The best restaurants in London Bridge

Ellie Goodman

22 March 2022

From fine dining with spectacular views, to authentic Portuguese fare and seriously fresh seafood, these are the best places to eat in SE1

22 March 2022 | Ellie Goodman

H

ome to street-food havens Borough Market, Bermondsey Street and Flat Iron Square, and with big-name eateries around every corner, those looking for a great restaurant in London Bridge will always be spoilt for choice. Looking to skip the tourist traps and settle down for something more substantial? From sky-high fine dining to South African staples, read on for our guide to the best restaurants in London Bridge.

Oblix at The Shard

Sitting high above London on the Shard’s 32nd floor, Rainer Becker’s Oblix comprises not one but two restaurants, each with its own unique ambiance and captivating views across the city to the East and West. Offering a refined dining experience, Oblix West serves up contemporary classics against the backdrop of St Paul’s Cathedral – just bear in mind, those after a window seat will have to book well in advance. A la carte menus comprise a range of gastronomic favourites, while the chef’s tasting menu offers guests the opportunity to share a selection of 10 popular dishes. Expect lobster and crab linguini, burrata with olives and datterini tomatoes, and the signature Oblix pepper steak, all prepared in the restaurant’s expansive open kitchen. And once the plates have been cleared and the bill taken care of, head across the floor to Oblix East for after-dinner tipples in a laid-back atmosphere with spectacular views to the east over Tower Bridge.

31 St. Thomas Street, SE1 9RY, oblixrestaurant.com

Wright Brothers

Serving up seasonal seafood, the original Wright Brothers outpost sits tucked away on Stoney Street in the shadow of Borough Market. The atmosphere is informal and intimate, with guests invited to perch around a long oyster bar and watch as chefs skilfully whip up simple yet delicious dishes in the venue’s open kitchen. Expect tried and true classics such as fruits de mer, moules marinière and the famous Wright Brothers fish pie, as well as a daily changing menu of specials sourced directly from Brixham Market, Devon. Not to be missed is the restaurant’s legendary happy hour, with oysters on offer for just £1 a pop, and the Devon half shell scallops, oven-baked with breadcrumbs and garlic butter.

11 Stoney Street, SE1 9AD, thewrightbrothers.co.uk

 
 

TĪNG, Shangri-La The Shard

Housed within world-renowned luxury hotel Shangri-La The Shard, and boasting panoramic views of the capital’s skyline, Tīng is London’s highest fine dining experience. Serving contemporary Asian fare using seasonal British produce, menus comprise classics such as grilled tiger prawns and crispy aromatic duck, as well as Shangri-La signatures, including vegan favourite Buddha’s Delight – vegetables stir-fried in soy with jasmine rice – and Hainanese chicken rice. For a true taste of Tīng, opt for the five-course set menu, featuring Vietnamese rolls, seared wagyu and a decadent chocolate mousse with miso ice cream for dessert.

31 St Thomas Street, SE1 9QU, ting-shangri-la.com

Bar Douro

Bar Douro – which takes its name from the Portuguese Douro Valley – was opened by restaurateur Max Graham in 2016 with the aim of bringing the vibrant spirit of Portugal to London through well-cooked, honest food, quality wines and cultural celebration. Nestled beneath a railway arch within Flat Iron Square, complete with intimate counter seating and authentic Portuguese tiles, the restaurant draws inspiration from the traditional cervejarias and tascas of Lisbon and Porto. Menus change regularly, but food follows suit with an array of small plates on offer, from croquetes de alheira and salt cod hash, to grilled whole quail with red onion cebolada and pine nuts, and the ever-popular pastel de nata for dessert. The restaurant’s critically-acclaimed wine list features only Portuguese bottles and, of course, a wide selection of port, perfect for an after-dinner drink on the sun-soaked terrace.

85B Southwark Bridge Road, SE1 0NQ, bardouro.co.uk

 
 

Padella

Known city-wide for its lengthy queues and silky pappardelle with eight-hour beef shin ragu, Padella is a pasta lover's paradise. Sitting at the mouth of Borough Market, this compact pasta bar – the brainchild of chefs Tim Siadatan and Jordan Frieda of Islington bolthole Trullo – doles out fresh, hand-rolled pasta, lovingly drenched in rich sauces inspired by the team’s trips to Italy. Menus vary daily, but highlights include the pici cacio e pepe, Westcombe ricotta ravioli with a slow-cooked tomato sauce, and the tagliarini with Dorset crab, chilli and lemon. Padella operates on a walk-in only basis so you may have to hang around to secure a table, but trust us, it’s more than worth the wait.

6 Southwark St, London, SE1 1TQ, padella.co

Bermondsey Larder

Bermondsey Larder is the latest restaurant from exalted chef Robin Gill, the man behind The Dairy, Darby’s and Sorella. Expect to find plenty of exceptional Gill classics here, including smoked scallop roe, goat's curd agnolotti pasta and salt-marsh lamb, served with buckwheat and salsa verde. Impeccable staff are friendly and knowledgeable – enlist their help to pick from the stellar drinks menu, which includes an edit of natural wine and cocktails. 

The hotel is found in the ultra-trendy Bermonds Locke hotel, which courts creatives and digital nomads. The industrial setting is tempered by hanging greenery, cacti-filled planters and gleaming terrazzo tables – ergo, the perfect backdrop for your Instagram shot.

157 Tower Bridge Road, London SE1 3LW, bermondseylarder.comlockeliving.com

Vivat Bacchus

Aptly taking its name from the Greco-Roman god of wine and festivity, Vivat Bacchus has become a London Bridge institution thanks to its vast international wine offering and impressively-stocked cheese rooms. With a focus on rustic fare, the restaurant’s South African heritage shines through with its offering of homemade biltong and droëwors, and wide selection of bottles from Cape vineyards. Top-quality ingredients are sourced daily from local suppliers, with menus changing regularly to reflect seasonality. Must-try dishes include the seared scallops with cauliflower purée, pine nuts and crispy pancetta, wild mushroom risotto with mascarpone, gremolata and white truffle oil, and the ethically-sourced 21-day aged Surrey Hills steak with Monkey gland sauce – a South African BBQ staple.

4 Hays Lane, SE1 2HB, vivatbacchus.co.uk

Read more: The best restaurants in Mayfair