40 of the best outdoor restaurants in London with terraces perfect for al fresco dining

When the sun shines (and even when it doesn't), London is home to a wealth of terraces, courtyards and secret gardens ready to welcome you with open arms.

Updated on • Written By Pete Dreyer

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40 of the best outdoor restaurants in London with terraces perfect for al fresco dining

Looking for the best outdoor restaurants in London? On the rare occasions that the sun appears in the sky above London and decides to grace us with its warm embrace, it's important to soak up all the vitamin D you can get. Fortunately, there are plenty of al fresco spaces for outdoor dining in London, from terraces and rooftops to chairs plonked on pavements. In fact, one might even say that we're quite spoilt for choice in the capital given the reputation London has for being grey and rather lukewarm for 11 months a year.


If we can get real for a moment, we aren't blessed with the best weather in the world. For most of the calendar year Londoners are a stoic lot, and we still love to dine outside - sometimes just to stick it to the biting wind and drizzle. This is where London's real al fresco champs separate themselves - you need blankets, awnings, windbreakers, heaters to protect from the elements. Any old restaurant can get it right when it's 30 degrees with a gentle breeze, but can you get the job done on a wet and windy evening in Peckham?

That's why we've scoured the capital for a wide array of outdoor restaurants and dining spaces. Some are firmly in the summer sun-trap sector - the glorious high-rise rooftop terrace at 14 Hills, for example, or Sonya's secret Garden in Fulham. Others are well equipped to battle the British weather all year round - head to Aqua Nueva or Aqua Kyoto and soak in the views from the heated, covered terrace with a cocktail in hand, or duck under the awning at Trivet and watch the world go by whilst in the safe hands of Jonny Lake and Isa Bal, the former head chef and head sommelier of The Fat Duck.


So, whether it’s in rain or shine, if you want something more appealing than a chair on the pavement, then our pick of the best al fresco restaurants has you covered. From hidden courtyards to rooftop vistas, you’ll find a ton of great restaurants with outside seating in London right here.

Best outdoor restaurants in central London

If you’re just visiting the capital, or meeting friends from all corners of the city, you might want to find a nice outdoor restaurant in central London. Luckily, the odds here are in your favour as we happen to think that across areas like Soho, Fitzrovia and Mayfair there are some of the top terrace spots to be found in the whole of London. Enjoy!

Luca, Farringdon

An out door courtyard with a table down the middle and a fireplace at one end

What: Luca has cemented its place among London’s very best Italian restaurants - no mean feat given the standard these days - but it also deserves a place among the city’s best outdoor spaces too. The cobblestone courtyard, looming trees and exposed brick are positively Mediterranean - a world away from the hustle and bustle of Farringdon outside. Be warned, this space can be hired on a private basis, so it's always best to book ahead if you want to guarantee an outdoor table. 
Where: 88 St John Street, EC1M 4EH
Book now: Luca

Aqua Nueva, Soho

Round tables on a terrace

What: Found just a stone’s throw from Oxford Circus station, this central spot is the perfect place to recuperate after a busy morning shopping. With a Spanish menu at Aqua Nueva you can expect tapas sharing plates like a classic tortilla with potatoes and caramelised onions as well as rich and creamy croquettes. The terrace has comfortable lounge-style seating and plenty of planting on the peripheries for a laidback garden feel. Wonderful views of central London’s skyline complete the experience.
Where: 240 Regent Street, W1B 3BR
Book now: Aqua Nueva

The Maine, Mayfair

A comfortable sofa and table set up as a dining table

What: Certainly one of London’s swankiest outdoor restaurants, The Maine in Mayfair deals in New England classics and global please-all plates. Think generously stuffed lobster rolls, crispy fish tacos and bowls of gravy-covered poutine. While the food offers its own allure, the real draw is the luxuriously designed surrounds. A fringed, striped awning covers smartly laid tables that have been surrounded by lush foliage, a clever combination that transports you to another time entirely. The sweet staff are dressed to play the part too in white jackets and bowties. Our advice? Go for a cocktail (or two), a couple of sharing plates and a few hours of people watching.
Where: 20 Hanover Square, W1S 1JY
Book now: The Maine Mayfair

