The best Southbank restaurants

Looking for a restaurant on the Southbank? We’ve done the hard work so you don’t have to, and compiled a handy list of the best eateries along the south side of the river Thames. From Indian to European, there’s a riverside restaurant to suit everyone’s tastes. Surrounded by cultural hotspots, theatres, and art galleries, you’ll inevitably find yourself drawn to Southbank, and what better way to fuel up or round off the day with the splendid offering of restaurants in the area. Read on to explore our list of the best restaurants the beautiful riverside haven has to offer.

Updated on 06 January 2020

Boasting some of London’s most iconic landmarks (as well as views of other London landmarks), there is an abundance of fantastic restaurants on the Southbank. With the London Eye as its centrepiece and places such as the National Theatre, the London Aquarium and the Royal Festival Hall within its boundaries, Southbank really is one of London’s top destinations, teeming with culture.

The Southbank riverside offers a busy, cosmopolitan ambience with visitors from around the world flocking here to enjoy its attractions. These include the Southbank skate park, covered in graffiti and filled with keen, young skaters; vibrant street food vendors showcasing the cuisine of the world; vintage book markets; and street performers.

Many of Southbank’s riverside restaurants offer glorious riverside views and al fresco terraces, too, which add to their charm and draw. From delectable Vietnamese food, proud British grub and modern European fare, to Italian comfort food, exceptional cocktails and steak, the Southbank restaurant scene is varied and of high quality.

The never-ending battle of the riversides, with everyone living north of the river claiming it is the best, and everyone living south of the river arguing that, no, in fact, it is the south side that is the best, shows no signs of stopping. But perhaps these restaurants might add to the south’s ammo. The below list of best restaurants Southbank has to offer will, at least, ensure access to the very best eateries situated in this vibrant riverside area of London.

Hannah Japanese Restaurant

Hannah Japanese Restaurant

Hannah Japanese Restaurant County Hall, London, London, SE1 7PB

You’ll be in safe hands at Hannah, owned by Daisuke Shimoyama who has trained in Michelin-starred restaurants in Japan and is a certified sake and wine sommelier. Book the omakase experience for a real treat.
Over £80
Japanese
Troia Bar & Restaurant

Troia Bar & Restaurant

3F Belvedere Road County Hall, London, SE1 7GQ

This Turkish gem of a restaurant is perfectly positioned for a jaunt along the Southbank rounded off with hearty sharing platters of Iskender kebabs and lamb moussaka. Relax afterwards with some delicious baklava and shisha.
Turkish
Skylon

Skylon

Royal Festival Hall, Belvedere Road, Waterloo, London, SE1 8XX

Worthy of its SquareMeal silver award rating, Skylon offers great panoramic views of the Thames and a beautifully plated line-up of brasserie classics - think comfort foods made with indulgent ingredients such as braised rabbit lasagna.
£50 - £79
British
Meson Don Felipe

Meson Don Felipe

53 The Cut, London, SE1 8LF

Come to this quintessential Spanish establishment for your fill of splendid tapas, try some gorgeous stuffed aubergines, plump steamed octopus, and fresh garlic prawns – there’s plenty of choice for meat eaters, pescatarians, and vegetarians.
£30 - £49
Tapas
Spanish
£30 - £49
Auberge Sandell Street

Auberge Sandell Street

1 Sandell Street, London, SE1 8UH

Get your fix of French food at Auberge, where you can expect a refreshingly modern and casual approach to cuisine with crab tartare and cod frites. The restaurant also offers sharing cheese and charcuterie boards.
The Green Room at the National Theatre

The Green Room at the National Theatre

The National Theatre, 101 Upper Ground, London, SE1 9PP

Come here for pre- and post-theatre dinners to get you in the mood, with fun prop-laden interiors and a modern brasserie menu of splendid continentally inspired eats, such as sumptuous pumpkin, leek, and chestnut pithivier.
£30 - £49
International
The Archduke

The Archduke

Concert Hall Approach South Bank, London, London, SE1 8XU

Catch some views of the London Eye from this well-established steakhouse, owned by the Black & Blue group, where you can expect some high quality prime cuts of British beef served in modern American style.
Modern European
Banh Bao Brothers

Banh Bao Brothers

20 Leake Street, Unit 6, London, SE1 7NN

Banh Bao is a sharing plate haven, where you can feast on Vietnamese delicacies from morning glory to pho and bao buns. The restaurant is great for hungry groups of people, and is veggie friendly.
Under £30
Vietnamese
Union Street Café

Union Street Café

47-51 Great Suffolk Street, Southwark, London, SE1 0BS

Gordon Ramsay’s Italian restaurant hits all the right notes with its splendid menu and patrons regularly extol its superb service and focus on artisanal produce and techniques – remember to leave spaces for several courses, Italian-style.
£30 - £49
Mediterranean
Bars
Italian
Terrace at the National Theatre

Terrace at the National Theatre

Level 2, National Theatre, South Bank, London, SE1 9PX

Head to the Terrace for a global take on tapas, replete with stunning pairings such as duck prosciutto and figs or crispy mussels with taramasalata; this one is well-suited for pre-theatre dining or casual grazing.
International
Gourmet Pizza

