Photograph: The Culpeper
Photograph: The Culpeper

The best rooftop restaurants in London to book right now

Rooftop restaurants in London provide a dazzling setting for dinner in the clouds. Here’s a handful of the best up-high eateries

Leonie CooperAngela Hui
Written by: Angela Hui & Sarah Cohen
Advertising

Want views with your food? Then eat at altitude. London’s best rooftop restaurants offer the elevation you need to gaze upon our beautiful city, and seriously good menus to enjoy while you do. Our list includes swish spots, great gastropubs, hotel terraces and even a thriving herb garden. Although dining in the clouds is best in the summer – shout out to this country's unpredicatble weather – most of these places have outdoor spots that are open all year-round, so you can catch a sunset whenever you like, with some much appreciated heaters or glass roofs in the mix. If you’re thirsty for the high life but just want a drink, try London’s best rooftop bars

RECOMMENDED: London's best outdoor dining restaurants

Leonie Cooper is Time Out London’s Food and Drink Editor. For more about how we curate, see our editorial guidelines.

Top London rooftop restaurants

  • Japanese
  • Whitehall
  • price 4 of 4

The latest opening from Endo Kazutoshi sees the sushimaster acting as ‘culinary director’ – a Martin Scorsese of the menu - for this 6th floor stunner. With Japanese technique filtered through all the lovely trips Endo’s been on in the Mediterranean, as well as tummy-tingling views of Nelson’s Column, Horse Guards Parade and the London Eye, the flavours are impeccable. Top dishes include a giddy starter of smoked yellowtail, with crisp batons of apple, aged caviar and crunchy buckwheat sobacha guanciale, as well as chashu pork ramen ravioli, a one bowl ballet of creamy meat packed into tiny pockets of pasta.

https://media.timeout.com/images/106138839/image.jpg
Leonie Cooper
Food and Drink Editor, Time Out London
  • Wine bars
  • Peckham
  • price 2 of 4

The only way is up at this much-loved Italian rooftop restaurant in Peckham. Soak up outragegous panoramas, irresistible vibes and rowd-pleasing aperitivo sharing food and Negronis. A sleek, high-perched oasis where dinner is as good at the views.

Advertising
  • Seafood
  • Southwark
  • price 3 of 4

Southwark’s Hoxton Hotel is home to sea-to-table restaurant Seabird, which has a delightful terrace and indoor tables with a view – plus sunny California vibes aplenty. A Med-influenced all-day menu includes the likes of dressed crab, fried calamari and whole tiger prawns with aioli. And it would be rude not to order from an oyster list claiming to be London’s longest. Make sure you catch the oyster happy hour from Mon-Fri 3-6pm where you can nab £3 oysters and £7 martinis. 

  • Greek
  • Borough
  • price 3 of 4
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Recommended

So we might be stretching the definition of rooftop here, but it'd be a crying shame not to direct you to the al fresco-ish terrace that's just opened up at Oma – one of London's best new restaurants. Gaze down upon Borough Market from this first floor spot while devouring a glorious, Greek-ish menu that begins on the Ionian islands before skipping off to the Levant by way of the Balkans, with a short south American stop-off. Don't forget to order the divine dips, namely a rich pool of labneh topped with crispy, oozy salt cod xo sauce, which may be the best £6 you can spend in London right now.

https://media.timeout.com/images/106138839/image.jpg
Leonie Cooper
Food and Drink Editor, Time Out London
Advertising

5. Brooklands by Claude Bosi

It scooped two Michelin stars mere months after opening, so you don't need us telling you how exceptional the cooking at Brooklands by Claude Bosi is. What we can tell you is that there's a terrace here at the very top of the The Peninsula, a very posh new hotel by Hyde Park, which Bosi's restaurant spills out onto, with space for 26 covers. Views of Knightsbridge and Belgravia are served alongside turbot with wild sea leeks, Cornish squid with artichoke and Lake District lamb with mint and pastrami. In case of weather emergencies, staff are more than happy to move you to a table back inside and out of the rain. 

  • British
  • Soho

On the sixth floor of 1 Warwick members club – which also includes bistro Nessa on the ground floor – you'll find Yasmin, a cosy spot that pops you among the rooftops of Soho. A menu of Middle Eastern sharing plates includes whipped sheep's cheese with hot honey and buttermilk and harissa bavette steak, all served under the sun – if it happens to grace you with its presence. If not, large retractable shades will keep out the rain, and there are heaters if things get a little chilly. Puddings are pretty punchy too, with giddy glass bowls of turkish delight cheesecake and baklava with pistachio ice cream

Advertising
  • Shopping
  • Toys and games
  • Knightsbridge

Superstar chef Björn Frantzén London's outpost of his three Michelin star spot in Stockholm can be found at the top of this world-famous Knightbridge department store. Studio Frantzen is a custom space, and Harrods' first ever rooftop terrace restaurant. Food is somewhere in liminal space between Asian and Swedish, so think; tartare of tuna & red deer, sake-cured mackerel à la ceviche and Orkney scallops with scrambled duck egg, black winter truffle, beurre noisette & crispy lichen. Nordic, but nice.

