Ask the man on the Clapham omnibus where to eat out and he’ll probably tell you to f**k right off, because this is South London. But get out at Clapham Common and ask one of the increasingly genteel inhabitants of this South West enclave, and they’ll give you a list that’s something like this one. Because as Clapham gets posher and posher, so do the dining options. Yes, you can still get totally rat-arsed at Inferno’s, but surely it’s better to be chundering up lumps of Michelin starred food, right?
A stalwart venue of Clapham’s, No 32 The Old Town is a real must-visit at some point during your Clapham journey. Whether that’s to sample the food or indulge in the famed espresso martini’s on a Friday night, you’re not going to want to miss the buzz and jovial nature of this place. The cosy, chic venue comes equipped with log fire, centre piece bar and all the velvet you need in a resto, with a huge menu that bursts with freshly cooked options. Highlights include pumpkin gnocchi, halloumi and crushed avocado burgers and the whopper of a No 32 club sandwich. The resto are also BIG brunchers too, so you’ve got the hangover covered!
Great for: A buzzy atmosphere, moreish cocktails and a big ol’ selection of food
The Bobbin is an adorable gastro offering with deep blue decor and food with an Italian influence that’ll have you smacking your lips with satisfaction post-munch. The red brick pub provides joviality for all seasons with an airy conservatory for the summer and wood fires for the winter. You can whet your appetite with their interchanging gin of the week, before feasting on a menu that boasts highlights of spinach and ricotta ravioli, roast corn-fed chicken and a bursting selection of desserts. Rumour has it, they’re also a dab hand at a Sunday roast too!
Great for: Casual dining and cosy fireplaces.
If you’ve been foraging restaurant by restaurant to find seasonal produce then Sorella is your first and last stop. The Clapham restaurant has real family neighbourhood-y vibes, with Sorella translating to sister. The menu follows suit, taking a traditional format; cicchetti, antipasti, primi, secondi and dolci, with influences from the farm owned by Robin and Sarah Gill, Daniel Joines and Dean Parker, the names before the rustic venture. Sorella wants us all to delve into Italian cuisine like they themselves have and enhance their love about the Italian attitude to cooking and eating.
Great for: Family dining and Italian cuisine
Tucked onto The Pavement overlooking Clapham Common, Minnow is a sweet, small neighbourhood restaurant. Upstairs is light and airy with pale mint green panelling, mink grey banquettes, small wooden tables and white and black honeycomb tiled floors. The exterior remains the most airy and Instagrammable offering in Clapham, emanating rather a millennial display of duck egg blues and floral embellishments. The menu features European dishes from land, sea and earth, however the restaurant is truly famed for its coveted Sunday roast offering which runs from 4pm-7.45pm each week with BYOB included. See you Sunday!
Great for: Intimate settings and uncomplicated menus.
Clapham Old Town plays host to Trinity, a Michelin starred restaurant on the edge of Clapham Common. Founded by Adam Byatt in 2006 dining at Trinity is sublime. Gone are any central London pretensions or grand hotel majesty, and instead Trinity brings us back to delight in simple basic ingredients and a not-too-showy decor.
Great for: Relaxed Michelin star dining
Quite what the wisdom behind naming this restaurant after a devastating natural disaster was, is unclear. You wouldn’t call a restaurant Ebola, after all (although I’m sure there used to be a bar called Sars, back in the day). Fortunately, however, the real brain power is behind the sushi at this intimate restaurant close to Clapham North station. It also sports quite a groovy cocktail bar at the front.
Great for: Sushi!
Start the evening as you mean to end it, in a public loo enjoying some sausage. WC is a converted public convenience (clue’s in the name), by Clapham Common tube station tube station, where they serve an excellent array of charcuterie, cheese and wines. Perhaps pushing the boundaries of what is and isn’t a restaurant, the little food there is is nevertheless top-notch and overcomes the novelty factor by being actually impressive.
Great for: Charcuterie. And toilet humour
If you’re non-diary, fear not; The Diary is suitable whatever your lactose preferences. Situated on The Pavement (one of London’s more confusingly named streets) the restaurant specialises in small-plate dining. While the decor might have a thrown-together sort of feel, the food definitely doesn’t.
Great for: More than milk