I thought I'd mention a few favourites of mine that I discovered with friends and family over the last few years just to prove that I didn't spend all of my time pre-2013 in a Wetherspoons (Beer and a Burger for under £5 is still a hard deal to beat though).
Bonnington Cafe was introduced to me last year - it's a vegan/vegatarian restaurant tucked away near Vauxhall with starters for £3.00, mains for £7.00 and desserts for £3.00. There is a different chef each day and you have to email them directly to book a table. I've been twice now and the food was great both times (this means a lot coming from a devoted meat eater). As it says on the website, "the Café has been open since the early 80s when it was started as a squat Café to provide a good cheap meal for the comminuty". It's BYOB and there is often someone tinkling away on a piano whilst you dine. Thanks to Lucy and Coral for taking me there!
|Ev in Isabella Street|
I discovered Ev Deli/Restaurant/Bar by mistake with my family when we were hoping to find a table at Tas in Waterloo and they pointed us to their new hidden creation on Isabella Street. Ev occupies three railway arches in a tiny little street near Southwark/Waterloo tube. The Turkish food is very tasty but the main draw is the setting, especially the garden out the front which should be visited in the summer. It's worth walking down the street even if you don't intend to visit Ev.
|Buona Sera at the Jam|
Next up is one of my new favourite places - Buona Sera at the Jam is a little Italian restaurant on King's Road which stands out because it has bunk tables! You climb up a little ladder and suddenly everything is ten times more exciting than it was before you got up there. The food is tasty and very good value, and it has been pretty empty everytime I have been. Still there is no harm in booking to make sure you get a bunk table as opposed to a stupid, boring regular table.
|Build your own burger at Thirsty Bear|
The Thirsty Bear pub near Waterloo/Southwark tube is fun for two reasons - 1. Most tables have an ipad for ordering food and drink, and private taps for pouring your own beer (although every time it dripped it tried to charge us for 0.1 of a pint which didn't go down well with a table full of Maths graduates). 2. The ipad system allows you to build your own burger with no limit to the number of burgers and toppings that you can add! The menu includes their own burger creations including The Big Ass Bear Burger (16oz), The Grizzly Bear Burger (1.5lbs) and something called "Goldiehops and the 3 Grizzly Bears Challenge" - head to the website to find out more. They take bookings (make sure you get a table with all the technology on) and it's a great place for watching sport too.
Sleep beckons so I will just briefly mention one more - Negril in Brixton is worth visiting for authentic Jamaican food with tables for alfresco dining out front (thanks again to Lucy and Coral!). It's a bit of a walk up Brixton Hill from the station but the atmosphere is great and it was packed when we went despite it being a bit out of the way. I will mention some quirky bars/pubs that were discovered pre-blog sometime soon in Part 2. Also hopefully I will have ticked off two more places from The List by Wednesday evening. Watch this space!
|Isabella Street - Home of Ev|