  • Gastropubs
  • Spitalfields
  • price 2 of 4

The famous rooftop garden bar attached to this excellent City gastropub-with-rooms has a green-fingered team nurturing and harvesting from the garden. Come spring it provides vital ingredients for the rooftop's bracingly seasonal menu. 
 

Advertising
  • Italian
  • South Bank
  • price 3 of 4

Forza's first central London spot is perced on the top floor of the National Theatre. There's a wonderful wraparound terrace with space for a whopping 70 guests, ideal for gazing at the Thames while working your way through the menu of Italian-ish small plates, including golden cauliflower fritti nuggets and a bounty of fresh and field-grown flavours spanning bitter leaves, lightly dashed with a muscular anchovy dressing, to lamb shoulder with salsa verde, pumpkin with pearl barley and burrata with beetroot.

  • Contemporary European
  • Stratford
  • price 4 of 4

On the seventh floor of the fancy Stratford Hotel, Allegra is almost comically swish, with gently dimmed lighting, stone surfaces, funky plants and smooth jazz music. The food is great, though, from savoury choux bun snacks to whole barbecued Cornish brill and aged sirloin mains to share. Staff add to the glitz and glamour with friendly service – and for summer 2024 the outdoor spot it transforming into 'Terrazza Focaccia', where you'll be able to scoff four special hot sarnies as well as getting stuck into some serious sundaes.

Advertising
  • Camberwell

Camberwell's premiere Turkish joint has a hidden secret. No, it's not the recipe for the lumunious onion dip that they bring out to start every meal with the warm, meat juice-soaked bread – but rather a special, teeny tiny rooftop balcony. On a hot summer's night, there's nowhere better to get stuck into FM Mangal's majestic platters of barbecued meat; go for the house special with lamb, washed down with a bottle of ice-cold Efes. 

Take your pick of modern Peruvian dishes such as lamb empanada with aji chimichurri and slow cooked chicken skewers or cod with yuca cream up on the top floor of Shoreditch's Hoxton hotel (they love a rooftop, do the Hoxton lot). This glammy space is all Ibiza-by-way-of-east-London, with plenty of cocktails to suit the party-ready atmos; from guava sours to a Chiri Colada with rum, palo cortado sherry, pineapple, coconut, and coffee bean.

Advertising
  • French
  • Marylebone
Orrery
Orrery

Here’s some good news for anyone partial to a central London rooftop: Orrery’s chic, sleek terrace, hidden from Marylebone’s madding crowds, is an all-weather zone. The long, narrow alfresco space with its bright yellow awnings offers a lunchtime carte full of delicate Modern European dishes such as Jerusalem artichoke risotto and herb-crusted sea bass. Not hungry? Just enjoy a cocktail or two as the sun goes down.

  • French
  • Bank
Coq d'Argent
Coq d'Argent

Why did the chicken cross the road? To get to Coq d’Argent’s four view-tastic terraces – just like every other city slicker in town. Book lunch on the restaurant terrace for a side of sunshine with your pan-fried skate wing or slow-cooked lamb shank. Otherwise, keep the bills in check by snacking on some garlicky escargots on the garden terraces. If you're keen on emptying your wallet, do it by filling up on steak in the open air.

Advertising
  • Cocktail bars
  • Shoreditch

A boutique hotel with an all-day bar and grill that offers panoramic city-wide views even in unclement weather (thank goodness for that glass orangery extension). Food here leans toward the Mediterranean, with grilled chermoula prawns with sesame mayonnaise, lamb köftes, octopus with sundried tomato and even a vegan moussaka. 

  • Gastropubs
  • King’s Cross
  • price 2 of 4
The Lighterman
The Lighterman

Sat on the corner of Granary Square (a hotspot that’s also home to Caravan, Dishoom and so on), The Lighterman is an airy bar and gastropub with an even airier first-floor wraparound terrace overlooking the plaza and bordering the canal. It’s not technically on the roof, but it’s as good as – and an ideal place to hack through a lovely-sounding menu of modern British plates. Expect anything from pea-and-mint croquettes, flatbreads and salads to beer-battered fish and hunks of charred flesh sizzling from the wood-fired grill.

Advertising
  • Gastropubs
  • Hackney Road

A spruced-up roof terrace on the first floor of this cherished Hackney gastropub entices drinkers from its cosy interior out into the sun. On bright days, there’s space for around 20 on a first come, first served basis. Those lucky enough to bag a spot can enjoy booze and bar snacks or a full Marksman meal. Then watch those envious eyes glaring from the top of the number 55 bus as it rolls past.

Recommended
    London for less
      You may also like
      You may also like
      Advertising