Our top pick of restaurants and bars in SE1 and SE16…
The Grange is Bermondsey’s “independent local” pub. A beloved of The Biscuit team, they’ve been in business for over nine years serving up gastro-style pub grub – and with Spring springing, their beer garden will be our first stop at the first glint of sunshine.
Utilising seasonal produce, their menu changes – but there is always the garden’s pizza oven sizzling up crusts to perfection by wood fire. Plus, they’ve got five Bermondsey Beer Mile beers on tap. Being located about a 10-minute walk from the Mile, you can’t get a pint fresher than that!
103-104 Grange Road, Bermondsey, SE1 3BW
The Ship and Whale
Cosy pubs are made by a family atmosphere, hearty menus, and where dogs are welcome – and that’s what Rotherhithe’s The Ship and Whale provides.
Not only do they have mid-week food deals, pub quizzes and classic Sunday roasts, but there is more than meets the eye at this SE16 boozer. The building is said to have been built in 1880, a history they want to celebrate. While sipping on a wine or having a bite to eat, you might notice old photographs documenting the area’s past, including a photo of the June 1911 Coronation Parties held for George V on Rotherhithe Street.
2 Gulliver Street, Rotherhithe, SE16 7LT
Fel Fel Cafe
A Bermondsey Street staple and self-proclaimed “best tuna melt around” is Fel Fel, the tea house and falafel spot.
You can head on in for a selection of homemade juices, the famous tuna melt, plus wraps filled with your heart’s desire – falafel, halloumi, chicken, all of the sauces, and more. They also have a lunchtime deal that locals are sure to love.
The pair behind Fel Fel Cafe also run Bermondsey’s Chapter 72 coffee at the opposite end of Bermondsey Street. One great coffee, two great locations.
@felfelcafe on Instagram
135 Bermondsey Street, SE1 3GS
To celebrate its 5th birthday last year, Bancone celebrated by opening a third site at Borough Yards.
Executive chef Ben Waugh was at the helm, with pasta, cocktail and wine list favourites plus some new surprises. Bancone’s menu “staples” of the Silk Handkerchiefs with walnut butter and confit egg yolk; Mafalde with spicy pork and nduja ragù and their cacio e pepe still very much remain but Ben worked on some incredible new dishes, too. Our mouths are watering at the thought…
Arch 213, 18 Stoney Street, SE1 9AD
New to Borough Market is KOLAE, the new outpost from som saa co-founders Mark Dobbie and Andy Oliver.
The restaurant, which opened last winter, draws its name from Kolae (also known as Golae, Galae and Gaw Lae), a cooking style from Southern Thailand where ingredients are generously bathed in a curry-like coconut marinade and grilled over open flames – inspiration you can see reflected in the menu.
Signature dishes are prepared in the Kolae style, using a coconut curry marinade to coat a variety of proteins or vegetables before being finished over smouldering coconut to create a rich and aromatic smokiness. Menu highlights include: fried prawn heads; rice crackers with grilled pork jowl; KOLAE chicken bamboo skewer; sour mango salad with roasted coconut and dry fish; and more.
Drinks include a considered selection of crisp draft beers from Lost and Grounded that compliment KOLAE’s hot and aromatic flavours, with Thai beers available by the bottle, as well as cocktails and mocktails that have been crafted using techniques and ingredients from the kitchen – including a Pickled Mango Dirty Martini.
6 Park Street, London, SE1 9AB
Photo: Ben Broomfield