The Best Borough Market & London Bridge Restaurants
Last Updated: 4th June 2019
Why did the chicken cross the road?
He was feeling peckish.
And if you cross the right road in London, you’ll find the bustling, cuisine-spanning, utterly delicious microcosm of both critically acclaimed and intimate, off-the-beaten track restaurants that is London Bridge.
It has all the ingredients for success: a great location; an unparalleled number of abandoned railway arches ripe for housing artisanal, small plates restaurants; and of course some very literal ingredients, courtesy of the world-famous Borough Market.
So, without further ado, here are few of our favourite London Bridge and Borough restaurants – from late-night pasta spots with a New York feel to elegant eateries for Indian home cooking; Cantonese fine dining in a Grade II listed former church to a secret bar-toting peri peri chicken house.
Which of course, is only a fortunate find if you’re not a chicken.
They say you should quit while you’re ahead. But some other, wiser, people say you should take the success of your critically acclaimed, constantly packed Islington restaurant and distill it into a buzzy, effortlessly cool pasta-focussed spot right opposite London Bridge station. Luckily, they’re the ones that the Trullo team listened to, and we now have Padella – unequivocally some of the best hand-made pasta to be found in London. They don’t take reservations, and the queues are still insane years after opening – but trust us, it’s worth the wait. READ MORE
Details: 6 Southwark Street, SE1 1TQ | Open daily 12-3.45pm & 5-10pm (9pm Sun) | £
Third time’s a charm – and BAO’s third spot is loaded with the stuff. Like its siblings, it serves those famously fluffy Taiwanese buns, but unlike its siblings, it follows them up with a late-night noodle bar, a grab-and-go hatch, and a basement private dining room with karaoke. READ MORE
Details: 13 Stoney Street, SE1 9AD | Open daily from noon | £
The Douro Valley makes some of the best wine in Portugal. And Bar Douro makes for one of the best spots to enjoy it. Overlooking the bustling Flat Iron Square with its pop up bars and weekend markets, 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 Flat Iron Square, Union Street, SE1 1TD | Open Mon-Sat 12-11.30pm, Sun 12-5pm | ££
Credit: Nick Hopper
Santo Remedio (‘Holy Remedy’) has the ability to cure whatever ails you, thanks to its airy, kaleidoscopic dining room; inviting mezcal & tequila bar generously stocked with all manner of agave spirits; and flawlessly executed Mexican grub, some of which – the Grasshopper Guac – contains actual grubs. READ MORE
Details: 152 Tooley Street, SE1 2TU | Open Mon-Sat, 12-3pm, 5.30-10.30pm (no break on Sat) | £££
Once you’ve discovered this place, you’ll want to Lupin a friend. Serving up delicious seasonal ingredients, whipped into dishes inspired by cuisines plucked from around the world, it’s a breezy, pastel-hued spot in Flat Iron Square. Tuck into dishes like Cornish crab thermidor; burrata with strawberry soffritto and pickle jalapeño; and dark chocolate ganache with sesame and salted caramel…
…on second thoughts, don’t loop in too many friends. READ MORE
Details: 66 Union Street, SE1 1TD | Open Mon-Sat 12-3pm and 5.30-10pm | £££
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. It’s so big, in fact, that they’re even adding in a bakery, Custard, on the ground floor, where you’ll soon be able to score Goan pork sausage rolls, Narangi custard tarts, and more… READ MORE
Details: 4 Duchess Walk, SE1 2SD | Open Mon-Sat, 12-2.30pm and 5.30-10pm | £££
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 12-10pm, Sun 12-4pm | ££££
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 12-4pm | £££
Native. Ironically, it didn’t always sit in London Bridge. After years of plating up acclaimed seasonal dishes in their Covent Garden spot, their landlord decided that the area had too many restaurants. So instead, they upped sticks and moved to London Bridge, where they now have a bigger space (beautifully dressed with minimalist furnishings and splashes of greenery) and therefore bigger kitchens, playing with adventurous new dishes like fallow deer with caramelised cauliflower & salsa verde; and wild watercress with market fish, fermented mushroom, and sorrel stalks. READ MORE
Details: 32 Southwark Street, London Bridge, SE1 1TU | Open Tues-Sat 12.30-2pm, daily 6-10pm | ££££
Casa do Frango
Head upstairs from Native, and you’ll find Casa do Frango – who 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), beer-battered whitebait, 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-Wed 12-3pm and 5-11pm, Thur-Fri 12-3pm and 5pm-12am, Saturdays 12pm-12am, Sundays 12-10pm | ££
Something magical happens in the open kitchen at the Levantine-inspired Arabica Bar & Kitchen. Maybe it’s because of all the open sesame. Or maybe it’s the cosy, exposed brick railway arch encompassing the whole space; the al fresco tables dotted outside; the welcoming bustle; the Turkish breakfasts; aromatic desserts; and spice-laced cocktails… READ MORE
Details: 3 Rochester Walk, SE1 9AF | Open weekdays 12-11pm, Saturday 9am-11.30pm, Sunday 12-9pm | £££
You’ll be singing the praises of the dim sum served up at Duddell’s, set atmospherically in a Grade II listed former church. The stunning setting perfectly frames the elegant Cantonese cuisine (borrowed from the two Michelin starred flagship in Hong Kong), while literally framing a rotating series of modern art installations. READ MORE
Details: 9a St. Thomas Street, SE1 9RY | Open weekdays 12-3pm and 5.30-11pm, Sat 12-3pm and 6-11pm, Sun 12-3pm and 6-10.30pm | ££££
A long-standing stalwart of the Borough Market restaurant scene, ingredients don’t come fresher than at Elliot’s. It’s a true neighbourhood gem, with inviting, exposed brick walls; a skylit dining room; and ravishing combinations of fresh, seasonal produce from the market, lovingly assembled by a team of hot-shot chefs. READ MORE
Details: 12 Stoney Street, SE1 9AD | Open weekdays 12-3pm and 6-10pm; Saturdays 12-4pm and 6-10pm | £££
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 daily 12-2.30pm and 5-10.30pm (all day service at weekends, closing 9pm Sundays) | ££££
Main image: Casa do Frango
Like finding great places to eat? Check out our London Restaurant Bible