Notting Hill Carnival: Europe’s biggest street party. It’s almost here, and we all know what that means… incredible street food around every corner! We’ve got all you need to know about eating out at the carnival, including where to go when you need a little break from the action.
Now in its 51st year, the carnival will be bringing yet more good times to London as up to a million people celebrate everything Caribbean. There’ll be parades and steel bands, and nearly 40 sound systems will be blasting everything from reggae to R&B, all making up one great big party the size of 11 Glastonbury Festivals.
So before you get carried away dancing through the streets, here’s our guide to what to eat and when.
You can’t go to the carnival without sampling at least one of the fantastic delicacies on offer on the streets. There’ll be curry goat, rice and peas, Jamaican patties, roasted corn, fried plantains and LOTS of authentic jerk chicken. You won’t be able to resist. Drinks-wise, it’s all about the Dark and Stormy. Spiced rum and ginger beer – the cocktail from the gods – will be aplenty, and we recommend taking advantage of this..!
Urban Food Fest are expanding the celebrations to Shoreditch this year. Their usual street food market space, Shoreditch High Street, will be turning into an extension of the Notting Hill party, with a heavy focus on fantastic Caribbean street food. Come along to see Levi Roots perform live to an ecstatic crowd, you might even get a free jar of Reggae Reggae Sauce out of it!
Not in the centre of the action? Want an authentic taste of Caribbean food, in a smart, contemporary setting? Ayannas is the place to go. Once inside this chic, stylish, and spacious joint you’ll see why it’s so popular. You’ll also spot the grand piano that’s used for jazz and live music nights. The menu is confidently short, offering all the staples cooked to the finest standard. Try the signature jerk chicken with rice and peas, and polish it off with a mango and ginger cheesecake.
Fancy a pit-stop to re-energise yourself for more carnival fun? Look no further than Pizza Metro Pizza: the classic Italian restaurant in Notting Hill famous for its meter-long pizzas. This is just one of the wonders of this authentic local favourite which has been running for almost 20 years now. With so much experience under their belt, everything is perfected; from the excellent service to the extensive menu featuring 100-per-cent Italian ingredients.
Another perfect spot for mid-Carnival recuperation, the Cock and Bottle will leave you feeling refreshed, full-bellied and ready for more partying. If you’re in need of a hearty, traditional pub lunch or dinner with a modern twist, look no further. You’ll feel right at home as the friendly staff welcome you, and you won’t have to walk far. Why not try the seared tuna steak with soy and ginger puy lentils and pak choi, or the rocket, halloumi and pomegranate salad for veggies.
A brief walk from Notting Hill, you’ll find Island Grill: an award-winning bar-grill venue for all occasions. Overlooking the beautiful Hyde Park, you’ll be in awe of the views as well as the gorgeous food. After a long day at the carnival, this place is a great idea if you’re looking to treat yourself to something meaty in a more tranquil space.