In the first of a new series looking at the best dining options within walking distance (1 mile) of city landmarks worldwide, we offer our 5 IDEAL restaurants close to The Shard in London.
The Shard, the U.K’s tallest building and Europe’s fourth, is a divisive statement of a structure, to say the least. Love or hate it, there’s no denying its prominence on the capital’s skyline. Opened in 2012, it offers vast views across London and beyond. Standing beneath it, looking upwards, is certainly a sight to make one question their insignificance on this Earth, the sharp blade of the building’s peak seemingly piercing the clouds as though they were balloons.
Equally stunning is the view of the Shard from many vantage points across London – we particularly like to see the way it cuts through a moody, looming sky from atop Frank’s Café in Peckham – a vista which makes you feel excited to be a Londoner.
Whilst a trip to the top of the structure to take in the views is a must, we’re less than sold on the dining options on the way up. Fear not though, as within walking distance are some absolute crackers. We’ve done the leg -and belly – work to whittle that down to just 5. So, here are our 5 IDEAL restaurants close to The Shard.
Padella – Distance from The Shard: 0.2 miles
The Shard’s closest underground station, London Bridge, delivers you from your tube trip and into Padella’s massive queue with barely a blink in between. A no-reservations policy and some of the finest, fresh pasta in London means you’ll always, and we mean always, have to wait in line. You’ll be rewarded for your time with sensational, moreish pasta mixed with friendly cheer at prices which are extraordinarily low.
Address: 6 Southwark St, London SE1 1TQ Website: www.padella.co
Read our full restaurant review of Padella
Wright Brothers – Distance from The Shard : 0.2 miles
The Shard is blessed by its proximity to Borough Market, rather than vice versa, we think. In this foodie mecca you’ll find the Wright Brothers, whose dedication to fresh fish, particularly oysters, marks it out in a field crowded with great dining options. The menu is simple; a list of specials, nearly all fish, sensitively cooked with great respect for amazing product. This is the only way to cook fish this fresh, and we love it.
Address: 11 Stoney Street, Borough Market, London SE1 9AD Website: thewrightbrothers.co.uk
El Pastor – Distance from The Shard: 0.2 miles
Just across the road from Borough Market is a new addition to the restaurant landscape, El Pastor. The Barrafina boys, Sam and Eddie Hart, have reimagined the traditional Mexican taqueria into a convivial, carnival-like space in the heart of London. The food is sensational, particularly the beef short rib and bone marrow wraps, served to be shared in an assemble-it-yourself style. Mezcal washes everything down and sends you on your way a little wavier than when you arrived.
Address: 6-7A Stoney St, London SE1 9AA Website: www.tacoselpastor.co.uk
Read our full restaurant review of El Pastor
Jose – Distance from The Shard: 0.6 miles
There’s a heap of tapas options near the Shard, but for us Jose, in Bermondsey, takes the galleta. Jose Pizarro is somewhat of a London celebrity, a chef of great geniality and generosity, and this translates itself into the welcome at any of his London joints. Jose has the feel of a pinxtos bar, with plenty of standing and bar stools, and chalkboard menu to match. You wouldn’t feel out of place dropping in here for a glass of wine and one plate. Equally, you can have a feast of tapas classics and a few larger, ingredients-led plates. A real favourite of IDEAL magazine.
Address: 104 Bermondsey St, London SE1 3UB Website: josepizarro.com
Restaurant Story – Distance from Shard: 0.6 miles
If you’re looking for cooking with real imagination, flair and precision, then look no further than Restaurant Story on Tooley Street. Housed in four walls of sanded wood akin to a Swedish sauna, opposite a bus stop, it looks strangely out of place. Do not let that deceive you though, there’s some serious cooking going on inside. Deeming the style as New Nordic would be doing it a disservice, it’s far less derivative than that, although Chef and Owner Tom Sellers did train at Noma. No, the food is ingredients and seasonality led, with an emphasis on nostalgia; a fantastic restaurant for a special occasion.
Address: 199 Tooley St, London SE1 2JX Website: restaurantstory.co.uk