The Best Outdoor Restaurants In London
Features

12/04/21


55 Amazing Outdoor Restaurants In London

The Summer Of ’21 will go down in history as the Summer Of Lov……

….ing not being locked down anymore.

And that – for much of the summer – is going to mean sitting in parks, streets and gardens; on rooftops, boats and buses drinking whatever quantity of rosé’s required to help you forget the past year and embrace the present moment (and, naturally, our collective hopes for a sunnier future).

But let’s be honest, you don’t want to spend the summer drinking on a bus… and SO BEHOLD our expertly curated collection of several dozen choice spots in London for a little al fresco dining.  Sure, it’s going to be tough to get a table at many of these places. Why? Because everyone’s been caged like animals for a year, and has the exact same plan as you – to make up for entire year of not mooching around the terraces, rooftops and gardens of their favourite restaurants by Doing. Exactly. That.

But don’t worry, because each of these places will allow you to reserve a table in advance….

Play the long game, and win.

 

Main image: Sager + Wilde Paradise Row


JUMP TO: EAST LONDON | WEST LONDON | NORTH LONDON | SOUTH LONDON


CENTRAL LONDON

Circolo Popolare | Fitzrovia

Circolo Popolare eat outside

Circolo Popolare comes to us from the people behind Gloria, and she mimics her big sister where it counts, bringing a maximalist, overstated, lavishly fun vibe to everything she does. And that includes her terrace, which seats a mere 60ish people. No big deal. READ MORE

Details: Open daily for lunch & dinner, plus weekend brunch | 40 Rathbone Place, Fitzrovia, W1T 1HX | Book a table

Barrafina Drury Lane | Covent Garden

Set on the edge of Covent Garden, Barrafina’s only venue with some outdoor seating might just make it the best of the bunch. You’ll find all their delicious, Michelin-Star winning tapas, plus sunshine. READ MORE

Details: Still temporarily closed 43 Drury Lane, WC2B 5AJ

Petersham Nurseries | Covent Garden

Petersham Nurseries al fresco dining

Given that this venue actually houses two restaurants, plus a bar, deli, florists, shop and wine cellar… it’s no surprise that they also found room for a huge, secluded outdoor area, appropriately on Floral Court. READ MORE

Details: Open Weds-Sat 11.30am-10pm, Sun 11.30am-6pm Petersham Nurseries, Floral Court, WC2E 8JD | Book a table

Clipstone | Fitzrovia

Despite being placed on, and indeed named after one of the nicer and quieter streets in Fitzrovia, Clipstone’s best view is probably on the plates: duck ravioli, yellow beetroot carpaccio, beef shin croquettes with truffle mayonnaise, and the like. But eating it outside makes it taste even better. Promise. READ MORE

Details: Open Tues-Sat, 9am-late | 5 Clipstone Street, W1W 6BB | Book a table

Dalloway Terrace | Fitzrovia

Dalloway terrace outside dining

Probably the prettiest al fresco spot in central London, the Dalloway Terrace restaurant accessorises its classic brasserie fare with a regularly changing cascade of flowers along its back wall. READ MORE

Details: Open daily 12-9pm16-22 Great Russell Street, WC1B 3NN | Book a table

temper | Covent Garden

From BBQ legend Neil Rankin, temper’s Covent Garden operation is a huge setup, with everything geared towards tacos, steaks, and BBQ’d meat butchered in-house. And fittingly for a BBQ spot, they happen to have included some lovely outdoor seating, too. READ MORE

Details: Open M-W 5-9pm, Th-Sa 12-11pm, Sun 12-6pm 5 Mercer Walk, Mercers Yard, WC2H 9FA | Book a table

Fallow | Mayfair

fallow outdoor dining

Exceptional sustainable cooking. Incredible drinks (including rum distilled by the Thames and wine from Bethnal Green). And to top it off, they’ve now got a fully covered, heated terrace accompanied by the dulcet tones of live music. READ MORE

Details: Open daily for lunch and dinner | 10 Heddon Street, W1B 4BX | Book a table

Ham Yard Hotel | Soho

Ham Yard Hotel al fresco restaurant

The Ham Yard Hotel is designed to a tee, with sumptuous furnishings, vibrantly papered walls and its own 1950s bowling alley… So it’s quite something that the best parts are actually their outdoor terrace and the bohemian rooftop space. VIEW DETAILS

