NAMA, the raw food restaurant in Notting Hill, is the premier destination for ladies who lunch and feel guilty about last night’s dinner. I’m sure NAMA has serious juicers and vegans among its many patrons, but the vibe of the eatery is more sceney than holistic. But that’s okay, I’m just happy it has a home in my neighborhood. And, I’m just as guilty, using the health food restaurant as a way to balance out my bad choices or days I skip the gym. If any of this sounds like you, head to NAMA, Notting Hill’s healthy choice.
NAMA is tucked away on the quiet Talbot Road. This location doesn’t keep anyone away, though. The lunch crowd is just as steady as restaurants in the prime spots on Westbourne Grove. There are always women coming in to grab goodies to go, or queue for an indoor or outdoor table. The outdoor tables are cute and sun-facing but there are only two of them, so good luck if your goal for the day is to get some sun. Not to worry, though, the inside tables are a worthy runner up. The back area of the restaurant is light and airy, despite how tiny it is. You feel healthier even before ordering, sitting at a peaceful table decorated with an adorable succulent and drinking a cucumber-infused water.
The food is good. Well, as good as a vegan, gluten-free substitute can be when trying to recreate some of the best dishes of all time. NAMA has their own takes on classic dishes such as pizza, pasta, pad thai, and a burrito. In my everyday gluten-friendly, carnivorous life, I enjoy those said dishes for how they are intended, so when you recreate them with zucchini noodles and turn a burrito into a Mexican wrap that is stuffed with veggies instead of ground beef and cheese, it’s not going to ever be as tasty. But we’re adults, and we know that most of things that taste the best, aren’t good for you. Yes, I prefer whole wheat pasta over white, love asparagus, and would prefer roasted brussel sprouts over a hot dog, but who are we kidding, nothing is better than a McDonald’s double cheeseburger. I haven’t had McDonald’s in probably 3 years, and when I did, it was a weak moment after a concert when I was shit-faced, or something like that, but regardless, I know that I can’t eat what a drunk boy in college would binge on in good conscience and at the mature age of 31. That’s what brings me to NAMA. Not because I am a freak of nature and love all things veggie and gluten-free over the other options out there, but because I want to take care of my body. I want foods that are packed with nutritious ingredients and vitamins and will improve my energy, complexion, and general health. I want to be able to skip the gym one day and still feel like I treated my body like a temple. I want to be able to go out and get wasted and not feel like I’ve gone and undone all this work. NAMA gives me that peace of mind. NAMA is a beautiful, healthy restaurant that serves the best raw meals I have ever had.
The place where NAMA really stands out to me is in their juicing department. They have a grab-and-go fridge stocked full of their fresh juices and milks, which are all delicious. They offer a frequent buyer card to reward you with a freebie after several purchases, which I always like. I’m an extreme couponer at heart. These cards are easy to fill up with some of the best juice and milk combos I have ever had. With ingredients like banana, lúcuma, coconut oil, chia seeds, almond milk, maple, coconut sugar, and vanilla, in their Luscion Lúcuma, their smoothies are a healthy alternative to dessert to end a great meal with something on the sweeter side, or a nice afternoon snack. You won’t be disappointed, but beware, they are a bit pricy. Their steep prices, however, are worth the creativity, art, and wholesome ingredients that go into each bite and sip.
So whether you are embarking on a vegan, gluten-free lifestyle, or someone like me that wants to feel good and do good things with my body, head to the tasty raw food restaurant NAMA. Enjoy!
110 Talbot Road
London W11 1JR