This smart, popular restaurant is a lesson in gutsy modern European food. Have quince fizz and grilled chestnuts with butter to start with, then fried crispy pig’s head and gribiche, grilled calves’ kidneys, or smoked haddock choucroute: just the type of inventive dishes that have made this bistro one of London’s best. 152 Tooley Street, SE1 2TU, tel: 020 7403 1342.
The second outpost of this South African restaurant, the London Bridge branch is less flashy than the Farringdon one, but it gets the job done with a great (enormous) wine list. Platters include South African biltong and droewors sausages; or Italian/French/English cheese and meat. The restaurant downstairs is dingy but delicious. 4 Hays Lane, SE1 2HB, tel: 0207 234 0891.
One of London’s most iconic tapas restaurants, Brindisa in Borough Market offers the intense foodie experience of an eatery that lives and breathes the market it is nestled within. Big slabs of jamon iberico hang above the bar – you’ll find Spain’s finest here – and the cheese is great too. No reservations and it very busy. 18-20 St. Andrew Street, tel: 020 7357 8880.