Details: Open daily 7am-11.30pm (10.30pm Sundays) Ham Yard Hotel, 1 Ham Yard, W1D 7DT | Book a table

Dinner by Heston | Knightsbridge

dinner heston terrace

London’s best only Michelin-starred restaurant where you can enjoy a pudding made with a historically accurate pineapple roasting pulley, and a chicken liver parfait disguised as a piece of fruit… that also has views over Hyde Park. READ MORE

Details: Open daily 12-7pm Mandarin Oriental Hotel, 66 Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7LA Book a table

Bentley’s Oyster Bar and Grill | Mayfair

Bentley’s is one of London’s very best seafood spots. And hell, even if you don’t like shellfish, it’s worth going and ordering the steak just so you can live it up on their covered terrace. READ MORE

Details: Open daily, 12pm-late – bookings available from 3rd May 11-15 Swallow Street, London W1B 4DG Book a table

Hush Mayfair | Mayfair

hush outdoor dining london

The clue’s in the name here. Once you’ve discovered this secluded little courtyard slap-bang in the middle of London, you won’t want to tell anyone about it either. READ MORE

Details: Open daily No.8 Lancashire Court, Brook Street, London W1S 1EY Book a table

Bleeding Heart Bistro | Farringdon

Once the scene of an infamous 17th century murder, Bleeding Heart Bistro’s al fresco courtyard is now the picture of Provençal French serenity. Time has improved things, just like their selection of aged cheeses. READ MORE

Details: Open daily 12-10pm | Bleeding Heart Yard, EC1N 8SJ | Book a table

The Berkeley Beach Huts | Knightsbridge

berkeley beach huts outdoor dining

The Berkeley are known for their envelope-pushing rooftop pop ups, like their intimate outdoor cinema for six, or last summer’s candle-lit, olive tree-filled terrace. Which is presumably why they’ve gone all out and installed a miniature British seafront on the terrace this year, with five privately bookable beach huts (which count as ‘outdoors’, so you can go with 5 friends), alongside a load of other outdoor seating options. And yes, they are serving lobster & chips and ‘Gourmet 99s’. READ MORE

Details: Open daily 12-9.30pm from 12th April The Berkeley, Wilton Place, London, SW1X 7RL Book a table

EAST LONDON

SMOKESTAK

Smokestak open again outdoor seating

SMOKESTAK takes its BBQ seriously. In fact, the rusted, industrially hard-edged restaurant itself seems to resemble the inside of a BBQ oven, even extending to the rolling shutter that leads to the terrace outside. And it’s that terrace that we’re concerned with today. It’s pretty sizeable, well-heated, adequately spaced, and you can enjoy the likes of a USDA brisket bun with pickled red chilli, thick-cut pork ribs with pickled cucumber, and crispy ox cheek with anchovy mayo. Plus cocktails.

Details: Open M-F 12pm-3pm & 5pm-11pm; Sat 12pm-11pm; Sun 12pm-10pm | 35 Sclater St, E1 6LB | Book a table

Barge East | Hackney Wick

Barge East alfresco

The restaurant aboard this 114-year old Dutch cargo barge has proved so popular that they’ve had to spill out onto the banks they’re moored on. And what started out as a casual picnic spot has since become a fully fledged operation, with shaded tables and chairs for groups, miniature plant beds growing ingredients for the kitchen, and even a vintage airstream caravan serving a street food menu. READ MORE

Details: Open for drinks and street food daily, restaurant open Thurs-Sun River Lee, Sweetwater Mooring, White Post Lane, London, E9 5EN Book a table

Coppa Club | Tower Bridge

Coppa Club al fresco terrace

Coppa Club were already pretty enviable for their riverside terrace overlooking London’s most iconic bridge. But just to make doubly sure, they’ve made it even bigger for this summer (and yes, they still have those igloos)… READ MORE

Details: Open weekdays from 11.30am-10pm, Sat 10.30am-10pm, Sun 10.30am-8pm 3 Three Quays Walk,
Lower Thames Street, EC3R 6AH
| Book a table

