So you’ve finally pegged down the Tate Modern and finished visiting it and admiring all the art; congratulations. Next up is seeing to your needs, and that, for most tourists, almost always involves hunger. Following is a guide to all the places where you can find good food in the area around the Tate Modern, whether it is for lunch, dinner, or breakfast.
You need to know first off that for anyone that tours Tate Modern, the Bankside area which immediately surrounds the museum is not all that famous for its number of good restaurants. That said, there are indeed a few places near the Tate where you can get good food, so long as you don’t mind taking a short walk. Most of these emphasize British cooking, so be prepared to take on a roast of a different kind while you are in the vicinity.
The Tate Modern Restaurant
This one is strictly inside premises of the museum—on the tenth floor of the Switch House extension (or the Blavatnik Building, as they are trying to call it), to be precise. The places dishes up serviceable British cooking, with the menu including blackened cod, charcoal-grilled steaks, and cottage pie. Since the gallery draws all of 1.6 million guests every year, this eatery can fill up quickly, which means if you want to be dining here, it’s best to book in advance. And because you are ten floors from the Thames, every side seat is a window seat with breathtaking views.
Roast (Borough Market)
A twelve-minute stroll along the east way of riverside gets you to the bustling Borough Market of London. Here you’ll find the Roast, a fab culinary destination where you get to dine and in the meantime, watch other people go about their business below. The place does a superb Sunday Lunch, and also serves full English brunches, breakfasts, and afternoon teas. They even have what is now famously known as the Roast Burger.
A ten-minute walk west along the Thames’ front, and you’ll get to the seminal OXO Tower, which has a mix of restaurant, bar, and brasserie at the top. Based on classic British fare, there are few places this close to the Tate Modern that delight as well as this place does. You get sea bream, scallops, and mussels; lamb chops, pork belly, and rib-eye steak. That may sound heavy at first, and if you want to go on the lighter side and have a good time with family and friends, you can try out their dessert-and-champagne.
Go over the Thames through Millennium Bridge, and you’ll get to right about where the Northbank Restaurant is located. Here you get to cozy in on a riverside terrace, place an order for slow cooked short rib, roast Cornish lamb rack, or lemon sole, and look over the river and back at the gallery you came out of.
The Laughing Gravy (Southwark)
Most of the spots mentioned above and below are ones London foodies have heard about at least once. The Laughing Gravy, in contrast, is not as well-known, mainly because it sits off the beaten path, even though it’s only a 10-minute walk from the Tate Modern gallery. This solid fixture houses an establishment which has won the Love London Award thanks to locals who loved its fare. Online and otherwise, you are bound to see beaming reviews of the place, focusing mainly on the fact that it dishes out some of the best food and service an eatery does in the area. Go in for a rabbit pappardelle ragout or a superfood salad.
Other Eateries to Try near the Tate Modern
- The Tate Modern Restaurant: If spending your money at The Tate Modern Restaurant does not appeal for some reason, you can hit the Tate Modern café located inside the main Turbine Hall building, where admittedly you can only get a coffee and a sandwich.
- Hawksmoor: This is just to the other side of the market from Roast, and it serves some of the finest steak in this location (their Sixth).
- The Sea Containers Restaurant: Located at the Mondrian Hotel and looking out onto the river Thames at ground level, this place affords a calm view. They serve ‘seasonal, farm-to-table dining’, which is complemented by a variety of seafood dishes, such as oysters and grilled octopus salad.
- Anchor & Hope: A gastropub close to the Southwark tube station, this eatery is bound to appeal if you have a mind and stomach for hearty local cooking (seven hour lamb shoulder with marinated peppers and veal stew). You need to know first though, that they only serve during lunch and dinner timings, which means you’d need to get the timing right if you were to enjoy their best fares, or any fare for that matter.