We always make trying local food & drink a priority when we travel, but usually fail to do the same at home. Sticking to our neighborhood favorites, we often forget that London has plenty of other neighborhoods worth exploring, each with their own hidden gems. So, when we set off to spend a day exploring London Bridge, we knew we wanted the day to revolve around food; we intended to find the best food & drinks near London Bridge. Borough Market was already one of our favorite spots and Bermondsey Beer Mile had been on our London bucket list for ages; with those two places in mind as our starting points, we set off to have a true foodie adventure around London Bridge. This London Bridge food tour is the result of a brilliant day out tasting craft beer, biltong, cocktails, and more!
With a central location, excellent transport links, and a wide range of hotels in London Bridge, this area is a great place to base yourself while visiting London. And, while there, you might as well take advantage of all the foodie (and drinkie) offerings on London Bridge’s doorstep. Here’s our guide to a foodie day out in London Bridge. And it’s seriously filled with food, so make sure you’re hungry before embarking on this London Bridge food tour! Follow this itinerary directly for a food-filled day, or mix and match the spots that sound best to you. Either way, we’re sure these places will give you a great feel for the London Bridge neighborhood:
Itinerary: London Bridge Food Tour
Start with coffee at London Grind
We take the motto “but first, coffee” very seriously, especially when we travel. There’s no better way to start a day of exploring than with a nice coffee at a local cafe. We love the design of the Grind brand and their coffee is delicious (so are the espresso martinis if you’re visiting later in the day!). London Grind is the perfect place to start your morning and review your plans for the day. If you prefer a takeaway coffee, Monmouth Coffee near Borough Market is a fan favorite and Three Wheels Coffee is popular with the locals who work nearby.
Take a riverside walk to Tower Bridge
Once you’re sufficiently caffeinated, take a stroll along the Thames to Tower Bridge. On the way, you will be able to take in the stunning interior of Hay’s Galleria, the unique design of London’s City Hall, and two of London’s most iconic sites: Tower Bridge & the city skyline. This is one of the best viewpoint of Tower Bridge, so check out the bridge lift times if you want to see the bridge in action!
Fill up on street food at Maltby Street Market (WEEKENDS ONLY)
While London Bridge is known for Borough Market, there’s a smaller market nearby with a more “locals only” feel and a ton of delicious street food options. Maltby Street Market is a short walk from Tower Bridge (8 min.) and a great alternative to Borough Market if you’re visiting on the weekend (it’s only open on Saturday & Sunday). There are so many delicious options along the road, but our favorites are Gyoza Guys and Finest Fayre.
Grab a pint of local craft beer
Maltby Street Market also sits at the start of the Bermondsey Beer Mile; if you’re a beer lover, we recommend picking up some food, then grabbing a seat in one of the nearby taprooms. They almost all let you bring food in and it’ll give you the chance to try some of London’s best beers. We love Anspach & Hobday and Brew by Numbers, but if you’re looking for a place with a variety of beers, BottleShop: Bermondsey is the place to go. And, if you’re visiting from the US, Cloudwater is an absolute must – the beers are incredible and almost impossible to find in the US!
Try to limit yourself to one or two taprooms, though – it’s easy to get carried away with delicious beers and the awesome atmosphere in the taprooms (believe us, we definitely got carried away!); however, there are still plenty of other places to explore around London Bridge! If you’re visiting during the week, Maltby Street Market won’t be open, but some of the taprooms will. It’s best to check each brewery’s website directly – their hours all vary but many open for the evening during the week.
Here are the opening times for the spots that we mentioned:
- Maltby Street Market: Saturday 10am–5pm; Sunday 11am–4pm
- Anspach & Hobday: Friday 5pm–10pm; Saturday 10:30am–10pm; Sunday 1pm–6pm
- Brew by Numbers: Thursday 5–10:30pm; Friday 5–10:30pm; Saturday 11am–9pm; Sunday 12–6pm
- BottleShop: Weekdays 5-10:30pm; Saturday 10am–10:30pm; Sunday 12:30pm–9pm
- Cloudwater: Wednesday-Friday & Sunday 3pm-10pm; Saturday 10am-10pm
Grab lunch on Bermondsey Street
If Maltby Street Market is closed or you’re looking for a slightly heavier meal, make your way back towards London Bridge station by way of Bermondsey Street, which is home to a bunch of restaurants, cafes, and bars. From pizza to pub food, there’s something for everyone along Bermondsey Street, so take your pick. If you need a break from food, it’s still a nice street to wander down; but, the riverside is always an option if you prefer the more scenic route!
