It may be hard to imagine London’s skyline without it these days, but you might be surprised to know that The Shard only opened its doors in 2013. Since its arrival onto the London scene, The Shard’s fleet of restaurants and bars have become must-visit destinations for tourists and London residents alike.
The Shard is a 95-storey high glass skyscraper which was designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano. The building houses office space and a viewing platform, as well as a five-star luxury hotel and a choice of upmarket restaurants and bars. The building cost a mammoth £435 million pounds to build and because construction was taking place during the global financial crash, plans for the building were almost abandoned altogether.
Luckily though, the construction did continue and allowed us to witness The Shard that we see today. The handful of bars and restaurants at the venue are all spread across different levels of the building, with the lowest finding its home on the ground floor, and the highest sitting 52 floors above the capital’s streets. Found just a moment’s walk outside of London Bridge tube station, The Shard offers up awe-inspiring views of London, as well as delicious food and the perfect backdrop for special occasion dining.
Although The Shard restaurants may be best known for hosting the likes of birthday dinners or dates when someone is looking to impress, you can also head here in the mornings for a spot of breakfast, while later in the day you can head up in the lift to indulge in a leisurely afternoon tea. Come the weekend, The Shard comes alive for decadent multi-course bottomless brunches, while some Shard restaurants even offer live music and entertainment.
If you’re still making your way around all of The Shard restaurant and bars, or you’ve never been to any of them, our ultimate guide to the venue is an essential source of information. We’ve included round ups of every restaurant and bar in the venue, as well as which restaurants serve breakfast, lunch and weekend brunch. So, what are you waiting for?
Every one of The Shard restaurants and bars
There is a total of six restaurants and bars in The Shard, all found on various levels of the 95-floor building. We’ve rounded up everything you need to know about each of The Shard’s restaurants and bars below, ranking them in order of just how high up they are, from lowest to highest.
What: Found on the ground floor, Bar 31 is a slightly upmarket sports bar and deli which is definitely the most casual of the Shard restaurants. The interiors are exactly what you’d expect from a trendy pub in the capital, featuring wood floors, beer barrels which double up as tables and plasma screen televisions streaming sports matches. Food wise, expect a casual menu of hot and cold light bites. Groups can opt for the sharing picnic boxes, while solo diners can tuck into the likes of sourdough pizzetas, salads and nachos. Yes, Bar 31 doesn’t boast the same awe-inspiring views as its stablemates, but the intimate terrace offers up a buzzy space for a spot of alfresco dining.
Which floor? Ground level
How much: Definitely the cheapest of The Shard’s stable of restaurants, you can eat at Bar 31 for around £20-30 per person.
What: Most people agree that Aqua Shard, with its split level dining room and floor-to-ceiling windows, boasts the best view out of the Shard restaurants. While it’s hard to deny that people come here for the view, this isn’t a case of style over substance, as the kitchen team turns out some rather impressive food. The menu champions seasonal, best-of-British ingredients, which means you can tuck into the likes of Hereford beef tartare or truffled leek veloute, followed up with main courses from the sea (seabass, poached cod etc) or land, such as Barbary duck breast and 48 day dry-aged Chateaubriand. Weekend brunch and afternoon tea are also a good shout, while breakfast here is hardly the worst way to start your day.
Which floor? Level 31
How much: Punchy prices mean you’re likely to spend around £50-100 per person on dinner here.
What: It should come as no surprise that the man behind celeb-magnet restaurants Zuma and Roka snapped up a space in The Shard. However, Rainer Becker’s Oblix is actually quite a relaxed restaurant, despite its grand location and stunning vistas. Oblix is split between two spaces, called East and West. East is the more casual of the two and is where you can enjoy a decadent three-course brunch on the weekend, while later in the evening DJs and live bands take to the stage. West on the other hand is the restaurant’s space for slightly more formal dining and is also where afternoon tea is served. From the à la carte, try the likes of Wagyu tenderloin or seafood linguine for mains, and New York cheesecake for dessert.
