Wrap up warm and don as many layers as you can – looks like alfresco drinking is the key to our sanity this, the winter of our discontent. Looking for the best outdoor bars in London? Don’t miss these spots (or the handy saveable Google Map with all their locations at the end).
PS – Wanna eat? Check out my guide to the best restaurants with outdoor dining instead.
Best Outdoor Bars in London
Jin Bo Law
One of the newest outdoor bars in central London, Jin Bo Law’s pineapple-themed decor and jaw-dropping views have proven popular in recent months. The cocktail list is rather something – innovative, adventurous and not too crazily priced (well, for The City anyway).
Address: 14th floor, 9 Aldgate High Street Dorsett City, London EC3N 1AH
Long one of the best bars in London Bridge, Nine Lives really upped its game earlier this year with a large alfresco drinking street space that brought much needed tacos, cocktails and good vibes to central London. It gets better – they’ve covered the terrace for the winter months. Meaning you can still grab a drink with your mates… without freezing your tits off.
Address: 8 Holyrood Street, London SE1 2EL
Sitting in the shadow of The Shard, the spacious outdoor area at Vinegar Yard is a godsend for socially-distanced drinkies with your buddies (well, five of them anyway). It’s a cool hangout spot, with a decent range of local craft beers, wines and spirits on offer and street food eats from the likes of Baba G’s, Nanny Bills and Sugo to munch on alongside.
Address: 72-82 St Thomas St, Bermondsey, London SE1 3QX
Flat Iron Square
The older sister of Vinegar Yard is just a short hop, skip and stroll away in Southwark but also sports a sizable beer garden / terrace for those days when hanging in the park with a tinnie just isn’t the vibe you’re going for. Even better, the folks at Flat Iron Square have just put up their awnings and popped on the heating to make things nice and cosy.
Address: Flat Iron Square, London SE1 1TD
Sporting a rather quirky theme centred around Napoleon’s exile (I guess it is by Waterloo after all), Bar Elba is a cool outdoor bar in London with live DJs and gorgeous Thames views. It’s massive too – so you’re almost always guaranteed to be able to nab a table.
Address: Rooftop Mercury House, 109-117 Waterloo Rd, Bishop’s, London SE1 8UL
Madison at St Pauls
I’m not going to lie – 99.99% of the appeal of Madison St Paul’s is the view of… St Pauls. The cocktails are mediocre and the outdoor seating a bit worse for wear but well, where else can you drink eye to eye with London’s most famous dome?
Address: New Change, London EC4M 9AF
Book for the bar by calling 020 3693 5160
Rooftop: The Trafalgar St James
The word iconic is bandied around so much that it’s become pretty meaningless – but really, when a bar’s view looks straight out at Nelson’s Column and Trafalgar Square what the hell else are you supposed to call it? As it’s one of London’s best rooftop bars, it’s a spenny option but the heated terrace and cosy blankets make for a fabulous outdoor drinking spot in London.
Address: 2 Spring Gardens Trafalgar Square, London SW1A 2TS
Sitting jauntily atop the Hotel ME on The Strand, Radio Rooftop has a gorgeous wrap-around terrace with views out over central London and the Thames. It’s not cheap and the staff aren’t exactly the friendly sort, but the cocktails are banging and the views even better.
Address: 336-337 Strand, London WC2R 1HA
There are worse places to spend a few hours sipping on boujee cocktails than in the lush environs of Jurema, the rooftop terrace at The Mandrake hotel. Think gorgeous draped foliage, bamboo furniture topped with plush cushions and you’ve probably got the picture as to why this is one of my favourite outdoor terrace bars in London. The cocktails, while excellent, are not cheap – save your pennies for your trip.
Address: 20-21 Newman St, Fitzrovia, London W1T 1PG
Little Bird Gin
Drinking gin and eating great food sounds like anyone’s idea of a perfect weekend. Which kinda explains why the outdoor seating at craft gin distillery Little Bird Gin is always in popular demand when it’s open at the weekends.
