Ah Vauxhall. Home to plenty of high rise buildings, a 10/10 view of the Thames, and 007’s place of work. This patch of southwest London may be known for its excellent transport links and popping LGBTQ+ nightlife scene, but it’s also a place where you can find chicken and chips filled French tacos, a bread roll that will possibly change your life, and Korean fried chicken you’ll want buckets of. Here are seven great food options in the area.
FOR AN ABSOLUTE CHARMER OF A PATIO
This coffee shop and deli on the corner of Bonnington Square has been serving locals for over a decade. And as well as selling everything from Italian biscuits to specialty olive oil and tinned tomatoes, this spot is serving some of the best lunches you can get in the area. The menu changes daily, ranging from ciabattas filled with goat’s curd and braised leeks, to fresh pastas, to blueberry sauce, maple syrup, and whipped ricotta french toast, and when the sun is out it’s a great place to enjoy an al fresco lunch. When you’re done, you can head back inside for a Happy Endings ice cream sandwich (and some biscuits for the road).
Or head to Cafe Italia on Kennington Lane, where you can find a salad bar, coffee, and indoor seating. Oh, and Nutella stuffed doughnuts.
FOR SOME UNFORGETTABLE KFC
Daebak is one of those excellent little spots where you’ll find locals popping in for a takeaway spicy pork and egg bibimbap, a group ordering fried udon, and a couple sharing three different types of Korean fried chicken, all on a Tuesday afternoon. Basically, it’s great. The menu has everything from chicken yakitori, to beef bulgogi. And while that’s all well and good, the KFCn is why you’re here, specifically the pa dak. The crispy chicken is doused in a honey mustard sauce, and topped with a small mountain of thinly sliced spring onion. It’s crispy, sweet, salty, and has a slight kick from the onion. Basically it’s important that you spend some time here.
Trying to lay off the fried stuff? Make your way to Cottons for some solid jerk chicken, and some completely unbeatable riverside seating.
FOR HANGING CHANDELIERS, OTT CURTAINS, & POTATO BREAD
It was at this charming British restaurant on Wandsworth Road that we decided to name our firstborn child potato bread. Partly because we think Tato would make a cute nickname, but mostly because our feelings towards the grilled potato bread here are the closest we’ve felt to unconditional love. Glistening with butter, fluffy, and warm from the grill, it’s delicious on its own, but even better paired with the green garlic butter. And it’s a fitting introduction to the great meal you’ll have in this Georgian mansion. Ideal for a birthday, or a romantic date night, the menu here has courgette fritters with coconut yoghurt, Brixton crab egg noodles, and a burrata omelette that tastes as extra as it sounds. And with dramatic curtains, OTT foliage, and more hanging chandeliers than a lighting showroom, this is a spot you can easily spend an entire evening in.
If you’re more in the mood for small plates than chandeliers, head to Bar Estrela over in Little Portugal for some beer and petiscos.
FOR SOMEWHERE YOU & YOUR VEGAN MATE CAN BOTH AGREE ON
Adulis is a spacious, homely, dinner-only spot on Brixton Road. And not only is it a casual place to get a weeknight dinner, but it’s so filling that you’ll probably end up with a goody bag for later. Save yourself the angst of deciding between everything on their lengthy menu and go for one of the platters. Our go-to is the veg and meat platter. It’s got a nice mix of vegetarian options from a comforting hamili stew, to a zighni we’re very into. All served on a satellite dish-sized injera, it makes for a deeply satisfying meal.
Alternatively, make your way to Mumbai Delight where you’ll find chilli paneer, Mumbai tadka dal, and plenty of meat options as well.
FOR A ‘GREAT LITTLE PLACE’
Intimate? Check. Melted wax candles? Check. Delicious pasta? Double check. This little Italian restaurant and deli is rumoured to be where the lady and the tramp first fell in love. OK, it was us who started that rumour, but this candlelit spot definitely has all the potential for the ultimate date night. Wine bottles lining the walls, fairylights, and a whole gnocchi section on the menu. The al tartufo is a winner, and you’re highly encouraged to end with a slice of tiramisu. We’d also suggest picking up some of their pesto and a wine bottle to go.
Rather stay in your trackies? Pick up some of the supplies from their deli to go and cook up your own romantic date night at home.
FOR A SPEEDY GRAB AND GO SITUATION
Inside this Tardis-like beer garden under Vauxhall Bridge, you’ll find beer taps, plenty of seating, and a number of food stalls. What you need to know is that one of these food stalls is an Algerian spot serving French tacos. Essentially a burrito filled with meat, chips, and melted cheese. You’ll be able to choose from fillings like crispy chicken, minced beef, and cordon bleu, it’s the type of wedge wrap that’ll have you taking a nap break afterwards, and it’s 100% worth it. We recommend the Algerian sauce with it.
If you’re looking for something less nap-inducing, head to Black Cab Coffee Co for a sausage, caramelised onion, and gruyere cheese toasted sandwiches.
FOR WHEN YOU’RE IN THE MOOD FOR OYSTERS AND ONLY OYSTERS
This spacious oyster bar, restaurant, bakery, and all-round comfortable place to eat and drink well in is a perfectly lovely place to spend an evening eating excellent oysters and £1 truffle arancini balls. And if you head here on a Wednesday or Sunday evening, you’ll be able to enjoy some live music with your Carlingford oysters. Looks like you’ve got more in common with James Bond than you thought.
Or if you’re after more of a full-on seafood situation, head to Pinto’s Portugal for some tasty cod fritters and a comforting creamy fish pie.