If anyone tells you that the only thing worthwhile in Shepherd's Bush is Westfield, here's what you should do: delete their number, block them on social media, and remove that toxic person from every facet of your life. Because you don't need that kind of negative energy around you. Because – you know what? – Shepherd's Bush restaurants are actually great.
It's a diverse part of London full of lots of great stuff like: the vibrant Shepherd's Bush Market, the iconic Shepherd's Bush Empire, and the just-alright Shepherd's Bush Green. As a real melting pot of a variety of disparate cultures, the area is also a great place to grab some breakfast, lunch or dinner from a range of culinary cuisines. Fancy some Thai food? Caribbean? Palestinian? A simple walk down Uxbridge Road will satisfy all those hankerings, and then some.
There's pubs, there's falafel, there's fish and chips. So, c'mon, get a little bit W12 this weekend. Whether you're looking for a pre-gig dinner at Bush Hall Dining Rooms, an extravagant taste of Persia at Sufi or a takeaway from the ever-reliable Jasmine, Shepherd's Bush restaurants are bursting with excellent eating options you really need to explore.
20 Shepherd's Bush restaurants that Foodism loves
29 Uxbridge Road, W12 8LH
If you're planning on doing some eating down Uxbridge Road, Abu Zaad should really be at the top of your checklist. The Middle Eastern Shepherd's Bush restaurant specialises in Lebanese and Syrian cuisine, dishing out heaping plates of moutabel, hummus, moussaka, and baba ghanoush. Besides that impressive spread of mezze and, y'know, spreads is a selection of mixed grills and koftas generously spiced with aromatics and charred just right. Staff are friendly, portion sizes are handsome, and Abu Zaad even gives you the option to buy a whole lamb for £250. That delicious little baa baa is enough to feed a family and absolutely not recommended ordering in front of anyone even a little squeamish about eating meat that still resembles the cute farm yard critter it came from.
70 Askew Road, W12 9BJ
Sufi is a Persian restaurant that knocks up some absolutely bang-up stews. Khoresh fessenjan is a dance of grated walnuts and chicken cooked in a rich pool of sweet and sour pomegranate sauce. Ghorme zabzi sees affable chunks of lamb, kidney beans and tart dried limes cooked down in a gravy of parsley, leeks and a medley of other fragrant herbs and spices. Practically everything Sufi serves is hearty and filling – the kind of food you'll want to keep you fuelled throughout the day and simply need if you're planning a big night on the town. Ever if you're not in the mood for a stew, the minced lamb kebabs are tender, juicy and anything but a compromise. The crispy and chewy tah dig is another dish you'd be remiss to miss. Sufi's been keeping the residents of Shepherd's Bush happily fed for over a decade now, and we'd be surprised to see it going anywhere anytime soon.
58 Shepherd's Bush Green, W12 8QE
Shikumen is a restaurant that's reputation precedes itself. Attached to the Dorsett Hotel in Shepherd's Bush, it's a Chinese restaurant famed for its excellent takes on dim sum and Peking duck. The a la carte dinner menu pitches up camp with some more hard-to-find dishes like cold jellyfish in Sichuan sauce and Yuanyang king prawn in salted egg; however, it's the lunch-time dim sum menu that's the real winner of the lot. Piping hot dumplings and silky smooth cheung fun cause an absolute ruckus on your palate as plump offerings of chicken and cheese xiao long bao and char siu buns succeed in being even tastier than they sound. Shikumen is polished, pristine and – on its day – pretty much perfect.
101 Wood Lane, W12 7FR
Where can you find one of the better Indian restaurants in West London? Why, nestled in the White City Television Centre, of course. All plates small and large go big on flavour at Kricket; the constantly tinkered with menu ensures there's no room to hide. Co-founder Will Bowlby's vision of an Indian-inspired eatery that's not afraid to push the boat out has been brought to life through Kricket's eclectic dishes like Keralan fried chicken and Iberico suckling pig shoulder vindaloo. Whether you're going for a Sunday roast or a mid-week dinner, Kricket has got you covered. It's a Shepherd's Bush restaurant with enough variety to please everyone.
314 Uxbridge Road, W12 7LJ
Esarn Kheaw isn't about fooling customers with fancy bells and whistles. It's a family-run, neighbourhood Shepherd's Bush restaurant that serves Thai food that wallops you right where it's supposed to. The express lunch menu – where you can get your fill of glass noodle pad thai and an assortment of stir fry for just £6.95 per dish – is an offer so thrifty and tasty that it would have Tim Wonnacott practically teetering on the edge of an aneurysm. While a quick lunch at Esarn Kheaw is immensely satisfying, it's when you get there for a proper sit down meal that it really shines. Traditional Esarn dishes dishes such as sweet ox liver, garlic-laced home-made Esarn sausages, grilled catfish and a range of lip-stingingly spicy laabs are what separate Esarn Kheaw from your run-of-the-mill restaurant. Trust us when we tell you this is a restaurant you'll be coming back to time and time again.
