Whether you're keen to spot famous landmarks, aim to capture the perfect picture at London restaurants with panoramic views, or simply want to relax in one of the many tranquil riverside restaurants in London; you'll be in for a treat at these top restaurants with enviable views.
London restaurants with a view of the river
If you’d like dinner with views at river level, watch boats come and go from your table on the R.S. Hispaniola, which is moored opposite the Coca-Cola London Eye. Select British dishes from the à la carte menu, enjoy a drink on the deck or indulge in afternoon tea. Make sure to keep an eye out for live jazz, Elvis-themed dinner dances, and murder mystery evenings.
OXO Tower Restaurant and Brasserie
Pinpoint London landmarks from this restaurant and brasserie atop the iconic OXO Tower at Bankside. Choose from the all-day specials at the relaxed brasserie; while more refined fare is served up at the restaurant – both offer stunning views of the Thames and St Paul’s Cathedral.
Escape from city life in the tranquil setting of Rick Stein’s restaurant along Barnes’ riverside. The TV chef’s only London restaurant looks straight out onto the Thames, where rowers and paddleboarders glide by and migrating birds fly overhead to nearby WWT London Wetland Centre. Enjoy a varied menu, including fish dishes, which are the chef’s speciality.
Tate Modern Restaurant
Take a break between exhibitions to indulge in sweeping river views and modern British cuisine at Tate Modern Restaurant, on the ninth floor of the new Switch House. Lunch is served Sunday to Thursday, while dinner is available on Fridays and Saturdays after 6.30pm – the perfect opportunity to catch an Instagram-worthy sunset over the Thames
Gaze out across the Thames from Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant The Narrow, in Limehouse. The river takes on a different feel here as it widens downstream from Central London at the former docks. Grab a spot in the conservatory or on the terrace and look back towards the bright lights of the City or downstream to Canary Wharf, as you feast on modern dishes with a Mediterranean twist.
The Petersham Restaurant
Soak up the river views in Richmond that made JMW Turner fall in love with this part of town. As you dine on the seasonal, modern British dishes at The Petersham’s elegant restaurant, you’ll gaze out of the floor-to-ceiling windows across pretty Petersham Meadows, and out onto the meandering Thames. It’s also a great spot for a traditional afternoon tea.
London restaurants with panoramic views
Look out over the rooftops of well-heeled West London with a meal at Babylon Restaurant, housed within Kensington’s famous Roof Gardens. Explore the 1.5 acres (0.6 hectares) of gardens and mingle with the resident flamingos, before settling down to a cocktail on the terrace and seasonal British dishes in the restaurant; from Sunday roasts to seasonal salads.
Duck & Waffle
Be transported upwards by the glass-sided lifts, which offer a taste of things to come as you head up to the 40th floor of 110 Bishopsgate. Once you’ve torn yourself momentarily from the cityscape, you’ll step into Duck & Waffle, a 24-hour restaurant boasting some of the best views around. Pick out landmarks both near and far as you indulge in seasonal British sharing plates. If Japanese or South American flavours are more your thing, Sushisamba on the floor below offers equally as impressive views.
Galvin at Windows
Savour 360-degree views over Hyde Park and beyond from Galvin at Windows, perched high up above Mayfair in the London Hilton on Park Lane hotel. From one of the best restaurants in London with a view, you’ll be able to spot Buckingham Palace, the Coca-Cola London Eye and even Wembley Stadium from the 1930s-styled Michelin-starred restaurant, which serves high-end modern French cuisine.
Mix Northern Chinese flavours with breathtaking views at Hutong, on level 33 of Western Europe’s tallest building, The Shard. With food inspired by regal feasts, cocktails using unusual Asian ingredients and atmospheric interiors including lanterns and screens, Hutong is one of the most romantic restaurants in London with a view.
Venture 155m (508ft) up above the City and step into a tropical paradise at the Sky Garden. Here, among the palms and ferns of the landscaped gardens, you’ll find relaxed Darwin Brasserie offering British flavours, and game and seafood at stylish Fenchurch Seafood Bar & Grill – both offer stunning panoramic views of London’s skyline.
Best London restaurants with iconic views
Scoff & Banter Canary Wharf
Enjoy enviable views of The O2 from Scoff & Banter Canary Wharf. This modern British restaurant features floor-to-ceiling windows maximising the river views, and a terrace for al fresco dining. Tuck into classics such as shepherd’s pie, fish and chips and rib-eye steak.
Barbecoa St Paul’s
Settle down at a table right in front of St Paul’s Cathedral, at Jamie Oliver’s barbecue-focused restaurant, Barbecoa. This venue certainly makes the most of its views opposite Sir Christopher Wren’s masterpiece, with floor-to-ceiling windows giving a unique perspective of the London icon. Enjoy steaks, ribs and other flame-grilled mains, alongside a huge array of whiskies.
Gillray’s Steakhouse and Bar
Glance up from your 35-day aged Aberdeen Angus steak to find Big Ben and the Coca-Cola London Eye looking back at you. This restaurant within London Marriott Hotel County Hall also boasts a cocktail bar with more than 100 different gins. If afternoon tea is more your thing, try The Library Lounge where you can mix dainty cakes and sandwiches with iconic views - it doesn’t get more authentically London than that.
The Portrait Restaurant
Few restaurants can claim to boast views of as many London landmarks as The Portrait Restaurant. The restaurant within the National Portrait Gallery has an up-close view of Nelson’s Column and Trafalgar Square; while Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament and the Coca-Cola London Eye can also be seen within frame. The food here is influenced by British and European traditions.
Le Pont de la Tour
Dine in the shadow of Tower Bridge at classy Le Pont de la Tour, which flanks the river at Shad Thames. Grab a spot on the terrace, come summer or winter, and enjoy the modern French fare and a wide-ranging wine list featuring Old and New World wines.
Best restaurants for changing views
Why choose a restaurant with just one view when you can dine amongst numerous views? Hop aboard Bateaux London’s glass-sided boat and enjoy a sedate meal as you pass London icons along the Thames. Opt for lunch, dinner or afternoon tea cruises – each accompanied by live entertainment, including live jazz on Sunday lunchtimes.
Big Ben, the Coca-Cola London Eye, Tower Bridge… just some of the London landmarks on view during one of City Cruises’ dining excursions. The sightseeing specialist offers afternoon tea, lunch, sundowner and dinner cruises, including its London Showboat evening cruise featuring West End hits from a live performer.
London Shell Co.
Step aboard London Shell Co.’s Prince Regent canal boat at Paddington Basin and enjoy a navigation along Regent’s Canal as you tuck into seafood and game specials. You’ll be led through the canal network, passing Regent’s Park as sharing plates and wines are delivered to your table.
Best restaurants for people-watching
Peek out onto the lively marketplace and spot traders at work in Borough Market as you feast on locally sourced roast meats, game and seafood. Located in the heart of the market, Roast offers a different perspective, as the hustle and bustle continues from the early hours in Floral Hall below.
Serpentine Bar & Kitchen
Enjoy a spot of people-watching in Hyde Park at Serpentine Bar & Kitchen. Unsurprisingly, given its name, the restaurant looks out over the park’s Serpentine Lake, where you can watch the boats and ducks among the greenery of the Royal Park. Choose from wood-fired pizzas, British classics and summer barbecue specials until closing time each day at 6pm.
The Lido Café
Tuck into breakfast, brunch and lunch specials year-round at this trendy cafe and restaurant at Brockwell Lido. It’s the perfect spot to catch a few rays and watch the world go by in the Art Deco surrounds. The lido truly comes alive in the summer months, when the restaurant also opens for dinner.