Eating and drinking
Foodies are spoilt for choice in and around Elephant & Castle. From award-winning restaurants to brunch options that will make you want to hop out of bed at the weekend, there’s plenty here to keep you nourished.
Social butterflies are well catered for, too, with plenty of bars, pubs and clubs in which to enjoy craft beers and quirky cocktails. Many offer late-night licences, which will please night owls.
Coffee lovers will find a great selection of independent outlets providing the perfect spot to catch up with friends over a coffee and cake, or a welcoming space in which to plug in your laptop for a couple of hours.
One destination that will have you coming back for more is Mercato Metropolitano. Noisy, friendly and bustling, it’s impossible not to be won over by the charm of this undercover food market, and with dining options spanning the globe it’s the perfect place to meet a group of friends with different food tastes – or simply to try something new.
Louie Louie, Elephant & Castle
With a string of Time Out London awards including best restaurant, best coffee place, best brunch spot and best bar in Walworth, this unassuming eatery is helping to put Elephant & Castle on the culinary map. By day, it’s a popular café serving great coffee, tasty sandwiches and homemade cakes. By night, the fusion of flavours drifts up Walworth Road as Louie Louie transforms into a bar and restaurant, with dishes carefully created by a variety of chefs. Choose from regularly changing small menus featuring small plates such as smoked pork belly and pickled pumpkin for £7, or larger servings of roast hake, carrots, zhoug and yoghurt for £16. There are DJs at the weekend, and you can enjoy a late-night cocktail in the basement bar.
347 Walworth Road SE17 2AL
Hej, Elephant & Castle
The new kid on the block, Hej serves coffee by day and wine and beer by night – alongside a menu of tempting light bites including open sandwiches and freshly prepared salads. Hailing from Sweden, Hej (pronounced ‘hey’) translates as ‘hello’ in Swedish, and has its own on-site roastery where you can get in on the roasting action and roast your own blend, bag it up and enjoy the great flavour at home. It’s the perfect spot to catch up on a couple of hours’ work over a coffee, and also has a community space that can be booked for free.
53 Mansfield Point, Rodney Road SE17 1BA
The Elephant and Castle pub
The Elephant and Castle is possibly as rich in history as pubs come – back in the 18th century, the whole area was named after it. The popular corner pub has been updated since its coaching inn days, and now attracts locals and visitors thanks to its wide variety of beers on tap and its hearty menu. The pub has occupied various buildings over the years, but it has always been at the heart of the area and is loved by locals. There’s a weekly pub quiz on Wednesdays and on the first and third Sunday of the month you can tuck into a traditional roast with all the trimmings to a backdrop of live acoustic music.
119 Newington Causeway Road SE1 6BN
Mercato Metropolitano, Elephant & Castle
Friendly and buzzing, this undercover food market has been serving food offerings from across the world from an array of canteens alongside beers and cocktails since 2016. Open daily, there’s a strong sense of community at Mercato Metropolitano, where small producers, home-grown produce and craftsmanship are all celebrated. Food is at the heart of the market and, with so many artisan food products to buy, you won’t go away empty handed – or hungry. You can also catch a film while you’re there, as it is the home to the independent film project Backyard Cinema.
48-50 Newington Causeway SE1 6DR
Paladar, Elephant & Castle
For a taste of Latin America in the heart of SE1, look no further than this stylish restaurant and bar. Indulge your tastebuds in the flavours of Colombia, Ecuador, Cuba, Mexico, Peru and beyond, from a carefully curated menu of small plates designed to give you a real culinary experience. Currently ranked 32 out of all restaurants in London on TripAdvisor (January 2019), you’ll find an accomplished wine list, bottled beers and chic cocktails to accompany your meal. You can also shop the eclectic range of wines, spirits, coffees and chocolate – perfect for a special gift or a treat for home.
4-5 London Road SE1 6JZ
The Electric Elephant Café, Elephant & Castle
This quirky café is known locally for its hearty sandwiches and homemade cakes, and was named best café in the Kennington and Elephant & Castle area in the Time Out Love London Awards 2016. On the menu you’ll also find fresh soup, salads, pastries and coffee, and the space also displays work from the artists based across the road at Pullens Yards. There’s outside seating to enjoy during the warmer months, while the café is available to hire in the evening for parties and special occasions.
186a Crampton Street SE17 3AE
This well-liked, busy Korean restaurant adds something else to the high street. It’s a no-frills restaurant that serves a range of food, including fried chicken, deep-fried seaweed rolls, chicken dumplings and crispy fishcakes – and people seem to love it. Get there early to beat the queues.
310 Walworth Road SE17 2TG
After running a successful food outlet in Artworks Elephant, Beza Vegan Food returns with an authentic menu cooked with ingredients and spices imported from Ethiopia. As well as a vegan menu, you can expect dishes full of flavour, each served with rice or injera – a sourdough flatbread.
“Our menu is alive with truly delicious and healthy seasonal food, all served in a beautiful setting”, says Beza Ethio, who founded the eponymous Ethiopian brand. “Everything on the menu is 100 per cent vegan”.
8A Sayer Street SE17 1FH
With two successful stalls within PopBrixton and Tooting Market, KOI Ramen’s first “bricks and mortar” restaurant is now open at Elephant Park.
Described as serving ramen as it should be by TimeOut London KOI Ramen has certainly made an impact on the London food scene in just a short time.
