Today I want to bring you my guide to the best places to eat near London’s top attractions. Whether you’re looking for a restaurant near Big Ben or a cafe by Buckingham Palace, a pub close to the British Museum or a coffee shop next to the Tower of London, this blog post has you covered.

Places to Eat Near London's Top Attractions

Places to Eat Near London’s Top Attractions

When I first moved to London, I couldn’t get enough of the sightseeing trail. From the Houses of Parliament to the British Museum, I wanted to see everything. But sightseeing is exhausting, and inevitably I found myself hungry.

Not knowing any better, I usually found a touristy restaurant with disappointing food, only to discover that there was a great place nearby that I didn’t know about.

To help you avoid my pitfalls, today I bring you A Lady in London’s guide to the best places to eat near London’s top attractions.

Natural History Museum in London

Places to Eat Near Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace is one of London’s most beloved landmarks, but can be a bit of a no-man’s-land when it comes to food.

Thankfully, it’s right near Belgravia, which has no shortage of restaurants and cafes that are perfect for a light meal or tea and cake.

One of my favorite places to eat near Buckingham Palace is the Thomas Cubitt on Elizabeth Street. It’s a great pub with classic English dishes like fish and chips and bangers and mash.

It’s also near Peggy Porschen, which has some of the best cupcakes in London and a legendary floral facade. If tea and cake are on the agenda, it’s the perfect place to stop.

And that’s to say nothing of Victoria, where there are lots of great restaurants in and around Sir Simon Milton Square. There’s even a multi-level indoor street food court with a roof terrace at Market Hall Victoria.

Flags at Buckingham Palace in London

Places to Eat Near the British Museum

After my first trip to the British Museum when I moved to London, I ended up at a crowded Subway on Oxford Street eating an uninspiring sandwich and wanting to cry.

Little did I know that just up Rathbone Place in Fitzrovia was Charlotte Street, one of the best foodie streets in London.

Now my favorite place to eat near the British Museum is Lantana Cafe, a great Australian spot on Charlotte Place with excellent food and high-quality coffee.

Lantana Cafe in London

If I need a drink afterwards, I love getting a glass of wine at the Charlotte Street Hotel, which has cozy chairs and stylish ambiance.

Another of the best places to eat near the British Museum is Store Street in Bloomsbury. Like Charlotte Street, it’s packed with good restaurants, cafes, and coffee shops.

I went to Store Street Espresso every morning for coffee and breakfast for years, and I still love popping in for a latte when I’m in the area.

British Museum in London

Places to Eat Near the South Kensington Museums

The Natural History Museum, V & A, and Science Museum are three of London’s top attractions and are all located next to one another in South Kensington.

This is one of the few London neighborhoods where many of the good restaurants are in plain view. The pedestrianized area around the South Kensington tube station has some great offerings, my favorite being Le Comptoir Libanais.

This Lebanese place is my go-to for good, reasonably-priced food in a fun, colorful atmosphere. The service can be slow, but it’s still worth a trip.

For coffee and cake, I like Farm Girl across the road. Around the corner, Brompton Food Market is great for coffee, breakfast, or a cheeky glass of wine. There’s a secret garden, too.

Restaurants in South Kensington, London

Places to Eat Near the Tower of London

There’s no shortage of good places to eat near the Tower of London, either. It’s right next to St Katharine Docks, a unique marina area surrounded by all kinds of restaurants, cafes, and street food markets.

St Katharine Docks is even home to one of my favorite riverside pubs in London. It’s a great place for an outdoor lunch on a sunny day or a cozy meal on a cold one.

Another option for places to eat near the Tower of London is Bermondsey. I like to walk across Tower Bridge and explore Maltby Street Market and all the great restaurants, pubs, and cafes on Bermondsey Street.

Maltby Street Market is one of my favorite food markets in London. Set along a skinny alley lined by historic railway arches, it has great character and excellent stalls and restaurants.

