Where To Eat Close To Clapham Common: The Best Restaurants

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Clapham Common is, in a district of cliques and cliches, a breath of fresh air. Quite literally – the verdant oasis is surrounded by heavy traffic on all sides, its 220 acres bringing respite from the choking pollution of the four teeming thoroughfares that act as its border. 

Taking a load off in the Common, you’ll find folk on various shades of health kick and in various stages of inebriation, the impossibly ripped, bare chested and short-shorted, park runners, parkourists, park tourists, and proud, tired new parents. You’ll see plenty of Camden Hells 330s being crushed, and plenty of lads tweeting their location to Round The Bend as day fades into evening.

All of these folk – some more than others, admittedly – will need a decent feed when they come up for air and venture out of the park, and we’ve got them covered when they decide to do so. Here are the best restaurants close to Clapham Common. 

Trinity

Ideal for fine dining lovers…

Boasting a coveted Michelin Star (Clapham and Battersea’s only restaurant to be bestowed with that honour) Trinity is approaching its third decade in fine fettle. 

Owned by the talented chef Adam Byatt, this neighborhood gem, on the corner of Clapham Old Town and overlooking the Common, has been remarkably consistent in its intricate, seasonal and downright delicious classical cooking since opening in 2006. 

Here, it really is all about classical tekkers, courses rather than sharing plates, and attentive, pitch perfect hospitality, all to be enjoyed via Trinity’s four course menu, priced at £70 for lunch and £120 for dinner, plus the usual extras. 

There’s plenty of choice here. As spring kicks into gear, that menu is alive with colour and the fresh, verdant flavours of the season, a dish of English asparagus, polonais sauce (a melted butter, chopped egg and breadcrumb number that’s so much more than the sum of its parts), and smoked eel from award winning local fishmonger Moxon’s exemplifies this approach.

Perhaps unsurprisingly for a restaurant that prices itself on perfectly executed classical technique, Trinity’s pastry section is sharp and precise as you like. Yep, they do puddings well here, and on a recent visit, an indulgent chocolate marquise was one of the best desserts of the year thus far.

Yep, these are proper plates to enjoy all to yourself, a rare treat in London’s modern day fine dining landscape, and a key reason why Trinity has endured – and got better and better – as the years have passed.

For something a little more laid back, the sister restaurant Upstairs at Trinity boasts a Bib Gourmand award and a hearty menu based around French country cooking. If you can manage both in a single evening, you’ve got an even more admirable appetite than us!

Address: 4 The Polygon, London SW4 0JG

Website: trinityrestaurant.co.uk


Tawa Roti

Ideal for ultra-comforting, beautifully spiced West Indian food…

Images via @tawarotilondon

From fine dining to no-frills deliciousness, another of the best places to eat near Clapham Common is Tawa Roti, a ten minute walk down Clapham High Street towards Clapham North Station. 

Here, it’s all about Trinidadian food, with the freshly slapped roti both the star of the show and vehicle for Tawa’s delicately spiced channa, dhal puri and aloo curry. Though there are a couple of seats and a counter for perching inside Tawa Roti, the headlining dishes are perfect for taking away. Order a fresh coconut juice, a dhal puri wrap, an obligatory side of doubles – channa filled flatbreads that are deep fried and delicious – and head back up to the Common for a feast.

Address: 12 Clapham High St, London SW4 7UT

Website: tawaroti.com


Berberè

Ideal for crisp, elegant sourdough pizzas that have come to Clapham via Bologna…

First started by Matteo and Salvatore Aloe in Bologna in 2010, the Clapham version of Berberè stands on the former site of Radio Alice, a pizzeria that the Aloe brothers were involved in. Safe to say, Berberè is even better, with a sourdough base whose mother has been tended to for a decade and a half resulting in a gently tangy, crisp base that’s as digestible as it comes.

That crispness is ideally suited to dipping, and so Berberè has obliged with a choice of four dippers – spicy ‘nduja & honey, aioli, garlic butter or basil & walnut pesto. Of course you’ll order all four.

