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! :D

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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Morrison’s on Clapham High Street?

You heard it here first Clappers, signs are up on Blockbusters Clapham High Street saying there is an application for Morrison’s supermarkets to take over the store. Yes, another supermarket. You can still have a say, so do have a say!

Wouldn’t it be nice to get some clothes shops or something more fabulous.

Clapham Markets

The Clapham area is now completely spoilt for choice when it comes to markets. From posh nosh to fresh flowers, we Clappers have it all. Given the number of chain supermarkets and restaurants in the area, it’s no wonder the Clapham markets are increasingly popular with local residents. We want choice dammit! With three markets in the direct vicinity and others close by, there really is no excuse to shop local and benefit from better quality. Continue reading

New Clapham Leisure Centre Open

Clapham has been without a swimming pool for over a year but the new leisure centre (which looks something like the above drawing) is open. And dagnamit, it’s only got a swimming pool with a moving floor to change its depth! This probably entitles Clappers to say we have a ‘state of the art’ leisure centre. It also has a large gym area and a sports hall above it. Fabulous. For those of you going “whaaa? A new leisure centre? In Clapham?” you can find it on Clapham Manor Street next to the equally healthy KFC. Have you been yet, what do you think? Tell everyone below…

Clapham Junction Riots

Monday 8th of August 2011 will be the day all local residents remember wanton violence coming to our much loved streets. Worst hit was the Clapham Junction area around Lavender Hill caught in its early throes in the below video.

Of course, the most familiar image to us all is now the gutted Party Superstore – which Love Clapham has frequented for many a fancy dress party – ablaze.

Other shops were smashed, looted and destroyed in a disgusting abuse of our local area. Clapham High Street was largely unaffected, although Blockbuster near Clapham North has had its windows smashed, and property destroyed and stolen. Love Clapham witnessed a gang of 20 or so hooded youths lurking behind KFC at around 11pm – they may have been entirely innocent, but last night was not the night to be hanging around in gangs.

Riot police eventually turn up en masse captured in this resident’s video:

No one involved had any intentions of delivering a political of social message, they just wanted to enjoy themselves by destroying people’s livelihoods. It was disturbing to watch on television, and terrifying for some of our residents stuck in the thick of the violence. Personally, the worst image for me was that of the young girls in the attack laughing at their friends tearing a TV off the wall in Ladbrokes. Such a depressingly pathetic display of ignorance and stupidity.

But the local community has come together in a tear jerking response as residents supported those affected today with broom in hand to clean up. Something to be proud of. Take care Clappers.

Read more on the following websites:

Let’s hope you have a sense of humour

Bored Clappers. WE HAVE BEEN BORED. With a lack of things to do in the evening in Clapham, us Clappers have had to turn to either binge drinking, paying extortionate prices for meals or jogging around the common. All of which sound good in principle but leave you with an empty, soul destroying feeling afterwards in their own unique ways. So it’s with a massive sigh of relief and a cheer that Love Clapham can announce that The Funny Side… of Clapham Common comedy nights are now every blinkin’ Thursday at the Alexandra on Clapham Common south side (by the bus stops!) Check it out, it’s a bargainous £12.50 and you can still binge drink, eat and perhaps jog home. Wonderful.

Clapham Common Festivals 2010

It’s that time of year again when we all head to Clapham Common, strip off most (in some cases all) of our clothes and burn our skin to the sound of amazing music from some of the world’s best artists with an alcoholic bevvy in hand. Yup, it’s time for Clapham Common Festival season – just another typical summer eh? There’s tonnes going on and here’s a brief run through of what’s been, gone and coming up… Continue reading

Clapham Cycle Superhighway

Love Clapham is prone to the odd over-the-top superlative here and there (obviously!) but believe it or not, that is the actual name of those new blue streaks down Clapham High Street. Yes ladies and gentlemen, thanks to the heads up from Clapper @XanderBrown, say hello to Clapham’s section of the Cycle Superhighway! Continue reading

Clapham High Street Fire

Clapham High Street Fire

If you were walking or driving through Clapham on Sunday 4th July you no doubt saw the chaos caused by a fairly severe fire opposite Clapham Common underground station on Clapham High Street. The start of the fire, in the Float Centre health clinic, is under investigation, but The Sun is reporting it may have been started by a sun bed. Thankfully no Clappers were seriously injured although a 70 year old lady was taken to hospital for smoke inhalation and the two ladies photographed had a fairly traumatic experience perched on a second floor window ledge. Well, we do like a bit of drama in Claps, don’t we? (Source: Daily Mail)

Has Clapham’s nightlife grown stale?

Boring Clapham Night life

Now don’t get me wrong. I love Clapham (most obviously) but recently I’ve grown a bit bored of all of the bars and clubs. As more have popped up and attempted to be trendy and fashionable, I can’t help but feel they’ve also become a bit, well, generic. Compare Clapham to Shoreditch and Soho, where you get a mix of trendy, casual and [insert style of choice] and it doesn’t stand up very well in terms of variety. Continue reading