The Ultimate London Rooftop Bar Guide
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24/08/20


The Ultimate London Rooftop Bar Guide

If there’s one thing that’s better when done on a rooftop, it’s literally everything.

And that includes drinking.

Which is why we’ve nobly taken it upon ourselves to put together a comprehensive guide to the very best rooftop bars in London for 2020. And so get ready to raise your glass…

…several floors up.

ROOFTOP BARS IN CENTRAL LONDON

Aqua Spirit | Soho

central london rooftop bar

Like a tranquil island of booze-laced bliss in the chaos of Central London, Aqua sits high above Oxford Street ready for you to kick back, order a cocktail, and laugh haughtily at the teeming masses below you. (Ironically, of course.) READ MORE
Details: 30 Argyll Street, W1B 3BR | Mon-Wed: 3pm-11pm, Thurs-Sat 12pm-1am, Sun: 12-8pm

Radio Rooftop Bar | Aldwych

radio rooftop bar

The cocktails lean towards the expensive side… but what you’re really paying for here is the view: you can see Tower Bridge, The Shard, St. Paul’s, The Tate Modern, Somerset House, The London Eye, and the Houses of Parliament, at the same timeREAD MORE
Details: ME London, 336-337 Strand, WC2R 1HA | Sun-Wed: 7am-11pm, Thurs 7am-12am, Fri & Sat 7am-1am
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Seabird | Blackfriars

seabird rooftop terrace

This stunning seafood restaurant is a collaboration with Brooklyn’s Maison Première. And if those New Yorkers know how to do anything, it’s swanky cocktail bars surrounded by skyscrapers. Also pizza and bagels, but you can’t get those here. READ MORE

Details: Top floor of The Hoxton, 40 Blackfriars Road, London, SE1 8PB Open Wed: 5-11pm, Thurs: 11.30am-11pm, Fri & Sat: 11.30am-12am, Sun: 11.30am-6pm

The Rooftop | Trafalgar Square

cool rooftops london

Now not only can you have a cocktail whilst practically locking eyes with Lord Nelson, you can do it all year round, thanks to the retractable canopies that have been stitched onto the terrace… READ MORE
Details: 2 Spring Gardens, Trafalgar Square, SW1A 2TS | Reopens 10th September

12th Knot | Southbank

12th knot rooftop bar

We’re going to level with you here: 12th Knot has a very small outdoor area – it’s just a few chairs, essentially. But… the drinks are delicious, and the views are of one of the nicest bits of the Thames. So on balance, it’s totally worth it. Plus, they’ve had a whole ultra-slick refurb. READ MORE
Details: 20 Upper Ground, South Bank, SE1 9PD | Temporarily closed – watch this space
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Southbank Centre Roof Garden | Southbank

rooftop riverside bars london

You probably didn’t think there would be a picnicking spot on this list. And that would be entirely reasonable, but totally wrong. Because the Southbank’s Roof Garden has a damn meadow with over 150 species of native wildflowers, plus fruit trees, allotment boxes, a tunnel of scented flowers, a woodland garden, and yes, a picnic lawn. You can bring your own picnic, or just get one from the on-site cafe. READ MORE
Details: Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, SE1 8XX | Closed until 2021

 

ROOFTOP BARS IN THE CITY & EAST LONDON

Skylight | Wapping

skylight rooftop bar games

Skylight is a strong contender for one of the most activity-laden rooftop bars in London, combining an upcycled bar area alongside croquet and pétanque lawns, big screens for sports, DJs, sunshine and street food. READ MORE
Details: Tobacco Dock, Pennington Street car park entrance, E1W 2SF | Open Thurs-Sun, 12-11pm
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Queen of Hoxton | Shoreditch

queen of hoxton rooftop

This is probably one of the hardest-working rooftop bars in London. In winter it’s covered in a giant wigwam; in summer it hosts popup cinemas, bars, events, BBQs, DJs, and you. Right now, the theme is, er, Moët… which means Moët pornstar martini slushiesREAD MORE
Details: 1 Curtain Road, EC2A 3JX | Open Thursday 4-9pm, Friday 1-9pm, Sat 12-9pm & Sun 1-7pm
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Golden Bee | Shoreditch

