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The best Trinidadian roti and Caribbean food in London: Fried baras filled with chickpea curry from Roti Joupa on Clapham Common, London Adam Coghlan/Eater London

The 15 Best Restaurants in Clapham

Vietnamese, Japanese, London’s best Trinidadian and lots of modern British

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Clapham, in London’s leafy south west, has played a part in London dining renaissance; SW4 is home to one of the city’s emerging modern empires. The Dairy, Sorella, and Counter Culture are symbols of British culinary progress and ambition, but the first and last of those have now left the neighbourhood. But Clapham isn’t short of quaintness and diversity. Among its little neighbourhood favourites are a proper Vietnamese, glorious pies, and one of the best Caribbean takeaways anywhere in London.

For the purposes of accuracy, this map includes restaurants known by their proximity to Clapham Junction, even though the station is actually in Battersea.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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Pizzeria Pellone London

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Now available for pick-up and delivery as well as dining in, this Lavender Hill legend continues to prove that pizza can be both a classic, to be revered like an archivist, and a devil-may-care canvas for invention. The Toto, with Italian sausage, yellow tomatoes, and provolone, is a great place to start.

Roti Joupa

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One of the best afternoons in London is Clapham Common on a warm afternoon, a pack of lager — or, of course, pale ale from one of the area’s reputable local breweries — in one hand, a Roti Joupa takeaway in the other. The food is Trinidadian. There are warm, fluffy roti, the most aromatic and rich of goat curries — the meat duvet soft — and pholourie with rich tamarind sauce, moreish and ideal with a cold beer. But the best thing might the doubles, small roti filled with chickpea curry — a traditional Trini breakfast.

The best Trinidadian roti and Caribbean food in London: Fried baras filled with chickpea curry from Roti Joupa on Clapham Common, London
Doubles at Roti Joupa
Adam Coghlan

Tsunami

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Tsunami is Clapham’s most notable Japanese restaurant. Don’t ignore the gyozas, fresh and plump with chicken and cabbage, the kaitafi prawns, and the nasu goma — aubergine topped with very addictive sesame paste. Tempura impresses — the seafood selection is an elegant gap-filler; ramen is solid. But the sushi and sashimi are as good as it’s possible to find from a Japanese neighbourhood restaurant in London.

Ramen at Tsunami
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Mien Tay

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Mien Tay serves brilliant Vietnamese home-style cooking, and the pho is deep and fragrant — the kind of restorative, piquant broth nobody wishes to end. Spring and summer rolls are both delicate and beautifully fresh. Alongside stir fries, busy with flavours of lemongrass and ginger, try whole crispy sea bream, and punchy Mien Tay eel. Mien Tay is technically in Battersea... just.

Summer rolls Mien Tay
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Sorella

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Sorella replaced The Manor, a loved neighbourhood restaurant that found Clapham a tricky market, at the start of 2018. The snacks illustrate chef-co-owner Robin Gill’s wit and flavour: truffled arancini are easy and restorative, while monkfish crudo with magnolia radish is fresh and enlivening; the antipasti includes great nibbles such as fried olives and a semolina bread with superb olive oil. Two secondi dishes provide an option for those less inclined to share plates: butter poached pollock with almond, is fine; the barbecued pork presa is best paired with the crispiest of crispy potatoes.

Sorella, formerly the Manor, is among the most accomplished Italian restaurants in south London Sorella/Instagram

Trinity

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Since opening in 2006, Adam Byatt’s Trinity has become a SW4 institution. The restaurant is as close to traditional fine dining as you’ll get in Clapham — it earned a Michelin star in 2016. And for good reason. Potato tartlets with peas, broad beans and girolles are perfectly executed; ravioli sitting in lobster soup delicate and pretty. Byatt’s food makes Clapham a real destination for gastro-adventurers. The ratatouille, colourful and precise, brings even the most hardened north Londoner south of the river, and there’s a gorgeous terrace for outdoor dining.

Story Coffee & General Goods

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Clapham’s got a lot of decent coffee shops but Story is probably the most consistent, with its lo-fi, no WiFi vibe and reliably creamy flat whites. There’s a solid brunch menu, too, with a serious trio of cheese toasties and avocado on toast... Obviously.

