Food glorious food; it seems you can’t move in London these days for opportunities to fill your face. We haven’t been surrounded by this many pop-ups since pre-school, and it’s no different at Southbank Centre. This summer we’ve got a number of quality pop-up food and drink options for you to enjoy riverside on the banks of the Thames.
It’s time for us all to come clean; none of us can actually barbecue. None of us have ever really known if the charcoal is hot enough, nor do we understand when we’re supposed to put on, or take off, the lid. We’ve all just been guessing this whole time. So instead of going through the same ruse again this summer, put your trust in some actual barbecue chefs. At Jimmy Garcia’s BBQ Club not only can you enjoy a well-cooked burger, you’ll also find a richer range of smokey treats, from hot smoked salmon to slow roast lamb shoulder. Sit yourself down on their roof and you can enjoy it all backed by a sunset over the city, which makes a nice change to the view of nextdoor’s trampoline.
For our friends across the pond, when it comes to food nothing quite invokes the carnival spirit of the summer like a good old-fashioned hot dog. Thankfully Oh My Dog!’s offerings do much greater justice to the classic US staple, than our own fumbling efforts on a portable barbecue down the park. Featuring heritage breed frankfurters, hand-made brioche buns and game-changing toppings, Oh My Dog! are set to change your perception of hot dogs for ever. As tasty as they are messy.
You’re unlikely to miss SNOG’s presence at Southbank Centre, unless you have a niche blind-spot for bright pink neon-lit Routemaster buses. Complete with it’s own upper-deck seats looking out across the Thames, and a collection of deck-chairs for the more laid back among you, The SNOG Frozen Yogurt Bus, serves delicious freshly-made, natural and fat-free organic frozen yogurt. You can choose from five mouth-watering flavours and a cornucopia of toppings for a (largely) guilt-free summer indulgence as you sit back and watch the world go by.
If the sun gets too strong this summer - or more likely, the rain starts to fall - you can always take shelter under Hungerford Bridge and grab a seat at a staple of the city’s street-food scene. A long-term favourite of burger aficionados, Bleecker Burger came to London from New York in 2012 and has built its impressive reputation on the back of a determination to produce the best possible burger. All of Bleecker’s buns - with the obvious exception of their veggie burger - feature dry-aged rare-breed pasture-fed beef from UK farms.
If you’d been tasked to seek out the best bar in Waterloo and Southwark, you’d be forgiven if you chose not to gravitate towards a refurbished shipping container under a railway bridge. But that’s exactly where you’ll find Hoplocker, who scooped that precise accolade in Time Out’s Love London Awards. Serving up a great range of local and international beers from both their 12 craft beer taps and well-stocked fridges, whether you’re into pale ales, porters or pilsners they’ll have the beer for you.
Every August, the people of Sweden take to the outdoors to enjoy crayfish parties, also know as ‘Kräftskiva’. This year, as part of Nordic Matters - our year-long celebration of Nordic culture - we’re joining them for two days on 19-20 August and hosting our own Kräftskiva on the Festival Terrace overlooking the Thames. Get on your bib and hat and devour delectable crayfish whilst singing along to Swedish drinking songs and live music.
If you’re one of those people who doesn’t know what they want to eat until they see it, then Southbank Centre Square is the place to be every Friday to Sunday. Featuring an incredible range of street food, from Ethiopian vegetarian to Korean burritos, Polish sausages to Caribbean curries we’ve got options from every continent bar Antarctica at our weekly SC Food Market. A food lovers’ paradise, but perhaps not one for the indecisive.