British, Modern Restaurants in Canary Wharf
1. The Ivy in the Park British, Modern restaurant in Tower Hamlets 50 Canada Square - E14
“You wouldn’t go for ‘haute cuisine’, but as a jolly place to eat comfort food in a spectacular setting, it is hard to beat” – that’s the upbeat view, anyway, on this now-“ubiquitous” brasserie chain. Eight years and 40 openings later, the spin-offs increasingly eclipse the Theatreland original (see also), whose Edwardian features provide the style-guide for its nationwide ‘roll out’. “Even if the unchallenging food reaches no heights, there’s a consistent buzz”, which makes them a “posh”, “fun” choice for a get-together, if not a particularly foodie one. This is particularly the case at the landmark London off-shoots: at ‘Chelsea Garden’ (“gorgeous greenery”); Kensington (“slick”, with a “pretty glitzy crowd”); and on the Thames (“great views over Tower Bridge”). But while it’s always been acknowledged that the mass offering is “a shadow of the mothership’s” – with “average grub at not-so-average prices” – the feeling that the brand has become just “a chain that does not excite” is gaining ever-stronger currency. Service seems more “stretched” nowadays, and a sliding ambience rating is making the whole offering seem ever-more “overrated, for all its modern art and perky décor”.
2. One Canada Square British, Modern restaurant in Canary Wharf 1 Canada Square - E14
2019 Review: In the lobby of Canary Wharf’s top landmark, this is “a business restaurant primarily, so I don’t really rate the atmosphere” (“it’s too bland for anything else”). “However, it works perfectly for a meeting: breakfast and lunch menus are well thought out and the food well put together”. For its purpose “definitely one of the best restaurants in the Wharf”.
3. Humble Grape British, Modern restaurant in Tower Hamlets 18-20 Mackenzie Walk - E14
“The whole package – great food, staff and incredible wines” – wins hymns of praise for James Dawson’s wine shop/club/bar/kitchen combination that now has five branches across central London. The focus is on sustainable, small-scale independent producers, with many wines available by the glass.
4. No 35 Mackenzie Walk British, Modern restaurant in Canary Wharf 29-35 Mackenzie Walk - E14
2022 Review: A marvellous waterside location, plus large terrace – in the heart of Canary Wharf overlooking Middle Dock – is a key strong point of this early 2020 newcomer. It’s not a foodie hotspot, but a good-looking after-work rendezvous or somewhere to head to at weekends for a bottomless brunch.
5. Bokan International restaurant in Canary Wharf 40 Marsh Wall - E14
2019 Review: “On a clear day the sights across London are wonderful” on the 37th floor of the recently opened Novotel Canary Wharf. This 65-cover venue still inspires limited feedback, but such as we have praises “beautifully presented dishes, tasty drinks and a great atmosphere”.
6. The Gun British, Modern restaurant in Canary Wharf 27 Coldharbour - E14
Directly across the Thames from the O2 – and a short drive from Canary Wharf – this Grade II listed tavern benefits from a superb waterside location, characterful old interior and large modern terrace. Nowadays run by Fuller’s, it’s not a foodie pub as it was a few years ago, but still wins praise for “great food, super cocktails and friendly staff”.
7. Caravan British, Modern restaurant in Canary Wharf Unit 2, Reuters Plaza - E14
“Delicious shakshuka with maxing smoky flavours” is typical of the “colourful and flavoursome” brunch-friendly dishes at this “very buzzy if not loud” chain, known for its “top coffee” (which they roast themselves), and whose best-known sites are the Exmouth Market original and large Granary Square branch. Recently, they also added an opening in Canary Wharf and a brew bar at their Caledonian Road roastery (not listed), with further ‘measured expansion’ planned. For the most part, they are still mostly seen as a “reliable” choice for an “interesting and healthy” breakfast: “not everything is a hit but for a casual lunch I am pretty happy”. Top Tip – “when the sun is shining, it’s worth waiting for an outside table” in N1.
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