Of all the places I’ve lived in London, Tooting is the one I miss the most. It’s a vibrant, interesting place full of everything you might ever want, especially if you like curry and independent shops. While there has been an element of gentrification it still seems to have the same vibe, plus some of it is for the better. Both Markets are benefiting from hip young businesses willing to take a punt on them. I’ve covered Unwined by A Grape night in before, but the Cycle Cafe deserves a mention, as do many others but you should go and explore.

So it is with a heavy heart that I will miss this years Tooting’s annual multi-venue festival Tootopia, which is now its fourth year and is billed to be bigger than ever before!

From 25-27th September, Tootopia is offering a jam packed line-up of food, drink, live entertainment and family friendly events in 20 of the neighborhood’s best hangouts, saluting all things Tooting.

If you know Tooting you’ll already know the names, but for those who don’t, here’s my quick fire thoughts on some of the area’s best loved cafes, bars, pubs and restaurants;

Graveney & Meadow (Good for Cocktails and pastries), Tooting Tram (Good for late nighters), Antelope (Very good Sunday lunch), The Selkirk (Never been), The Castle (Was a dive, now very very nice), The Imperial Durbar (nice cocktails), Pedal Back Café (the cafe with cycles), Tooting Market, Coffee Co. Tooting (never been), The Little Taperia (never been), The Wheatsheaf (my old local), Mud (Eh?), Lahore Karahi (nice), Honest Burgers (can’t go wrong), Meza (good luck getting a table), The Little Bar (cute), Unwined (my fav), Breakfast & Burgers (very tasty), Get Juiced and Grubs (never been).

New to this year’s festival, the Foodie Trail gives you the chance to taste 12 of Tooting’s top eateries like you have never tasted them before. Follow the trail and enjoy one-off specials and food-filled events – exclusive to Tootopia.

Tooting’s live music talent taking to the stage at Tooting Tram & Social, with two hotly tipped indie bands Pleasure House and Native People, followed by a not-to-be-missed party set from DJ 7oel on Friday 25th.

Graveney & Meadow’s backyard on Saturday 26th will be transformed into mini Street Feast festival with food from Honest Burgers (though they are 2 mins away), Oh My Dog!, Petare, Claw, Meat Heads, Bun Kabab, Simmons Creperie, and many more.

My pick of the food has to be Oh My Dog!’s pedigree dog The Tooting Terrier, a Heritage Breed Frankfurter, topped with Tikka Masala Sauce, Saag Bhaji, Spiced Crispy Onions, Crushed Papadums, Coconut and Mint Sauce. HMMMMMMMM

Oh and of course they are celebrating the Rugby World Cup, Tooting Tram & Social will be transformed into Tooting’s very own Twickenham Stadium. Lounge on the turf and soak up the action in front of the big screen.



Oh and before I forget they are showing GHOSTBUSTERS in Tooting Market Tonight!

For more info visit the Tootopia website