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, exotic imports 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 romantic, effortlessly cool wine bars serving daily-changing seasonal fare.
So here they are: the best restaurants in London Bridge.
First on our list is the lauded collaboration between ex-Fat Duck Head Chef Jonny Lake and ex-Fat Duck Head Sommelier Isa Bal, Trivet. It’s a warmly-lit, retro-styled wine bar and restaurant serving up a menu of beautifully crafted and mostly European dishes, alongside a comprehensive list over 350 wines. Unsurprisingly, Trivet won a Michelin star of its own within just a few years, and the summer terrace outside makes for a scenic spot to enjoy their lunch menu at a snip of the price.
Details: 36 Snowsfields, Bermondsey, SE1 3SU | Book here
For those who haven’t had the cliché-wrecking pleasure of a kebab at the original Soho outpost of Berenjak, it’s a JKS joint (those of BAO, Gymkhana, Hoppers, and BiBi fame) serving up Tehrani-style food in a relatively small space. Their second restaurant in London Bridge, however, is anything but, slotting into a lofty double-height space right by the entrance to Borough Market.
Details: 1 Bedale St, SE1 9AL | Book here
A village near Jaffna in Northern Sri Lanka and… Coventry. If you’re wondering what the link is here, these two places shaped the childhood of Cynthia Shanmugalingam – and one of them is now the inspiration behind her debut restaurant by Borough Market. At Rambutan the chef-author fondly revisits her roots by cooking up the likes of beef & bone marrow rolls, sticky chicken pongal rice and big pots of black pork curry, over an open kitchen. And to cleanse the palate? There’s a soft-serve machine turning out Tamil flavours like tamarind and ginger…
Details: 10 Stoney Street, SE1 9AD | Book here
Easily one of the hottest restaurants in London Bridge right now – and not just because of the open flames in the kitchen. Kolae’s the rightly anticipated follow-up from the Som Saa team, transporting their easy industrial style to a converted coach house on Park Street. The menu focus here is on the restaurant’s namesake; a Thai culinary technique that involves marinading ingredients in coconut, and charring them over fire. Banishing any paralysis of choice, there’s only about a dozen dishes on offer at any one time, and they’re all absolutely fantastic.
Details: 6 Park Street, London SE1 9AB | Book here
It’s another one of those effortlessly cool wine bars, tucked away in a railway arch on Maltby Street. What began as the warehouse for independent wine Merchants Gergovie Wines grew into much, much more when they brought in a simple kitchen and a handful of sharing tables where – as well as buying bottles to go – guests can also sit in and enjoy their hand-picked selection of low-intervention plonk, alongside a daily-changing menu of some pretty special seasonal small plates.
Details: 40 Maltby Street, London, SE1 3PA | Walk-in only
Right in the thick of it under the arches of Borough Market, Turnips isn’t your ordinary fruit-and-veg stall. With a bit of British ingenuity, the grocer rejigged a shipping container out the back into a fully-fledged kitchen where Tomas Lidakevicious (former exec chef at Jason Atherton’s City Social) thinks up unique tasting menus and small plates that showcase the stall’s produce in all their green glory.
Details: 43 Borough Market, London SE1 9AH | Book here
The Trullo founders took the success of their critically acclaimed, constantly packed Islington restaurant and distilled it into a buzzy, effortlessly cool eatery right by 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.
Details: 6 Southwark Street, SE1 1TQ | No bookings
Named after crispy black eye bean fritters, Akara’s journey tracks from the dish’s origins in West Africa, via Brazil, to Borough Yards in London Bridge. And, in a way, via a Michelin-recommended fine dining restaurant in Fitzrovia, Akoko, which was restaurateur Aji Akokomi’s debut spot. This follow-up is more casual than its predecessor, offering an à la carte menu of shareable dishes in an elegantly industrial space. Aside from the eponymous akara, you can also tuck into Senegal-style BBQ’d chicken; aubergine bursting with chilli; and fluffy Ghanaian doughnuts to finish – and every one’s a winner.
Details: Borough Yards, Stoney Street, SE1 9AD | Book here
Our father, who art heaven, Tacos Padre be thy name. That’s how it goes right? Not only does Tacos Padre serve up some of the softest, hand-made tortillas in the city – topped with all sorts of slow-cooked meat and house-made pickles and sauces – on summer evenings their tiny kiosk in Borough Market transforms into a fully-fledged al fresco restaurant, fitted out with colourful tables and chairs, potted plants, festoon lighting, and an even bigger, better menu, including some serious sharers. 300g of carne asada rib-eye, with burnt spring onion, beef adobo, and grilled bone marrow? Amen to that.