Tapas Brindisa Shoreditch | Shoreditch

Tapas Brindisa’s eastern flagship now has its own courtyard, just to make things truly Spanish. And it’s heated. Just to make things truly British, too. READ MORE

Details: Not open again yet – watch this space 152 Curtain Road, EC2A 3AT

Boundary | Shoreditch

Boundary Shoreditch bar

Shoreditch has seen it all: nuns, factory owners, criminals, and prostitutes. Now it boasts a roof terrace with 360-degree views across the chimneys of the East End. And hipsters. READ MORE

Details: Mon-Thurs 4-11pm, Fri-Sun 12-11pm 2-4 Boundary Street, E2 7DD | Walk-in only

Bravas Tapas | St. Katherine Docks

London’s own miniature riviera, perched in the shadow of Tower Bridge is exceedingly underrated. Which means you might just have a chance of scoring one of the outdoor tables at top-shelf tapas spot, Bravas Tapas… READ MORE

Details: Open daily noon-10.30pm (10pm Sundays) | St. Katherine Docks, E1W 1AT | Book a table

Sager + Wilde Paradise Row | Bethnal Green

Sager + Wilde al fresco

Flowing seamlessly into the main area of the restaurant, the al fresco courtyard at Paradise Row is both a dining area for S+W’s glorious Italian dishes, and a bar which serves an ever-changing cocktail menu centred around different spirits. READ MORE

Details: Open Mon-Fri 5-10.30pm, Sat 11am-11pm, Sun 11am-10pmArch 250 Paradise Row, E2 9LE | Book a table

South Place | Moorgate

Sitting on top of The South Place Hotel is Angler, which has one of the sleeker rooftop terraces in the city. The fact that the restaurant it’s attached to has a Michelin star is just window dressing, really. READ MORE

Details: Still temporarily closed – watch this space South Place Hotel, 3 South Place, EC2M 2AF

Rochelle Canteen | Shoreditch

Rochelle Canteen eat outside London

A real secret garden, Rochelle Canteen can be found behind a brick wall facing the Arnold Circus garden with its Victorian bandstand. Ring a buzzer, and you’ll be welcomed into a hidden, terrace-toting restaurant serving gorgeous seasonal grub… READ MORE

Details: Open daily for lunch, with dinner Thurs-Sat Rochelle School, Arnold Circus, E2 7ES | Book a table

Dishoom | Shoreditch

Dishoom’s eclectic verandah is home to a jumble of vintage furniture, salvaged architecture and familiar-feeling bric-a-brac – as well as, crucially, a retractable roof. READ MORE

Details: Open Mon-Wed 8am-11pm, Thurs-Fri 8am-midnight, Sat 9am-midnight, Sun 9am-11pm 7 Boundary Street, E2 7JE | Book a table (terrace walk-in only)

The Culpeper | Spitalfields

Culpeper outdoor dining

Some of the finest al fresco seating London can offer, The Culpeper’s roof spot has its own bar serving signature cocktails, a garden supplying herbal tinctures for said cocktails, a bespoke grill from the London Log Company, a view of the City’s towering skyline, AND, an intimate, 12 – 14 seater glass Greenhouse. Just in case. READ MORE

Details: Open Weds-Fri 4-10pm, Sat 12-10pm, Sun 12-7pm 40 Commercial Street, E1 6LP | Book a table

 

WEST LONDON

The Prince | West Brompton

The Prince al fresco London

The front of The Prince comprises a pub and three restaurants housing a rotating series of street food vendors. The back, however, hides this beautiful sunken garden, topped by a pergola festooned with tumbling garlands of flowers and a retractable roof. And yes, since you ask, they are doing 2-4-1 drinks on weekdays. READ MORE

Details: Open M-T 12-10.30pm, W-Sa 12-11pm, Sun 12-10pm 14 Lillie Road, SW6 1TT | Book a table

The River Cafe | Hammersmith

It’s called The River Cafe because it’s next to the river. And if you open a restaurant next to the river and don’t provide a little outdoor seating for people then, quite frankly, you’re not going to be open for three decades. Which the River Cafe has been. READ MORE

Details: Open daily 12.30-5pm, Mon-Sat 7-11pm Thames Wharf, Rainville Road, W6 9HA | Book a table

