The London Rooftops That Actually Do Good Food

Summer views of London are great, but so is food that doesn’t remind you of Thorpe Park.

With great power comes great responsibility, and with multiple floors comes a white base pizza with multiple £ signs. That’s the way things tend to go with rooftops in London. But not every view of ‘the greatest city in the world’ is matched with overpriced lager and bish bash bosh food. We’re not saying there are a tonne of great rooftop options, but there are a few worth knowing about and eating at.

When the weather's playing ball, check out London's best outdoor restaurants and rooftop bars.


photo credit: Koray Firat

Modern European

Notting Hill

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Gold is a three-storey townhouse in Notting Hill hiding a light and modern conservatory with palm trees, a rooftop terrace, and more terracotta linen than your rustic dining room Pinterest board. In summer, blood orange negronis are clinked politely and drinks stream out from the sleek, spritz-ready bar. The food is modern European, which means seasonal tarted-up vegetables, zesty raw fish numbers, and hearty wood-roasted meat and whole fish dishes.

To enjoy a rooftop in the most British way possible, you’ve got to go to a pub where your view is slowly chugging buses and the food is a banging roast served with an icy cold pint. The Marksman in Shoreditch has one such laid-back, suntrap rooftop. It’s the perfect spot for working your way through seriously high-end beef and barley buns with horseradish cream, and brown butter tarts.



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If you take umbrage with the word ‘vacay’ then we can only apologise for the next sentence. Seabird is a sunny vacay masquerading as a Southwark rooftop, serving the kind of huge lobster dishes you would eat on vacay, alongside BIG VACAY ENERGY cocktails. There is something so gloriously escapist about the foliage, cushions, and oil-loaded seafood dishes. It also happens to be one of our favourite places to eat oysters in London, especially if you’re getting involved in the Louët-Feissers. 

This spot is Temporarily Closed.

Generally speaking, it’s quite hard to find a rooftop that feels intimate. But the roof garden at Pantechnicon in Belgravia manages to pull that off. From the scandi blankets hanging on the back of the chairs to the leafy planters over the date-ready, two-person tables, it’s relaxed and cosy without ever teetering into snooze fest. Excitement comes in the form of the Japanese-meets-Nordic menu, and if you’re wondering what that entails, think trout tartare with yuzu, a buckwheat chicken katsu, and aquavit and shiso cocktails. 

We see your sad cheesy fries and we raise you a pistachio choux, blood pudding muffins, and pollack ceviche. In case your overdraft senses are tingling, yes, the dishes at Allegra are expensive but they really do ace that whole refined modern European thing. Everything from the chairs to the tall decorative trees look straight out of an aspirational holiday campaign and the views across Stratford definitely don’t hurt either. 

Forza Wine on Rye Lane leans more restaurant than bar. Once you see a couple happily sharing an oil-drenched panzanella in the sun, you’ll understand why. It’s all sharing plates: cauliflower fritti with aioli, a cheesestring-like fontina toastie with hot sauce. And, as the name suggests, there’s a solid and natural-filled wine list too. You can sit inside or out, just be sure to specify when you book.

Peckham is London’s hub for rooftops, but Frank’s is the original rooftop spot in SE15 and it’s a place everyone wants to be. The views are fantastic, the food—brown sugar hot wings, crispy mackerel buns, and lamb kebabs with green chilli yoghurt—is crowd-pleasing, and the drinks are reasonably priced.

The rooftop at The Culpeper is a serene garden 10 minutes away from Liverpool Street. Trust us, that exists, we’ve seen it. As well as a smattering of tables and plants, there’s a kitchen garden up here where the mint garnish for your drink was probably grown, as well as the pickle on your plate. The pub downstairs is usually heaving and we’d definitely recommend booking ahead for the rooftop. No one wants to be denied alfresco pints. The menu is tasty, gastropub stuff, so start with a whopper merguez sausage roll, then pâté smeared on to a warm baguette. 

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