golden bee rooftop bar

They’ve got sofas, fire pits, and DJs to see you into the early hours. And they’ve recently had a very nice refurb… READ MORE
Details: Singer Street, EC1V 9DD Mon-Wed: 5pm-12am, Thurs: 5pm-1am, Fri-Sat: 5pm-2am, Sun: 2-10pm (£5 entry after 5pm/£10 on Fri & Sat)
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Netil 360 | London Fields

netil 360 rooftop

It’s part workspace, part gallery, part café… but despite all their adorable attempts to get your attention, all you really care about here is the bar, and the fact that it’s on the roof. They serve draught beer from Trumans, and spirits from East London Liquor Company. READ MORE
Details: 1 Westgate Street, E8 3RLOpen Tues-Sun – book ahead, tickets £5/10

Boundary | Shoreditch

Boundary Shoreditch bar

Shoreditch has seen it all: nuns, factory owners, criminals, and prostitutes. Now it boasts a firepit-laden roof terrace with 360-degree views across the chimneys of the East End. And hipsters. READ MORE
Details: 2-4 Boundary Street, E2 7DD Mon-Thurs 4-11pm, Fri-Sun 12-11pm
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Angler Rooftop Restaurant and Terrace | Moorgate

angler terrace

Sitting on top of The South Place Hotel, Angler is one of the sleeker rooftop bars in London. The fact that the restaurant it’s attached to has a Michelin star is just window dressing, really. READ MORE
Details: 3 South Place, EC2M 2AFTemporarily closed
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SUSHISAMBA | Liverpool Street

sushisamba rooftop terrace

Perched atop the Heron Tower, Sushisamba combines Japanese cocktails with incredible city views and 2am opening hours. And a bright orange, life-size, tree. READ MORE
Details: 110 Bishopsgate, EC2N 4AY | Tues-Weds: 5pm-12am, Thurs-Sat: 12pm-2am, Sun: 12-9pm

Chiringuito | Bethnal Green

chiringuito rooftop east london

This rooftop bar sits neatly on top of a former public loo in Bethnal Green’s Museum Gardens – it’s not the most staggering view (given that it’s on the first floor), but it makes up for it with plush comfort and a laid back, beach bar vibe. READ MORE
Details: Museum Gardens, Cambridge Heath Road, E2 9PADaily 9am-10pm (8pm Sundays)

Madison | Bank

madison rooftop city

A rooftop bar directly overlooking St. Paul’s Cathedral – where you’ll also be treated to DJ sets, seafood platters and Fever Tree cocktails. READ MORE
Details: Rooftop Terrace, One New Change, EC4M 9AF Mon-Sat 12-10pm, Sun 12-9pm

Good Hotel London | Docklands

good hotel london rooftop

There are lots of good things about this hotel – their commitment to boosting employment and training opportunities for locals, for example, or partnering with community charities. Their rooftop bar, however – set on top of the floating hotel and overlooking the Millennium Dome and cable cars – is pretty good, too.

Details: Western Gateway, Royal Victoria Dock, E16 1FA Temporarily closed

Jin Bo Law | Aldgate

Jin Bo Law city rooftop bar

They say no-one’s above the Jin Bo Law…

…probably because it’s on the 14th floor of the Dorsett City Hotel in Aldgate. And while the inside view’s pretty great (the bar is in the shape of an illuminated pineapple), the outside view drops you right in the middle of the City’s eclectic skyline. Oh, and they have a contortionist. READ MORE
Details: 9 Aldgate High Street, EC3N 1AH Open Mon: 5-12pm, Tues-Weds: 12pm-1am, Thurs-Sat: 12pm-2.30am, Sun 12pm-12am
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Coq d’Argent | Bank

coq d'argent city rooftop bar

Sitting atop the incomparably postmodern monolith that is No.1 Poultry, Coq d’Argent resides upon ancient ruins which date back to 47AD. In case you want to get a little Roman. READ MORE
Details: 1 Poultry, EC2R 8EJ Weekdays 5-11pm, Saturday 6pm-1am
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Culpeper Roof Garden | Spitalfields

Culpeper rooftop

The Culpeper’s rooftop has its own bar serving signature cocktails, a garden supplying herbal tinctures for said cocktails, a grill restaurant, firepits, urban gardening masterclasses, and a view of the City’s towering skyline. READ MORE

