Clapham restaurants

Find a new local favourite with our list of the best restaurants in Clapham

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Ming Tang Evans

Clapham is home to many great restaurants that provide exceptional food at more-than-reasonable prices. Trinity is a relaxed yet elegant restaurant that serves sublime French cuisine, and just try to walk past Madeleine without picking up a pastry - it's practically impossible.

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Trinity

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Trinity remains Clapham’s best restaurant, a destination for special occasions and celebratory splurges. It gets the right balance of smart (neat napery, cutting-edge cooking) and casual (smiling staff, hubbub of conversation). Recent price hikes might cause some eyebrow-raising (main courses now cost £25-£38), but the cooking is as good as ever.

  1. 4 The Polygon, SW4 0JG
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The Dairy

  • Rated as: 4/5

Recycled furniture, workshop light fittings, a bar serving craft beers: it might look like another beer and burger joint, or maybe a New York Italian ‘small plates’ place, but the Dairy doesn’t churn out a formula. Seasonal British ingredients are treated with a level of finesse that would be the envy of many Japanese restaurants.

  1. 15 The Pavement, SW4 0HY
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Breads Etcetera

  • Rated as: 3/5
  • Price band: 1/4

This bakery-cum-café has been going strong for the past decade, and come noon every weekend, there’s a queue of up to half an hour, out the door and on to Clapham High Street, for a table. So what’s the attraction? What the Danes call hygge, the Germans call Gemütlichkeit; a relaxed cosiness, created by smiling staff and toasters on the table. 

  1. 127 Clapham High Street, SW4 7SS
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Tsunami

  • Rated as: 3/5
  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

No sign of a recession at Tsunami: on our weekend visit, smartly dressed thirtysomethings packed the place. This suburban sushi restaurant and cocktail bar has found a recipe for success and is sticking to it. The international waiting staff were warm and welcoming, the dining room glam but not intimidating, and the menu packed with modern Japanese crowd-pleasers.

  1. 5-7 Voltaire Road, SW4 6DQ
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Mama Lan

  • Rated as: 3/5
  • Price band: 1/4

This no-bookings, cash-only Chinese café is an offshoot, a second branch of the original in Brixton Village Market. It’s typical of a new wave of restaurant entrepreneurs who have moved from running a supper club to setting up premises with little experience or capital, spread the word by social media, and built up a loyal following. The experience gained at the first branch has paid off. On our three visits the service in Clapham was smooth, the kitchen consistent.

  1. 8 The Pavement, SW4 0HY
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Madeleine

  • Rated as: 3/5
  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

On a prime spot at the fashionable end of Clapham Common, Madeleine is one of several cafés with a handful of outside tables serving the constant traffic of Commoners heading from Clapham Old Town to the tube. It’s also the best of the bunch, not just because it looks charmingly French, but also because all the baked goods are made in the in-house bakery, which you can watch through a large pane of glass at the back of the dining area.

  1. 22 The Pavement, SW4 0HY
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Barsito

  • Rated as: 3/5

This tiny neighbourhood tapas bar captures the feel of its counterparts in Spain perfectly; informal with welcoming staff, and a simple menu to complement the wines by the glass. Hams hang from the ceiling, diners eat at the bar counter; drinkers mingle in. The food preparation area wedged behind the bar makes a caravan's galley look spacious.

As a special festive offer for Timeout readers bring a copy of this page and enjoy your first glass of Spanish house wine half price.
  1. 57 Venn St, SW4 0BD
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Boqueria Tapas

  • Rated as: 5/5

Setting itself apart from your average tapas joint, Boqueria offers a fresh, modern menu that merits repeat visits. The vibe is laid-back, and the L-shaped space has been thoroughly optimised, with aluminium stools along a stylishly spot-lit (and well-stocked) bar leading through into the main restaurant; downstairs is an upbeat bar area with more tables (available for private hire). References to the mother country are plentiful.

  1. 192 Acre Lane, SW2 5UL
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Mongolian Grill

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 1/4

For the uninitiated, this backstreet restaurant in Clapham’s Old Town may set alarm bells ringing. First, there’s the ‘red light district’ glow (caused by a host of Chinese lanterns), but more unnervingly, the kitchen specialises in hotpot (sometimes known as ‘Chinese fondue’, a dish with its roots in Mongolia) and Korean barbecue (where food is cooked at an on-table grill). There’s an enormous help-yourself buffet of fish, meat and vegetables – all raw.

