Bars and pubs Maida Vale
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  • 4 out of 5 stars
(16 user reviews)
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© Rob Greig

The chief selling point of this stylish bar-restaurant is its wide terrace, so close to the Regent’s Canal that you can touch the bobbing barges. It’s quite pricey, but the clientele are happy to keep ordering as long as the sun keeps shining (you may find the interior completely empty of a July lunchtime), and it’s not as if the venue is cutting corners in its provisions.

Cocktails (around £8) come in fairly standard categories, but the quality of the mixes and the spirit bases need little gimmickry, and all syrups and purées are made on-site.

The wine list is long: of the 50-ish varieties, a dozen are served by the half-litre carafe, the bottle or two sizes of glass; if you’re just after a vin de pays to plonk into an ice bucket near the lap of the water, it’ll come in around £16.

A flatscreen TV has been placed in front of a sofa for rainy days, though it’s just as nice to watch the barges from inside.

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Waterway says
Watch the boats go by as you feast on stylish modern dishes in our popular bar and restaurant. Sit on the terrace soaking up the sun in summer and warm up by the fire in winter. Taste our classic cocktails with a twist or enjoy a hearty brunch on the weekends. Perfect place for friends and family.
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Venue name: Waterway
Address: 54 Formosa St
W9 2JU
Opening hours: Open noon-11pm Mon-Fri; 10.30am-11pm Sat; 11am-10.30pm Sun. Food served noon-3.30pm, 6.30-10.30pm Mon-Fri; 10.30am-3.30pm, 6.30-10.30pm Sat; 11am-3.30pm, 6.30-10pm Sun
Transport: Tube: Warwick Avenue
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Average User Rating

3.9 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:7
  • 4 star:5
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:1
  • 1 star:2
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I first spotted the Waterway restaurant whilst indulging in one of my favourite Sunday hobbies, upright paddle boarding along the picturesque canals of little Venice.

From the canal there is a great vista of it's extensive dinning terrace and drinking area. 

The crowd looked very happy, chilled, drenched in sunshine and all thoroughly enjoying their Sunday afternoon, I knew I must visit. 

If you have never explored this area, or ever tried paddle boarding I can highly recommend both.

We had booked a table as weekends especially Sundays are peak times, throw in a little sunshine and the crowds gather further at the Waterway. The staff although busy were polite, relaxed, very much in control, with the restaurant being well managed and run. 

We were seated on the slightly lower dinning terrace a few steps down, which I did prefer, as more sheltered and quiet, however the slightly higher areas do have more view of the canal.

We ate from the grill which is located outside the aroma was too much to resist,

being such a beautiful warm day a Sunday roast just wouldn't have been the ticket, both the meals were delicious and perfectly seasonal.  I ate the salmon which was accompanied by pomegranate, toasted almonds, raw cauliflower salad (yes I wasn't too sure about this either but really worked) and salsa verde £17.50 The lamb cutlets which were grilled to perfection, sat on a bed of Israeli cous cous, with honey and Greek yogurt dressing £18.50 All washed down with a blush Rose the french Les Betes Rousses.

Very much felt it was fair value for money, an enjoyable meal in very pleasant surroundings. 


Having jogged past the Waterway so many times and always wondering about this magical place in Little Venice I went to explore its secret last week.

The place was humming with people, but not in a crowded way, but in a relaxed and enjoyable way. Having security outside a pub on a Wednesday night might put you off at first, but there is no reason at all.

Of course the tables were booked at your arrival, but we still found a nice place by the canal to enjoy the evening. The staff is really nice and it felt like a real break from a busy week.

I went back last weekend to watch the football and we were seated in the little "yard" next to the restaurant - first row in front of the TV - couldn't have been any better.

I haven't tried that much food yet, just some sharers (which have been really nice) - so I'm definitely going to be back for either a nice lunch or dinner, when summer has finally arrived.

But if you happen to wander along the canal - go and take a break at the Waterway.

Staff WriterStaff Comp

The Waterway is great in the summer, next to the canal and is lovely for al fresco dining for both lunch and dinner. it's really lively at the weekends in the afternoon where everyone is outside enjoying the sunshine

NakedPRGirl Claire

Ah what's not to love about the Waterway? Go on a summer's day and it often resembles a fully clothed pool party in Las Vegas. Go in winter and you can laze by the open fire drinking red wine and eating tasty snacks. There's something truly magical about the Waterway (even though from the road leading up to it resembles a shed), people literally flock there when the weather is nice, enticed by the view of the Little Venice canal. The crowd can spill out onto street outside (patrolled by a stern security guard) but the wait for tables is well controlled and you can get a seat pretty swiftly. The bar food is my favourite and although the menu isn't extensive, they do the best chicken burger in town so who's complaining? In winter things are a lot quieter, but there's still heaters and lovely indoors by the aforementioned fire. Excellent date pub, good place to go for drinks with friends, oh and they have a restaurant if you want to book in advance for a meal...the dining area is probably the only part with room for improvement from me as it doesn't feel as special as the outdoor terrace.

julia s

I love the Waterway! Little Venice is such a great area for a sophisticated and relaxed night or day out. Afterwards try Little Venice Wine Bar www.lvlounge.co.uk just as lovely but slightly more relaxed...


Seriously bad attitude from the table manager wearing the leather trousers. We did not feel welcome at all.

Paul Sharp

Really love The Waterway - great atmosphere (especially on the terrace in the summer). Excellent food and menu. Great wines and cocktails and really friendly service - what more could you want!


Good service must have improved from previous visitors. Lovely food and setting


I'd echo the comments about extremely poor service. We went for lunch today, they lost our order and we only found out when we queried where our food was after it hadn't arrived after 45 minutes. The food did eventually arrive (and was actually quite nice) but sadly no-one ever apologised!!


For the last 3-times i visited the Waterway, service was extremely poor, which is a shame as this gastro pub used to be a greet food and environment experience. I am afraid I CANNOT recommend it anymore.

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