Kerbisher and Malt
164 Shepherds Bush Road, W6 7PB
Slightly soggy spuds soaked in vinegar with a hunk of flaky fish in a crackling crisp batter? It's hard to go wrong with that. We'll be the first to admit that fish and chips doesn't need to be fancified. It doesn't have to be triple-fried or use all-natural organic oil to deliver the satisfaction we look for whenever we walk into our local chippy. That being said, it's hard to argue against Kerbisher and Malt's existence. Out of all the fancy fish and chipperies in London, Kerbisher and Malt are one of the few that get it right. It feels modern without sacrificing on tradition; the chips aren't thin or overly gastropubby; all the fish is cooked to order and comes from fresh and sustainable sources.
Le Petit Citron
98-100 Shepherds Bush Road, W6 7PD
A proper bistro, this Le Petit Citron – a real nook of Provence on Shepherd's Bush Road. It's an awfully aesthetic place to eat a Sunday brunch, but saying that buries the lede of just how much heart has gone into Le Petit Citron. Owners Lawrence and Emily Hartley previously ran local favourite Mustard on the very same site and have transferred that same sense of heart over without any hitches. French classics like confit duck leg and the vibrant soup du jour will run your tastebuds ragged as they're dragged on holiday to South West France and back again. A very friendly wine list and a spate of refreshing aperitifs round off a menu that you'll be humming, hawing and inevitably cooing over. Can't afford a holibobs across the channel? Le Petit Citron makes a damn fine substitute.
Bush Hall Dining Rooms
304 Uxbridge Road, W12 7LJ
Bush Hall Dining Rooms excels in its simplicity. It doesn't matter what time of the day you show up at this Shepherd's Bush restaurant: you're in for a satisfying meal. A cracking breakfast spread including a full English, pancakes with peanut butter, and just about anything you could ever want slathered on sourdough make up the brunt of the tidy breakfast menu. Lunch-time offerings include dench sandwiches and worthwhile burgers while the dinner service keep things comparably simple with fillet of cod and ribeye steak. A meal here isn't likely to drastically alter your life course, but it's even less likely to disappoint. If you're going to a gig at Bush Hall you can even nab a cheeky 10% discount off the bill.
16 Goldhawk Road, W12 8DH
This popular Thai joint, primarily frequented as a spot for a quick pre-theatre dinner, has been in business since 2001. And, while London's dining scene has changed dramatically since then, Jasmine hasn't. Prices remain affordable, the service remains consistently inconsistent, and – most importantly – the food is just as good as it's ever been. Dishes of pla samun pai (fried seabass), jungle pork curry, beef massaman, drunken duck, and more are delivered in abundance; both in terms of flavour and the generous portion sizes. There's nothing bland or boring about Jasmine.
258 Uxbridge Road, W12 7JA
Ayam Zaman is what you get when you let a Syrian restaurant run things its way. The decor (feat. chandeliers and a stone wall interior) is reminiscent of a Middle Eastern eatery, and it's a genuine delight that the food is allowed to match it. Specials like makmour – a steamed lamb thigh with vegetables and Afghani rice – and the expertly spiced kibbeh shamieh are absolute belters. But, to be honest, you'll struggle to find anything that's not up to snuff here. Service is conscientious yet far from overbearing, accentuating the fact that Ayam Zaman is a restaurant where you'll really come to feel like part of the family. Finish off with a dangerously sweet wedge of knafeh or sumptuous spoonful of mohallabiah to ensure you end the night just how you started it: on a positive note.
Units T4-T5, New Shepherd's Bush Market, W12 8LH
"The best Palestianian falafel" – that's the bold statement of intent that the decal on Mr Falafel's window announces, and, you know what? We agree. Perfectly tanned and rounded off with aromatic, Oz-coloured interiors – the falafel at Mr Falafel are simply sublime. Whereas a great many of the golden-brown pulse nuggets you find in London tend to be mouth-cloyingly dry, Mr Falafel's chickpea sons are moist and boyuant, bravely standing up to whatever combination you throw their way. Regardless of whether that wrap roommate is halloumi, avocado, or a mix of spicy fried potatoes. Eating a wrap from Mr Falafel without making a mess is a Herculean task to be sure but it's one we're never afraid to take head on. With the cheapest wrap going for just £4.75 and the most expensive costing only £7.30, Mr Falafel is as friendly on your wallet as it is on your stomach. Order a cooling ayran (aka doogh) yoghurt for an only an extra 50p on top to eat and drink yourself into a contented lull you won't ever want to leave.
