Hardens Guide to the Best Restaurants in London Waterloo
Hardens guides have spent 29 years compiling reviews of the best Waterloo restaurants. On Hardens.com you'll find details and reviews of 12 restaurants in Waterloo and our unique survey based approach to rating and reviewing Waterloo restaurants gives you the best insight into the top restaurants in every area and of every type of cuisine.
Featured Waterloo Restaurants
1. Baltic Polish restaurant in Waterloo 74 Blackfriars Rd - SE1
“A real surprise” near The Cut – this well-established fixture (which opened in 2001) has a relatively “humble entrance”, which opens onto a “great space”: an intriguingly converted Georgian factory, with a fun bar, and an unexpectedly large, “light-filled” dining room. The cuisine is enjoyably unusual too: “modern Polish – not the usual heavy, East European dishes”, but “gutsy” and “always imaginative, with new and traditional choices”. Go easy on the vodka though: over 60 varieties, all served straight from the deep freeze in frozen glasses.
2. Skylon, South Bank Centre British, Modern restaurant in Waterloo Belvedere Rd - SE1
“Still one of the best views in London” – this vast chamber was built, back in this South Bank arts centre’s, 1950s, Festival-of-Britain prime, as ‘The People’s Palace’ and it remains “a great-looking venue with an enviable location overlooking the Thames” through gigantic picture windows. All reporters would agree that it’s a “brilliant spot for watching the world and river go by, and the cocktails are great”, but too many find the cooking either “expensive” or “disappointing”, or both. Top Tip – “worth visiting for the ‘Saxy Saturday Brunch’ featuring a nice but limited set menu but also bottomless Prosecco which helps draw in a crowd”.
3. Archduke Wine Bar Steaks & grills restaurant in Waterloo 153 Concert Hall Approach, South Bank - SE1
2016 Review: These characterful railway arches “have offered food for decades in various guises” (currently, as an outpost of the ‘Black & Blue’ chain); “for a quick bite pre-Festival Hall” it’s mightily convenient, but otherwise “you wouldn’t rush back”.
4. Sticky Mango at RSJ Pan-Asian restaurant in Waterloo 33 Coin Street - SE1
Having the “same staff as RSJ” (its predecessor on the site, now RIP) preserves some continuity at this 30-year stalwart, near the Festival Hall, whose “brave move to Thai food from classic French” a couple of years ago has split opinion: “zingy and fresh” to fans, but to critics, “entirely unremarkable”. Its famous cellar of Loire wine has also been transferred to the new venture: “still the best wine list I know of, but it goes less well with the Asian food now on offer”. The ambience of the room – whose Reinforced Steel Joist inspired the name of the former operation – has never been a major plus.
5. Brasserie Joël, Park Plaza Westminster Bridge French restaurant in Waterloo Westminster Bridge Rd - SE1
9. Gillray's Steakhouse, Marriott County Hall Steaks & grills restaurant in Waterloo Westminster Bridge Rd - SE1
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