We have put together a list of the best London rooftop bars based on their unique atmosphere and stunning views.
There’s something special about being able to enjoy a drink or a meal with friends while taking in the beautiful skyline of a city. Many rooftop bars also put on live music events or have a dance floor, making them a perfect spot for a night out. Additionally, rooftop bars are a great way to escape the hustle and bustle of the city below, offering a peaceful refuge above the noise and crowds.
The London rooftop bar scene is one of the most vibrant and diverse in the world. From the bustling rooftop bars in hipster neighbourhoods like Shoreditch and Camden to the more refined high-end bars in Mayfair and Chelsea, London has something for everyone.
Many of London’s rooftop bars offer unparalleled views of the city’s most iconic landmarks like the Shard, the London Eye, and St Paul’s Cathedral. These bars often draw in crowds of tourists and locals alike who flock to sip on cocktails or enjoy a meal while taking in the stunning views.
However, the rooftop bar scene in London is not just about the views. Many bars offer a unique ambience and decor, making each spot feel like a hidden oasis above the chaos of the city.
Some bars even offer lawn games, yoga sessions, or movie screenings against the backdrop of the glittering city lights. Overall, the London rooftop bar scene is a must-visit for anyone looking to experience the best the city has to offer.
The Best Rooftop Bars in Central London
When it comes to rooftop bars in London, the central area boasts some of the most glamorous and sophisticated options. Here are the top picks for rooftop bars in Central London:
Located on the 10th floor of the Montcalm Royal London House Hotel, The Aviary is a chic rooftop restaurant and bar with a panoramic view of the city. The bar serves innovative cocktails and an extensive wine list, while the restaurant offers a modern British menu with a focus on grilled dishes.
The Rooftop St. James is an elegant bar with a 360-degree view of the city. Located on the seventh floor of the Trafalgar St. James Hotel, the bar offers a sophisticated atmosphere and a menu of classic cocktails and small plates.
Situated on the top floor of One New Change shopping centre, Madison offers a stunning view of St. Paul’s Cathedral. The rooftop terrace features a bar and a restaurant, serving classic British dishes and a wide selection of cocktails, wines and beers.
Radio Rooftop is a stylish bar located on the 10th floor of the ME London Hotel, offering an iconic view of the River Thames and the London skyline. The bar serves classic and signature cocktails, a variety of wines, and a menu of Spanish-inspired tapas.
Located on the 14th floor of the Dorsett City Hotel, Jin Bo Law is a sophisticated bar with Asian-inspired decor and a view of the City. The bar serves a range of cocktails and a menu of contemporary Asian dishes, including sushi and sashimi.
The Best Rooftop Bars in East London
East London is known for its vibrant and creative atmosphere, and its rooftop bars are no exception. Here are the top picks for rooftop bars in East London:
Netil360 is a lively rooftop bar located on top of a creative workspace building in Hackney. The bar has a relaxed atmosphere and panoramic views of the city skyline, making it a popular spot for socialising and events. The drinks menu features local craft beers, wines and cocktails, and the bar also serves street food from the Netil Market.
Frank’s Cafe is a popular pop-up bar located on the roof of a multi-storey car park in Peckham. The bar has a unique and quirky aesthetic, with colourful chairs and tables, and stunning views of the city skyline, especially at sunset. The bar serves a range of cocktails, beers and wines, and also hosts cultural events, such as art exhibitions and film screenings.
Located on top of a former printworks building in Dalston, Dalston Roof Park is a popular rooftop bar with a hip and casual atmosphere. The bar serves a range of drinks, including cocktails, craft beers and wines, and hosts regular live music events and parties.
Boundary Rooftop is a chic rooftop bar and grill located in Shoreditch, with stunning views of the city skyline. They have kicked off the London rooftop season by welcoming guests to an enchanting Mediterranean oasis. Located atop Boundary Shoreditch, the Rooftop & Bar presents breathtaking 360° views of Shoreditch, the City, and East London. As you step into this remarkable space, you’ll find yourself surrounded by the beauty of a large outdoor garden terrace adorned with century-old olive trees, seasonal plants, and flowers. The glass Orangery restaurant, designed for leisurely lunches, opens on all sides, inviting a gentle breeze on warmer days. Guided by the culinary expertise of Italian head chef Roberto Branca, the kitchen brings forth the flavours of the Mediterranean, featuring a tantalizing selection of meats and fish grilled over charcoal. Complementing these delights are fresh and uncomplicated salads, charcuterie, and delectable seafood creations.
The new summer menu showcases a variety of exquisite dishes. Delight in the succulent grilled chermoula prawns accompanied by sesame mayonnaise, or savour the flavoursome grilled lamb köftes paired with a fregola salad and turmeric yoghurt. For a delectable seafood option, indulge in the octopus dish, harmonizing sundried tomato, green beans, and a pine nut salad. The grilled sea bass, accompanied by grilled vegetables and vierge sauce, is a feast for both the eyes and the palate. Vegetarians can relish the vegan moussaka served with coconut yoghurt tzatziki. If you’re looking to share an exceptional culinary experience, the 45-day aged 850g T-bone steak, accompanied by skin-on fries and béarnaise sauce, is a superb choice. Conclude your meal with the delightful dessert options of rum baba with mango and vanilla ice cream or Madagascan vanilla panna cotta with strawberries.
