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Streatham area guide

Discover all the best bars, restaurants and things to do in SW16 with Time Out's guide to Streatham

Streatham Common 2015
© Dave A

Streatham High Road (the A23), all 1.8 miles of it, has been classed as the UK's worst high street and its most polluted; in fact it's more accurate to call it the most quintessentially 'London' high street. Along its length are specialist food shops and community meeting hubs serving a plethora of different nationalities – Brazilian, Somali, Italian, Polish, Romanian, Asian. Attractive cafés are beginning to intervene amongst the otherwise faceless shops, and there's a farmers' market at Streatham Green. Down at the southern end of Streatham High Road, where things are relatively green and pleasant, there's Streatham Common, the spankingly rebuilt Ice Arena (with pool attached), and the Hideaway jazz club.

Love London Awards: this year's winners

Hood
Restaurants Book online

Hood

Any restaurant that ditches the ubiquitous Polpo look (bare bulbs, exposed brick and subway tiles) for something fresh gets my thumbs-up. So honey-wood floorboards, pastel chairs and quirky features such as a restored dumb-waiter earn this neighbourhood venture brownie points. Siblings and Streatham residents Robin and Melanie Frean set up Hood together. They got their hands dirty with the refit, hired a local chef who had worked at Le Caprice, and crowdsourced £11,000 – £6,000 more than their original target – for finishing touches (a blackboard ‘thank you wall’ is dedicated to donors who pledged more than £50). Getting the community involved proved great publicity – Hood was almost full on a Wednesday night. The short menu pays attention to seasonality and provenance, and our dishes mostly worked. The house salad contained enough luxurious ingredients (tasty, skin-on chicken strips and a deep-fried runny egg) to feel special, while a generous slab of crisp-skinned hake was nicely matched with clams and tender slices of sweetly braised artichoke. Rich, juicy mackerel with blackened skin and pickled vegetables was only let down by a hopelessly underpowered horseradish cream. Our waiter’s habit of peering at the dishes in his hands, locating an identifiable ingredient, then triumphantly asking, ‘The fish?’ was idiosyncratic. But such faltering service aside, Hood shows real promise.

Time Out says
3 out of 5 stars
Users say
5 out of 5 stars
Book online
Batch & Co
Restaurants

Batch & Co

An independent coffeeshop that uses beans from London's Caravan Coffee Roasters, with a turn around of 21 days max to ensure their coffee always tastes fresh. Food wise they offer brunch, lunch, toasties, pastries and cakes.

Users say
5 out of 5 stars
Elephant Bakehouse
Shopping

Elephant Bakehouse

A sourdough-only bakery that sells bread made from flour, water and a pinch of salt. None of the bad stuff basically.

Users say
5 out of 5 stars
Hideaway
Music

Hideaway

Jazz, funk, swing and soul club Hideaway won Venue of the Year in the 2011 Parliamentary Jazz Awards. They've recently opened a free Sunday jazz cafe (from 12pm) hosted by fine pianist Janette Mason. As well as live music, the venue has a lively comedy programme, adding to the venue's welcoming and laid back atmosphere.

Users say
5 out of 5 stars
Pratts and Payne
Bars and pubs

Pratts and Payne

A boozer with a sense of humour; it's named after Pratts, the now defunct, art deco department store that the pub is situated in, and Cynthia Payne, Streatham's notorious 'special party' thrower who allegedly ran a brothel in her home durign the late-’70s.

Users say
5 out of 5 stars
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Restaurants in Streatham

Brighton Way
Restaurants

Brighton Way

It sounds like a song on the playlist for a late 1960s road trip. The kind where you drive down to the coast after a weekend at Scarborough Fair (Simon & Garfunkel, 1966), via Penny Lane (Beatles, 1967). But Brighton Way – sometimes the London to Brighton Way – is actually the old name for the A23, the busy thoroughfare where this Streatham eaterie – sibling to the well-regarded Exhibition Rooms in Crystal Palace – sits. And, let’s face it, a restaurant called ‘The A23’ doesn’t have quite the same ring to it.  It’s a great-looking space, with a gastropub-ey front area, a handsome bar to one side (complete with handcrafted wood and iron ‘love seats’ for two), and jenga-esque walls where mismatched woods appear to have been slotted in, piece by piece, for a bohemian effect. Even the loos are quite lovely. The service, too, was brilliant on our visit, with young staff who were enthusiastic and efficient. It’s only when the food arrived that the wheels started to come off. Some of it was excellent – a 10oz rib-eye (all the steak, declared our waiter with confidence, ‘is great’), was indeed good quality, and expertly cooked, with a nicely charred outer and a perfectly pink middle. A ‘Daim bar’ cheesecake was joyfully calorific, its creamy top studded with shards of crunchy butter-almond toffee and milk chocolate. Yet other offerings, such as bone-dry, unchewable pork scratchings, or too-oily tempura soft-shell crab with an unpleasant burnt lime and chilli jelly, let the side dow

Time Out says
3 out of 5 stars
Users say
3 out of 5 stars
Perfect Blend
Restaurants

Perfect Blend

Stop in here for breakfast, lunch and dinner, or just a spot of tea and cake. Blend serve a variety of British and American food.

