Best al fresco dining in London

Take in some fresh air and fresh flavours at one of London's best al fresco restaurants.

When the weather's fine, spend a leisurely lunch or dinner at one of London's many outdoor eating places. From rooftop terraces and riverside balconies to hidden courtyards and outside restaurants in parks, there are plenty of places to eat outdoors in London. Some even stay open during winter, when blankets and heaters make for cosy spots.

Take a look below at the best outdoor restaurants and open-air dining areas in London to plan your al fresco experience.

1. Bleeding Heart Bistro

You'll feel as though you're in the South of France in Farringdon, as you soak up the sun at Bleeding Heart Bistro's large courtyard. Choose from a range of rustic French classics and daily specials, alongside a selection of the wine list (from predominantly French wineries, of course)

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Prices from £25.00 (USD 33.11) Book now

2. Boundary Rooftop

Terence Conran's Boundary Rooftop boasts a large rooftop terrace, with an outdoor bar, a grill restaurant, and a designer garden with a canopy of grape-producing vines. The 360-degree views take in Canary Wharf, the Gherkin and the rooftops of East London. The terrace has a weatherproof pergola allowing it to stay open all year.  

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Prices from £26.00 (USD 34.43) Book now

3. Coq d’Argent

From its penthouse position at the top of No. 1 Poultry, Le Coq d'Argent enjoys panoramic views over London's Square Mile. The venue's stylish roof terrace and beautifully manicured gardens make it the perfect upmarket al fresco destination. You can choose from a menu of classic French dishes with contemporary flavours.

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Prices from £41.00 (USD 54.29) Book now

4. Kensington Roof Gardens

High up above Kensington High Street, Kensington Roof Gardens is a stunning oasis in the centre of London. You can dine al fresco on the terrace at Babylon restaurant, and explore the Spanish garden, Tudor garden and English woodland. There's even a stream stocked with fish, and a pond complete with ducks and flamingos.

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Prices from £26.00 (USD 34.43) Book now

5. The Courtyard Terrace at Rosewood London

Relax with a cocktail and delights from the grill or seafood counter at The Courtyard Terrace. This al fresco extension of Holborn Dining Room can be found in the serene Edwardian inner courtyard of Rosewood London, and is the perfect spot for an intimate open-air dinner.

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Prices from £26.00 (USD 34.43) Book now

6. River Café

The Michelin-starred River Café is one of the best places in London to enjoy authentic Italian food. The menu changes daily, but don't miss the eatery's signature dessert: the decadent chocolate nemesis cake. For a real taste of the Mediterranean, visit during the summer months and sit outside in the pretty riverside garden.

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Prices from £32.00 (USD 42.38) Book now

7. The Summerhouse

Feast on fish and chips, fresh seafood or summer salads in this canalside seafood restaurant in the heart of Little Venice in West London. Diners can eat al fresco on the banks of the canal in this nautical-themed restaurant, washing their food down with rosé wines, refreshing cocktails and jugs of Pimm's.

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Prices from £26.00 (USD 34.43) Book now

8. Canary Wharf

Dine riverside or dockside at Canary Wharf's outdoor eateries. Whether you're enjoying modern British fare with views across the river to The O2 at Scoff & Banter, snacking on dim sum at Royal China or getting stuck into a meaty Argentinean steaks at Gaucho, this Docklands area is the perfect spot for fresh-air-loving foodies.

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9. Heddon Street

In the heart of London's West End, peaceful Heddon Street is home to a wide variety of eateries, including Momo and Mo Café, Heddon Street Kitchen, Aubaine, Piccolino and Strawberry Moons. Sit outside and enjoy pavement dining among the palms and olive trees.

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10. Kingly Court

Sit down to a bite to eat from one of Kingly Court’s glut of eclectic eateries in its charming courtyard off Carnaby Street. Among the foodie destination’s venues with outdoor seating are Cinnamon Soho, Shoryu Carnaby, Whyte & Brown, so you could be enjoying everything from modern Indian fare, to ramen and British classics.

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11. Maltby Street Market

Situated under the railway arches in the Ropewalk near London Bridge station is Maltby Street Market, a foodie's playground. There is a fantastic range of street food sellers lined up and down the narrow market over the weekend, from the piled-high New York style sandwiches at Monty's Deli, to Little Bird gin cocktails and the famous St John Bakery's filled donuts. Open on Saturdays from 9am-4pm and on Sundays from 11am-4pm.  

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12. Shad Thames

With its riverside location and fantastic views of Tower Bridge, Shad Thames is an idyllic outdoor dining destination. Choose from fine French food at Le Pont de la Tour; British favourites like fish and chips and roast beef at Butler's Wharf Chop House and pub fare at All Bar One.

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13. Serpentine Bar & Kitchen

The Serpentine Bar & Kitchen can be found the banks of the Serpentine in Hyde Park. Sit out on the waterside terrace and enjoy wood-fired pizza and British classics like fish and chips. A pop-up barbecue and Gin Bar opens during the summer months. There's also a selection of sandwiches, afternoon teas, and homemade ice cream.

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14. St Christopher's Place

Just off Oxford Street, in St Christopher's Place, you'll find an eclectic mix of bars, restaurants and coffee shops. The area boasts one of London's largest concentrations of pavement dining. Whether you're looking for Italian, Spanish, French or Japanese cuisine, or even a pub lunch, St Christopher's Place has it all. 

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15. St Martin's Courtyard

This open-air courtyard in the heart of Covent Garden offers a range of outdoor dining options, including lively Bill's Restaurant, Indian street food gem Dishoom, Jamie Oliver's Jamie's Italian, Thai eatery Suda and Mexican Cantina Laredo. This is a great spot to relax and refuel after a day of shopping in the West End.

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16. Sushisamba

Enjoy 360-degree views of the city from Sushisamba's terrace, which is perched on the 39th floor of 110 Bishopsgate. Sample fusion cuisine combining flavours from Japan, Brazil and Peru, with the likes of ceviche and grilled meats served on the large outdoor terrace alongside a healthy portion of panoramic vistas.

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17. West India Quay

Situated on the waterside near Canary Wharf, West India Quay is perfect for al fresco dining. 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.

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