Category Archives: top 10 best restaurants in Kennington

The Top Ten Best Lunch Spots in Kennington – no. 9 – Tea House Theatre

Tea House Theatre - Kenningtonrunoff.com

Positives: They transformed a former pub into a tea house with a lot of personality. A convivial setting, on what is now called Vauxhall Walk Square, on the edge of Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens. At lunch, they do a good Welsh rarebit, a kedgeree, and just about every type of tea you could think of. Sometimes there’s live music, and it’s an events space at night, for everything from poetry to ballroom dancing to, yes, theatre. It’s Kennington’s most baby-friendly venue – they will roll out the red changing mat for you and your little one.

Tea House Theatre cakes and tea - kenningtonrunoff.com

Negatives: About those babies – if you don’t want to eat lunch surrounded by NCT groups, you’re in the wrong place. Being militant about tea, they don’t serve coffee. There’s a big choice of cakes but they are all intensely creamy and rich.

Cakes at the Tea House Theatre - kenningtonrunoff.com

Hygiene rating: 4 out of 5

Address: 139 Vauxhall Walk, London SE11 5HL

Website

Come back next Sunday to see what’s at no. 8.

The Top Ten Best Lunch Spots in Kennington – no. 10 – Imperial War Museum café

Positives: The food, by Peyton & Byrne, is unusually good for a museum cafeteria. You can sit outside in Geraldine Mary Harmsworth park when the weather is fine.

outside tables at the Imperial War Museum, Geraldine Mary Harmsworth Park - kenningtonrunoff.com

Negatives: Hordes of tourists, especially during school holidays. Often a lengthy queue at lunchtime.

Imperial War Museum cafeteria - kenningtonrunoff.com

Hygiene rating: doesn’t seem to have one yet

Address: Lambeth Road, London SE1 6HZ

Website

Come back next Sunday to see what’s at no. 9.

The top ten restaurants in Kennington – those that didn’t quite make it

Mamuśka slipped out of our top ten this year as we have had occasional stodgy dishes there, but those dishes may well have been authentically Polish, and if you’ve never been, you really should go for the experience and the atmosphere.

Mamuska - kenningtonrunoff.com

Emanuel also has a great atmosphere and feels authentically Peruvian – maybe a a bit too authentic at times.

We’re reasonably regular visitors to Amici, at the junction of Windmill Row and Kennington Lane, which is a decent, friendly Italian. They have outdoor seating in the courtyard which is great when the weather’s good. To us Amici represents the old Kennington where the likes of the Duchy Arms, Brunswick House and Doost (from the same owners as Amici) represent the new, but long may it last.

We have a soft spot for Brasserie Toulouse Lautrec and we’re grateful there is live music (mostly jazz) in Kennington every night, but we’re bigger fans of their brunch than their bistro evening menu.

The food at Kennington Tandoori is a cut above your average curry house, and probably marginally better than Gandhi’s (who are also very good and do a great value vegetable thali). KT have nice bright premises with a front that opens onto the street – pleasant in the summer months. But we’ve talked before about their “customer is always wrong” attitude. We had another run in with them this year where we complained, they rather aggressively told us we were wrong, so we provided proof to back up our complaint, which was met with silence. We don’t want to give any more details for fear of being banned. And it’s not just us – see their Tripadvisor page for some real pearls.

Kennington Tandoori - kenningtonrunoff.com

Anyway, we’d love to see all these restaurants burst into the top ten next year, and would welcome suggestions of any we’ve missed.

The Top Ten Best Restaurants in Kennington – no. 1 – Brunswick House

Brunswick House restaurant - kenningtonrunoff.com

Positives: It’s the one Kennington restaurant we want to go back to time and time again. It always feels like a treat, partly because of the crazy (and crazily expensive) reclaimed goods and antiques all around, but also because the cooking is so creative and the ingredients are so fresh.

Salsify, cauliflower and olive at Brunswick House - kenningtonrunoff.com

Salsify, cauliflower and olive at Brunswick House – kenningtonrunoff.com

Negatives: Not withstanding the presence of Aesop hand-wash, the toilets belong in an architectural reclaim shop rather than a high end restaurant. (Brunswick House’s Jackson Boxer informs us the toilets have recently been refurbished.) It’s not cheap, but they do an express menu at lunchtime and from 6-7pm which is £16 for two courses or £19 for three. We have a lingering fear that an antique chandelier is going to fall onto our heads. But it’s worth it.

Hygiene rating: 3 out of 5

Address: Brunswick House, 30 Wandsworth Road, London SW8 2LG

Website.

The Top Ten Best Restaurants in Kennington – no. 2 – The Duchy Arms

Positives: Some of the best pub food around, cooked by Prince Charles’s former chef. Great, hand cut chips. Get in quick before the hordes discover it.