Which floor? Level 32
How much: Slightly cheaper than Aqua, dinner here will normally work out at around £50-80 per person.
What: To adapt an old saying, the higher you climb, the higher your bill. This is definitely true of Hutong at The Shard, a sibling to the Hong Kong original that boasts moody lighting and table lights designed to look like Chinese red lanterns. The dining room is pretty minimalist, but the backdrop of London’s glittering skyline does all the talking before the food comes into the equation. Once dishes do arrive at the table, you can expect to feast on masterful dim sum, roasted Peking duck and Sichuan-style deep-fried lobster, all while sipping on an impressively global wine list that spans an 11 page menu. Hutong has mastered big ticket, special occasion dining, and it’s a must on every discerning Londoner’s to do list.
Which floor? Level 33
How much: With plenty of main dishes breaking the £30 barrier, dining here is far from cheap. Expect to spend around £100 per person. If you like getting good value for money, try the 5 course set lunch at £55pp.
What: The title of the highest restaurant in The Shard belongs to TING, which is actually part of the Shangri-La hotel (although members of the public can dine here too). It’s perhaps not the most exciting of The Shard’s food and beverage offering, but the afternoon tea featuring 30 different varieties of tea to choose from is an enticing option. TING is split between the more formal restaurant which serves a modern European menu (think stone bass in XO sauce and chicken breast wrapped in bacon), and the more casual lounge where you’ll find a pan-Asian menu featuring chicken satay and salmon teriyaki. Whichever space you choose, you’re guaranteed awe-inspiring views of London’s skyline and sleek service too.
Which floor? Level 35
How much: Although it’s a rather casual space, TING’s height surely adds some weight to its prices. Expect your bill to be around £70-100 per person.
What: If you’re a real thrill seeker, head to The Shard’s highest bar, which also holds the title of the tallest hotel bar in Western Europe (a bit of a niche feat, but a feat nonetheless). Ace views aside, GONG’s allure lies in its sumptuous interiors, which are a seductive mix of cosy couches scattered with colourful cushions, deep red bar stools and a marble counter top. Cocktails are sophisticated and delicious, while top shelf Champagnes are available by the glass and bottle for those looking to celebrate. If you get peckish, you can order Asian-inspired bar snacks such as tuna tataki and sushi rolls, while those who are staying at The Shangri-La have the benefit of access to GONG’s infinity swimming pool.
Which floor? Level 52
How much: With sushi rolls costing £5 a piece, GONG is certainly not a cheap eat. For a couple of drinks and some food, expect to pay around £80-100.
The Shard afternoon tea
Afternoon tea is a British tradition that we never want to see die. If you fancy a side of sweeping London views with your scones and finger sandwiches, check out these Shard afternoon tea restaurants. Read below to see which Shard restaurants serve afternoon tea and what you can expect from each one.
Aqua Shard afternoon tea: Aqua’s afternoon tea changes seasonally, but will return to a Mary Poppins theme come the New Year. Expect a mirrored menu, scones from Mary’s magic handbag and a bespoke cake stand which features her boots at the bottom and her famous umbrella at the top.
Served daily from 1-5pm, from £49pp.
Oblix afternoon tea: At Oblix, afternoon tea is a traditional affair. You’ll start with finger sandwiches, before moving on to freshly-baked scones served with jam and clotted cream, as well as an array of sweet treats including a dark chocolate and passion fruit tart.
Served daily from 2.45-4.30pm, from £42pp
TING afternoon tea: TING serves up an afternoon tea offering that’s full of British classics given a few luxury updates; think sandwich fillings such as Wiltshire ham with piccallili or roast chicken with truffle mayonnaise, followed by the likes of miniature chocolate tarts.
Served daily from 12-4pm, from £60pp
GONG afternoon tea: The highest spot for afternoon tea in The Shard serves a virtually identical menu to TING downstairs, but it’s worth it for the extra views. Tuck into finger sandwiches, freshly-baked scones and sweet treats such as matcha raspberry éclair.
