12 Rooftop Restaurants In London You’ve Got To See
There’s nothing better than sitting down to a delicious meal with a beautiful view in front of you. This is particularly true if you have a good view of the London skyline or one of the city’s main attractions. Luckily, there is a new trend that allows you to do just that, which comes in rooftop restaurants.
Although these are particularly popular in the summer, when you can breathe in the fresh air and enjoy the sun above, many have started adding coverings so you can visit them all year round.
But how do you find the right one to visit? We’ve put together a comprehensive guide of the best 12 rooftop restaurants you can visit in London.
As you can see in the name, this restaurant has been specially designed as a rooftop space for people to enjoy the sights of Central London. Based in Leicester, this gourmet bar/restaurant is as high as nine floors up, which is the perfect height for you to enjoy a meal or a couple of drinks with some of the best views around.
If you’re going to a show or a concert, this is the perfect place to get a small bite and a glass of wine beforehand. There is an extensive food and drinks menu full of speciality seafood and pasta dishes, as well as some beautiful cocktails to which you won’t mind raising a glass.
If you’re looking for somewhere to go for dinner with a panoramic view of the London Skyline, then you will want to head to Sushisamba, located on the 38th and 39th floors of the Heron Tower. Before you even reach the final destination, you can get a sneak peek of the sights you’ll be looking at during your meal while taking the glass elevator up.
As you can probably tell from the name, this restaurant offers a delicious Japanese menu but with a unique twist. It has incorporated a fusion of Brazilian and Peruvian influences into its dishes, so you will surely experience a range of new flavours and aromas.
Step into the jazz age with a unique edge when you enter the Allegra rooftop restaurant. Based on the seventh floor of the Stratford Hotel, this fine eatery offers some beautiful decor and delightful scenery for you to admire while you enjoy your meal. Not only do they play some smooth music while you dine, but you will no doubt love what you’re eating.
The menu at Allegra is varied, and it lives up to the glitz and the glamour of the rest of the restaurant. You can choose anything from a succulent aged sirloin steak for the main meal or some savoury choux buns for a light snack.
On the south side of the Thames sits the Hoxton Southwark Hotel. And on the 14th floor of this hotel is the Seabird, a rooftop restaurant that is beloved by many tourists and locals. If you love seafood and great views of the capital of England, then this is the place for you because it offers some fantastic Spanish and Portuguese cuisines with a panoramic view of London.
A notable achievement of the Seabird is that it has been named as having the longest oyster list in London. And if you are lucky enough to visit between Monday and Thursday afternoons, you may even get a deal during their oyster happy hour.
Feel like a bird in the sky when you visit the Aviary in London. This smaller rooftop bar and restaurant that you can find on the tenth floor of the Finsbury Square Montcalm Hotel provides all its diners with a great view of the city, a wide range of drinks, and some delicious snacks that will keep you completely satisfied.
While many people tend to favour rooftop gardens in the summer, the Aviary has found a solution by adding a wide range of fire pits and heat lamps to keep you warm in the winter. Therefore, no matter what time of the year it is, you can admire London’s skyscrapers with a tasty meal.
Mercer Roof Terrace
When you’re in the mood for some five-star fine dining and some fantastic views of the London skyline, you will find exactly what you’re looking for when you head up to the Mercer Roof Terrace. Located on the top of the Vintry & Mercer hotel, you can sit in luxury with a beautiful meal.
You never have to worry about getting cold when you’re on the Mercer Roof Terrace, as it is pretty much an indoor restaurant that opens up when the weather is nice. However, you still get great views while you sit down and enjoy some of the best of British cuisine, from stews to afternoon tea.
Alto by Santo Carlo
After a long day of shopping down Oxford Street, you may be looking for somewhere to sit down and unwind. Well, look no further than the Alto by Santo Carlo. Located on the same street, you’ll be able to sit and enjoy some fantastic scenery while trying some of the best Italian dishes in the city.
Surrounded by citrus trees and a retractable roof that is never closed when the weather is good, you can browse the extensive menu to find something delicious. From a fillet of beef wrapped in truffles with a cream sauce to spaghetti puttanesca with olives, capers, and a rich tomato sauce, there is no doubt your mouth will start watering before your meal arrives.
Sometimes you want to go to a restaurant with typical British pub food but with a more elegant edge. And that is exactly what you’ll get when you sit down for a meal at The Culpeper. This famous gastropub hosts a beautiful rooftop garden bar where you can take your food and drinks outside.
While you enjoy special dishes such as beef kofta and roasted new potatoes, you’ll be able to embrace the gleaming sun while enjoying the sights of London. The only downfall of this restaurant is that it is only open in the spring and summer, so you’ll need to make sure you visit when it's in season.
London Bridge Rooftop
Names as one of the hottest spots to visit in 2021, the London Bridge Rooftop offers an urban space for people to sit, enjoy a drink and a bite to eat, and enjoy a close-up view of The Shard and other aspects of the London skyline. Based on the Colechuch House on the London Bridge Walk, it is right in the centre of everything.
It is the perfect meet-up spot when you and your friends want to catch up, and the menu has something for everyone. Focusing on authentic Spanish food, you can order some delicious tapas plates ranging from patatas bravas to churros. To top it all off, a DJ is often there to set the mood.
If you’ve recently gotten off the Eurostar at St. Pancras or you are waiting for a train at Kings Cross, you can always stop off at Decimo for a drink and a bite to eat. Located at the top of The Standard Hotel, it has now been rated as one of the best rooftop restaurants in London due to its dishes and view of the clock tower of the St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel.
The food at Decimo is second to none, which is all down to the Michelin-star chef Peter Sanchez-Iglesias, who provides diners with a fusion of Mexican and Spanish food. You can choose anything from a simple taco or go a bit more fancy with the Decimo Tortilla, which is served with caviar.
Smiths of Smithfield
While Smiths of Smithfield isn’t just a rooftop restaurant, it offers much more than you bargained for. With four floors of fun, you can travel through the main bar, restaurant, and end up on the renowned rooftop bar and terrace. On the top, you’ll see some stunning London panoramas and keep warm next to the provided heaters.
Most of the food offered at Smiths of Smithfield is fairly elephant, with a menu supplying diners with dishes such as oysters, lobster, and beef tartare. Therefore, if you want to spend an afternoon or evening on the terrace, you may need to spend a little bit more than your regular trip to a restaurant.
Last but not least, Bisushima is new to the London culinary scene, and it is located right in the centre of Trafalgar Square. Opened in early 2020 before the COVID-19 pandemic, it was destined to fail, but since it offers such a unique setting and menu, it has actually managed to thrive while things get back to normal.
Offering a wide range of sushi and other forms of Japanese cooking, you can get your chopsticks out while looking at the beautiful views from the rooftop. The restaurant also brings in a regular DJ, allowing you to listen to beautiful tunes while enjoying your meal.
There is certainly no shortage of quality restaurants in London, but you can take it up a notch by finding one with a rooftop and some stunning city views. We’ve made your decision easy by showing you the top 12 rooftop restaurants, so next time you’re in London, ensure you check back to this list and make your choice.