Whether you want a first-rate coffee, the best breakfast in town or a scrumptious salad for lunch, here’s our pick of the best cafes, delis and coffee shops in South West London, from Balham to Fulham
** NEW CAFES ADDED **
1 M1LK, Balham
M1LK is Balham’s cool kid on the block. It’s so cool people have been known to queue for their weekend waffles (it has an on-trend no-reservations policy). Following a renovation this summer, the owners have acquired the shop next store and doubled the size of their popular cafe. From coffee, cookies and cakes, to a full English breakfast or sweet-corn fritters, all produce at M1LK is locally sourced – ‘from independent, family-owned suppliers around London, and the Southeast. We work closely with our butcher to source organic, heritage and rare-breed meats from individual farms in Sussex, Norfolk and Surrey.’
Open: 8am-5pm Monday – Saturday; 9am-5pm Sunday
20 Bedford Hill, London, SW12 9RG; 020 8772 9085
2 Walker Wyatt Coffee, Tooting Bec
Back in 2009 independent estate agents Walker Wyatt started selling coffee to commuters to stay afloat during the housing slump. They didn’t bank on it being such a successful venture that they would have to relocate the estate agency side of their business. As well as first-rate coffee and tea, it also serves fresh food and cakes daily.
Open: Monday-Friday: 7am- 5pm; Saturday: 8am-4pm; Sunday: 9am-3pm
3 Upper Tooting Road, London SW17 7TS; 020 8767 8687
3 Brew Café, Battersea and Wimbledon
Brew Café is due to open a third site on Old York Road in Wandsworth, so it must be doing something right in the SW community. It’s the coffee it’s famous for, but Brew is also open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Open: Battersea: Monday-Saturday 7am-11pm; Sunday 7am-6pm
Wimbledon: Monday-Saturday 7am-11pm; Sunday 7am-10pm
45 Northcote Road, London SW11 1NJ; 020 7585 2198
21 High Street, London SW19 5DX; 020 8947 4034
4 Shot Espresso Ltd, Fulham
‘Finally, proper flat whites have come to Fulham Broadway!’ says Stephen Finch, Director of Vagabond Wines. ‘We need lots of caffeine at Vagabond, so we’re probably at Shot Espresso at least twice a day. The guys there are also super friendly.’ So that’s the coffee and the service covered. Shot Espresso also serves home-made cakes and pastries, regular brunch specials and lunch – including fresh panini, sandwiches, piadina wraps, salads, quiches and soups. It also has an alcohol licence, and is open until 10pm. Perfect for an apéritif.
Open: Monday to Friday, from 5:30 to 23:00 Saturday & Sunday, from 7:30 to 23:00
11 Jerdan Place, LondonSW6 1BE; 020 7381 5572
5 Bertie & Boo Balham
Independent neighbourhood café Bertie and Boo in Balham is a favourite amongst young families. The colourful coffee shop opened in 2006 (look out for the vintage car for kids out front). Enjoy your latte at an old school desk or terrace in candy striped deck chair on the terrace. Further down Balham High Road (opposite Du Cane Court) you’ll find Bertie & Boo’s AdventureIsland, complete with soft-play area. ‘Bertie is really entertaining when he does story time. He is good, gets all the kids involved, he knows how to keep them in the zone,’ says local resident Jessica Davis, mum to four-year-old Flora.
Cafe open: 8am-6.30pm daily
AdventureIsland: Monday-Friday-Open everyday 8.30am-5.00pm. Magical story time is every morning (Mon-Fri) from 9.45am and 10.30am.
Coffee Shop, 162 Balham High Road, Balham SW12 9BW
AdventureIsland, 205-207 Balham High Road, Balham SW17 7BQ
6 Del Aziz, Fulham and Clapham Old Town
Everyone knows that to be good at your business you need to know your market. Del’Aziz founder Shahrokh Parvin’s ensured this is the case, having lived just behind his first restaurant site in Fulham Broadway for nearly 20 years. His brasserie, Del’Aziz, has been designed to suit the local customers. It’s not cheap, but it is good value ‘and worth every penny’ he says of the Middle Eastern restaurant group, which also has a brasserie in Clapham. ‘It’s not so much traditional as traditionally inspired,” says Parvin, adding, ‘our falafel burger is one of our best sellers and a recent creation was beef ribs marinated in pomegranate juice was a real success. It’s all about keeping the passion and creativity rolling.’
