Eating Near The O2: The Best Restaurants In Greenwich

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Who remembers the Millenium Dome? 

Those of a certain vintage may well recall the white elephant on the Thames. A hulking reminder of the unfulfilled promises and empty excesses of champagne socialism. The flimsy structure catching Daniel Craig’s fall but failing to capture the public’s attention. An inexplicable diamond heist…

…But to many, this spiky silhouette on the Greenwich skyline is better remembered as being the scene of some of London’s biggest gigs over the past decade or so, with everyone from Bey to BubléBieber and Burna gracing its stage. And those are just the B’s…

Though much maligned (and bloody freezing inside!), The O2 has become arguably the city’s main focus for major world tours, high-octane sporting events and more, playing a pivotal role in the regeneration of the Greenwich Peninsula along the way.

With 2.5 million tickets sold by The O2 annually, you’d think the options for eating in the vicinity would be as vast as they are delicious. The former is certainly true; there are close to 50 restaurants and food vendors onsite. The latter, however, is a little harder to say with conviction. 

In all honesty, if you’re looking for a truly fantastic feed before heading to The O2 Arena, you might be better off first pitching up in Deptford or Peckham, where there are plenty of great meals to be had. Simply take the 188 bus from Deptford, or catch the overground to Canada Water before taking the Jubilee line to the venue from Peckham – neither should take much longer than half an hour. 

But that’s not why you’re here, right? You’re here to find a great restaurant within a big yellow pillar’s throw of The O2 Arena. We’re here to help with that; here’s our guide on where to eat near The O2 Arena, Greenwich.

The Best Food At The Actual O2 Arena

For those in a hurry…

Marugame Udon, The O2

The dining options at The O2 Arena may be vast, but they’re not desperately exciting – you’ve got your Nando’s, your Pizza Express, your Las Iguanas, and, well, that’s about it.

Arguably the best option for a nourishing, desperately decisive bite here is Marugame Udon. Specialising in Sanuki udon, a type of udon noodle from the Kagawa prefecture in Japan that’s famous for its firm, chewy texture and its simple adornments, this is a no-fuss bowl of goodness that will see you right before the show if you’re tight on time.

The chicken katsu udon is arguably the star of the show at Marugame, a best-selling dish that combines breadcrumbed, deep-fried chicken breast with a rich curry sauce and those chewy noodz. Costing £8.95, it’s a relative steal, too, though not as cheap as a bowl of the BK or kake noodles, both in a fish dashi broth at disparate ends of the rich to light spectrum, and both clocking in at just £4.95. That’s some seriously impressive value.

Marugame Udon has over 1000 stores worldwide, with 9 in London alone, so you’re guaranteed consistency and efficiency here, which is ideal if you can hear the band limbering up on stage.

AddressUnit 2.03 Entertainment Avenue, The O2, Greenwich, SE10 0DX

Websitemarugame.co.uk


Gaucho at The O2, The O2

One of around 20 of the Gaucho brand nationwide, this Argentinian-inspired steakhouse is perhaps the best (the only?) option for a fairly sophisticated sitdown meal within the grounds of The O2 Arena. 

Spread over three floors, it’s an expansive spectacle that’s billed as ‘the finest steak restaurant in Greenwich’. Think big, guys. 

To be fair, they’re probably right; the thoroughly marbled, hefty ancho rib eye, served blushing but not too rare, is a fine piece of beef indeed. Pair it with some chargrilled veg adorned with a well-made Caesar dressing, and you’ve got yourself a complete meal. Hold the sauce – the chimichurri is seasoned with caustic intent and brings nothing to the party. 

Finish things off with their salted dulce de leche cheesecake.

AddressPeninsula Square, London SE10 0DX

Websitegauchorestaurants.com


Five Guys, The O2

Listen; we don’t make the rules. When time is of the essence and you need a quick, satisfying, salty meal, Five Guys still does a job. Sure, you’ll need one of those silly 2 pint cups of beer to rehydrate afterwards, but that’s half the fun isn’t it?