153 Askew Road, W12 9AU
No area is complete without an earth-scorchingly good bakery. October 26 is Shepherd’s Bush's best. October 26's hand-made sourdough bread is baked with organic flour from Shipton Mill and a whole lot of time and love. These loaves are complex, chewy, brooding. They've read Ulysses and actually understood most of it. Moreover, they're delicious. So delicious that's it hard to believe that October 26's owner Raluca Micu is a completely self-taught baker. It's not just the bread that shines here, either. Sweet and savoury buns and pies regularly make guest appearances and damn near steal the show every time they do.
39 Bulwer Street, W12 8AR
Tian Fu is the perfect place to go when you've got a hankering for fiery Sichuan cooking. Chef Zhang XiaoZhong's menu sparks you on the chin with every mouthful of mouth-numbing, garlic-heavy goodness. Everything from the mapo tofu to the crispy aromatic duck is made with a respect and reverence for its composite ingredients – you won't find any corners cut, and the consistently satisfying end result is a testament to that. If you're the sort of sheltered person that's a bit hesitant about eating the likes of offal, pig's blood curd and stomach lining, Tian Fu is a safe space to lose your tripe virginity. Hover over a hot pot, clear out those blocked sinuses, and luxuriate in all that this honest restaurant has to offer.
226 Uxbridge Road, W12 7JD
One of the busiest takeaways in the area, Ochi can rarely be found without a procession of Deliveroo drivers rifling in and out of the premises. Dumplings, doubles, festivals and a riot of curries make up the bulk of the orders you'll see flying out the door. Ochi's a real hub of the neighbourhood; you'll run into old friends, new, and even spot the familiar faces of Rihanna, Rick Ross, and Lenny Henry on the takeaway's "wall of fame". Any eatery that gets RiRi's seal of approval is alright by us.
Zeit and Zaatar Bakery
354 Uxbridge Road, W12 7LL
Need a quick breakfast? Have a manakish. Looking for a filling lunch? Have a manakish. Urgently need something to salve the pangs of a Sunday morning hangover? Have a manakish. Zeit and Zaatar Bakery's Lebanese cheese breads aren't the just the best thing since sliced bread: they're better than sliced bread in every single way. A melted, stretchy, molten, salty cure for whatever's ailing you, the zaatar and cheese manakish at Z&Z is an instant classic that'll become a staple of your diet the moment you take your first bite.
Where to drink in Shepherd's Bush
The Defectors Weld
170 Uxbridge Road, W12 8AA
There ain't nothing defective about The Defectors Weld. Focussing on local breweries like Beavertown, Camden, Redemption, Twickenham, Belleville, Hammerton, Signature, Truman's, Fourpure, this Uxbridge Road local is an excellent spot to sink a few with Shep Bush's nattier residents. With its exposed brick, neon sign and earnestly "The food isn't half bad, either. All the pub classics you'd expect to find at an adept Shepherd's Bush restaurant are done justice and make ample stomach lining for a night of high or low-ABV drinking.
The Queen Adelaide
412 Uxbridge Road, W12 0NR
Yes, The Queen Adelaide has got the interior of a snooker table. Yes, it's more than a little bit sheuxsy and there's a sign hanging up that says "food fit for a queen". But The Queen Adelaide is still a bloody alright pub. Seasonal real ales like Fireside, Harveys, St Austell's, Trumans, and Itchen Valley are all cutting about on the taps and the food – though admittedly maybe not up to big Liz's exacting standards – is more than serviceable. When good food and drink combine in a venue that's as comforting as a hug on a comedown, you can't really complain, can you?
1 Wood Lane, W12 7DP
Started in 1978 by Sarah McEvedy (current co-owner Allegra's mum), Albertine is a welcome respite from wanky wine bars designed to make you feel out of place. It's the vino house equivalent of a breath of fresh air – somewhere to take a Hinge date once you've confirmed they're not a genuine sociopath. The 150-strong wine list is the obvious draw to Albertine's; however, the welcoming atmosphere is what will keep you coming back. Probably for more Hinge dates.
217 Uxbridge Road, W12 9DH
The Princess Victoria was built back in 1829. That's old, man. Thankfully, not everything about The Princess is as ancient as the public house itself. There's a decent selection of cask ales and plenty of interesting cans and bottles from breweries like Magic Rock and Pressure Drop to keep your buzz on throughout the night. Even if you're not up for visiting the Vic on the weekend, you could always rock on down to the pub quiz on Tuesday for a lovely midweek pick-me-up. If you're not up for drinking with the plebs you can always escape upstairs to the 1829 Room – the venue's new 50-cover private room you can hire for any sort of event that takes your fancy.
215 Askew Road, W12 9AZ
The Saturday burger shack and option for a hefty Sunday lunch could easily mean your entire weekend is spent spent sitting at one of The Eagle's comfy chairs and doing, well, not much apart from soaking up the atmosphere and some frosty glasses of Fourpure. The Eagle beef burger is large. The vibes can be, too, if you play your cards right.