Greenwich can feel like a rural village that somehow wound up in the big smoke, but many of its restaurants have married the charm of inglenook eateries with the high quality of London fine dining. We pick our favourites in our guide to the best places to eat in SE10.
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Editor's note: As of November 2015, Inside restaurant is closed. Time Out Food & Drink. Often referred to as Greenwich’s best restaurant – an accolade it’s held for the bulk of the ten-plus years it’s been open – Inside didn’t disappoint on our last visit, showing that chef-proprietor Guy Awford’s aim to create a top-notch neighbourhood restaurant is still in full swing. The compact, smart interior (white tablecloths, subdued grey and ochre tones) and rather cool staff might not appeal if you like a rustic vibe, but the formal atmosphere does help to spotlight the seriousness of the cooking. A new banquette wall has done wonders for the acoustics, meaning that the background chatter from the well-dressed patrons is more civilised murmur than echoing din. Top-notch own-made bread with olives made an auspicious beginning, and a beautifully arranged starter of gravadlax, crème fraîche and perfectly cooked beetroot was superb. Meaty cod fillet on a bed of spinach, served with herby mash and pea sauce, managed that tricky line between comfort food and fine dining, while a rare grilled ribeye was well complemented by potato and turnip dauphinoise. Desserts of sticky date pudding with cardamom ice-cream, and raspberry and vanilla crème brulée, weren’t highlights, but were tasty. It’s wise to book – locals seemingly celebrate most of their successes here.
Sister to the edgier Shoreditch original, this Greenwich branch of Rivington Grill has an appropriately maritime feel, with brass railings and mirror-lined mezzanine. Both restaurants carry a meat- and fish-focused menu, though with somewhat more vegetarian choices here. The cooking is of the modern style that the Caprice group has been instrumental in championing: an essentially simple approach aimed at highlighting good ingredients. Marinated sardines might be served with a radish and fennel salad, devilled mackerel with tomato & basil salad. Menus change from lunch to dinner, though not in size: these are not the Bible-size documents that can make choosing so difficult. Desserts are true Brit, and slanted towards the territory of comfort food. House cocktails are a major feature, with lists devoted to both gin and the Bloody Mary. The wine list is priced with the budget-conscious and quality-conscious equally in mind: most bottles are under £30. If you're around for breakfast, prices are reasonable.
A traditional pub overlooking Greenwich Park, the Greenwich Tavern encompasses a main bar area and two private function rooms spread across three floors. In addition to the beer and real ale on offer, the kitchen serves a mix of traditional British favourites and modern European dishes, while the drinks menu is bolstered by a large selection of freshly-made cocktails.
Please note, the Pavilion Tea House has been renamed Pavilion Café. Time Out Eating & Drinking editors, January 2017.Situated a stone’s throw from the Royal Observatory, the Pavilion Café (run by Company of Cooks) has white picket fences surrounding lush greenery, making its grounds a safe haven for children to play, as well as a prime spot for taking in the magnificent City views from the outdoor tables. In winter, you may prefer to sit on the mezzanine level inside, which is bathed in natural light even on the most dreary of days. Hot food is ordered at the counter, but delivered to your table; pizzas with crisp bases and peppy toppings (chorizo and caper, artichoke and mushroom) are great value at around £5. An unctuous salmon and dill fish cake was on the pricier side at £7.25. Decent sandwiches and baked potatoes are also available, though you may prefer to drop in simply for the Fairtrade tea and coffee, a glass of wine or a hefty slice of cake.
Before every railway arch in this city was filled with shiny brewing equipment, before the pub round the corner from your house had an ale menu, back when locally brewed beer meant Budweiser made in Mortlake, a pioneering Londoner had a different vision for the city’s pints. Alastair Hook set up Meantime in Greenwich in 1999, with a plan that clearly went beyond supplying a few barrels to neighbourhood pubs. After 16 years of growth, his beer is available all over the world but is still made in London, now at a purpose-built site in North Greenwich – with a brand-new bar to drink it in. The address doesn’t sound like an appealing destination, and a bar in a brewery might seem like having a steakhouse in an abattoir – but it’s quite special to try beer mere metres from where it’s made, and combining a visit with a tour offers a glimpse into how impressive the Meantime operation is. Every one of the company’s draught beers is available here, from the easy-going London Lager to the mysteriously Dark Stout and a specially brewed Tasting Rooms IPA (all cost about £2.10-£2.50 a half pint). What’s not on draught is sold by the bottle, such as the puddingy Chocolate Porter or the Raspberry Wheat Beer. There’s food, too. Over at Meantime’s bar and restaurant in Greenwich Park – fittingly called The Old Brewery –the modern British food is excellent; it’s excellent here too, with upmarket pub classics such as fish and chips beside fancier dishes, including scallops with artichoke and
Conveniently located for both Cutty Sark and the National Maritime Museum, San Miguel is a tapas bar and restaurant with a terracotta and vine-strewn interior, which is dedicated to authentic Spanish cooking, including traditional Valenciana and marisco paella. It offers over 50 tapas, prepared in an open-plan kitchen and an extensive cocktail menu.
