Canary Wharf originally became known as a bit of a gathering point for chain restaurants, but in recent years many of London’s independent stalwarts and thriving street food vendors have made the move over. The likes of Pizza Pilgrim’s Neapolitan style pizzas, Big Easy for BBQ and cocktails, The Breakfast Club for all day American-style breakfast classics, Wahaca’s take on Mexican street food and Chai Ki’s Indian soul food have joined some of Britain’s best known chains. These have you covered from Wagamama’s pan-Asian-style food, Byron’s famous burgers and Nando’s ever popular Piri Piri chicken. You can also sample much of the city’s best streetfood at Giant Robot, up on the roof of Crossrail place. Here you’ll find some of London’s best small vendors, like Pastaio for authentic pasta, Thunderbird for fried chicken or Yum Bun, long time members of London’s street food elite, steaming up pillowy buns filled with pork and tofu. If you’re on our A-List then why not visit one of our partners? Both Browns Brasserie, the well-regarded lunch and dinner spot, and Tom’s Kitchen, which offers British classics, offer discounts for those on the A-List.
If you’re after something a little fancier then, along with Royal China’s dim sum, there’s restaurants like Ibérica, offering Spanish tapas served with passion, One Canada Square’s Restaurant & Bar, headed up by ex-chief at the Ivy James Dobbin, or Roka, a Japanese restaurant offering a la carte or tasting menus filled with sushi.
There are also numerous places in Canary Wharf perfect for a drink, whether this is to unwind after a long day of site seeing, or post business meeting. From pubs through to bars there’s something for everyone. Take in views across London while drinking a cocktail on the 48th floor at Capeesh Sky Bar or sit in a ‘secret’ garden at The Parlour. If rum is your thing then try Rum & Sugar, which has over 200 varieties and offers discounts for A-listers, in a Caribbean influenced bar. Or you could go to one of the bars at Giant Robot and enjoy a drink with your street food. The Sipping Room, another of our partners offering discounts through the A-list, offers an escape from the everyday and handcrafted cocktails.
Outside of bars, the area hosts a number of relaxed pubs, perfect for more relaxed or casual drinking. The Merchant, while one of the newer establishments, has quickly become part of the scenery. The Gun is another gastropub perfect for a pint that also offers wholesome pub food.
If you’re after a coffee fix there are a number of great coffee shops in Canary Wharf. The London coffee scene has had a boom over the last few years and Canary Wharf is no different. We’ve looked at some of our favourite coffee shops near Old Street before, but there are a number of great places near our Canary Wharf hotel too.
A couple of London favourites have opened up locations in the area. Taylor Street Baristas has a site on south Colonnade, with a dedicated espresso machine. Black sheep coffee serves up lattes alongside waffles and pastries or even cocktails in the evenings. Change Please is a coffee van backed by the Big Issue which is empowering homeless people by training them how to be baristas and providing them with beans and equipment.
There’s more to Canary Wharf that its food and drink however, with a host of interesting and unusual things to do for visitors and locals alike. Whether it’s simply admiring the architecture or exploring old markets, there’s something for everyone.
The Museum of London Docklands allows you to discover what the old dock areas of the city were like, with a reconstruction of ‘Sailortown’. The exhibits cover the different eras of the docks, including how they were used during periods of war. As with many of London’s museums, entry is entirely free. To see how the old docklands continue you affect the area today, you can go and visit Billingsgate Market, the UK’s largest wholesale fish market. This reflects what the area was like in years gone by, and is an experience not to be missed, with 98 stands, 30 shops and 2 cafes.
The area’s architecture is known throughout London. The iconic One Canada Square reaches up above the surrounding buildings and is the second tallest building in Britain. While it isn’t open to the public it’s well worth visiting to look up from below. A building you can visit, however, is the Crossrail terminal. Ahead of the Elizabeth line commencing operations they developed the roof of the building into the Crossrail Roof Gardens. The gardens draw on the heritage of the area and fuse it with plants and an incredibly designed roof. The gardens also host a number of events which are well worth checking out.
All in all, Canary Wharf is quite the place to visit, having moved away from its industrial roots decades ago, through to a busy metropolitan area filled with young professionals, great places to eat, vibrant bars and impressive sites. Why not book a room at our Canary Wharf hotel and come experience the area for yourselves?