Climbing the impressive London Eye is one of the must-sees in London. Its location is also perfect for touring the area, full of attractions and good places to eat.
Although the English gastronomy does not have too good reputation, the truth is that London has a large number of good restaurants offering food from around the world. The wide range of places to eat in this area makes it difficult to decide. In this article I recommend the best options adapted to all budgets and tastes.
1. The best romantic dinner on the Thames in London Showboat
Visiting the London Eye area is a must but, in addition, you have the possibility of adding a cruise on the Thames, what do you think of the plan? The best of all is that you have several options to choose from.
On the one hand, you can take a guided bus tour during the day and book it together with an evening cruise with dinner, the London Showboat & Dinner. A great experience for those who want to know the area by day and enjoy the incredible night views of the most attractive buildings of the British capital.
- Where: departing from Westminster Pier Victoria Embankment
- Average price per person: £76 - £93
- Lunch time: 19:00 - 19:30 depending on the season
- Recommended dish: the menu keeps changing, but if there is lamb you should try it
Why I like this place: the opportunity to spend an evening on a boat cruising the Thames and enjoying a great meal is not something that happens every day and you have to take advantage of it.
Recommended if... you want to enjoy a quiet and romantic stroll along the river after a day of sightseeing in London.
2. The best traditional pub food at St Stephen's Tavern
If you already have tickets to the London Eye and have decided to eat in the area, a good idea might be to combine the modernity of the big wheel with traditional British pub food. For this, there is no better place than St. Stephen's Tavern, which opened its doors as far back as 1875.
This pub will not only offer you good food at pretty good prices, especially considering its location in front of Big Ben, but also a good piece of history. This pub, being in the heart of Westminster, not far from Westminster Abbey, has been frequented by a large number of British politicians, including prime ministers such as Churchill and Macmillan. In fact, the pub retains a bell that warned MPs that voting was about to start in a few minutes so they could arrive.
As for the food, the pub menu is not too extensive and you can only choose from a dozen first courses, plus several snacks. Although the pub offers vegetarian options, its main dishes are the typical fish & chips and a delicious meat pie (on the menu called Steak & Tangle Foot Pie).
- Where: 10 Bridge Street, Westminster
- Average price per person: 8 ¤ - 21 ¤.
- Dining hours: 12 noon to 9:00 p.m.
- Recommended dish: The meat pie is really worth it.
Why I like this place: the atmosphere, the history of the place and the traditional pub food on offer.
Recommended if... you want to feel like a British Prime Minister eating fish&chips and tasting a good pint.
3. A great pizza at La Cucina Di Mamma
If you have already enjoyed the views from the London Eye and you are looking for a safe bet for lunch, this Italian restaurant is one of the best options, especially if you go with children. The restaurant is located just 1 minute from the huge Ferris wheel and very close to Waterloo station.
One of its strong points, besides the food, is the great service provided by its friendly staff. If you are in London in summer, I recommend you to ask for a table on the terrace. Another very favorable element is its good treatment of the little ones, which makes the restaurant one of the best places to eat with the family.
The menu, although not very extensive, is full of good quality dishes at a very competitive price for the British capital. Highlights include their Pizza Piccante and the four cheese, but if it's a bit chilly you can start by trying their delicious minestrone soup.
- Where: 3K Belvedere Rd Lambeth
- Average price per person: 9 ¤ - 20 ¤.
- Dining hours: from 12:00 to 22:30
- Recommended dish: Dessert lovers should try the tres chocolates cake.
Why I like this place: for the friendliness of the staff and the character they give to their Italian recipes.
Recommended if... you are looking for good quality food at a good price and you are fond of Italian food, especially pizzas.
4. Have breakfast at Pret a Manger
Although I'm not a big fan of fast food chains, the truth is that Pret a Manger is a great option if the schedule chosen to visit the London Eye forces you to have some breakfast before entering.
Pret a Manger specializes in organic food and in the preparation of sandwiches and snacks of all kinds. If you want, you can also have lunch or dinner there, but it is best to go early to enjoy breakfast before starting a long day in London.
Everything they prepare can be eaten on the premises or ordered to take away. They have a large menu of coffees of all kinds that you can accompany with their delicious croissants, baguettes with various fillings or sandwiches called Breakfast rolls. Another of their most famous (and British) dishes is the porridge they serve at breakfast time.
Of course, they also have in their menu the traditional English Milky Tea, as well as a great hot chocolate that feels great on any winter day in London. In short, although it may not be part of any gastronomic tour of London, this place is a great option to recharge your batteries.
