The best restaurants in London Bridge and Borough Market

Centrally located, London Bridge and Borough are home to a slew of great London restaurants. From a Taiwanese grill house to an old-school trattoria, these are the best places to eat in the area, packed with flavours that will take you around the world

Words by Lydia Winter
Last updated: June 11, 2024
Best restaurants in London Bridge and Borough | Persian artwork hanging on the walls at Berenjak
Artwork hanging on the walls at Persian-inspired Berenjak

London Bridge and Borough Market offer a triple threat when it comes to London neighbourhoods: they’re centrally located and easy to get to from both inside and outside the city; they boast a prime riverside location and they offer a glut of great eating and drinking at your fingertips.

The area is historic too: Borough Market is London’s oldest market, where you can check out great produce from the best of the UK and beyond. You’re also not far from the iconic vista of The Shard, Tower Bridge and the Tower of London – not to mention the pubs and breweries of the Bermondsey Beer Mile.

It’s no surprise the food and drink industry has cottoned on, bringing brilliant restaurants and bars to the area. From inside Borough Market to new spaces at Borough Yards, plus the street food markets at Flat Iron Square and Vinegar Yard, read on to discover the best places to eat in London Bridge and the surrounding area.

Best restaurants in London Bridge and Borough | two skewers of chicken in a white cup
BAO Borough is nod to Taiwanese grill houses

BAO Borough (Taiwanese)

Best for: Pillowy bao, Taiwanese-style street food, gluggable cocktails and karaoke
Address: 13 Stoney Street, London, SE1 9AD

Sure, Bao has a handful of sites peppered across London, but each restaurant offers something slightly different and feels unique. BAO Borough is one of the more recent additions to the family, with a downstairs karaoke room and a menu inspired by a traditional Taiwanese grill house – think grilled ox heart skewers, 40-day-aged beef with Taiwan butter rice, a list of hi-ball cocktails and an impressive Japanese whisky shelf. Bonus: the BAO team is passionate about sourcing better welfare ingredients.

A dish of truffle pasta on a marble table at Tavolino in London Bridge
Truffle-topped pasta at Tavolino

Tavolino Bar & Kitchen (Italian)

Best for: Low-key Italian eating in a location near Tower Bridge that will impress
Address: 2 More London Riverside, London, SE1 2DB

Tavolino offers a neighbourhood vibe right on the doorstep of Tower Bridge, flaunting glorious views over the River Thames and the Tower of London. Head chef Louis Korovilas is formerly of London’s best-loved pasta group Bancone, so it’s no surprise that the kitchen makes its own dough fresh each day and sources the finest produce from Italy and the UK. We recommend the outdoor terrace in summer, particularly for an early evening aperitivo or a night spent grazing through plates of vitello tonnato and spicy ‘nduja and saffron arancini.

Best restaurants in London Bridge and Borough | Lights are strung across the restaurant under the arches at El Pastor
Under the arches at El Pastor

El Pastor (Mexican)

Best for: Tacos, mezcal cocktails and a party vibe
Address: 7A Stoney Street, London, SE1 9AA

El Pastor was one of the first new-school Mexico-inspired restaurants to open its doors during London’s extended Mexican wave, drawing on the learnings of its founders the Harts brothers (also of Quo Vadis and Barrafina) from when they spent ten years running hit Mexico City club El Colmillo. You’d expect great things from such hospitality pedigree, and El Pastor (not to mention the other taquerias dotted around London – Battersea Power Station, incoming) more than delivers, using proper tacos made with heritage Mexican corn, and some of the only avocados to have reached the UK free from cartel meddling. The restaurant takes its name from the taco ‘al pastor’, a style of taco based on the lamb shawarma brought to Mexico City by Lebanese immigrants – a delicious combination – and has a cracking selection of mezcal to boot.

A poached egg stacked on fritters at Brother Marcus in Borough Market
The legendary brunch at Brother Marcus

Brother Marcus (Eastern Mediterranean)

Best for: Gorgeously presented Eastern Mediterranean flavours in London Bridge
Address: 1 Dirty Lane, London, SE1 9PA

This Eastern Mediterranean-inspired restaurant sure knows a thing or two about making a dish look good, not to mention taste good. The Brother Marcus restaurant family might now have four sophisticated sites across London: but life originally started as a residency in Balham, run by three school friends – and the same level of passion and attention to detail continues to thrive today. The ‘rips and dips’ list is a excellent way to whet the appetite, with a selection of breads and spreads to smother them in; grilled lamb kofta with aubergine begendi are just one of the excellent ways to follow up; and the brunch is, quite frankly outstanding.

