£30 - £49
75 High Street, Wimbledon Village, London, SW19 5EQ
Guided by owners Caprice Holdings, The Ivy is taking over London one painfully-chic eatery at a time – including this ‘casual’ Wimbledon Village café, where the full menu of modern brasserie classics is offered. Glamorous golden art-deco interiors and seductive lighting transport you back in time. Combine this with a strict no-photos attitude and you’ll be questioning the restaurant’s definition of casual. Nevertheless, prawn cocktail with creamy avocado (reinventing the 1970s starter) tasted wonderfully fresh and tangy, while a decadent truffle arancini was appetisingly cheesy. Portions can be overpowering, with a chicken Milanese (succulent and egg-topped) filling the plate. An equally sizeable sirloin was melt-in-your-mouth tender. To drink, the crowd-pleasing wine list includes a refreshingly fruity Château d’Esclans. Although the intensely rich dishes might make you feel you need a workout afterwards, prices here are reasonable, service impeccable – and you get the chance to act like you’re hiding from the paps.
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£50 - £79
38 Wimbledon Hill Road, SW19 7PA
An old-school Italian for Wimbledon’s longer-toothed residents, this branch of the San Lorenzo mini-chain is no place for modern twists, innovation or subtlety. However, with an old-fashioned restaurant comes unhurried gentility and a kitchen that stays rigidly within the boundaries of what it knows. Start with deep-fried whitebait, follow with excellent pizzas, or spaghetti with lobster, or go the whole hog with saltimbocca or veal chop. The dining room, which has looked rather dated for several years, seems to be coming back into its own now, but the best place to be on a summery Sunday is in the lovely garden tucked at the back. The restaurant is very proud of the area’s tennis heritage. It’s the place to catch the crowd during Wimbledon fortnight – book well in advance.
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62 Wimbledon Hill Road, London, SW19 7PA
Prime Argentinian steak specialist Buenos Aires majors in moody interiors, South American artwork and Latin music. Warm up with homemade empanadas and a clutch of vegetarian dishes, or head straight for the flat rib-eye, paired with chimichurri or peppercorn sauce. Pampas-reared beef can be ordered per large plate: those succulent slabs of rib-eye (available in three sizes), churrasco (rump), sirloin or lomo (fillet). Can’t decide? No problem: there’s a vast ‘sampler’ option, featuring all four cuts. As you would hope, the wine list offers roughly a dozen Malbecs, alongside signature cocktails; don’t miss the Dulce de Leche digestif, a great way to round off a protein-packed feast. Canny bookers will be pleased to hear Buenos Aires offer numerous promotions too.
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£30 - £49
9 Camp Road, London, SW19 4UN
Located on the edge of Wimbledon Common, The Fox and Grapes is now run by TV chef Paul Merrett, after its gastropub credentials were established by Michelin-starred Claude Bosi. A 2018 refurb added splashes of colour, but the characterful original features of the building, which dates back to 1787, stay the same. The buzzy atmosphere is also still intact, complete with canine companions, who are welcome to join their owners here. Merrett, a regular on Saturday Kitchen and Sunday Feast, sticks to a crowd-pleasing formula that mixes British pub classics such as burgers or beer-battered fish & chips, with more ambitious dishes and some international flavours.
We kicked off with moist Thai crab cakes and crisp chicken Caesar croquettes served with baby gem, parmesan and soft boiled egg for a twist on chicken Caesar salad. Mains include cod fillet with anchovy butter and beef sirloin, but our stand-out dish was juicy pork ribeye steak (not a common cut), perfectly cooked and served with braised cabbage and a piquant cider and mustard sauce. Native sourcing, including foraged herbs and seasonal veg from local allotments, is a real plus. Behind the bar, expect a choice of craft beers and real ales, alongside a dependable wine list from Berry Bros & Rudd. Three rooms are also available for overnight stays.
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£30 - £49
West Side Common, London, SW19 4UE
This luxe hotel group has a special-occasion feel without putting on airs and graces: polished wood and warm lighting create a cosy, clubby feel in the bistros, while smartly uniformed, professional staff deliver plates of French-accented comfort food to diners who prefer the traditional three courses to modern fads for queues, sharing and obscure ingredients. Steaks are the kitchen’s signature, and the grill dispenses a fine selection from pink-hued onglet to well-timed chateaubriand for two, while other meaty highlights might range from slow-braised mutton stew to pull-apart pork belly with chestnuts and silky pommes mousseline. As befits the name, the wine list delivers on all counts, with a 25-strong house selection available by the glass and carafe, plus a heavy-duty compendium of big-ticket bottles. HdV is a favourite for dining out with the parents – whether they’re treating you or vice versa.
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£30 - £49
58 Wimbledon Hill Road, SW19 7PA
This branch of the groovy Copenhagen-based Japanese chain is entirely approachable, if not exactly authentic. Sticks ‘n’ Sushi’s style mixes arty minimalist surrounds (think sculptural dangling lights, benches and acres of bare brickwork) with a sophisticated version of communal eating that promotes sushi for those who don’t necessarily like raw fish. A cleverly illustrated menu makes its point with pics of asparagus and ham yakitori (‘sticks’) or lamb with herb-butter kebabs alongside dramatically fashioned maki and futomaki rolls. The results are intended to look good on the plate, flavours are true and it’s inexpensive too. Tailor-made for some chic refuelling, although you probably wouldn’t choose it for a dressed-up night out.
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£30 - £49
£30 - £49
75-77 Ridgway, London, SW19 4ST
Those who thought Light House would be a bit of a fly-by-night operation have been proved resoundingly wrong. This bright, airy dining room is slightly out of the way from the centre of Wimbledon Village, but locals don’t seem to begrudge the five-minute walk. The wood-&-glass interior makes for a clattering background to dining here, & at busy times the noise can be oppressive. Nevertheless, the restaurant’s good points – well-executed European cooking with global influences, a decent wine list, & a welcoming, neighbourly ambience – more than compensate. Start with Picos blue cheese with pickled walnuts, then move on to cockle-warming lamb shank with mint jelly, or poached haddock with mussels & tarragon. Great-value set lunches keep the atmosphere upbeat. Booking is essential, especially during Wimbledon fortnight.
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