Aqua Kyoto, Soho

A rooftop restaurant in the sun

What: With a partially covered and heated outdoor terrace, Aqua Kyoto makes a great dining destination whatever the weather. With options for brunch, lunch or dinner, there are menus for every mealtime. Sushi fans will be pleased with the extensive selection from the in-house bar which makes each piece in front of diners, while the robata grill throws up more substantial fare like truffle yakitori skewers.
Where: 240 Regent Street, W1B 3BR
Book now: Aqua Kyoto

The Orangery at Number Sixteen Hotel, South Kensington

A pretty garden restaurant with green tables and chairs

What: Perfect for drinks or intimate dinners, the Orangery and Garden at Number Sixteen is an oasis of calm, set away from the honks of buses and taxis in South Kensington. The menu is very accessible with plenty of likeable British and European hits (courtesy of executive chef Joe Fox), but it’s the beautiful tree-filled garden that most people come for.
Where: 16 Sumner Place, SW7 3EG
Book now: The Orangery at Number Sixteen Hotel

Yasmin, Soho 

Rooftop terrace

What: One of London’s newest restaurants in 2024, Yasmin is a Middle Eastern-inspired restaurant and bar in central Soho with a killer roof terrace up top. Candy stripe awnings provide the perfect amount of shade during the summer months, while beautiful parquet paving, cushion-clad seating and plants aplenty provide a comfortable setting for cocktails, sharing plates and fabulous views. Expect this one to book up fast when the sun hits... 
Where: 1 Warwick Street, W1B 5LR 
Book now: Yasmin Soho  

Toklas, Temple

A road-side terrace in the sun with colourful chairs

What: Toklas has won a little legion of admirers for its ultra-minimal cooking and incredible breads and pastries. Now that the 3000 square foot terrace is open on Surrey Street, we expect it'll collect a few more fans. Primary colours abound in this pleasant space, which has room for around 100 diners on a nice evening, as well as extra space for post-work drinkers. 
Where: 1 Surrey Street, WC2R 2ND
Book now: Toklas

Lasdun, South Bank

lasdun terrace buns and bubbly

What: After many long years of waiting, South Bank finally has a restaurant we can crow about in Lasdun - a gorgeous, slick British restaurant in the National Theatre. Now this wonderful restaurant has a terrace too, so you can soak up the South Bank sun with a menu of cracking buns - a Dorset crab and mayonnaise, or treacle-cured Tamworth ham and Lincolnshire Poacher, for example - alongside sparkling sips courtesy of Nyetimber.
Where: National Theatre, Upper Ground, SE1 9PX
Book now: Lasdun

La Goccia, Covent Garden

A garden restaurant as seen from above, filled with people and waiters

What: One of two Petersham Nurseries restaurants in Covent Garden (alongside The Petersham), La Goccia has a relaxed cafe vibe, offering an extensive menu of Italian small plates, aperitivi and pastas. Petersham was right at the front of the hyper-seasonal, farm to fork revolution and that natural vibe stretches through to the beautiful floral court at La Goccia - a hub of tranquillity in Covent Garden.
Where: 27-31 King Street, WC2E 8JB
Book now: La Goccia

Chiltern Firehouse, Marylebone

An outdoor terrace restaurant covered with a striped canopy

What: Chiltern Firehouse might not have the same buzz around it as it once did, but you’ll still find this place packed most nights. The venue’s outdoor terrace is truly dreamy, decked out with a monochrome colour scheme, marble-topped tables and festooned with twinkling lights come sundown. On the weekends, you can enjoy brunch outside, with dishes on offer that include Chiltern’s signature fluffy pancake stacks.
1 Chiltern Street, W1U 7PA
Book now: Chiltern Firehouse

Alto by San Carlo at Selfridges, Marylebone

yellow flowers on terrace at alto

What: This hidden gem on the roof of Selfridges offers sweeping views across central London. Bask in the sunlight while you relax with a cocktail and enjoy a selection of classic Italian dishes. There's a stunning canopy of flowers overhead that's perfect for any photo moments, as well as a retractable roof if the weather does decide to turn.
Where: 400 Oxford Street, W1A 1AB
Book now: Alto by San Carlo

