Top 3 Amazing Places to Eat in the Crystal Palace Area

Having lived in Central London for many years I decided to take the leap and move out of central and in with my fiancé down in Crystal Palace, where we’ve been for the past two and a half years or so.

Being a bit of a foodie, I thought I was going to miss out on the restaurant scene but one of the first things that struck me about the area was actually how many great options were on offer. The area is really up and coming, with the Crystal Palace triangle offering great fare from all kinds of different cuisine and within 15 minutes you also have the indie establishments of Lordship Lane and the ‘villagey’ vibes of Beckenham. 

It was actually really hard to narrow it down to just 3 as there are a number of great places in the area that only just missed out but to stop this post from turning into a novel I kept it to the magic number. So without further ado, here's the list of some of our favourite spots to try if you’re new to the area, looking for inspiration, or even if you’ve lived in the area for a while but have not had the chance to visit them yet.

3 - The Paxton, Gipsy Road

The Paxton, Gipsy Road | Crystal Palace

Kicking off our list is The Paxton on Gipsy Road. The place has had a recent refurb, with an artsy feel to it and boasts heated (and covered) outdoor space as well as plenty of room inside... which is always helpful in case you fancy making last minute plans and need to find a spot for the family. 

The staff are really friendly, and couldn’t do more for you to help make you feel at home, and they even offer up quizzes on a Tuesday and things like live DJ sets on different nights.

Now onto the food! The menu has been designed by Michelin Plate winning executive chef Marcin Trykacz, and has something for everyone. Offering great roasts on a Sunday, locally sourced ingredients for their pizzas fresh out of their specialist oven and a variety of great vegan options. We kicked off with some of the Tuna Tacos to start that came with a Pineapple and Jalapeno salsa and whilst on the small side if you’re sharing they are packed full of complimentary flavours. 

We followed this up with a 21 day aged Beef Sunday Roast and a classic Margherita. If you’re a fan of different toppings then they do look great but honestly the margherita did the job for me. With a crisp, delicate base topped sparingly with a beautifully rich and aromatic tomato sauce and a creamy mozzarella it was the simple stuff done well. The Roast was cooked well, nicely pink in the middle and with a good size Yorkshire and plenty of veg. Our only criticism was that the roasts were a little on the large side which meant they didn’t crisp up nicely the way we like them but all-in-all it’s food and service you would happily come back for time and time again.

2 - El Molino, Beckenham Road

El Molino, Beckenham Road | Crystal Palace

Next up is El Molino, situated just between Beckenham & Penge and less than 10 minutes by car from the triangle. This Spanish Tapas joint has been on the go as a family business since 1991 with rave reviews, and after one trip it’s easy to see why. The atmosphere in the restaurant was cosy and had an authentic spanish feel to it with the dark woods, patterned tiles and soft lighting. What’s more, the prices are very reasonable with a bottle of wine, and 7 sharing dishes coming in at under £35 pp.

When we visited the staff were very friendly and knew the menus inside out, being able to make great recommendations when you’re not familiar with some of the dishes. We ended up having a range of veggie, fish and meat dishes including a tres colore salad, grilled lamb cutlets, chorizo braised in a red wine sauce, padron peppers, patatas bravas with aioli, and tiger prawns in garlic, chilli & olive oil.

The first thing that hit us was how fresh the produce was. Packing vibrant colours, a nice crunch where expected and a fusion of traditional spanish flavours. What was also done seamlessly was that with the tables being small, plates were brought out as they were ready and then cleared in time for the next dish, never leaving you awkwardly spending half the night rearranging the table. The wine we went for was a Spanish White Rioja that complemented the food we had well with a light, crisp palette to it. For those of you looking for a good date spot this has the perfect feel to it, with a warm atmosphere and food to match.

1 - Yamamomo, Lordship Lane

Yamamomo, Lordship Lane | Crystal Palace

And finally, closing out our list in the number one spot is Yamamomo. A mouthful to say and a mouthful you’ll enjoy. Although this one is going to set you back a little more than some of the others on the list it is well worth it for those special occasions and has fast become a favourite in our household. 

Offering contemporary Japanese new style Izakaya food and sushi, with beautifully presented cocktails and a very chilled ambience, you can get dishes to rival those of Sushi Samba and Nobu in the city at a discount. 

I really recommend taking a part of 4 if you can to this one because you’re going to want to take the ‘tapas’ approach of getting lots of dishes because there is so much great food to sample. We often start with the Kataifi Prawns which are super succulent and wrapped in a delicate ‘shoestring’ pastry that packs a crunch and combine these with the Grilled Scallops which are fantastically presented on a half shell, on a bed of salt soaked in Whisky which is then set a flame. 

We then accompanied this with drinks in the form of a ‘Korean Fashion’, which is a new take on the classic Old Fashioned. Using Nikka from the Barrel Japanese Whisky infused with ginseng, plum sake, angostura bitter and a hint of salt. Stirred and perfectly diluted. Served with a maraschino cherry.

For mains we went all out and got the Gin Dara (Black Cod with XO sauce), Truffle Rib Eye beef and for Sushi we went with the Yamamomo Special, Lobster Volcano Roll and the staple Tuna Roll which came with a truffle mayo. None of these disappointed, each bursting with flavours not often found in the kitchen at home, with the seafood delicately prepared in the open kitchen in front of you and allowing you to see the care taken by chefs who took years to perfect their craft. 

I hope you enjoyed the recommendations and if you’re ever in the south east London area and end up trying any of these places then reach out. It's fairly easy to travel to thanks to the London Underground. Or if you think there are any big ones I’ve missed then don’t hesitate to let us know!

You can get in touch by hitting us up on @plate_up_ on Instagram or via the Crystal Palace Triangle @CrystalPalaceTriangle.

#crystalpalace #london #southlondon #restaurants

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