Customers, the restaurant claims, will find a small menu that is big on flavour. KOI Ramen Bar’s signature dish – ‘Tonkotsu’ – is a creamy, pork broth, simmered for 16 hours and served over noodle. Its ‘Gyoza’ (pork, chicken or vegetarian dumplings) dish is also increasing in popularity among diners.
19 Sayer Street SE17 1FY
Tasty Jerk gained local popularity at Artworks Elephant – and now you can again enjoy authentic Caribbean cuisine right here at Elephant Park.
Tuck into favourites like jerk chicken and spicy curries. Everything is made from natural ingredients and all dishes are MSG and nut free. Hungry for a night in with some good food? You’ll also find them on Uber Eats and Deliveroo.
11 Elephant Road SE17 1AY
Pot & Rice
You can expect Rice Pot selections, Cheung Fun (Rice pastries filled with tasty fillings), and a range of kitsch sides like popcorn prawn tempura or crispy chicken sliders – all washed down with a selection of fruit and milk teas. Check out the full menu before you visit.
13 Sayer Street SE17 1FY
The Tap In
The new “home of craft beer” in Southwark, The Tap In is now serving up a selection of over 300 craft beers from the local area and beyond. To accompany your beverage of choice, tuck into Cuban food from Jama Havana, the Cuban sandwich maestros.
2 Sayer Street SE17 1FY
The new shopping opportunities in and around Elephant Park will really put Elephant & Castle on the retail map. Shopping doesn’t get any more local than this, with a mix of high street brands, independent outlets and convenience stores just a few steps from your door.
It’s not just the newer areas of Elephant & Castle that will make you want to indulge in some retail therapy, though. Once called home by Michael Caine and Charlie Chaplin, a trip down vibrant Walworth Road is a shopping must. Foodies will find everything on their list and more, with Caribbean bakeries and Lebanese street food all in the mix. Running south from the Elephant & Castle roundabout, almost as far as Burgess Park, it’s impossible not to be impressed by Walworth Road’s rich history, with some of London’s oldest retailers still trading there today. You can indulge your interest in art, recharge in a quirky café and, if you’re heading out for an evening at one of the Elephant’s bars or clubs, you can pick up some choice breakfast items for the morning after the night before.
Elephant Park Retail (opening throughout 2019)
Elephant Park’s new retail offering will completely transform shopping in Elephant & Castle, with more than 50 new shops, bars and restaurants to enjoy, all just a few steps from home. Split across four retail neighbourhoods, you’ll find convenience and high street stores at Walworth Road; food and drink outlets at Walworth Square, Sayer Street; leisure retail outlets and collaborative workspaces at New Kent Road; and health and wellbeing shopping opportunities, including lifestyle brands at Park Retail.
Elephant & Castle Town Centre
Elephant & Castle is known for its rich history and diverse community, and the new town centre will celebrate this while providing an exciting new shopping experience. The former Elephant & Castle shopping centre will make way for the new town centre, which will include more than 170,000 sq ft of new shops and restaurants alongside a 1,000 seat multi-screen cinema. When it opens in 2019, this regenerated area will provide a shopping hub for Elephant Park residents, as well as the wider community.
Elephant & Castle
G.Baldwin & Co
One of London’s oldest herbalists, here you’ll find a vast range of natural beauty products and health remedies with bags of product knowledge and experience thrown in for free. Located on bustling Walworth Road since 1844, step inside and the sight of the traditional high counters, shiny wooden floors and well-stocked shelves bursting with herbs, oils and ointments will transport you back in time. But don’t be fooled by the nostalgic atmosphere – Baldwins has moved with the times and can offer advice on the health food market, as well as its extensive collection of natural remedies.
171-173 Walworth Road SE17 1RW
Pullens Yards, Elephant & Castle
Arty types will love the creative space at these former Victorian buildings. Made up of Clements Yard, Iliffe Yard and Peacock Yard, the Pullens Estate was built between 1870-1901 by local builders, James Pullen and Son. The yards have a history of creativity and, in their early years, housed a number of interesting trades including industrial clogmakers for the fire service, makers of ships’ fans, and manufacturers of X-ray machines. Visit during one of the regular Open Studios weekends to meet the artists, craftspeople and designers – and maybe even commission your own piece of art.
Clements Yard, Iliffe Yard, Peacock Yard SE17 3LH
This stylish stationer’s is a one-stop shop for all your art and craft needs. Whether you’re a budding artist or a weekend crafter, you’ll find everything you’re looking for at Kennington’s first stationery and art supplies shop. QueArts also offers a bespoke framing service, so if you have a picture waiting to be framed, look no further. You can also pick up quirky greetings cards and all manner of giftwrap.
220 Kennington Park Road SE11 4DA
Tesco, Elephant & Castle
Need to do a big weekly shop? If you’ve forgotten to book your online shopping slot, don’t worry – you can stock up on all your household essentials and food items in one location at this Teco superstore close to Old Kent Road. Open daily from 6am to midnight from Monday to Saturday and 11am-5pm on Sunday, you’ll also find an instore pharmacy and a handy petrol station.
107 Dunton Road SE1 5HG
Offering a wide range of unisex services including: waxing; manicures and pedicures; eyelash extensions; high-definition brows; and hair treatments at the salon’s blow-dry bar. Customers can give their feet some attention can sit back and relax in one of Dima Beautiful’s luxurious pedicure ‘thrones’ and enjoy some light refreshments.