Hardens Guide to the Best Restaurants in London Southwark
Hardens guides have spent 30 years compiling reviews of the best Southwark restaurants. On Hardens.com you'll find details and reviews of 106 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” three-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).
3. Street Pizza Pizza restaurant in Southwark 47-51 Great Suffolk Street - SE1
Gordon Ramsay's pizza chain; this branch opened in May 2021.
4. 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”.
5. 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!”
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. Flat Iron Steaks & grills restaurant in Southwark 112-116 Tooley Street - SE1
“They put the price up from £10 to £11, but it still can’t be faulted!” – for a “a great steak, without any frills” this “always busy, lively and buzzy” chain remains “a winning formula”: “it’s so nice to have a simple menu choice, and what they do, they do very well”; this includes the very impressively “friendly and professional service-with-a-smile”. One catch: “you have to put up with no bookings”, so “be prepared to queue”. But “if you want a great meal on a budget: go visit!”
8. 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.
9. 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 the late 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.
10. The Swan at the Globe British, Modern restaurant in Southwark 21 New Globe Walk - SE1
“A great view of the river and very competent cuisine” makes this would-be Elizabethan tavern – on the first floor of Shakespeare’s Globe theatre – “a delightful find on the tourist trail”. Chef Allan Pickett sticks sensibly to modern British rather than cod-historical cooking.
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