Served daily from 12-4pm, from £70pp
The Shard breakfast
We often find it difficult to get out of bed on time, but the prospect of breakfast against the backdrop of London’s skyline is enough to help anyone wake up ahead of their alarm. There are a couple of Shard breakfast options to choose from, so take your pick from below.
Aqua Shard breakfast: Breakfast at Aqua features all of the classics, ranging from the health-conscious to the indulgent. Choose from the likes of smashed avocado on pumpernickel toast or brioche French toast topped with caramelised banana.
Served Monday to Friday, from 7.00-10.30am
TING breakfast: Available for hotel guests and members of the general public, TING’s breakfast menu includes the likes of buttermilk waffles and eggs Benedict. There’s a wellness menu too, featuring the likes of gluten-free porridge and a Greenwich Goddess smoothie.
Served Monday to Friday, from 6.30-10.30am
The Shard brunch
Weekend brunch in London has become wildly popular in the last five or so years, and The Shard is definitely placed towards the higher end of the brunching spectrum price-wise. If you’re looking for a special occasion brunch though, you can’t go wrong with these Shard restaurants.
Aqua Shard brunch: Aqua’s brunch starts off pretty conventionally with the likes of buttermilk pancakes and eggs Benedict, but main courses are far more substantial; choose from a Wagyu burger or native Scottish grilled lobster thermidor.
Served Saturday and Sunday from 10.30am to 3.30pm. Three courses, £44
Oblix brunch: The brunch at Oblix is a decadent, three-course affair. Starters and desserts are served on long buffet tables so you can go up for seconds or thirds, while main courses include the likes of a smoked haddock omelette or a Wagyu burger with truffle mayonnaise.
Served Saturday and Sunday from 12-3.30pm. Three courses, £55pp
The Shard set lunch menus
If you think The Shard restaurants may be slightly outside of your budget, but still want to experience London from a height, The Shard set lunch menus are a great way to try out the restaurants on a budget. Check out which ones you can enjoy below.
Aqua Shard set lunch: Depending on how much time you have, you can opt for two or three courses as part of Aqua’s lunch menu. Tuck into roasted hake wrapped in Parma ham or braised beef short rib, before finishing up with nutmeg custard tart for dessert.
Served Monday to Friday from 12-2:30pm. Two/three courses, £28/32pp
Oblix set lunch: The set lunch at Oblix gets you a starter and a main for under £30. Pick from starting plates such as a crispy duck salad or a market bowl salad, before moving on to mains including josper grilled sirloin and a chicken and rosemary pot pie.
Served Monday to Friday from 12-2.30pm. Two courses, £28pp
TING set lunch: You can choose between a two- or three-course lunch at TING, with a menu of contemporary European fare. Perhaps the miso roasted cauliflower will take your fancy, or maybe you’ll be tempted by the burrata with blackberries and sourdough croutons.
Served Monday to Friday from 12-2.30pm. Two/three courses, £30/35pp
The Shard restaurants Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is there a dress code for The Shard?
All of the restaurants at The Shard operate a smart casual dress code. Trainers, flip-flops, tracksuits, sportswear and shorts are all prohibited, so we’d recommend a nice top and smart jeans or formal wear if you’re celebrating a special occasion.
Do you need to book The Shard?
All of The Shard restaurants take bookings and these often book up fast, so we’d recommend reserving a table a few weeks before you plan to visit.
Can you go to The Shard for a drink?
All of The Shard restaurants have a bar area where you can purchase drinks without having to order food. However, be aware that booking is recommended and that there is often a minimum spend required. For example, the minimum spend at Aqua Shard’s bar is £30 per person.
How do you get to The Shard?
The Shard is located right outside of London Bridge tube station and is easily accessible.
What is the highest bar in The Shard?
The Shard’s highest bar is GONG, which is found on Level 52 and is a part of the Shangri-La hotel.
There’s more to this part of London than just The Shard. Check out our pick of the best restaurants in London Bridge.