Berberè Clapham

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Italian brothers Salvatore and Matteo Aloe opened a pizzeria called Radio Alice in Hoxton in 2016, having found investment from food giants the Azzurri Group. There are now 16 sites worldwide, but under the original Berberè brand, established in 2010, with just one remaining in London, here in Clapham. Its no-frills approach simply marries chewy, blistered bases — not quite traditionally Neapolitan, but not Roman either — with San Marzano tomatoes, mozzarella di bufala, and the likes of Amalfi coast anchovies and Calabrian ‘nduja. Berberè somehow manages to be extremely Italian and yet wonderfully irreverent.

Honest Burgers Clapham

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London is no stranger to gourmet burger brands and they can get a little tiresome — how much kimchi mayonnaise must the capital endure? But Honest Burger is one of London’s finest, batting up there with the likes of Bleecker and Meatliquor. The group works hard to put out interesting specials; Texas barbecue chilli beef and fondue-laden patties aside, though, Honest’s core menu is the reason its burgers became such willing partners to the likes of Tabasco sauce. Its “Tribute” comes topped with American cheese and satisfying burger sauce, and together with rosemary fries is one of London’s best Saturday morning mood lifters. One other strength to Honest’s armoury is how well it has deployed the Beyond Meat burger: With vegan smoked gouda, chipotle mayo and pickles, it stakes a wizened claim as one of the best plant-based burgers going in the city.

A vegan burger at Honest Burgers Honest Burgers [Official Photo]

Minnow is an intimate, airy place full of butter and Instagram-perfect corners. The menu is affordable and pared-down, seemingly to focus on doing a few things skilfully. It’s tough to choose from a trio of croquettes to begin and starters including a fine moules marinière; Main courses, meanwhile, are suitably more robust — a braised ox cheek stew and an aubergine parmigiana with sourdough soldiers winning locals’ affections. Indoor dining only, but a private covered terrace can be hired; a late night supper menu is a winning newish arrival.

Mamalan

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Mamalan was named after the founder’s mother, Mama Lan, who taught her how to cook her grandfather’s Beijing street food, which he sold from a stall in the city in the 1970s. Ning Ma moved to London to study as a teenager and took with her the playful, classic flavours so woven into her Beijing life. What started as a well-reviewed supper club years ago grew rapidly. At one point, bold expansion plans were trumpeted for the then four-strong group, but now only Clapham and Brixton remain in bricks and mortar. Still, whether numerous sites or few, the food at Mamalan still captures the imagination and provides Clapham types keen access to fine Beijing skewers like chilli cumin lamb and honey glazed chicken, as well as generously spiced rice dishes and beautifully slippery noodle soups.

Dumplings and salad on a windowsill Mamalan [Official Photo]

Sinabro Restaurant

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French chef Yoann Chevet runs Sinabro with his Korean wife Sujin Lee. It’s one of many hangouts on Clapham’s busy Battersea Rise, and does a five-course — three substantial, two snacks — tasting menu for £49. That menu currently includes a celeriac and ginger soup; hake with Sardinian fregola; and figs with rosemary cream and honeycomb.

Kaosarn

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Not far from Clapham Junction, Kaosarn is a classic Thai BYOB, and the supermarket across the road makes things easy for the disorganised. The deep-fried soft shell crab is everything one wants to accompany a Chang beer: salty and crisp, batter so light it barely hides the seaside tenderness within. Noodles are mountainous and usually loaded with garlic, the Moo Ping (pork skewers), fragrant and sweet with palm sugar. Satay sauce will be everywhere — and there’ll be a need for a second pot.

True Flavours Caribbean Cuisine

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The standout dining option on Acre Lane, that stretch of road that links Clapham and Brixton, is True Flavours, a relatively new (by Jamaican standards, at less than 10 years old) takeaway joint that is permanently busy whether people are inside or not. In the know residents will phone ahead for chef Junior’s cooking — oxtail, jerk chicken, fried chicken, fried fish, brown stew chicken — each and every one of these is likely to run out after a canny phone order is placed, but there will always be another tempting option or a small wait for a fresh batch to be made in the well-seasoned cooking pots. The most popular item by far is the pepper steak, charred and singing with thyme, slow cooked until the meat breaks down, served with rice and peas and “jerk pasta,” a massive opportunity missed by a certain celebrity chef.

Bistro Union

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Bistro Union is a lovely and unassuming place, nestled in Clapham’s quaint terraced houses on the hyper gentrified Abbeville Road. It is usually packed. This might be down to its affordability, but also its pedigree: it’s the little sister of Trinity. Still, the restaurant deserves its own reverence. Standard dishes might include bistro classics like steak and chunky chips, and a solid, warming fish pie. The specials are the stars: they might range from vegetable potage to pigeon tartare.

