Borough area guide

Find the best restaurants, pubs and things to do in London’s Borough, including foodie heaven Borough Market

Borough area guide
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Borough has been a lively area since prehistoric times, but it became a bustling trade centre when the Romans founded Londinium around 43 AD. Its position on the Thames and proximity to London Bridge has ensured it’s remained a trading hub ever since. Though these days Borough is dominated by Borough Market, which gives the area its reputation as a foodie paradise. Generally, the best restaurants are in or very near the market but, if you know where you’re looking, you can find some gems hidden away. The bars and pubs are more spread out but are worth a little walk. Which is just as well, given how much you’re guaranteed to eat in Borough.

RECOMMENDED: London by area

The best bits of Borough

Why we love Borough Market
News

Why we love Borough Market

Time Out readers share what makes the foodie wonderland special to them.

15 great things to do on Borough High Street
News

15 great things to do on Borough High Street

Borough High Street has been an epicentre of London life for two millennia.

Restaurants in Borough

Arabica Bar & Kitchen
Restaurants Book online

Arabica Bar & Kitchen

Arabica manages to capture the golden age of the Levant solely through its great food and buzzy vibe – visual short-cuts such as belly dancers and ‘Arabian Nights’ murals are kicked to the kerb in favour of a more modern cliché (London’s ever popular bare-brick-and-filament-bulb decor). Dishes hail from all corners of the Middle East and neighbouring countries. For drinks, try Lebanese, Syrian, Israeli or Turkish wines, or one of the spectacular cocktails. Table-turning is strict, but Levantine-style hospitality means you won’t feel rushed.

Users say
4 out of 5 stars
Book online
Arthur Hooper's
Restaurants Book online

Arthur Hooper's

Venue says: “New vegan menu available! Check out our website for more details.”

Users say
4 out of 5 stars
Book online
El Pastor
Restaurants

El Pastor

Taco joints might be ten a peso these days, but 2017’s greatest food trend remains fresh at this, the Barrafina-founding Hart brothers’ arch-based, bookings-free Borough taqueria. The vibe? Feel-good foodie fiesta, of course. There are starter plates of guacamole and spicy sopa de tortilla soup on offer, as well as a mini menu of quesadillas, but you’d be a maniac to miss the tacos. Best of all is the titular Al Pastór – with marinated pork shoulder, caramelised pineapple, guacamole, white onion, coriander – but the DIY beef short rib sharer runs a close second.

Users say
3 out of 5 stars
Elliot's
Restaurants Book online

Elliot's

Everything we’ve ever eaten at Elliot’s has been outstanding, from menu signatures like the juicy, pink-middled cheeseburger, to seasonal stars such as mussels spiked with ’nduja and wild garlic, or smoky grilled calçots with piquant romesco sauce. It’s hard to know where the best seats are: the honey-bricked, half-rustic, half-industrial dining room has loads of natural light and a great buzz, but in summer, the handful of pavement tables are perfect for enjoying the bustle of Borough Market.

Users say
4 out of 5 stars
Book online
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Things to do in Borough

Clink Prison Museum
Museums

Clink Prison Museum

Visit for a fascinating insight into one of England’s oldest prisons.

Users say
2 out of 5 stars
Golden Hinde
Attractions Buy tickets

Golden Hinde

A full-size reconstruction of Sir Francis Drake’s sixteenth-century flagship.

Users say
3 out of 5 stars
Buy
Southwark Cathedral

Southwark Cathedral

A fantastic historic site, often overlooked by Borough Market shoppers.

Users say
5 out of 5 stars
Buy
Borough Market
Things to do Book online

Borough Market

London’s oldest market – a foodie's paradise. 

Users say
5 out of 5 stars
Book online

Bars in Borough

Boot & Flogger
Bars and pubs Book online

Boot & Flogger

A wonderfully old-school wine bar.

Time Out says
5 out of 5 stars
Users say
5 out of 5 stars
Book online
Omeara Cantina
Bars and pubs Book online

Omeara Cantina

Tequila house attached to live music venue Omeara.

Time Out says
3 out of 5 stars
Book online
Hide Bar
Bars and pubs Book online

Hide Bar

Quality mixed drinks near London Bridge station.

Time Out says
4 out of 5 stars
Users say
4 out of 5 stars
Book online
Gong
Bars and pubs

Gong

Classy cocktails and spectacular views.

Time Out says
3 out of 5 stars
Users say
4 out of 5 stars
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Hotels in Borough

London Bridge Hotel

London Bridge Hotel

A modern, chic base by the river. 

Users say
4 out of 5 stars
Check prices
citizenM London Bankside

citizenM London Bankside

A new and affordably chic place to stay.

Check prices
See the best hotels near London Bridge

Pubs in Borough

Gladstone Arms
Bars and pubs Book online

Gladstone Arms

Venue says: “Join us for a three course Anglo-Indian Christmas set meal; choices are roast Delhi butter chicken or roast railway lamb chops!”

Time Out says
4 out of 5 stars
Users say
5 out of 5 stars
Book online
Boot & Flogger
Bars and pubs Book online

Boot & Flogger

Gloriously old-fashioned Borough boozer.

Time Out says
5 out of 5 stars
Users say
5 out of 5 stars
Book online
Rake
Bars and pubs

Rake

Perhaps the smallest pub in London. 

Time Out says
4 out of 5 stars
Users say
4 out of 5 stars
Royal Oak
Bars and pubs

Royal Oak

A traditional Victorian corner tavern.

Time Out says
5 out of 5 stars
Users say
4 out of 5 stars
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The perfect weekend in Borough

Eat: Tapas Brindisa London Bridge
Restaurants

Eat: Tapas Brindisa London Bridge

The upsurge in Spanish food quality in London since the 1990s can in part be dated from the arrival in Borough Market of food importers Brindisa, bringing first-rate Iberian hams, cheeses and other essentials to the city almost for the first time. The firm’s showcase tapas restaurants are equally a benchmark. In early 2011, star chef José Pizarro left to start José, but we haven’t noticed any drop in standards, so you’ll still find an ideal blend of superb ingredients and refined cooking (the latter normally confined to larger dishes). At the original Brindisa in Borough Market, ‘black rice’ (cooked with squid in its ink, with unusually fragrant aïoli) had a superbly smooth flavour, without any acridity; ham croquettes gained extra depth from the quality of the meat. Padrón peppers (Galician peppers simply fried and salted) exemplified wonderful produce being allowed to shine. The style is easy going, prices very reasonable – though inescapably higher for delicacies such as the finest Ibérico meats. Wines are sophisticated and priced accordingly. The only drawback is that it’s often impossible to get a seat at the Borough and Soho branches, as there’s no booking; fortunately, South Ken’s Casa Brindisa does now take reservations.

Time Out says
5 out of 5 stars
Users say
3 out of 5 stars
Drink: Gladstone Arms
Bars and pubs Book online

Drink: Gladstone Arms

Venue says: “Join us for a three course Anglo-Indian Christmas set meal; choices are roast Delhi butter chicken or roast railway lamb chops!”

Time Out says
3 out of 5 stars
Users say
5 out of 5 stars
Book online
Explore: Southwark Cathedral

Explore: Southwark Cathedral

A fabulous historic site definitely worth making time for.

Users say
5 out of 5 stars
Buy
Sip: Monmouth Coffee Company
Restaurants

Sip: Monmouth Coffee Company

Come and worship at this shrine to the coffee bean.

Time Out says
5 out of 5 stars
Users say
5 out of 5 stars