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West Norwood area guide

Keep busy in SE27 with Time Out's guide to West Norwood's restaurants, bars, pubs and things to do

This very urban slice of south London abuts genteel West Dulwich on one side and flows up and over the hill into Streatham on the other. At one end, under-appreciated Tulse Hill sits huddled around the train station and the South Circular’s one-way system, its Victorian terraces and light-industrial units housing glass-blowers and other local artisans. At the other end, slightly raised above the dust of Norwood Road and still exhibiting signs of its grander Victorian past, is West Norwood, dominated by Grade II-listed St Luke’s Church and the 40-acre South Metropolitan Cemetery (one of London’s ‘magnificent seven’). The long straight stretch of Norwood Road linking the two is where you’ll find the workaday shops along with an impressively multicultural selection of cafés. The classic middle-class catnip (organic cafés, gastropubs, vinyl stores, interiors shops) is up in the Knight’s Hill triangle around the church and station (roughly 20 minutes into Victoria) and served by plenty of buses.

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Pintadera
Restaurants

Pintadera

Café and deli offering sharing platters of cheese, meats and more. Plus main courses of pasta, salads, ciabatta and paninis.

Users say
4 out of 5 stars
Blackbird Bakery
Restaurants

Blackbird Bakery

Part of a small chain of cafés that bakes everything it sells, from puffy breakfast croissants to scotch eggs and frittatas.

Users say
5 out of 5 stars
West Norwood Feast
Shopping

West Norwood Feast

Not just a cool something-for-everyone market, West Norwood Feast is also a worthwhile local enterprise. Space-makers – the regeneration group behind Brixton Village – came up with the market idea to give a boost to a forgotten borough. It’s resulted in this pretty and quaint shopping oasis popping up in SE27. There’s Retro Village, up by West Norwood station, serving up vintage fashion and homewares to fans of the old-fangled; Artisan’s Hub, with live craft sessions and workshops from and for the knitting-needle clackers; Fresh ‘n’Green, which is the food and garden produce bit; and Food Fair – where gluttons can dive into street nosh. It’s a cracking operation – one local told us they’d moved to West Norwood because of it. We wouldn’t go that far, but it’s definitely worth spending your Sunday here. NB: West Norwood Feast is only on the first Sunday of the month.

Users say
5 out of 5 stars
Bars and pubs

Great North Wood

‘Do you like it? Do you like it? Come on, you must like it. It’s great!’ That’s Tom, a friend of ours who bought a house in West Norwood three years ago, when the area was, he admits, ‘a bit shit’. Since then a monthly market has opened – the West Norwood Feast – and more recently, a swish new food pub. ‘The more you like this place, the more the value of my house goes up.’ Tom’s got a point – nothing spearheads gentrification like a destination eatery. Our pulled pork burger served on a blue-rimmed plate was merely good, though could have been great had the un-toasted bun not soaked up all the moisture from the sweet, tender meat and turned the last few mouthfuls into a sort of porky paste. The small sharing plates – bruschetta, Buffalo chicken wings, flatbreads with dips – were decent enough, if lacking a little imagination. The beer selection isn’t bad, with four regularly changing ales, though these are £4 a pop. Craft devotees will have to make do with bottles. Hackney-based brewers Pressure Drop and Five Points are both represented, while the Camden Town Brewery offering goes beyond the ubiquitous Hells Lager and Pale Ale. Out back there’s a sizeable patio with picnic benches and a barbecue enclosure packing some serious hardware (including a smoker), so expect the large indoor space – all bare brick and artfully knackered sofas – to be deserted on warmer evenings. There are very few new ideas being put to work at the Great North Wood, and those visiting from areas

Time Out says
3 out of 5 stars
Users say
5 out of 5 stars
See the full results of this year's Love London Awards

Restaurants in West Norwood

Restaurants

The Garden Gastro Bar

This rustic little family-run restaurant in West Norwood specialises in authentic Italian dishes. It complements them with a great-looking range of freshly baked cakes, light bites and wines exclusively from Italy and Sicily. Thankfully the name's not a misnomer - there's a cute little garden out back. It's a draw in the summer. As with much of the menu, the pasta is all homemade. It's used in dishes such as a linguine alla Siciliana and ricotta and spinach tortellacci with a taleggio and walnut sauce. Other options include black rice risotto with prawns and courgettes, saltimbocca alla Romana and orecchiette with butternut squash and pancetta. The short wine list features bottles from Veneto, Piedmont, Tuscany, Sicily and Campania. Cocktails also feature, and prove popular with those popping down for aperitivo. 