Address: The Little Bird Residency, Ropewalk, London SE1 3PA
The Nest Rooftop Bar
Indoors is one of London’s prettiest drinking dens, outdoors has city skyline views – what’s not to like at The Nest – the Treehouse Hotel’s cool bar. The 360-degree terrace is decked out with benches and loungers that not only are tier-2 appropriate but pretty damned gorgeous to boot.
Address: 14-15 Langham Pl, Marylebone, London W1B 2QS
Sprawling over an extensive rooftop in Tobacco Dock, the covered terraces at Skylight provide a year-round drinking spot with gorgeous views. There are drinks (of course) and street food for you to pair it with. It’s certainly breathed a new lease of life into what used to be a disused car park.
Address: Tobacco Dock, Pennington St entrance, St Katharine’s & Wapping, London E1W 2SF
Hackney Church Brew Co
Bohemia Place’s recent evolution to a cool hangout space has given us many treasures – not least the brewbar/ restaurant of craft brewery Hackney Church Brew Co. Though the emphasis is (quite rightly) on the stellar beer, the food menu from the folks at Lagom is pretty excellent too. Cheers all round!
Address: 16 & 17 Bohemia Place, Hackney, London, E8 1DU
The Queen of Hoxton
One of Shoreditch’s best-known hangouts, The Queen of Hoxton’s seasonally themed rooftop is always one of the area’s coolest spots and this year is no different. The winter rooftop hasn’t yet arrived – it’s going to be bring a whole load of apres-ski vibes when it does. Think fur blankets, lots of fairy lights and hot buttered rum to keep you toasty.
Address: 1 Curtain Rd, Hackney, London EC2A 3JX
Tucked away in a stunning canal-side mural-filled location in Hackney Wick, Number 90 has been staunchly blazing the trail for outdoor drinking in London for almost a decade. Lets face it, combining some of the city’s most iconic street art with a seasonal cocktail list, delicious eats and (during normal times) live music is never going to be a bad shout.
Address: 90 Wallis Rd, Hackney Wick, London E9 5LN
Dalston Roof Park
Dalston’s coolest rooftop bar does outdoor drinking spectacularly well – pairing beers, natural wines and pop up street food with skyline views. It’s closed for the season – but they are still hosting special events including film screenings that are worth checking out.
Address: The Print House, 18-22 Ashwin St, Dalston, London E8 3DL
There’s a lot to like at the alfresco-ish (it’s covered by a much-welcome glass roof) Boundary Rooftop. The striking city views for one – the plethora of chill spots for sundowners for another. It transforms itself into a fairy-lit haven during the winter months so you can take refuge from the cold, cold world outside.
Address: 2-4 Boundary St, Hackney, London E2 7DD
Settings don’t come much dreamier than Barge East. Whether you drink on the giant barge perched jauntily on its mooring on the River Lee or in the idyllic awned garden pitched up alongside, it’s little wonder it’s become a local favourite in Hackney Wick.
Address: River Lee, Sweetwater Mooring, White Post Ln, Hackney Wick, London E9 5EN
Mama London Shoreditch
The gorgeous outdoor bar at Shoreditch newbie Mama London is a cool hangout that’s got the social distancing thing down to a t. Quirky decor, covered seating and inventive cocktails lure drinkers to the terrace – just don’t blame anyone if you don’t want to leave.
Address: 437 Hackney Rd, London E2 8PP
Bookings: Call + 44 207 613 6500
Bussey Rooftop Bar
Boasting the same incredible views and rooftop kudos as the legendary summer pop up Franks around the corner, it’s little surprise that the Bussey Building’s Rooftop Bar is one of Peckham’s most popular spots.
The extensive terrace is the perfect place for quaffing sundowners in the twilight hours – and there are plenty of tables, so booking generally isn’t too much of a pain in the ass.
Address: Roof B Bussey Building, 133 Rye Ln, London SE15 4ST
Peckham’s newest rooftop bar-come-eatery is a welcome addition to the ever-growing roster of outdoor bars in south London.
