The best restaurants in Canary Wharf
The swankiest branch of Scottish-themed Boisdale to date, this Canary Wharf outlet has all the tartan-tastic trademarks – a north-of-the-border menu headed by Aberdeenshire steaks, plus an oyster bar, a cigar ‘library’, an encyclopaedic whisky list and a rolling programme of live jazz overseen by ‘patron of music’ Jools Holland.
Roti Chai’s Canary Wharf cousin is a slick post-industrial double act with its casual Toddy Shop out front and a more formal restaurant for those wanting the full three courses. Head to the dining room for satisfying, moreish, complex dishes with a South Indian slant – their butter chicken is a ripper.
Chandeliers, cowhide, black leather, moody lighting and a rocking alfresco waterfront terrace – welcome to Gaucho Canary’s macho spin on an upmarket steakhouse with big-money aspirations. Myriad cuts of pampas-reared beef dominate the show, although the menu spans everything from ceviche to dulce de leche cheesecake. Serious Argentinian wines too.
From the team that brought us Dinerama, this big shiny box on a low-rise rooftop is a seven-days-a-week foodie arena with access to Canary Wharf’s glorious ‘rooftopia’ and a line-up of street traders – currently Yum Bun (bao buns), Thunderbird (wings and fries), Laffa (healthy Levantine treats) and Pocho (Tex-Mex tacos etc). Brilliant bars too.
Bringing Manhattan to Canary Wharf’s temples of mammon, this branch of the Russian-owned steakhouse chain is a well-upholstered venue specialising in grass-fed beef from both sides of the Atlantic. Peruse the tray of raw cuts before ordering, say, a 400g Yorkshire Ridings fillet or a USDA 150-day sirloin with sauces and sides.
There’s a Ramblas fantasy vibe about this glamorous branch of tapas-themed Ibérica – although the kitchen goes way beyond the tortilla clichés for a menu spanning everything from artisan charcuterie to nuevo riffs such as tempura chorizo lollipops with pear alioli. Ibérica La Terraza nearby offers more of the same in dressed-down alfresco surrounds.
Attached to a sprawling urban farm on the fringes of Canary Wharf’s concrete jungle – but well worth the excursion – this cute café is a shoo-in for yummy mummies: animals ramble around the parkland, while the kitchen serves up brekkie, brunch and a roster of home-cooked fodder ranging from sarnies and soups to cakes and ice creams. Kiddies – and their pets – are more than welcome.
Gordon Ramsay jumped on the gastropub bandwagon back in 2007 with this gussied-up riverside boozer overlooking the Limehouse Basin. Bracing views are a given (especially from the decked terrace and all-weather conservatory), while the cooking gives pub standards and more voguish ideas a GR makeover. Wines are well worth the trip out to Limehouse too.
Worth a leisurely stroll from Canary Wharf down to West India Quay, this vast branch of Pizza Pilgrims deals in Neapolitan-style sourdough pizzas with thick bases and on-trend toppings – plus Italian beers and good honest vino. Bonus points for the big alfresco space, the dedicated ‘pizza playground’, and the fact that you can book.
Up on the fourth floor of Canada Place, D&D London’s restaurant/bar/grill seduces City traders with its sensational views and iconic designer furnishings – although this place isn’t just about eye candy. The kitchen delivers serious food with strong Gallic overtones (think roast monkfish with cocoa beans and andouillette) alongside quirky cocktails and big-ticket wines.
Swathes of pale wood and bamboo, plus the thrilling theatre of on-show robata grilling, add up to a winning package at this glam Docklands branch of modern Japanese hotshot Roka. When the workers vacate Canary Wharf at the weekend, this venue rolls out the red carpet for residents with its family-friendly ‘koten’ brunch.
With Canary Wharf Pier next door and a terrace surveying a wide sweep of the river, this branch of Royal China goes big on location. Inside it’s a picture-box of black and gold lacquer, but everyone’s here for the superior daytime dim sum – spot-on steamed dumplings, cheung fun, crispy rolls and much else besides.
The casual option at Chai Ki, this all-day Toddy Shop majors in street food and sexy brews from the subcontinent’s drinking shacks. Creative cocktails go down a treat whether you’re having kedgeree and tamarind-slathered bacon rolls for breakfast or a post-noon tiffin of pulled pork shoulder infused with curry leaves.
Tom Aikens’s offer of casual British comfort food is spot-on for the business-minded suits of Canary Wharf, who descend in droves for cockle-warming plates of eggs benedict, crab cakes, macaroni cheese, beer-battered pollock and rhubarb pie. Brunch is a big deal, and there are plenty of inducements for families at the weekend.