Where to eat near Waterloo

World class theatre and cinema, award-winning architecture, top attractions and one of the nicest strolls in London await you in Waterloo . There's The Old Vic, The Young Vic and The National Theatre within five minutes walk. You've got everything that makes up the Southbank Centre and the IMAX and National Film Theatre for visual excitement. Not to mention the London Eye for the views and London Aquarium for the fish. So if you need a pre-theatre meal, to take a break from being a tourist or just want to grab a bite to eat before your train, here's our guide to where you can dine in Waterloo.

Restaurants near The Cut

Baltic Restaurant

You can sample a starter from Poland, a main course from Hungary and a Russian pudding at this light and bright restaurant. They've also got a good range of set menus if you're looking for pre-theatre dining or are part of larger group. If you want to try some different vodkas, they have 70 varieties to choose from. Twitter Style of cuisine: Eastern European cuisineGetting there: 74 Blackfriars Road, London, SE1 8HAOpening Hours: Mon: 5.30pm to 11.15pm, Tue-Sat: 12pm to 3pm, 5.30pm to 11.15pm, Sun: 12pm to 4.30pm, 5.30pm to 10.30pm

The Cut

The Young Vic's very own bar is large, airy and funky - and of course a popular choice with the pre and post theatre crowd. You can go for a main meal or pick some tapas dishes to share from their pared-down menu. They also have a good range of cocktails. Twitter Style of cuisine: TapasGetting there: 66 The Cut, SE1 8LZ, London Opening Hours: Mon-Fri: 8am til late, Sat: 9am til late

Meson Don Felipe

They've been serving up a slice of Spanish life since 1987, so come here if you want to eat your fill of "raciones" (larger portions of tapas). If you want to eat early (e.g. a pre-theatre meal) they take bookings until 8pm, after that it's first come, first served. You can also listen to live flamenco guitar every evening. Website Style of cuisine: SpanishGetting there: 53 The Cut, WaterlooLondonSE1 8LFOpening Hours: Mon-Sat: 12pm to 11pm

Restaurants on Waterloo Road

Cyrus Todiwala from Hampton by Hilton London Waterloo


The menu in this bright and breezy restaurant is inspired by the Chef Patron, Cyrus Todiwala's own experience of cooking in Goa as well as dishes from his Parsee heritage. There's a nice mix of traditional main course curries with some smaller street food bites to try. They also do takeaways, so you can pick up pre-made meals to eat at home. Website and Twitter Style of cuisine: Pan IndianGetting there: 157 Waterloo Road, Lambeth, SE1 8XAOpening Hours: Mon-Sun: 12pm to 9.30pm

Waterloo Bar & Kitchen

This stylish restaurant is just round the corner from The Old Vic theatre, so it's a good place to pop into for a pre-theatre meal. If you're visiting at the weekend, you can try their brunch or on a Sundays try one of their five roast dinners. Website and Twitter Style of cuisine: Modern British cuisineGetting there: 131 Waterloo Road, London, SE1 8UROpening Hours: Mon-Fri: 12pm to 11pm, Sat: 11am to 11pm, Sun: 11am to 10pm

The Fire Station

This popular pub has had a major refurbishment and has a new stripped back food menu. You can get either pizza or a burger, and they now have a restaurant area next to the main bar. The cocktails are decent here too. Website and Twitter Style of cuisine: Pizzas and burgers Getting there: 150 Waterloo Road, London, SE1 8SBOpening Hours: Mon-Wed: 7am to 11pm, Thur-Fri: 7am to 12am, Sat: 9am to 12am, Sun: 9am to 10.30pm

Restaurants on the South Bank

Brasserie Blanc Southbank

Brasserie Blanc Southbank

You can enjoy your food in the outdoor terrace or eat in the stylish interior at this established restaurant from Raymond Blanc. Celebrating all things French, so you know the wine will be worth a look, this is ideally located by the river for relaxing before or after a show. The menu is seasonal so will vary throughout the year, however the French classics are always available. Website and Twitter Style of cuisine: FrenchGetting there: 9 Belvedere Road, Southbank, London, SE1 8YPOpening Hours: Mon-Sat: 12pm to 11pm, Sun: 12pm to 9.30pm 

