Chipping Barnet might be compact, but it packs a punch with a tempting range of food options. Here’s our round-up of the best local restaurants and take-aways in the area.
For a proper night out, the big guns include Odos Mediterranean Kitchen which opened in late 2019. The standouts here are superlative grilled fish (pictured below) and a broad selection of vividly flavoured starters and sides like the miso aubergine. Botannika (at the entrance of The Spires) is another impressive option and conveniently open all day for stylish seasonal food with bright fresh flavours (and some delicious plant-based dishes). They opened during lockdown and quickly became a big hit (main picture).
Long-standing local favourite, Savoro has more of a formal, “fine dining” feel with excellent steak (pictured below) and fish and a tempting varied menu. Savoro also has a few rooms available for overnight stays.
Across the road Mélange is a solid choice for a buzzy weekend brunch or evening out with decent cocktails, salads, pasta and grills from their open kitchen and I particularly love their crème brûlée. Set lunch is good value and it’s available all day on Fridays to 6pm.
Hadley House is a great bet for al fresco drinks and sharing platters or small plates in their garden that’s just had a Balearic style make-over where there’s plenty of space for distancing.
Antica Pizzeria near Barnet Church is a lively family favourite of ours with the area’s best pizzas from the spectacular wood-fired oven near the entrance (with striking copper flue running the length of the restaurant – see pic below). The rustic pizzas dominate, but look out for refined pasta dishes like scialatielli with king prawns, calamari fritti with crispy zucchini and very naughty Nutella pizza if you still have space.
However, for an unforgettable evening out, the very best dining in Barnet (and one of the most distinctive places to eat in London) is the Chef’s Table at Kitchen Theory in Alston Works. This multi-course, multi-sensory dining experience can be compared with Heston Blumenthal’s creations at The Fat Duck (final picture below).
Back on the High Street, Brothers Kitchen is a good-value option for lunch or dinner with generous helpings of Eastern Mediterranean classics like tasty home-made feta pies, kofte, moussaka, grilled meat and fish, and desserts include their own rather lovely baklava.
Diminutve Pizza Triangle has impressively good wood-fired pizzas and a useful choice for families.
For other tasty take-aways Ozzi’s Burrito Shack on the High Street (pictured below), Souvlike It, From China and Curry Leaf Indian take-away. Indian restaurants include long-standing Shapla and Meyhek restaurants near the Church and down the hill The Curry Centre near the Everyman Cinema where you’ll also find Pumpkin Rice Jerk Grill and Fresh Fry for first-class fish and chips (eat-in or take-away). The area also boasts a couple of decent Japanese options: Yokoso Japan (eat-in also) next to The Mitre and Sushi Sashimi also down the hill near the cinema.
Just out of town on St Albans Road The Green Dragon has very good Sunday roasts, excellent steaks, burgers and other things cooked on their smart charcoal-fuelled Josper grill. There’s a pretty beer garden overlooking the fields.
Further afield is West Lodge Park for fine dining and afternoon tea (and useful local accommodation). The Haven in Whetstone is popular for family get-togethers, finer dining as well as cocktails in their buzzy bar. Along the same parade is Tootoomoo for Asian cuisine and tasty take-aways (we love their smoked chicken – pictured below – and generous Pad Thai). Don’t forget excellent tapas restaurant La Lluna in the old Pizza Express premises. A more rural option is The Old Guinea at Ridge which is ideal for drinks and pizza especially if you’re out walking or cycling.
Barnet is also strong on cafés with the Old Courthouse Café in the park, Patisserie Joie de Vie on the High Street, The Coffee Bean in The Spires (with large outdoor seating area), Dory’s Café in St Albans Road and Vibe Café down the hill near the cinema. Other favourites are The Wilds Café in New Barnet (with great bakes and home cooking) and Potters Pantry, perfect for weekend brunches. At the top of the High Street, Huddle Caffè is ideal for breakfast, lunch or for grabbing a decent coffee (they also serve Marine Ices).
There are plenty more to choose from, but we hope this selection is a useful starting point for eating out around the area. What’s more, many of these now deliver.