London is reaping the benefits the great weather this summer, basking in the sunshine. Of course, there’s no better way to take advantage of the warmer temperatures than by dining in one of the city’s best waterside restaurants. From views of the Thames in central London to canal-side dining in Little Venice, here’s our pick of the best riverside restaurants the city has to offer.
What: A swaggering and staggering distance from central Richmond, this branch of the Argentinian grill chain proves popular with the area’s macho men and their glamorous WAGs. While drinking in the view of the river on Gaucho’s massive terrace, opt for the light, zingy fish ceviches and tiraditos for starters before diving into a beautifully cooked steak with minimal fuss as your main.
Where: The Towpath, Richmond Riverside, TW10 6UJ
What: A great location for a summery meal, this low-lit, casual Italian eatery near the Olympic Park boasts canal-side dining and refreshingly outstanding drinks, including Negronis. With a menu that changes daily, diners can enjoy items such as deep fried squid with lemon mayo or focaccia Pugliese, before enjoying a main of courgette parmigiana or potato gnocchi with mussels.
Where: 27 East Bay Lane, Here East E15 2GW
The Gun, Millwall
What: With its striking riverside location, The Gun is full of possibilities for balmy evenings and lazy Sundays. Owned by Fuller’s brewery, the menu boasts posh nosh such as west Mersea rock oysters and a rack of lamb to gorge on during a leisurely summer evening.
Where: 27 Coldharbour, E14 9NS
The Ivy Tower Bridge, South Bank
What: This riverfront-facing restaurant offers stunning views of Tower Bridge to add to its wow-factor. With an intimate alfresco terrace (which comes complete with blankets for chillier nights), this South Bank eatery is perfect for those looking to get the full riverside experience. Order from The Ivy’s all-day menu for savoury bites such as Atlantic sea scallops, steak tartare or tempura prawns.
Where: One Tower Bridge, Tower Bridge Road, SE1 2AA
Le Pont de la Tour, South Bank
What: With riverside views of Tower Bridge, this French restaurant is perfect for some waterside dining, as well as a good photo op. The menu serves up elaborately plated, intricate dishes that draw on international influences and tap into current food trends. Start with an order of pickled baby beetroot with goats’ cheese, before moving on to a pea and broad bean risotto.
Where: Butlers Wharf, 36d Shad Thames, SE1 2YE
Northbank, St Paul’s
What: With its perfectly located terrace, Northbank serves up a panorama of London that reflects modern-day developments – Tate Modern, Millennium Bridge and all. Despite its views of contemporary London, however, Northbank’s menu makes much of its Cornish connections. Opt for bar bites such as a shepherd’s pie or a Cornish Hake with seaweed butter, brown shrimp and samphire for lunch. Note that dinner is not served on the terrace.
Where: 1 Paul’s Walk, EC4V 3QH
The River Café, Hammersmith
What: This convivial Hammersmith evergreen has entrancing views and a seductive riverside terrace that are perfect for a gorgeous London day. With a seasonal menu which takes its influence from regional Italian cuisine, options include ravioli stuffed with buffalo ricotta and garden herbs, and chargrilled Scottish scallops, among other savoury bites.
Where: Thames Wharf, Rainville Road, W6 9HA
Rotunda, King’s Cross
What: Offering a break from the river and a visit to Regent’s Canal, Rotunda’s large waterside terrace is a pleasantly serene contrast to the bustling offices above it. Its kitchen takes full advantage of the owner’s farm and butchery in Northumberland for well-aged ribs of beef and flat-iron steaks, offered alongside lighter starters such as a miso and mango glazed aubergine, or a tomato gazpacho.
Where: Kings Place, 90 York Way, N1 9AG
Sea Containers at Mondrian London, South Bank
What: Situated right along the River Thames, Sea Containers’ menu boasts options that range ‘From the Sea’, ‘From the Land’ and ‘From the Field’. Plates such as squid fritters, Welsh pork belly porchetta, orzo pasta and more are among the dining options at this riverside joint. Finish off with a choice of desserts, which tend to be witty takes on classics, such as a ginger sponge cake.
Where: 20 Upper Ground, SE1 9PD
The Summerhouse, Maida Vale
What: Dreamily located by the banks of Little Venice, this breezy venue offers canal-side dining with sunny echoes of a Long Island beach retreat. Seafood is the main culinary event, as options include New England clam chowder or popcorn prawns served with a sweet chilli sauce. Reminiscent of a Cape Cod getaway, The Summerhouse is ideal for a balmy London evening.
Where: 60 Bloomfield Road, Little Venice, W9 2PA