City Sundowners: The Best Outdoor Restaurants In London

We spend all day writing about London’s vibrant culinary scene, from the best places for bao to the finest afternoon tea experience. But come the summertime, like everyone in the city, we long to find that one perfect al fresco spot that’s buzzy and brilliant, and there are several outdoor restaurants in London that keep The Handbook team coming back for more.

From the hottest new rooftop bars to unfussy multi-story car parks-turned-rooftop bars, these are the best outdoor restaurants in London, hand-chosen by the Handbook office. 

The Handbook team’s favourite outdoor restaurants in London

seabird - best outdoor restaurants london


Al fresco dining doesn’t come much better than Seabird. Hidden above The Hoxton Southwark, this rooftop serves up seafood delights and is home to London’s longest oyster list, marble raw bar and views that look out over the city. 

Head here for cocktail memories or book in for dinner to sample a few of their legendary oysters and delicious sharing boards of whole boneless sea bass with smoked honey butter and mojo verde or whole lobster rice with manchego and porto blanco.



The Lighterman

If anywhere in London screams summer it’s Coal Drops Yard. Tucked away in King’s Cross, the space is home to so much vibrance and activity in the summer months, from the giant cinema screen on the canal to the flurry of alfresco dining spots. Our favourite? The Lighterman, the three-floor restaurant-turned-bar that’s handily located on the riverside.

Here you’ll find multiple alfresco dining areas, each serving up great food and drinks for all to enjoy. Order something fresh from their British-influenced menu, from salads to artisan cured meats, hot smoked salmon flatbreads to char-grilled Castlemead chicken breast, before spending the evening sipping cocktails at sunset. 


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3 Granary Square, King’s Cross, N1C 4BH

The Rooftop at One Hundred Shoreditch

A favourite all around, the venue serves up immaculate alfresco vibes, from dreamy baby pink interiors to the best views on this side of the capital. 

Grab a table and sit back as you relax to the sound of Latin dance music filling up the space, order a round of their signature margaritas and soak up the sunset at this special spot.

100 Shoreditch High Street, Shoreditch, E1 6JQ

Lost in Brixton

Lose yourself in the magic of Brixton’s hidden rooftop terrace this summer. Lost in Brixton is a giant alfresco venue that serves up some of the best buzzy vibes in the capital, from Latin American-inspired cocktails and local craft beers to boot to DJ sets and live music to fuel you into the early hours of the morning. 

Wash your cocktails down with food from Brixton market’s street food vendors, from Jalisco Brizton to Black Bear Burger, Three Uncles to Okan. 

Brixton Village, Coldharbour Lane, SW9 8PS

The Greenhouses

For an evening a little more intimate, look to The Greenhouses at One Marylebone. Made up of nine unique areas, this is the perfect private dining moment, whether you’re after a celebratory dinner or a romantic evening for two. 

Open year-round, there’s seating al fresco style in the summer and cosy heated corners come the winter time. 

On the menu front, you can look forward to Mediterranean-style sharing plates, from stone bass with white tahini, freekeh stew, broccolini, green beans, spinach and labneh to lamb shoulder with pearl barley, baby carrot, fronds pesto and apricot jus.

1 Marylebone Road, NW1 4AQ

Petersham Nurseries, Covent Garden

If you can’t make it over to their stunning Richmond venue, look to Petersham Nurseries Covent Garden restaurant instead. The outdoor terrace is truly sensational. In keeping with their outdoorsy ethos, expect plenty of greenery and plants to lose yourself in – close your eyes and you can even imagine you’re in the countryside rather than London’s centre… 

Great for lunch time catch-ups when Mum is in town or for a pre-theatre dinner before heading to your favourite show.

27 King Street, Covent Garden, WC2E 9DS


East Londoners will already know about this hidden gem but D&D’s Haugen is the ultimate alpine-inspired restaurant we love. 

From live music every Thursday through to Sunday to their legendary off piste brunch on Saturdays, there’s something for everyone. Grab a seat, sip cocktails and look out over Stratford’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

9 Endeavour Square, E20 1JN

Studio Frantzén

Rooftop restaurants don’t get more iconic than this one. Studio Frantzén is situated at the top of Harrods so you can expect killer views over the city.

The restaurant specialises in Nordic gastronomy with Asian influences. Menu highlights include lobster with coriander, curry and brown-butter hollandaise; veal minute with crispy shiso salad; and the Studio Frantzén Caesar salad with grilled guinea fowl and pork bell ‘kakuni’. 