Details: 40 Commercial Street, E1 6LP | Open Weds-Fri 4.30-10pm, Sat 12-10pm, Sun 12-7pm
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Midnight Apothecary at Brunel Museum | Rotherhithe

Midnight apothecary unusual rooftop bar

The term “rooftop campfire botanical cocktail bar with marshmallows” gets thrown around a lot these days. Oh, wait, we’re thinking of the other one. It gets thrown around almost never. But in the case of Midnight Apothecary, it’s justified. READ MORE
Details: Brunel Museum Rooftop, Railway Avenue, SE16 4LF | Open Friday-Sunday Book ahead, from £5
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Dalston Roof Park Dalston

dalston roof park casual rooftop

Dalston Roof Park is almost entirely self-explanatory. But presumably, ‘Dalston Roof Park With Two Bars, Astroturf, Bar Food, A Retractable Awning And Regular Film Nights’ was deemed a touch too long. READ MORE
Details: 18 Ashwin Street, E8 3DL | Mon: 5-10pm, Tues-Thurs: 5-11pm, Fri: 5pm-12am, Sat 3pm-12am

Bird of Smithfield | Smithfield

bird of smithfield rooftop

What do you get if you cross a former The Ivy chef with a ground floor lounge, a tweed-dressed restaurant, a private dining room, a late-night subterranean cocktail den and a sun-drenched roof terrace overlooking Smithfield Market? Answer: this place. READ MORE
Details: 26 Smithfield Street, EC1A 9LB | Temporarily closed
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Upper 5th Shoreditch | Shoreditch

rooftop bars shoreditch

Going by the stage name “Upper 5th Shoreditch”, this rooftop bar is one of those places where you can sip on expertly-mixed signature cocktails (including originals like the Red King, with local Hoxton gin, Campari, port and raspberry) and listen to DJ sets while nibbling on bar snacks and soaking up not only the sun’s rays, but also an unlimited quantity of photo opps in front of a beautiful panoramic view across London. READ MORE
Details: Courthouse Hotel Shoreditch, 335-337 Old Street, EC1V 9LL Open Friday 3-10.30pm, Sat 2-10.30pm, Sun 1-9pm
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Roof East | Stratford

roof east stratford

Roof East are really upping their games – the Stratford rooftop is home to batting cages, crazy golf and curling (without the ice), plus an array of bars and food stands…  READ MORE
Details: Floors 7 & 8, Stratford Multi Storey Car Park, Great Eastern Way, E15 1XE | Open Tues-Fri 3-9pm, weekends 12-9pm

 

ROOFTOP BARS IN NORTH LONDON

Abbey Tavern | Kentish Town

abbey tavern north london rooftop

Aside from a pretty stellar live music program, burgers and mezze from Aviv’s Kitchen, and a truly excellent lineup of craft beers… the Abbey Tavern also have a roof terrace. It’s the very nearly literal cherry on top. VIEW DETAILS
Details: 124 Kentish Town Road, NW1 9QB | Open daily 12-10pm
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The Driver | King’s Cross

driver rooftop terrace

The people behind The Driver are so dedicated to the idea of rooftop bars that they decided to grow the 200 plants they use in the UK’s first vertical garden, just so that they didn’t have to use the space on the 4th floor rooftop for it. Instead, it has sofas, DJs, and a dedicated BBQ chef for the summer months. VIEW DETAILS
Details: 2-4 Wharfdale Road, N1 9RY | Reopening early September
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Faltering Fullback | Finsbury Park

faltering fullback rooftop pub

One of the quirkier, more unusual pubs in London, the FF is virtually hidden within its own foliage. Soak up the atmosphere inside, then soak up the sun outside. VIEW DETAILS
Details: 19 Perth Road, N4 3HB | Open Mon-Thur: 12pm-11.30pm, Fri-Sat: 12pm-12.30am & Sun: 12pm-11pm

FEST | Camden

fest camden rooftop

Back for another summer, Camden Market’s rooftop bar continues to keep things simple, with deck chairs, pizza, cocktails and DJs. And a world-renowned marketplace quite literally at your feet. READ MORE
Details: Stables MarketChalk Farm Road, NW1 8AH | Open Fri 12-9pm, Sat 12-11pm, Sun 12-6pm