Aerial view of pizza and beer at O'ver, an Italian restaurant in Borough, London
O'ver's Neapolitan pizzas are made with pure seawater

O’ver (Italian)

Best for: A fresh new take on Neapolitan pizza
Address: 44-46 Southwark Street, London SE1 1UN

Pizza restaurants usually abound, no matter where you are, especially in London. In fact, pizza culture is so strong that it takes something seriously special for the city to sit up and take notice, and that’s exactly what O’ver has managed to do. While the restaurant offers delicious plates of Neapolitan-style food, the star of the show here is the pizza. Crafted with pure seawater, charred, blistered crusts somehow remain pillowy with the correct ratio of toppings to dough. And speaking of toppings, they’re pretty classic, but done to perfection. The capricciosa, with fior di latte mozzarella, San Marzano DOP tomato sauce, basil, grilled artichokes, cooked ham and black olives is a winner.

The exterior at Elliot's in Borough Market, London
Elliot's, Borough Market

Elliot’s (natural wine)

Best for: Superlative small plates and natural wine
Address: 12 Stoney Street, Borough Market, London, SE1 9AD

Listed as one of the best restaurants in London, Elliot’s is a Borough Market stalwart, and has been purveying natural wines and small plates since 2011. It’s always been excellent, too, with a kitchen team that knows exactly how to leverage a wood-fired grill to maximum effect. The result is a menu that reads like a list of everything we want to eat, ever: garlic butter calzone potato flatbread, radicchio and anchovy salad; beef carpaccio; and chalk stream trout with golden tomatoes and saffron, cooked on the grill. There is also a second site in East London’s Hackney.

Best restaurants in London Bridge and Borough | A plate of prawns, a curl of octopus and some croquettes served on a blue-and-white tile
Bar Douro's Portuguese-inspired cuisine skews towards seafood

Bar Douro (Portuguese)

Best for: A Portuguese dining experience in central London
Address: 35B, Arch, 85B Southwark Bridge Road, London, SE1 0NQ

Lisbon and Porto are some Europe’s best-loved city breaks right now, but you can get an authentic taste of Portugal in the heart of London Bridge, thanks to Max Graham’s restaurant in Flat Iron Square. Graham hails from the family behind Churchill’s Port – who have been making fortified wine in the Douro Valley for more than 200 years – so it’s clear he and his team know their stuff. Portuguese azulejo tiles clad the restaurant walls, providing a backdrop for excellent small plates, like crispy polenta with fermented red pepper sauce; spicy sausage alheira croquettes; native cheeses, and of course, pastel de nata. The wine list is no less impressive, flying the flag for Portugal’s brilliant value wines. Be sure to check out the restaurant’s online bottle shop to snag your own low-intervention wine.

Best restaurants in London Bridge and Borough | wooden and leather interiors in the downstairs dining room at Hawksmoor Borough
Wooden and leather interiors in the downstairs dining room at Hawksmoor Borough

Hawksmoor Borough (steakhouse)

Best for: Top-quality steak and market-fresh produce, Sunday roast
Address: 16 Winchester Walk, London, SE1 9AQ

Hawksmoor is widely regarded as one of London’s best steakhouses, with a brilliant bar to boot. The Borough branch is our favourite, with a menu that leans on produce bought from local market traders. Located in a former hops warehouse, the space has atmosphere in spades, and a private dining room for immersive chef’s table experiences for groups of up to 18 people. If you’re a smaller party size, book yourself in for the standard menu, which is special enough in itself: Devon crab on toast, native lobster, particularly good mac and cheese and some of London’s best steak are just a few of the highlights. The Sunday roast is an absolute corker too, but tables fill up pretty fast so be sure to book in advance.

Best restaurants in London Bridge and Borough | a table under an arch, with a curved window at the end
Barrafina's new site at Borough Yards. Photo by John Carey

Barrafina (Spanish)

Best for: Some of London’s most authentic Spanish cooking in Borough Yards
Address: 2 Dirty Lane, London, SE1 9PA

It’s official: Barrafina has ditched its no reservations policy, so you can (finally) book a table without the dreaded fear of arriving to a snaking queue. Leading the charge for serving proper Spanish cuisine in London, and a whole heap of other things besides. The original Frith Street site – which has since moved to nearby Dean Street – and its offspring have become some of the most influential restaurants in London’s modern food scene. Standouts include: classic tortillas, seafood platters, croquettes, banderillas and plenty of patatas bravas. (And psst: Spanish Bar Daskal has recently arrived nextdoor). 

