Welcome to Shepherds Bush. Or just The Bush as it’s affectionately known by the locals. This slice of west London life is blessed with loads of great restaurants, pubs, bars and attractions to visit while you’re here. Just follow our Shepherds Bush taxi driver’s guide for the inside scoop on where to find them. Outsiders will tell you Shepherds Bush is an area that’s lain relatively dormant over recent years, and it wasn’t until the enormous Westfield shopping centre was built here in 2008 that it started rousing outside interest once again. But speak to the people in the know. Locals or folks like our Shepherds Bush taxi drivers and you’ll soon see that the area has always had an enormous amount to offer. From its more affluent border near Notting Hill and Holland Park, right through to the market at its beating heart, Shepherds Bush is an area alive with a rich fabric of culture and diversity. Walk down the Uxbridge Rd out of Shepherds Bush Green on a Saturday and you’ll see a swarm of blue and white tailing up through the back streets to Loftus Road; home of local football team Queens Park Rangers. This barely 19,000 seater stadium has been a proud home and cathedral to the loyal locals for generations. We urge you to join them for a day if you get the chance. And it’s around this epicentre that so much of what is now Shepherds Bush has grown. In Shepherds Bush Empire they possess one of London’s premier music venues. Shepherds Bush Market has been serving the people of Uxbridge and Goldhawk roads with food and goods for over a century. Even its borders at Hammersmith, Acton and Chiswick hide untold gems. Addison Lee have been providing Londoners with a service they can rely on for over 30 years. And it’s a service we mean to continue for many more. Prompt, reliable and safe minicabs that are easy to book and always in touch. Let us continue that journey with you as we explore our Shepherd’s Bush taxi driver’s guide together. To unearth the best pubs, bars and attractions in W12.
Where to drink
The Princess Victoria
There aren’t many pubs in Shepherds Bush like The Princess Victoria. A one time gin palace, this place was recently given a new lick of paint and lovingly restored to bring out the best in the old lady. Now its large horseshoe bar and ample seating space make for probably the best boozer on the Uxbridge Rd. Whether you’re after one of their many gins, a bottle from their considerable wine list or just one of their eight draft beers, their staff are always very friendly and knowledgeable. It should be mentioned that if it weren’t for there being so many other great choices, we would have included their excellent restaurant on our ‘where to eat’ list. The food here is phenomenal.
217 Uxbridge Rd, W12 9DH
Right, plum on the corner of Sheperds Bush Green you’ll find the Defector’s Weld. This recently spruced up pub has all the hallmarks of a west London local without ever surrendering any of its ‘shinier’ charm. Large and airy, the majority of your time in here will be spent circling the long bar and island space. At the front it’s tall windows flood the bar with light, while at the back you’ll find some cosy corners to hunker down into for the evening. The food here is all good – burgers, pies, steaks and such. While the bar staff take pride in knowing their (pretty impressive) back bar too. Popular choice with the football crowd on home matchdays but rarely one for the louts.
170 Uxbridge Rd, W12 8AA
Yes, we know there are a few Brewdog pubs around London now but frankly, we don’t think it makes them any less worthy of a mention. This one is on the slightly less popular (but no less frequentable) Goldhawk Rd. For any first-timers out there, Brewdog are a Scottish brewery who take great pleasure in crafting and selling independent ales of a unique nature. Their bars are an outlet for their beer and that of other discerning breweries they deem worthy. You’d describe the locations as stripped down, bare and almost industrial looking. Yet they’re also comfy, inviting and modern all the same. And this one’s no exception. Try the Tactical Nuclear Penguin. At 32% it was once the world’s strongest beer. But go easy, all the same.
15-19 Goldhawk Rd, W12 8QQ
Where to eat
Brunching (is that a verb..?) has become something of an art these days. The idea that we can settle into one comfy spot for a couple of hours to gorge on a mix of sweet and savoury delights, strong coffee and maybe even a Bloody Mary if we’re feeling adventurous or hungover. It’s a concept that’s swept the nation. As you may have already guessed, The Hummingbird Cafe is a great place to brunch (…it is now). Snug but charming, you’ll spot the Hummingbird just off the Uxbridge Road and think to yourself – ooh, that place looks lovely. Give in to this sensation and head inside for breakfast, brunch or even a light dinner. On a hot day, they have a lovely terrace out front.
1c Oaklands Grove, W12 OJD PH
If you’ve never tried Persian food before, drop everything and get to Sufi as fast as your legs will carry you. Opened in 2007, this family run restaurant has been feeding the hungry hordes every since. Determined to share their family recipes with the good people of Shepherds Bush, these guys also wanted to ensure that their customers received the full authentic, Persian home cooking experience.They claim that the secret to their success is the experience of their auntie Shahin and her vast list of historic Iranian recipes. All we know is they’re doing something right and they should continue to do it.
70 Askew Road, W12 9BJ
Also on the increasingly trendy Askew Rd, Adam’s is something of an enigma wrapped in a greasy spoon, wrapped in a Moroccan restaurant. That’s right, step into Adam’s Cafe in the daytime and you’ll be served a cup of builder’s tea with a Full English. No frills, just exactly what you’d expect from a regular cafe. Come back in the evening though and you’ll find yourself in an altogether different environment. Known to the locals as a particularly well kept secret, Adam’s serves Mediterranean and North African food to rival the very best. And the beauty of this little place is that it’s still incredibly cheap no matter what time of day you pop by.
77 Askew Road, W12 9AH
What to do
To outsiders the centre of Shepherds Bush is the large green at the bottom of the Uxbridge Rd. But the real heart of this particular part of west London lies just up the road. For a team that has spent a considerable amount of time in English football’s top flight, Loftus Rd is a surprisingly small venue. But what it lacks in size, it undoubtedly makes up for in atmosphere. Tickets to come and watch Queens Park Rangers are usually set at about £30 but because of the team’s popularity, you’re advised to book ahead. The crowd are almost always very friendly and although the quality of the football may vary, the quality of the experience never does.
S Africa Rd, W12 7PJ
Shepherd’s Bush Market
This one’s easy to find. Step out of Shepherds Bush Market tube station and cross the road and you’re there. At around 100 years old, Shepherds Bush Market is far from London’s oldest. But the way it’s embedded into its surroundings does still somehow suggest it’s always been here. Follow the line of the market alongside the railway arches and you’ll unearth all manner of fascinating bric a brac. Inside the arches there are larger stores selling carpets, furniture and suitcases. While the stalls themselves vary massively in their output.
Uxbridge Rd, W12 8LH
Shepherd’s Bush Empire
Stand right on the green and you’ll find yourself outside one of London’s finest music venues. Built in 1903 the Empire still retains a lot of its old music hall features. Including stalls and a sloping standing area at the front. It went on to spend 40 years serving the once nearby BBC as their primary theatre, but in 1991 this Grade II listed returned to being a proper music venue. Today it hosts bands and musical acts of varying sizes, with plenty of bands favouring its more intimate space to really put on a show. Check the website to see what’s coming up.
Shepherd's Bush Green, W12 8TT