7 south east London restaurants named in SquareMeal top 100 list

The SquareMeal website has released this year’s list of its Top 100 London Restaurants for 2024, which has this year featured 14 restaurants across south London with seven in south east London.

The list is comprised based on “in house opinions” alongside the votes from real diners to make up a list of London’s best rated restaurants.

The list features a broad range of restaurant types, from Japanese cuisine to Modern European, to bring together an “all-star cast” of the best places to eat in London.

The list comes after what was described as a “challenging few years” by SquareMeal, as the hospitality industry continues to face economic strains as a result of the effects of Covid and the ongoing cost-of-living crisis.

We’ve rounded up the seven restaurants across south east London that made this year’s list and what you need to know about them.

Babur, Forest Hill

Indian fine-dining restaurant Babur, in Forest Hill, was named as one of the winners in this year’s list, dubbed as a “local favourite in Forest Hill.” 

Babur first opened in 1985, serving contemporary Indian dishes for nearly 40 years, with dishes ranging from a Sword Fish Tikka Masala to a mango-inspired version of a crème brule.

This family-run business offers a gourmet Indian dining experience with a classic A La Carte menu, as well as a celebration menu for occasions like Valentine’s Day, Diwali and Christmas, and a menu of crafted cocktails.

This isn’t the first award that this popular restaurant has won in recent months.

Last year, Babur won a number of awards including Best Restaurant for London Suburbs at the Asian Restaurant Awards 2023, Fine Dining Restaurant of the Year at the Asian Curry Awards 2023 and Best Restaurant at the Mayor of Lewisham Business Awards 2023.

Trivet, Bermondsey

First opened in 2019, Trivet serves a mix of dishes from around the world, curated by chefs Jonny Lake and Isa Bal to celebrate the diversity of food.

If you like wine, then be prepared to ponder over a choice of 350 wines from countries around the world, from Italy to Turkey, with Bal named as Best Sommellier of Europe in 2008.

On the SquareMeal website, the business was described as a place offering “clever European cooking” with “worldly wines.”

Rambutan, London Bridge

Located in Borough Market, Cynthia Shanmugalingam’s debut restaurant offers a taste of Sri Lankan cuisine to dine.

The menu serves a range of dishes inspired by the region of North Sri Lanka, from curries, sambols and aromatic sauces, with vegan-friendly options available.

The restaurant spans two floors and offers counter-top dining, with guests able to dine for lunch and dinner.

Kolae, London Bridge

Another restaurant in the food hotspot of Borough Market is Kolae, offering Thai cuisine including speciality skewers made with a coconut marinade and cooked on a charcoal grill.

SquareMeal described the restaurant as “a rustic and urban style that’s taking Borough Market by storm.”

The restaurant emerged following a successful crowdfunding campaign and seats up to 80 people across three floors, offering open-air dining with views over London.

Legare, London Bridge

Legare, located in the heart of London Bridge, offers guests Italian food in a cosy setting with a “homely approach.”

However, according to SquareMeal, despite its central location the restaurant “offers more of a neighbourhood vibe rather than a tourist spot.”

The menu focuses on casual Italian dishes, with an emphasis on seasonal ingredients and fresh pasta, and is the first solo restaurant of Jay Patel and Matt Beardmore.

Lasdun, South Bank

Located next to the National Theatre, Lasdun offers diners traditional British dishes created by trio Jon Rotheram, Tom Harris and John Ogier.

The restaurant was described as SquareMeal as a place with “dramatic, sophisticated interiors that pay homage to the building’s brutalist roots, as does the honest British cookery.”

Zeret Kitchen, Camberwell

Located in Camberwell, Zeret Kitchen serves Ethiopian dishes that, according to SquareMeal, are “packed with plenty of flavour and space.”

The menu serves a range of dishes, including meat and vegetarian options, which centre around “authentic comfort food.”

The restaurant offers a mix of indoor and outdoor seating, with the décor focusing on creating a bright and modern feel with African inspiration.


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