The Nest in Treehouse, Fitzrovia

A corner sofa on a terrace surrounded by plants

What: If 360-degree views of the capital’s skyline aren’t enough to tempt you here, how about all-day dining that delivers some real crowd-pleasers to boot? Found at the top of the trendy Treehouse hotel, this spot will give you plenty of social media fodder and then some. Expect plush furnishings, serious amounts of foliage and selection of nibbles, small and large plates, including grilled king prawns with lemongrass, lime and kaffir butter, and vegan yoghurt pannacotta with poached rhubarb and honey tuille biscuit.
Where: 14-15 Langham Place, W1B 2QS
Book now: The Nest in Treehouse Hotel

Jurema Terrace at The Mandrake, Fitzrovia

terrace at the mandrake hotel

What: When sitting out on this serene, partially covered terrace, it’s easy to forget that you are mere moments away from the hustle and bustle of Oxford Street. Boasting walls covered in foliage and a relaxed vibe, Jurema is a great spot for post-work drinks, serving up herbaceous cocktails and a concise menu of tacos and nibbles, followed by refreshing sorbet for dessert.
20-21 Newman Street, W1T 1PG
Book now: Jurema Terrace at The Mandrake

The Courtyard at The Chesterfield, Mayfair

the courtyard

What: Good news! The Chesterfield Mayfair has access to  Dartmouth House's Courtyard all summer long, so you can swing by and enjoy lunch or dinner on its sunny patio if you fancy it. Wrought iron tables, a show-stopping fountain and sandy-coloured wraparound buildings create a secluded haven in the heart of Mayfair. And if you fancy having it all to yourself, you can book the courtyard for private parties of up to 40. 
 35 Charles Street, W1J 5EB
Book now: The Chesterfield

Dalloway Terrace, Tottenham Court Road

A pretty terrace restaurant with a flower wall backdrop

What: One of the most Instagrammable restaurants in London, in-demand Dalloway Terrace is a truly gorgeous space, decked out with vibrant florals for each of the seasons. While sitting among the lush greenery, you can enjoy a spot of afternoon tea or cocktails, as well as the usual à la carte offering – think beer-battered fish and chips or pork belly with an apple jus.  
16-22 Great Russell Street, WC1B 3NN
Book now: Dalloway Terrace

Bentley’s Oyster Bar & Grill, Mayfair

A busy outdoor restaurant with plants surrounding diners

What: One of the buzziest outdoor dining spaces in the capital, the terrace at Richard Corrigan’s Bentley’s is a top choice for discerning Londoners looking to enjoy an al fresco atmosphere. The restaurant’s full menu is available outdoors, meaning you can enjoy the the sea-faring likes of lobster spaghetti or Dover sole (with an additional side of skinny chips).
11-15 Swallow Street, W1B 4DG
Book now: Bentley's Oyster Bar & Grill

Best outdoor restaurants in north London

There is a wealth of really good outdoor restaurants in north London which cater to this neighbourhood’s ritzy crowd. Clustered around King’s Cross and Islington, expect plush soft furnishings and modern menus from this cool crowd.

Lula, Queen's Park

the outdoor terrace at Lula restaurant

What: Bringing a taste of the Mediterranean to North London, Lula offers all-day dining that can even be enjoyed al fresco. Lula embodies simplicity with its white-clothed tables, exposed brick walls and potted plants that come alive in the summer time, offering an idyllic spot for a couple of nibbles or a catch up over cocktails. Small plates here include the likes of crab meat kimchi doughnuts and seared scallop with wild garlic mousse, whilst mains offer aubergine steak with black quinoa or swordfish schnitzel in a curry sauce. You don’t need to worry about the temperamental British weather either as the terrace comes completely covered, so you can dine outside regardless.
Where: 6A-8A Lonsdale Road, NW6 6RD
Book now: Lula 

Rotunda, King's Cross

A curved building looking onto a waterside terrace

What: Long before Coal Drops Yard, Rotunda was flying the flag for King’s Cross’ cool factor. The expansive venue benefits from a charming terrace which overlooks the canal and has a buzzy atmosphere. Rotunda’s shtick is its impressive commitment to butchering all its meat on site, resulting in some of the best burgers and steaks that you’ll find in the capital.
Where: 90 York Way, N1 9AG
Book now: Rotunda

