Clapham – best place to dine out in London?! (updated)

Let’s face it Clappers, we’ve always been spoilt for choice in the culinary department. However, Clapham seems to have gone into overdrive in 2014 with the introduction of tonnes of cutting edge, contemporary places to eat.

Love Clapham loves a good nosh with a slosh of bubbles and here’s our pick of the best in a rough order.IMG_2645

a) New Clapham restaurants we’ve been to and recommend

  1. Zumbura – fresh, zingy tastes with commendable friendly outstanding service.
  2. The Dairy – this new entry to the Clapham food scene has exceptional food and a lovely environment. When we went, we had the taster menu and it was exceptional. At the higher end of the cost scale but worth every penny.
  3. Ferm’s £5 pizza – best pizza in town and only a fiver. We love it for its relaxed easy going atmosphere. Hopefully it won’t get the awful queue that its breakfast guise (Breads Etcetera) gets, because we never go for brekkie there because of that.
  4. WC – knowledgeable staff with excellent wine and delicious charcuterie. Very stylish and cool location too. Highly recommended.
  5. Chicago Rib Shack pricier than you’d probably expect from a rib shack (it really could do with about £2 slashed from everything). However, the ribs are simply incredible. And the service is fun and friendly, much better than other service at other rib shacks who shall remain nameless. We love this place… although the bouncer feels a little unnecessary, this is gentrified Clapham afterall 😉
  6. Brickwood Coffee – for a coffee shop it is a bit pricey, the reason for that though is the excellent quality of the coffee AND the amazing toasted ciabattas that they sell, super tasty.
  7. Abbeville Kitchen – extremely good if also extremely expensive traditional fare done very, very well. You won’t feel short changed.
  8. No. 32 Old Town – this place was packed from the offset and the two times we’ve been in we’ve had an outstanding meal. However the service has always been a little bit frantic and odd. We’re putting this down to “finding their feet” for the time being though.
  9. Byron Burger – you know what they sell, it’s just good they now sell it in Clapham!
  10. Mama Lan – teeny tiny with an even smaller menu but it’s deelish! Our one massive gripe is that they still don’t take cards almost a year on… We’ve stopped going because of that because we never have cash on us!
  11. The Dessert Deli – obviously not a cafe but it still sells food! The owner, Laura Amos, makes the best cakes in South London, don’t miss them. Located in Clapham Junction station with a new shop.
  12. Aux Marveilleux de Fred – you can’t sit in this place on Northcote Road either but their cakes are incredible, whatever those little mound things are! 😀

b) Oldies and still Goldies – some of these are still trumping the newbies

  1. The Pepper Tree – one of the tastiest, best priced places in Clapham with a stunning location overlooking Clapham Common. Friendlier service than most of the new places. And it’s just had a totally awesome, stylish make over!
  2. Fantasia – in amongst all of the posh overpriced nonsense, Fantasia remains down to earth, affordable and high quality. No restaurant is as rounded and perfectly formed. Of course, we only go for the breakfast / brunch / late lunchy breakfast. We need more casual places like this that don’t break the bank. Also has MUCH better service than most new breakfast places.
  3. Maharani – you’d be mistaken (wrongly mistaken) if you judge this place by its cover. The building may look incredibly dated but the food and service is simply perfect. One of the best indian restaurants we’ve ever been to and it’s right here on our high street. Please do use this place, you won’t regret it.
  4. Trinity – expensive but worth it. If you want to impress or for culinary razzmatazz, go here.
  5. Gastro – informal, not the standard of Trinity or the other more expensive places but the price here reflects that. Probably the most relaxing night out in Claps.
  6. Northcote and Stonhouse – part of the same chain and both equally amazing, if already a victim of their own success by being too popular so hard to get a table at the weekend without booking earlier in the week. The waiting staff always feel rushed off their feet, although friendly. You can’t deny the amazing quality of their food and drinks (especially the steaks!)
  7. Gourmet Burger Kitchen (GBK) – it’s been around for a while and has recently upped its game a bit to compete with the new burger kids on the block. We think this place is giving Byron a run for its money actually, and we’ve been opting to go to this place instead recently because it’s a tad less busy.

Other new places we haven’t been to yet include the soon to open The Manor on Clapham Manor Street. Also, The Craft Beer Co on Clapham Manor Street is supposed to have great burgers – we’ve been for their great ales but not food yet. Olives and Meze looks interesting too.

Have we missed something or do you disagree with us? Please tell us in our new Clapham Eating Out forum.