Please note, Black Vanilla is now closed. Time Out Eating & Drinking editors, August 2016. After opening a first ice cream parlour in Blackheath, Black Vanilla's second branch (opened January 2012) sits between three of Greenwich's tourist hotspots: the Cutty Sark, the Old Royal Naval College and Greenwich indoor market. The new branch is close to some fine river views, and the horizons of the owners seem to have expanded too. It's not just ice creams, sorbets and a selection of baked goods on offer - afternoon and champagne teas as well as simple food platters are served on the first floor.
A Mediterranean menu with a Latin-American twist is on offer at this lively corner restaurant/bar in Greenwich. Pizzas, pastas and salads, along with Argentine steaks, slow-cooked pork and classic French chicken in wine are all available to eat in, take away or, when the British weather allows, be enjoyed in the pretty patio garden.
‘Would you like to sit by the window? It’s a good view,’ said the waiter. Except it was after dark and this stylish brasserie, sitting high up in the National Maritime Museum’s new multi-million pound Sammy Ofer Wing, is brightly lit and Greenwich park is not. The reflection of ourselves, noses pressed against the glass, wasn’t as charming as the terrace and greenery beyond but the owners have at least given some thought to the interior decor. Polished concrete floors are a neutral base for the muted and appropriately marine blue of the linen and staff uniforms. The restaurant claims to marry modern British fare with the heritage of its location – it lies 16 seconds west of the Prime Meridian – but provenance is highlighted only occasionally, with starters such as ‘Severn & Wye hot smoked salmon’, and mains simply split as being from England’s coastline, the farm or the field. A well-selected charcuterie starter was accompanied by lightly pickled gherkins and caperberries and was more than enough for two to share. The restaurant has been open for eight weeks but is still tussling with portion size versus pricing. An 8oz feather-blade steak was paired with a punchy chimichurri and excellent sides but, at £17.95, seemed pricy for a cheap cut. At £16.95, a mean portion of mixed grilled fish featured only a small cube of salmon, two fillets of faintly muddy trout and a tangle of watercress. A mackerel fillet was MIA and our exceedingly charming waiter immediately tracked dow
There's a Latin influence at this Greenwich restaurant and bar - the owners are from Ecuador. The food, though, sticks more or less to a Mediterranean theme. Expect dishes such as tricolore salads, hand-carved Iberico ham, escargots, pastas, pizzas and pollo alla Milanese. South America does feature too, though, in weekly specials and in empanadas, Ecuadorian ceviche and lomo a la pimienta - Argentinian fillet steak with peppercorn sauce. The wine list offers old and new world red and whites, with bottles starting at £17.50 - for a 2012 Chilean merlot. Champagnes and sparkling wines are available, too.
CABANA is a relaxed, vibrant and affordable Brasilian barbecue restaurant. The menu is inspired by the best of Brasil, with a Street Food selection including crispy rice "Bolinhos" and Brasilian Cheesy Dough Balls as well as sides of Sweet Potato Fries, Black Beans and Cassava Chips. However, the real highlight of the restaurant is the choice of giant barbecue skewers, such as Spicy Malagueta Chicken, Butterflied Pork Tenderloin with Parmesan Crust and Chimichurri Black Gold Steak, brought to the table fresh from the grill. To finish off, Cabana offers some of the best frozen yogurt in London, including peanut butter and dulce de leite flavours, with toppings such as crushed oreo cookies and Brasilian peanut candy. Funky Brasilian music, great cocktails and quirky interiors complete this vibrant new venue.
Since the olde-worlde frontage of this cute café is just steps away from The Cutty Sark, you could be forgiven for assuming that it was engineered to pull in maximum tourists. However, Peter de Wit’s is far more interesting than that: first of all, it’s located in one of Greenwich’s oldest buildings, part of which was around when King Henry VIII was a nipper; secondly, and perhaps more importantly, it doesn’t rely on its historic credentials for custom. Instead, its menu is both timeless yet of its time, with carefully sourced local ingredients making up the delicious fried breakfasts, classic but high-quality sandwiches and daily quiches, plus Aeropress coffee from small-batch roasters, plenty of gluten-free teatime treats, and Meantime lager. The interiors, despite their age, are resolutely modern, with bright-blue chairs, white walls, and chalkboard menus – history nerds can, however, wander through to the café’s pretty courtyard to marvel at the back of the building, which dates to medieval times.