Freelance writer and poet from London; if you would like to read my poetry, please check out my book, 'Poems on the Page', available from goo.gl/Ta4oAX.
Published July 31st 2013
Great food on the go
Wimbledon Broadway's Eats on the Streets
Sweet & Savoury Crepe
You will never go hungry in Wimbledon. It is unbelievable just how many places there are to eat. On The Broadway alone there must be enough eateries for everyday of the month. Even if you have not got enough time to sit down, most restaurants offer takeaways, monthly markets dish up an abundance of street food, and there a lots of shops that specialise in food on the go. Here's a list of just some of the places you can go to grab lunch, and together, they fulfil just about everyone's requirements. So whether you have sugar cravings, need a cool down, caffeine fix, or something to warm the cockles of your soul, Wimbledon Broadway is your one stop street.
Sweet & Savoury Crepe
St. Mark's Place, The Broadway, Wimbledon, SW19
Not the most creative name on the block, but Sweet & Savoury Crepe does exactly what it says on the tin (or in tis case, the van). The pop-up creperie appears three times a week in Wimbledon, (Saturday & Monday: 10am-4.30pm, Sunday: 10am-6pm) and is snuggled between a pub, church, and library.
Could you resist this menu?
It has tempted me with its menu, every time I walk by, for several months now, and finally my will gave out. Prices range from £2.80 for a classic sugar & lemon to £3.80 for cheese, ham, and tomato. It was a tough choice making up my mind on what to have, but eventually I went for the strawberry jam with fresh strawberries for £3.40.
Admittedly, crepes are not the easiest things to eat on the go, even with a fork. You should also be prepared for sticky fingers.
Watch your crepes being made.
It does not take more than a couple of minutes to prepare, and it is fun to watch your crepe being made. On the griddle, they do not look that big, but once folded a few times, I realised how filling it was going to be.
Crepe to go.
Although the lady distributed everything evenly, once she handed it to me in a cone, inevitably all the filling began to sink to the bottom. This meant that for a good few chomps, I was getting nothing but a rather bland crepe. Once I got to the strawberries, however, everything was delicious. The hot jam made the strawberries all soft and extra juicy, while at the same time giving it that needed sweetness.
Since the crepe itself is rather tasteless, I would not recommend going for one of the plain fruit options (banana, strawberry). There needs to be some kind of spread (Nuttella, jam, melted cheese) to give it some moisture. I suspect, for this reason, that the savoury crepes are probably the most satifying. Next time, I think I'll go for cheese & mushroom.
Greggs & Subway
Greggs, The Broadway, Wimbledon, SW19
As a student, Subway and Greggs and were my port of call on an empty stomach. And by this, I do not mean that I took the American underground transport system to my mate's house so I could raid his fridge.
As I am sure you all know, Subway and Greggs are two major multi-chain bakery/sandwich shops, and you can find them in practically every town in the UK (if not every street). My university had a Subway on site, which was perfect for lunch in between classes. What I love about Subway is that you can customise your sandwich in whatever way you want. From the filling to the bread to the size. I liked to keep things simple: a wholemeal sub with a sweetcorn & tuna mayo filling. This filled me up for the rest of the day, and got be through my afternoon classes.
You can also choose from a variety of pre-chosen recipes on the lunch time menu. These include whopping meat feasts like chicken tikka, meatball fiesta, and turkey breast, or vegetarian options such as a veggie delight or veggie patty. A six inch sub is £3 and giant one footer is £5. As a student, of course, I always got a discount.
If my classes didn't start till the afternoon, then I might stop in at Greggs on the way. Their pasties are the best: juicy, flaky, tender, and at great value for money. They often have multi-buy deals, and always keep in season with creative themed recipes. To this day, one of my favourites was their turkey and cranberry pasty around Christmas time.
Although their pasties are probably what Greggs are renowned for, they also do lovely sweet treats. The last trip to Greggs was at the Wimbledon branch and involved doughnuts. Lots of doughnuts. Thirty-six to be exact. It was coming up to my dad's birthday, so he bought three dozens to take to work. I can vouch for their popularity by the fact that there were none left by 11am. You can buy a box of a dozen filled doughnuts for £6.50, and these include flavours such as jam, coconut ice, chocolate & lime, and banana shake.
Oh, and you know how I said there is almost a Greggs on every street? Wimbledon Broadway has two; one close to the train station, and the other a little further down, close to the Odeon cinema. Subway is just off the Broadway, facing opposite Next.
Zest & Big Mouth
Zest Juice Bar, Centre Court, The Broadway, Wimbledon, SW19
Looking for something slightly healthier? The Zest Juice Bar in Centre Court is a refreshing way towards your five a day. Their juices and smoothies are packed full of fruit, vegetables, and even wheat grass and aloe vera. All the ingredients are natural and bursting with antioxidants, protein, and vitamins. You can also treat yourself to their Yo.Go range; healthy frozen yoghurts with fruity or oaty toppings.
Not far away, on the top floor of Centre Court, is Big-Mouth, another frozen yoghurt takeway. It works a bit like the self-service ice cream machines you get at pizza hut, only with fat free yoghurt. Pull the lever to get your yoghurt, then sprinkle on your favourite toppings. There are over thirty to choose from, including fresh fruit, granola, and our favourite chocolates (Twix, Bounty, KitKat, Snickers). As well as yoghurt, they also do milkshakes, crepes, and waffles.
Starbucks & Pret A Manger
Starbucks, The Broadway, Wimbledon, SW19
Coffee culture is really an American thing, but it has rapidly become popular here as well. Many Brits consider coffee a necessity. The caffeine wakes you up, the bitterness is a good cure for those 'morning afters', and it will keep you warm on a winter's day.
Starbucks is the retail giant of the coffee world, and although you can sit down in their cafe, they are more frequently used as a pitstop on the way to work.
Since they specialise in coffee, their menu has a far greater range than your average cafe. They have over twenty types of espressos, fourteen iced Frappuccinos, and for those who prefer the simple things in life, strong filtered black coffee.
There is no denying that Starbucks is expensive though, so if you want a alternative, not ten feet away is another coffee bar. Pret a Manger . Although not quite as extensive, they do have a lot of choice, with beverages such as Peppermint Peace, a Very Berry Latte, and a Black Americano. Both shops do snacks, but Pret A Manger probably promotes their food range more. You can buy pre-packed sandwiches, sushi, takeaway soups, fruit salad, croissants, and various other things.