Frederick’s, Islington

A garden with chairs and tables set up for dining

What: Frederick’s is a true London classic, benefiting from a charming garden at the back of the restaurant and the kind of jovial service that is typical of family-run joints. While dining here, you can enjoy the likes of pan-fried duck breast with an orange and cherry jus, and a white chocolate crème brûlée with strawberry sorbet. Don’t forget to explore the 200-bin wine list. 
106 Islington High Street, N1 8EG
Book now: Frederick's

The Lighterman, King's Cross

A mix of benches and tables and chairs on an open paved terrace by the canal

What: Found on bustling Granary Square, The Lighterman’s outdoor terrace is often packed to the rafters on nice days, so make sure to get there early. As well as the enviable outdoor space, crowds are drawn in by the seasonal cocktails and impressive wines. On the food front, expect flatbreads, sharing boards and mains from a wood-fired grill.
3 Granary Square, N1C 4BH
Book now: The Lighterman

Best outdoor restaurants in east London

Known for its trendy crowd and artsy vibe, it’s only natural that east London would be home to some buzzy outdoor terraces. From the delicious Indian plates of Dishoom to the fine-dining fare at Angler, east London has an outdoor restaurant for every occasion.

65a, Spitalfields 

Outdoor terrace in the market

What: Nestled in the heart of Old Spitalfields Market, 65a is an old-school French restaurant centred around high-quality ingredients and simple but skillful cookery. Its outdoor terrace at the front of the restaurant offers panoramic views of the buzzing market, so you can guarantee any meal here to have heaps of atmosphere. Start with a round of fresh oysters to get your tastebuds going, then tuck in to classic French fare, from French onion soup and duck liver parfait to grills and seafood dishes.  
Where: 65A Brushfield Street, E1 6AA 
Book now: 65a

SUSHISAMBA, City of London

A rooftop terrace with a huge red-leaf tree in the middle

What: SUSHISAMBA'S Nikkei sharers have become a staple of London life - if you’re London-based get ready to hear the question, ‘have you been to SUSHISAMBA?’ at least once a year. Perhaps even better than the cracking food are the literal jaw-dropping views - SUSHISAMBA still boasts one of the highest dining terraces in Europe, on the 38th and 39th floors of the Heron Tower.
Where: 110 Bishopsgate (38-39th floor), EC2N 4AY

Rochelle Canteen, Shoreditch

Long tables at an outdoor restaurant in the sunshine

What: Margot Henderson’s iconic Shoreditch institution used to have to shift everyone’s bookings when it started raining - now they have covers and heaters, so you can feast on rustic British and Mediterranean cooking all year round. One of London’s essential restaurants.
Where: 16 Playground Gardens, E2 7FA
Book now: Rochelle Canteen

Crate Brewery, Hackney

A canal boat with lots of people milling around it

What: Crate has made a name for itself on two simple pillars - seriously good craft ale and thin-crust pizza, both made in-house from scratch. The funky, post-industrial canal-side set-up is very Hackney - suntrap al fresco tables are at a premium here but if you’re just stopping for a pint and a slice you can likely find a sunny spot somewhere along the towpath.
Where: Unit 7 White Building, E9 5EN
Book now: Crate Brewery

Aviary, Moorgate

See-through dining domes on a roof terrace

What: The eclectic menu at Aviary takes in plenty of worldly influence at Aviary, but the real attraction is the rooftop where you can book panoramic glass igloos and enjoy a spectacular view of London from the comfort of a plush sofa.
Where: 22-25 Finsbury Square, EC2A 1DX
Book now: Aviary

COYA Angel Court, City of London

A look through at an outdoor restaurant through some bright, colourful flower hedging

What: Escape the buzz of the city with COYA’s Peruvian inspired terrace at the restaurant’s Angel Court site. This cool, tranquil space makes a lovely spot to while away a few hours, while enjoying the popular small plates which feature modern twists on South American classic combinations. If you’re doing things properly there are pisco sours to enjoy too, don’t say we didn’t warn you.
Where: 31-33 Throgmorton Street, EC2N 2AT
Book now: COYA Angel Court

