Whether you’re looking for traditional British food, child-friendly lunches, vegan cakes or simply a decent cup of coffee, Greenwich is overflowing with delicious eating and drinking options.
Best bets for traditional British food
Keen to try some traditional British grub? You won’t need to look hard in Greenwich. Pies have been a staple for Londoners for centuries, and the lovely Goddard’s at Greenwich continues this tradition. A family-run business since 1890, Goddard’s pies include minced beef, steak and ale and cheese and onion for non-meat eaters, all served with mash. The brave might also opt for jellied eels.
If you’re passing on pie and mash, then how about the sausage equivalent? Tucked away on a Greenwich side street, Heaps Café sells gourmet sausages – with mash, as sausage rolls or as part of a traditional fry-up.
Family-friendly restaurants and cafés
Family-friendly cafés and restaurants abound in Greenwich. Our own museum cafés at the National Maritime Museum, Cutty Sark (ticket-holders only) and the Royal Observatory all have special children’s menus.
Or choose from reliable, centrally located chains such as Bill’s and Pizza Express. After something more unique to please both fussy children and discerning adults? You’re well catered for in Greenwich. Standout family-friendly cafés and restaurants are listed below. Or why not take a picnic to Greenwich Park?
Parkside Café & Terrace: the National Maritime Museum’s main café has table service, special children’s menus and fantastic views of Greenwich Park
Great Map café: the National Maritime Museum’s first floor open-plan café sits alongside the Great Map, a giant floor atlas. Relax with a coffee while the little ones explore the continents
The Pavilion Café: situated in Greenwich Park, this café has child-sized portions, high chairs and outdoor space where the kids can burn off energy
The Green Café: this centrally located independent has simple food with something to please every family member, from fresh juices to pannini and brunch fodder
Pistachios in the Park: a 20-minute walk from the National Maritime Museum, with a café, playground, table tennis and regular children’s events
Greenwich Market is your first port-of-call if you’re looking for budget-friendly street food.
The market’s enticing food court offers a culinary journey around the world, with stalls selling everything from Andean empanadas, Dim Sum and Ethiopian food to Japanese ramen, Portuguese dishes and Thai curries. Wooden tables surrounding the market stalls are perfect for a casual lunch – or head to the open-air pavilion if it’s sunny.
Unusual eating and drinking locations
Fancy traditional afternoon tea in the hull of a 19th-century sailing ship? Visit Cutty Sark and you’ll get access to the café on its lower ground deck. The tea clipper’s days of racing across the oceans to bring the finest teas back to London may be over, but the British tea-drinking tradition lives on here.
Just a scone’s throw away is the Old Brewery. This British restaurant and bar is set in the original 1836 brewhouse of Christopher Wren’s Old Royal Naval College – so you’ll be tucking into your sirloin steak or ploughman’s platter in a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Best places for vegetarian and vegan food
For something hot, try the Ethiopian Vegetarian Food stall in Greenwich Market, serving tasty curries and injera bread.
Little Leaf Food’s vegan pizza is another delicious find – you won’t even notice the absence of cheese. Vegan Garden London has a tempting range of soups, quiches, raw and cooked salads, as well as cakes and biscuits. But for full sweet indulgence, head to vegan patisserie stall Ruby’s of London (weekends only). Many of her frosted layer cakes and donuts are also gluten-free.
Prefer a sit-down meal? If market food isn’t whetting your appetite, there are plenty of other places to choose from. Bianco43 is a classic Italian, offering several meat-free pizzas and pasta plates. Our own Parkside Café & Terrace at the National Maritime Museum has vegetarian pasta dishes and salads, and a vegan burger. And even traditional pie and mash shop Goddard’s now has vegetarian options.
Al fresco eating and drinking
Greenwich lends itself perfectly to alfresco eating. Pick up light bites from the Parkside Café & Terrace outside the National Maritime Museum and have a picnic in Greenwich Park – Elizabeth I is one of several famous monarchs said to have picnicked under the park’s oak trees.
A river breeze with your beer-battered fish also seems appropriate given the borough’s maritime past. There are plenty of spots to choose from, with the riverside garden of the Cutty Sark Tavern a local favourite.
The Greenwich Union and adjacent Richard I also have popular pub gardens, while the Old Brewery’s outdoor terrace is a perfect spot for a lazy afternoon tipple.
Historic pubs in Greenwich
Greenwich isn’t short of atmospheric old pubs. If it’s a case of the older the better, then head to the Plume of Feathers next to Greenwich Park. This classic boozer dates back to 1691, so must have been a home from home for many a sailor over its long lifetime.
Close to Cutty Sark sit two other atmospheric pubs with storied histories. The Grade I-listed Gipsy Moth has a large beer garden and wood-panelled walls that surely have tales to tell. And the Cutty Sark Tavern, known for its open-air terrace and British food, has welcomed punters to this riverside spot for over 200 years. A little further along the Thames is the Trafalgar Tavern – a former haunt of Charles Dickens, so they say.
If craft beer is your focus, look no further than the Meantime Tasting Rooms, a more modern affair. The Meantime Brewery Company set up shop in Greenwich in 2000, and you can watch the brewers working their magic here as you sup your pint. The brewery’s much-loved pub, the Greenwich Union, is also a cornerstone of Greenwich life. The Old Brewery, set in the original 1836 brewhouse of the Old Royal Naval College, also serves Meantime lager, as well as other London craft beers.
Coffee and cake in Greenwich
If you’re an espresso addict or a fan of flat whites, trot along to Paul Rhodes on King William Walk, close to Cutty Sark. The bakery offers the full gamut of coffees, plus delicious bakery goods, from brioche buns to tempting sweet tarts.
Nearby Greenwich Market is another good bet for your caffeine fix: try Ideal Espresso’s award-winning ‘Dark Fluid’ locally roasted coffee to kick-start your fun-filled day out.
Or head to one of the cafés at the National Maritime Museum, the Royal Observatory or Cutty Sark. The Benugo coffee beans are carefully sourced and fairly traded, and the milk used for your caffe latte is organic.