Here are our top restaurants and cafes in Clapham Old Town, Clapham North and Abbeville Village.
Nb Clapham does not officially include Clapham Junction or Northcote Rd, which are both in fact in Battersea 😉
Otherwise known as the Band Stand cafe, due to its location, right next to the band stand on Clapham Common, this is the go-to for margarita pizzas and bowls of pasta.
It’s simple comfort food and completely delicious, particularly at 5pm when you’ve dragged buggy and numerous scooters around the common.
If you’re on a diet and can’t be trusted not to hoover up your children’s leftovers this place is best avoided – portions are generous.
Madeleine (The Pavement)
If you can squeeze your pram through the doorway of this popular cafe, you will enjoy the best pain au chocolats in Clapham (sorry Gail’s). Sadly it is not Bugaboo Donkey compatible but that is probably a good thing for my waistline. They also serve delicious coffee and, in the evenings, simple French food (BYOB).
It’s easy to forget about this wonderful neighbourhood restaurant, slightly outside the main hub of Clapham Old Town but head chef Ian is Clapham’s unsung culinary hero and the lunch menu is always full of tempting dishes (both for parents and children).
What’s great about this place is that it doesn’t feel like a kid-friendly restaurant although it welcomes families with open arms.
In the old WCs by Clapham Common Tube this is a great spot for California-style sourdough pizza, which you can either eat on tables outside or find a shady spot on the common.
They also do sodas, beers, wines and coffees and the pizza is already ready so great for those prone to hunger tantrums.
How we love Byron and its garish green building. The kids eat macaroni cheese (only here will they do this) and we have burgers. The staff couldn’t be more accommodating (crayons, plastic cups, etc etc).
We’ve got a little ritual going here: the children share a takeaway chocolate milkshake when we finish and they drink it as we walk back home. You should see the disapproving looks I get from Deliciously Ella types.
Gail’s Bakery (Old Town and Abbeville Rd)
Don’t carry your toddler up to the till with you as they will probably help themselves to one of the delicious cupcakes or brownies on the counter (been there).
Along with excellent coffee, bread and salads, this chain does some of the best hot chocolate in London although you have to be quick as they’ve often run out by mid morning.
Fantasia, 36 Old Town
A proper caff, which has been serving delicious all day breakfasts to SW4 dwellers for many years. Good value for money, swift service and they don’t get at all cross if baked beans are spilt on the floor.
Tart, The Pavement
The home baked tarts might be a bit grown up for your little one but they’ll love the brownies and cakes. We recommend the Tart Benedicts at brunch, served with a Volcano flat white. If it’s a sunny day, they’ll pack up a picnic hamper for you to enjoy on the common.
Because our children aren’t civilised enough to go to Clapham’s Michelin-star Trinity, there’s Bistro Union, it’s laid-back little sister.
The vibe is comfort food but slightly more exciting, with seasonal menus at both at brunch and in the evening and there’s an excellent children’s menu with things like toad in the hole and macaroni cheese.
From 5.30pm-6pm you get a FREE kids meal with an adult main course. What’s not to love?