Details of interest
- Where: Unit 4, Royal Festival Hall
- Average price per person: about £7 on average
- Dining hours: from 8:00 to 20:00
- Recommended dish: dare to try the special breakfast porridge.
Why I like this place: for its organic ingredients and the speed and friendliness when serving you
Recommended if... you want to have a quick but tasty breakfast to give you the necessary strength for an exhausting day of sightseeing.
5. The best atmosphere near the London Eye at the All Bar One Waterloo
Although you can go for lunch at noon, if you want to enjoy the essence of this pub it is best to dine there. This will also allow you to go up or, at least, contemplate the London Eye at night, a spectacle that I assure you will not forget.
The All Bar One Waterloo has an extensive menu ranging from morning coffee to evening drinks, through a series of dishes and what they call tapas, somewhat removed from the Spanish concept. Likewise, it is worth sharing a good bottle of wine, always checking the price beforehand.
This pub, which offers many options for vegetarians, has on its menu everything from great burgers to hummus, smoked avocado, quesadillas or, of course, fish & chips.
- Where: 1-3 Chicheley Street
- Average price per person: between 10 and 20 euros
- Dining hours: from 9:00 am to 11:00 pm
- Recommended dish: The 10oz Ribeye, perfect for those who enjoy meat.
Why I like this place: for its good value for money, the variety of the menu and its cozy decoration
Recommended if... you want to dine well in a great atmosphere.
6. Try the best burger at Honest Burgers Southbank
After spending the morning climbing the London Eye and visiting the Madame Tussauds Museum, for example, few can resist trying some of the best burgers in the city. Do not think that it is the typical one that we can find in a fast food restaurant, as those served at Honest Burgers deserve to be considered within a high level cuisine.
The philosophy of Honest Burgers already gives clues of their commitment to quality. Since they opened their doors, they have been committed to local products, from meat to vegetables. For them, it is all about offering the best possible ingredients so that the result is optimal.
This place, moreover, is not only recommended for meat lovers. Its vegan hamburger option is very well considered by customers and the portion of potatoes that accompanies it has a spicy and tasty flavor. All this, accompanied by a great service, a very close treatment and a more than interesting price for the area.
- Where: 9 Festival Terrace
- Average price per person: between 12 and 18 €.
- Dining hours: from 11:30 to 22:00 (on weekends it closes half an hour later)
- Recommended dish: The South Bank Honest beef burger, a real explosion of flavors.
Why I like this place: the only possible answer is for its sensational burgers
Recommended if... you like quality burgers with a touch of originality.
7. Hard Rock Café
Another of the legendary restaurants where you can find great burgers is the Hard Rock Café located near the London Eye area and for which we recommend that you book in advance your menu, where you can choose between burgers, meats, salads ... and of course, for the little ones, a children's menu.
And with this reservation you can also access to its private museum where you will find personal objects of the most iconic rock stars, no queue entry, 2 or 3 dishes to choose ... you won't regret it!
Details of interest
- Where: Hard Rock Cafe, 150 Old Park Ln, London W1K 1QZ, United Kingdom
- Average price per person: From £30
- Dining hours: Open from 11:30 am to 10:30 pm
- Set menus: Gold Menu (2 courses) or Diamond Menu (3 courses)
Why I like this place: because it is a classic that combines burgers and rock history
Recommended if... you want to ensure a good meal and also visit their private museum
8. Because Japan is not only sushi: Okan South Bank
When we hear about Japanese food, most of us just name sushi or, at most, ramen. However, the cuisine of that country is much more varied, as the menu at Okan South Bank demonstrates.
This restaurant could easily become one of the places to visit after visiting some of the best museums in London and going up the London Eye. The philosophy of its founder is to bring a little bit of Osaka to the London capital and pay homage to his mother's cooking (in fact, Okan means mother in Japanese).
The interior has been decorated like a small authentic Japanese restaurant and so has the ambience of the place. The welcoming service and, of course, the taste of dishes such as gyozas, teppanyaki and, above all, the special okonomiyaki, which is also prepared close to the diner, also stand out.
- Where: South Block 1 Belvedere Road
- Average price per person: €12 - €29
- Dining hours: opens at 12:00 and you can order food until 22:00
- Recommended dish: The okonomiyaki special, which many call the Japanese pizza.
Why I like this place: because when you enter you feel like you have been transported to Osaka itself, as well as for the quality of the food
Recommended if... you want to try Japanese food beyond the traditional sushi.
