Esquire Area Guide #3: East Dulwich

This corner of SE London is quietly becoming a foodie stronghold

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Once you've managed to conquer public transport to get here, this increasingly buzzy area around Lordship Lane won't disappoint. Home to a great mix of independent shops, excellent eateries and the kind of pubs you'll want to spend the day in, it makes an indisputably fine choice for a weekend mooch. Here's where to head to:

Best For A Lazy Lunch: Toasted (main picture)

A bold, seasonal menu revolving around the all-conquering small plate sharing ethos, an impressive wine selection which you can also buy for takeaway in the shop and a warm, buzzy almost New Yorky feel have all earnt this restaurant – which is also now open for breakfast, as well as lunch, dinner or just a glass of wine – a loyal and passionate local following., 36-38 Lordship Lane, London SE22 8HJ, 020 8693 9021

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Best For Dinner With Your Girlfriend: Yama Momo

Perhaps the missing link in the ED foodie scene was a good sushi joint. Step forward Yama Momo which opened at the end of 2014 and has already done enough to make it increasingly hard to book a table even during the week. A sleekly decked out dining room with moody lighting and an all-encompassing Japanese menu complete with extensive list of sake and cocktails have have been a winning combination for the area's many couples. Late or early is your only option if you're hopeing to get a table on the fly.

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72 Lordship Lane, London SE22 8HF,

Best For Pub Food With A Difference: The Flying Pig

On the one hand, a craft beer joint with a mind-melting choice, on the other, an American-style ribs n’ fries diner. Whatever you call it, it works. Partly thanks to its laid-back feel and originally-styled interior, mainly thanks to the food which manages to take American fast food classics, like pulled pork buns and BBQ smoked chicken, to an unusually high level for the price. The chips alone are worth the trip across town., 58-60 East Dulwich Road, London SE22 9AX, 020 7732 7575

Best Food Shop: Cheese Block

East Dulwich is not short of independent food shops you'll want to duck into, from butchers and fishmongers to Franklin's farm shop, but if you like cheese – and if you don’t, there’s clearly something a little strange about you – then you might get a little sweaty-palmed at the choice available in this Lordship Lane cheeserie (probably not a word, but it kind of works), where even the breadth of chutney choice could keep you occupied for an entire morning.
69 Lordship Lane, London SE22 8EP, 020 8299 3636

Best For A Coffee And A Snack: The French House

Open all day every day for everything from a breakfast croque monsieur to a late night glass of vin rouge, this unashamedly Francophile venue is hard to categorise but has bags of character and a food menu that features classic dishes like beef bourgignon, to snackier fare like its selection of tartes flambées.  52 Lordship Lane, London SE22 8HJ,  020 3441 2090


Best For A Saturday Pint: The Great Exhibition

Just a couple of years ago, this venue was a perenially empty and unenticing pub on Dulwich’s backstreets. New owners, a complete internal overhaul and a brilliantly judged approach to what a modern London local could and should be have transformed it into a pub worth travelling to visit. If you build it round here, they will come. And they're coming in droves. Crystal Palace Road, London SE22 9EP, 020 8693 4968

Best For Breakfast: Franklin’s
Something of a Dulwich institution, Franklin's is probably best-known for its hearty, meaty and British lunch and dinner menu, which prides itself on the quality of its ingredients, simply put together and well-presented in its atmospheric dining room. However, on Saturdays only, it also serves up the best English breakfast in East Dulwich for which the competition is strong. Settle down and watch the insanely long queue build for William Rose butchers over the road. Lordship Lane, East Dulwich, London SE22 8HX, 020 8299 9598

Best For A Casual Dinner: Franco Manca

It’s all about slow-rising dough, fiercely hot Neapolitan ovens and keeping ingredients to a minimum for this authentically Italian pizza specialist. The formula clearly works as there are now 12 throughout London serving up incredibly tasty pizzas in friendly surroundings for what must be the best-value meal out on Lordship Lane., 21 Lordship Lane, East Dulwich, London SE22 8EW 020 8299 4017

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