Tate Modern

Best Restaurants & Bars Near Tate Modern

Tate Modern is one of the world’s best modern art galleries but man and woman cannot survive on culture alone. At some point, you’re going to need sustenance and we don’t want you to end up in any old tourist trap or sub-standard venue. Here’s our guide, then, to the best restaurants and bars near Tate Modern.

The Table Cafe

The Table Café

Distance from Tate Modern: 0.1 miles

We’ve long loved this all-day café and restaurant run by chef and co-owner Shaun Alpine-Crabtree (yes, that is his real name) and team. Breakfast and brunch are what The Table really excels at, so if you’re in the market for either then make a beeline for this bright space on Bankside.

From 7.30-11.30am on weekdays (8.30am start on weekends), you can order their waffles, pancakes, sandwiches or eggs. There are two more options you should definitely give some serious thought to however and they are The Full Borough, which is The Table’s version of a full English breakfast, but classier. The beans come with chorizo, the mushrooms with herbs, the sausage has leeks in it and the eggs are organic. It’s glorious and will set you up for any amount of art absorption.

The second option is the legendary ‘Stack’ which does what it says on the menu. Lots of excellent brunch items, including homemade ham hock and chorizo baked beans, a bagel and poached eggs with hollandaise make up what they call, ‘a towering inferno of deliciousness.’

The Table Café, 83 Southwark Street, SE1 0HX


Tonkotsu Ramen

Tonkotsu Bankside

Distance from Tate Modern: 0.1 miles

Tonkotsu may be a chain but they’re a reliably great one. Their namesake dish, tonkotsu ramen, is a creamy, comforting style of noodle broth that’s made by boiling pork bones for up to 18 hours, and served with springy noodles and garnishes like sliced pork, slow-cooked egg with a squidgy yolk, and spring onions.

A very important tip here: do not miss their Eat The Bits chilli oil, which is, basically, the best chilli oil you’ll ever taste. Its name may seem odd but simply refers to the bits at the bottom of the jar (the ‘sediment’) which is made up of all sorts of umami-heavy goodies and is an essential condiment, whatever you order.

It’s not all ramen, however, and we also love their chicken karaage (Japanese style fried chicken) and their katsu sando, one of the world’s great sandwiches. Fried chicken thigh (always go for the dark meat) is sandwiched between soft white bread with shredded Chinese cabbage and sweet Japanese mayo. We could take one down right now, thinking about it.

Tonkotsu Bankside, 4 Canvey Street, SE1 9AN


dandelyan

Dandelyan

Distance from Tate Modern: 0.3 miles

Ryan Chetiyawardana (otherwise known as Mr Lyan) is a big name on the London cocktail scene. You’ll need to go inside The Mondrian hotel to find this bar – it’s just off the lobby – and there you’ll discover a very swish, shiny cocktail bar overlooking The Thames.

Ryan has several bars around town and recently opened another (Cub) but it seems he still hasn’t spread himself too thinly. Clearly, the team here has been well chosen, as they’ve won awards for their skills, and the bar was recently named world’s best cocktail bar at the 2017 Spirited Awards.

The cocktails are heavy on botanicals, and we love the use of spices like long pepper in the Arsenic Waltz, which brings a unique and exotic warmth to the drink. So many cocktail bars can be gimmicky but this is the real deal. It’s not really a shorts and ripped t-shirt kinda place, though, so bear that in mind.

Dandelyan, Mondrian at Sea Containers, 20 Upper Ground, SE1 9PD


Caravan

Caravan Bankside

Distance from Tate Modern: 0.3 miles

This small chain of all-day cafe/restaurants is a good option if you want a quick, simple bite to eat. They do something for everyone, from snacks like pot sticker dumplings to small plates, arrangements of bread, cheese and meats and larger plates of steak and fish. There’s also pizza, dessert and lots of coffee, which they roast themselves.

We know, it sounds like a car crash but you have to trust us that the globally influenced food and all-day concept really does work. We’re not sure how they pull it off, to be honest, but who cares? There’s breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner to be had here. Just rock up and they’ll sort the rest.

Caravan Bankside, 30 Great Guildford Street, SE1 0HS


‘O Ver

Distance from Tate Modern: 0.3 miles

Yeah, it’s a silly name for a restaurant. Yes, they do use seawater in their pizza dough. No, we are not convinced it makes any difference. The thing is, the pizza is pretty darn good. It’s Neopolitan style, so expect a sourdough base, spotted with char from the oven. Toppings will be sparse but full of flavour and the crust will be chewy while the middle stays ‘soupy’. How to eat it? Cut a slice, fold in the soupy tip if necessary, sandwich in half and point towards your face.

