Not only did our refurbishment of our Queen Elizabeth Hall reawaken our beautiful brutalist buildings; it also provided a great new place to sit and eat by the river. Situated in Queen Elizabeth Hall Foyer, with outdoor terrace seating, Concrete Cafe serves up a great range of tasty lunch options everyday, including sourdough toasties, 12-spice black dal with paratha bread, or homity pie with fresh summer slaw. And while the sun shines they’ve extended their offer with a pop-up BBQ Bar on Riverside Terrace, serving freshly grilled Chicken Shawarma or Halloumi Kebabs and the classic Londoner Sausage Hot Dog.
The BBQ Club
OK, we’re all friends here, so it’s time to admit it. None of us can actually barbecue. None of us have ever really known if the charcoal is hot enough, nor have we understood when the lid goes on, or off. So instead of going through the same ruse of pretending you’re in control again this summer, put your trust in some actual barbecue chefs. Jimmy Garcia’s BBQ Club is back on the South Bank this year, offering a great range of burgers and grilled meats from their walk-up bar. Or if you’ve a little more time, indulge in the six-course tasting menu at their riverside roof-top restaurant.
The Hop Locker
Always a popular addition to Southbank Centre’s waterfront, The Hop Locker was voted Waterloo and Southwark’s best bar in Time Out’s Love London Awards and it’s easy to see why. 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. Just look for the ‘BAR’ sign beneath Hungerford Bridge.
The SNOG frozen yoghurt bus
You can’t miss SNOG’s presence on the South Bank - well, not unless you have a niche blind-spot for bright pink neon-lit Routemaster buses. Complete with its own upper-deck seats looking out across the Thames, and riverside deck-chairs for the more laid back among you, The SNOG Frozen Yogurt Bus, serves freshly-made, natural and fat-free organic frozen yogurt. Choose from five delicious flavours and a variety of toppings for a (largely) guilt-free summer indulgence as you sit and watch the world go by.
Oh My Dog!
Forget everything you think you know about hot dogs - forget the cremated barbecue sausages, forget the watery tinned supermarket frankfurters - Oh My Dog! are back at Southbank Centre to introduce you to a whole new world of hot dog goodness. As tasty as they are messy, their dogs feature heritage breed frankfurters, handmade brioche buns and game-changing toppings combined for unique specials such as the bourbon-marinated, cheddar-topped Chili-Steak Dog or The Baconator.
Hayward Gallery Cafe
Not strictly a pop-up, but certainly a South Bank hidden gem, and a chance to relax, and escape the hustle and bustle of the riverfront. Hayward Gallery Cafe serves up summery gazpacho soup, artful tartines and light treats such as orange and polenta cake and coconut granola, daily. Or just take a chance for a drink and a sit down with Monmouth Coffee by day, and Crate beer, organic Prosecco or Bermondsey Gin cocktails in the evenings.
Elephant Juice Bar
Looking for something cool and refreshing to offer a bit of respite from the summer heat? Elephant Juice have got you covered with a great range of fresh juices and smoothies all made right here on-site. All their drinks use real ingredients that are locally sourced and bought daily from traceable and sustainable sources. Find them on the riverfront, by the stairs to Hungerford Bridge.
If the sun gets too much, you can always make a break for the cooling shade beneath Hungerford Bridge and grab a seat at a staple of the city’s street-food scene. Long-term favourites of burger aficionados, Bleecker Burger came to London from New York in 2012 and have built an 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.
Southbank Centre Food Market
If you’re the type of person 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. Here you’ll find an incredible range of street food, from Ethiopian vegetarian to Korean burritos, Polish sausages to Caribbean curries we’ve got options from (almost) every continent - we’re yet to find an Antarctican deli - at our weekly Food Market. A food lovers’ paradise, but perhaps not one for the indecisive.
All of our summer pop-ups can be found here at Southbank Centre until the weekend of 23/24 September. Concrete Cafe is open every day, all year round; Hayward Gallery Cafe is open every day except Tuesdays, all year round, and Southbank Centre Food Market is open Fridays to Sundays all year round. See the respective pages linked above for opening times.