For 50 weeks of the year the leafy environs of SW19 are a relatively sleepy, minted suburban curiosity; it’s not really worth the journey for food, unless craving obscure chains or wishing to combine dinner with a wander on Wimbledon Common. For the fortnight of Wimbledon, however, the eyes of the world are on Centre Court, and thousands of people make the pilgrimage to the HQ of the Lawn Tennis Association. So, where to eat when hungry and way out (south) west, whether the tennis is on or not?Read More
8 Winning Restaurants in Wimbledon
Lebanese mezze, an ingredient-led seasonal restaurant, of course, and impeccable sushi
Bean & Hop
Bean & Hop is a short stroll from Earlsfield station, making it suitable for pre-queue sustenance or post-queue respite. Well-made coffee from Nude, whether filter or espresso, pairs well with a brunch menu that is ingredient-led and lovingly prepared: this as much a neighbourhood gem as a traveller’s recourse. With cushions lining the seats and evening opening, it’s also a true all-dayer: a stock of sixty craft beers is perfect for an evening session or to take home; those staying in can enjoy creative pizza Thursday — Sunday.
Fox & Grapes
This old school boozer on Wimbledon Common reinvented itself a few years ago as a gastropub, bringing some Michelin stardust into their kitchen in the form of exec chef Paul Merrett to offer a decidedly modern British menu. There’s burrata and salt marsh lamb rump for example, but also it’s happily still the kind of place for prawn cocktail or shepherd’s pie after a bracing / sweltering dog walk.
Maison St Cassien
Another independent, there (is now less of) a chance to spot Andy Murray here enjoying a mix of Mediterranean and Lebanese food. The team claim their Lebanese chicken is part of the secret of Murray’s success, but it could just as easily be the moussaka, meze, or baklava. Given his withdrawal from the tournament, maybe another big name will take up residence at the Maison.
One of three Thai restaurants on Wimbledon High Street, this is the newest. While it’s the first London outpost of a larger chain, Giggling Squid offers the freshest take on the cuisine of the three contenders. At lunchtime, dishes come in tapas-style sets named like the seven dwarves — hungry squid, starving squid, wealthy squid and so on — combining four different tasting plates. Mix up a combo or opt for a larger plate if sharing inspires a McEnroe-esque rage.
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If in search of swank, stately Cannizaro House’s restaurant will do, spilling out of an orangery onto a terrace overlooking beautiful gardens. The P and Q and the view dent the wallet more so than the food, which is perfectly serviceable French cuisine — think cassoulets, moules frites and steak au poivre — with a prix fixé menu that makes it worthwhile.
Down the hill in Wimbledon town rather than the village, this Danish import of an Asian eatery has all of the clean modernist wood vibes you’d expect, plus lots of seats and swift service. The sushi speaks for itself, though the menu comes with picture for the uninitiated. The sticks are Japanese style yakitori skewers including dishes like wagyu yaki, and tsukune — chicken meatballs and teriyaki sauce.
Light House Restaurant
Slightly out of Wimbledon village, is the Light House, a solid neighbourhood restaurant that’s been serving contemporary British food with dishes like pancetta wrapped hake, salt duck hash, and treacle tart to locals since 1999. The focus is on seasonality with daily specials and an excellent, democratic wine list.
Wimbledon’s Takahashi is run by a husband and wife, chef and front-of-house team, with the chef both ex-Nobu and named Takahashi. Cornish red mullet and horse mackerel grace a specials card to make anywhere blush. Takahashi-san borrows from the Mediterranean elements of his former employers here, but superlative nigiri and sashimi — served with minute attention to detail to prevent spoilage of the rice at a restaurant with no sushi bar — are the things to come for. If inclined to stray, a clean, delicate seafood tempura and the gelatinous pleasure of sea bream head are worthy tempters.