Tooting area guide

Keep busy in SW17 with Time Out's guide to Tooting's best restaurants, bars, pubs and things to do

Tooting has come pretty far since the time of Citizen Smith – these days the ‘power to the people’ comes mostly by way of just how much there is to do around these parts. From the budget-priced South Asian restaurants and ace independent pubs and bars to Tooting Bec lido and the leafy, lush common, SW17 has never had it so good. Even the Mayor of London used to call it home. The new Shoreditch? It may well be.

READ MORE: 14 reasons to go to Tooting High Street, SW17

Love London Awards: Tooting’s local favourites

The Little Taperia
Restaurants

The Little Taperia

It’s a lovely feeling when you study a menu and want to order everything. It’s even lovelier when you notice the reasonable prices, and realise you could do exactly that without having to raise a mortgage first. Yet talk of mortgages surrounded us at this tapas bar in Tooting, as the area’s seen a huge influx of new-to-London renters and first-homers. This demographic of up-for-it flatshares and the newly-coupled is creating a surge in fun, affordable places to eat and drink in SW17. Why did Soho House’s Chicken Shop cross the road? To get to La Tapería, on the adjacent street corner. Over the road is Honest Burgers; around the corner is Mud, an Aussie-style brunch place and café. Geronimo Inns is currently converting a huge local landmark, The Trafalgar Arms, into a trendy wine bar. No wonder Tooting’s been called the new Shoreditch. Yet La Tapería’s charm is more homespun than the bigger operators. A side passage and yard at the back have been covered with corrugated plastic roofing to make a beach shack-style extension; a marble-topped bar at the front dispenses simple but good cocktails; and a long corridor-like series of rooms connects the two, with an open kitchen halfway along. Sit near it and you can admire cool artistry in a very hot kitchen, as the chefs work with wordless concentration. The menu’s the sort of thing you might find in Spain – if you’re lucky. Big prawns tasted as if they’d just been lifted out of the sea, then sautéed with chilli and garlic. Salt

Time Out says
4 out of 5 stars
Users say
5 out of 5 stars
Mud
Restaurants

Mud

Tooting now has a proper Aussie-style brunch café, staffed by proper Aussies. They’ve given it the contemporary look of stripped-back brick, copper piping and filament bulbs that distracts little from the small open kitchen and display counter of baked goods. Breakfast or bunch is served until 3pm (snacks thereafter), and dishes from the short menu tend to be variations on a few ingredients  such as avocado, bacon, pancakes, and good sourdough bread from the Blackbird Bakery.  Smashed avocado was served on toast with feta crumbled on top, sweetcorn fritters with smashed avocado and a perfectly poached egg. The coffee’s decent, made with an Ozone roast, and there’s an Aussie accent to cakes such as a giant Anzac biscuit. Table service, cash only, pay at the counter.          

Time Out says
3 out of 5 stars
Users say
5 out of 5 stars
Tooting Market
Shopping

Tooting Market

An indoor market in south London that's been running for the past 80 years and is open seven days a week. Find fashion, arts and crafts, music, books, food and drink, furniture and more here.

Users say
5 out of 5 stars
Unwined in Tooting
Bars and pubs Buy tickets

Unwined in Tooting

Following a successful Kickstarter campaign, the former pop-up A Grape Night In has settled into permanent premises. Unwined in Tooting serves as a wine shop, bar and restaurant. They have a changing roster of monthly pop-ups, and services include a monthly or bi-monthly wine box delivery and wine courses at the shop.

Users say
5 out of 5 stars
Buy tickets
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