Best restaurants in London Bridge and Borough | A plate of pasta with a simple tomato and basil sauce at Padella
Padella's superlative pasta

Padella (Italian)

Best for: A smart, sophisticated pasta bar with pocket-friendly prices
Address: 6 Southwark Street, London, SE1 1TQ

Speaking of queues, the ones at Padella are on the lengthier side, but we’d argue it’s more than worth the wait for the reasonably priced plates of pasta, exceptional wines, brilliant cocktails and lovely desserts served here. The interiors are satisfyingly swish too – picture an open kitchen wrapped with wood and metal bar stools, ceilings revealing exposed pipework and walls decorated with framed vintage prints. The menu is simple, which is probably why it works, with a classic antipasti selection and a stellar line-up of fresh pasta. The beef shin ragu with pappardelle is always a good idea, as is the mouth-coatingly delicious cacio e pepe – we recommend throwing in the fettuccine with Cobble Lane ‘nduja for a kick.

Best restaurants in London Bridge and Borough | Anchovies in oil and other Spanish-influenced dishes at Parrillan
A spread of Spanish-influenced dishes at Parrillan. Photo by John Carey

Parrillan (Spanish)

Best for: Fire-cooked Spanish food and do-it-yourself grills in Borough Yards
Address: 4 Dirty Lane, London, SE1 9PA

Another restaurant imbued with the golden touch of the Harts brothers is Parrillan, a Barrafina spin-off with a focus on cooking over fire, which range from larger dishes prepared in the central kitchen to smaller plates that are cooked over individual parrilla grills at your table. You don’t have be a MasterChef alumni to try the do-it-yourself option, either: the sheer quality of the produce you’ll be popping on the grill (like the assorted cuts of ibérico pork, which come with some punchy aioli) mean you’re guaranteed it’ll taste good with minimal fuss. Rest assured, the kitchen team are on hand to take care of the slightly more advanced choices. There are plenty of veggie options too, and the outdoor terrace might just be central London’s perfect al fresco dining spot.

Best restaurants in London Bridge and Borough | The dining room at Berenjak, with artwork adorning the walls and Persian rugs over the floors
Berenjak's Borough restaurant showcases its Persian roots

Berenjak (Persian)

Best for: Persian-inspired cooking with a family feel
Address: 1 Bedale Street, London, SE1 9AL

After its Soho debut, Berenjak ventured south of the river to Bedale Street. There, the menu shares the same inspiration from head chef Kian Samyani’s family get-togethers in Iran. Featuring fire-cooked food plated in generous sharing dishes that will fill nourish both your belly and your soul. Charcoal-grilled kebabs are served alongside Persian headliner tahdig – a fragrant rice dish with a moreish, crispy topping. Meanwhile, the clay-baked seeded flatbread is ideal for mopping up sabzi, a dish of creamy feta with fresh herbs, radishes and nuts. If it’s good enough for Dua Lipa, it’s good enough for us.

Best restaurants in London Bridge and Borough Market | Seared squared of tuna topped with a raw onion garnish
Applebee's seared sesame tuna. Photo by Goya Photographey

Applebee’s Fish (seafood)

Best for: A fishmonger turned fish restaurant
Address: 5 Stoney Street, London, SE1 9AA

Another London Bridge institution, Applebee’s is a long-standing fishmonger-turned-restaurant serving plates of simple yet beautifully executed food. Yes, fish is the main catch here, but the same sourcing approach is applied to each dish that stars on the seasonal menu. Save your visit for mid-summer and you’ll be taking your pick from dishes like sesame seared tuna (pictured to the right); day boat turbot fillet, topped with kale; or pan-fried cod cheeks.

The best restaurants in London Bridge and Borough | Santo Remedio's brightly coloured interior
Santo Remedio's brightly coloured interior

Santo Remedio (Mexican)

Best for: Authentic Mexican eating, with snacks including crispy grasshoppers
Address: 152 Tooley Street, London, SE1 2TU

A few years ago, when Santo Remedio was making the tentative leap from pop-up to permanent, the support to help the owners find their own bricks-and-mortar space was so strong that Edson and Natalie Diaz-Fuentes were able to open up a bright space in London Bridge. Tacos abound, with niche toppings like crispy grasshoppers; there’s a brilliant brunch with plenty of margaritas (we’re here for the spice); and an all-round fiesta vibe, all inspired by the Diaz-Fuentes Mexican origins. The restaurant has been so successful that it’s since opened a second restaurant in Shoreditch.