Users say
5 out of 5 stars
Bravi Ragazzi
Restaurants

Bravi Ragazzi

It's all about authenticity at this Streatham pizzeria. That means Neapolitan-style sourdough pizzas with traditional toppings, blasted in a red-hot wood-fired oven. There's delivery, too, should you want to eat in your pants, in front of the TV. And while pizzas such as the capricciosa (tomato, mozzarella, mushrooms, cooked ham, salami, olives and artichoke), the diavolo (tomato, spicy salami, mozzarella and fresh chilli) and the marinara (tomato, garlic, oregano and extra virgin olive oil) are the real draw, there's more to the food output here. There are olives, bruschetta, focaccia breads, salads, saltimbocca flat-bread sandwiches and various desserts - including tiramisu, Nutella sandwiches and pastiera - a traditional Neapolitan cheesecake here homemade. 

Users say
5 out of 5 stars
Nineteen Restaurant and Bar
Restaurants

Nineteen Restaurant and Bar

Nineteen is a chic and chilled restaurant in London's Streatham Hill serving Modern European cuisine. The lush warehouse-style interior – complete with dark leather sofas and exposed bricks – provides a buzzy, cosmopolitan atmosphere for fun nights out, and Nineteen's brasserie-inspired menu is sensational. Favourite dishes include homemade gnocchi with creamy mushroom & pancetta sauce; the crispy-skin sea bass with mash, ceps and parsley purée; Vegetables and Sea food Tempura. Whether you're after a long, lazy Sunday lunch, a stylish venue for a business brunch or a relaxed, intimate setting for a night out with friends – Nineteen is ideal. The bar is always filled with a stylish crowd, and is the perfect place for pre/post dinner cocktails.

Users say
4 out of 5 stars
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Things to do in Streatham

Streatham Ice Arena
Attractions

Streatham Ice Arena

Streatham has long been a home of ice and all the fun that comes with it. The rink was first opened here in 1931, where it stood for 80 years before getting a much needed renovation in 2013. Now it is Olympic sized (that's 60x30m) with almost 1,000 seats surrounding it. Both pros and novices of all ages can use the rink, with classes in skating and ice hockey also vailable.

Users say
3 out of 5 stars
Streatham Common
Attractions

Streatham Common

The glorious green end of the south London neighbourhood.

Users say
5 out of 5 stars

Bars and pubs in Streatham

Manor Arms
Bars and pubs

Manor Arms

A perfectly circular dining area at one end of this whopper of a gastropub makes a distinguished feature, a curved banquette snaking round the perimeter and large tiled columns offering support. The bar dispenses the likes of Doom Bar, Wandle Ale and Adnams Broadside. An open kitchen next to the bar smacks of confidence, and while the glorious Sunday roasts are a sight to behold, other dishes are not such hard hitters. Roasted slip sole and seafood salad, a garden of mussels, whelks and prawns, looked impressive but didn’t entirely work, owing to the hot/cold temperature combination. The signature lancashire macaroni cheese, golden and bubbling, was served with only a perfunctory herb salad. Service was spirited but slightly distracted, seemingly owing to the volume of children vying for attention, straddling leather sofas and playing ball. For a parent, the family-friendly attitude is a welcome change from the public froideur so often accorded under-tens in the UK. For a non-parent, it can feel a little like being hurled into an episode of Outnumbered. Activities across the week include storytime, Punch and Judy, and pop-up children’s clothing shops. There’s a kids’ menu, naturally. No wonder it’s won an award from Mumsnet.

Time Out says
3 out of 5 stars
Users say
4 out of 5 stars
Pratts and Payne
Bars and pubs

Pratts and Payne

A boozer with a sense of humour; it's named after Pratts, the now defunct, art deco department store that the pub is situated in, and Cynthia Payne, Streatham's notorious 'special party' thrower who allegedly ran a brothel in her home durign the late-’70s.

Users say
5 out of 5 stars
Bars and pubs Buy tickets

The Bull

Young's have been running The Bull in Streatham since 1832 according to their website and it has all the character you'd expect an old boozer to have, whilst maintaining a light and airy (and clean) feel. They have a burger shack out back, as well as a seasonal British menu, and they stock London brews Meantime and Camden Town, amongst many other beverages.

Users say
5 out of 5 stars
Buy
Bars and pubs

The Earl Ferrers

Gastropub with a few old-school touches, including a pool table, a dartboard and a quiz night

Users say
5 out of 5 stars
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