Southwark — taking in Waterloo, London Bridge and down to Elephant & Castle — has long been looked over in favour of central London foodie hotspots like Soho and Covent Garden but with Borough Market and new hubs of restaurants on the Cut and south of Borough, this part of south London is having its moment in the sun.
Taz has a number of different outlets across South London — it’s a family run Turkish restaurant chain that dishes up tasty mezze classics alongside pide and massive grills. You can usually get a table and yet these restaurants are always busy.
Padella has fast become a staple go-to in Borough and one of the best pasta restaurants in town. You can watch the pasta being made in the window. Try the fettuccine with nduja, mascarpone and parsley, or the tagliarini with Dorset crab, chilli and lemon.
In the new Flat Iron development in Southwark, where the pancakes are will soon be a new weekend favourite. It’s an American style menu offering stacks of fluffy pancakes with a mix of savoury and sweet toppings — we love the classic bacon and maple syrup.
The Garrison is a lovingly restored pub with a private cinema room not far from White Cube gallery in Bermondsey. This is a light and airy pub that’s just as suitable for brunch as it is for late nights and the menu is a seasonal British affair that’s a step up from pub food. Try the rolled aubergine & mushroom lasagne with a blue cheese and walnut crust, or the stone bass, charred fennel, spinach, and clam velouté.
The restaurants in the Shard are worth the expense on a special occasion. Aquashard on the 31st floor has an amazing view over the Thames and is open all day so you can do a leisurely brunch, afternoon tea or romantic dinner. The menu is mostly seafood based and changes regularly.
London breakfast institution The Breakfast Club in London Bridge is the place to head for a hungover breakfast fry up, with big mugs of tea, bright smoothies and enough 1980s music to make you feel normal by lunchtime. It’s not all bad for you — there are healthy granola bowls and cold pressed juices too.
Borough Market has its very own oyster bar, Wright Brothers, which is charming and casual and the place to pop into after work. These guys are passionate about all seafood and have a few restaurants around town, Borough is where you’ll find the really knowledgeable guys though. Dig into fresh oysters or mackerel pâté or East Sussex crab — the best of British seafood is right here.
Get a Thames view at The Real Greek which specialises in Med-inspired mezze. It has a decently priced lunch menu which includes things like aubergine and halloumi stack and pork belly skewers, perfect for big groups of friends or for taking the family out for a South Bank afternoon.
The Cut‘s most famous pub, Anchor & Hope, has been a beacon for gastropub food for ages. People descend from all over south London on a Sunday for one of its roasts: either head there early or try out of peak hours to secure a table. It’s a seasonal British menu with inventive twists on pub classics like foie gras ballotine, brioche and pickled cherries and stuffed Scottish veal breast, mushrooms, kale and mashed potatoes.
Skylon at the Royal Festival Hall offers a touch more than just gastropub fare if you’re after something a little more special. This is British fine dining with views over the Thames in an amazing space anchored by a centrepiece bar (which has a fab cocktail list). Book in for a treat.