Ivy Chelsea Garden | Chelsea

Ivy Chelsea Garden outdoor seating

Technically speaking, The Ivy Chelsea Garden doesn’t have an al fresco area. It IS an al fresco area, with an indoor bit attached. Because they have a 3,500 square foot outdoor terrace and paved garden, filled with stone-clad water fountains; sandstone firepits; marble tables; mosaic chairs; and balustrade pergolas covered in creeping wisteria and red rose vine. READ MORE

Details: Open M-F 11.30am-12.30am, Sat 8am-12.30am, Sun 9am-12.30am 195 -197 King’s Road, SW3 5EQ | Book a table (inside/outside allocated on arrival)

Kricket | White City

Kricket white city al fresco west London

Overlooking the newly redeveloped BBC Television Centre, Kricket White City’s sprawling al fresco terrace is a delightfully peaceful spot to overdo it on Chaitinis and gorge on every one of their Anglo-Indian small plates. READ MORE

Details: Open Tues-Thurs 5-10.30pm, Fri & Sat 12-10.30pm 2 Television Centre, 101 Wood Lane, W12 7FR | Book a table

Chicama | Chelsea

Chicama al fresco London

Chicama is named after a Peruvian coastal town… something that doesn’t seem too distant if you can score a table under their awning on a sunny day, as you tuck into ceviche, popped corn monkfish cheeks, and pisco cocktails. READ MORE

Details: Open daily from noon (11am Saturday) – 11pm 383 King’s Road, SW10 0LP | Book a table

Pergola Paddington | Paddington

A bit of a street food & cocktails oasis plumped amongst the offices and busy transport hullabaloo of Paddington, Pergola combines a rooftop terrace filled with, downstairs, the pergola itself – filled with fairy lights, flowers & foliage.

Details: For opening hours and info on the current food traders at Pergola, please check their website.

 

No 197 Chiswick Fire Station | Chiswick

Chiswick Fire Station outdoor dining

Chiswick Fire Station’s jaw-droppingly suave interiors (pink velvet loveseats, beautiful artwork and cacti of an Arizonan scale) are matched only by the breezy courtyard, with its vine-entwined pergola and brilliant white furnishings. VIEW DETAILS

Details: Open Mon-Wed 9am-9pm, Thurs-Fri 9am-10pm, Sat 10am-11pm, Sun 10am-7pm 197-199 Chiswick High Road, W4 2DR | Book a table

Casa Cruz | Notting Hill

Casa Cruz outdoor eating

Photographer: Anton Rodriguez

Notting Hill’s Argentinian-inspired Casa Cruz boasts an intimate balcony filled with bright, emerald green seating and white marble tables dressed with fresh flowers. Perfect for a drink or two, or a crispy jamón & lentil salad. VIEW DETAILS

Details: Open Tues-Thurs 6pm-1am, Fri-Sun 12pm-1am | 123a Clarendon Rd, London W11 4JG | Book a table

Villa Mama’s | Chelsea

Villa Mama outdoor seating

They don’t come much cuter than Villa Mama’s sprightly al fresco terrace, on which you can sample botanic-infused cocktails and light Bahraini fare… READ MORE

Details: Open daily 12-10pm (9pm Sun)25-27 Elystan Street, SW3 3NT | Book a table

Bluebird Chelsea | Chelsea

An impressive old Grade II listed, Art Deco garage in the heart of Made In Chelsea country, this is a solid option for all of those times that you fancy heading down the King’s Road with Ollie, Binky & Spencer (they’re still in it, right?) for a glass of bubbles and a spot of alfresco dining in the sun.

Details: Open for breakfast, lunch & dinner daily (restaurant for lunch & dinner only; café for breakfast too). You can find out more and book a table here.

