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Canary Wharf area guide

Discover the best things to do, see, eat and drink in London's capital of suits Canary Wharf

Canary Wharf - area guide 2018

There’s a misconception that once the working week is done and it’s devoid of the buzz of workers, Canary Wharf becomes a ghost town. But there’s actually whole host of things to do, see, eat and drink in London’s captial of suits, any time of the week.

Soon, the Elizabeth Line will stop at the recently developed Crossrail Place, a giant floating station that could be lifted straight from a 'Star Wars' movie. More than just a station, however, you'll find an oasis of calm at the Crossrail Place Gardens, designed by innovative British architects Foster + Partners. This four-floored development is also home to Giant Robot, a seven-days-a-week rooftop foodie arena from the team that brought you Dinerama. In fact, foodies will be spoilt as Canary Wharf has built up quite the collection of casual and upmarket eateries, and there a number of bars and pubs that can get quite busy (especially on a Friday night). 

Recommended: Our London area guides

Things to do in Canary Wharf

Museum of London Docklands

Museum of London Docklands

Housed in a 200-year-old warehouse, this museum tells the surprising and illustrious history story of the Thames and its port. 

Users say
4 out of 5 stars
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Mudchute Park and Farm
Things to do

Mudchute Park and Farm

A surprisingly compact city farm that's home to an Equestrian Centre, petting zoo, duck pond and a rather brilliant café.

Users say
5 out of 5 stars
Billingsgate Market
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Billingsgate Market

Best to arrive early, but totally worth it to pick up the freshest fish and seafood, and to soak up the atmosphere.

Users say
5 out of 5 stars
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Trinity Buoy Wharf
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Trinity Buoy Wharf

Venue says: “We're opening our doors for Open House 2019 featuring art shows, open studios and workshops. Check our website for details!”

Users say
5 out of 5 stars
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Restaurants in Canary Wharf

Plateau
Restaurants Special offer

Plateau

The aptly named Plateau sits on the fourth floor of Canada Place, with sensational views of Canary Wharf from its huge glass and metal façade. The interior aims to impress with iconic contemporary furniture – but the restaurant isn’t just a designer showroom for the moneyed classes; the beautifully presented cuisine is testament to the fact that head chef Allan Pickett takes his job very seriously.

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

In a city where many of us still think of Indian food as an either/or situation (hottest thing on the menu lads/chicken korma wimps) it's a pleasure to eat in a restaurant where the special spice blends that go into our surrogate national cuisine are really allowed to sing. It's frankly a surprise to find it (after spending a considerable percentage of phone battery on trying to locate the bloody place) in Canary Wharf, where it takes a great deal to make us feel comfortable about parting with money. Once you're in you'll need to choose between eating in the Toddy Shop – the slightly less formal front section of the restaurant – where the menu is effectively Indian tapas, and the more traditional dining area at the back, where you can order three courses without confusing the staff.The food at Chai Ki is clearly presented by someone who cares about flavour. Not every dish we tried was a knockout but where there were failings it was down to being overambitious rather than unskilled; succulent quail slightly overpowered by tangy pomegranate molasses, say. But most of the menu offers satisfying, moreish, complex dishes, the kind you always want from an Indian restaurant and so rarely get. Yes, we did order the butter chicken (wimps) and yes, its tandoori thigh meat, fenugreek sauce, crispy spinach, melon seeds and miso base combines to become something absolutely delicious.

Time Out says
4 out of 5 stars
Users say
4 out of 5 stars
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Ibérica Canary Wharf
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Ibérica Canary Wharf

This glamorous new branch of Ibérica has a spacious, airy feel that blends well with the glass towers and moneyed streets of Canary Wharf, yet it conveys a real sense of Spain. The space feels contemporary but rooted – as does the menu from executive chef Nacho Manzano , which blends traditional dishes with ‘nuevo’ flourishes.

Time Out says
4 out of 5 stars
Users say
4 out of 5 stars
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Giant Robot
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Giant Robot

Venue says: “Watch the Premier League and Champions League live at Giant Robot. Grab a beer and settle in for the match.”