Gourmet Pizza

Upper Ground Gabriels Wharf, London, London, SE1 9PP

Head to Gourmet Pizza for some smashing Thameside views to go with your pizza, the menu is replete with classic and creative options from delectable verdure to indulgent trifolata with black truffle oil and mushroom.
Italian
Anchor & Hope

Anchor & Hope

36 The Cut, London, SE1 8LP

A local staple for Sunday roasts or after-work drinks and a bite to eat, the continental menu is a step above usual pub grub: think two-ways pheasant and roast chopped mustard rabbit drizzled with béarnaise.
£30 - £49
Gastropub
House Restaurant at the National Theatre

House Restaurant at the National Theatre

The National Theatre, Upper Ground, London, London, SE1 9PX

This dining destination has had an upgrade for the better, a chic refurbishment paired with a menu that delivers creative twists on classics such as the venison shepherd’s pie featuring courgette puree and marrow butter.
£30 - £49
Modern European
OXO Tower Restaurant

OXO Tower Restaurant

Oxo Tower Wharf, Barge House Street, Southwark, London, SE1 9PH

Sit up high and pretty with an unbelievable view of St. Pauls while you indulge in a quintessentially British afternoon tea or a delectable tasting menu of contemporary continental delights. There’s also a live jazz band.
£50 - £79
British
Afternoon tea
The Thames Indian

The Thames Indian

79 Waterloo Road, London, London, SE1 8UD

This lovely establishment has been delighting patrons for years with its great service and crowd-pleasuring dishes and great set menus, plus there are some stunning house specialties that blend Bangladeshi and North Indian cuisines beautifully.
Indian
Locale Southbank

Locale Southbank

3b Belvedere Road, London, London, SE1 7GP

Enjoy views of the London Eye as you chow down on plates of freshly made paccheri or a broccoli and Gorgonzola gnocchi, and stick around for desserts of tiramisu or Eton mess with an Italian twist.
Under £30
Mediterranean
Italian
Swan, Shakespeare’s Globe

Swan, Shakespeare’s Globe

21 New Globe Walk, Southwark, London, SE1 9DT

Dining amidst the Southbank’s most famous cultural theatre hotspots makes the Swan one of the coolest pre-theatre options with their classic menu of Britain’s finest dishes, such as braised beef short rib, bursting with flavour.
£50 - £79
British
Bars
Afternoon tea
Gillray

Gillray's Steakhouse & Bar

London Marriott County Hall, Westminster Bridge Road, Southbank, London, London, SE1 7PB

Gillray’s has an impressive menu of aged steaks– some weighing in at 1kg – and tapas-style dishes. Let the view take your breath away as you tuck into a tomahawk with a backdrop of the skyline.
£50 - £79
Steak
British
Cucina Restaurant

Cucina Restaurant

3J and 3K Belvedere Road Waterloo, London, London, SE1 7GQ

Cucina is a gorgeous Italian restaurant set in a moody, low-lit space that is ideal for more intimate dinners over wonderful plates of king prawn linguine with garlic and fennel or the in-house pizza special.
Italian
Sea Containers

Sea Containers

20 Upper Ground, Southwark, London, SE1 9PD

Sea Containers promises a tantalising menu of contemporary dining on small and large plates to share, such as seabass ceviche tacos and belly of pork on a bed of black cabbage, drizzled with Armagnac jus.
£50 - £79
International
OXO Tower Brasserie

OXO Tower Brasserie

Oxo Tower Wharf, Barge House Street, Southwark, London, SE1 9PH

Catch some breath-taking skyline views from this Southbank perch while dining alfresco above the hubbub of the masses. This restaurant is an excellent choice for all-day dining, any season, where you can feast in style.
£30 - £49
British
Glass Room

Glass Room

Embankment Pier, London, WC2N 6NU

Take in panoramic views of the Thames in this aptly-named floating restaurant with a scrumptious menu of seasonally-influenced dishes, boasting the likes of aged beef fillet on a bed of turnip puree and Madeira jus.
£50 - £79
River Boats
International
Tate Modern Restaurant

Tate Modern Restaurant

Switch House, Level 9, Tate Modern, Southbank, London, SE1 9TG

For stunning bankside views of the Shard and St. Paul’s in a contemporary, architectural feat of a space, dine at this modern European restaurant with a penchant for British ingredients and an eclectic collection of wines.
£50 - £79
British
Zen China Bao Fa Garden

Zen China Bao Fa Garden

County Hall, Riverside Building, Westminster Bridge Road, Queens Walk, Westminster, London, SE1 7PB

This restaurant is ideal for impressing a date with a gorgeous view of the river and the remarkable surrounding architecture; do try Beijing province specialties of sweet and sour king prawns and five-spice marinated beef.
£30 - £49
Chinese

Not fussed if it’s north or south? Our list of the best riverside restaurants in London should do you nicely then. Good views of the river are ensured, alongside wonderful, global-spanning food.