NORTH LONDON

Parrillan | King’s Cross

Parrillan al fresco

Run by the team behind Barrafina, Parrillan doesn’t just boast a sprawling, heated, covered terrace. It also has a chef who knows exactly how you like your food – namely, you. Because you’ll be tossing their impeccably sourced Spanish ingredients onto your own tabletop grill… READ MORE

Details: Reopens 12th April: Wed-Fri 5-11pm, Sat 12-3pm & 5-11pm, Sun 12-5pm | Coal Drops Yard, Stable Street, N1C 4AB | Book a table

Plaza Pastor | King’s Cross

plaza pastor outdoor dining

That rambunctious covered terrace you just passed on the way up to Parrillan? That’s Plaza Pastor, the colourful, tequila-soaked annexe to Casa Pastor, here for all your all-weather outdoor taco needs. READ MORE

Details: Reopens 12th April: daily 12-3pm & 5-10pm Coal Drops Yard, N1C 4DQ Book a table

The Drop | King’s Cross

The Drop King's Cross

A cosy, elegant yet unpretentious wine bar wedged into a brick-lined archway in Coal Drops Yard. The wine list is just long enough to make it hard to choose, and there’s an oyster cart to accompany the ‘broadly British’ small plates on offer, too. READ MORE

Details: Reopens 12th April | 2 Bagley Walk, Coal Drops Yard, N1C 4DH | Book a table

Granary Square Brasserie | King’s Cross

Granary Square brasserie outside drinks

Granary Square Brasserie boasts not only the largest dining terrace in North London, but also one of the most delicious. Part of The Ivy family, it’s home to all-day modern European dining and sparkling cocktails. READ MORE

Details: Reopening 12th April: weekdays from 11.30, weekends from 11am 1 Granary Square, N1C 4AB | Book a table

German Gymnasium | King’s Cross

german gymnasium terrace

Set in a vast, gorgeous, warehouse-like building next to King’s Cross (with 57ft high ceilings), the German Gymnasium is the oldest gymnasium in the country. It hosted all the indoor events at the 1866 Olympics. And now it’s about to host a lot of outdoor ones, too. READ MORE

Details: Reopens 12th April King’s Boulevard, N1C 4BU | Book a table

Lina Stores King’s Cross | King’s Cross

lina stores outside seating

Fresh crab linguine. Pear bellinis. More gelato than you can shake a cannoli at. The second restaurant from the iconic 75 year-old Soho deli has all the charms of the first – plus an enormous terrace that you can actually book. READ MORE

Details: Reopens 12th April: daily 12pm – 10pm 20 Stable Street, King’s Cross, London N1C 4DR | Book a table

Caravan King’s Cross | King’s Cross

Caravan al fresco north london

Set in the industrially grand Granary Square, Caravan not only has a huge outdoor seating area, but stellar coffee ground in-house; a cornucopia of dishes for breakfast, lunch and dinner; and cocktails. For breakfast, lunch and dinner. READ MORE

Details: Reopens 12th April: daily 9am-9pm 1 Granary Square, N1C 4AA | Book a table

Coal Office | King’s Cross

coal office outdoor seating

100 years ago, the people inside these buildings were in charge of managing the flow of coal and fish deliveries into London. Now, they’re in charge of combining coal and fish (and meat, and veg) and delivering it straight to your table. And happily, you won’t have to wait long to taste Assaf Granit’s lauded Middle Eastern cooking, because they’ve got a raft of tables on their outdoor terrace and rooftop space. READ MORE

Details: Open M-F 5.30-11pm, Sat 12-11pm, Sun 12-10.30pm from 12th April | 2 Bagley Walk, Coal Drops Yard, N1C 4PQ | Book by emailing reservations@coaloffice.com⁠

The Lighterman | King’s Cross

lighterman outdoor terrace london

One-upping all the other King’s Cross spots on this list, The Lighterman’s outdoor terraces directly overlook the canals – so you can enjoy drinks, brunch or a Sunday roast while people barge past (in a good way). READ MORE

Details: Open daily 3 Granary Square, King’s Cross, London, N1C 4BH Book a table

Camino King’s Cross | King’s Cross

camino outdoor dining

Perched incongruously on Pentonville Road is this idyllic hidden courtyard, serving Spanish tapas (Ibérico ham, Basque-style baked crab, grilled octopus), Spanish drinks (brandy, sherry, and condensed milk espressos) and Spanish weather (not guaranteed).