Time Out says
4 out of 5 stars
Users say
3 out of 5 stars
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Pubs in Canary Wharf

The Gun
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The Gun

An attractively spruced-up pub, with attentive staff and stiff prices. 

Time Out says
4 out of 5 stars
Users say
5 out of 5 stars
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The Merchant
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The Merchant

A great spot for an after-work drink, with an outdoor heated seating area overlooking the North Dock.

Users say
3 out of 5 stars
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Bars in Canary Wharf

Boisdale of Canary Wharf
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Boisdale of Canary Wharf

This highly enjoyable member of the Boisdale triumvirate is almost laughably incongruous. On the second floor is an appropriately smart bar-diner that offers a brasserie menu and mollifying puffs in the Cigar Library or on the terrace, but the third-floor main restaurant has a cod-Scottish gentlemen’s-club theme entirely at odds with the office-casual modernist architecture around it. No cliché is knowingly ducked – mounted stag’s head and angling trophy, tartan carpet, table-top thistles – yet they’re delivered with a cheerful wink (a slightly lascivious wink when it comes to the waitresses’ tartan miniskirts). From the £19.75 ‘Jacobite’ menu, we were content with potted mackerel, despite it arriving cold rather than warm, and relished haggis with a quenelle each of orange neep and white mash: no fussy presentation, just gut-stuffing good flavours. A la carte prices trespass on expense-account territory, but crab tian (with another quenelle: avocado, this time) and king prawn caesar salad were up to the mark, big in size and taste. After 9pm there’s a stiff cover charge to watch jazz or blues from a stage at the far end of a pewter bar counter (where there’s a daunting number of fine whiskies).  

Time Out says
4 out of 5 stars
Users say
4 out of 5 stars
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The Pagination
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The Pagination

Canary Wharf is weird. It doesn’t really feel as though you’re in London; plonk it in any big city in the world and it would fit in. Consequently, it’s something of a hotbed for soulless bars. The Pagination is not one of them. Sleek and smart, it resembles the lobby of a luxury ski lodge. There are knitted blankets and sheepskins strewn over retro chairs and a ’70s vibe throughout, with warm wood and cut-glass jugs. On each table sits a mini shrub-filled concrete planter, and they haven’t scrimped on the tea lights, which means that it feels cosy despite its size. But you don’t go to a bar merely for the ambience – what about the drinks? The cocktails – I tried an old fashioned and something pear-y from the ‘Heritage’ menu – were bang average. Wine was better: the house red was perfectly all right, and bonus points for serving Chapel Down by the glass. What was disappointing – besides the staff’s bowties – was the fact that the lights came up at 10pm. Fifteen minutes later, the music stopped. It seemed an unsubtle hint to get the hell out, and early even for a Wednesday, but maybe that’s just how they roll on the Wharf.

Time Out says
3 out of 5 stars
Users say
4 out of 5 stars
Book online
Lobby Lounge
Bars and pubs

Lobby Lounge

The Lobby Lounge at the Marriott London West India Quay hotel offers a relaxed atmosphere by day, if you fancy afternoon tea or a light snack or meal, and it's a bit more lively at night when you might be after a reviving cocktail or dinner. Dress code is casual.

Levante
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Levante

A modern take on classic European bar-restaurant with casual dining, Levante captures the essence of Continental Europe within the relaxed and friendly environment afforded to it by the historic docklands warehouse just a stone's throw from the vibrant Canary Wharf. Levante offers a great selection of Spanish tapas and pintxos; we also offer fantastic main courses with inspiration drawn from across the continent and a variety of sandwiches and deli platters for a lighter bite - all in a casual and friendly setting, in stark contrast to the corporate chain feel of most of Canary Wharf.Weather permitting, we also have a huge 2500 sq ft terrace for you to soak up the sun, or simply enjoy the view whilst sat beneath a parasol - come rain or shine Levante is the ideal setting.

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The perfect weekend in Canary Wharf

Explore: Giant Robot
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Explore: Giant Robot

Venue says: “Watch the Premier League and Champions League live at Giant Robot. Grab a beer and settle in for the match.”