(c) Brasserie Blanc Soutbank


Book ahead at this showpiece restaurant and get a table at the floor-to-ceiling windows to see superb views of the river. The restaurant, which serves up contemporary British food, is on the third floor of the Royal Festival Hall They also do a good line in cocktails and gin and tonics if you have to wait for a table. Website and Twitter Style of cuisine: Modern BritishGetting there: Royal Festival Hall, London SE1 8XXOpening Hours: Mon-Sat: 12pm to 2.30pm, 5.30pm to 10.30pm, Sun: 12pm to 3pm


The Terrace

The National Theatre's in-house restaurant by the riverside is a popular choice with theatre visitors, especially as they'll do a a quick turn-around for pre-theatre food It's a social affair here, as they specialise in sharing plates, savoury and sweet. Website and Twitter Style of cuisine: Mediterranean-style sharing platesGetting there: National Theatre, Upper Ground, London, SE1 9PXOpening Hours: Mon-Sat: 5pm to 90.30pm (last food 9.30pm), Sat Matinee: 12pm to 2pm, closed Sun

Terrace Restaurant

Gillray’s Steakhouse & Bar

You an enjoy a Waterloo sunset here as the restaurant has views of the London Eye and Houses of Parliament. As the name suggests, their speciality is Aberdeen Angus steak, with around a dozen cuts on offer. They also pride themselves on sourcing their ingredients from Kent and Essex based farms whenever possible. Website and Twitter Style of cuisine: SteakGetting there: London Marriott Hotel County Hall, Westminster Bridge Road, London, SE1 7PBOpening Hours: Mon-Fri: 6.30am to 10.30pm, Sat-Sun: 7am to 10.30pm

Pubs which do great food in Waterloo

The lounge of the Anchor & Hope (c) Patricia Niven

The Anchor & Hope

Having built a strong reputation as a gastro pub, they continue to uphold their high standards and offer classic, hearty British cuisine. They don't take bookings here and operate a first-come, first-served basis, however if you want to guarantee a spot - arrive at 5.15pm when they start taking names - or visit at lunch where they're a little less busy. Website and Twitter Style of cuisine: Modern BritishGetting there: 36 The Cut, London, SE1 8LPOpening Hours: Mon: 5pm to 11pm, Tue-Sat: 11am to 11pm, Sun: 12.3oam to 3.15pm

The Kings Arms

The Kings Arms

On one of the loveliest streets in London  you'll find this proper pub which does an interesting line in Thai food. The interior over two levels is all wooden floors, with the upstairs being particularly light and airy. They've always got a large range of real ale on and their Sunday lunches are lovely. Website and Twitter Style of cuisine: Thai (Traditional Sunday Roasts only on a Sunday)Getting there: 25 Roupell Street, London, SE1 8TBOpening Hours: Lunch - Mon-Fri: 11.30am to 3pm, Dinner - Mon-Sat: 1pm to 10.30pm, Sun: 12pm to ... it runs out.

Lord Nelson

Lord Nelson

This lively pub is the place to go if you're looking for a decent burger. Their meat comes from Borough Market and they have a vast range of options to try - nearly 30 different types, including fish and vegan choices. They've also got a "cheap eats" lunch menu, if you're looking for value in Waterloo during the week. Website Style of cuisine: BurgersGetting there: 243 Union Street, London, SE1 0LROpening Hours:  Mon-Thurs: 12pm to 8pm, Fri-Sat 12pm to 5pm