  1. 29 North Street, SW4 0HJ
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Fish Club

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Though your waistband might complain, your conscience need not as all the fish at this great little London chippy are sustainably sourced, with coley topping the bill. And that ethical alternative to haddock and cod is popular for good reason: it more than passed muster, with flaky and tender flesh beneath a perfect honey-coloured batter. The twice-fried chips were good too: chunky yet crisp. 

  1. 57 Clapham High Street, SW4 7TG
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Haché

  • Rated as: 3/5
  • Price band: 2/4

If you can imagine a girly burger joint, Haché would be it. Named after the Gallic term for ‘minced’ (go to Paris and ask for a steak ‘haché’ and you’ll be served a good-quality patty), the restaurant is full of feminine French touches: from pretty vintage chandeliers to the creamy walls with ornate, oversized mirrors. In the open kitchen at the back, classic ‘man food’ is prettied up wherever possible.

  1. 153 Clapham High Street, SW4 7SS
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Bobbin

  • Rated as: 4/5

In a quiet residential street not far from Clapham Common, Bobbin is an appealing neighbourhood gastropub. It has a changing rota of proper ales (perhaps St Austell Tribute or something from Sambrooks), good wines by the glass, a cosy front room, and an airy conservatory at the rear. The menu’s the main focus, with typical gastropub dishes done well. 

  1. 1-3 Lillieshall Rd, SW4 0LN
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Abbeville Kitchen

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

Of all the ‘destination’ diners in the locality, Abbeville Kitchen is the least known. That’s a pity, because the Med-leaning cooking is terrific, but the venue suffers from an ailment common to restaurants in mainland Spain (where such things don’t matter): unexceptional design. There’s a mismatch of styles, with junk-shop dark-wood chairs and a hodge-podge of tables against a backdrop of smart, coral-hued weave, papered on to the walls.

  1. 47 Abbeville Road, SW4 9JX
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Bistro Union

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 2/4

This self-styled ‘quintessentially British bistro’ succeeds on so many levels. The staff are chummy and welcoming; the room looks rustic and quirky, with stripped floorboards, an appealing grey, white and yellow colour scheme and cutlery kept in drawers under the tables; and there’s a very enticing selection of bar nibbles, own-made preserves and fruit gins on display that sets the tone for the slightly homespun approach of the kitchen.

  1. 40 Abbeville Road, SW4 9NG
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No 32 The Old Town

  • Rated as: 3/5

High summer on Clapham Common, and everyone and everything is out – the sun, the bare legs, the six-packs (both kinds). But when the bevvies are finished it’s time to head to the pub. Every year Clapham’s bars face onslaughts as sunburned and inebriated groups descend on them like Visigoths on Rome. This was a new experience for No 32, which opened days before the hottest weekend of the year so far.

  1. 32 The Pavement, SW4 0JE
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Zumbura

  • Rated as: 4/5

What do you do next if you’ve built two successful furniture businesses from scratch, and want a new challenge? Open an Indian restaurant. Or at least, that’s what Aamir Ahmad and his colleagues have done. Their background in fashionable interior design explains Zumbura’s good looks – but instead of the clean, modern lines of their Ocean and Dwell shops, the look includes South Asian influences.

20% off all food orders before 7pm every night and all night on Monday to Wednesday.
  1. 36a Old Town, SW4 0LB
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Kerbisher & Malt

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 1/4

The gentrification of Abbeville Road continues apace with the opening of this  branch of a fast-expanding and upmarket fish and chip shop chain in the summer of 2014. Past the takeaway hatch, wood-panelled booths and industrial lighting give it a knowingly retro look, back to the days when the seas were our to plunder and fish suppers were a staple of the working classes. But K&M have moved with the times, and offer sustainable coley among their options: a good, meaty fish,

  1. 50 Abbeville Rd, SW4 9NF
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Fields

  • Rated as: 4/5

This park café is one of three on Clapham Common, and is perhaps the least attractive – a bleak-looking concrete box sited between a busy road and skateboard park, with sneakers dangling from the connecting power lines. But it’s the common’s best café by a jogger’s mile.

  1. 2 Rookery Road, Clapham Common, SW4 9DD
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Users say

4 comments
Joe
Joe

What about Alba? It is a great Italian restaurant right in front of clapham north station, they do lovely Italian food there.

Natalie
Natalie

Missing a great new Italian restaurant, opened Dec 11 Nightingale Lane - Stagioni. (Clapham South) Fantastic reviews and place

Darren
Darren

Definitely missing The Blind Tiger and Lost Society

La Delizia Due
La Delizia Due

A fantastic Italian Restaurant on 314 Trinity Road, great pizza, great Food and great Italian wine. The sister restaurant is in Chelsea and has been going for years, this one has just opened and is fantastic and great value for money.

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