Bermondsey Street might be its best-known focal point, but the whole area of Bermondsey has become in recent years a major destination for London foodies. Let’s have a look at ten great restaurants south-east of the river.
Over the past 15 years, the food scene of Bermondsey has expanded from nearby Borough Market to Bermondsey Street, the Spa Terminus area for food production and distribution, Maltby Street Market, and the south bank riverside east of London Bridge. Today this area is a must-visit destination for whatever culinary experience one might be after, from street food to gourmet restaurants.
Antico opened in 2012 to bring an Italian note to Bermondsey Street. Its concept is so simple it feels it couldn’t be otherwise: the authenticity of tradition presented with a contemporary accent, to provide a comfortable experience in a relaxing and friendly environment. In line with the Italian style, each ingredient is highlighted by keeping recipes simple, although new flavours and little detours from the textbooks liven up the reasonably-priced menu. After dinner, head to the cocktail bar underneath for a gin tasting session.
214 Bermondsey St, London SE1 3TQ
One of the longest-standing players of Bermondsey Street’s new face, The Garrison is still committed to serving great British food in a friendly and easy-going ambience. The often-changing menus feature classic dishes and new inventions, made with quality produce sourced from local suppliers and British farms and fishermen. Offering breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner menus, The Garrison is suitable for any time of the day. An intimate space in the basement is also available for business meetings or private events.
99-101 Bermondsey St, London SE1 3XB
Le Pont De La Tour
Le Pont De La Tour provides an exclusive experience of modern French cuisine, to be enjoyed either through a set or tasting menu. If the view of Tower Bridge from the riverside terrace is stunning, the interior design also makes a perfect atmosphere for a classy brunch, lunch or dinner, paired by a great selection of wines. In addition to a restaurant, Le Pont De La Tour is also a bar & grill, food kiosk, bakery and wine merchant. Check their events list for exclusive culinary experiences and musical performances.
36D Shad Thames, London SE1 2YE
Cantina Del Ponte
A mural running along the wall, black-and-white tiles and the terracotta floor create the quaint and easy-going atmosphere of an Italian marketplace, which is located beside the River Thames. Cantina Del Ponte offers a trattoria-like menu, where favourites include polenta and gorgonzola, paccheri with ‘nduja and smokey burrata, red wine risotto with radicchio, while the Norcia black truffle dishes deserve a special section on the list. Brunches and riverside aperitivi with views towards Tower Bridge are also available.
36c Shad Thames, London SE1 2YE
Housed in historic Butler Wharf building, Chop House is the place to visit near Tower Bridge to find straightforward, modern British food served in a smart environment. Moreover, its prime location along the south bank is just a few minutes away from London Bridge and the City, but not as busy as most of the surrounding spots. If the roast is bound to be the bestseller on a Sunday, the rest of the menu is not to be overlooked. Keep an eye out for the ‘steaks best friends’ on the wine list.
36e Shad Thames, London SE1 2YE
As the name suggests, food here is intended as a means for storytelling. In their own words, “certain dishes are influenced by memory or provenance of ingredients; we want to share these with you through what you see, smell and taste.” Such a concept is put into practice using fresh British ingredients and chef Tom Sellers’ experience, which has earned the restaurant a Michelin star in 2013. The Full Story experience is a four-chapter menu, which can take up to four hours, going through Childhood, Sea and Land. Like with any well-told story, each diner should expect to be inspired by it in their own way.
199 Tooley St, London SE1 2JX
Locanda Del Melo
From outside one only notices the deli counter displaying alluring Italian products. Once inside, however, a little room discloses an intimate and cosy ambience, which is quite hard to believe so close to yeasty Bermondsey Street. Design, service, atmosphere and food quality authentically follow the Italian standards, and recent highlights on the menu included smoked swordfish with pomegranate seeds, braised ox tail with polenta and wine sauce, trofie with artichokes, tortellini with codfish, and potatoes in tomato sauce. All products are sourced from small, family-run businesses throughout Italy.
218 Long Lane, London SE1 4QB
In the much-acclaimed Maltby Street Market, Tozino stands out as an authentic Spanish bodega hidden underneath the railway arches. As such, it couldn’t do without vintage jamón hanging from the ceiling, rustic atmosphere, caňas and a nice crowd to happily elbow one’s way through. In addition to hand-carved jamón – the undisputed star of the show – the larder serves cheese, charcuterie and snacks. Red, white and sherry wines from Spain provide a few more reasons to pay a visit.
Lassco Ropewalk Maltby Street, London SE1 3PA
This tiny corner restaurant of Bermondsey Street is regarded by many as the one true French bistro in London. With black-and-white floor tiles, liqueur posters and red check tablecloths, Casse-Croûte’s interior design and décor couldn’t better live up to such reputation, and the same goes for the daily changing menu. The nine, occasionally ten, items displayed on the blackboard might include the likes of bouchées à la reine, filet de boeuf en croûte, tripes à la mode de Caen and flétan aux lentilles. But no need to panic if one doesn’t know a smattering of the language, as the cordial staff is there to help. Unsurprisingly, the wine list is also rigorously French.
109 Bermondsey St, London SE1 3XB
After joining the makeover of Bermondsey Street in 2011 with a sherry and tapas bar, José Pizarro opened his second London venture just a few doors away. Serving snacks, cheese and cold cuts at the front, Pizarro is a roomy, stylish restaurant at the rear, designed to offer a fine dining experience with a Spanish accent. A sound selection of seasonal starters and mains is enhanced with meticulously-sourced ingredients handled by the chef’s creativity. The wine list spans a wide range of prices and qualities.
194 Bermondsey St, London SE1 3TQ