The pizza selection itself feels more traditional and, dare we say, demure, with the least adorned pizzas the most sparkling – uplifting, even – in their simplicity. Most pleasingly, these guys feature a good amount of sauce, a welcome departure from the trend for quite a dry pizza that seems to have been cropping up across the city recently. Follow this narrative to its natural conclusion and settle on the margherita, which is superb and priced keenly at £9.90. With that digestibility already dispensed with, and that sub-tenner pricing, it’s the perfect excuse to order another!

Websiteberberepizzeria.co.uk

Address67 Venn St, London SW4 0BD 


Sorella

Ideal for some of the city’s best pasta and an enjoyably raucous vibe…

Prolific, hugely talented chef Robin Gill’s ode to the Amalfi Coast, Sorella, is one of the best Italian restaurants south of the river, and for those hungry when kicking back in Clapham Common, it’s also only a five minute walk from that vast green expanse.

Proud Irish man Gill has plenty of history in the area, having run much loved neighbourhood restaurant The Dairy before its closure in 2020. He was also the man behind The Manor, which operated on the same site that Sorella now sits. Up the road in Nine Elms, the chef oversees the superb Darby’s. Yep, this man lives and breathes South London.

Sorella (meaning ‘sister’ in Italian) is the sibling to his other successful ventures, with success coming here too in the form of a Michelin Plate award. The restaurant is warm and inviting, with rustic wooden tables and a bar that showcases an impressive selection of Italian wines and spirits, all very much in keeping with the residential street Sorella sits on, and those neighbourhood restaurant connotations. Yep, a gratis limoncello shot or two is pretty much obligatory if you exercise even the most common of courtesies with the attentive staff here.

On the plate, the menu is divided into the classic format of cicchetti, antipasti, primi and secondi. Make sure you kick off with some of the truffle arancini, which has been on the menu since 2018 and for good reason. They’re a highlight; creamy, rich and on the nose. As in, they’re pungent in all the right places.

Another highlight, in a shocking turn, is the hand rolled pasta here. Gill has always had a wicked way with agnolotti, those most plump of filled pastas, and so it is here. On the current menu, an early spring version of purple sprouting broccoli cooked down until collapsing before being mixed with ricotta, was truly superb. It’s dressed with a pancetta XO that brings serious umami, as well as that pleasing dappling that any chilli oil bestows on a dish.

The actual, genuine dish it’s served on is a thick slab of grey stone that’s barely bowed, and it’s an intriguing, scratchy thing to eat off. We’ll forgive them; its heft is reassuring and those agnolotti sitting within it are just too good to hold a grudge. 

Address: 148 Clapham Manor St, London SW4 6BX

Website: sorellarestaurant.co.uk


Joe Public

Ideal for single slices of the good stuff and craft beers in the sunshine…

Sure, this part of Clapham might be more well known for its Aussie residents than its Americans, but you’ll find an excellent Californian (sourdough base, if you’re asking) by-the-slice joint at Joe Public, just a few seconds from Exit B of Clapham Common underground station.

You can also order full, 14 inch pies here (slices start at around a fiver, pies at £15ish), of which there are a selection of around ten at any given time. Though the Cheese Burger pizza sounds pretty out there, and your nonna will chastise you for even considering ordering it, you should do so anyway; it genuinely works! Topped with ground beef rather than actual, you know, patties, the burger vibes come from McDonalds style pickles and an elegant zig-zag of burger sauce. Enjoy this one from the small selection of stool seating in the restaurant, overlooking an actual McDonalds across the road, for a surreal kind of Heston-curated hyperreal simulacrum.  

Joe also has some outdoor picnic tables out front and plenty of craft beer on tap, as well as slushy cocktails in the summer months, to bring you back down to earth. What’s not to love?

