Take in some fresh air and fresh flavours at one of London's best alfresco restaurants.
Spend a leisurely lunch or relaxed dinner at one of London's many alfresco eating spots.
From rooftop terraces and riverside balconies to hidden courtyards and outside restaurants in parks, there are plenty of places to eat outdoors in London. Many are open during winter, when blankets and heaters make for cosy spots. Take a look at this pick of the best outdoor restaurants London has to offer.
London's hospitality venues, including pubs, bars and restaurants, have been asked to temporarily close due to coronavirus restrictions. However, many places are still running delivery and takeaway services, so you can continue to support all your favourite local businesses.
Best London rooftops
Head up to the 14th floor of The Hoxton's Southwark hotel and gaze out at the stunning views from Seabird, a seafood restaurant with one of London's longest oyster lists. Enjoy the selection of sea-to-table offerings and choose a refreshing beverage from the extensive drinks menu.
Step into the glass lifts at One New Change and head up to the rooftop at Madison to enjoy unrivalled views over St Paul's Cathedral. Enjoy stunning panoramas of the London skyline while feasting on food from the Manhattan style restaurant, or sip creative cocktails from the bar which can be enjoyed all year round.
Enjoy views over the City of London from a different perspective at Coq d'Argentand its penthouse on top of No. 1 Poultry. The venue's stylish roof terrace and beautifully manicured gardens make it an ideal upmarket alfresco destination. Once you've taken a few photos, choose from a menu of classic French dishes with contemporary flavours.
Enjoy hot toddies and get into the Christmas spirit at Pergola Paddington. Head to the top floor for food and drink in the open-air winter wonderland forest (from 12 Nov) and check out the Alpine Winter Hall on the lower level for more festive fun.
From Sushisamba's terrace, which is perched on the 39th floor of 110 Bishopsgate, you'll be able to see London landmarks for miles around as you sample fusion cuisine combining flavours from Japan, Brazil and Peru. This restaurant has some of the best views in London.
Boundary Rooftopboasts a large rooftop terrace, with an outdoor bar, a grill restaurant, and a designer garden with grape-producing vines. With 360-degree views over Canary Wharf, The Gherkin and the rooftops of east London, the terrace also has a weatherproof pergola, allowing it to stay open all year.
London outdoor restaurants
Bleeding Heart Bistro
Soak up the sun as if you were in the South of France at Bleeding Heart Bistroin Farringdon. Choose from a range of rustic French classics and daily specials to enjoy in the large courtyard, alongside a selection from the wine list – from predominantly French wineries, of course.
Find Hush tucked away in a quaint courtyard in Mayfair. Enjoy the stunning restaurant and brasserie, step into the cocktail lounge for a relaxed beverage, book the private rooms for a special event, or unwind in the alfresco dining area, which is a nod to the sun-kissed vineyards of Champagne in France.
Venture around the corner from Oxford Street to Brown Hart Gardens on Duke Street and pop into The MM Caffe, from the creators of Mercato Metropolitano. You can also find the hip food markets in Elephant & Castle – complete with a micro-brewery and a huge outside area – and St. Mark's Mayfair, with Mercato Ilford and MM Factory both coming soon.
Lost in Brixton
Explore the variety of different food options from various traders at Lost in Brixton. Choose from street food favourites, including Fish, Wings & Tings, Honest Burgers, Seven at Brixton, Jalisco and Thunderbird Fried Chicken, and dine in the open air in your bubble.
The Hari Garden Terrace
Dine under a retractable roof and warm up with the built-in heaters on winter evenings at the Hari Garden Terrace. Choose mains from the traditional Italian menu and select a drink from the tempting cocktail list. The cosy terrace provides a glamorous setting for a long lunch or dinner alfresco style.
The Courtyard Terrace at Rosewood London
Unwind with a cocktail and delights from the grill or seafood counter at The Courtyard Terrace. This alfresco extension of Holborn Dining Room in Covent Garden can be found in the serene Edwardian inner courtyard of Rosewood London, and is the perfect spot for an intimate open-air dinner.
Fill up on Sicilian cuisine at Normaon Charlotte Street in Fitzrovia. Sit in the heated outside area and enjoy fine Italian wine with snacks, small plates, homemade pasta and tempting desserts.
Settle down for all-day, seasonal specials surrounded by flowers and foliage at Bloomsbury hangout Dalloway Terrace. A haven for Instagrammers due to the stunning seasonal displays on its outdoor terrace, this modern British restaurant is an alfresco hotspot year-round, thanks to blankets, furs and heaters during the cooler months.
Dine in the large heated and covered alfresco area at Milk Beach on Lonsdale Road mews. Brunch is served all day in this Queen's Park spot, or enjoy a seasonal sharing plate or speciality coffee. Choose from the organic and natural wines from independent winemakers while you unwind.
