The Best Places To Eat Near London Bridge guide image

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The Best Places To Eat Near London Bridge

Whether you work or live in London Bridge, it can be hard to find good places to eat. Here’s our pick of the best.

Maybe you spend a lot of time in London Bridge because HMS Belfast is your happy place, and 20th-century maritime battleship facts are your thing. Or, maybe you’re visiting in search of some rare organic dragon fruits from Borough Market. Between all the offices, Southwark Cathedral, London’s favourite market, and, er, the London Dungeon, there are many reasons why you might find yourself in or around London Bridge.

Luckily, there are some great places to eat, you just need to dodge the tourist traps, and know where to find them. Whether you work in the area or you’re checking it out for the first time, here’s where to eat and drink near London Bridge.


THE SPOTS

photo credit: Tom Osborne

Trivet review image
8.0

Trivet

££££

36 Snowsfields, London
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If you need somewhere that treads the line between fancy and friendly (read: theatrical sauce pours minus starched white tablecloths), we have a feeling you’ll like Trivet. A couple of minutes from London Bridge station, this sophisticated restaurant ticks the boxes for a lavish, long lunch or special, but no big deal, dinner, with attentive service and creative dishes like the ‘drunk lobster’ noodles in a sake bath. Just know that the mains will set you back upwards of £30, but if you want to make use of the covered terrace on a sunny day, you can’t go wrong with the fancy cheese selection with melon jam, and a crisp glass of Turkish white wine.


This small restaurant on Borough High Street, that’s so undetectable you’ll probably struggle to spot it even if you’re following Google Maps, serves some delicious Korean food. We’d recommend coming here with three people tops, ordering the cheese-covered ddeokbokki, crispy seafood pancake, and the chicken and spring onion skewers. You can give the KFC a miss, but the BBQ is a fun and tasty dinner option. And FYI, the chicken is halal.


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Just like at Bao’s other London restaurants, there are plenty of fluffy buns filled with soft pork, beef short rib, and more, at its Borough Market location. But as good as the must-try curry cheese bao is, it isn't the reason to come here. What’s more interesting (and more delicious) are the other things on the menu. Things like a bowl of pink, aged beef in buttery rice with a perfect orange yolk in the middle, or a plate of crunchy fried chicken covered in hot sauce. And if those aren’t reason enough, there’s a downstairs karaoke room as well.


Padella is all about the pasta, and they do it very well and at very good prices. The only catch? The queue at peak hours can get silly. But if you’re determined and don’t mind waiting, it’s an excellent option for a midweek dinner or catch-up. It’s wallet-friendly too. The pappardelle with meat ragu is the one to get, and everything from the starters to the tarts for dessert are brilliant.


Borough Market is one of the places that makes us eternally grateful that we live in London. It’s also one of the places that makes us question whether it’s normal to get so excited about kitsch French cheese packaging. Anyway, outside of the artisan cheesemonger and fresh vegetable stalls, Borough Market is also home to some truly great places to eat. You’ve got freshly shucked oysters at the Richard Howard stall, some of London’s best doughnuts over at Bread Ahead, and so many more great places. Almost everything is designed to grab-and-go, so although it’s not ideal for a proper sit down, the market is perfect for browsing, buying, and finding a nice little spot in the sunshine to stand and eat your chosen dish.


The first thing you need to know about Gunpowder is that you’re going to want to order the chicken lollipops madras style, and the spicy venison and vermicelli doughnut. This is a glossy Indian spot over near Tower Bridge, a short walk away from all the excitement around Borough Market. They’ve got booths that are perfect for anything from dinner with the parents, a fuss-free date night over their pre-theatre feast menu, or even a casual dinner where you want to to get down with some seriously good rabbit pulao. Their weekend brunch menu of cardamom and caramelised banana pancakes, and baked eggs should be at the top of your Sunday agenda.


Like Nando’s but not Nando’s is the best (and laziest way) to describe Casa Do Frango. This piri-piri chicken spot serves juicy, delicious chicken alongside some tasty sides. It’s a bit spicy, tasty, and excellent value.


There are plenty of flashy new options for dinner around the Shard and Borough Market, but Turkish restaurant Tas has been cooking some of the most reliably good food in this neighbourhood for ages. It’s a casual, homely spot that serves light mezzes and satisfying mains like moussaka and slow-cooked lamb shank. Despite the abundance of lamb on the menu, Tas is actually very good for vegetarians and anyone with dietary restrictions—and it’s also great for big group bookings and your sister’s screaming kids.


