursery puddings.
Experience well-kept cask ales at this South Kensington pub, once favoured by Charles Dickens. The Anglesea Arms deserves its reputation for good beers and food. Its wide front terrace is packed in the summer with a young, smart, professional set quaffing wine in the sunshine. Oh, and watch out for the ghost in the cellar…
Discover the world through wine at this smart Kensington wine bar. The Kensington Wine Rooms’ ingenious automatic dispenser system serves 40 different varieties via a pre-paid card. Knowledgeable staff are on hand to guide you, while the upscale modern European menus for brunch, lunch and dinner encourage the wines to shine.
Linger over a pre-dinner spritz at this fresh Mediterranean bar and restaurant near the Natural History Museum. Apero, in a cute cellar space under the Ampersand Hotel, is rated for its cocktails as well as its produce-led menu. Its popular brunch goes down well with one of their killer bloody marys.
Have a blast at neon-lit Kensington cocktail bar Dirty Bones. It pulls a young crowd who flock there for late-night partying and boozy brunches. The restaurant does a fine line in burgers, fried chicken and tacos. As for the cocktails, try a lavender martini, an Uptown Spritz – or a Top Dog to go with your hot dog.