To further elevate your experience, the Boundary Rooftop bar presents an extensive selection of cocktails, wines, ice-cold beers, and Champagnes. Additionally, there are plenty of non-alcoholic options available for those seeking refreshing alternatives. Whether you’re seeking a memorable dining experience, panoramic views, or a stylish setting to unwind with friends, Boundary Rooftop offers an alluring destination to enjoy the London rooftop season.
The Best Rooftop Bars in North London
North London may not be as well-known for its rooftop bars as other areas of the city, but there are still some hidden gems to discover. Here are the top picks for rooftop bars in North London:
Pergola Paddington is a lively rooftop bar located in Paddington, with a spacious outdoor terrace and stunning views of the city skyline. The bar serves a range of drinks, including cocktails, wines and beers, and the food menu features street food from some of London’s top vendors.
The Prince of Wales is a popular rooftop bar and pub located in Kentish Town, with a fun and relaxed atmosphere. The bar serves a range of drinks, including craft beers, cocktails and wines, and hosts regular DJ nights and live music events.
The Terrace at Alexandra Palace is a rooftop bar located at the top of the iconic Alexandra Palace building in North London, offering beautiful views of the city skyline. The bar serves a range of drinks, including cocktails, wines and beers, and a selection of snacks and small plates.
Located in Tobacco Dock in Wapping, Skylight Rooftop is a popular rooftop bar with a spacious outdoor terrace and views of the city skyline. The bar features several levels, with different themes and activities, including petanque, croquet, and indoor games. The bar serves a range of drinks, including cocktails, beers, and wines, and also offers street food from a variety of vendors.
The Best Rooftop Bars in South London
South London may not have as many rooftop bars as some other areas of the city, but there are still some hidden gems to discover. Here are the top picks for rooftop bars in South London:
Bar Elba is a fun and quirky rooftop bar located in Waterloo, with great views of the city skyline and the London Eye. The bar is inspired by the island of Elba, where Napoleon was exiled, and features colourful decor and a relaxed atmosphere. The drinks menu includes a range of cocktails and wines, and the bar also serves street food.
The Queen of Hoxton is a popular rooftop bar located in Shoreditch, with a creative vibe and immersive events. The bar has a different theme every year, with unique decor and a programme of events, including film screenings, live music, and art exhibitions. The drinks menu features a range of cocktails, wines, and beers, and the bar also serves street food.
The Culpeper is a rustic rooftop bar located in Whitechapel, with a focus on sustainability and locally sourced ingredients. The bar features a garden with herbs and vegetables used in the drinks and dishes, and the menu includes a range of cocktails, wines, and craft beers, as well as a selection of seasonal dishes.
Franks Peckham is a rooftop bar and cinema located in Peckham, with a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. The bar features a colourful and quirky decor, and offers stunning views of the city skyline. The drinks menu includes a range of cocktails, beers, and wines, and the bar also serves pizza from its wood-fired oven.
The Best Rooftop Bars in West London
West London has some of the most stylish and sophisticated rooftop bars in the city. Here are the top picks for rooftop bars in West London:
Skylark Roof Garden is a rooftop bar located in Kensington, with a Mediterranean feel and a view of Kensington High Street. The bar serves a range of cocktails, wines, and beers, and the food menu features Mediterranean-inspired dishes, including pizza and small plates. The rooftop also features a garden with olive trees and a retractable roof, making it a popular spot all year round.
Jin Bo Law is a sophisticated bar located on the 14th floor of the Dorsett City Hotel, with a view of the City. While it was previously mentioned in the section of the best rooftop bars in Central London, it is also worth noting that Jin Bo Law has a retractable roof, making it a popular spot all year round. The bar serves a range of cocktails and a menu of contemporary Asian dishes, including sushi and sashimi.
Here are some frequently asked questions about rooftop bars in London:
Q: What is the dress code for London rooftop bars?
A: The dress code for London rooftop bars varies depending on the bar. Some bars have a strict dress code, such as smart casual or formal attire, while others have a more relaxed dress code. It’s always a good idea to check the bar’s website or call ahead to find out what the dress code is.
Q: Are London rooftop bars expensive?
A: London rooftop bars can be quite expensive, especially those in the central area of the city. Prices for drinks and food can vary depending on the bar, with some offering more affordable options than others. It’s a good idea to check the bar’s website or menu before visiting to get an idea of the prices.
Q: Are London rooftop bars crowded?
A: London rooftop bars can be quite crowded, especially during peak times, such as weekends and summer evenings. Some bars may have a capacity limit, so it’s a good idea to arrive early to avoid disappointment. It’s also a good idea to book a table or make a reservation if possible.
Q: Are London rooftop bars open all year round?
A: London rooftop bars are not always open all year round. Some bars may close during the winter months or have reduced opening hours, while others may have a retractable roof or heated terrace, allowing them to stay open all year round. It’s a good idea to check the bar’s website or social media pages to find out their opening times and seasonal offerings.
London has some of the most stunning and unique rooftop bars in the world, offering breathtaking views of the city skyline and a one-of-a-kind atmosphere. From chic and sophisticated bars in the central area to creative and quirky options in the East, North, South and West, there is a rooftop bar to suit every taste and occasion.
Whether you’re looking for a romantic date spot, a fun night out with friends, or a place to celebrate a special occasion, London’s rooftop bars offer a truly unforgettable experience. So why not raise a glass to the city’s skyline and enjoy some of the best views London has to offer?
Make sure to check out the rooftop bars on this list, and explore the city’s other hidden gems to discover your own favourite spot above the city.