Details: Borough Market Kitchen, Winchester Walk, Jubilee Place, London Bridge, SE1 9AG | No bookings (al fresco restaurant closed until summer)
Here’s how Restaurant Story unfolds: you’ll arrive at Tom Sellers’ legendary double Michelin Starred spot, and take your seats in a dining room bathed in light. You will not be handed a menu. Instead, you’ll settle in for a three or four-hour epic; a tasting menu of nine exquisitely prepared courses brought to your table. That menu changes regularly, but one stalwart remains the ‘beef candle’… which you actually light. If you’re looking for a special occasion restaurant in London Bridge, this place practically wrote the book on high-end, theatrical dining.
Details: 199 Tooley Street, SE1 2JX | Book here
Despite being tucked away on a quiet side street next to London Bridge station, Sollip stands out. It’s a brilliantly creative venture from chefs (and husband-and-wife team) Woongchul Park and Bomee Ki, who met while training in London at Le Cordon Bleu. Together they craft dishes that combine traditional Korean flavours and references – from seaweed to nurungji (the scorched rice at the bottom of a pot) – with French culinary techniques. The result is a fleet of dishes that are understated yet surprising, and unfailingly delicious.
Details: Unit 1, 8 Melior Street, London SE1 3QP | Book here
You’ll find this Michelin Bib Gourmand-toting Italian at the foot of a historic warehouse in Shad Thames (just east of London Bridge, at the foot of Tower Bridge). And just wait till you see what they have in store: a feast of fresh pasta, made daily in-house, alongside impeccably sourced products like gorgonzola dolce & grilled peach on bruschetta and a short, snappy drinks menu of Italian classics like the negroni.
Details: Cardamom Building, 31G Shad Thames, SE1 2YB | Book here
Here to heal whatever ails you, Santo Remedio is London Bridge’s saintly Mexican. Edson and Natalie Diaz-Fuentes started out with supperclubs before opening their first bricks and mortar restaurant, which was frustratingly short-lived thanks to building problems. Now, however, they’ve been doing a roaring trade at their flagship here in London Bridge; a breezy and colourful space that’s home to mouthwatering home-made tacos; grasshopper-topped guacamole; barbacoa lamb shank and more.
Details: 152 Tooley Street, SE1 2TU | Book here
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 restaurant in London Bridge 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.
Details: Arch 35b, 85B Southwark Bridge Road, London, SE1 0NQ | Book here
As with its North London sibling, Parrillan King’s Cross, Parillan Borough Yards is evenly split between al fresco & indoor areas. Wherever you end up, you’ll find a delectable selection of Spanish treats grilled over an open fire – but if you’re outside, you can get your own miniature grill to self-scorch cuts of pork, too…
Details: 4 Dirty Lane, SE1 9PA | Book here
Right next door, you’ll find the fifth in the Hart Brothers’ growing empire of tapas restaurants, Barrafina. They say you can have too much of a good thing, but it’s simply not possible here: they’ve replicated their tried-and-tested formula of sleek interiors (lots of marble and steel); great Spanish wines; barrel-loads of sherry; and of course, fantastic tapas dishes from exec chef and possible culinary deity, Francisco ‘Paco’ Jose Torrico.
Details: 2 Dirty Lane, Borough, SE1 9PA | Book here
Elliot’s makes the most of its enviable location opposite Borough Market, slinging the pick of the crop into a continuously changing menu of wood-fired grill dishes and seasonal small plates. You sit just as well as you eat here too; either inside under the cosy glow of a glass roof or when the weather purrs, out on the pavement where one can observe the street action with a glass of natural wine and preferably, their fabled Isle of Mull cheese puffs (always get the cheese puffs).
Details: 12 Stoney Street, SE1 9AD | Book here
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.
Details: 109 Bermondsey St, London SE1 3XB | Book here
Casa do Frango
Casa do Frango does peri peri chicken. Properly. Pull up a pew at their gorgeously airy London Bridge restaurant, 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, The Green Room…
Details: 32 Southwark Street, SE1 1TU | Book here
Brother Marcus’s London Bridge restaurant sits in the rebooted Borough Yards development. It’s one of London’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…
Details: 1 Dirty Lane, London SE1 9PA | Book here
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.
Details: 16 Winchester Walk, SE1 9AQ | Book here
By far the glitziest restaurant in London Bridge, Aqua Shard offers all-day Modern British dining alongside floor-to-ceiling, 360° views of the city. Which is really all you need to know.
Details: 31st Floor, The Shard, 31 St. Thomas Street, SE1 9RY | Book here
Fancy a nightcap? Check out our favourite bars in London Bridge, too