Take in some fresh air and fresh flavours at one of London's best alfresco restaurants.
From rooftop terraces and riverside balconies to hidden courtyards and outside restaurants in parks, there are plenty of places to eat outdoors in London. Find the best outdoor restaurants London has to offer in 2021 below.
Many of London's outdoor restaurants have reopened, following the easing of coronavirus restrictions, but restaurants remain closed for indoor dining until 17 May at the earliest. Advanced booking is required for some restaurants and some venues listed below may still be closed, so check in advance.
Reopened restaurants have various measures in place to ensure your safety, such as socially distanced seating, one-way systems and hand santising stations.
Best London rooftops
Head up to the 14th floor of The Hoxton,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, including Mediterranean-inspired small plates plus treats from the plancha and charcoal grill.
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.
You can see London landmarks for miles around from Sushisamba London's terrace, which is perched on the 39th floor of 110 Bishopsgate, Sample fusion cuisine combining flavours from Japan, Brazil and Peru at this stylish restaurant that has some of the best views in London.
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. Snap away at stunning panoramas of London's skyline while feasting on sharing plates, burgers and more from the Manhattan-style eatery.
Take in the cool vibes at Pergola Paddington, which changes its line-up of food traders, drinks and decor each season. Tucked away behind Paddington Station, this lively hangout is sure to be a hit again this summer. You can even order food straight to your table using its app.
Boundary Rooftopboasts a large rooftop terrace, with an outdoor bar, grill restaurant, and 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.
Lost in Brixton
Have your fill of some of Brixton's best food at rooftop hotspot Lost in Brixton. Grab a Latin-inspired cocktail and take a spot among the jungle decor, while you pick from dishes at Brixton Market eateries such as Fish, Wings & Tings, Jalisco and Okan –all delivered straight to your table via an app.
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 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.
Discover Hush tucked away in a quaint courtyard in Mayfair. Unwind in the restaurant's laid-back alfresco dining area – which is usually based around a theme each season – and while away an afternoon or evening with its seasonal food and drink specials.
Sprawling Mercato Metropolitano in Elephant & Castle comes complete with a micro-brewery and a huge outside area, where you can sit down to eat your selections gathered from the many stalls; from vegan delights to steaks, cakes and ice cream.
Settle down for all-day, seasonal specials surrounded by flowers and foliage at Bloomsbury hangout Dalloway Terrace. A haven for Instagrammers due to the eye-catching 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.
Find a seat among the sprawling tables along a Queen's Park mews at Milk Beach. Brunch is served all day in this Aussie-themed spot, or enjoy seasonal sharing plates or speciality coffee. Choose from the organic and natural wines from independent winemakers while you unwind.
London waterside restaurants
OXO Tower Restaurant, Bar and Brasserie
Venture up to the top floor of The Oxo Tower and be treated to show-stopping views from the terrace of OXO Tower Restaurant, Bar and Brasserie. Indulge in afternoon tea, settle down to a laid-back lunch or make it a special occasion with a tasting menu as you gaze across the Thames at St Paul's Cathedral.
Taste some of the most authentic Michelin-starred Italian food in London at River Cafe. The menu at this Hammersmith icon changes daily, but don't miss the here-to-stay decadent chocolate nemesis cake. This pretty riverside garden restaurant in London gives a real flavour of the Mediterranean.
Feast on fish and chips or summer salads at The Summerhouse in Little Venice. Eat alfresco on the banks of the canal in this nautical-themed restaurant, washing the seasonal food down with rosé wines, refreshing mocktails and classy cocktails.
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; or simply pick up sandwiches or ice creams for a picnic.
Alfresco restaurants in London by area
Heddon Street and Regent Street
Explore peaceful Heddon Street, a hidden gem just off iconic shopping spot Regent Street in London's West End. This pedestrianised foodie hub is home to a range of outdoor restaurants, including Gordon Ramsay's Heddon Street Kitchen and sustainable eatery Fallow.
If you still have room for dessert, reserve a spot on the Cakes & Bubbles terrace at nearby Hotel Café Royal. Albert Adrià's Insta-worthy creations can be paired with a glass of champagne for an extra-special treat.
St Christopher's Place and Oxford Street
Head just off Oxford Street and you'll find an eclectic mix of bars, restaurants and coffee shops at St Christopher's Place. The area boasts one of London's largest concentrations of pavement dining, from pizza at Homeslice andramen at Bone Daddies to Italian fare at Harry's Bar.
On Oxford Street itself, take a break from shopping at Selfridges to fuel up on Italian fare in top-floor terrace restaurant Alto by San Carlo.
Kingly Court and Soho
Get a bite to eat from one of Kingly Court’s eateries and sit in its charming courtyard off Carnaby Street. Venues with outdoor seating include brunch spot The Good Egg, ramen gurus Shoryu Carnaby and chicken-loving Whyte & Brown.
You'll also find plenty of choice in surrounding Soho, as outdoor seating pops up across the neighbourhood this year. Try Ceviche Soho, Bao Soho and The Palomar for starters.
Explore more options in the pedestrianised Piazza and don't miss The Yards, a collection of open-air courtyards home to wood-fired treats by Temper and mouthwatering mezze from Maison Bab.
Rest your legs with a shopping pit stop at one of Seven Dials' many eateries with outdoor seating. You can find flavours spanning the globe here, with Italian and Peruvian-inspired small plates at Monmouth Kitchen, Middle Eastern street food from Fafa's or fried chicken at Chick 'n' Sours among others.
St James's and Leicester Square
Historic St James's is renowned for its stylish fashion, but it also applies to its foodie hangouts. Swanky all-day restaurant 45 Jermyn Street is a great place to people-watch from its outdoor tables. Or soak up the buzzing atmosphere of nearby Leicester Square, where Mexico meets Peru in the form of small plates at Leicester Square Kitchen's covered terrace.
It's easy to find culinary delights in Mayfair and nearby Belgravia. Top restaurants with outdoor seating in these stylish neighbourhoods include fish-focused Scott’s, upscale Japanese eatery ROKA and Gordon Ramsay's Pétrus. Five-star hotel The Berkeley has gone all out for a summer of fun in 2021 with beach huts, seafood classics and ice-cream sandwiches.
The South Bank has plenty of places to watch the world go by on the river. Tuck into award-winning Mexican street food served from recycled shipping containers at Wahaca at Southbank Centre. Or head up a few levels for panoramic views from Skylon, which serves modern British dishes on its suntrap of a terrace.
Riverside Greenwich is a great place to relax outdoors. As well as pubs with beer gardens, many of its restaurants have outside areas. Lose yourself on Greenwich Kitchen's leafy terrace with views of The O2. Or, new for 2021, gather your friends, family or bubble together and book a Dining Dome at Queen's House (7-31 May).
Just across the river, Scoff & Banter, Royal China and Gaucho steakhouse are among the alfresco options in Canary Wharf; while Browns andManhattan Grill await in West India Quay.
Dine among former Victorian coal stores at Coal Drops Yard, with its glut of outdoor dining spaces. Find views of Regent's Canal on the terrace at Spanish-style Parrillan, or watch the sun set as you nibble on wood-fired fare at Hicce.
Pair seasonal dishes with panoramic canal views at The Lighterman on nearby Granary Square, or head to Lewis Cubitt Square to sample Italian delicacies at Lina in Piazza.
Visit Wembley Park in north-west London for some alfresco foodie fun in the shadows of iconic Wembley Stadium. Dine outdoors while tucking into food from pop-up mall Boxpark Wembley or book into some of the area's most popular restaurants, including Pasta Remoli, Big Moe’s and more.