From fresh pasta to artfully plated brunch and some of the chicest cocktails in town, North Mayfair is fast becoming one of the capital’s dining hotspots.

 

Whether you fancy a laid-back brunch or fine-dining, there’s a mouth-watering choice of places to eat and drink in North Mayfair, with its vibrant mix of restaurants, cafes, coffee shops and cocktail bars.

The enclave of Duke Street, North Audley Street and the smart streets that surround them is fast becoming the dining destination of choice for Londoners looking to escape the madding crowds and experience an exciting array of new launches.

Mercato Mayfair, the second site from sustainable community food market operator Mercato Metropolitano, launched last November in former church St Mark’s on North Audley Street and is proving incredibly popular with locals and Londoners alike.

The grade-I-listed space has been transformed into a cultural hub and community market, with food stalls including sushi from Raw Bar, bao buns and dumplings from Steamy & Co, homemade pasta from Pasta London and Turkish pide from Lala.

Roof terrace

Mercato Mayfair features two levels of food stalls and bars and a rooftop terrace, while the vaulted basement hosts a wine cellar with fresh cuts, world cheeses, a microbrewery and cookery classes where everyone can come together, learn and share.

There’s also a “village hall” space that is available for free community events, as well as complimentary music classes and performances for families.

More recently opened foodie favourites include pasta house Stampa – already a staple lunch spot for office workers where a plate of fresh pappardelle and slowcooked ox cheek will set you back just £10 – and Gordon Ramsay’s Lucky Cat, with its Asian-inspired plates and robata-grilled dishes.

Unmissable

Another unmissable North Mayfair destination that attracts a continuous stream of customers is Comptoir Cafe & Wine on Weighhouse Street, an all-day eatery that’s a cafe by day and wine bar by night.

The menu includes classic breakfasts and viennoiserie, sandwiches, soups and salads for lunch and a tempting choice of small plates in the evening. A visit to the wine store, which boasts more than 2,000 bottles of fine wine, is a must.

For plant-based dishes, homemade smoothies and salad, look no further than Deliciously Ella next door.

Celebrating its two-year anniversary is popular all-day deli and Insta fodder Popina on Duke Street, which serves a delicious modern menu – or as owner Isidora Popovic puts it, “extraordinary food that makes people happy”.

Brunches are made with grass-fed eggs from Tilly’s Traditionals and buttered homemade pogacha, while for lunch there’s a selection of homemade salads, sandwiches and pastries all lovingly prepared by hand using ingredients from local, small producers.

Coffee heaven

Those who enjoy a brew will be in heaven at HR Higgins, the Royal Warrant holding coffee house and tea room, just a couple of doors down from Popina.

A vast selection of coffee beans, ground while you wait, are offered alongside an array of loose-leaf teas.  Choose a coffee, tea and pastry to take away, or sit in the cafe and soak up the atmosphere.

Just opposite, Brown Hart Gardens is an oasis from busy city life and is ever-popular with locals looking to grab lunch on the go and enjoy some fresh air in the elegant, raised terraced garden.

Further favourites include Japanese restaurant ROKA on North Audley Street, known for its contemporary Japanese robatayaki cuisine, and highly Instagrammable Millennial pink French bistro and cocktail lounge NAC, which offers a modern menu in cool surroundings.

Local hotspot

New York-style restaurant The Colony Grill at The Beaumont hotel is another local hotspot. Open all day for breakfast, lunch and dinner – as well as brunch at weekends – it serves up a timeless menu of transatlantic fare.

When summer arrives, don’t miss a chance to soak up the sun with a glass of Pimm’s in Brown Hart Gardens with free deckchairs to enjoy live screenings of tennis at Wimbledon.

When night falls, Londoners in the know head to The Luggage Room, a chic cocktail bar in the old luggage room of the London Marriott Hotel on Grosvenor Square that serves classic cocktails and “forgotten drinks.

“We’ve done a lot of research on old menus and old recipe books, starting in the early 19th century right up to the modern day,” says general manager Jamie Kirk.

Jamie has seen a shift in North Mayfair in recent years, with spots like The Betterment by Jason Atherton at nearby Biltmore Mayfair on Grosvenor Square and Lucky Cat bringing a real buzz.

“Within a mile radius you have operators like Jason Atherton, you have Gordon Ramsay and Davies and Brook [at Claridge’s]. You couldn’t really ask for a better trio within walking distance of each other.”

With further exciting launches set to open across the area in 2020, North Mayfair’s food and drink scene is truly on the rise.

For more information, visit: mayfairandbelgravia.com/ north-mayfair

Main picture: Mercato Mayfair

Second picture: Food by Popina

Third picture: Roka Mayfair yellowtail sashimi, yuzu truffle dressing.

 

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