‘O Ver, 44 Southwark Street, SE1 1UN


Bala Baya

Distance from Tate Modern: 0.3 miles

This Tel Aviv inspired restaurant in the arches on Union Street is the place to go if you want bright, fresh salads, grilled meat and fish and plenty of punchy flavours. This is inspired by the restaurants and bars of one of Israel’s most vibrant cities and there are lots of flavours to transport you there – like sesame, pomegranate and dates – mixed with more international ingredients including kimchi, turmeric and tonka bean.

There’s a handy ‘grab and go’ lunch on weekdays from 12-3pm, which is a selection of filled pittas. Think salmon, caramelised cauliflower, grilled chicken or braised beef, with crunchy salads, pickles and sauces. All are £7 and will knock the socks off a pre-packaged sarnie.

Bala Baya, Arch 25, Old Union Yard Arches, 229 Union Street, SE1 0LR


Steak at Hawksmoor in London.

Hawksmoor Borough

Distance from Tate Modern: 0.4 miles

There’s now a branch of one of London’s best steak restaurants just behind Borough Market and it’s fast becoming our favourite. The bonus with this branch is there’s natural light thanks to the windows that line the typically large room.

They’re famous for their steak but there’s also a selection of seafood at this branch, including crab on toast, lemon sole, or surf and turf (steak and lobster) if you just can’t choose. Hawksmoor is not cheap, but prices do reflect the quality. There’s an express menu from Monday-Friday which may suit you if you want a taste of the good stuff at a cheaper price – £22 for two courses, or £33 for three.

If you’re into cocktails, then take this opportunity to try Shaky Pete’s Ginger Brew. A mixture of Beefeater gin, ginger, lemon and London Pride beer, it’s a true London classic (and a miracle hangover cure, should you need one).

Hawksmoor Borough, 16 Winchester Walk, SE1 9AQ


Bar Douro

Flat Iron Square

Distance from Tate Modern: 0.3 miles

This is a handy spot if you want something casual with a few venues to choose from. There’s a collection of traders housed here, plus a decent bar (it’s outside but has heaters) with a good selection of craft beers. We like the dumplings at Mike and Ollie Manti, the creative, colourful mixed salads from Savage Salads and gigantic sculptural, Dutch-style pancakes from Where The Pancakes Are.

Those who want something a little more civilised should head to nearby Bar Douro (pictured), a Portuguese bar/restaurant with high stools and counter dining, tapas-style small plates and sherry.

Flat Iron Square, Southwark Street, SE1 1TD


Padella

Padella

Distance from Tate Modern: 0.4 miles

Perfect pasta awaits you at this super-hip, no reservations restaurant. They make all the pasta fresh in-house and serve it perfectly sauced in restrained portions, at reasonable prices. It’s some of the best pasta in London but everyone knows it, so be prepared to queue at busy times. Our advice? Don’t go at a busy time. Try 2.30pm, for example, and you should sail right inside. The pici (like thick, wriggly spaghetti soaked in Parmesan and pepper sauce) is unmissable.

Padella, 6 Southwark Street, SE1 1TQ


Borough Market

Borough Market

Distance from Tate Modern: 0.4 miles

It would be a shame to be so close to one of London’s greatest and most historic food markets and not visit. Check out our guide to eating and drinking around London Bridge and Borough Market.

Borough Market, 8 Southwark Street, SE1 1TL


Frutti-di-Mare-wright-brothers

Wright Bros. Borough

Distance from Tate Modern: 0.4 miles

Wright Bros is a small chain of seafood restaurants serving great quality fish and shellfish. This is their original branch and one of the best – they cook fresh seafood, simply. Think oysters, whole cooked crabs served with mayonnaise, grilled fish and sides of vegetables.

They use their own wholesale company so all is fresh and plentiful. It’s not the cheapest place in the world but it is very good value and this is a great location, right on the edge of buzzing Borough Market.

Wright Bros., 11 Stoney Street, Borough Market, SE1 9AD


The Rake

The Rake

Distance from Tate Modern: 0.4 miles

This is one of London’s best – and smallest – craft beer pubs. Go here if you want to try a selection of really interesting beers but be warned, it gets very busy at peak times and can be on the pricey side. We still recommend it, though, because the selection is interesting and it’s one everyone should tick off their London list.

It’s worth knowing they also have a shop in Borough Market if you want to purchase some of those beers to take home.

The Rake, 14A Winchester Walk, SE1 9AG


Tacos El Pastor

Tacos El Pastor

Distance from Tate Modern: 0.4 miles

This is one of London’s top Mexican restaurants, and we love to swing by this spot bang in the middle of the market action for a cheeky michelada and a taco — or five. There’s a reason it made our round-up of London’s best tacos. It’s owned by the Hart Brothers, also of Barrafina and Quo Vadis, and it’s the kind of place people describe as ‘authentic’. It certainly feels like a buzzing Mexican cantina as festoon lights beam down on raucous groups, messily assembling tacos and sinking shots of Mezcal.

Tacos El Pastor, 6-7A Stoney Street, SE1 9AA