The Best Restaurants In Bermondsey guide image


The Best Restaurants In Bermondsey

Great ramen, sunshine-ready tapas, theatrical fine dining sauce pours, and more in London’s most charming neighbourhood.

If the whole of London was like Bermondsey, we’d think that our astronomical tear-provoking rent was maybe, almost, kind of justified. This area has an antiques market, converted railway arches, boutiques, and so many cute dogs that you feel like you’re in a Richard Curtis Crufts biopic. And then there are the restaurants. From small plates and dreamy al fresco spots on Bermondsey Street to theatrical fine dining hidden on quiet backstreets, this area might very well have the highest density of charming, date-ready restaurants in London. Read on for the best of the bunch. 


Calling all fans of Amélie and crêpes suzette, we’d like you to meet Bermondsey’s own little slice of Francophile fantasy, Casse-Croûte. It’s an old-school French restaurant complete with red and white check tablecloths, the scent of madeleines, and a changing blackboard menu sporting some stellar calligraphy. The homely cooking style and generous portions only adds to the charm but don’t expect adorable little prices—the mains will set you back upwards of £25.

Nestled in Tanner Street Park, Pique-Nique, Casse-Croûte's sister restaurant, is date night ready. Everything from the fairy light-strewn conservatory which wraps around the building, to the exposed wooden beams and twinkly candles, to the charming service, creates a place primed for wooing. Even the hearty French mains like glistening, juicy roast chicken or tender chateaubriand are “to share for two”. There’s no stuffiness though, so it’s ideal for a low-key anniversary meal when you still want to wear your comfy jeans, or early in the game dates when you want an upgrade from Nando’s. Or, just take yourself out for some good bistro-style food and a glass of pinot noir—they’ll adapt most of the mains for one.

Cafe Murano nails the fine balance of being fancy but not uptight, and classy but not too polished. The Italian restaurant covers pretty much every type of situation. Intimate date night? Grab one of the secluded booths and fork at tender gnocchi. Boisterous catch-up with friends? Head to the bright, white-tiled main dining room. A low-key lunch? Ask for a table in the small, low-lit space towards the back and share a huge pork chop bathing in salty anchovy butter sauce. Wherever you end up, the warm and attentive staff will look after you well.    

The queue for Hakata is no joke. The good news is that the line moves quickly, there’s almost always room for solo diners at the bar, and any wait is entirely worth it for a big old bowl of love. Ramen, we mean ramen. The noodles here are served ‘hard’ with a proper bite, the katsu sando is a thing of stacked fluffy bread beauty, and the bao avoids any of that overly-sauced sadness. There’s a proper buzz in the cool and casual dining room, plus plenty of vegan options, gluten-free noodles, and all of the cocktails are £9.50. See, we said the queue was worth it. 

Bermondsey is the land of great nibbles. There are many options in the area for small plates, tapas, and satisfying snacks but nowhere does it quite like Pizarro. One of the best Spanish restaurants in London, the dining room looks like the kind of Andalucian Airbnb you instantly bookmark and the dishes are impressive enough for a date night here to feel like a power move. Our game plan would be to stick to the ‘pica pica’ portion of the menu so you can get involved in the jamón ibérico, croquetas del dia, and garlic-party pickled anchovies. 

Flour & Grape is home to some expert carbohydrates. In case you’re picturing a loaf of bread with a PhD and glasses, let us clarify by saying that this casual walk-in only Italian spot specialises in quality, handmade pasta. From rich mascarpone ravioli to a classic crowd-pleaser ragu pappardelle, many of the pastas here fall under the £12 mark. That includes the magic meat parcels—not a euphemism—the roasted pork shoulder and sage butter tortelloni. You should also know that there’s a great little cocktail bar downstairs so that post-dinner round of Campari G&Ts is covered too.

You know that feeling you get when you watch Chocolat and decide you’re going to quit your job and just do deeply charming things for the rest of eternity? B Street Deli is that feeling with the additional benefit of cheesy quiche, huge doorstop sandwiches, and bouquets for sale by the door. Even if you’re just stopping by for a coffee, it’s impossible to look at the deli counter and not order a pistachio canelé and a sausage roll for the road. Open from 8am to 11pm, stop by with a friend for a quaint coffee catch-up and dog-watching by day or hit it up for a great little red wine and charcuterie date night come evening. 

Bermondsey is an area filled with places perfect for languid, little-plate lunches, but Caphe House is a much-needed spot for quick and big meals. The small, bustling Vietnamese cafe is functional but cosy, with orders placed via QR codes and delivered to the handful of tables with a smile and extra slices of chilli for noodle soups. Come lunchtime, suited-and-booted workers and those in hard-hats hang around outside, waiting for their takeaway order to be brought out. This is a well-oiled operation, so not too much time passes before generously filled, refreshing summer rolls, huge bowls of comforting phở, and spicy bún huế appear on tables and in takeout bags.

If you’re partial to a theatrical sauce pour then we have a feeling you’re going to like Trivet. A charming space complete with pampas grass and a covered terrace, this sophisticated restaurant toes the line between fine dining and friendly with attentive service, homemade onion ketchup, and creative dishes like the ‘drunk lobster’ noodles that comes in its own little sake bath. Just be warned that the mains here will set you back upwards of £30 but if you want to make use of the 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. 

The weekend takeaway sandwiches at 40 Maltby Street are, without doubt, worth travelling far and wide for. But this isn’t a low-key sandwich shop, it’s one of London’s most consistently lovely wine bars that also happens to do great food. A guaranteed good time, it’s perfect for any situation where chatting, nibbling, and sipping something of the low-intervention variety is in order. The menu is a constant musical chairs of terrines, frittatas, and hearty meat dishes, but you can check out what’s currently on offer on 40 Maltby Street’s Instagram before your visit, including which winning sandwich is available this weekend.  

If you’re in the market for octopus, squid, salted cod, and all of their fishy brethren then look no further than Baccalà. It’s an Italian seafood specialist where you can scan the daily blackboard for small plates like tuna tartare, burrata, and all of the ocean options listed above, and your waiter will give you the full lowdown on the fancy olive oil. It can feel a little pretentious at times but if you’re trying to convince yourself you’re vacationing in Tuscany, then you’ve come to the right place. Oh, and important intel for dog owners and dog stalkers alike, the restaurant welcomes fluffy friends.   

Every area needs a certified ‘nice pub’ and Bermondsey’s is The Garrison. An easy breezy gastropub with that whole exposed brick and vintage lampshades thing going on, it serves delightful small plates like courgette flowers, tomato and ricotta salads, and quality sourdough to mop up all the leftover jus. The snacks and small plates section of the menu is perfect for after-work group meals alongside pints but there are also some larger pricy options if you’re feeling properly famished. 

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photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

The Best Restaurants In Bermondsey guide image