As far as dining neighbourhoods go, London Bridge has all the ingredients for success.
A great location; an unparalleled number of abandoned railway arches ripe for conversion into edgy small plates restaurants; and literally a load of ingredients – courtesy of the world-famous Borough Market.
Orbiting this hub of fresh produce and artisanal goods you’ll find iconic hand-rolled pasta spots; high-end peri peri chicken restaurants with hidden bars; casual taco joints under railway tracks and hole-in-the-wall bao vendors.
So here they are: the best restaurants in London Bridge.
It’s the long-awaited debut from Ex-Fat Duck Head Chef Jonny Lake and Ex-Fat Duck Head Sommelier Isa Bal – a warmly-lit, retro-styled wine bar and restaurant serving up a menu of beautifully crafted, mostly European dishes, alongside a list over 350 wines, all hand-picked to pair perfectly with every new dish. READ MORE.
Details: 36 Snowsfields, Bermondsey, SE1 3SU | Open Tuesday- Saturday, for lunch and dinner | ££££
Trullo took the success of their critically acclaimed, constantly packed Islington restaurant and distilled it into a buzzy, effortlessly cool eatery right opposite London Bridge station. The result is Padella: unequivocally home to some of the best fresh pasta in London. They don’t take reservations, and the queues are still insane years after opening – but if you’re within 2km of the restaurant, you can queue virtually using the WalkUp app (and go for a drink at Tap & Bottle in the meantime). Trust us, it’s worth the wait. READ MORE
Details: 6 Southwark Street, SE1 1TQ | Open daily for lunch and dinner | £
The Douro Valley makes some of the best wine in Portugal. And Bar Douro makes for one of the best spots to enjoy it. Housed in an old railway arch, this gorgeous, azulejo-tiled eatery is the ideal spot for a sophisticated bite and a slosh of good wine. Expect regional tapas-style classics like smoked Portuguese sausage croquettes, chargrilled sardines with padrón peppers and mouthwatering salt cod fritters. READ MORE
Details: Arch 35b, 85B Southwark Bridge Road, London, SE1 0NQ | Open for dinner Weds-Sun, lunch Fri-Sun | ££
El Pastor is Spanish for ‘the shepherd’… so it’s not surprising that people flock to this twinkling, packed-out taqueria. Coming to you from the siblings behind Barrafina, El Pastor is the first of their three Mexican spots, serving excellent tacos (including their signature ‘al pastor’, with spicy marinated pork), lashings of mezcal-laced cocktails, and a dose of lively cheer exuding from your fellow diners. READ MORE
Details: 7a Stoney Street, SE1 9AA | Open Mon-Fri 12-3pm and 5-11pm, Sat 12-4pm and 6-11pm, and Sun 12-8pm | £££
40 Maltby Street
It’s another one of those effortlessly cool wine bars, tucked away in a railway arch on Maltby Street. In fact, it’s actually first and foremost the warehouse for independent wine Merchants Gergovie Wines, but they’ve brought in a handful of simple sharing tables (not to mention a kitchen) which means, as well as buying bottles to go, guests can also sit in and enjoy their hand-picked selection of low-intervention wines, alongside a daily-changing menu of some pretty special, seasonal small plates. READ MORE
Details: 40 Maltby Street, London, SE1 3PA | Open for lunch and dinner, Wednesday-Saturday | £££
A brand new addition to the family, Brother Marcus sits in the rebooted Borough Yards development. It’s one of the capital’s stand-out brunch spots, with the Eastern Mediterranean influence from the rest of the menu seeping into dishes like the Marcus Breakfast (a Full English upgraded with Merguez sausage and fattoush salad) and smoky shakshuka with labneh and zhoug. The lunch and dinner menu is just as appealing, though, with plenty of ingredients slung onto the sizzling robata grill for a lick of smokiness… READ MORE
Details: 1 Dirty Lane, London SE1 9PA | Open daily for breakfast & lunch, plus dinner Tues-Sat | ££
Casse-Croûte is full to the brim with French charm… and not just because it’s one of London’s smallest restaurants. Sporting bentwood chairs, checked tablecloths, Art Nouveau signage, classic bistro dishes and diluvian levels of red wine; it’s a real gem in the treasure chest of London Bridge restaurants. Bring a date, bring your friends, bring your family – just not at the same time, because they won’t fit. READ MORE
Details: 109 Bermondsey St, London SE1 3XB | Open Mon-Sat 12-11pm, Sun 12-5pm | ££££
Gunpowder. It’s pretty hot right now. That’s because this Tower Bridge spot is the sophomore to the celebrated Spitalfields eatery, serving up more delicious Indian home cooking and cocktails, only in a much bigger space… READ MORE
Details: 4 Duchess Walk, SE1 2SD | Open for lunch and dinner on weekdays, plus Saturday brunch 11am-4pm | ££
Casa do Frango
Casa do Frango do peri peri chicken. Properly. Pull up a pew at their gorgeously airy, whitewashed space filled with greenery and little decorative winks (the bar is inspired by the famous trams in Lisbon), and tuck into lip-smacking hunks of perfectly seasoned chargrilled chicken, with sides like African rice (with crispy chicken skin), peri peri garlic prawns, and smokey cauliflower. And before you roll home, head for a nightcap in their hidden bar… READ MORE
Details: 32 Southwark Street, SE1 1TU | Open Mon-Fri 12-3pm and 5-11pm, Saturdays 12-11pm, Sundays 12-5pm | ££
Hawksmoor Borough Market
Hawksmoor has taken an old fruit warehouse in Borough Market, and upgraded it with elegant parquet flooring; buttery soft leather seating; and meat. Specifically, their famed, dictionary-thick hunks of Ginger Pig-reared Yorkshire Longhorn cattle, which here comes with triple-cooked chips, bone marrow oysters, and ‘anti-fogmatic’ cocktails. READ MORE
Details: 16 Winchester Walk, SE1 9AQ | Open Mon-Tues 5-9pm, Weds 12-3 & 5-10pm, Thurs 12-3 & 5.30-9.30pm, Fri 12-3 & 5.30-10pm, Sat 12-10pm, Sun 12-9pm | ££££
Main image: Casa do Frango
Like finding great places to eat? Check out our London Restaurant Bible