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A local’s guide to the South Bank

The cafés and riverside traders that are actually, properly worth visiting

Written by
Nicole Garcia Merida

Wendy, South Bank local and owner of family-owned specialty coffee shop Sista Barista gives us a guide to her neighbourhood.

1. Beany Green

‘There's a little kiosk called Beany Green up by the Royal Festival Hall. It’s a really cool little spot and the coffee’s really good there. Originally, it just did coffee but now it does cocktails as well. It’s got a nice little seating area too.’ Belvedere Rd, SE1 8XX.

2. Cafe del Marsh

‘This is run by someone who has been around here for years. It’s got a really nice, relaxed vibe. They’ve got a nice covered outdoor area at the back. It’s lovely in the summer but it’s nice in the winter as well because they have heaters, and it’s secluded. A lot of locals go here.’ 44 Lower Marsh, SE1 7RG.

3. Southbank Centre Food Market

‘It's on at the back of the Royal Festival Hall every weekend. There’s a stall called The Curry Shack, run by two local guys who sell different kinds of curries made in huge pots. It’s really good stuff: I like going for a curry and a chat.’ Southbank Centre, Belvedere Rd, SE1 8XX.

4. Archbishop’s Park

‘It's a really nice park if you want to sit and relax. It’s got a great children’s area too. It’s somewhere I used to go as a child and still go to now. It’s very popular and really well kept.’ Carlisle Lane, SE1 7LE.

5. Happy Crêpes

‘If I was walking along the South Bank looking for a snack, I’d go to this crêpe stall. It's run by someone who has traded here for years. They do really lovely sweet crêpes and it’s a really lovely guy that runs it. They’re very good quality. I usually go for the Nutella crêpe. They’re all freshly made, too.’ Southbank (River Thames South) Walkpath, SE1 9PZ. 

6. Cubana

‘This is on the Lower Marsh, it’s a really popular Cuban bar. It’s always busy and fun. There’s good music and good vibes. It’s a really good place to get a jug of mojitos.’ 48 Lower Marsh, SE1 7RG.


7. Sticky Mango

‘A really lovely restaurant serving Asian fusion food. It does a really good monkfish dish. It doesn’t look busy from the outside but when you go in they have a huge basement area, it’s like walking into a secret party. It’s pricy but really nice.’ 33 Coin St, SE1 9NR.

8. Waterloo East Theatre

‘It's quite small and intimate, under the arches on Brad Street right near Waterloo East station. They put on nice little productions.’ Brad St, SE1 8TN.

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