Food Stall at Maltby Street Market, London

Over on Bermondsey Street, Jose is one of London’s most famous tapas bars. It’s always a favorite for casual Spanish food. I’ve also spent many an afternoon at The Woolpack pub, which has a great beer garden.

If it’s caffeine I’m after, WatchHouse is a tiny coffee shop set in a restored 19th-century graveyard watch-house on Bermondsey Street. It’s one of the most unique cafes in London.

If I’m in the mood for a place to eat closer to the Tower of London and slightly more formal, Restaurant Story is just across Tower Bridge and is one of the best places to eat in the area.

Tower of London

Places to Eat Near Big Ben and the London Eye

Over in Westminster, the famous London attractions get no shortage of visitors. There are a lot of touristy places to eat near Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, but it’s worth seeking out better options.

The aforementioned Victoria area has good restaurants and is a short walk up Victoria Street. You’ll get great views of Westminster Cathedral as you go.

Along the way, Iris & June is one of the best coffee shops in the neighborhood and has great food, too. I used to go a lot when I lived in Victoria and I still consider it one of the best places to eat near Big Ben.

You’ll also pass by The Albert, which is one of the prettiest pubs in London. It’s a great place if you like historic watering holes.

The Albert Pub, London

Just across Westminster Bridge in Waterloo, Scootercaffe on Lower Marsh is one of the funkiest little places I’ve ever come across in London.

It has quirky decor that involves no shortage of vintage scooters, and a great little terrace for sipping Pimm’s and other classic English drinks on summer afternoons. The thick hot chocolate is amazing on winter days, too.

There are lots of other restaurants and cafes along Lower Marsh, too. There’s even a street food market with all kinds of hot foods from around the world. They’re more of the top places to eat near Big Ben.

And speaking of markets, if I’m near the London Eye, I like having lunch at the outdoor food market behind the Royal Festival Hall on the South Bank. There’s street food from all over the world, and there’s always something that appeals.

Big Ben and Westminster Abbey

Places to Eat Near The National Gallery and National Portrait Gallery

The National Gallery and adjacent National Portrait Gallery are right in the heart of central London, and they’re surrounded by Soho and Covent Garden.

While both galleries have great museum cafes, there are lot of good places to eat near these attractions.

I like to head over to Dishoom if I want a fun Bombay cafe-style Indian meal, J Sheekey if I want classic British ambiance and good seafood, and The Petersham if I’m in the mood for afternoon tea.

J Sheekey Restaurant in London

If my inner American is feeling homesick, it’s nothing a little Shake Shack can’t cure. It’s right in the center of the piazza in Covent Garden, and it’s a fun place to eat.

If it’s coffee I want, I head up to Seven Dials. Monmouth Coffee on Monmouth Street is an institution.

National Gallery in London

Places to Eat Near Tate Modern, The Shard, and St. Paul’s Cathedral

Tate Modern, The Shard, and St Paul’s Cathedral are some of London’s most visited attractions, and their proximity to one another means they’re also close to the city’s most famous food market.

Borough Market is a great place to graze after sightseeing and has lots of foods to make a meal or snack of. Whether I get a chorizo sandwich or a fat slice of cake, I can’t go wrong.

If my legs are tired from sightseeing, I head to Brindisa, a famous Spanish restaurant on the edge of Borough Market that has great tapas and good wine. If I just want coffee, there’s another branch of Monmouth Coffee here.

Borough Market, London

If I want somewhere historic, the 17th-century George Inn is a great hidden pub near Borough Market. A National Trust property in London, it’s the the only remaining galleried inn in the UK capital. It’s a great place sip a pint indoors or out.

Right nearby, Flat Iron Square is another fun place to eat near Tate Modern and The Shard. It has lots of food vendors and stalls, and its beer garden always has something to watch on the big screens in the warmer months.

And that’s to say nothing of the restaurants inside The Shard itself. There are some great places for dinner with a view, and they’re perfect for special occasions.

