South London is packed with cafés, restaurants and bars to eat and drink, but it can be a minefield to work out which places align with your ethics. Which source from local farmers? Which champion sustainably raised meat? And which source their coffee ethically? We took on the hard task of finding out. Here’s your sustainable summer eating guide to London when you’re south of the river.
The Full English at Nutbourne
Cure a hangover with the Farmer’s Breakfast (with obligatory Bloody Mary) at Gladwin brothers’ restaurant, Nutbourne, where focus is on wild, locally grown produce and well-reared meat from their Sussex farm.
The sunny terrace at Italo
Whether you want a breakfast sausage bap, a cup of coffee, a plate of the best seasonal ingredients or a peruse of the deli, this little spot in Vauxhall is a nice reminder that truly neighbourhood deli-cafés exist. Open for breakfast and lunch.
Lunch at Garden Café, The Garden Museum
If you’re into gardening or not, the light and airy Garden Café is well worth a visit for the food alone. Simple, seasonal dishes, beautifully presented. Our favourites this season? Ox tongue and celeriac remoulade for starters, Tagliatelle, tomato and salted ricotta for mains, finished off with a Chocolate pot with salted caramel and almonds. OMG yes.
Coffee and cake at The Pigeon Hole
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Our delicious homemade banana bread is always vegan and fairtrade, and goes really well with an @oatly flat white 😉 💚 — #coffeeshopsoflondon #veganfood #vegandrinks #sustainable #oatmilk #onlyoption #altmilk #bananabread #fairtradefood #homemade #flatwhite #cityliving #london #londonfood #outsidespace #cutespace #cafe #camberwell
Sunday roast at The Camberwell Arms
Voted number one in The Guardian’s 50 best Sunday lunches 2017, The Camberwell Arms is really the best roast in town. “If we can make it ourselves, we do – charcuterie, sausages, smoked fish, pickles, pasta, breads and ice cream are all made in house”, they say, while all their ingredients are carefully sourced from the best producers. Book ahead.
Dinner & wine at Salon Brixton
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Essex strawberries, honey ice cream, olive oil & sorrel. English summer vibes ☀️ #English #strawberries #summer #flavours #sunny #sunday #dessert #eaterlondon #lefooding #eaterlondon #delicious #eeeats #onthetable #lunch #brunch #dinner #allday #salon #brixtonvillage #salonbrixton
Wash down inventive twists on the best in season (including insane desserts) with a few delicious glasses of organic and biodynamic wines. If you’re nearer to Peckham, head to their newly opened Levan, which follows a similar ethos.
Pizza at Four Hundred Rabbits
Seasonal sourdough pizza, made using British flour and topped with London-made mozzarella, 400 Hundred Rabbits are top of their pizza game. Head there before mid-June for a taste of their special zero-waste Cauliflower, baked lemon & zhoug pizza, which uses the whole cauliflower and tomatoes that would otherwise go to waste: “We will be using Kent tomatoes that fall from the vine and which would often be thrown away”. We’ll eat to that.
Crystal Palace, Nunhead and West Norwood
Cocktails at The Midnight Apothecary
The Midnight Apothecary’s campfire cocktails are back for another summer at the secret garden above the Brunel Museum in Rotherhithe. Gardener, forager and cocktail maestro, Lottie Muir, makes insane cocktails using locally foraged ingredients, garden-grown botanicals and seasonal concoctions. Open Friday and Saturday evenings. Book ahead.
Find more of our favourite sustainable eateries around the rest of London.
Heading out of town? Plan your weekend around one of these English vineyard stays.