Top 7 Restaurants Near The Shard

The Shard has quickly become an iconic modern standout on London’s skyline. Known as the “vertical city,” The Shard was created so its residents could live, work, and play in one place. Many visitors come from far and wide to stand in one of its three viewing galleries and marvel at the very best views of London.

As you plan your visit to London’s newest skyscraper, remember to also book a reservation at one of the delicious restaurants near The Shard.

Important information to know about The Shard

The legendary Shard comes from the mind of world-renowned architect Renzo Piano, who sketched out the image of The Shard on a napkin back in May of 2000. Intended to decrease over-development and excess traffic, the vertical structure of The Shard was designed like an independent city. It’s also home to some of the best restaurants in London, the highest hotel pool in Western London, and observation decks providing once-in-a-lifetime views.

📍 Where is The Shard located?

The Shard is located in The Shard Quarter at 32 London Bridge St, London SE1 9SG, UK. It’s centered at the cross-section of a major transportation hub within minutes of London Bridge Station.

📍 How tall is The Shard?

This London skyscraper is also Western Europe’s tallest building at 309.6 meters or 1,017 feet high. Its name stems from its striking resemblance to a shard of glass and is covered by 11,000 glass panels.

📍 Do you need tickets for The Shard?

The Shard has viewing platforms on the 68th, 69th, and 72nd floors, and on a beautiful clear day, you can see as far as 64 kilometers or 40 miles. However, you will need to book a ticket and time slot in advance to visit the viewing platforms.

You can also pair your visit to The Shard with one of the many other brilliant London attractions by purchasing the Go City: London Explorer Pass. Even though the viewing platforms require tickets, you can still walk into the building and visit one of the many restaurants in The Shard.

📍 How fast are the lifts at The Shard?

The Shard has high-speed, modern lifts, so there’s no long wait to the top. The average lift speed is 6 meters or 19 feet per second. So be careful because your ears might pop!

📍 When is the best time to visit The Shard?

The Shard offers beautiful views of London, and there is no right or wrong time to visit the vertical city; it all comes down to preference. Obviously, the sunset is a popular time to book a ticket to a viewing gallery, so you may share the view with a high volume of guests. The view at night is just as extraordinary, particularly for a romantic night out.

An extra trip–try to avoid going at 2 pm to The Shard on weekends. It’s quite overcrowded, so it’s best to visit earlier in the day on the weekend.

📍 Can you just walk into The Shard for a drink?

You can absolutely walk into one of the fantastic seven bars and restaurants in The Shard for a drink or a delicious meal. However, the restaurants inside and near The Shard are usually booked out or full, so you’ll have to plan ahead. Remember to book a reservation at one of the following excellent restaurants near The Shard, so you can enjoy a stress-free visit.

The 7 best restaurants near The Shard

There are seven bars and restaurants within The Shard itself and countless delicious eateries surrounding the skyscraper. It’s actually less than a ten-minute walk from Borough Market, which is London’s premier food market. As you plan your worldly visit to The Shard, book a seat at one of the exceptional restaurants in and around The Shard.

🍴 The best Italian restaurant near The Shard: Padella

Padella is one of the best Italian restaurants near the Shard
Photo from Padella Pasta

Located in the nearby Borough Market, this modern bistro boasts some of the best homemade Italian dishes in London. This is the spot you’ll return to time and time again to taste everything on the menu. Known for their famous pappardelle dish, many reviewers claim it’s some of the best pasta they’ve ever had. As you sip on a glass of some of the finest Italian wine, you’ll feel right at home in this Italian eatery.

🍴 The most authentic Mexican restaurant near The Shard: El Pastor

El Pastor is inspired by Mexico City
Photo from Tacos El Pastor

El Pastor is an informal but vibrant restaurant hidden away underneath the railway arches of London Bridge. Inspired by the taquerias of Mexico City, this family-owned spot provides a lively, welcoming atmosphere where guests will feel transported out of London. Using fresh spices and flavors, the founders also make their own in-house tortillas that will keep you coming back for more.

🍴 The best Chinese restaurant in The Shard: Gong

Picture of Gong, inside the Shard
Photo from Gong Bar

Located on Level 52 of The Shard, the Gong is the tallest hotel bar in Western Europe. This Chinese restaurant is both intimate and inviting with its traditional Chinese architecture and luxurious furniture. The cocktails stand out in particular since each one is half of a pair, connected by a shared ingredient. In addition to a champagne bar, there’s also an infinity pool, so be careful not to go for a tipsy dip.

🍴 The best vegan-friendly restaurant near The Shard: Mallow

Mallow is a vegan-friendly restaurant near the shard
Photo from Mallow London

In the heart of the Borough Market, this bohemian eatery serves up some delectable plant-based dishes from around the world. Mallow aims to offer delicious seasonal food while producing as little waste as possible. Its name is inspired by a native British plant, which is entirely edible, so plant-lovers can expect some remarkable vegan dishes, like the plant “chicken” burger and the kimchi dumplings.

🍴 The most traditional pub near The Shard: The Old King’s Head

Photos of The old King's Head - a traditional english pub near the Shard
Photo from The Old King’s Head

Around the corner from The Shard and down an ancient alleyway is a hanging sign that reads “The Old King’s Head.” Those in London would call this authentic, down-to-earth spot a “proper pub.” The friendly staff, welcoming atmosphere, and delicious, cold pints make this pub the go-to for those looking to escape the crowds at The Shard.

🍴 The best restaurant for dancing and dining in The Shard: Oblix

Oblix pictured inside The Shard
Photo from Oblix Restaurant

If you’re looking for a one-size-fits-all spot, you can’t go wrong with an evening at Oblix. Both sides of the restaurant offer two types of vibes, Oblix West as the formal dining space with views of London West and Oblix East with live music and views of London East. In Oblix West, you can enjoy authentic British cooking and standout Sunday roasts. In Oblix East, you can sip on some tasty culinary cocktails and dance to a DJ or live music. Plan your whole visit to The Shard with a reservation at Oblix.

🍴 The restaurant with the best view from The Shard: Aqua Shard

Aqua Shard is one of the most popular restaurants inside The Shard.
Photo from Aqua Shard

If you want to be fully immersed in the London skyline and score some of the best views of this historic city, then book a dinner at Aqua Shard. Although the restaurant is not the highest in the building on the 31st floor, its floor-to-ceiling glass windows make you feel like you’re hanging out in the clouds. The standout dishes are the beef tartare, poached cod, and truffled leek veloute. Many people agree the best view in the building is from Aqua Shard.

Have you booked your dinner reservation? Then here’s all you need to know about The Shard.

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