Address: 4 The Pavement, London SW4 0HY

Website: joepublicpizza.com

Read: Where to eat the best New York style pizza in London


Eco

Ideal for wholesome sourdough pizzas and a cracking weekend brunch…

Speaking of pizza, Eco has been a fixture on Clapham High Street for over 20 years, serving up nourishing Italian cuisine and packing out its buzzy, busy dining room nightly. The restaurant is known for its wood-fired, sourdough pizzas, which are considered some of the best in the neighbourhood. The dough is left to mature for at least 48 hours, resulting in a perfect crust that’s both crisp and chewy. With several pizzas clocking in at under a tenner, Eco is fantastic value too.

Beyond pizza, Eco’s menu also includes a range of pasta dishes, salads, and antipasti, made with high-quality ingredients, many of which have been sourced from organic farms.

Eco does a great breakfast on Saturdays and Sundays, too, their shakshuka-adjacent ‘wood oven eggs’ blessed with the smoke of the pizza oven, the marinara sauce in which they’re bathing luscious and rich with garlic. It’s a brekkie to dust off even the most violent of Infernos hangovers. 

Address: 162 Clapham High St, London SW4 7UG

Website: ecorestaurants.com


Honest Burgers Clapham

Ideal for a consistently excellent burger that sings of the flavours of proper beef…

Speaking of burgers, too, you really can’t go wrong with Honest, whose patties still taste deliciously beefy after all these years and all that expansion. Tucked away from Clapham High Street on Venn Street (home to a great market every Saturday, by the way), and with plenty of stool seating, the Clapham branch of Honest Burgers is an agreeable place to settle into. The fact that it’s open from 11am to 11pm daily does not harm, receiving early morning gymgoers fresh from a sesh and mopping up the chillers and boozers at the restaurant’s disparate bookends.

There’s not much more to say about the burgers here, which we believe to be some of the finest in London, except that the Clapham outpost has its own dedicated burger, as is the Honest way across their various sites. This one boasts smoked bacon, Kappacasein Raclette cheese, truffle mayo, shoestring fries, rocket and pickles, and is even more of a mouthful than its ingredients list. Don’t be shy about requesting a knife, a fork and a stack of extra napkins, as the beef juices mix with that particularly runny cheese, oozing out all over the shop.

Christ, really want an Honest now…

Address: 75 Venn St, London SW4 0BD

Website: honestburgers.co.uk


Lina Stores

Ideal for more fresh pasta from an ever growing Italian mini chain…

Lina Stores Clapham, an offshoot of the iconic Italian delicatessen and pasta restaurant that first opened in Soho in 1944, brings a slice of Italian heritage to the Common. Practically touching the grass, you’ll see Lina’s distinctive mint-green and white striped awning from the park, its shelves lined with the finest Italian produce and bustling open kitchen beckoning you in. 

You’re here for some of the city’s most talked about fresh pasta, we know that much, and the seasonally changing rundown of around six pasta dishes has enough to please the whole squad. Though it feels almost perverse to be twisting, writhing and slurping at such a celebration of the sea as you peer out across a big ol’ urban park, the spaghetti alle vongole here is superb; briny af, a little spicy and slippery, just as it should be. 

Be warned; for £14, it’s not the biggest bowl – probably a third of the size of the kind you eat on your sofa in your comfy clothes with your knees up against your chest, but that only gives you an excuse to order some cannoli to finish. Here, you have a choice of ricotta, pistachio or chocolate. You’ll want all three, and we’ve already set you up with the perfect excuse to do just that.

Address: 22 The Pavement, London SW4 0HY

Website: linastores.co.uk

Read: The best places for pasta in Soho


Minnow

Ideal for when you need a restaurant to satisfy a disparate set of desires…

Next, we saunter over to Minnow, just next door to Lina, where modern European cuisine meets the charm of Clapham Old Town to great though occasionally overwhelming effect.

We say ‘overwhelming’ because Minnow takes the meaning of an ‘all day’ restaurant and runs with it, opening from 8am to 11pm daily and with not only a brunch menu but also an ‘afternoon’ menu (alongside the more predictable lunch, dinner, Sunday roasts and the rest). 

