Home 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.
If you’re after no-fuss food and natural wines in a calm, relaxed setting away from the hustle and bustle of Borough, head to Elliot’s. Opened in 2011, the simple but delectable eatery has become a stalwart on London Bridge’s culinary scene, known for its small plates, wood-fired sourdough pizza and grilled meats and fish. From Isle of Mull cheese puffs and Palourde clams to venison ragu and smoked ox tongue, sample thoughtful cooking at its finest. Plus, the extensive list of natural and organic wines has enough to satisfy any wine connoisseur.
12 Stoney Street, SE1 9AD, visit elliots.london
Boasting impressive views of the capital from The Shard’s 33rd floor, award-winning restaurant Hutong specialises in northern Chinese cuisine. After enjoying a tipple or two at the Shanghai Bar (you can’t go wrong with the Shanghai Gin and Tonic), take a seat in the low-lit, lantern-lined restaurant which offers four menus: dumpling, experience, signature and a la carte. The latter features plenty of dim sum — think cod and seaweed, Wagyu beef and even rosé champagne shrimp — and other Chinese classics, including vegetarian spring rolls, Sichuan-style deep-fried lobster and Chinkiang pork ribs.
33 St Thomas Street, SE1 9RY, visit hutong.co.uk
Small but scrumptious, Lupins specialises in seasonal plates with a weekly-changing menu. Situated on the corner of Flat Iron Square, the restaurant is only open from Wednesday to Saturday, with two sittings each day. If you’re lucky enough to get a seat, sample modern fare sourced from local suppliers — from Henderson Seafood to Neal’s Yard Dairy — featuring white bean crostini with anchovy salsa, monkfish with leeks and beurre blanc as well as brown sugar panna cotta.
66 Union Street, SE1 1TD, visit lupinslondon.com
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 ends. 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 spaghetti, burrata with olives and datterini tomatoes, and the signature Oblix pepper steak, all prepared in the restaurant’s expansive open kitchen. 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 over Tower Bridge.
31 St Thomas Street, SE1 9RY, visit oblixrestaurant.com
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, visit 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 Lo Mein beef noodles — egg noodles and slow-cooked beef short rib in five-spice sauce — and miso cod. For a true taste of Tīng, opt for the five-course set menu, featuring salmon wonton tart, soy-braised short rib and a decadent chocolate mousse with miso ice cream for dessert.
31 St Thomas Street, SE1 9QU, visit ting-shangri-la.com
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 with an array of small plates on offer, from duck rice with chorizo and salt cod hash, to beef cheeks and cauliflower, 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, visit bardouro.co.uk
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 Sardinian tomato sauce, and the tagliarini with garlic, dried chilli and pangrattato. 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 Street, SE1 1TQ, visit padella.co
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 coffee-rubbed chicken skewers, halloumi stuffed aubergine and the sea bream fillet with apricot glaze.
4 Hays Lane, SE1 2HB, visit vivatbacchus.co.uk