Users say
5 out of 5 stars
Restaurants

Pintadera

Café and deli offering sharing platters of cheese, meats and more. Plus main courses of pasta, salads, ciabatta and paninis.

Users say
4 out of 5 stars
Lal Baag
Restaurants

Lal Baag

Smarter-than-average Indian serving the usual remit of curry house classics

Users say
5 out of 5 stars
Blackbird Bakery
Restaurants

Blackbird Bakery

Part of a small chain of cafés that bakes everything it sells, from puffy breakfast croissants to scotch eggs and frittatas

Users say
5 out of 5 stars
See all restaurants in West Norwood

Things to do in West Norwood

West Norwood Feast
Shopping

West Norwood Feast

Not just a cool something-for-everyone market, West Norwood Feast is also a worthwhile local enterprise. Space-makers – the regeneration group behind Brixton Village – came up with the market idea to give a boost to a forgotten borough. It’s resulted in this pretty and quaint shopping oasis popping up in SE27. There’s Retro Village, up by West Norwood station, serving up vintage fashion and homewares to fans of the old-fangled; Artisan’s Hub, with live craft sessions and workshops from and for the knitting-needle clackers; Fresh ‘n’Green, which is the food and garden produce bit; and Food Fair – where gluttons can dive into street nosh. It’s a cracking operation – one local told us they’d moved to West Norwood because of it. We wouldn’t go that far, but it’s definitely worth spending your Sunday here. NB: West Norwood Feast is only on the first Sunday of the month.

Users say
5 out of 5 stars
Art

Portico Gallery

Bars and pubs in West Norwood

Bars and pubs

Great North Wood

‘Do you like it? Do you like it? Come on, you must like it. It’s great!’ That’s Tom, a friend of ours who bought a house in West Norwood three years ago, when the area was, he admits, ‘a bit shit’. Since then a monthly market has opened – the West Norwood Feast – and more recently, a swish new food pub. ‘The more you like this place, the more the value of my house goes up.’ Tom’s got a point – nothing spearheads gentrification like a destination eatery. Our pulled pork burger served on a blue-rimmed plate was merely good, though could have been great had the un-toasted bun not soaked up all the moisture from the sweet, tender meat and turned the last few mouthfuls into a sort of porky paste. The small sharing plates – bruschetta, Buffalo chicken wings, flatbreads with dips – were decent enough, if lacking a little imagination. The beer selection isn’t bad, with four regularly changing ales, though these are £4 a pop. Craft devotees will have to make do with bottles. Hackney-based brewers Pressure Drop and Five Points are both represented, while the Camden Town Brewery offering goes beyond the ubiquitous Hells Lager and Pale Ale. Out back there’s a sizeable patio with picnic benches and a barbecue enclosure packing some serious hardware (including a smoker), so expect the large indoor space – all bare brick and artfully knackered sofas – to be deserted on warmer evenings. There are very few new ideas being put to work at the Great North Wood, and those visiting from areas

Time Out says
3 out of 5 stars
Users say
5 out of 5 stars
The Railway Tavern (Tulse Hill)
Bars and pubs

The Railway Tavern (Tulse Hill)

A pub near Tulse Hill station that has loads of comfy sofas to relax in, a covered balcony, a big beer garden, indoor and outdoor games, a quiz night and open mic nights.

Users say
5 out of 5 stars
Bars and pubs

Paxton Pub

The Capital Pubs Company (behind other gastropubs such as The Florence and The New Cross House) have taken over the site of The Mansion. Following an extensive refurb, it will be launched as The Paxton in honour of Joseph Paxton, architect of the nearby Crystal Palace, on October 10.

Users say
3 out of 5 stars
Bars and pubs

Gipsy Hill Brewing Co. Tap Room

The tap room of the local brewery.

Users say
5 out of 5 stars
See all bars and pubs in West Norwood

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