SEPTEMBER 2019: We’ve added Stevie Parle’s Craft London (part restaurant, part cocktail bar, part café) and Vietnamese newbie Queen du Vietnam, as well as Heap’s Sausage Café – for lovers of artisan bangers. Meanwhile, fans of tea and cake should check out the quirky Red Door café and Royal Teas (one for the veggies).
The Greenwich restaurant scene marries the charm of inglenook eateries with the high quality of London fine dining. The riverside area offers a slice of village life without leaving the big smoke. We pick our favourites in the Time Out guide to the best restaurants in Greenwich.
RECOMMENDED: Greenwich area guide
The name pretty much says it all at this Greenwich bar/bistro – the third from reputable champagne importer French Bubbles and artisan cheesemonger Une Normande à Londres. Fizz and fromage are two of France’s favourite things and visitors will be amply rewarded with a vast selection of bubbles and a 50-strong list of soft and hard cheeses. If fromage isn’t your thing, the menu also includes everything from tartines and duck confit to charcuterie boards and macarons. To drink, there are wines from Bordeaux and beers from Brockley.
‘Home-grown and home-produced’ is the mantra at Craft – Stevie Parle’s shrine to all things artisan. Expect to pay top dollar in the restaurant for impeccably sourced ingredients and modish pin-sharp dishes ranging from steak tartare with salmon roe and diced pear to whole bream with BBQ hispi cabbage, white beans and caper sauce. Craft also features a cracking cocktail bar with views, although our favourite bit is the bright ground-floor café with its brunch deals, wood-fired pizzas and excellent home-roasted coffee.
The sign on Goddard’s bottle-green frontage says ‘Est 1890’, although this shiny venue is merely the latest incarnation of a long-running family business. Food-wise, variety is the name of the game: there’s an impressive choice of pie fillings ranging from chicken and ham to lamb and rosemary, which are now overtaking minced beef in the popularity rankings. Goddard’s also sells gluten-free pies, along with calorie-laden handmade puds. Be warned: this place is regularly rammed with tourists on the Greenwich heritage trail.
Venue says Gluten free pie, mash and liquor now available!
Round the corner from Greenwich Royal Park, chef Martin Heap’s cute little shop and café is a mecca for fans of artisan bangers. Seating is limited and it’s counter service only, but the punters just keep coming in to buy and sample his terrific comestibles. Tuck into a plateful of bangers and mash with onion gravy, a ‘Lethal Lucifer’ hot dog or one of their hand-crafted pies; otherwise, there are home-cured bacon baps for breakfast, as well as burgers, quiches and flapjacks for afters.
On Greenwich’s Royal Hill, this well-liked local restaurant and bar has a broadly Mediterranean flavour, although its owners hail from Ecuador. Antipasti, goat’s cheese salad, tapas, pizzas and pastas sit happily alongside Latin classics such as empanadas, ceviches, bife ancho (grilled Argentinian ribeye) and cariucho de pollo (a traditional Ecuadorian dish of chicken breast in peanut butter sauce served with rice and avocado). To finish, look no further than churros or alfajor (South American cookies filled with dulce de leche).
Fabulous views of Greenwich Royal Park are a given at this café spread over two floors of the National Maritime Museum. Bag your table and order at the counter from a menu that highlights dishes from ‘land and sea’: the former might include burgers, pork schnitzel and pulled chicken gyros, while the latter could feature Meantime beer-battered cod, fishcakes or pan-fried sea bass with green beans, fennel and orange sauce. Kids have their own menu, and afternoon tea is a delight.
At the top of a hill by the Royal Observatory, the recently refurbished Pavilion Café is an unmistakable octagonal building topped by a dovecot with a weathervane depicting Nelson looking through his telescope. Once inside, grab a table, note its number and place your orders at the bar. Breakfast is a good call, while the all-day menu is built around sourdough pizzas, burgers and salads; otherwise drop by for coffee and cake. Gorgeous views guaranteed.
Opened by a group of entrepreneurs in February 2019, Queen du Vietnam brings a taste of Hanoi to downtown Greenwich. The menu trawls its way through spring and summer rolls, bánh xèo pancakes, shaking beef and cha cá lã vong (Hanoi’s famous grilled fish) before reaching the pho soups and ‘bun’ noodle dishes. Veggies have their own menu, and set lunches are a generous bargain. The wine list is minimal, so stay with the Vietnamese beers and fruity Asian cocktails.
Hidden away from the buzz of Greenwich Market, this vintage shabby-chic café has a ’70s time-warp vibe with its mismatched furniture, folksy crockery, eclectic vinyl soundtrack, artworks and displays of old-fashioned locally baked cakes under glass cloches. Breakfast brings toast, crumpets and porridge, while daytime callers can fill up on sandwiches, paninis and bagels (baked by Rhodes of Greenwich). To sip, Monmouth coffees, milkshakes and hot chocolate vie with unusual loose-leaf teas from Greenwich-based Little Sparrow.
The original Rivington Grill in Shoreditch may have closed, but its southern offshoot next door to the Greenwich Picturehouse is still flying the flag for British cooking. Inside, it has faintly maritime feel with brass railings and a mirror-lined mezzanine, while the menu majors in seafood and meaty grills – from dressed crab and salmon with spinach and shrimp butter to galloway sirloin, lamb chops and local Heap’s sausages with mash and onion gravy. Brunch deals, a garden terrace and gins galore are further assets.
Very much part of Greenwich’s local community, this homely café keeps things veggie (apart from the odd bit of smoked salmon). Immensely charming staff are on hand to pamper the crowds who pack the two cosy rooms, while the menu is full of genuinely homemade stuff (with little portions for kiddies). American-style brekkies kick-start the day, ahead of baguettes, jacket potatoes, wraps, salads and gorgeous home-baked cakes. Also don’t miss their cream teas. Prices are friendly too – no London surcharges here.