British, Modern Restaurants in Southwark
1. Lupins British, Modern restaurant in Bankside 66 Union St - SE1
The “fabulous Anglicised tapas” at this “hidden gem next to the Omeara music venue” have made a hit of Lucy Pedder and Natasha Cooke’s four-year-old venture. It’s “tiny and unpromising on the outside, but has a really lovely menu of superb small plates, generally modern British with an Iberian inflection”. There’s now a spinoff, Pomelo, at the new Goods Way food market in King’s Cross.
2. Caravan Bankside British, Modern restaurant in Metal Box Factory, 30 Great Guildford St - SE1
“OK I guess, but could be so much better” is an increasingly common view on this once-groundbreaking chain, where the feeling that “it seems to have gone off a bit” is most prevalent at the well-known Granary Square branch, which risks becoming “a cheerless, so-so, fast-turnaround experience”. At its best, though – mostly to be found at the EC1 original, with its “great outside seating area and very relaxed atmosphere” – the group remains popular for its “innovative and delicious breakfasts”: “great sharing plates” and “something for everyone” (which includes “a good set of vegan and vegetarian alternatives”).
3. Elliot's British, Modern restaurant in London Bridge 12 Stoney St - SE1
This ten-year-old Borough Market favourite has a “lovely lively ambience” and makes good use of its location to source “excellent, fresh” ingredients for its “delicious Italian-accented small plates” and “tasty seafood”. A pioneer purveyor of natural wines in London, it also champions cooking with wood, both on the grill and in the oven that produces “top-class sourdough pizzas”. A sibling opened in Mare Street, Hackney, in July 2021.
4. 26 Grains Stoney Street British, Modern restaurant in Borough 2-3 Stoney Street - SE1
In late 2019, the team from well-known café, 26 Grains of Neal’s Yard, opened a big sister over the road from Borough Market. It’s a casual, tastefully decorated haunt serving simple food; and where at night, the vibe is less café, more wine bar. In late 2020, Tom Cenci (the ex Duck & Waffle head chef, whose own Loyal Tavern venture did not survive the pandemic) took over what has become an extended residency. The cooking (by him and one other chef) centres on sustainability, and less-used cuts of meat (particularly Irish beef).
5. The Swan at the Globe British, Modern restaurant in Southwark 21 New Globe Walk - SE1
“Fab food, awesome views and ambience” make this modern recreation of an Elizabethan tavern – part of the Shakespeare’s Globe theatre complex on the South Bank – a “real delight”, far superior to most tourist-site pit stops. The restaurant features contemporary British cooking, while the bar serves “great high-end pub fare, beautifully presented and in a stunning room overlooking the river”. It’s perfect for pre-theatre dining, naturally, but also works for full meals – thinning out when the audience is called in for the show.
6. Tate Modern, Kitchen & Bar, Level 6 British, Modern restaurant in Southwark Level 6 Boiler House, Bankside - SE1
“Decent food with a stunning view – if you’re lucky enough to get a window table” overlooking the Thames and City rooftops, is the uncontested verdict on the ‘Kitchen and Bar’ in the Boiler House part of the gallery.
7. Aqua Shard British, Modern restaurant in City Level 31, 31 St Thomas St - SE1
“Fabulous views, a great atmosphere and an interesting fusion menu” were more in focus in commentary this year on this sexily located venue, near the top of The Shard. Unsurprisingly, it is sometimes still seen as being “overpriced”, but this was less of a complaint this year. Options here also include brunch and unlimited sandwiches and cakes for afternoon tea.
8. TING British, Modern restaurant in London Bridge Level 35, 31 St Thomas St - SE1
Incredible vistas are a given from the 35th floor of the Shard and this all-day restaurant and lounge doesn’t disappoint with a 360° panorama of the capital. It perennially attracts some criticism for being overpriced, but significant criticism was absent this year and most aspects of the experience are rated good to outstanding. The menu hedges its bets – although predominantly focused on ‘time-honoured Asian cuisine’, there is also a section devoted to ‘classic British gastronomy’ (plus options for breakfast and afternoon tea).
9. Oblix British, Modern restaurant in Southwark Level 32, The Shard, 31 St. Thomas Street - SE1
“It should be excellent”, but there were too many ropey reviews this year of this spectacularly located 32nd floor eatery, owned by Rainer Becker (of Zuma and Roka fame). Gripes are not that its luxurious grills, steaks, raw dishes and seafood are poor – it’s that they are “much too expensive” and that “service makes you feel like a number” rather than an individual.
10. The Anchor & Hope British, Modern restaurant in Southwark 36 The Cut - SE1
“The ultimate gastropub” – this Southwark “pioneer of quality pub dining” missed out this year, by the narrowest whisker, on re-taking the crown as being London’s No.1 favourite hostelry in our annual diner survey. The gutsy, honest food is “top-notch every time” and – even though no longer viewed as achingly cutting edge – comes “at sensible prices, and with good beer and wine to go with it”. Service is “super-nice”, and all-in-all it’s just “a great, laid-back place to relax”. Best of all for some folks, they “now accept reservations!”
11. Vinoteca Borough British, Modern restaurant in Southwark Borough Yards, Stoney Street - SE1
Review: This modern take on the wine bar “sets the benchmark for an imaginative, indeed educational, wine list” – with “constantly surprising selections from far-flung places alongside the old-world classics”. There are “good choices by the glass, though prices can start quickly to move upwards”, and the “food is generally surprisingly good, with good-value set-lunch options”. The ultra-handily situated King’s Cross branch draws some flak for being “just too popular”, while branches in the City, Faringdon, Marylebone and Chiswick all have their fans. A new branch is scheduled to open by Borough Market in late 2021.
View full listings of 11 British, Modern Southwark Restaurants
Popular Southwark Restaurant Searches
Southwark Restaurant News
Top Southwark Restaurants
Hot Newcomers & Coming Soon