LDNGuide

The Best Restaurants In Bermondsey

Great ramen, sunshine-ready tapas, theatrical fine dining sauce pours, and more in London’s most charming neighbourhood.
The Best Restaurants In Bermondsey image

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

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 dining on Bermondsey Street to theatrical fine dining hidden on quiet backstreets, this area very well might have the highest density of charming, date-ready restaurants in London.

THE SPOTS

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

Brazilian

Bermondsey

$$$$Perfect For:Walk-InsBig GroupsUnique Dining Experience
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Brazilian cuisine was one reductively painted as merely barbecued meat, but most Brazilians are indeed meat lovers and Fine Cut Butchers in Bermondsey is the place to go. The restaurant is tucked behind one of London’s best Brazilian butchers, through an almost-secret door. With a narrow strip of patioed floor and a small charcoal grill that the waiters will occasionally tend to, it feels like a backyard in São Paulo. The standout is a “starter” of picanha: perfectly cooked, with a mountain of cassava chips and fried onions.

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

Alongside Cooke, the Manze name is to pie and mash what the Rouxs are to haute French cuisine. You can find the beautifully tiled, time capsule restaurants in Deptford, Elephant and Castle, and Peckham. But it’s the original on Tower Bridge Road we find ourselves most drawn to. Long brown booths, green checkerboard tiles, fizzing chilli vinegar, and everyone’s addressed as “darlin”. The suet leans soggy but the mixture is pleasingly traditional, especially alongside smears of almost-smooth mash. With the right dusting of salt and pepper this is a plate that can be quickly shovelled down.

Nestled in Tanner Street Park, Pique-Nique 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 sirloin 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, just take yourself out for some good bistro food and a glass of pinot noir—they’ll adapt most of the mains for one.

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 inbérico, 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, 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 around the £13 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 a post-dinner round of Campari G&Ts is covered too.

One of London’s most consistently lovely wine bars, 40 Maltby Street also happens to do great modern European small plates too. A meal here is a guaranteed good time, and perfect for any situation where chatting, nibbling, and sipping something of the low-intervention variety is in order. The menu is a 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.

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 add to the charm but don’t expect adorable little prices—the mains will set you back upwards of £25. If you can’t get a table, Casse-Croûte’s sœur (sister) restaurant, Pique-Nique is under a 10-minute walk away.

photo credit: Tom Osborne

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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 modern European restaurant toes the line between fine dining and friendly with attentive service, homemade onion ketchup, and creative dishes. Just be warned that the mains here will set you back upwards of £35 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.

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 (10:30pm on Sundays), 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.

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If you’re in the market for octopus, squid, salted cod, and all of their fishy brethren, 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, you’ve come to the right place. Oh, and important intel for dog owners and dog stalkers alike, the restaurant welcomes fluffy friends.

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 dining room, plus plenty of vegan options, gluten-free noodles, and the cocktails start at £9.50. See, we said the queue was worth it.

Fancy without feeling stiff, glossy without feeling try-hard, and classy without feeling too polished. No, we’re not talking about Bermondsey’s Very Good Dogs, we’re talking about Cafe Murano. 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 spacious main dining room. A low-key night? Ask for a table in the small dining space towards the back and split a huge pork chop bathing in salty anchovy butter sauce.  

In an area filled with places for languid, little plates lunches, Caphe House is a much-needed spot for quick and big meals. The small, bustling Vietnamese cafe is functional but homely, with orders placed via QR codes but delivered to the handful of tables with a smile and extra sliced chilli for noodle soups. Come lunchtime, suited-and-booted and hard-hat workers hang around outside, eagerly waiting for their takeaway order. This is a well-oiled operation so there’s not usually too much time before generously filled summer rolls, comforting and huge bowls of phở, and spicy bún huế appear on tables and in plastic takeout bags.

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