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Best restaurants in Catford: Catford Bridge Tavern pub in south east London Justin de Souza/Catford Bridge Tavern

Where to Eat in Catford, South East London

Kolkatan and Malaysian specialities, a Neapolitan pizza to rival London’s big names, quality Caribbean street food, and more

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Catford is arguably most famous for The Catford Cat — a giant fibreglass feline poised above the entrance to The Catford Centre. It is not famous for its food scene. That said, there are some solid local spots and a monthly market, providing residents with dependable options. Fair warning: this map’s boundaries have been stretched into Ladywell, Hither Green and Crofton Park, in the interests of compiling a useful and realistic guide to the area’s best dining options.

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Eater maps are curated by editors and aim to reflect a diversity of neighborhoods, cuisines, and prices. Learn more about our editorial process.

Raastawala @ Catford Food Market

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Catford Food Market brings some welcome street food options to the area on the last Sunday of each month, and Raastawala stands out with its generously filled kati rolls. The snack originated in Kolkata, traditionally comprising a kebab wrapped in paratha; British-born Bengali Rinku Dutt does it differently. Paratha is replaced with a substantial springy naan coated with a layer of spiced egg, and topped with a choice of protein and perky salad. Meat eaters will appreciate the capsaicin wallop of tender, 24-hour chilli-marinated lamb; a slosh of the award-winning coriander sauce is non-negotiable. It’s one of the best ways to spend £7 on a lazy Sunday morning.

Catford’s best restaurants: Raastawala at Catford Food Market, south east London Raastawala [Official Photo]

Sapporo Ichiban

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Sapporo Ichiban is a no-frills sushi restaurant with an almost cult-like status among Catford residents. Is it the best sushi in London? No. But there’s something wonderful about having a solid, satisfying fix on the doorstep, and anyway, not everything has to be the ‘best’ to be adored by its customers. This is not the place to find expertly cut fish meticulously moulded on to just-warm rice, but everything is fresh and good value. Newbies should try the ‘Fashion Sandwiches’ — the usual rice and fish fashioned into triangular snack form — just because they exist.

Catford’s best restaurants: sushi at Sapporo Ichiban on Catford Broadway, south east London Sapporo Ichiban [Official Photo]

Catford Constitutional Club

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This much-loved pub housed in an 18th century building is the apex of the Antic pub group’s shabby chic look, with considerable emphasis on the shabby. Many original fixtures and fittings remain and it’s a fascinating place to grab a pint and a bite — easily one of the best pubs in the area. The beer selection is particularly interesting and weighty sausage rolls are a fine way to soak it all up; larger meals, meanwhile, are best enjoyed from the ‘hearty British’ category. Pork chop or sausage and mash are solid choices, but pasta dishes generally delight, too.

Best restaurants in Catford: steak and chips at the Catford Constitutional pub restaurant Catford Constitutional [Official Photo]

Jerk Off BBQ @ Catford Food Market

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Inspired by his Bajan heritage and food-centric upbringing, Daniel Maynard partnered with Cornish-born Helena to start this Caribbean street food business, now trading at Catford Food Market. Jerk is the main draw — the flavour more herbal than most and the marinade sweetened with molasses, bringing caramel depth to partner fragrance and heat. Look out for dishes from other Caribbean islands, including a Trinidadian vegetable curry and chips inspired by the Bajan national dish, coo coo.

Catford’s best restaurants: Jerk Off BBQ street food at Catford Food Market, south east London Jerk Off BBQ [Official Photo]

Van Dough Pizza

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Founders Steph and James park their Citroen pizza van outside the Blythe Hill Tavern on Thursday and Friday evenings, providing a vital source of carbs to go alongside the booze. Pizzas are of the now ubiquitous Neapolitan style, with toppings sourced from small independents. Try the pepperoni from Moons Green butchery in east Sussex, hastily scarfed between pints.

Best restaurants Catford: Van Dough pizza on Blythe Hill, south east London Van Dough [Official Photo]

Arlo and Moe HG

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Arlo & Moe serves the best breakfasts in the area across two sites in Hither Green and Crofton Park, with all the usual egg and avocado options present and correct in homely, generous portions. Lunch choices are straightforward — sandwiches, frittatas, quiche — but things get exciting with weekly supper clubs from other cooks. Previous incumbents include Caribbean food from Theresa’s Kitchen and Vietnamese from the ever popular Saigon Streat. Service is swift and friendly with a charming, slightly scattered vibe.

Babur, on the very outskirts of Crofton Park, is south London famous. Opened more than 30 years ago, the restaurant serves Indian food spanning different regions, with a focus on smart presentation. Spicing is always robust and south Indian seafood dishes in particular harness the bright, distinct flavours of mustard seeds, coconut and curry leaves. The menu constantly evolves and service is consistently charming. As a side note, there is an excellent — and entirely separate — delivery kitchen, which sends home-style dishes no less sophisticated in flavour.