Explore Borough Market
While we prefer Maltby Street Market for street food, there’s no doubt that Borough Market is also worth a visit. Go outside of meal times and it’ll be a bit quieter, so you can easily make your way around all of the stalls (and grab all the free samples!). To get to Borough Market, walk down Bermondsey Street and turn left onto St. Thomas Street. Look up and, if you see the Shard, you’re on the right track! Continue down St. Thomas Street to the end and you’ll be directly across from Borough Market. If you fancy a snack for your walk (or just really love biltong), pop into The Savanna to pick up some of the best biltong in London.
Enjoy a pre-dinner drink at a pub near London Bridge
The early evening is a great time to check out all the great pubs near London Bridge. You’ll be mingling with the after work crowd, so places will be busy; however, this is where you really get to soak up the atmosphere of London. On a warm day, take in the riverside views at the Old Thameside Inn. If you’d prefer a cocktail bar, we love Whiskey Ginger, on the outskirts of Borough Market and overlooking Southwark Cathedral.
For pub lovers, a visit to The George is an absolute must. The National Trust owns the pub (which shows how historic and important it is) and it was once visited by the likes of Charles Dickens. Across the way is the newly opened Bridge Tap, which makes up for what it lacks in history with an incredible selection of craft beers. We couldn’t help but enjoy a few beers from the nearby Bermondsey Brewery when we popped in!
Wine & dine at a restaurant near London Bridge
Wright Bros. is hands down our favorite date night spot in London and the Borough Market location is the original one. They always have the best daily specials and an intriguing cocktail of the month, meaning every time you visit is a new experience. Also, the oyster selection is to die for (we love the Japanese dressed oysters). For a more splurge-worthy dinner, book a table at Hutong at the Shard. You pay the price to dine with an epic view, but we promise it’s worth every penny – it’s where we head for all of our special celebrations, including our wedding! For the budget-conscious, Padella is always recommended. We haven’t tried it for ourselves yet, but if the queues outside are any indication, it’s a popular spot.
Finish off your London Bridge food tour with a nightcap
It’s all about the cocktail bars when nighttime comes around at London Bridge, where there are plenty of places open late. Nine Lives is a quirky cocktail bar with shuffleboard and killer cocktails. If you’re a gin lover, 214 Bermondsey at the end of Bermondsey Street is the place for you and wine lovers should head to Tap & Bottle, where the wines are served on tap. The Hide and The Other Room both stock locally produced drinks and Call Me Mr. Lucky serves chicken wings (if you’re still hungry). Other great late night options that we’ve already mentioned in this itinerary are Whiskey Ginger, London Grind, and Bridge Tap. And, if you haven’t been up the Shard yet, it’s always worth a cocktail at Aqua Shard just to take in the view!
All of the bars mentioned are open until at least midnight on most nights, meaning they’ll well and truly see you through to the end of your day out in London Bridge.
Map: London Bridge Food Tour
Download our London Bridge Food Tour map as a pocket guide for your day out in London Bridge. The map includes all of our recommendations for places to eat and drink near London Bridge, as well as other things to do in the area. We’ve also added the walking route for this full itinerary – follow the route and stop off wherever you fancy!
More things to do near London Bridge
It’s easy to spend a few days on just the foodie options near London Bridge; however, if you’re looking to do more than that, there are plenty of things to do in the area! Here are some of our favorites:
- Take a Thames Clipper from London Bridge City Pier to enjoy some sightseeing by river. Thames Clippers are public transportation, so there is no commentary, but it’s a great way to do a sightseeing cruise on a budget! Alternatively, make your way across to Tower Pier, where you can hop on the hop-on, hop-off sightseeing cruise.
- Step aboard the HMS Belfast to learn about life on a WWII war ship.
- Check out the crown jewels at the Tower of London, one of London’s tourist attractions that we totally think is worth the hype.
- See a play at Shakespeare’s Globe – it’s an incredible experience in the summer months and, in the winter, the venue’s indoor Sam Wanamaker Theatre is a great alternative. Both take you back in time to the days of Shakespeare and the shows are always incredible.
- Admire the works of art on display from Tate Modern. There’s also an incredible roof terrace with views over St. Paul’s Cathedral and the Millennium Bridge.
- Walk across London Bridge into the City of London, where you can find some of our other favorite spots in London: Sky Garden, The Ned, and Leadenhall Market
For more London foodie adventures, check out our guide to the coolest food concepts in London. We hope you enjoy your day out in London Bridge! Comment below to let us know your favorite spot on the London Bridge food tour.
This post is a collaboration with Hotels.com. The spending money was gifted by Hotels.com, but all views and words are our own.