Own a restaurant that’s not listed here? Please don’t take it personally. We can’t like everything! 🙂 If you’re new, we just haven’t been yet and if you’ve been around for a while, we probably just think the cost or service is a bit skew whiff right now and we intentionally don’t bad press places. Feel free to tell us about your Clapham gaff on the forum and we’ll pop on down for another take ASAP 🙂

Burgers and American BBQ restaurants in Clapham

Clapham is fast becoming THE place to go for burgers and American-style barbecue restaurants. Clapham High Street alone is home to the ever popular Bodean’s, posh burgers at Haché, the old faithful Gourmet Burger Kitchen, as well as a large new branch of Byron. Other recent newcomers are the lively Honky Tonk bar and diner near Clapham Common and the brand new Chicago Rib Shack which is underneath the arches by Clapham High Street station and is running opening discounts.
 
We popped into Red Dog South recently, which opened opposite Clapham North station a few months ago. It was a warm summer evening when we visited so we sat outside until late at one of the tables out front. We also had a peek at the restaurant area inside which is decked out in wood panelling giving it a bit of a wild west feel in keeping with the American saloon theme.
 
The menu covers everything from ribs and burgers to fried catfish and southern fried chicken. We particularly enjoyed a juicy blue cheese burger and a side of original buffalo wings which were tasty and tangy with just the right amount of spiciness, plus the blue cheese sauce that comes with the wings is not to be missed!
 
If you’re feeling particularly hungry (or competitive) Red Dog has a couple of challenges for you to sink your teeth into! The mighty Devastator burger is made from steak mince, pulled pork, 6 rashers of bacon and 6 slices of cheese (phew!) The challenge is to finish the burger and a milkshake within 10 minutes.
 
And if you can stand the heat there’s the hot wing challenge which allows 10 minutes to eat 6 chicken wings made with red hot naga viper chillies.  On our visit there was a brave contender getting stuck into the hot wing challenge complete with latex gloves to protect from the fiery chillies! Winners receive a t-shirt and a proud place on the restaurant’s ‘wall of flame’ leader board….
 
With a range of newbies opening up alongside the established chains, if it’s ribs, wings, pulled pork and burgers you’re after, then you’re spoilt for choice for places to get your fill in Clapham.
 
Where’s your favourite place for burgers and BBQ? Will a branch of MeatLiquor be next to come to Clapham High Street?! Completed any of the man vs food challenges?
Share your favourites on the community forum >>
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The White House – 10 years old!

Clapham White House

One of Clapham’s best known night spots and actually one of its landmarks is celebrating its 10th anniversary of business this coming weekend. To help celebrate, The White House has an extravagant line-up of top class acts turning up to kick start the party. In fact, it’s nothing short of amazing with Maxi Jazz of Faithless, Basement Jaxx and The Freemasons all taking their turn to perform and DJ on different nights from Thursday to Sunday. Go to The White House website for all of the information and to buy a three night pass for £20. Love Clapham will definitely be stopping by!

Aquum

Aquum Clapham High StreetAfter a successful opening in 2009, Aquum has quickly established itself as the place to see and be seen in SW4. Offering a cool and chic feel, this interchangeable South London haunt is spread over three floors, spoiling you with plenty of room to relax throughout the week over a bite to eat with friends, and ample space to get your groove on at the weekends with resident sounds from Stereo Sushi and Bargrooves.

Address: Aquum, 68-70 Clapham High street, London, SW4 7UL
Phone: 02076272726
Opening times: Mon – Thurs 11am – 2am, Fri – Sun 11am – 4am Continue reading

Weekend watch: Ice cream commeth

Clapham Ice cream

What’s your idea of heaven? Part of LoveClapham’s idea of heaven includes endless supplies of ice cream. Thanks to Ben & Jerry’s Sundae on the Common festival this Saturday and Sunday, we’re going to have heaven on earth… on Clapham Common to be specific. Not only are the Human League (the blinkin’ Human League!!) and the Super Furry Animals performing at the festival, there will be non-stop supplies of ice cream too. But that’s not all that’s going on in Clapham this weekend, keep reading for your chance to win a £500 bar tab for The Loft. Enter quickly ‘cos LoveClapham’s got our eye on THAT prize! Continue reading

Happy 3rd Birthday Gigalum!

Gigalum Clapham South third birthday

This Sunday is Gigalum’s 3rd birthday and to celebrate they’ll be holding a party from 3pm with the after party at Inigo taking you all the way through to 2am. DJ’s playing include Lee Ford, Scott Lummes, Andy P and Steve Butcher. With free drinks and food at 3pm and ‘Gigalum punch’ only £3, we’d advise you now to book Monday morning off! Gigalum’s had enormous success since it first opened and is always rammed, fully living up to its own statement of “busiest bar in Clapham”. Cheers to Gigalum for making that Clapham South corner so amazing!

Lost Society

Lost Society ClaphamLost Society has a fantastic and frankly weird interior and great music, a combination that maxes it out every single weekend. It has a great outdoor courtyard too. One of the highlights of the “between Clapham Junction / Clapham Common pocket”.

Address: Lost Society, 697 Wansworth Road, London SW8 3JF
Phone: 020 7652 6526