London restaurants with the best views

Great food and magnificent views – we've sought out the capital's best high-rise restaurants

What better way to absorb the sights and sounds of the capital than from one of the many London restaurants with great views? Do you agree with our choices? Use the comments box below or tweet your suggestions.

Barbecoa

Venue says: Located in the heart of the City, Barbecoa sits overlooking St Paul's Cathedral. The breathtaking views, vibrant atmosphere and incredible food will make any dining experience special - whether it's a business lunch, a catch up with friends, or a romantic evening meal for two. Opened in 2010 ago by Jamie Oliver, Barbecoa is a celebration of incredible produce and fire-based cooking. Our chefs create beautiful, seasonal dishes using traditional techniques such as the Texas pit smoker, Argentine grill, Japanese robata grill, tandoor and wood-fired oven. The love and passion for food can be felt throughout the restaurant. What sets Barbecoa apart from the rest is not just the traditional techniques - but also the in-house butchery. Located just below the restaurant, their team of butchers source the finest meat from around the UK and dry-age it in-house, creating meat that is second-to-none.

The view here, of the looming dome of St Paul’s, must be among the most imposing in London. We hope it’s appreciated by the City dudes at whom Barbecoa – a joint venture between Jamie Oliver and American barbecue maestro Adam Perry Lang – is clearly aimed. This is meat territory: steaks, roasts, pit barbecue. The brunch menu, available at weekends and bank holidays, gives a full flavour of the restaurant’s considerable abilities.

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City

Blueprint Café

A long-time favourite, the Blueprint Café would be destination for the setting alone: wall-to-ceiling windows look on to a stunning view of the Thames and Tower Bridge, and a retractable canopy gives a great inside/outside feeling. Head chef Mark Jarvis’s seasonal menus are short and to the point – dishes are beautiful but in no way twee. Begin, perhaps, with just-seared yellowfin tuna with kalamata olives and a delicate salad niçoise, or a tender artichoke salad with a molten warm duck egg and mint. 

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Tower Bridge

City Social

‘Visitor bag search’, the sign read. Next to it was a walk-through metal detector and a burly security guard. He had a glint in his eye, the kind that says, ‘I’ve got a box of latex gloves here, and if I find so much as a nail file in your purse, I won’t be afraid to use them.’ So we approached the receptionist instead. ‘Is this the way to City Social?’ ‘No,’ she sighed, ‘this is the main entrance, you’ll need the side door, opposite Wagamama.’

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City

Duck & Waffle

There’s a dedicated entrance for the restaurants in Heron Tower, from where a glass lift will whizz you in seconds up to Duck & Waffle on the 40th floor, or its glitzier sibling Sushisamba two floors below. The views are, as you might expect, stunning – if you’re pointed in the right direction and, preferably, sitting at a window table (many of which are for two diners only). Alternatively, linger in the entrance bar, where you can press your nose against the glass and gawp unhindered.

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City

Hutong

The Shard you already know. Hutong, half way up the Shard, needs more than just a ni hao of introduction. The original Hutong in Hong Kong is a glitzy, high-end Chinese restaurant with magnificent views, mainly patronised by expats and tourists. And this London branch of Hutong is exactly the same. The same Sichuan and northern Chinese menu, the same mix of plate glass and ersatz Old Beijing decor, the same hard chairs – even some of the staff are the same, brought over to help clone the successful original. 

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Southwark

OXO Restaurant

Critics' choice

The Oxo Tower is a London landmark, and its restaurants – a dining room and brasserie, and a bar too – emanate a sense of occasion. A glass frontage makes the most of river views, but the brasserie terrace on a summer night was the ideal vantage point (or should have been, but the ferocious air-conditioning seemed to permeate outside). Cooking has an adventurous global slant. 

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Waterloo

Plateau

The aptly named Plateau sits on the fourth floor of Canada Place, with sensational views of Canary Wharf from its huge glass and metal façade. The interior aims to impress with iconic contemporary furniture – marble-topped white Eero Saarinen Tulip tables and matching chairs, and Arco floor lamps – but the restaurant isn’t just a designer showroom for the moneyed classes; the beautifully presented cuisine is testament to the fact that head chef Allan Pickett takes his job very seriously, producing inspired dishes that pay more than just lip service to the principle of seasonal eating. 

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Docklands

Oblix

Nearly halfway up the Shard, Oblix is the first of a few bars and restaurants to open in Western Europe’s tallest building (the others being Aqua Shard Hutong, and Shard 35). Nando’s and McDonald’s didn’t get a look-in at this glimmering landmark; the Shard is reserved for platinum-card restaurateurs such as Rainer Becker. He’s best-known for his outstanding modern Japanese restaurants, Zuma and Roka.

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Southwark

Skylon

Skylon can’t really fail: its setting on the first floor of the Royal Festival Hall, with lofty ceilings and superb Thames views from soaring windows, is always spectacular, by day or night, and adds wow factor to any meal. The chic cocktail bar, amid sofas in the centre of the space, also offers a dose of metropolitan pzazz. Dining areas are split between the brasserie-style Grill on one side of the bar and the Restaurant, with a more fine-dining menu, on the other.

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Southbank

Comments

5 comments
Tanielle Lobo
Tanielle Lobo

Paramount at Tottenham Court Road is amazing for the views and the food

Stacy
Stacy

Min Jiang in Royal Garden Hotel has a view over entire Hyde Park! Gorgeous!

stacey
stacey

The River Terrace at Riverside Studios in Hammersmith has an excellent view of the Bridge, beautiful at sunset and a mean fish and chips, still a bit of a hidden gem

Jay
Jay

What about Le Pont de la Tour??

Dan
Dan

What about Galvin at Windows or The Battery, two of Londons most amazing restaurants with a view. Do you actually carry out any research or do you just go with whatevers on your list, maybe its a close your eyes and stab a pencil on the globe technique! Time Out is sinking rapidly, I mean who wants to read about outdoor sex and the drug habits of Londoners. Stick to what you're meant to be good at reviewing London and the entertainment it has to offer.