 

ROOFTOP BARS IN WEST LONDON

Pergola Paddington | Paddington

pergola paddington rooftop street food

Pergola Paddington has commandeered a sprawling, canal-side, 850-capacity space for its aerial shenanigans, with festoon lighting, DJs, bookable day beds, and miniature jungles proliferating over the pergolas overhead. As ever, they serve up some mean cocktails, while food comes courtesy of Babek Brothers, Salt Shed, Thunderbird and Temaki Bros. READ MORE
Details: 5 Kingdom Street, W2 6PY Weds-Thurs open from 4pm, Fri-Sun from 12pm

Pergola Olympia | Kensington Olympia

pergola olympia rooftop

Its sibling, meanwhile, has taken over the rooftop of the Olympia Exhibition Centre, offering unparalleled views over West London through huge, plant-framed windows, alongside street food from Wildcard, Salt Shed and Izakaya; botanical drinks; and frosé. READ MORE

Details: Level Five Rooftop, Olympia Car Park, Olympia Way, W14 8UX Open Wed-Thurs 4-11pm, Fri-Sat 12-11pm and Sun 12-10pm

Skylark | Paddington

skylark roof garden

With its frozen cocktails, fresh pizzas and jaunty striped parasols, Skylark would feel a million miles from London – were it not for the views of the city all around you. VIEW DETAILS

Details: 10th Floor, 4 Kingdom Street, London, W2 6BD Open Saturday 11am-11pm, Sunday 11am-10.30pm

The Lyric | Hammersmith

Jim Stephenson

Perched on top of the Lyric Hammersmith, the theatre’s roof terrace threatens to steal the show with verdant palms, booze, and a healthy dose of sun. VIEW DETAILS
Details: Lyric Hammersmith, Lyric Square, W6 0QL | Temporarily closed

 

ROOFTOP BARS IN SOUTH LONDON

Bar Elba | Waterloo

bar elba

Setting itself apart from other rooftop bars, Elba (named after the island that Napoleon was exiled to, of course) combines bottomless sunset booze sessions, outdoor film nights and burgers, with sweeping views of the skyline. VIEW DETAILS
Details: Mercury House, 109-117 Waterloo Road, SE1 8UL Open Mon: 3-12pm, Tues-Wed: 2pm-12am, Thurs: 2pm-1am, Fri-Sat 12pm-1am, Sun 12pm-12am
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The Prince of Wales | Brixton

Brixton’s famed roof terrace has themed parties, two heated levels, a rum shack cocktail bar and an entirely blue, neon-filled cocktail bar downstairs. And yes, you can expect around 90% fewer people there than in this picture. VIEW DETAILS
Details: 467-469 Brixton Road, SW9 8HH | Open Tues-Thurs 6-11pm, plus ticketed events Fri-Sat – see HERE
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Bussey Rooftop Bar | Peckham

peckham rooftop bar

The Bussey Building’s rooftop bar has everything a good rooftop bar should have: cocktails, street food (from Share A Slice), and several floors beneath it. READ MORE
Details: Copeland Park and Bussey Building, 133 Copeland Road, SE15 4SL Open Mon-Wed: 5-10.30pm, Thurs-Sun: 12-10.30pm
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Forza Wine | Peckham

Forza Wine rooftop bar

While sister restaurant Forza Win finds a new home, this is the only place you can sample the team’s glorious Italian cooking, cocktails and wine. And the panoramic views are alright, too. READ MORE

Details: Floor 5, 133a Rye Lane, Peckham, SE15 4BQOpen Sun-Thurs 12pm-12am, Fri-Sat 12pm-1am

Frank’s Cafe & Campari Bar | Peckham

franks rooftop peckham

97% of the people who visit multi-storey car parks after dark do so with the primary intention of scoring a “non-pool related” eight-ball. The other 3% are there for Frank’s Campari Bar: the original and best rooftop-bar-on-top-of-a-Peckham-car-park-specialising-in-classic-Italian-aperitivi, where you can take in the setting sun over the London skyline with a negroni in hand. READ MORE
Details: 10th Floor, Multi Storey Car Park, 95A Rye Lane, SE15 4ST | Open Thurs-Fri 12-11pm; Sat-Sun 11am-11pm

 


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