There’s something curious going on on down in Wandsworth Town, the normally conservative enclave of South West London has undergone an alfresco revolution. Now you can walk down Old York Road and hear chatter into the evening, and while air kisses and calls of ‘ciao bella!’ used to be reserved for yummy mummies in Gail’s, now you can see and hear them everywhere. Welcome to the Costa del Wandsworth…
The Wandsworth Town Business Improvement District (BID) has extended a helping hand to local restaurants and cafes by pedestrianising Old York Road and letting them spill out onto the road like it’s the Mediterranean. The result is a South West London foodie destination, a place to come to meet friends, sample great food and enjoy an Indian summer out-of-doors. Here are some of the local businesses involved…
Chit Chaat Chai
And talking of Indian summers, how better to enjoy an unseasonably warm September than on the pavement and road outside our favourite Indian street food restaurant in the area.
With cool Bollywood-style street art and regularly described in the press as a ‘celebrity haunt’, Chit Chaat Chai’s samosa chaat is perfection!
WHERE: 356 OLD YORK ROAD, WANDSWORTH TOWN, SW18 1SS
You literally haven’t started the day unless you’ve scoffed a sausage and brown sauce bap from Over Under, ideally swilled down with a cup of their Assembly roasted coffee.
But the addition of seating makes a visit to the food hut great for more than a simple takeaway.
WHERE: OUTSIDE WANDSWORTH TOWN STATION, SW18 1SU
Konnigan’s sun-trap of an outside dining area at the restaurant’s rear is only added to by the alfresco terrace afforded by the ten tables at the front.
Spilling, continental style into the street, enjoy a hearty lunch or dinner in the sun. Help yourself to smashed avo on toast or throw the diet to the wind and order the sausages in mustard, chips and a glass of wine.
WHERE: 344 – 346 OLD YORK ROAD, WANDSWORTH TOWN, SW18 1SP
Even the local butcher is in on the action, setting up a couple of outdoor tables where you can enjoy some of South West London’s best scotch eggs.
The first thing you’ll notice as you patiently line up outside Cleavers is that everyone is on first name terms with the butcher wielding the eponymous cleaver. Phill knows his clientele nearly as well as he knows his meat, and it’s easy to see why Cleavers is queue-down-the-street popular, especially in barbecue season.
Get the Minute Steak Sandwich on toasted ciabatta, take a seat and enjoy some ‘me time’.
WHERE: 362 OLD YORK ROAD, WANDSWORTH TOWN, SW18 1SP
Pad Thai Story
What’s the Pad Thai Story, Jackanory?
The west end of Old York Road is littered with tables and parasols belonging to this Thai restaurant.
Tables at the rice noodle specialists are always jam packed full and it’s entirely unsurprising as soon as you sample their wares.
WHERE: 543 OLD YORK ROAD, WANDSWORTH TOWN, SW18 1TQ
Posh bakery chain Gail’s may have an impressive 50 shops across the capital, but few have on-street dining.
Order a coffee, some of the best bread in town or a pastry and enjoy it in the sun. And if it rains, fear not because Gail’s boasts extensive indoor dining options too.
WHERE: 350 OLD YORK ROAD, WANDSWORTH TOWN, SW18 1SS
The Alma Pub & Hotel
The crucial element in al fresco-ising Old York Road, according to the Wandsworth BID, was persuading the council to allocate outdoor seating in the plaza outside Wandsworth Town Station to The Alma.
The Young’s Pub isn’t just a traditional public house, there’s also a restaurant and an inn. Order from the extensive meat menu from a table in the sun while you can.
WHERE: 499 OLD YORK ROAD, WANDSWORTH TOWN, SW18 1TF
Viet Town greets you as you leave the station and there’s a good chance that you won’t make it any further down Old York Road because you’ll be too into the pho dishes from this authentic Vietnamese restaurant.
Where: 513 Old York Road, Wandsworth Town, SW18 1TF