Cinnamon Kitchen City, City of London

Vibrant outdoor terrace with sofas

What: Another gem in chef Vivek Singh's ever-expanding portfolio, the City branch of his Cinnamon Kitchen brand is blessed with outdoor decking. Weather-proof, thanks to its covered courtyard, the space is ideal for lunch or dinner. Tuck into a menu of tempting Indian dishes, including the likes of tandoori chicken breast with fennel and coriander, or perhaps a mutton curry served with pilau rice. Kulfi with a honeycomb crumble or the sorbet of the day are a dreamy end to an al fresco meal. 
Where: 9 Devonshire Square, EC2M 4YL
Book now: Cinnamon Kitchen City

Dishoom Shoreditch, Shoreditch

A semi-outdoor restaurant in a marquee with a retractable roof

What: Ok, so this one isn’t technically outside, but dining on Dishoom’s veranda (no ‘terrace’ talk here, dahhling) feels like you are outdoors, and the retractable roof opens up on sunnier days. Decorated with quirky trinkets and works of art that have all been sourced in India, this is the perfect spot to enjoy signature Dishoom dishes, including its now legendary bacon naan.  
7 Boundary Street, E2 7JE
Book now: Dishoom Shoreditch

Best outdoor restaurants in south London

The south hasn't always been London's most fashionable quadrant, but a few bougie spots in Southwark, Clapham, Balham and the likes are dragging Londoners south of the river, not to mention to the al fresco fun of Bermondsey and Borough Market. 

Seabird, Southwark

A rooftop restaurant with stylish lounge seating and views over London

What: Blessed with #InstaGoals interiors, Seabird is found at the very tip top of The Hoxton hotel in Southwark. Leave any preconceptions you have about hotel restaurants at the door and you’ll be pleasantly surprised. The frequently tweaked menu includes flavours of Portugal and smoky cuts of chargrilled meats, as well as seafood platters and cracking cocktails. The terrace gets booked up, so make sure to plan ahead. Here you’ll find sofas, blankets and heaters all at the ready to make your meal a cosy and comfortable one.
Where: 40 Blackfriars Road, SE1 8NY
Book now: Seabird

The Garden Museum Cafe, Lambeth

A table set up in a courtyard garden

What: A bit of a hidden gem, The Garden Museum Cafe is tucked away on the south side of Lambeth Bridge and offers a cool oasis away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Glass walls on one side look out onto the old church courtyard at the centre which is now a tumbling mass of greenery, and a spot for outdoor tables. A short, regularly changing menu keeps things interesting. Think stuffed courgette flowers or duck rillettes.
Where: 5 Lambeth Palace Road, SE1 7LB
Book now: The Garden Museum Cafe

OMA, Borough

borough market terrace

What: Greek-inspired OMA's covered terrace is the perfect place to soak up the buzz of Borough Market below, but within the cosy confines of a stylishly appointed space, featuring sage green banquets and rich wooden tables and chairs. Freshly made breads and indulgent dips are a must-try here, but you'll find plenty to entertain in the form of zingy crudo dishes, smoky grills and oozy plates of orzo.
Where: 4 Bedale Street, SE1 9AL1
Book now: OMA

The Apollo Arms, Clapham

apollo arms secret garden

What: Clapham's Apollo Arms strikes a lovely balance between lived-in rustic local and slick gastropub experience, and it also boasts a beautiful, foliage-laden pub garden in the back. The bran new 'Garden Menu' is packed with perfect summer feasting fodder, from chilled gazpacho to huge bowls of Caprese salad, as well as well executed pub classics. The Apollo Arms has a summer cocktail list nailed too, and what better way to finish off a meal than a 'Solero' Baked Alaska?
Where: 13-19 Old Town, SW4 0JT
Book now: The Apollo Arms

The Laundry, Brixton

An outdoor restaurants with umbrellas overhead and plants surrounding the tables

What: The Laundry in Brixton offers a fun menu of comfort food classics – think bavette with cafe de Paris butter, pulled pork croquettes and fry ups at brunch. The terrace space is large and generous, with plenty of tables for mixed groups of any size. There are umbrellas, heaters and blankets, and the friendly staff are on hand to ensure you’re cosy and comfortable throughout your visit even if the sun isn’t shining.
Where: 374 Coldharbour Lane, SW9 8PL
Book now: The Laundry

Trinity, Clapham

A restaurant with French doors leading to an outside space surrounded by planters