AddressThe O2 Entertainment Centre, London SE10 0DX

Websiterestaurants.fiveguys.co.uk


The Best Restaurants In Greenwich 

A short walk or even shorter bus ride from The O2…

Venture a little further afield and into Greenwich proper, and you’ll find your world of options for dinner expands greatly.

Wandercrust Pizza at The Pelton Arms

Though Crisp Pizza seems to have annexed all of London’s pizza-in-a-pub hype recently, Wandercrust Pizza’s residency at the Pelton Arms in Greenwich is still worthy of a little slice of the action. 

Long proved, wood-fired, Neapolitan-adjacent pizzas are the name of the game here, which arrived splayed over brown paper, all irregularly shaped, inflated and leopard-crusted, and glistening with a drizzle of good olive oil. 

The provola e pepe is the connoisseur’s choice, the smoked pasta filata bringing just the right amount of intrigue whilst letting the carefully sourced San Marzanos and the pizza’s oven pronounced breath shine. Freshly cracked black pepper seals the deal. This is a seriously good pizza, make no mistake, and quite possibly South East London’s best.

Pizzas start being slung at 6pm weekdays and from 1pm at the weekends, giving you plenty of time for a meal before the show – that’s if you give the support act a swerve, of course.

And on Mondays, it’s buy one pizza and get another free. Who can argue with that?

AddressThe Pelton Arms, 23-25 Pelton Rd, London SE10 9PQ

Websitewandercrust.com


The Pilot Inn

Just a 10 minute stroll from The O2, The Pilot is one of the oldest pubs in the area, oozing charm and history despite its takeover by Fuller’s a decade ago. 

Sure, it may be a centrally-run, generally-managed affair, but the food at The Pilot is genuinely decent. We’re partial to their ham hock and Cornish cider terrine, whilst the seared trout with braised lentils and crispy capers feels like it’s been cooked to order rather than warmed through in a bag. High praise indeed.

It’s also one of the closest places for a proper pint close to the venue. This is something you might want to savour pre-show, as the pints inside The O2 are flat as fuck. In summer, pitch up at some of the wooden bench seating in the courtyard opposite the pub and have a few – it’s a pleasant spot.

The Pilot’s Sunday roasts are particularly renowned (vague promises of provenance appear, such as ‘South Coast pork’, ‘Yorkshire’ puddings…), making it the perfect place for a long and leisurely afternoon meal before a Sunday night show. If you’ve got seated tickets, that is…

Address68 River Way, London SE10 0BE

Websitepilotgreenwich.co.uk


K Kitchen

Though K Kitchen – a Korean joint that does a mean fried chicken – is takeaway only, it’s only a couple of minute’s walk from the attractive East Greenwich Pleasaunce Park

Glazed in your choice of three house sauces (or simply ‘savoury, without sauce’), here boneless thigh fillets are double battered and double fried for maximum crunch. Though the plum and garlic certainly hits the spot, we’re all about the sweet chilli sauce glaze here, which boasts that sharp piquancy of the finest Korean fried chicken. 

Order a tub of 5 thighs for an eminently reasonable £6.95 and head for that park for the ultimate pre-show, alfresco feast. Bring extra napkins – this one gets messy!

Read: Where to eat the best fried chicken in London

Address9 Woolwich Rd, London SE10 0RA

Websitekitchenonline.co.uk


Goddards at Greenwich

Standing proud since 1890 in the heart of Greenwich, and a mere hop, skip, and a jump (or, more sensibly, a 15 minute bus ride on the 188) from The O2 Arena, Goddards at Greenwich offers a quintessentially traditional pie and mash experience. 

The pies are hand-made with flaky pastry (also available gluten-free), the fillings are generous with just the right level of sauce-saturation, and the liquor is just as bracing as God intended it. Delicious.

And for the sweet-toothed, the dessert menu features another British staple – steamed puddings smothered in syrup. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, a meal at Goddards at Greenwich is an authentic taste of London’s culinary heritage that should not be missed.

Address22 King William Walk, London SE10 9HU

Websitegoddardsatgreenwich.co.uk


Alhaji SUYA

Just off the busy A102 and into the car park of Smyths Toys Superstores isn’t perhaps where you’d expect to find some of the best northern Nigerian food in all of London, but at Alhaji SUYA (a branch of the popular Peckham institution), you’ll find some exemplary beef suya being served from a hole in the wall, takeaway-only.