9. In a hurry? Nothing better than a hot dog at Oh My Dog! Hot Dogs Southbank
Whether it's because you're taking in the sights of London neighborhood by neighborhood or because you're in a hurry to get up the Tower of London, sometimes you have to settle for some fast food. Luckily, that doesn't mean that what you eat isn't quality, as is the case at Oh My Dog! Hot Dogs Southbank.
If you're on your way to the London Eye or are in the vicinity, stopping at this stall will be a definite hit. Everything on the menu is delicious, especially their spectacular Hot Dogs. Vegetarians also have their options, as they serve smoked seitan sausages and vegan cheddar cheese.
Details of interest
- Where: Riverside Level Southbank Centre, below Hungerford Bridge,
- Average price per person: £8 - £19
- Dining hours: between 11:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m.
- Recommended dish: the Baconator, a hot dog topped with crispy bacon and Frazzles
Why I like this place: the quality of their handmade buns makes the difference with hot dogs from other places
Recommended if... you want to avoid the rush to visit the most interesting places in the city to find quality fast food.
10. Gillray's Steakhouse & Bar: the authentic British experience.
On the banks of the Thames and with truly spectacular views of the London Eye, this restaurant is a great option for dining in the area. In Gillray's you will feel totally immersed in the British atmosphere, both for its menu of dishes and for a decor that aims to recall the former grandeur of the nearby Parliament.
The dishes you will be able to eat are cooked withingredients from English farms, as the restaurant has set out to work only with local and quality products. The friendliness of the staff, always ready to recommend the best dishes, is another of its great plus points.
The menu is mostly carnivorous, although there are some options for vegetarians. The Rib Eye with cheese sauce, for example, stands out, as well as the inevitable fish & chips.
The result is a place that allows visitors to spend a few moments of peace and quiet with views, in addition to the Ferris wheel and the river, to Big Ben. If you want to relax, it is not a bad idea to choose one of the hundred types of gin for a drink.
Details of interest
- Where: County Hall Westminster Bridge Road
- Average price per person: 12 ¤ - 59 ¤.
- Dining hours: between 07:00 am (for breakfast) and 22:00 pm
- Recommended dish: the spectacular T - Bone steak at just the right point desired by each customer
Why I like this place: to be able to eat quality products, especially meat, in a relaxed atmosphere and with the best views of London is priceless
Recommended if... you want to spend a nice time while eating and crown the after-dinner drink with a good gin.
11. You can't leave London without trying the best fish&chip at Fishcotheque.
I'm not going to say that this place can compare with, for example, the restaurant at The Shard, but I can assure you that its fish&chip is among the best in London. This quality has made it one of the oldest restaurants specializing in this recipe and, in addition, it maintains an interesting retro atmosphere inside.
The fish is of high quality and the cooks manage to fry it perfectly, without it being oily at all. The large portions are generous and do not present too much difference in price compared to the medium ones.
On the other hand, the restaurant does not only serve fish&chips, this very British dish. In its menu you will also find other specialties such as fish burger and salmon pie.
- Where: 79A Waterloo Road
- Average price per person: 8 ¤ - 15 ¤.
- Dining hours: between 12:00 and 23:00
- Recommended dish: without a doubt, the fish&chip
Why I like this place: for its retro atmosphere and the quality of its fish. The frying technique that prevents it from getting oily, something common in many places, stands out**:**
Recommended if... you do not want to complicate your meal and you are looking for the most traditional in the city.
How tipping works in restaurants near the London Eye
Although the custom of tipping was born in England, nowadays it is not compulsory to leave a tip. However, in restaurants it is common to do so if the service and food have been to your liking. The most usual amount is 10% or 15% of the bill.
Lunch, dinner and opening hours of restaurants near the London Eye
It is well known that in the United Kingdom (as in the rest of Europe) meal times are very different from those in Spain. London, as a big city, presents a greater flexibility in this aspect, but it will still be necessary to adapt to these customs. Generally speaking, the British eat at these times:
- Breakfast: starts around 7:30 in the morning.
- Lunch: on weekdays this would be a small meal taken between 12:00 and 14:00. In restaurants this is the most common time for lunch and many restaurants close their kitchens until late afternoon/evening.
- Dinner: the normal English dinner time is between 19:00 and 20:00.
As I have pointed out, London restaurants are much more flexible in their opening hours than those in smaller towns. So, it is quite easy to find places to dine later, at least until 23:00. However, I recommend you to check the night hours to avoid any surprises.