Photo Credit: Bethany Opler
How To Spend 48 Hours Eating In Black-Owned West London
Londoners understand. You are never just from London. You are either from North, South, East or maybe, perhaps West. As far as conversations about the fabric of Black British culture in London go, West London is unfairly left clean out of the narrative (always) and instead is met with silence rather than the excitement that South London’s Brixton or East London’s Hackney corners easily receive.
But West, having homed some of the first Windrush generations in Notting Hill, or even having served as a base for early community action Black organization groups, certainly has its Black history to note.
African and Caribbean communities have done their part to furnish the green, diverse streets of the eclectic western side of London. The legacies of these communities, who in some capacities have dispersed to other parts of the city or country, can absolutely still be felt. From Bush to Ealing, here is how you spend 48 Blackity-Black hours supporting Black-owned West London eateries.
You’ve started the day in West London, which is to say, you are secretly in the Caribbean or you will soon feel like it.
For breakfast, you’ll head down to One Stop Caribbean for a traditional Caribbean breakfast. Think ackee and saltfish, saltfish fritters or a Jamaican morning must-have, cornmeal porridge. Remember to say ‘Good Morning’ to the staff, or you’ll get a Caribbean cut eye for having no manners.
For lunch, you will walk further west and end up in Acton, a vibrant little part of London, home to the local favorite Chicken Kitchen.
The food is halal and while the sister store in Shepherd’s Bush is a 207 bus ride down the road, the calmer vibes in Acton makes it a perfect lunchtime experience. The homemade Chicken Kitchen fruit punch is a heavenly thing that you have to try.
Hungry again? Stop by West Ealing’s Roti Kitchen and pick up some juicy doubles from Trinidad or some heartily filled Jamaican patties for the road.
After surely making a few new charismatic friends in the Ealing community while waiting for your flavorful Caribbean snacks, it’s time for dinner.
You’ll be ordering from Shepherd’s Bush’s famed Ochi, (Rihanna’s favorite spot in Shepherd’s Bush, if you didn’t know) because who doesn’t have space for callaloo and jerk chicken in coco bread?
Or, maybe you are craving Ghanaian food and just need to taste some Ghanaian jollof in which case Jollof Pot is your dinnertime flex. Or there is always Delina’s in Shepherd’s Bush market, a cultural hub and the place to be for lovers of coffee and Injera. You’re spoilt for choice in West London, and that is OK. Since they are all within walking distance in the energetic pulse of West London, we’ll leave you to decide.
Maybe while you choose, you can stop for some rum-heavy cocktails-to-go at Trailer Happiness, just up the road in Notting Hill.
Day 2 - Morning Tea
A good day starts with tea in London, so why not have yours in the prettiest café that London has to offer, here in West London. Saint Aymes has to be the most dainty place to start your day in all of London, buying some chocolates for later could boost the mood even more.
A big lazy brunch is next on the cards, so order some Somali comfort food from Banaadiri’s Shepherd’s Bush branch (there is a sister branch in Finsbury Park too for North Londoners).
Word has it that the homemade favourite on the menu is the lamb. This Black-owned West London, East-African spot has excited many from all over.
Well-deserved late lunch
Enjoy a stroll around Ladbroke Grove’s Portobello Market, West London’s internationally renowned market with a culture that many African and Caribbean migrants contributed to and built up.
After shopping your vintage goods and getting lost in the same streets that Notting Hill Carnival happens, rest your feet at Babajani on Portobello Road and enjoy traditional dishes in the UK’s first Mesopotamian delicatessen. You deserve it.
To celebrate your being a West London babe, it is only right that you stop for a clean treat. Eat of Eden offers the best plant-based meals and sweet treats, all while prioritizing fresh, organic ingredients. There are branches all over London, but the cozy Shepherd’s Bush store will be your Eden for the evening.
End the 48 hours of Black-owned goodness by living large and eating well, the Nigerian way. Dine at Pitanga in Earl’s Court where you’ll find your servings of fish, meat, vegan, vegetarian and even gluten-free twists on Nigerian classics. West African spice to end the evening sounds like a plan.