Twisted: Unserious food tastes seriously good.

The best rooftop restaurants to visit in London during the heatwave

09/08/2022

Twisted: Unserious food tastes seriously good.

Article by Joanna Sarah-Freedman

05m read

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Fun fact about Brits: we love to complain about the weather. As soon as it’s raining we’re wishing for sun, and when it’s warm outside we’re probably making a fuss about that, too.

But if we’ve learnt anything from living in this country it’s that the sun doesn’t stick around for long. So, whilst it is here, we might as well do our best to enjoy it – and how better to do so than at altitude?

That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the very best rooftop restaurants in London. Because, really, there’s nothing more dreamy than good food and good views whilst we’re topping up our tans, is there?

Grab your sunnies and book yourself a table at one of these gems:

Aviary

aviary rooftop restaurant

Credit: Aviary Rooftop Restaurant

Hidden away on the 10th floor of the Montcalm Royal London House Hotel in Finsbury Square, Aviary offers views of the city that are hard to rival.

Whilst the indoor restaurant has a whole a la carte menu to offer, those looking to perch outside and get one of the best spots in the house aren’t short of choice either, if they don’t mind forking out mid-premium prices.

Think oysters, cheese boards, charcuterie and a selection of small plates, like beef tartare, seared tuna and truffle burrata.

Don’t mind if we do.

The Culpeper

the culpeper rooftop restaurant

Credit: The Culpeper

An East London gastropub with one of the prettiest rooftops in the city, The Culpeper is less about plush sofas and canapés and more about metal stalls and wooden floors – but that’s part of its charm.

Comprising of a big glass greenhouse with views of London’s skyline and a ‘farm’ of veg growing around diners, the rooftop serves a selection of grilled foods like a herb marinated pork neck steak with salsa verde, spinach, harissa and egg cocotte and welsh rarebit jacket potato.

Prices are very reasonable, too – especially considering you’re so close to The City. Plus, you can enjoy the fact that most of your meal is sourced locally, or grown on site.

The Culpeper will have you feeling one with nature.

Forza Wine

forza wine rooftop restaurant

Credit: Forza Wine

Peckham’s Forza Wine is technically a wine bar, but they have a selection of ‘snacks’ on offer which more than make up a meal.

A stylish black cube with windows that stretch from the floor to the ceiling, the restaurant itself is modern and has an upmarket feel, but, again, it’s the terrace that’s the real draw.

You can pick from a selection of small plates like grilled flatbread, with roasted tomatoes or parmesan, cauliflower fritti and aioli, and clams, spuds, chilli and garlic, to name just a few of the dishes on offer.

Each of these dishes sit around the £7-£10 mark, so pricing will depend how hungry you are (and also how many drinks you indulge in, too… the menu is extensive!)

There’s no denying Forza is pretty special, though.

Seabird

seabird london rooftop restaurant

Credit: Seabird

Seabird can be found a whole fourteen floors up at The Hoxton in Southwark, and it’s probably the place you want to save for a special occasion.

One of the more upmarket rooftops on our list, the prices reflect the premium views and top quality food on offer (the restaurant has the city’s largest oyster list).

The vibe isn’t pretentious, as you might expect, though. The restaurant’s decor is filled with rattan and greenery, offering a coastal feel.

There’s a selection of raw dishes, like dressed crab and scallop ceviche; small plates, including the likes of pan con tomate and patatas bravas; and mains and sharers, like mussels and a beef rib eye, or a whole boneless seabass.

Frank’s Cafe

frank's cafe restaurant rooftop

Credit: Frank’s Cafe

Frank’s Cafe in Peckham offers one of the best spots to watch the sun set in the city, atop an old multi-story carpark.

That’s the reason for the queues which often stretch around the block, but the restaurant also more than justify them – offering Mediterranean-inspired small plates to nibble on as you soak up the vibes.

Dishes include charred violet aubergine, crispy mackerel in a bun with green chilli yoghurt and a vegan vada pav (a deep fried Indian potato patty with tomato jam and shaved cabbage), all at around a tenner.

You can also order jugs of Pimms, Sangria and rum punch to wash everything down.

Maya

Credit: Maya UK

If it’s Mexican food you’re after, then Maya in Hoxton shouldn’t be slept on.

From the folks over at Soho House, the restaurant is as boho and trendy as you’d expect, with a beach club feel that could trick you into thinking you’re abroad if it wasn’t for the skyline right in front of you.

Drawing inspiration from LA’s Baja-Mexican style offering, head chef Giacomo Pettinari spent over 10 years eating the best Mexican food in the States, and honing his skills with the help of Mexican line cooks.

With indoor tables, next to big mirrored windows, and some premium tables out on the sun-trap terrace, expect guac made at your table for a bit of added spectacle, and mid-range sharing dishes like enchiladas and tacos (with fillings that range from chicken tinga to jackfruit).

Oh, and it’d be rude not to get a Mezcal or a tequila…rumour has it they taste even better at altitude!

ROOFTOP BAR

Credit: Pexels

Whether you’re looking for a plush seafood restaurant with views of central London or an ‘it’ small plates spot a little more off the beaten track, this list will set you up for the ultimate summer of outdoor dining in the Capital.

We really have narrowed down some of the very best rooftop restaurants on offer, and with so many to choose from, there’s bound to be one near you – whether you live round here, or you’re just visiting.

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