London's best barbecues

Nothing is more satisfying than the sizzle of a summer barbecue

Hog Roast Hog Roast - © Rob Greig

Every sunny-day session should be accompanied by the tempting aromas emanating from the barbecue. Our favourite barbecues provide more than just fuel to soak up the drink – most of them are gastronomic destinations in themselves.

A quick caveat: we don’t want to rain on your parade, but given the vagaries of our weather, not to mention the vagaries of some venues, always phone ahead and make sure the barbecue is on – hot coals and torrential downpours don’t mix

Time Out's guide to barbecues in north London

  • Alwyne Castle

    83 St Paul's Road, Islington, N1 2LY (020 7359 7351)

    There’s plenty of space for alfresco quaffing in an enormous front garden that spills down the sides of this friendly pub. you can sop up the booze with regular summer barbecues (weather permitting), as well as comfort-food favourites from the indoor kitchen (beer-battered haddock and chips, Gloucester Old Spot pork sausages and mash). Looking out on to a main Islington artery, the garden remains inescapably ‘urban’, though a recent facelift has seen a verdant injection of new foliage. What’s more, there’s plenty of capacity (the garden can hold 300), a dozen lagers plus three ciders on tap, and four ales – three of which change on a weekly basis. Read more

  • Garden Gate

    14 South End Road, NW3 2QE (020 7435 4938)

    With its half-timbered white walls and the Heath all but on the doorstep, The Garden Gate is as Tudor as mock can be – even though, in place of a spitted suckling pig in a grate, it’s the smoky aroma of excellent own-made 8oz lamb- and beefburgers or sausages on the barbecue that fills the green-bordered patio. The six regularly-changing ales might include the likes of Oxford Gold or Timothy Taylor, and while the wine list might bother the wallet a little, it at least contains some class and character. There’s also a monthly hog roast, with themed entertainment – a jazz ensemble’s up first, followed by a French ‘ooh-la-la’ band. Read more

  • Red Lion & Sun

    25 North Rd, Highgate, N6 4BE (020 8340 1780)

    This historic Highgate hostelry is ambitious when it comes to alfresco drinking and dining – and able to be flexible, with an intimate, secluded courtyard at the back and a larger area facing the road at the front. They run open-air grills for ordinary punters on special occasions – for the Royal Wedding, for instance, there were burgers, pork buns, merguez sausage baguettes and chips done in the outside fryer, all washed down with one of four changing ales. Every so often, a quirky mobile catering van (such as Big Apple Hotdogs) will park up at the site – follow them on Twitter for advance notice. Read more

  • Stag

    67 Fleet Road, Hampstead, NW3 2QU (020 7722 2646)

    Nowadays, The Stag attracts a young, laid-back crowd, drawn to the large selection of decent ales (six of which are on tap) and spacious rear garden, with its leafy displays, outdoor heaters and covered areas. Eight Ibiza-esque private cabanas around the periphery of the garden (which can be booked in advance) further enhance the holiday vibe, as do summer garden parties held every few weeks throughout summer. The barbecue menu is available on sunny Friday evenings from 5pm (as well as weekends from noon) and might include grilled chicken, lamb burgers, Toulouse sausage hot dogs and changing fish specials, although there’s no venison – the deer connection ends with the name. Read more