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Borough area guide

Time Out's guide to Borough's best restaurants, pubs and more – check out Borough Market, or ditch the masses and discover an out-of-the-way place and find plenty of things to do in the area

© Britta Jaschinski
Borough Market

Borough has been a lively area since prehistoric times, but it became a bustling trade centre when the Romans founded Londinium around 43 AD. Its position on the Thames and proximity to London Bridge has ensured it's remained a trading hub ever since. Borough is now dominated by Borough Market, which gives the area its reputation as a foodie's paradise. Generally, the best restaurants are in or very near the market but, if you know where you're looking, you can find some gems hidden away. The bars and pubs are more spread out but are worth a little walk. Which is just as well, given how much you're guaranteed to eat in Borough.

Bars and pubs in Borough

Bars and pubs Book online

Boot & Flogger

‘JHn. Davy Free Vintner’ reads the sign on the wall of an empty Borough side street, above an 071 number. It may as well read ‘Southwark 1184’ for all the modernity present within.

Time Out says
  • 5 out of 5 stars
Users say
  • 5 out of 5 stars
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Bars and pubs

Royal Oak

The only London pub of the estimable Lewes brewer Harveys, this traditional Victorian corner tavern draws beer fanatics, and with good reason.

Time Out says
  • 5 out of 5 stars
Users say
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Music

Gladstone Arms

Now independently owned, the Glad is no longer a staid, empty corner pub; the interior is now funky, freaky and candlelit.

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
Users say
  • 5 out of 5 stars
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Bars and pubs

Lord Clyde

A haven of tranquillity in a Borough sidestreet bookended by Peabody Trust residences, the Lord Clyde is a lived-in home from home for middle-aged regulars and penny-conscious students.

Time Out says
  • 3 out of 5 stars
Users say
  • 3 out of 5 stars
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Things to do in Borough

Things to do

Borough Market

London’s oldest market – dating back to the thirteenth century – is also the busiest, and the most popular for gourmet goodies. Traders satisfy the city’s insatiable appetite for artisan cheeses and ham from acorn-fed pigs. 

Users say
  • 5 out of 5 stars
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Museums

Clink Prison Museum

The Clink Prison Museum houses an exhibition tracing the history of one of England’s oldest prisons, located on the site of the original ‘Clink’ prison at Bankside, a red-light district in earlier times.

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Attractions

Golden Hinde

The authentic atmosphere aboard the Golden Hinde, a full-size reconstruction of Sir Francis Drake’s sixteenth-century flagship, is fleshed out by a ‘crew’ in Elizabethan costume who regale visitors with tales of uncomfortable nights on bare decks awash with salt water and worse.

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Music

Southwark Cathedral

Oft overlooked by Borough Market shoppers (though its toilets are a handy stop, and its pretty churchyard an alfresco lunchtime destination), the nearby Southwark Cathedral is actually a fascinating historic site. 

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Where to eat in Borough

Restaurants

Tapas Brindisa

The upsurge in Spanish food quality in London since the 1990s can in part be dated from the arrival in Borough Market of food importers Brindisa.

Time Out says
  • 5 out of 5 stars
Users say
  • 3 out of 5 stars
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Restaurants Book online

Wright Brothers Oyster & Porter House

Wright Brothers is very much an eat-and-run sort of place, with all seating at high-backed stools, and efficient waitresses operating at speed despite the cramped conditions.

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
Users say
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Restaurants Book online

Roast

As the hordes of Borough Marketeers stuff their faces while standing up, above them in the elegant mezzanine Floral Hall is the more refined eating option – the staunchly British Roast.

Time Out says
  • 3 out of 5 stars
Users say
  • 3 out of 5 stars
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Restaurants Book online

Applebee's Café

This Borough Market stalwart, with a wet-fish counter at the front and a long narrow dining space behind, is a lively and convivial spot for some reliable fishy fare.

Time Out says
  • 3 out of 5 stars
Users say
  • 4 out of 5 stars
Read more
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