London waterside restaurants
Feast on fish and chips, fresh mains or summer salads at The Summerhouse in Little Venice, west London. Eat alfresco on the banks of the canal in this nautical-themed restaurant, washing the seasonal food down with rosé wines, refreshing cocktails and jugs of Pimm's.
Winter Market at the Southbank Centre
Find the Winter Market on South Bank brimming with festive treats and street food stalls. Browse the alpine-style chalets and choose from warming favourites including gourmet burgers, waffles, fondue, bratwurst and mince pies. Sit outside in places such as Jimmy's Lodge and tuck into fish and chips at Applebee's Fish while admiring views of the river Thames.
Taste some of the most authentic Michelin-starred Italian food in London at River Cafe. The menu at this Hammersmith eatery changes daily, but don't miss the here-to-stay decadent chocolate nemesis cake. For a real taste of the Mediterranean, dine alfresco in this pretty riverside garden restaurant in London.
Serpentine Bar & Kitchen
Watch the world go by from the banks of the Serpentine in Hyde Park at Serpentine Bar & Kitchen. Sit out on the waterside terrace and enjoy an outdoor brunch, wood-fired pizza and British classics such as fish and chips. A pop-up barbecue and gin bar open during the summer months; while there's also a selection of lighter bites, from sandwiches to ice creams.
Tuck in to award-winning Mexican street food as you watch the boats sail past on the river Thames. Find Wahaca's South Bank joint housed in recycled shipping containers set up on two overhanging levels next to the Southbank Centre.
Alfresco restaurants in London by area
Mayfair and Belgravia
Venture over to West London and discover some culinary delights in areas such as Mayfair and Belgravia. Restaurants and cafes across this affluent district, such as Peggy Porschen, The Berkeley, Scott’s, ROKA, and The Mayfair Chippy, have outdoor seating areas with the added comfort of heaters and blankets for winter weather.
Enjoy modern British fare with views across the river to The O2 at Scoff & Banter, snack on dim sum at Royal China or tuck into tasty Argentinean steaks at Gaucho. Whether you dine riverside or dockside, this Docklands area is the perfect spot for fresh-air-loving foodies.
Explore peaceful Heddon Street in London's West End. This pedestrianised foodie hub is home to a wide variety of outdoor restaurants, including Gordon Ramsay's Heddon Street Kitchen, authentic Japanese Sakagura, and cosy Italian Piccolino. You can also tuck into North African cuisine at Momo, and dine among the palms and olive trees.
Get a bite to eat from one of Kingly Court’s eateries and sit in its charming courtyard off Carnaby Street. Among the eclectic foodie venues with outdoor seating are The Good Egg, Shoryu Carnaby and Whyte & Brown, so you can enjoy everything from ramen to British classics.
Head just off Oxford Street and you'll find an eclectic mix of bars, restaurants and coffee shops at St Christopher's Place's. The area boasts one of London's largest concentrations of pavement dining. Enjoy cakes, pastries and savouries at Euphorium, ramen at Bone Daddies or Turkish fare at Sofra.
St Martin's Courtyard
Relax and refuel after a day of shopping in the West End. Seek out this open-air courtyard in Covent Garden, which offers a range of outdoor dining options, including lively Bill's Restaurant, Indian street food gem Dishoom, Thai eatery Sudathai and Mexican Cantina Laredo.
Head to Wembley Park in north-west London for some alfresco foodie fun in the shadows of the iconic Wembley Stadium. Dine outdoors while tucking into food from Boxpark Wembley – the largest Boxpark pop-up mall in London – and some of the area's most popular restaurants, including Bread Ahead, Pasta Remoli, Big Moe’s and more.
Dine amongst former Victorian coal sheds at the iconic Coal Drops Yard, with a range of outdoor dining options for social distancing in restaurants. Gaze over views of Regent's Canal on the terrace at Parrillan, or watch the sun set in the outside area of Hicce.
Sample the seasonal menu and enjoy panoramic canal views at The Lighterman on Granary Square, or head to Lewis Cubitt Square to try the Italian fare at the new Lina in Piazza alfresco area, part of Lina Stores, which is open subject to good weather.
West India Quay
Find the perfect table beside the waterside at West India Quay, an alfresco dining hub near Canary Wharf. Get a table outside at Browns Brasserie & Bar, indulge at Pizza Pilgrims, or try an Arabic mixed grill at Temple Lounge. Enjoy modern British food and premium rums at the Museum of London Docklands' Rum & Sugar restaurant, or sit on the terrace at Manhattan Grill where you can sample fresh fish from nearby Billingsgate Fish Market.