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.
In the area? Here are more things to do in Borough.