Time Out says
4 out of 5 stars
Users say
3 out of 5 stars
Book online
Visit: Mudchute Park and Farm
Things to do

Visit: Mudchute Park and Farm

What could be better than spending your weekend hanging out with some alpacas and visiting a petting zoo? Not much, tbh. 

Users say
5 out of 5 stars
Play: Reebok Sports Club
Sport and fitness

Play: Reebok Sports Club

A three-floored stylish sports emporium complete with bar, restaurant, gym, pool, golf, boxing and indoor football. 

Users say
3 out of 5 stars
Eat: Roka
Restaurants Special offer

Eat: Roka

Enjoy a luxurious bottomless brunch at Roka with signature robata dishes, sashimi and desserts. 

Users say
4 out of 5 stars
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Hotels in Canary Wharf

Novotel London Canary Wharf

Novotel London Canary Wharf

Featuring a roof terrace with 360 views across the London skyline, Novotel London Canary Wharf also benefits from an on-site gym, pool and contemporary restaurant and bar. Free WiFi is available throughout the hotel.Each air conditioned guest room features a flat-screen TV, en-suite facilities and a work desk.There is a 24-hour front desk at the property, as well as room service which offers a variety of hot dishes and cold snacks. The Bōkan Restaurant, Bar and Roof Terrace serves artisanal food and drink made using a mixture of local, ancient and adopted British ingredients. The menu is inspired by European cultural cuisines. There are panoramic views of London and the Thames, high-speed WiFi and triple-story rooftop dining.Greenwich Park is 3.4 km from Novotel London Canary Wharf, while Tower Bridge is 3.6 km away. The nearest airport is London City Airport, 5 km from Novotel London Canary Wharf.

Users say
5 out of 5 stars
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Canary Riverside Plaza Hotel

Canary Riverside Plaza Hotel

In a vibrant new section of London with views over the River Thames and the city, the Canary Riverside Plaza Hotel hotel boasts elegant rooms and free WiFi. Canary Wharf, with its shops and towering skyscrapers, is just a few minutes’ walk away. Guests have complimentary access to Virgin Active Health Club with 3 floors of fitness facilities, saunas and steam rooms, hydrotherapy pools and a 20-metre infinity edge lap pool.Built on the historic site of the West India Quay – the busy centre for Britain’s spice trade hundreds of years ago – Canary Riverside Plaza Hotel is a 10-minute walk from the Tube, giving you access to the city’s most popular attractions. The Docklands Light Railway is a 5-minute walk away.Canary Wharf Pier is a 2-minute walk away and offers links to the Thames Clipper Boat, which connects you to central London and the West End, as well as Greenwich.Rooms are spacious and modern, with a flat-screen TV, DVD player, and iPod docking station. Each also benefits from an en suite bathroom with free toiletries and a hairdryer. There is also a 24-hour in-room dining service.Breakfast options include Full English, Continental, an energy breakfast and a selection of nutritionally balanced, healthier choices.

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Hilton London Canary Wharf

Hilton London Canary Wharf

A four-star hotel just five minutes' walk from Canary Wharf London Underground Station and close to the O2 Arena. 

Users say
4 out of 5 stars
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Point A Hotel London Canary Wharf

Point A Hotel London Canary Wharf

Point A Hotel London Canary Wharf offers budget accommodation in London's financial district. The property offers guests luggage storage and transport services.Every room is compact and well designed, featuring a comfortable Hynosis bed, en-suite bathrooms with a power shower, free high-speed WiFi, USB charging point, air-conditioning, flat-screen TV with 240 channels and a safe. Blackout curtains are also featured to ensure you have a good night's sleep.Point A Hotel London Canary Wharf offers a 24 hour reception and contemporary lobby area where guests can continue to make use of the the high-speed WiFi.The Museum of London Docklands is 1 minutes' walk from the hotel, while the O2 Arena is 1.2 miles away, and Victoria Park is 2 miles from the property.Point A Hotel London Canary Wharf is located in close proximity to multiple transport links. Canary Wharf Underground Station is only a 600-metre walk from the property. The Canary Wharf Docklands Light Railway (DLR) is 500 meters away, and West India Quay DLR station is 300 metres away. The nearest airport is London City Airport, 3 miles from the property.

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