Its beautiful sheds and archways make it an essential pitstop for SLR-toting tourists and ravenous office workers alike. There’s no doubting the delicious draw of Borough Market – but there’s more to lunchtime in this underrated corner of central London than the street food. Here are six options.
If you can dream it, they’ll wrap a taco around it at El Vergel. Mediterranean/Latin fusion dining here unfolds in a cavernous, concrete space where service is both speedy and smiley, but an early or late arrival is recommended so the clattering noise of other punters is at a minimum. The giant slabs of cheesecake are a highlight. 132 Webber Street, SE1 0QL.
Its meat and veg sourced from Smithfield and Borough markets, this is a proud old diner by working Londoners, for working Londoners. Hearty meals can be crammed into takeaway boxes, although we’d recommend eating in to enjoy the busy decor – wallfuls of black-and-white photos – and the companionship of a booming owner. 158 Great Suffolk Street, SE1 1PE.
A stroll towards Bermondsey reveals this cute coffee house with a continental ambience – and a £3 meal deal which easily trumps the chains that line Borough High Street. Allowing the lunchtime rush to pass means the chance of a quiet sit-down, without missing out on a choice of wraps and chunky cakes. 42 Snowsfields, SE1 3SZ.
Pizza and beer: the only thing not to love is the sleepy afternoon in the office that follows this starchiest of lunches. But the stone-baked creations turned out in this backstreet boozer represent the best Italian fare in the area, and they’re all the right side of a tenner. 125 Great Suffolk Street, SE1 1PQ.
The solitary sit-down restaurant in this list is a staple of Thai/Malay eating in London. Come for the curries, stay for the glorious interior. Ornamental and outlandish – this is a more than your average lunchtime screen break. 62-64 Weston Street, SE1 3QJ.
It was supposedly the launch point for Chaucer’s pilgrims, and a favourite watering hole of Charles Dickens. This rambling, ancient pub claims to be London’s oldest, and offers well-dressed standards, albeit at a price – so get the boss to take you. Lunchtime service depends on the number of tour groups inside. 77 Borough High Street, SE1 1NH.
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