Perhaps most interestingly, there’s plenty of joy to be found on that afternoon part of the menu, the 3pm to 5:30pm time slot offering an enjoyable slot to get the drinking started a little earlier than might be socially acceptable, and a chance to tuck into a random croque monsieur in a kind of post-lunch stupor/’is this a dessert or an aperitif before dinner vibe?’

Just us? Well, it’s a tradition we’ve come to love on a Saturday, and we’re keeping it.

Come Sunday after 4pm, it’s all about the Minnow roast dinner. Dubbed a ‘Sunday Roast Club’ and ridiculously good value, you can bring your own bottle and enjoy a full on roast with dessert for just £30. Again, £30. Again, that’s ridiculously good value when you can’t find a bottle of wine in a restaurant much below that these days.

During summer, Minnow sprawls out onto the street somewhat, with plenty of terrace seating and enviable views of the Common. It’s a lovely spot to while away a few hours.

Address: 21 The Pavement, London SW4 0HY

Website: minnowclapham.co.uk


Tonkotsu Clapham

Ideal for silky, hefty ramen that would satiate even the heartiest of appetites…

Tonkotsu Clapham, part of the increasingly cherished chain known for its soul-warming ramen, has only been open a few weeks, but has already made its mark just a short walk from the green expanse of Clapham Common. 

Take a seat in one of the booths close to the entrance, under the intricate photo of a ramen noodle rolling machine, and luxuriate in the hum of conversation and reassuring sound of slurping. Misophoniacs beware; no amount of Prince playing over the speakers can drown it out.

The menu at Tonkotsu Clapham is a testament to the art of ramen, with each bowl boasting its own unique character. The signature Tonkotsu ramen features a broth that is rich and milky, the result of pork bones being simmered for up to 18 hours and releasing their fat and collagen, paired with noodles made fresh in-house daily and boasting the absolute correct amount of chew. The succulent slices of pork belly are buttery as you like – indeed, you’ll want to order some of the house cucumber pickles to cut through the richness, because it is a lot. 

So much so, in fact, that should you not be able to finish a regular bowl (small sizes are available, the bowls priced at £13.95 and £8.95, respectively) and decide to take the remainder home, the broth sets in the fridge to a firm jelly. That’s some serious silky collagen, but just think about the good it’s doing your skin!

Address: 153 Clapham High St, London SW4 7SS

Website: tonkotsu.co.uk


Moxies Fish Bar

Ideal for the freshest of fish suppers…

At the other end of the park towards Clapham South is Moxies Fish Bar, a place who pride themselves on their sustainable fish and chips, and also the place where we finish our exploration of where to eat near Clapham Common.

The adjacent fishmongers – Moxon’s Fresh Fish – incidentally supplies some of the best restaurants in the area, including the aforementioned Trinity, and this is testament to the quality of the fish used in the chippy. Alongside the usual choice of battered haddock, cod, hake or plaice, there’s also a selection of grilled fillets and charcoal grilled whole fish, served simply with a half of caramelised lemon. The mackerel given this treatment is particularly good, its oily nature catching over the charcoal until bubbling and blistered all over. Bliss.

Though Moxies does have some simple wooden benches inside, this one is crying out to be taken away and enjoyed in Clapham Common.

And if you’re still hungry after that, then just down the road you might want to check out the best restaurants in Balham, too.

Address: 7 Westbury Parade, London SW12 9DZ

Instagram: @moxiesfishbar


The Bottom Line

Clapham Common’s restaurants are a microcosm of London’s diverse dining scene, offering everything from Michelin-starred tasting menus to take away Trini doubles, each one perfectly suited to whichever way the mood has taken you. Now, the mood has taken us for a lie down in the park. Wake us up in a couple of hours, if you don’t mind?

Next up, why not take a stroll down Battersea Rise and check out these fantastic places to eat on Northcote Road? We’ll see you on the strip!

Joseph Gann
Joseph Gann
Chef and food writer, with an interest in mental health and mindfulness

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