Hardens Guide to the Best Restaurants in London Southwark
Hardens guides have spent 29 years compiling reviews of the best Southwark restaurants. On Hardens.com you'll find details and reviews of 105 restaurants in Southwark and our unique survey based approach to rating and reviewing Southwark restaurants gives you the best insight into the top restaurants in every area and of every type of cuisine.
Featured Southwark Restaurants
1. Paladar South American restaurant in Southwark 4-5 London Road - SE1
“A great find in the wasteland around Elephant & Castle, where everything is South American, from ingredients, such as plantain and cassava, to the wine list and the lively clientele”. A bar/restaurant (with walled garden for warmer days), it’s “a great introduction to Latino food”: “typical dishes such as ceviche and braised black beef are produced to a higher standard than just about anywhere else in London”. Top Tip – all dishes are gluten-free, with a range of veggie and vegan options.
2. The Coal Shed Steaks & grills restaurant in Southwark One Tower Bridge - SE1
In the shiny new developments south of Tower Bridge, this stylish, but “down-to-earth” two-year-old (sibling to an original in Brighton) has a “wide menu” – from “delicious seafood” to mouthwatering steak – but it’s perhaps the “very meaty” dishes that score the highest approval ratings (charcoal grilled British beef cuts are a mainstay of the menu, and the Moroccan goat dish, when it’s on, is terrific). Top Tip – “perfect before a show at the new Bridge Theatre” (“I’d go to a performance just as an excuse to dine at The Coal Shed!”)
3. José Spanish restaurant in Southwark 104 Bermondsey St - SE1
“There’s no finer tapas outside Spain” than at José Pizarro’s “outstanding, if authentically tiny” Bermondsey bar: “very buzzy and busy, as a tapas bar should be” providing “absolute classic dishes, prepared with attention to detail and with perfect produce”. “It looks chaotic when you turn up and you have to queue outside with your wine. However the system they have works because you’re soon seated and ready to enjoy some of London’s best tapas”; “highly recommended”.
4. Levan British, Modern restaurant in Southwark 3-4 Blenheim Grove - SE15
“Fantastic food + great wine list + super-friendly people + brilliant music = cool vibes!” – this new restaurant and wine bar near Peckham Rye station (baby bro’ to Salon in Brixton) has cracked the formula for winning fans from SE15 and beyond: a “casual-yet-special” operation, it can become “extremely busy” and “crowded”. Its “incredible” small plates are a foil to the “very good wine list” and arguably a form of “wildly indulgent nursery food”, but are so “creative and fun” and with “flavours that sing!”
5. Monmouth Coffee Company Sandwiches, cakes, etc restaurant in Southwark 2 Park St - SE1
“There really is only one winner here when it comes to coffee!” – these caffeine-havens remain the survey’s No. 1 coffee company thanks to its “perfect” brews – from a “fabulous, rotating and extensive selection of beans” – delivered by “patient and helpful staff”, who are “invariably lovely despite the crazy-massive queues”. By Borough Market, the “rustic, no-frills SE1 branch with its communal heavy wood table” offers a “quintessential London breakfast experience, with a cult following” (foodwise, there’s bread and jam, plus “beautifully-sourced pastries”). The original WC2 branch is also “lovely… if you can get a seat”; and a recent addition is a Saturday-only branch at Spa Terminus in Bermondsey SE16.
6. Bar Douro Portuguese restaurant in Southwark Arch 25b Flat Iron Square, Union St - SE1
A “unique menu” of “delicious Portuguese tapas” that “really pack flavour” makes this authentically tiled bar near Borough Market “just a delight”; especially in summer when its “lovely outdoor seating area” makes it “an ideal place to spend an afternoon”. “The knowledgeable staff have great wine recommendations” from the “interesting” all-Portuguese list.
7. Nandine Middle Eastern restaurant in Southwark 45 Camberwell Church Street - SE5
“A marvellous alternative to generic Middle East cuisine” – this family business has graduated from Peckham Levels (where they still trade) to this new café in Camberwell, where they offer “a Kurdish take on classic Middle Eastern dishes: well spiced, utterly fresh and served with a warmth worth mentioning because it’s so uncommon...”. A rave August 2019 review from Jay Rayner has propelled it to becoming a fooderati talking point.
8. Forza Win Italian restaurant in Southwark Unit 4.1, 133 Copeland Rd - SE15
“An unexpected treat despite the location” – a former warehouse at the back of an industrial building in Peckham – this ex-pop-up Italian serves “really original food at very good prices”, including “easily some of the best pasta in London”. “You feel the people working here really love what they do, and it shows in the food – it’s seriously happy food”.
9. Casa do Frango Portuguese restaurant in Southwark 32 Southwark Street - SE1
“Grilled chicken is the centrepiece” (frango means chicken in Portuguese) and is done in three different ways: peri peri, lemon, and garlic-and-oregano – at this “buzzing”, airy and artfully converted yearling, not far from Borough Market. “Sides, salads and especially the custard tarts are of a very high standard too, and service, like the room, is bright and cheery”. A sibling stall is now open in Centre Point’s Arcade Food Theatre, see also.
10. Butlers Wharf Chop House British, Traditional restaurant in Southwark 36e Shad Thames - SE1
This business-friendly D&D London venue plays to its strengths: the spectacular Tower Bridge setting, plus a well-constructed menu of meaty, classic British dishes. Originally part of Sir Terence Conran’s ‘Gastrodome’ project in the 1990s, fans “have been coming here for years” and for a simple grill in prime Thames-side territory, it’s worth remembering.
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