The Best Restaurants In South Bank, London

2EA97R2 Crispy skin pan seared salmon with peas puree and green garnishes in white plate. Isolated on dark wooden background
2EA97R2 Crispy skin pan seared salmon with peas puree and green garnishes in white plate. Isolated on dark wooden background | 2EA97R2_© Squarelens _ Alamy Stock Photo
Jim Mud

Southbank, that narrow stretch of land between the London Eye and the Tate Modern on the southern bank of the River Thames, is a cultural hub of the city, home to the Royal Festival Hall and the National Theatre. Dining options abound here too, with options ranging from wholesome pub grub to fine dining establishments with a view. Here’s our pick of the top restaurants on London’s South Bank.

Did you know – Culture Trip now does bookable, small-group trips? Pick from authentic, immersive Epic Trips, compact and action-packed Mini Trips and sparkling, expansive Sailing Trips.

The Library Lounge

Afternoon Tea at The Library Lounge, London

The Library Lounge, in the London Marriott Hotel County Hall, is South Bank’s best spot for an afternoon tea. Its refined, wood-panelled décor, antique furniture and tasteful textiles create an atmosphere of calm luxury. In addition to the finest brewed teas, soft scones with jam and naturally sweet clotted cream, there is also the option of the more indulgent Champagne Afternoon Tea. This is the perfect accompaniment to the view of London that stretches just beyond the windows of the Library Lounge. Sit back, try a selection of delicious treats, like a dome of Valrhona 70% chocolate and almonds, and coconut and mango friandes, and enjoy this immersive experience.

Terrace at the National Theatre

The Terrace at the National Theatre is a bar and restaurant with one of the best locations in town, right in the heart of the South Bank’s cultural epicentre, the National Theatre. The food here is simple, and perfect for sharing. The kitchen’s selection of tapas-style dishes includes French, British and Mediterranean influences with such tempting bites as grilled gambas with an onion, tomato and avocado salsa, the mini-portion of suckling pig with honey-roast cabbage, or the irresistible cured meat platter featuring chorizo iberico, coppa and salchicon iberico. In winter, enjoy your food in the heart of the contemporary interior with its raw, industrial flair. In summer, step over to the terrace area and enjoy the view of London in all its splendour.


South Bank’s Skylon occupies an elegant space on the third floor of the Royal Festival Hall. With floor-to-ceiling windows and a retro interior balanced by earthy tones, it’s a sophisticated affair best enjoyed before a theatre performance. The Grill, which forms one half of Skylon, is the more informal part, with lighter options such as the grilled Cornish mackerel served with a spiced au bergine relish and onion rings. The actual Restaurant offers fine-dining takes on British classics, from the slow-roasted Great Garnett Farm pork belly accompanied by lobster and a tarragon risotto, to the summer truffle mac’n’cheese with a baby spinach salad and Worcestershire sauce dressing.

OXO Tower Restaurant

With its breathtaking city and river views, the OXO Tower Restaurant, located on the eighth floor of the OXO Tower, is one of the most representative venues on the South Bank. Swanky cocktails, a luxurious menu and an extensive wine list of over 500 bottles make this a classy spot for special occasions. Chef Jeremy Bloor’s kitchen offers a contemporary take on European and Mediterranean classics, presenting carefully arranged, colourful dishes such as the cured and roasted duck served with figs and wild asparagus, or the luxurious hand-caught scallops accompanied by a delicate pea puree with a risotto ball, basil and tomatoes. In addition to the restaurant space, there is also an adjoining brasserie for more informal dining, as well as a cocktail bar for an after-dinner tipple.

Mulberry Bush

The Mulberry Bush is close to Gabriel’s Wharf

From the comfy sofas to the board games and eclectic yet homely décor, the Mulberry Bush is a cosy spot in the heart of bustling London. Its proximity to the ITV studios meaning that the place is always bustling, but not usually packed. The sticky honey Jack Daniels ribs constitute a signature dish, served with a portion of slaw and triple-cooked chips. Lighter options, such as the superfood salad with quinoa, goji berries, broccoli and avocado, are also available. Take advantage of the venue’s pub atmosphere and enjoy some of the best locally brewed lagers and ales on the extensive menu.

Looking for somewhere to stay nearby? Book one of the best hotels near the central hub of Waterloo Station for easy access to the South Bank and all it has to offer.

Culture Trip Summer Sale

Save up to $1,395 on our unique small-group trips! Limited spots.

Edit article