Just look for the lines of Uber Eats drivers, as Aljahi does a roaring trade in delivery to the hungry punters of South East London and beyond. The suya has a pronounced hum of smoke and a bark that’s achieved through a process of double-grilling, and the chilli heat manages to be both assertive and nuanced.

Kilishi – a robust dried beef number similar to jerky – is also sold here by the 60g for £5.95. You’d be foolish not to add a 5 gram baggy of extra yaji spice to your order, too. Sneak a Minigrip of the stuff, rusty red and thrumming with heat, into The O2 in your sock for a chilli-inspired endorphin-rush mid-gig. Ah, that’s the stuff.

AddressUnit 15 Angerstein Business Park, 12 Horn Ln, London SE10 0RT

Websitealhajuisuya.com


Greenwich Market

Photo by Michael Elliott

A bit further afield but worth the journey, Greenwich Market is a treasure trove of street food stalls serving cuisines from around the world. From Thai curries to Italian arancini, the world’s your oyster here (they do those, too). It’s a great place to explore if you have a few hours to spare before your event at The O2.

Among our favourite stalls here are the prosaically named but poetically seasoned Ethiopian Vegetarian Food, whose Yetsom Beyaynetu platter (well, polystyrene box in this case) is superb. Just down the way, another Ethiopian joint, Addi’s Taste, does a damn fine lentil sambusa (a samosa of sorts). 

For dessert, it’s got to be Doreen’s Jamaican Homemade Rum Cake, the name of the stall and the indulgently soaked sweet treat that is the headlining act. We have to admit gorging on so many of these in a single sitting once that we genuinely felt pissed…

Do be aware that the market closes at 5:30pm, with many stalls winding down earlier than that, so make sure you’re planning on an early dinner/late lunch if you’re eating here before heading to the venue. Don’t worry about that yawning gap between finishing eating and your gig beginning; the walk from Greenwich Market from the O2 can be an incredibly pretty one, and takes around an hour. Simply head for the Cutty Sark from the market, and follow the curve of the Thames north. Beautiful.

Address5B Greenwich Market, London SE10 9HZ

Websitegreenwichmarket.london


Mountain View

Don’t be fooled by the starched white table clothes in Greenwich’s premier Nepalese restaurant, Mountain View; the vibe here is laid back and unpretentious, and the food fresh and invigorating. 

Start with the fulsome, subtly spiced lamb momos, steamed and pleasingly gelatinous. Served alongside is a nuanced tomato achar, spicy and smokey but in a measured way. It’s an excellent way to kick things off here. Or anywhere, for that matter. It’s also laughably good value at just £5.95 for a plateful.

From the larger dishes, the murgh tikka lababdar is a rich and soothing affair, its generous finishing of cream and butter smoothing out the rougher edges of smoked chilli. Smooth out your own rough edges with a pint of Cobra – on tap here – and it’s show time.

Address160 Trafalgar Rd, London SE10 9TZ

Websitemountainviewgreenwich.co.uk

Read: 9 local dishes to try on your holiday to Nepal


Bianco43

Step out of Cutty Sark DLR Station and you’ll see the glowing pull of Bianco43 pretty much straight away, the warm, flickering smoulder from the pizza oven an enticement if ever there was one.

From that oven, it’s Neapolitan-style pizzas all the way, the Napulé a particularly salty, satisfying business. There’s also a short selection of homemade pasta dishes. Keep it light with spinach and ricotta ravioli or go to town on the lasagna, before walking it all off, riverside. The O2 is less than hour away on foot, and it’s a pleasant walk.

Address43 Greenwich Church St, London SE10 9BL

Websitebianco43.co.uk

The Best Restaurants In Canary Wharf & The Docklands 

Just across the Thames in Canary Wharf, you’ll find a broader selection of restaurants to dine in before you head to the O2.

Check out our guide on the best restaurants in Canary Wharf before you make that call.

Joseph Gann
Joseph Gann
Chef and food writer, with an interest in mental health and mindfulness

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