What: Michelin-starred Trinity is more than it appears - not only does it boast a fantastic casual restaurant upstairs, it also has a very relaxing terrace on the corner of Clapham Common. With space for 35 covers this fun, buzzy space is perfect for watching the comings and going of the Common. To help line your stomach there are small plates and salads, as well as the occasional barbecue on the go serving up fish and meat.
Where: 4 The Polygon, SW4 0JG
Book now: Trinity

Le Pont de la Tour, Tower Bridge

An outdoor restaurant terrace looking onto Tower Bridge

What: If you’re looking for an al fresco restaurant with wow-factor, Le Pont de la Tour is a worthy contender. Boasting riverside views and in a handy location, Le Pont de la Tour has legions of fans, and it’s not hard to see why. Tuck into a menu of French-leaning dishes while drinking in those hard-to-beat views of Tower Bridge.
 36d Shad Thames, SE1 2YE
Book now: Le Pont de la Tour

Best outdoor restaurants in west London

There’s no denying the allure of west London. This high-end neighbourhood is home to some of the swankiest and swishest outdoor restaurants in London - not to mention some really, really good people watching. From the terrace at the infamous Dinner by Heston to the green glade of the Ivy Chelsea Garden – these gorgeous spaces are the perfect spots to celebrate something special at (even if that’s just making it through Monday).

Smith's Bar & Grill, Paddington 

Cocktails clinking

What: This modern British eatery in the heart of Paddington boasts a lovely outdoor terrace overlooking the Grand Union Canal. With menus for every occasion, from breakfast to a set lunch to a Sunday roast, this year-round terrace is perfect for dining and drinking at any time of day. We recommend stopping by for a cocktail in the summer though. Plus, it runs happy hour deals from Monday through to Friday! 
Where: 25 Sheldon Square, W2 6EY 
Book now: Smith's Bar & Grill

Sonya Restaurant, Chelsea 

Secret garden

What: All-day Aegean bistro Sonya is something of a hidden gem not far from Fulham Broadway. It specialises in Greek and Turkish cuisine designed to transport guests to warmer climes, and if you find yourself at a table in its suntrap courtyard on a summer’s day, you’ll think you really are abroad! Even if it rains, there’s a retractable roof to keep guests dry when the British weather decides to act up.  
Where: 571 King’s Road, SW6 2EB 
Book now: Sonya Restaurant 

The Magazine, Hyde Park

A garden restaurant with green metal tables and chairs

What: Smack bang in the middle of Hyde Park, you don’t get many better views than from the terrace at The Magazine at the Serpentine. Not only is the setting good, but the menu also allows you to do good. On it you’ll find several ‘climavore’ dishes which include ingredients that have a regenerative effect on the environment they’re grown in. Kick off with Scottish mussels flavoured with vermouth, monk’s beard, fennel, and preserved lemon before moving onto cauliflower with smoked romesco sauce, white quinoa, wild garlic, and a walnut salsa.
Where: West Carriage Drive, W2 2AR
Book now: The Magazine

Manicomio Chelsea

terrace at manicomio chelsea

What: Bright, summery Italian cooking in a foliage-laden garden terrace in Chelsea - what’s not to love? Manicomio’s is well-known in Chelsea as reliably good and the menu has something for everyone, from homemade focaccia and excellent pasta dishes, all the way up to a hefty chicken Milanese and chargrilled yellowfin tuna. House signature cocktails are well-suited to al fresco feasting too.
Where: 85 Duke of York Square, SW3 4LY
Book now: Manicomio Chelsea

The River Café, Hammersmith

The River Cafe garden in the sunshine

What: The long-standing River Cafe is legendary among London circles, known for its high-quality food and equally as high prices. The real jewel of the venue though is the expansive riverside terrace, which is filled with lush greenery and overlooks the Thames. Serving up rustic Italian dishes, some of our favourite orders include the ravioli with zucchini, buffalo ricotta and mint, and the oh-so-indulgent ‘chocolate nemesis’ for dessert.
Where: Thames Wharf, W6 9HA
Book now: The River Cafe

Looking for outdoor dining without the risk of the weather? We've rounded up the best igloos in London, and the best heated terraces in London too. Plus, there's a whole other world of options if love a slap up brunch on the weekend - check out London's best outdoor bottomless brunches.

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