Details: Reopens 12th April: lunch and dinner daily | 3 Varnishers Yard, The Regent Quarter, N1 9FD Book a table

 

SOUTH LONDON

Wright Brothers | Battersea

Wright Brothers battersea riverside dining

Toby Keane

Battersea – it’s pretty much the perfect place for a seafood spot; especially when it’s the fifth in a family of well-established eateries, and comes with its own festoon-lit verandah overlooking the river… READ MORE

Details: Open Tues-Sat 12-5pm, Sun 12-7pm 26 Circus West Village, Battersea Power Station, SW8 4NN | Book a table

Vinegar Yard | London Bridge

Taking over a formerly disused patch of land, Vinegar Yard is now a very used piece of land, full to the brim with street food traders, outdoor bars and picnic tables. READ MORE

Details: Open Wed 5-10pm, Thurs 5-11pm, Fri 4pm-12am, Sat 11am-12am, Sun 11am-8pm 72-82 St Thomas St, London SE1 3QUBook entry

The OXO Tower | Southbank

Oxo tower terrace

The Oxo Tower has been standing since the early 1900s. Apparently, people put a lot of stock in it. And that’s due in no small part to the views you can score from their lofty outdoor terrace, making it by default one of the best places in the area to grab a bite and/or a cocktail. READ MORE

Details: Not yet reopened 8th floor, Oxo Tower Wharf, Bargehouse Street, SE1 9PH

Le Pont De La Tour | Shad Thames / Tower Bridge

Literally only just realised that le Pont De La Tour is French for “Tower Bridge”.

Eeeessentially this is a pretty old school French restaurant by D&D that’s been around forever featuring white table cloths, a pricey menu (asparagus for starters with a main course of a side of french beans will set you back £19), but also – crucially, given that we’re here to talk about alfresco dining – a lovely terrace on the river, with a Grade A view of Le Pont De La Tour.

Details: Book well in advance in the summer months. | 36D Shad Thames, London SE1 2YE | More Info

Details-

The Exhibit | Balham

Exhibit Balham al fresco

Billing itself as a ‘youth club for adults’, The Exhibit is all things to all diners: part restaurant, part bar, part cinema, part studio space, part gallery, and part perfect al fresco space. READ MORE

Details: Open Wed-Thur 4.30-11.30pm, Fri-Sat 12pm-1am, Sun 12-11pm 12 Balham Station Road, SW12 9SG | Book a table

The Crown & Greyhound | Dulwich Village

Always nice to recommend a lovely local pub, particularly when it’s located in the sort of London neighbourhood that you may (particularly in summer months) wish to spend some time pootling around one lazy Sunday afternoon. Dulwich, which combines a quaint village and beautiful park (boating lake, check) with the shops and restaurants of Lordship Lane in East Dulwich, just a short walk away, is one of those places.. and the Crown & Greyhound, located in the heart of the village itself, is a nice place to go for lunch or dinner.

And most importantly – for this article, at least – it has a large outdoor courtyard complete with a retractable roof & plentiful heaters (as and when required) plus, beyond that, a large paved garden with lots of additional space for alfresco dining.

Details: Open daily for lunch & dinner | 73 Dulwich Village, Dulwich SE21 7BJ

Little Brother Marcus | Balham

With a retracting glass front and hidden courtyard out the back, this restaurant/café is perfect for al fresco dining – and it has an excellent brunch offering to boot. READ MORE

Details: Open daily for breakfast & lunch, plus dinner Wed-Sat 9 Chestnut Grove, SW12 8JA | Book a table (weekends walk-in only)

Forza Wine | Peckham

Forza Wine Outside

From the team behind lots of pop ups, The Culpeper pub, a rambunctious pizza, past & cocktail joint inside an old Peckham cash & carry, and a bunch of other things we can’t remember is this little gem of a rooftop bar & snack house perfect for anyone who’s keen to enjoy some very light Italian dishes as an accompaniment to their main course of booze. Right next to Peckham Rye station, by the way.

Details: You can only book for groups of 8 or more. | More info here, Forza Wine | 5th Floor, The Market, 133 Rye Lane, SE15 4ST

Sea Containers | Southbank

Sea containers al fresco terrace

Housed in the eponymous Southbank building, SC is an American-British restaurant drawing inspiration from the “Golden Age of transatlantic travel”. And speaking of travel, there’s a river right outside too, which you can enjoy from the floor-length windows or al fresco on the riverside terrace. READ MORE

Details: Open from 1st August for lunch & dinner Wed-Sat, and Sunday lunch | 20 Upper Ground, SE1 9PD | Book a table

 


Looking for outdoor activities? May we direct you to Adventure Cinema?




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