Blackheath restaurants, breakfasts, lunches, pubs, bars, cafes and more.
Blackheath may not be at the forefront of the city’s eating and drinking scene but thankfully it’s not all estate agents either. Not quite. Independent cafes, proper boozers and some top-notch food are all within a few minutes walk of the windswept heath.
Just across the road from All Saint’s Church, Chapters has a cracking breakfast menu including everything you’d expect on a British breakfast menu, alongside a few American-style choices and a special each day. Thursday’s is a corned beef hash with fried egg and bacon. Boulangerie Jade offers up plenty of French bakery treats but is overshadowed a little by the menu at Gail’s Artisan Bakery. As well as the usual croissants and cinnamon buns, this central café serves shakshuka, a mushroom ragu on sourdough and some incredible maple bacon brioche.
The Village Deli may not have the best reputation for its service, but the lunch options more than make up for this. A vast menu includes sandwiches, salads, cakes and much, much more. Another deli-café, Hand Made Food do, as the name suggests, hand-make food. And good food it is too. Seasonal produce is sourced and used to create dishes you can eat in or takeaway. Fancy ‘somefin’ a little more traditional? Village Fish and Chips is open at lunchtimes offering the usual fried favourites.
Even Blackheath can’t escape the larger chains with a Pizza Express, Café Rouge and Giraffe all sitting at the heart of the village. Luckily there are some more interesting options. The Everest Inn offers fantastic Nepalese and Indian dishes, while a window seat at Taste Of Raj provides grand views over the heath and a tasty, although fairly predictable, Indian menu.
CAU’s interiors might not be to everyone’s tastes but the steaks should be, well unless you’re vegetarian. If you are, this heath-side hang-out has some great small and big plates suitable for veggies too, including roast vegetable quesadillas and spinach, ricotta and date empanadas.
Aqua Mediterranean Bar & Grill’s menu is wide-ranging, from mezze to mushroom risotto, but it’s the chargrilled mixed fish platter that gets us flapping. It includes sea bass, tiger prawns, salmon, sardines and swordfish.
Back on land, if you just fancy a pizza, Bianco is your best bet with a good choice, friendly staff and wallet-friendly prices.
Something special – fine dining
Locale has been part of Blackheath’s dining scene for years and it’s easy to see why. Pastas and raviolis are accompanied by seafood dishes and various grills with slick service and even fortnightly live music.
It’s all about sharing at Tziganos with their great tapas menu and paella for two. Of course there’s numerous other, more selfish dishes to choose from too.
Buenos Aires Café is a homely-looking place on the edge of the heath. The stand-out dish on its Argentinian menu is the Parrillada Mixta Special which sees rump and sirloin steak, chorizo, black pudding, ribs, sweetbread and pork belly all served together as a monstrous meat-eaters mountain of a meal.
Wander out of the village a little and over near a duck pond you’ll find The Hare & Billet. Consistently busy, and for good reason, this local favourite serves up seasonal, rustic British fare for lunch and dinner. The diagram of a cow, split into meat cuts, on the wall is a nice touch too.
The Princess of Wales may feature some VERY purple seating, but we won’t hold that against it, as the beer garden is fantastic and the sun-dried tomatoes on the mac and cheese genius. They also serve a rather reasonable fixed-price menu (2 courses for £10, 3 for £13) and Sunday roasts on, well, Sundays.
Of course there is a Costa on Blackheath’s high street but if you fancy something different Black Vanilla serves great coffee along with their range of gelato and sorbets. Blackheath is their flagship store, with the other being in Greenwich, and it boasts 18 different gelatos (below).
For something a little livelier Blackheath’s pubs are always surprisingly busy. The Railway, often the busiest on a weekend, has a good range of real ales as well as a regular quiz night and live music. They also run various food offers like ‘burger and a beer for £9’ and, as the name suggests, it’s right next to the station so good for a passing-through-pint.
Shepherd Neame’s The Crown has a great seating area out the front and the beer is pretty good too. Admittedly the food leaves a little to be desired.
The British Oak, on Old Dover Road, is a traditional Victorian place that, along with a good selection of beers and wines, serves trusty Pieminister pies. Of course they’re not quite as good as the ones in St Nick’s Market in Bristol.
For a cheapish pint of Guinness, of course, you could always sneak off into the local O’Neill’s.
Blackheath’s bar scene still leaves a little to be desired, however, there is a fantastic little wine bar, Le Bouchon on Tranquil Vale. Offering a great selection of wines by the glass, carafe and bottle, along with small plates of charcuterie and cheeses, this popular spot is perfect for a sip and a snack. There’s outdoor seating too.
Zerodegrees is a hard one to classify; it’s a microbrewery, restaurant, bar hybrid serving up great beers along with pizza, pasta and perfectly-portioned kilo pots of mussels. They also have the world’s friendliest bouncer.
With most places closed by 1am Morden’s offers one of Blackheath’s only late-night retreats, although they’re only open until 2am at weekends. Morden’s puts on various nights making use of their main bar, upstairs cocktail bar and late night downstairs area, but be warned you’ve got to get there by 11.30pm to get in.
By Tom Stephenson