Bistro Union’s fish pie
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Pizzeria Pellone London

Now available for pick-up and delivery as well as dining in, this Lavender Hill legend continues to prove that pizza can be both a classic, to be revered like an archivist, and a devil-may-care canvas for invention. The Toto, with Italian sausage, yellow tomatoes, and provolone, is a great place to start.

Roti Joupa

The best Trinidadian roti and Caribbean food in London: Fried baras filled with chickpea curry from Roti Joupa on Clapham Common, London
Doubles at Roti Joupa
Adam Coghlan

One of the best afternoons in London is Clapham Common on a warm afternoon, a pack of lager — or, of course, pale ale from one of the area’s reputable local breweries — in one hand, a Roti Joupa takeaway in the other. The food is Trinidadian. There are warm, fluffy roti, the most aromatic and rich of goat curries — the meat duvet soft — and pholourie with rich tamarind sauce, moreish and ideal with a cold beer. But the best thing might the doubles, small roti filled with chickpea curry — a traditional Trini breakfast.

The best Trinidadian roti and Caribbean food in London: Fried baras filled with chickpea curry from Roti Joupa on Clapham Common, London
Doubles at Roti Joupa
Adam Coghlan

Tsunami

Ramen at Tsunami
Facebook

Tsunami is Clapham’s most notable Japanese restaurant. Don’t ignore the gyozas, fresh and plump with chicken and cabbage, the kaitafi prawns, and the nasu goma — aubergine topped with very addictive sesame paste. Tempura impresses — the seafood selection is an elegant gap-filler; ramen is solid. But the sushi and sashimi are as good as it’s possible to find from a Japanese neighbourhood restaurant in London.

Ramen at Tsunami
Facebook

Mien Tay

Summer rolls Mien Tay
Facebook

Mien Tay serves brilliant Vietnamese home-style cooking, and the pho is deep and fragrant — the kind of restorative, piquant broth nobody wishes to end. Spring and summer rolls are both delicate and beautifully fresh. Alongside stir fries, busy with flavours of lemongrass and ginger, try whole crispy sea bream, and punchy Mien Tay eel. Mien Tay is technically in Battersea... just.

Summer rolls Mien Tay
Facebook

Sorella

Sorella, formerly the Manor, is among the most accomplished Italian restaurants in south London Sorella/Instagram

Sorella replaced The Manor, a loved neighbourhood restaurant that found Clapham a tricky market, at the start of 2018. The snacks illustrate chef-co-owner Robin Gill’s wit and flavour: truffled arancini are easy and restorative, while monkfish crudo with magnolia radish is fresh and enlivening; the antipasti includes great nibbles such as fried olives and a semolina bread with superb olive oil. Two secondi dishes provide an option for those less inclined to share plates: butter poached pollock with almond, is fine; the barbecued pork presa is best paired with the crispiest of crispy potatoes.

Sorella, formerly the Manor, is among the most accomplished Italian restaurants in south London Sorella/Instagram

Trinity

Since opening in 2006, Adam Byatt’s Trinity has become a SW4 institution. The restaurant is as close to traditional fine dining as you’ll get in Clapham — it earned a Michelin star in 2016. And for good reason. Potato tartlets with peas, broad beans and girolles are perfectly executed; ravioli sitting in lobster soup delicate and pretty. Byatt’s food makes Clapham a real destination for gastro-adventurers. The ratatouille, colourful and precise, brings even the most hardened north Londoner south of the river, and there’s a gorgeous terrace for outdoor dining.

Story Coffee & General Goods

Clapham’s got a lot of decent coffee shops but Story is probably the most consistent, with its lo-fi, no WiFi vibe and reliably creamy flat whites. There’s a solid brunch menu, too, with a serious trio of cheese toasties and avocado on toast... Obviously.

Berberè Clapham

Italian brothers Salvatore and Matteo Aloe opened a pizzeria called Radio Alice in Hoxton in 2016, having found investment from food giants the Azzurri Group. There are now 16 sites worldwide, but under the original Berberè brand, established in 2010, with just one remaining in London, here in Clapham. Its no-frills approach simply marries chewy, blistered bases — not quite traditionally Neapolitan, but not Roman either — with San Marzano tomatoes, mozzarella di bufala, and the likes of Amalfi coast anchovies and Calabrian ‘nduja. Berberè somehow manages to be extremely Italian and yet wonderfully irreverent.