Best restaurants in Catford, south east London: smoky lamb chops at Babur Babur [Official Photo]

Malaysian Deli

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Malaysian Deli — actually more of a cosy café serving traditional Malaysian dishes — was founded by Brockley resident of 40 years Zaherah Rashid, and south London residents know this is the place to get their fix of roti canai and satay. The deli also does a mean nasi lemak: a dish traditionally eaten at breakfast comprising fragrant rice cooked with coconut milk and pandan leaves, a choice of curry or rendang, hard-boiled egg, crispy anchovies, peanuts and sambal. The murtabak — a flatbread stuffed with spiced meat, onions and egg — makes a good takeaway option.

Best restaurants in Catford, south east London: Malaysian Deli near Brockley Malaysian Deli/Facebook

Perlant & Press

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A lifeline for commuters and their hangovers, the Perlant & Press coffee and snack van was founded by a former employment lawyer who decided to jack it all in. The sausage rolls are made of lifesaving stuff, or more accurately, pork from The Proud Sow in Crofton Park, with a few secret ingredients thrown in. Spare milk — sourced from speciality coffee shops’ dairy of choice, Northam in Kent — is repurposed to make fudge, and that morning coffee rarely feels complete without a squidgy cinnamon bun from Rockstar Bakers in Brixton acting as a sidekick.

The Gold of Naples

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Neapolitan Francesco Rapicano came to Hither Green via the Amalfi Coast, Cecconi’s and Shoreditch House. The pizzas are — no surprises here — Neapolitan style, and will give any of London’s more well-known names a run for their money. Bubbled crusts with signature chew are topped with Torrente tomatoes and fior di latte mozzarella imported from Naples. Try the pompei with Napoli salami or the vesuvio with fennel sausage and friarelli. Those feeling fruity should try the latter deep-fried.

Catford’s best restaurants: Neapolitan pizza at The Gold of Naples, Hither Green, south east London The Gold of Naples/Facebook

Catford Bridge Tavern

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Catford’s most famous pub has a troubled past. Saved from permanent closure in 2012 after a vigorous local campaign, it was devastated by fire three years later, reopening in 2017 under the current name. There’s an excellent range of local brews in bottle, including Catford Pride, whose label features the aforementioned Catford Cat. The beer is bolstered by a dependable menu of pub grub stalwarts — burgers, scotch eggs, and fish and chips. The cheese toastie is eminently satisfying, and the Toulouse sausages with creamy mash make for a garlicky, buckle-busting arrangement: the perfect pre-snooze Sunday lunch.

Best restaurants in Catford: Catford Bridge Tavern pub in south east London Justin de Souza/Catford Bridge Tavern

Raastawala @ Catford Food Market

Catford Food Market brings some welcome street food options to the area on the last Sunday of each month, and Raastawala stands out with its generously filled kati rolls. The snack originated in Kolkata, traditionally comprising a kebab wrapped in paratha; British-born Bengali Rinku Dutt does it differently. Paratha is replaced with a substantial springy naan coated with a layer of spiced egg, and topped with a choice of protein and perky salad. Meat eaters will appreciate the capsaicin wallop of tender, 24-hour chilli-marinated lamb; a slosh of the award-winning coriander sauce is non-negotiable. It’s one of the best ways to spend £7 on a lazy Sunday morning.

Catford’s best restaurants: Raastawala at Catford Food Market, south east London Raastawala [Official Photo]

Sapporo Ichiban

Sapporo Ichiban is a no-frills sushi restaurant with an almost cult-like status among Catford residents. Is it the best sushi in London? No. But there’s something wonderful about having a solid, satisfying fix on the doorstep, and anyway, not everything has to be the ‘best’ to be adored by its customers. This is not the place to find expertly cut fish meticulously moulded on to just-warm rice, but everything is fresh and good value. Newbies should try the ‘Fashion Sandwiches’ — the usual rice and fish fashioned into triangular snack form — just because they exist.

Catford’s best restaurants: sushi at Sapporo Ichiban on Catford Broadway, south east London Sapporo Ichiban [Official Photo]

Catford Constitutional Club

This much-loved pub housed in an 18th century building is the apex of the Antic pub group’s shabby chic look, with considerable emphasis on the shabby. Many original fixtures and fittings remain and it’s a fascinating place to grab a pint and a bite — easily one of the best pubs in the area. The beer selection is particularly interesting and weighty sausage rolls are a fine way to soak it all up; larger meals, meanwhile, are best enjoyed from the ‘hearty British’ category. Pork chop or sausage and mash are solid choices, but pasta dishes generally delight, too.

