Brunching on the South Side of the River

Smashed avocado on toast, latte art, sprinkles of chia seeds and the perfect Instagram filter. Brunch has really cemented itself as a fixture on our Sunday mornings and on our timelines. What may have begun as a relaxed lazy way to nurse your hangover or enjoy your Sunday morning has now become a race to find the most picturesque flower walls, sumptuous brunch foods and beverages from the bright beetroot to the terrific turmeric. Here are five places that are a reason to venture south of the river that are relatively undiscovered gems. They may look unassuming from the outside, and fear not. They have your taste buds best interests at heart.

Café Ola – Clapham

Waste no time getting to this café, with it mere seconds from Clapham Junction station. You can make your brunch time either more indulgent with one of their famous cakes on the side or healthier by sipping on their freshly made smoothies. A full breakfast from here will leave you feeling satisfied without emptying your wallet too much. The ambience is relaxed so you may even forget you’re on the doorstep of London’s busiest railway station.

Lu-Ma – Wimbledon

My family and I were in a constant state of wow at this café. This independently run place is a haven for vegans and vegetarians everywhere. There is no fish or meat (aside from salmon optional for some dishes) inside, no refined sugar in their delightful vegan cakes and no dairy. This is the perfect place to keep up that health kick after your gym session. I came here shortly after my grandma was diagnosed with celiac, with my family that are mostly vegetarian, with some shunning eggs too. We were amazed everybody was able to eat the delicious handmade cakes and indulge in their aptly named indulgent pancakes and were able to choose from the whole menu. Trust me, this is something omnivores take for granted and feels like a blessing for us with alternative diets!

The best brunches have lots of smashed avocado and healthy cacao shakes!

Boyce Da Roca – Streatham

If its hearty portion sizes and a punch of flavour you’re after, breakfast here is what you need. Your taste buds will welcome unique flavours from their Turkish eggs, enjoy the freshest of exquisitely made eggs, feel refreshed from the organic juices and be excited to try a different special on your return. Last time I went, I enjoyed my veggie breakfast, but was already eyeing up an enticing looking shakshuka on a table nearby, to try on my return. It is a little pricy for Streatham, but the presentation, quality, and choice of dishes make it worth it. If you live in the surrounding area like I do, this makes it doubly worth it as it saves that train fair into central London!

Just look at that clean green smoothie and perfectly poached eggs

Café Barcelona – Streatham

You’ll feel transported to somewhere sunnier, after sipping freshly squeezed orange juice here. Sweeten up your Saturday with a custard tart (or natas) with your breakie, and chill out with the live music sessions they have regularly on Friday and Saturday nights. It’s another winner for the vegans as there’s a vegan breakfast option and vegan pastries on offer. The founders of this sun kissed café aim to bring the hospitality of Spain and Portugal to this corner of Streatham, which they achieve through their food, live music, and relaxed vibe. You may just be tempted to stay from dawn till dusk here.

A hearty plate with more perfect poached eggs

Affogato – Norbury

Perfect for Muslims who want a halal brunch with tasty turkey bacon, scrumptious shakshuka, and even gourmet burgers if your brunch starts later than intended and turns into lunch. There are options for every hour of the day, ranging from an Algiers Benedict in the morning, to burgers and tagliatelle’s for lunch or dinner. Not that has to be after dinner to enjoy their desserts which include kulfi to keep you cool and American style pancakes, with these fluffy pancakes being just as perfect in their breakfast dish to wake you up. The desi omelette may even tempt my dad to become a brunch enthusiast!

Shakshuka is must!

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