Best restaurants London Bridge and Borough Market | lush greenery hangs down inside a double-height room
Casa Do Frango's London Bridge site

Casa do Frango (Portuguese)

Best for: Portuguese-style rotisserie chicken
Address: 32 Southwark Street, London, SE1 1TU

A whole roast chicken with plenty of sides is one of life’s greatest pleasures, and Casa do Frango has nailed its headline act down to a tee. Well-sourced chicken means the meat has extra flavour, and – true to the restaurant’s roots in Portugal’s Algarve region – it’s cooked on the grill over wood-charcoal. Alongside all that deliciousness, there’s charred baby gem lettuce with a grating of sharp manchego; the house slaw; and bright, fresh heritage tomato salad. We’re taking notes for our next dinner party.

Best restaurants London Bridge and Borough Market | a fresh tomato salad with fried bread croutons
Tomato tonnato at Lupins

Lupins London (modern British)

Best for: A hidden gem serving British seasonal small plates
Address: 66 Union Street, London, SE1 1TD

Lupins doesn’t often hear the same applause as other central London’s restaurants, but it’s quietly garnered a stellar reputation among local circles as an exceptional place to dine. The Cornish oysters and Welsh Lamb are a reminder of what’s so great about British eating – with every plate on the succinct menu concentrated on the restaurant’s seasonal, native focus. Organic ingredients carry over to much of the wine list, the bright, floral and crisp orange wines wash down the dark chocolate ganache delightfully.

Best London Bridge and Borough Restaurants | a low-lit bar framed by pendant lights and potted plants
The low-lit bar at Kolae. Photo by Ben Broomfield

Kolae (Thai)

Best for: A fiery addition to London’s Thai scene 
Address: 6 Park Street, London, SE1 9AB

Those who are familiar with Som Saa restaurant in Spitalfields will no doubt have already taste-tested the newly opened Kolae’s entire menu. The second London venture from tastemakers Mark Dobbie and Andy Oliver, this 75-cover bar and grill injects an authentic taste of Thai cuisine into the backstreets of Borough Market. Spread across three floors, including an intimate private dining area, guests will find traces of the former coach house threaded through the restaurant – think original wooden beams and exposed brick married with potted plants, rattan pendant lights and brushed concrete, courtesy of design specialists A-nrd Studio. Secure a seat facing the open kitchen and get to work on the food. The grilled mussel skewers pair perfectly with the Puket-style soy-braised middlewhite belly and ribs.

Best London Bridge and Borough Restaurants | Woman reaches for a bottle backed by handmade orange tiles
Bottle shelves lined by handmade tiles at Rambutan.

Rambutan (Sri Lankan)

Best for: A must-visit Sri Lankan address 
Address: 10 Stoney Street, London SE1 9AD

Ask any Londoner where Borough’s best date night spot is and they will march you straight to Rambutan’s front door. Arriving on Stoney Street in spring 2023, this low-lit restaurant was dreamed up by talented chef Cynthia Shanmugalingam, who has been shaking up London’s diaspora restaurant landscape ever since. Dishes are very much a love letter to Shanmugalingam’s Sri Lankan roots with delicious plates like slow grilled gurnard with goroka puli and citrus pickle and white sodhi mussel curry served with watercress. The real drawcard, however, is the feasting sharing menu priced at an affordable £38pp. Don’t miss: the Rambutan cookbook should be considered an essential in every kitchen.

Best London Bridge and Borough Restaurants | Man walks alongside the front doors of Turnips Restaurant
The gritty exterior of glamorous Turnips restaurant.

Turnips (modern British)

Best for: Exceptional fine-dining with a stellar seasonal menu
Address: 43 Borough Market, London SE1 9AH

Locals will know Turnips as the family-run fruit and vegetable stall that’s been serving Londoners for some 30 years, but it’s the super-swish restaurant slotted beneath the storied arches of Borough Market that we’re heading to. Celebrated chef Tomas Lidakevicius makes magic in the kitchen with mains worthy of wearing an elasticated waistband for and mouth-wateringly good desserts – we’re looking directly at the Ibérico pork served on a bed of artichoke and pickled asparagus, and the house-made sorbets. Lunch and dinner tasting experiences are also available.

The best things to do in London this April | Freshly plated food at Oma restaurant
Bold-flavoured plates at Oma, Borough Market

Oma, Borough Market (Greek)

Best for: Daily-changing menus and alfresco dining
Address: 2-4 Bedale Street, London, SE1 9AL

Dreamed up by seasoned restaurateur David Carter – the brains behind east London’s Smokestak and Manteca – Greek restaurant Oma adopts a prime position on bustling Bedale Street, featuring an outdoor terrace overlooking the market and a light-filled dining space bordered by an open kitchen. It serves a daily-changing menu of honest and bold-flavoured plates, such as homemade hummus masabacha, harissa-grilled prawns and butterflied red mullet. There’s an impressive wine list of lesser-known Greek wines and native grape varieties, too.