Honest Burgers Clapham

A vegan burger at Honest Burgers Honest Burgers [Official Photo]

London is no stranger to gourmet burger brands and they can get a little tiresome — how much kimchi mayonnaise must the capital endure? But Honest Burger is one of London’s finest, batting up there with the likes of Bleecker and Meatliquor. The group works hard to put out interesting specials; Texas barbecue chilli beef and fondue-laden patties aside, though, Honest’s core menu is the reason its burgers became such willing partners to the likes of Tabasco sauce. Its “Tribute” comes topped with American cheese and satisfying burger sauce, and together with rosemary fries is one of London’s best Saturday morning mood lifters. One other strength to Honest’s armoury is how well it has deployed the Beyond Meat burger: With vegan smoked gouda, chipotle mayo and pickles, it stakes a wizened claim as one of the best plant-based burgers going in the city.

A vegan burger at Honest Burgers Honest Burgers [Official Photo]

Minnow

Minnow is an intimate, airy place full of butter and Instagram-perfect corners. The menu is affordable and pared-down, seemingly to focus on doing a few things skilfully. It’s tough to choose from a trio of croquettes to begin and starters including a fine moules marinière; Main courses, meanwhile, are suitably more robust — a braised ox cheek stew and an aubergine parmigiana with sourdough soldiers winning locals’ affections. Indoor dining only, but a private covered terrace can be hired; a late night supper menu is a winning newish arrival.

Mamalan

Dumplings and salad on a windowsill Mamalan [Official Photo]

Mamalan was named after the founder’s mother, Mama Lan, who taught her how to cook her grandfather’s Beijing street food, which he sold from a stall in the city in the 1970s. Ning Ma moved to London to study as a teenager and took with her the playful, classic flavours so woven into her Beijing life. What started as a well-reviewed supper club years ago grew rapidly. At one point, bold expansion plans were trumpeted for the then four-strong group, but now only Clapham and Brixton remain in bricks and mortar. Still, whether numerous sites or few, the food at Mamalan still captures the imagination and provides Clapham types keen access to fine Beijing skewers like chilli cumin lamb and honey glazed chicken, as well as generously spiced rice dishes and beautifully slippery noodle soups.

Dumplings and salad on a windowsill Mamalan [Official Photo]

Sinabro Restaurant

French chef Yoann Chevet runs Sinabro with his Korean wife Sujin Lee. It’s one of many hangouts on Clapham’s busy Battersea Rise, and does a five-course — three substantial, two snacks — tasting menu for £49. That menu currently includes a celeriac and ginger soup; hake with Sardinian fregola; and figs with rosemary cream and honeycomb.

Kaosarn

Not far from Clapham Junction, Kaosarn is a classic Thai BYOB, and the supermarket across the road makes things easy for the disorganised. The deep-fried soft shell crab is everything one wants to accompany a Chang beer: salty and crisp, batter so light it barely hides the seaside tenderness within. Noodles are mountainous and usually loaded with garlic, the Moo Ping (pork skewers), fragrant and sweet with palm sugar. Satay sauce will be everywhere — and there’ll be a need for a second pot.

True Flavours Caribbean Cuisine

The standout dining option on Acre Lane, that stretch of road that links Clapham and Brixton, is True Flavours, a relatively new (by Jamaican standards, at less than 10 years old) takeaway joint that is permanently busy whether people are inside or not. In the know residents will phone ahead for chef Junior’s cooking — oxtail, jerk chicken, fried chicken, fried fish, brown stew chicken — each and every one of these is likely to run out after a canny phone order is placed, but there will always be another tempting option or a small wait for a fresh batch to be made in the well-seasoned cooking pots. The most popular item by far is the pepper steak, charred and singing with thyme, slow cooked until the meat breaks down, served with rice and peas and “jerk pasta,” a massive opportunity missed by a certain celebrity chef.

Bistro Union

Bistro Union’s fish pie
Facebook

Bistro Union is a lovely and unassuming place, nestled in Clapham’s quaint terraced houses on the hyper gentrified Abbeville Road. It is usually packed. This might be down to its affordability, but also its pedigree: it’s the little sister of Trinity. Still, the restaurant deserves its own reverence. Standard dishes might include bistro classics like steak and chunky chips, and a solid, warming fish pie. The specials are the stars: they might range from vegetable potage to pigeon tartare.

Bistro Union’s fish pie
Facebook

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