The best places to eat in South West London

As a born-and-raised South West Londoner, it’s fair to say that I’ve eaten my way around a generous chunk of it.

With Richmond park on your doorstep, Wimbledon’s legendary tennis club up the road and affluent Chelsea round the corner, it’s a corner of the city that is steeped in beauty and green space. Not to mention places to eat! There are too many restaurants, cafés, bakeries, BYO joints, street-eats and more to count, so I’ve listed a few of my favourites here.

 

The best places to eat in South West London
Image by: House of Cally https://houseofcally.com/illustrated-maps-of-london/

If you’re in need of a brilliant brunch (and I can recommend plenty), a Michelin-starred meal or something cheap and cheerful, South West London has plenty to offer.

Tap on the places below to hop to specific areas or check out this handy map to see where each is located.

Barnes
Richmond
East Sheen
Battersea
Clapham
Chelsea

Barnes

Orange Pekoe

You’ll be hard-pressed to snag yourself a table at this quaint café on the weekend so make sure to go early. It’s a haven for tea enthusiasts with an abundance of loose leaf teas to choose from. They also do cracking coffee by the mugful, classic brunch options and homemade cakes, soups, salads and sandwiches.

What to eat: try their toasted banana bread served with a dollop of Greek yoghurt, toasted pistachios and local honey. It’s heavenly.

Olympic Studios

Once the recording studios for musical legends The Rolling Stones, The Beatles and Led Zepplin, the Olympic now stands as an art deco-style cinema-cum-dining-room in the heart of Barnes. Their lunch menu is great and constantly changes to support seasonal produce, but you’ll find this place awash with people from breakfast through until dinner on weekends. The food is simple and doesn’t mess too much with good ingredients – which is why I like it.

What to eat: the dishes change all the time but if there’s gnocchi on the menu, get it. They do a mean pastry too.

Sonny’s Kitchen

Sonny’s Kitchen sits opposite the Olympic Studios (above) and is a well established eatery decked out in a ‘cosy modern’ style. The eclectic European menu offers dishes such as grilled octopus, wiener schnitzel, sea bream and steak and chips – nothing ground-breaking but all executed really well. Book in here for a birthday or special occasion – you won’t be disappointed.  Set menus start at £19.50 for two courses or £22.50 for three.

What to eat: the daube of ox cheek with smoked bacon and red wine. It’s divinely rich and will beat the chill on a winter’s evening.

Richmond

The Retreat Kitchen

This is one of those cute, family-run, oh-so welcoming places that everyone will love, vegan or not. The retreat kitchen is so much more than avocado on toast – although they do offer a rather good one.  Think full English breakfasts with all the (meatless) trimmings, breakfast burritos and oat milk coffees. And for a café that’s situated on Richmond Hill, it’s brilliantly affordable too.

What to eat: it’s called a ‘chickpea omelette’ but I’d put it down as more of a pancake. Filled with veggies, a little bit different and ever so good.

 

East Sheen

Faanoos

When your fridge is looking sparse or you just can’t be bothered to cook, Faanoos is a reliable, back-pocket option amongst locals. The freshly made flatbreads are free-flowing, it’s BYO and you’ll always eat well here – although your wallet won’t be any the wiser!

What to eat: it’s probably worth getting a grill for the table but the bread and dips is what you go for here – especially the Kashk e Bademjan. It’s the velvetiest, richest fried aubergine dip and I always make sure to order two rounds of the stuff.

Battersea

The Pear Tree Café

A brisk dog walk around the park followed by a hearty brunch at Pear Tree is a great weekend treat. Try and go when the weather’s a little warmer so you can sit outside. It’s great to watch the world go by while munching on something-with-eggs. 

What to eat: the salads are lovely and they do a great children’s menu too, but you really want to go here for brunch. Get the chilli n’duja eggs on grilled brioche with pecorino. 

A spot of brunch overlooking the pond in Battersea Park

Fresh Ground

A church, café and coffeehouse rolled into one. The café overlooks a huge hall that has lots of classes (from baby music to salsa dancing) that you can watch while you sip on your cappuccino. On Fridays and Saturdays there’s also a mean brunch menu to try.

What to eat: the ‘fresh bowls’ are their thing and they’re all wonderfully nourishing. You can’t go wrong with any of them.

Flour to the people

The interior is a little snug so you might have to wait to get a table, but it’s worth it. The bread is the thing here. You’ll find a toaster on every table, the flour is organic and they offer unlimited sourdough toast (for one hour).

What to eat:  the freshly made sourdough crumpets.

The veggie and vegan full English breakfasts

Clapham

The Dairy

Weekend brunch is best at this little place on The Pavement but try to book ahead to avoid disappointment. The dishes are hearty and have a magical way of making your hangover disappear… at least for a little while.

What to eat: BBQ pork cheek with fried egg and crispy potato

Trinity

For a super special supper, Michelin-starred Trinity – with chef extraordinaire Adam Byatt – is the place to book. Their affordable lunch menu starts from just £30 for two courses.

What to eat: I didn’t have it when I went but everyone raves about the crispy pig’s trotter with sauce gribiche.

Brill steamed with sea urchin butter, Wye Valley asparagus, jersey royals and sauce maltaise

Chelsea

Granger and co.  

Don’t get caught out and turn up without a reservation. There WILL be queues out the door at the weekend. Once you’re inside, make yourself comfortable in one of their plush green velvet chairs and settle in for a proper Aussie breakfast experience.

What to eat: Bill Granger’s famous hot cakes with honeycomb butter or, for savoury lovers, his classic scrambled eggs with a side of avo.

The ricotta hot cakes with honeycomb butter

Comptoir PoilLâne

A French bakery with a laid-back, Danish-inspired interior, this place does the simple things well. Think bread, biscuits, pastries and good coffee. That’s it! Just real food made with wholesome ingredients. Pop in for a bite when you next get the chance.

What to eat: the breakfast tartines.

Phat phuc noodle bar

A surprising find just off the Kings Road, this relaxed Vietnamese bar is great for a bite on a budget. Mains all come in at £8 and starters won’t set you back more than a fiver. Sit outside in the summer and watch the world go by over a hot bowl of pho.

What to eat: the bang bang chicken noodle salad. The spicy cashew nut dressing makes this dish.

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