Tacos El Pastor
6-7A Stoney St, Southwark
It always helps when the restaurateur has actually spent time in the place the cuisine they're peddling hails from. In the case of the Hart brothers—the guys behind the wildly successful, Barrafina—and their partner Crispin Somerville, they didn't just live in Mexico City, they also ran one of the best clubs that ever was: the sadly now-defunct El Colmillo. Armed with serious CDMX knowledge, they've managed to recreate the look and feel—albeit much more glamorous— of a typical city taqueria in the heart of London, no less. They built a custom taco machine (they will proudly show you if you ask) and brought in a master taquero over to London to show the team the ropes and man the Pastor for its opening weeks. They also use authentic, non-GMO grains from small producers, have a broad and respectable Mezcal list, and will serve you—in Spanish, if you like—with a big grin. Located in the heart of Borough Market, this spot oozes loud, buzzy Mexican vibras.
6 Southwark St., London Bridge
From the gang behind North London's classic Italian joint, Trullo, comes Padella, a fast-paced, super affordable pasta bar in Borough Market. At this busy new spot, hand-rolled pasta is king: The main dining room consists mostly of a hulking open industrial kitchen where those with bar seating get to watch their meal being made. The menu is teensy and perfect, as are the classic Italian aperitivo-style cocktails. Our recommendation: If it's on the menu of the day, go for the beef shin ragu or the ricotta and sage ravioli.
20 Upper Ground, Southwark
Chef and restaurateur Seamus Mullen famously cured himself of rheumatoid arthritis by changing his diet and eating anti-inflammatory, seasonal foods: He wrote a book about it, Hero Food that we interviewed him about for goop. In New York, he's part of the vanguard that's transforming restaurant cuisine, making it as delicious as it is good for you. And now, he's hopped across the Atlantic and landed at the Sea Containers in London, bringing his unique brand of seasonal to the city for the first time. And, while guests devour his brand of Spanish/Mediterranean/Moroccan/deliciousness—think house-made ricotta, wild salmon crudo, lamb meatballs, oven-roasted flatbreads, and the like—they do so in a beautiful, Tom Dixon-designed space that overlooks the Thames.
Tate Modern, Bankside
After a long day of sight-seeing, even the most stoic foodies can succumb to the typically sub-par and soggy dining options inside most museums. Not so at the Tate Modern, whose award-winning, riverfront café pretty much blows other museum dining options out of the water. The full menu caters to adult and children's dining needs with everything from a light, flavorful smoked salmon salad (and a seriously good wine list) to perfectly crispy fish and chips. Did we mention that kids eat for free?
Brindisa Chorizo Grill
The Floral Hall, Stoney St., London Bridge
If you're a meat-eater, this is pretty much the best sandwich you'll find in the whole of Borough Market. Brindisa, which is just around the corner, sets up a casual barbecue in the market selling their simple and winning combination of fresh bread and quality chorizo.
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