These guys really know their way around a cocktail ( a fact cemented by the extensive range of negronis on offer). Perfect for bringing that one friend who turns their nose up at everything – even they won’t find something to sniff about.
Address: The Rooftop, 133A Rye Ln, Peckham, London SE15 4BQ
Bar Story Peckham
There’s something about Peckham that lends itself to outdoor drinking (as evidenced by the shocking number of entries it’s managed to finagle onto this list). Bar Story was one of the early stalwarts, an easygoing spot underneath the railway arches with a killer happy hour and poppin’ terrace. It’s charming, unpretentious and perfect for chilled out drinks without breaking the bank.
Address: 213 Blenheim Grove, Peckham, London SE15 4QL
Prince of Wales
Livelier than most of the entries on this list – the Prince of Wales wobbles between the line of pub, bar and club – delightfully so. The rooftop – always a happening spot – has become a mainstay of London’s music scene thanks to its lineup of cool djs and (heated) socially-distanced booths.
Address: 467-469 Brixton Rd, Brixton, London SW9 8HH
Bookings: For tables Tuesday to Thursday call 020 7095 1978 – book weekend events here.
Brixton’s extensive shipping container market has it all – great restaurants, retail and, most importantly, bars. It’s pretty much all outside and they don’t take reservations, so works well for impromptu drinks with the crew. Drinking options include fancy wines from Specialist Stellars and beers from the aptly named Beers of the World.
Address: 49 Brixton Station Rd, Brixton, London SW9 8PQ
Lost in Brixton
Wind your way up the rather inauspicious-looking staircase in a corner of Brixton Village to discover Lost in Brixton, Brixton’s too-cool-for-school drinking spot. The secret rooftop bar is one of the city’s most characterful – with colourful murals and lots (I mean lots) of hanging foliage. Beer pumped straight from Brixton Brewery and food delivered straight from the traders downstairs only add to the appeal.
Address: Brixton Village, Coldharbour Ln, Brixton, London SW9 8PS
Oozing charm and a relaxed atmosphere – Authentique has not only guaranteed its position as a favourite with Tufnell Park locals, it’s gathered quite the city-wide following too. That’s in no small part down to the excellent winde – sourced from French-speaking parts of the world and tasty deli bites. The terrace is its secret gem – bedecked with a colourful mural and all the chilled wine-drinking vibes you could want.
Address: 116 Fortess Rd, Kentish Town, London NW5 2HL
Beavertown’s unashamedly cool vibe translates to their impressive taproom in Tottenham – complete with a massive outdoors space seating tables of six at two metre intervals – little wonder that it’s a frequent feature on any guide to the best breweries in London. The beer – as you would expect – is great, just wrap up warm ‘cos you’re very much at the mercy of the elements. It’s only open on Saturdays and Sundays.
Address: Unit 17, Lockwood Industrial Park, Mill Mead Rd, London N17 9QP
Pergola’s sun-drenched, flowery terrace has fast become one of London’s must-visit summer spots. It doesn’t end when the seasons change though – in the chillier months they crank the heating on, flick the switch on the mood lighting and shimmy their way back into your social diary.
Address: 4 Kingdom St, London W2 6PY
The fireworks might be off but November isn’t completely bereft of joy. Fulham hotspot Neverland’s transformation into a winter wonderland inventively called… Winterland is set to complete on the 5th November. They’re going hard on the Alpine village vibes – with fire pits, mulled wine and DJ tunes to complete the picture.
Address: Neverland, Wandsworth Bridge Road, London SW6 2TY
Practical Tips for Outdoor Drinking in London
- It’s boring but if I had to give you one piece of advice it would be book, book, book – and preferably not just on the day either. Look, I know it’s a right royal PITA but lots of the smaller spots book up quickly and days in advance.
- Not all outdoor bars in London are created equal – it’s worth checking whether the space has heating and whether it’s covered so you can dress accordingly.
Map of Outdoor Bars in London
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Looking for More London Drinking Guides?
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The Best Bars in London
London’s Secret Drinking Spots
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