London's best riverside restaurants
Where the food is as good as the scenery, discover the best restaurants to eat near water
Whether it's a pub on a canal or an eatery on the Thames, enjoy scenic surroundings when dining in the capital and discover the best places to eat near water. Below our critics have rounded up their favourite waterside restaurants in London.
Perched above the Design Museum, you need tp book early to snag one of the tables by the (often open) windows, although every seat in the room enjoys a decent city skyline views.
- Design Museum, 28 Shad Thames, SE1 2YD
Lounge in the extensive beer garden overlooking the Thames, where many can be seen eating, drinking, and being merry.
- Rainville Road, W6 9HA
This restaurant, just off Ladbroke Grove, has a terrace next to the Grand Union Canal. Striking design from Tom Dixon provides the backdrop for innovative cooking.
- Portobello Docks, 342-344 Ladbroke Grove, W10 5BU
If you’re a fan of rowing (and rowers) make a dash for the Duke’s Head, where the lads and lasses of the nearby LRC (London Rowing Club) can often be found quenching their thirst. To watch them in action, simply tell the bartender you’re going outside, and they’ll give you your pint (Young’s, plus guest ales from the likes of Meantime and Dogfish), in a plastic cup, allowing you to lean against the railings and cheer on the crews. No training on? Pull up a pew in the dinky patio area, and drink in the views. Of the river, we mean.
- 8 Lower Richmond Rd, SW15 1JN
The devotedly lazy may baulk at the 10-15 minute walk to the Gun from the nearest tube or DLR station, but trust us – it’s well worth the pilgrimage. Once there, you’ll find few tourists (not something you can say of many riverside pubs – Mayflower, we’re looking at you) and plenty of outside space, all washed over by river breezes and the wafting smells of excellent food. You can order from the smart modern British restaurant menu, or keep it casual with seriously good bar bites (brawn croquettes; black pud scotch egg). Of the drinks, it’s the huge, globe-trotting wine list that gets the glory.
- 27 Coldharbour, E14 9NS
The outdoor tables at this Italian restaurant are a brilliant vantage point from which to take in the Thames. There are few better places to enjoy a meal on sunny days.
- 6-7 Riverside Quarter, (Eastfields Avenue), SW18 1LP
A diner in a cleverly redesigned King's Cross petrol station. Fill up on burgers and other US-inspired food while you admire the view of the Regent's Canal
- The King's Cross Filling Station, Goods Way, N1C 4UR
Stein's is a Bavarian beerhouse that doesn't rely solely on its excellent riverside location to draw in the punters. The German menu is a good foil for the free-flowing German beers.
- 55 Richmond Towpath, TW10 6UX
Choose from the Modern European menu at either the brasserie or the more formal restaurant, and take in the sweeping views of the Thames.
- Royal Festival Hall, (Belvedere Road), SE1 8XX
Enjoy more outdoor drinking
Gardens and patios perfect for summery, sun-soaked supping
Like your alcohol at altitude? Make tracks for these classy spots
Restaurants with a view that's as good as the food
Dinner with a side of sunshine and fresh air
I'd recommend the Counter Cafe, a cute brunchy/cafe in Hackney Wick... their patio out back opens onto the canal overlooking the Olympic stadium.. the eggs benny is delicious - sunny side and plentiful of hollandaise - and the coffee is super smooth.
Is Lower East still going? I walked past there about a year ago and it looked like it had shut down. Shame, it was a great restaurant.