Ah, graduation day... one of the biggest milestones in our lives where we get to celebrate several years of hard work and academic achievements and prepare to embark on a new adventure in the real world. So it’s only right to commemorate this special moment with family and friends over a plate of something delicious!
Not sure where to have your celebratory meal? We’ve got you sorted with a list of the best food spots around Royal Festival Hall.
1. Cote Brasserie, Royal Festival Hall
If you want to dine over a sophisticated meal without shelling out hundreds of pounds, this French brasserie might be the one for your special day. With both A La Carte and Set Menu options to choose from, Cote offers a lot of variety including vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options. Cote is also located just outside the Royal Festival Hall, making it that much easier to rally your grad posse and get to eating!
Prices: ££ | £12.95 for 2 courses or £15.50 for 3 courses during lunch | Menus
2. Masala Zone, Covent Garden
Take a scenic walk across Waterloo Bridge and immerse yourself in the cobbled streets of Covent Garden to find the wonderful Masala Zone. Serving up traditional Indian dishes and street food, expect mouth-watering curries and rice bowls - we recommend the Butter Chicken Bowl starting from £10.75 on their lunch menu. You’ll also have a choice of yummy cocktails and fun non-alcoholic mocktails like a Mango Lassi or Nimboo Pani. All of Masala Zone’s meat dishes are halal.
Prices: ££ | Lunch menu starting from £10.95 | Menus
3. OXO Tower, Southbank
If you are looking to go all out and have a swanky meal to remember, the OXO Tower’s restaurant and brasserie will give you all of the fancy food and cityscape views to make your graduation all the more memorable. Thought it’ll cost a hefty price, The OXO Tower’s unparalleled views of St. Paul’s Cathedral will make for a great graduation photoshoot, and the delicious British cuisine is definitely worth a try.
Prices: ££££ | Afternoon tea starting from £35 per person | Menus
4. Southbank Centre Food Market
If you’re graduating on Friday or plan to celebrate during the weekend, why not take a trip to Southbank Centre’s Food Market and enjoy a variety of savoury and sweet foods and a chilled vibe with your grad party? From chocolate-covered strawberries to shrimp burgers, you’ll find something for everyone, and even some bites at student-friendly prices.
Prices: £ - ££ | Varies | More information here
5. Skylon, Royal Festival Hall
Royal Festival Hall’s own restaurant gives you amazing views of London’s Southbank and the Thames along with an array of delicious, modern British dishes. Though not as dietary-friendly as the other restaurants mentioned, Skylon has a selection of menus suitable for any price point and occasion.
Prices: £££ | Set Lunch Menu starting from £25 per person, other menus available | Menus
6. Gaucho, Chancery Lane
If your grad posse are made up of mostly meat lovers, look no further. This Argentinian steakhouse is known for its incredible steaks and cow-print interiors, but you won’t need to break the bank to enjoy the food if you go for a graduation lunch. Aside from being bougie on a budget, the restaurant is just opposite the Maughan Library so you’ll get to dine right across from where it all started.
Prices: ££-£££ | Set Lunch Menu starting from £23 per person, other menus available | Menus
7. Homeslice, Neal’s Yard
Looking to keep things cosy and casual? Homeslice is your best bet for a meal that’s as reasonable as it is delicious. Treat yourself to a big, single slice of your favourite pizza for £4 or share a 20 inch deep pan pizza with your guests for £20. If you’re undecided or want to try more than one flavour, you can also request a half-and-half. We recommend arriving early or reserving a table, as this pizzeria is a popular (and almost always packed out) hot spot in Covent Garden!
Prices: £ | £4 for one big slice or £20 for a 20” pizza | Menus