Open: Monday-Sunday 7am-11pm (Breakfast: Monday-Friday 8am-12pm. Brunch: Saturday-Sunday 8am-5pm; Lunch: Monday-Friday 12pm-5pm; Dinner: Monday-Sunday 5pm-10:30pm)
24-32 Vanston Place, London, SW6 1AX; 020 7386 0086
55-57 The Pavement, London SW4 0JQ; 020 7498 9128
9 Dee Light Bakery
‘A neighbour brought a huge tray of focaccia from Dee Light Bakery to our Street Party and is was so incredibly delicious with an unusually light fluffly texture and plenty of rosemary that I had to investigate more,’ says Sudi Pigott. ‘On a furiously busy Saturday morning, sausage croissants with wholegrain mustard were flying out as were properly crisp croissants, posh apple muffins and luscious looking Swiss rolls. Besides offering a bespoke cake service, there are lots of classes ranging from parent and child cupcakes to more sophisticated two layer wedding cake workshops.’
10 North Street Deli, Clapham
Clapham Old Town’s North Street Deli is a favourite of the SW Resident team. Choose between the fresh salad selection (hot and cold) and add a slice of quiche, or try a North Street sausage roll (they’re famous in SW4). You can stock up your larder too while here, and there there’s a garden out the back, perfect for alfresco eating.
Open: Daily: 10am-4pm
26 North Street, Old Town, SW4 0HB
11 Gail’s Artisan Bakery, Barnes
Artisan bakery Gail’s began life in Hampstead in 2005 and recently (in 2014) opened its 16th spot across London, in leafy Barnes. Founders Ran Avidan and Tom Molnar think ‘bread is beautiful’ and so might you once you’ve tasted a Gail’s loaf. And don’t just try the bread, impressive cakes and biscuits also catch the eye. Wash it all down with a coffee, or stay for lunch (fresh salads and sandwiches and the like).
Open: Monday – Friday 7am-8pm; Saturday, Sunday, bank holidays 8am-7pm
49 Church Road, London, SW13 9HH
12 STORY COFFEE, BATTERSEA
Jo and Sof’s first venture on Battersea’s St John’s Hill offers exceptional coffee in a stylish, Scandi-style setting. ‘Everything we offer has its own story and absolute transparency, hence the name,’ says Sof. Story Coffee is the first to bring East London’s Square Mile Roasters coffee to Battersea. Fresh food, including pastries from Comptoir Gourmand, are also on the menu.
Open: Monday-Friday 7am-4pm; Saturday/Sunday 9am-5pm
115 St John’s Hill, Battersea SW11 1SZ; 0207998 3303
13 BRICKWOOD CAFÉ, BALHAM
Hildreth Street in Balham is close to becoming café city central, with Brickwood – which has a la Marzocco coffee machine – now sitting a few doors down from M1lk and across the street from the Blackbird Bakery. Don’t miss the Caravan blend iced coffee and try a cold-pressed juice. Baked goods are fresh with a unique twist (a scone that was the size of a small plate and grilled banana and walnut bread with whipped espresso butter and orange and cinnamon brioche with vanilla mascarpone).
Open: Monday-Friday 7am-6pm; Saturday/Sunday 9am-6pm
11 Hildreth Street SW12 9RQ; 020 8772 6818
14 BLACKBIRD BAKERY, BALHAM
South London staple Blackbird Bakery has opened its sixth site on Hildreth Street in Balham. The bakery offers excellent sourdough and a range of snacks, including Scotch eggs, tortilla and mini quiches, ideal for lunchtime. Everything is baked in house using impeccable organic and fairtrade ingredients – a real asset to Balham.
Open: Monday to Friday, 7am-7pm; Saturday-Sunday, 8am-6pm
12 Hildreth Street, Balham SW12 9RQ; 020 8772 0097