Where To Eat And Drink In… Streatham

By Londonist Last edited 11 months ago
Where To Eat And Drink In… Streatham

Streatham restaurants, breakfasts, lunches, pubs, bars, cafés and more.

Photo by Matt via the Londonist Flickr pool

Streatham’s faded 19th century glory as a red brick suburb for wealthy Victorians has seen a rebirth in recent years as the area has become an increasingly attractive alternative to surrounding Clapham, Brixton and Dulwich.

The high road is claimed to be the longest in the UK and at nearly 3km long there are plenty of opportunities for savvy entrepreneurs to open up new places to eat and drink. As house prices rise in this leafy end of south west London so has the quality of what’s on offer. Avoid the chains and try out the many independent cafés, pubs, restaurants and boozers.

Characterised by a sense of pride in their community many places are family run, with an emphasis on locally sourced ingredients, popular specialities and a relaxed, warmly welcoming atmosphere.

Note: we’re defining Streatham as the area surrounding Streatham High Road stretching from the top of Brixton Hill to past Streatham Common, including Streatham Hill and Streatham Vale.

Sunny: Café Barcelona

Breakfast bites

Perfect Blend is a popular Saturday morning location for a hungover fry-up while Café Barcelona does a Spanish breakfast with chorizo omelette, ciabatta toast and crispy bacon. They also have homemade custard tarts dusted with cinnamon. Baked fresh every day from a Portuguese recipe, turn up a little after 10.30am to catch them hot from the oven. Streatham Market is also worth a trip every Saturday 10am-3pm for The Big Breakfast Stall as well as organic farm produce, cheese, salad vegetables, fruit, bread and cakes.

Lunchtime inspiration

Whole Meal Café offers cheap but satisfying vegan grub near to Streatham Library; their homity pie and salad bar are particularly good. Or try Boyce Da Roca on Streatham Hill for everything from hearty — but reasonably healthy — breakfasts through to light lunches and luxurious cakes. The avocado smash is worth a go.

If it’s a nice day grab a picnic on Streatham Common — get a sourdough loaf from Elephant Bakehouse and sandwich ingredients at Polish delicatessen Bartek Express choosing from their wide selection of cured meats and cheeses.

Hearty: Brighton Way

Restaurant recommendations

As Streatham is still less well-trodden than nearby Brixton, restaurants tend to be slightly cheaper and easier to get into. There is no compromise on quality however, with many small businesses offering something unique across a huge range of cuisines. Bravi Ragazzi boasts a stone wood-burning oven to cook their traditional Neapolitan sourdough pizzas with unusual toppings such as salsiccia e friarielli (smoked cheese, wild broccoli and Italian sausage).

Tapas Bar 61 is a bit dusty around the edges but worth going to for the generous portions. Highlights from the sharing menu include patatas bravas, pollo al ajillo (seared chicken) and ratatouille. We could have done without the slightly dry complimentary fruit for dessert but it comes with a glass of hazelnut liqueur Avellana which is the perfect way to wash down this spicy meal.

Brighton Way offers hearty pub style food as well as lighter bites like their seared tuna steak with crushed potatoes. The competition for best burger is closely run between Perfect Blend and Brighton Way but for fish and chips there is only one option — Kennedy’s on the corner of Leigham Court Road. It might be slightly overpriced but redeems itself with all-round excellence and particularly good mushy peas. Streatham Hill Italian Addommè is another good spot with sourdough pizzas a particular highlight.

Bright and British: Hood. Photo by Chris Snook.

Something special — fine dining

The perfect romantic date location is Hood, the newest place to open and already one of the most popular. Run by siblings Robin and Melanie Frean it serves modern British food that can’t be found anywhere else in Streatham. The dinner menu is small and well-priced. We liked the English beets with fresh curd cheese, walnuts and balsamic vinegar followed by melt-in-the-mouth beef brisket served with crunchy veg and tangy creamed horseradish. Nearby Ilili has a similarly upmarket atmosphere serving Lebanese mezze.

Sunday roast at The Earl Ferrers

Gastropubs

The Manor Arms is worth a trip for a quieter meal of a summer evening, while The Railway next to Streatham Common station is a good choice for a Sunday roast.

Outdoor attraction: Pratts And Payne

Pubs

There is no shortage of boozers in Streatham, but avoid the Wetherspoons in favour of Pratts and Payne which has the edge with a central location and secluded beer garden. Perfect Blend is far from a traditional pub but it does offer exclusive St Reatham beers. Visit our good-pub database to see more recommendations in the area.

Bars

Brighton Way and Perfect Blend both stay open as bars during the evening but the real star of Streatham’s night life is jazz club Hideaway, just two minutes from Streatham station. Entry ranges from £10-£15 which may initially be off putting but do give it a go. The cabaret-style set-up, buzzing, comfortably busy atmosphere and expertly picked wine list make it a south London alternative to Ronnie Scott's, minus having to fight the Soho crowds to get in. You can eat as you listen, but will be shushed by staff if you talk too much.

Soho in Streatham: Hideaway

Late Night

Streatham’s plethora of late-night chicken and kebab shops are best avoided, but if a takeaway is in order then head to the Royal China next to St Leonard’s Church bus stop. But be warned — don’t ask for extra chilli.

Last Updated 07 October 2016

Toby

Good list, esp Bar 61 (very warm welcome in there too!). Also of note are Troy for great Turkish BBQ food - http://troybarbeque.com/ , and if you're after Japanese I recommend Oishi at 70 Streatham High Road. Hideaway is ace, both for live jazz and soul, and also for comedy in the other room.

Catherine

Excellent list - one omission though. Mrs Wong's, which has been here for probably well over 30 years. Tiny, unfussy, wonderful value & bring your own booze.

Taylor

I really love Rice Republic. A very style conscious Chinese restaurant with amazing salt and chilli squid starter!!

Paul

Vietnamese restaurant Tiger Cafe is nice and a real bargain

Nick Harman

Thanks for trying. I fear we SW16 people are still destined to be living in the least desirable part of London for a long time yet though. I mean even Peckham is now seen as a better bet. Peckham!

sylvia bellini

fab article but other coffee emporiums are I <3 coffee, Boyce da roca, and rosca all on streatham high road.

Max

Another good boozer is The Leigham Arms, it's a friendly locals pub just off the high street with an almost country pub atmosphere - nice if you fancy something a bit different to the pubs on the high street. My sister loves The Hamlet as well on Streatham Hill for a cocktail. Agree Manor Arms is really good, I have yet to eat anything there that isn't delicious and they have really good beers (try the Shipyard if you like hoppy ales).

Ted

Spot on, until you said Royal China over Mrs Wongs. So close.