The Best Restaurants in Tooting, London

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Photo of Culture Trip
9 July 2020

Get out of the city centre and indulge in decadent curries, inventive ice cream and freshly baked bread with a trip to south London’s Tooting

Cafe, Restaurant, Indian, Asian, Vegetarian
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Situated opposite the exit of Tooting Broadway station, this cafe serves a huge variety of South Indian and Sri Lankan dishes. With paper-thin rice crêpes served with sambhar and three different types of chutneys, this is a great option for a satisfying meal any time of the day. If you want to go the whole hog then start by ordering the king fish fry and chicken chukka – both absolute must-haves from their starter menu, but be warned; they are fiery dishes and you may want to wash them down with a mango lassi or two. Follow this up with a traditional chettinad chicken curry with rice and some cooling yoghurt on the side. They also boast a decent beverage menu offering wines by the glass and bottle, and beers including the usual suspects, expected of any decent curry house – Cobra and Kingfisher.

Cafe, Restaurant, Mediterranean, $$$
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Moroccan Harira Soup in Traditional Bowls
Moroccan Harira Soup in Traditional Bowls | © Tanya Chudovska, Shutterstock
The cuisine – modern French–Moroccan and Mediterranean. The setting -cosy, comfortable, industrial-chic-meets-contemporary. Grab a place on the sofa right inside next to the fake fireplace and drink in the ambiance at Tartine Artisanal while you devour a free-range omelette maison. With a brunch menu available until 5pm on weekends, you can sleep in for longer than you thought. Perfect place for mums with buggies, girlfriends out for an afternoon tea time meet-up, folks in for quick bites, and everyone else in between. Friendly service and plenty of seating are an added bonus.

Ice Cream Parlour, Dessert Shop, American, Ice Cream, Dessert, $$$
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Afters in Tooting is a must-visit for a sugar hit (they also have branches in other parts of London). This bright pink vintage ice cream parlour attracts kids of every age for sundaes, sorbets, smoothies and enormous desserts which require multiple people to tackle. Try the Honey I’m Home: vanilla and chocolate ice cream served with a drizzle of honey, chocolate honey comb pieces, whipped cream, florentine wafers, a flake and a vivaldi cigar wafer.

Cafe, British, $$$
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Located on Mitcham Rd, this cute Aussie-style café is known by locals for its exceptional coffee, brunch menu and freshly-made sandwiches. The menu offers traditional brunch dishes including the likes of avocado, bacon, pancakes, and fresh sourdough bread from the Blackbird Bakery. Overall the vibe is quintessentially Aussie, incredibly laid back, so if you’re looking for a chilled weekend lunch spot, make sure you don’t miss this gem.

Restaurant, Sri Lankan
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Tooting is best known for its budget-priced South Asian restaurants, particularly South Indian, Pakistani, and Sri Lankan. One of the most popular in Tooting is Apollo Banana Leaf, a South Indian and Sri Lankan fusion restaurant that operates a BYOB policy, perfect if you’re looking to save the pennies until payday. Its basic high-street exterior may not scream fine dining but the delicious food has won the hearts of locals.

Restaurant, American, $$$
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Cool Joe, Mean Joe, Killer Joe
Cool Joe, Mean Joe, Killer Joe | © Meat & Shake
Winner of the National Burger Awards 2017, beef and lamb combine in this epic clash of meat from South London (other branches also available) purveyors of funky burgers. Meat & Shake also has a few surprises on the menu that are best discovered on your own but make sure you order the Smoking Bandit. Your Instagram feed will be off the chain afterwards.
These recommendations were updated on July 9, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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