Burrow into Borough and you’ll be bound to find some banging belters to beef up your belly. Just south of London Bridge, Borough is home to the Shard, Borough Market and the South Bank, so no shortage of great places to find nourishment. It’s bustling, bursting with flavours and yet always feels ever-so-slightly seedy with it. Welcome to Borough.
The Shard. It evokes sheer wonder this bizarre Mordor-esque monolith dominating the Borough skyline. And head 31 floors up it and you’ll come across Aqua Shard. The view is splendid, reaching forever to the horizon (don’t all views?) and the modern British menu hits all the right notes, contending as it does against London’s skyline for diners’ attention.
Great for: A different side to Aqua, and the view
Where: Level 31, The Shard, 31 St Thomas Street, London, SE1 9RY, United Kingdom
Nearest station: London Bridge (0.1 miles)
Back in 2002, brothers in law Ben Wright and Robin Hancock – aka The Wright Brothers – set about trying to reinstall the popularity of oysters – molluscs had, after all, been a staple London street food for years before they suddenly became the preserve of the elite. The seafood specialists now supply over 200 of London’s finest restaurants with a range of high-quality, sustainable oysters, fish and seafood and they have five restaurants in London – the Oyster & Porter House in Borough Market, Soho Oyster House, Spitalfields, South Kensington and Battersea Power Station. Sublime for seafood, this venue sits amongst the buzz of Borough Market equipped with the handsome feature of an open kitchen, so you can watch the chefs at work.
Great for: Those who like to sea food and eat it…
Hoot hoot for Hutong! The Chinese restaurant towers above the rest, making this the highest authentic Chinese food this side of the Gobi Desert. Unless you’re on an Air China flight, I suppose. And the food is a damn sight better The 33rd floor restaurant offers some of the best of the tallest building in Europe, certainly is reminiscent of some of the most authentic Chinese cuisine around.
Great for: Authentic Chinese cuisine
Where: Level 33, The Shard, 31 St Thomas Street, London, SE1 9RY, United Kingdom
Nearest station: London Bridge (0.1 miles)
This Hawksmoor is housed in a former hop warehouse, which stands on the grounds of the 12th century Winchester Palace. it’s all dark wood and dark green leather with low lighting in the evenings. There are wooden beams and columns salvaged from the when the building was built from great ships broken up, parquet flooring comes from a library in the Midlands, table tops come from an old chemistry lab and there are large lights from a masonic lodge. It’s slick but relaxed; the sort of place you want to sit and eat steak with plenty of mac n cheese and chips.
Whilst Hawksmoor is renowned for its steak, it isn’t just about cuts of meat, with an abundance of other dishes filling the menu. It’s meat and seafood at its finest and you can take your own wine for just £5 corkage, regardless of how big the bottle is – Jeroboams encouraged!
Great for: Wine and steak nights
Back up Europe’s biggest phallus, The Shard, shall we? This time on the 32nd floor and there’s something meaty to get your teeth into, in the form of an urban rotisserie and grill restaurant. Oblix West don’t only serve meat, they also serve a mean tea, and given the price of getting a tourist ticket to the top of the tower, top tip: it makes far more sense to book in for a spot of tea at Oblix instead!
Pasta La Vista Baby! One for the pasta lovers! This first come first serve spot will have you slipping over spaghetti to grab a seat counter side. The restaurant, located in London Bridge, boasts hand-rolled fresh and splashed with sauce and fillings inspired by the owners’ trips to Italy. It’s no mission im-pasta-ble to grab a seat here…
Great for: Counter dining and a good ol’ taste of Italy
We’re lusting over Native, not only for their food but because of the super ethical concept behind it all. The menu begins with each chef creating a snack offering from offcuts, so this includes radish tops or grain husks. Therefore, instead of throwing it away they’re creating something pretty special. What’s more, as Borough market is a wander away the chefs are able to head down there every morning to peruse the goods, ready for your plates later that day. Greedily spanning the UK with their sourcing of ingredients, there’s fish from Dorset’s coasts, venison from South Downs and game shot in Yorkshire on offer.
Great for: Market-picked produce and British ingredients
Borough Market is the home to so much street food and tasty bites served from market stalls, but in the midst of the bustle there’s a discrete entrance to a wonderous fine dining restaurant, set above the commotion below and serving exactly what it says on the tin, roast. Except this roast certainly hasn’t come out of a tin. Founded by Iqbal Wahhab, also responsible for Westminster’s Cinamon Club, Roast sets out with a simple goal: to produce the best roast dinners in London. And it’s fair to argue that they’ve succeeded. Bathed in light from the enormous windows it’s the most sublime Sunday lunch destination, or equally perfect for dinner; perhaps less so if you’re a veggie…
Great for: Roasts, of course!
Wandering away from Borough? Why not check out some of our other favourite places to eat in…