Restaurants under the arches

Topolski Bar and cafe


They keep the food fairly simple here with soups and sandwiches in the day, and pizzas and sharing boards for the everning crowd. If you like a venue to come with a story, then you'll love this pretty gallery / cafe bar which was the former studio (bunker) of artist and illustrator Feliks Topolski RA Website and Twitter Style of cuisine: Grazing and sharing platesGetting there: Hungerford Arches, 150-152 Concert Hall Approach, London, SE1 8XUOpening Hours: Mon-Wed: 10am to 11pm, Thur: 10am to 12am, Fri-Sat: 10am to 1am, Sun: noon-11pm

Grazing board (c) Topolski

The Archduke

Underneath the atmospheric arches, this restaurant and wine bar has been serving hungry commuters since 1979. Of course the steaks are the big draw, however they do specialist set pre-theatre menus if you are in a rush. There are free nightly jazz gig (and Sunday lunchtime) to enjoy here, if you like a little music with your food. They also have a sister restaurant, next to the station, called Waterloo. Website and Twitter Style of cuisine: SteakGetting there: Concert Hall Approach, Southbank, London, SE1 8XUOpening Hours: Sun-Thur: 12pm to 11pm, Fri-Sat: 12pm to 11.30pm

Jack's Bar

Jack's Bar and Kitchen

While it's tucked away behind Southwark Tube, it's still only five minutes walk from Waterloo station. They've got a very straightforward menu of staples, burgers, pizzas etc to choose from. They also have excellent cocktails as well as an outdoor seating area, particularly welcome when the sun is out. Website and Twitter Style of cuisine: Pizza, wings, burgersGetting there: 96 Isabella street London, SE1 8HAOpening Hours: Mon-Sat: 5pm til late (12pm in the summer)

Ev Restaurant

You can dine underneath the curved roof of the railway arches and enjoy traditional, and tasty, Turkish food. The grilled meat and fish are very good and of course they do an authentic humus. They also have a sister restaurant in Waterloo, The Cut, where you'll find the same menu. Website and Twitter Style of cuisine: Anatolian Turkish Getting there: The Arches 97-99 Isabella Street, London, SE1 8DDOpening Hours: Mon-Sat: 12pm to 11.30pm, Sun: 12pm to 10.30pm

Restaurants on Lower Marsh Road

La Barca Ristorante

This traditional Italian restaurant specialises in dishes from Tuscany but also offers other regional specialities. You won't find pizza here, but you can get dishes like Steak Diane and the dessert, Zabaglione, prepared at your table in classic style. They also have a large selection of Italian wine to try with your meal. Website Style of cuisine: ItalianGetting there: 80-81 Lower Marsh, London, SE1 7ABOpening Hours: Mon-Fri: 12pm to 2.30pm, 6pm to 11.30pm, Sat: 6pm to 11.30pm


While it's incredibly popular for its cocktails and happy hour (making it very busy early in the evening), the food here is well thought of too. Head here for some Cuban-style tapas and street food. They also have some striking and colourful street art on the walls of the building and intriguing decor inside. Website and Twitter Style of cuisine: CubanGetting there: 48 Lower Marsh, London, SE1 7RGOpening Hours: Mon-Tue: 12pm to 12am, Wed-Thur: 12pm to 1am, Fri: 12pm to 3am, Sat: 1pm to 3am, Sun: 2pm to 11pm

Southbank Centres Roof Garden (c) Belinda Lawley

Street food in Waterloo

During the spring and summer, you'll find the Soutbank Centre Food Market open over the weekend (Fri-Sun) You can browse the street food stalls for something to munch on the go, as well as pick up deli produce to eat at home. Lower Marsh Market is open Monday to Saturday and you can pick up all types of street food from around the world here. There's been a market here since the nineteenth century and it is tucked away behind the south side of Waterloo Station.

What's your favourite Waterloo restaurant?

We'd love to know where you like to dine in the area - so leave us your recommendations in a comment below. We've also put together a list of the best pubs near Waterloo Station if you're just after a quick beer or glass of wine. While you're close to the water, you might find these riverside pubs of interest. And if the area's entertainment makes you want to linger a little longer, we've got plenty of hotels in Waterloo to spend the night in and soak up the Southbank atmosphere.

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