Negatives: If you’re looking for a light bite, you’ve come to the wrong place. This is their fish pie for two:

Duchy Arms fish pie for two, with handcut chips and spinach - kenningtonrunoff.com

Hygiene rating: TBC

Address: 63 Sancroft Street, London SE11 5UG

Duchy Arms - kenningtonrunoff.com

Come back next Sunday to find out the number 1.

The Top Ten Best Restaurants in Kennington – no. 3 – The Lobster Pot

Positives: Everyone should go to The Lobster Pot at least once. The lobster is sensational, and so is the nautical-themed decor:

A fish through the porthole of The Lobster Pot - kenningtonrunoff.com

Negatives: Last year’s winner has slipped to no. 3 this year because it’s not the kind of restaurants we feel drawn to time and time again – it’s pricey (mains start at £20.50), and you do have to be in the right mood. Also, the use of inverted commas in this advert:

The Lobster Pot advert - Kennington tube - kenningtonrunoff.com

Hygiene rating: 5 out of 5

Address: 3 Kennington Lane, London SE11 4RG

last year's no. 1

Come back next Sunday to find out the number 2.

The Top Ten Best Restaurants in Kennington – no. 4 – Marcel & Sons

Positives: It’s Mauritian – how many other Mauritian restaurants/tea rooms/showrooms are there around? The two founders are very friendly and put a lot of love and care into their Mauritian comfort food cooking, which is as tasty as that description sounds. It’s BYOB and cheap. There are more and more food places moving into Artworks but Marcel & Sons were trailblazers who are steadily getting more popular as word gets around. Plus you can pick up some artisan jewellery and a t-shirt while you’re there. See here for more info.

Randy and Andy from Marcel & Sons - kenningtonrunoff.com

Negatives: Marcel & Sons is not so much a restaurant as a canteen in a shipping container where you eat surrounded by boutique products, so don’t go expecting formal dining. They close around 9pm, and at the time of writing they don’t open on Mondays, although they plan to start doing so soon to try out new dishes.

Hygiene rating: 4 out of 5

Address: 17b The Artworks, Elephant Road, London SE17 1LB

Come back next Sunday to find out the number 3.

The Top Ten Best Restaurants in Kennington – no. 5 – Counter Brasserie

Sadly Counter closed down in June 2017. Let’s hope they reopen.

Positives: Great food at brunch, lunch and dinner. Friendly service. There’s always a nice buzz in this huge new restaurant right next to Vauxhall station, plus live music and art. And, uniquely for a Kennington restaurant, Counter is almost always open (Monday to Thursday 7am to 12.30am, Friday 7am to 1.30am, Saturday 8am to 1.30am and Sunday 8am to 12.30am).

Counter bar - kenningtonrunoff.com

Negatives: Their aesthetic is esoteric – they served us coq au vin in an awkward shaped bowl which was worthy of We Want Plates. We’ve had various minor issues with service including the “lunch rapide” taking forever to arrive, but it’s nothing you wouldn’t expect from a busy, large-scale new opening, and we’re confident all this will be resolved before long – they seem like they care a lot.

Hygiene rating: TBC.

Address: Arch 50, 7-11 South Lambeth Place, London SW8 1SP.

exterior of Counter Brasserie at night - kenningtonrunoff.com

Come back next Sunday to find out the number 4.

The Top Ten Best Restaurants in Kennington – no. 6 – Adulis

Positives: Eritrean food is delicious, unique and great fun for parties. We’ve been to a lot of Ertitrean and Ethiopian restaurants and Adulis might be the best of the lot.

Negatives: Occasionally sketchy, but friendly, service. The coffee ceremony basically involves burning the beans – that’s the Eritrean way – and will keep you awake for a week or so. And the food, although delicious, ain’t photogenic:

Adulis platter - kenningtonrunoff.com

Hygiene rating: 4 out of 5

Address: 44-46 Brixton Road, London SW9 6BT.

Adulis Eritrean Restaurant - kenningtonrunoff.com

Come back next Sunday to find out the number 5.

The Top Ten Best Restaurants in Kennington – no. 7 – Bonnington Cafe

Positives: It’s cheap and BYOB. All the food is vegetarian and freshly cooked that day. The atmosphere is invariably great. There is often live music. It’s situated just off Bonnington Square, the most unique and vibrant of London’s residential squares, which, like Bonnington Cafe, has its roots in the squatting movement. There’s nowhere else like it.

Negatives: The quality of the food depends on which of the many volunteer chefs is cooking that night, and the service can be somewhat emotional, but it’s all part of the fun of the place. It’s cash only and you should call the chef to book a table – the rota is on their website.

Hygiene rating: 4 out of 5

Address: 11 Vauxhall Grove, London SW8 1TD

Bonnington Square Cafe - kenningtonrunoff.com

Come back next Sunday to find out the number six.