How clean are West Hampstead restaurants?

Congratulations to all those West Hampstead restaurants, cafés, bars and takeaways that have scored a maximum 5/5 on their Food Standards Agency inspections. A pleasingly high number of our local establishments have received top marks, with a similarly healthy number falling just one point short.

Five offenders were awarded just one point (Gung Ho, Cafe Plus, Pizza Micco, Bombay Nights, and Cafe Bon), and one – Roni’s – scored a worrying zero.

View West Hampstead food hygiene scores in a larger map
Red: 0-1, Orange: 2-3, Green: 4-5

What do these numbers actually mean?
0 – Urgent improvement necessary
1 – Major improvement necessary
2 – Improvement necessary
3 – Generally satisfactory
4 – Good
5 – Very good

According to the government’s website,

“The food safety officer inspecting a business checks how well the business is meeting the law by looking at:

  • how hygienically the food is handled – how it is prepared, cooked, re-heated, cooled and stored
  • the condition of the structure of the buildings – the cleanliness, layout, lighting, ventilation and other facilities
  • how the business manages and records what it does to make sure food is safe.”

It is always important to see when the inspection was made. Inspections are supposed to be fairly frequent (as often as every six months in some cases), however, Starbucks in West End Lane was last inspected in August 2008!

How concerned should you be by a low-scoring business? Here’s what The Guardian (who published the data on which this map is based) says:

“Anything less than a score of three out of five constitutes a fail. Businesses given ratings of 0 or 1 are those that need to make urgent or major improvements – but they’re not closed down. That only happens if the food is so unsafe for the public to eat that there’s an imminent risk to health.”

Quite a lot of new businesses haven’t been rated at all – you can see those in white on the map.

For the most up-to-date information, check out the FSA’s own searchable list, and there are Android, iPhone and Windows apps too. Scores on the Doors also publishes the same information.

(Visited 538 times, 2 visits today)
  • Interesting article. Aside from Roni’s!! find Gallery rating worrying + less than 1 year ago.

    From this:

    it would seem Cafe Bon scored well in the decrepit knocked down place but very poorly in the new shop?, though I’m not sure they’d even moved in there by September 2012?

    V worrying as am a frequent Moroccan pancake fan!

    • yeah, Gallery and Gung Ho are most surprising. Especially with The Alice House (same owners as The Gallery) scoring a 5. Saw the Cafe Bon anomaly too – and yes, they were in the old Caffe West spot at that time.

    • Tom

      Swayne, you could always ask them – something along the lines of 'I really enjoy your food and am curious as to why you have a low rating?' Roni's is seriously troubling – it's not like a bakery should be overly complicated to keep in order?!

  • Oil Monster

    I don't understand how the FSA operate; how can somewhere have a '1'or even a zero, and then not have a follow-up check within a year?

  • Just looked at the Kilburn High Road restaurants, some haven't been inspected for a long time even though they have very low scores, very off putting..

  • Tom

    I've just done exactly the same; Woody Grill gets '1' and '2' – surprised. Not so surprised by BestCo's '1', after my out-of-date Tabasco incident and their refusal to refund.

    • Anonymous

      I'm surprised at both of those. I've been going to Woody Grill for years and have always found them very good (for a kebab joint).

      I often shop at Bestco too and I've always been happy with their products and the service I've received so I have to say I am shocked to learn that their rating is 1/5 and that they refused a refund for an out of date product…

  • Caroline

    Thanks for publishing this, really interesting. Have to say has put me off some of my favourite establishments, especially bagels from Roni's and unimpressed by anyone scoring less than 4, satisfactory or not. 4 you can put down to paperwork, 3 you can't. tut tut Gallery! Then again GBK scored well and we all saw the brioche bun incident a few weeks back…

  • Anonymous

    Most disappointing about Roni's and my partner is very put out that his breakfast Bagel is now off the menu! I'd be interested to see what went wrong with them.

    • Anonymous

      Not only did Roni’s ‘achieve’ a score of ZERO (Urgent Improvement Necessary) based on the June 2012 inspection, but the ‘Scores on the Door’ sticker on their front door indicates a score of THREE (satisfactory).

      ie, Roni’s have been falsely advertising their food hygiene rating for over a YEAR.


  • Anonymous

    My husband, my cousin and I stopped at Roni's one night to pick up dessert. My cousin and I just had baked goods but my husband had cheesecake — he awakened the next morning with violent food poisoning and was out of work for two days. We knew it was the cheesecake because we had all eaten the same thing for dinner previously. The zero rating is unsurprising.

  • Anonymous

    Speaking of Roni's, tonight it's doors were shut and it seemed as though the shelves were empty and some sort of storage cabinet outside on the street. What gives?

  • bubela

    Moment's told me that Roni's has "closed for refurbishment" – no coincidence I'm sure. Hopefully they'll now up their game.

  • Anonymous

    The cakes there always looked so enticing… and their bagels weren't half bad either!

  • when the guy came to check out our restaurant, we had a broken boiler, so we had cold water only. Obviously we got that fixed immediately, but now I can't seem to get Camden to come back and reassess us, which is extremely frustrating as you can imagine. Abu at Bombay Nights

  • Anonymous

    Have started losing weight now that I am no longer a patron of Roni's! Never again, to think what must have been going on behind all those creamy cakes, yuck!