Elliot’s has been one of the best restaurants in the area for ages, and it’s not hard to see why—it’s a class act, from the drinks and food, to the service and cosiness of the room. The food is sharing style (charcuterie, saffron artichokes, mussels, wood-fired sourdough pizza), with a nice choice of steaks to round it off. Wines are biodynamic and very good, and the staff will guide you through their selection to find you something you like. Sitting at Elliot’s during a warm market day is one of London’s great pleasures.


Bar Douro imageoverride image
7.8

Bar Douro

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We like seafood, we like garlic, and we like eating both while pretending we’re in a climate that demands wearing an entirely ostentatious sun hat. You’ll find all of the above at Bar Douro, a charming little Portuguese bar housed in one of the old railway arches. The classics should definitely be on your table—ibérico, garlic prawns, the sausage croquetes, more ibérico—but they’ve also got dishes like octopus rice and onglet to get involved in. London Bridge has a whole lot of romantic destinations, but in our opinion you can’t beat a bit of this, a bit of that, and a bit of flirting at Bar Douro. 


Pizarro on Bermondsey Street is a great spot for kicking back with some slightly dressed-up tapas like grilled veal loin, monkfish a la plancha, and spicy prawn fritters. And of course, the old favourites like croquetas, padron peppers, and some excellent jamón. This place looks like a country home in rural Spain. It’s the kind of place you visit when it’s been raining solidly for two weeks and you grab a table or a seat at the open kitchen and escape London for a couple of hours. You’ll feel relaxed in no time.


Here’s a fun fact for you: in Thai, ‘kin’ means ‘to eat’ and ‘deum’ means ‘to drink’. And that’s exactly what you’ll want to do at this small neighbourhood restaurant that’s run by three Thai sisters. They’re open for lunch and dinner, and there’s a long menu of soups, salads, curries, noodles, fried rice, and classic Thai dishes, like claypot prawns with glass noodles, as well as cocktails.


Flour & Grape is all about pasta. But, not the kind that survives approximately three millennium in your kitchen cupboard. This is super fresh, high-quality, made-by-human-hands pasta. Their tortellini is one of the best in London. Think fat, dripping in butter parcels of pasta with roasted pork shoulder. It’ll warm your heart the same way watching baby otters holding hands does. This is the perfect spot for anything from date night, a low-key birthday dinner, to playing a classic game of ‘can I eat four plates of pasta in one sitting?’. Know that it's walk-in only but you can queue virtually through the Dojo app, and there's a bar downstairs.


You had really sincere intentions of going to Maltby Street Market. Of course you did. Only, the weather’s gone a bit The Day After Tomorrow, and the olive oil from those organic ‘sunkissed’ peppers you spent the ugly side of a tenner on have started to leak. Don’t worry, Bar Tozino is just around the corner in the railway arches, and their tapas dishes are very tasty. A quick bite of jamón at the bar can quickly turn into a six plate and a bottle of rioja type of situation.


There are plenty of places to eat oysters in town, but no one does it in quite in the relaxed, unpretentious way Wright Brothers does. You could mistake it for a seaside pub if you stumbled in, with barrels for tables and pints of prawns all over the shop. Except without the traumatic memories of being shoved in a caravan with five of your relatives in Morecambe Bay. They supply all their own fish and shellfish, and the food is cooked very simply to let the natural flavours do their thing. It’s lovely on a cold winter’s night, but equally pleasant on a sunny day. Grab a seat and a pint of porter, and feel relieved you’re not one of the suckers inching their way through the crowds in the market.


Hutong is the Shard’s ultra-swish Chinese restaurant, and if we were going to throw down on a pricey dinner with a view, this would be on our list. You’ll get polished versions of northern Chinese dishes like crispy shredded beef and chilli, Hunan-style lobster, and one of the best peking ducks anywhere in town. Dim sum is also a highlight, and for extra-special occasions, they also have excellent private dining rooms.


If you’re in the mood to go and eat a slab of meat, medium rare, with a stiff drink on the side, then go to Hawksmoor. This outpost has Borough’s traders on its literal doorstep and some great daily specials, so you can argue you’re technically doing the market thing. If you work in the area, even better. Their lunch specials are the perfect excuse for a splurge you’re not going to regret. Until you fall asleep at your desk, that is.


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