British, Modern Restaurants in Southwark
1. 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!”
2. 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.
3. Blueprint Café British, Modern restaurant in Southwark 28 Shad Thames, Butler’s Wharf - SE1
“One of the best views in the capital”, over Tower Bridge and the Thames, is the highlight of any meal at this venue from D&D London, on the first floor of the former Design Museum. Beyond that, there’s “no problem with the food or cooking”, which can be “surprisingly delicious” nowadays.
4. The Garrison British, Modern restaurant in Southwark 99 Bermondsey Street - SE1
“Pub food at its finest, with some real stand-out dishes” has kept this operation near the antiques market at the forefront since the early days of Bermondsey’s booming food scene. “The menu’s good, but the specials are worth eating every time”.
5. The Anchor & Hope British, Modern restaurant in Southwark 36 The Cut - SE1
“Still nailing it after all these years” – this “unpretentious but brilliant” Southwark boozer near the Young Vic was again very narrowly beaten into No. 2 place amongst London’s best gastropubs (by the Harwood Arms), but maintains a massive fanclub, and “you still have to queue to get a table”. The draw is its “hearty” British cooking – “always-fascinating-and-unusual” dishes (often using game or offal) “delivering great flavours and textures”. Top Tip – you can book for Sunday lunch.
6. Oblix British, Modern restaurant in Southwark Level 32, The Shard, 31 St. Thomas Street - SE1
“The view is spectacular” from the 32nd floor of the Shard, so “why not put the £35 it would cost to go to the viewing deck towards a meal here”, in the brasserie from Rainer Becker of Zuma and Roka. “The meal is ridiculously overpriced”, of course, but “the atmosphere feels special” and – though the food is not without its detractors – a relatively high proportion of diners here feel “it matches the panorama”. You can choose between the West section for a restaurant-style meal or the East bar with food.
7. Tate Modern, Kitchen & Bar, Level 6 British, Modern restaurant in Southwark Level 6 Boiler House, Bankside - SE1
“Beautiful views – adequate but unexciting food”: that’s the perennial trade-off at Tate Modern’s original, elevated dining room – a simple space, but with a stunning vantagepoint for viewing The Thames, St Paul’s and the City. It aims to be a showcase for top British ingredients and drinks but results can border on the mundane.
8. The Table British, Modern restaurant in Southwark 83 Southwark St - SE1
“A firm favourite for breakfast and brunch in Southwark” – this café-style fixture a short stroll from Tate Modern serves “a great menu to suit all tastes”, and fans say it’s “unbeatable”.
9. The Ivy Tower Bridge British, Modern restaurant in Southwark 1 Tower Bridge - SE1
“Maybe the brand is a bit stretched”, but Richard Caring’s bold expansion is paying off by-and-large, certainly in commercial terms, and – though most branches’ average food-rating is run-of-the-mill – by the standards of large chains, the group delivers a consistent-enough formula, whereby folks accept predictable nursery fodder in return for a dependable dose of ‘affordable glamour’. The “beautiful and festive” Ivy Chelsea Garden (SW3) is the best known in the stable and it’s particularly “wonderful if you manage to get a table in their fabulous garden”. The “big and buzzy” Ivy Kensington Brasserie (W8) is less highly rated, but nevertheless fills a vital niche in the local market for a comfortable, atmospheric and versatile rendezvous (“its bar is also a fun place for a drink”). The City branches (The Ivy Tower Bridge, The Ivy City Garden EC2) and Canary Wharf outlet (The Ivy in the Park, E14) are the highest rated all-round (perhaps reflecting the ongoing lack of convivial spaces out east). “Awesome views” at Tower Bridge are distinct client-pleasers. Other branches taking above-average flak include The Ivy Soho Brasserie, W1 (“busy mayhem” with “slow and disorganised service”) and The Ivy Market Grill, WC2 (“nothing special, rather overpriced, and very busy”). See also Granary Square Brasserie.
10. Louie Louie British, Modern restaurant in Southwark 347 Walworth Rd - SE17
Bright, white-walled café on a Walworth corner that makes a feature of playing vintage vinyl, and is hailed as a “fab neighbourhood spot”, particularly for brunch. Also, “look out for top-class cooking at pop-up events in the evening”.
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