Best restaurants in Catford: steak and chips at the Catford Constitutional pub restaurant Catford Constitutional [Official Photo]

Jerk Off BBQ @ Catford Food Market

Inspired by his Bajan heritage and food-centric upbringing, Daniel Maynard partnered with Cornish-born Helena to start this Caribbean street food business, now trading at Catford Food Market. Jerk is the main draw — the flavour more herbal than most and the marinade sweetened with molasses, bringing caramel depth to partner fragrance and heat. Look out for dishes from other Caribbean islands, including a Trinidadian vegetable curry and chips inspired by the Bajan national dish, coo coo.

Catford’s best restaurants: Jerk Off BBQ street food at Catford Food Market, south east London Jerk Off BBQ [Official Photo]

Van Dough Pizza

Founders Steph and James park their Citroen pizza van outside the Blythe Hill Tavern on Thursday and Friday evenings, providing a vital source of carbs to go alongside the booze. Pizzas are of the now ubiquitous Neapolitan style, with toppings sourced from small independents. Try the pepperoni from Moons Green butchery in east Sussex, hastily scarfed between pints.

Best restaurants Catford: Van Dough pizza on Blythe Hill, south east London Van Dough [Official Photo]

Arlo and Moe HG

Arlo & Moe serves the best breakfasts in the area across two sites in Hither Green and Crofton Park, with all the usual egg and avocado options present and correct in homely, generous portions. Lunch choices are straightforward — sandwiches, frittatas, quiche — but things get exciting with weekly supper clubs from other cooks. Previous incumbents include Caribbean food from Theresa’s Kitchen and Vietnamese from the ever popular Saigon Streat. Service is swift and friendly with a charming, slightly scattered vibe.

Babur

Babur, on the very outskirts of Crofton Park, is south London famous. Opened more than 30 years ago, the restaurant serves Indian food spanning different regions, with a focus on smart presentation. Spicing is always robust and south Indian seafood dishes in particular harness the bright, distinct flavours of mustard seeds, coconut and curry leaves. The menu constantly evolves and service is consistently charming. As a side note, there is an excellent — and entirely separate — delivery kitchen, which sends home-style dishes no less sophisticated in flavour.

Best restaurants in Catford, south east London: smoky lamb chops at Babur Babur [Official Photo]

Malaysian Deli

Malaysian Deli — actually more of a cosy café serving traditional Malaysian dishes — was founded by Brockley resident of 40 years Zaherah Rashid, and south London residents know this is the place to get their fix of roti canai and satay. The deli also does a mean nasi lemak: a dish traditionally eaten at breakfast comprising fragrant rice cooked with coconut milk and pandan leaves, a choice of curry or rendang, hard-boiled egg, crispy anchovies, peanuts and sambal. The murtabak — a flatbread stuffed with spiced meat, onions and egg — makes a good takeaway option.

Best restaurants in Catford, south east London: Malaysian Deli near Brockley Malaysian Deli/Facebook

Perlant & Press

A lifeline for commuters and their hangovers, the Perlant & Press coffee and snack van was founded by a former employment lawyer who decided to jack it all in. The sausage rolls are made of lifesaving stuff, or more accurately, pork from The Proud Sow in Crofton Park, with a few secret ingredients thrown in. Spare milk — sourced from speciality coffee shops’ dairy of choice, Northam in Kent — is repurposed to make fudge, and that morning coffee rarely feels complete without a squidgy cinnamon bun from Rockstar Bakers in Brixton acting as a sidekick.

The Gold of Naples

Neapolitan Francesco Rapicano came to Hither Green via the Amalfi Coast, Cecconi’s and Shoreditch House. The pizzas are — no surprises here — Neapolitan style, and will give any of London’s more well-known names a run for their money. Bubbled crusts with signature chew are topped with Torrente tomatoes and fior di latte mozzarella imported from Naples. Try the pompei with Napoli salami or the vesuvio with fennel sausage and friarelli. Those feeling fruity should try the latter deep-fried.

Catford’s best restaurants: Neapolitan pizza at The Gold of Naples, Hither Green, south east London The Gold of Naples/Facebook

Catford Bridge Tavern

Catford’s most famous pub has a troubled past. Saved from permanent closure in 2012 after a vigorous local campaign, it was devastated by fire three years later, reopening in 2017 under the current name. There’s an excellent range of local brews in bottle, including Catford Pride, whose label features the aforementioned Catford Cat. The beer is bolstered by a dependable menu of pub grub stalwarts — burgers, scotch eggs, and fish and chips. The cheese toastie is eminently satisfying, and the Toulouse sausages with creamy mash make for a garlicky, buckle-busting arrangement: the perfect pre-snooze Sunday lunch.

Best restaurants in Catford: Catford Bridge Tavern pub in south east London Justin de Souza/Catford Bridge Tavern