View from The Shard, London

Places to Eat Near Madame Tussauds

Madame Tussauds is one of the most famous wax museums in the world, and it’s just steps away from Marylebone High Street. This is one of my favorite places in London for dining and shopping.

The street is the best place to find restaurants and cafes after a visit to Madame Tussauds, and there’s no shortage of offerings. I love going to La Fromagerie, a famous cheese shop and cafe, to indulge my inner cheese lover.

A friend once introduced me to a secret little place on Moxon Street called Le Vieux Comptoir, too. It’s a wine shop with a great basement cafe, and we’ve whiled away the afternoon there indulging in champagne and sharing platters.

If I want classic fish and chips, The Golden Hind is one of London’s most famous places to eat in Marylebone, and is great for a casual meal after a day of sightseeing.

Restaurant in Marylebone, London

Places to Eat Near London’s Top Attractions

I hope you’ve enjoyed this list of the best places to eat near London’s top attractions. Whether you’re looking for a restaurant near Buckingham Palace or the top places to eat near Big Ben, I’m sure it will help you find somewhere that’s right for you.

As always, make sure to check opening hours before you go, as some of the markets and cafes have limited operating times. Above all, happy travels!

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Places to Eat Near London's Top Attractions

34 Comments on Lady’s Best Places to Eat Near London’s Top Attractions

  1. Thanks for these ideas! I have friends visiting me regularly in London and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve found myself wishing I knew of a place nearby that isn’t a Pret! I’m sending this article now to my relatives who are visiting me from the States in a few weeks, so they won’t go hungry as they tour around. Cheers!

  2. Oh, this is so helpful! It’s the kind of research I always mean to do ahead of time if I’m going somewhere touristy but somehow usually end up winging it. Also, I love Kopapa! I found it by accident one day and was SO excited that it carries Monteith’s, my favorite cider from my NZ days!

  3. Usually when you put up a list of choices I like to try picking one. In this case I would just start at the top and work my way down! The bangers and mash at Buckingham Palace – yes please! And the British Museum looks absolutely amazing. Great post as always, Julie, and have a great day! 🙂

  4. I bought a peanut butter milkshake at Shake Shack while I was Christmas shopping in Covent Garden in December. It was freezing outside, but I couldn’t resist (I hadn’t had a milkshake in a year). And thanks for all of the other great recommendations. I’m going to send this to my sister who will be visiting London for the first time in August.

  5. Great ideas! I always try to plan out good places to eat near tourist attractions while travelling. I hate being in a great food city and having to resort to eating mediocre food.

  6. What a creative angle! Despite having been in London 5 times now, I never get tired of the tourist hotspots. They are a hotspot for a reason. But indeed, I always find myself at the nearest Pret a Manger or Costa Coffee. Easy but boring! So thanks for these tips 🙂 I will check some of them out when I’m in town next week.

  7. Really great recommendations – all you need to do is go a bit away from the main crowds and you find some of London’s best food. Kopapa is a favourite of mine when I’m taking visitors around London.

  8. Julie, yes, great angle – I could describe a frantic dash for food while visiting the new Exploratorium in San Francisco but that would be a little off-topic – suffice it to say I’ll pass these suggestions along to my brother – he seems to be in London at least once a month now. Thanks

  9. Very useful article.

    Central London has so many great restaurants and cafes but it can be really hard working out which ones to visit.

  10. I just came across this post, and thank you so much for the great info! I am planning a trip to London this spring, and love to find places to eat that are a little bit more off the beaten path 🙂

  11. I absolutely loved this post, its the perfect guide to a day out in London, so much time can be wasted in finding a decent restaurant near where you have planned to enjoy your time in the city.

  12. I wish I had this list when I was in london this month! I was trying to avoid all american chains for a quick bite. I did end up at a le pain quotidien, which we have in Chicago, but the ambiance and food is always good there. I also found pret a manger to be good 🙂

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