87-135 Brompton Road, Knightsbridge Fifth Floor, Harrods, SW1X 7XL


Sabine became an instant favourite when it opened its doors last summer, and it’s hardly surprising when it’s a rooftop that looks out over St Paul’s Cathedral. 

Home to sky-high dining and a glass-domed roof, the bar is filled with botanical-inspired plants and interiors, and this theme leaks into the cocktail menu too.

You’ll find them serving up a selection of small plates, from pulled lamb tostadas to tandoori prawn skewers, mac and cheese bon bons to shitake mushroom gyoza. 




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Merging beautiful British seasonal ingredients with Italian flavours and techniques, Luca is a prime spot in Clerkenwell for laidback dining. Their terrace though is where the magic happens. Seating up to 18 guests, dine alfresco in their foliage-filled space, abrim with olive trees and jasmine for a night to remember. 

If the weather isn’t holding out, the terrace roof retracts, easily keeping you dry and warm from the drizzle going on overhead. 


Darcy & May Green

As colourful as they come, Darcie & May Green is the canalside venture from brunch specialists Daisy Green. Located in Sheldon Square, this multi-coloured boat is covered in bespoke artwork by British pop artist, Sir Peter Blake.

With seats inside and aboard the top deck, they serve up some of the best Aussie brunch staples in the city, from their award-winning banana bread sandwich with honey mascarpone cream, fresh berries and flaked almonds to The Bondi, a mix of back bacon, poached eggs, chilli and fennel sausage, mushrooms, avo and house chilli pesto on cold fermented activities charcoal sourdough.



The Fifth Floor Terrace at Harvey Nichols

You’re invited to discover Puerto Rico this summer courtesy of Harvey Nichols. The iconic department store has teamed up with Discover Puerto Rico to create a Caribbean-inspired takeover.

The terrace is adorned with native flowers and colourful furnishings, while Puerto Rico’s rum house, Casa BACARDÍ, will be serving up popular classics. Think mojito and hand-shaken piña coladas. There’ll also be Puerto Rican dishes on offer too.

Harvey Nichols, 109 – 124 Knightsbridge, SW1X 7RJ


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Jurema at The Mandrake

Lose yourself in the urban jungle that is Jurema at The Mandrake. The space is surrounded by a hanging garden of jasmine and passionflower, and makes for the perfect backdrop to any al fresco occasion. 

Arguably the best outdoor restaurant in London, we love this spot’s Sunday brunch offering. Curated by executive chef George Scott-Toft, expect your afternoon to be packed out with a live DJ set and ethnobotanical cocktails.

20-21 Newman Street, W1T 1PG

Bar Elba

For the best summer vibes atop London, look to Bar Elba. Located just a stone’s throw from Waterloo station, this rooftop is the ultimate place to go whether you’re ringing in your birthday, celebrating a promotion or just cheersing to the end of another working week. 

Expect festoon lighting dangling above head, neon signs, hanging plants and colourful cocktails that you won’t want to miss.

Rooftop, Mercury House, 109 – 117 Waterloo Road, SE1 8UL


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Frank’s Cafe

Sometimes all we need is a cocktail in hand to have a good time, and at Frank’s Cafe in Peckham that’s what you’ll find served up. Situated at the top of a multi-story car park, the drinking spot has been popular since it opened up in 2009, with London residents from all over coming here to sip into the sunset. 

On the menu you’ll find brunch, lunch and dinner served up, all focusing on simplicity and seasonality. As well as plenty of booze to go around too, from beers to spritz.

Unfussy drinking and dining at its finest.

Bold Tendencies, 7th-10th Floor Multi Storey Car Park, 95A Rye Lane, peckham, SE15 4ST

Jones Family Kitchen

One of our favourite spots for the summer has to be Eccleston Yards thanks to its plethora of events, restaurants and terraces. At the top of our list for a sundowner though is Jones Family Kitchen thanks to its sunny situated terrace. 

Grab a cocktail from their long list, from the Sunshine Spritz, made with Aperol, Ramsbury gin, grapefruit, marmalade, soda and Prosecco to the Frozen Margaritas. 

7-8 Eccleston Yards, Belgravia, SW1W 9AZ


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Dalston Roof Park

It might not look like much from the outside but hidden away atop the old Victorian building you’ll find Dalston Roof Park, a pop-up bar that’s destined for summer drinks. Head up and the space makes way for big tables perfect for groups, bottomless brunch and even sunrise yoga sessions. 

Kick off your weekend with their Friday night party vibes or book in for their Saturday bottomless brunch inspired by all things disco.

The Print House, 18-22 Ashwin Street, Dalston, E8 3DL

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