When it comes to outdoor dining, we've learned a lot over the past two years. Coronavirus forced us to spend season after season exploring the best outdoor restaurants in London, and after A LOT of wining and dining at the most instagrammable terraces and rooftops, we're pretty much experts in outdoor eating at this point.
As part of our exploration into the best restaurants in London for outdoor dining, we were particularly after those with outdoor heating. Because, not only do we all have one 'always-cold' friend, the weather in the UK is so unpredictable there's no telling whether we'll be freezing our arses off in August or sweating through our re-entry outfits in October.
With this Spring's weather being more chaotic than ever, we're hoping many restaurants are prepared and have installed those all-important space heaters.
Seriously, at this point if you don’t have heaters on your terrace we're calling the Food Standards Agency for violations against basics like us who refuse to dress appropriately for the weather. Frankly, as women, we simply cannot be expected to be glamorous, excellent company and cold – it’s not scientifically possible.
So, enjoy this list of the best restaurants with outdoor seating AND heating in London, so you can socialise and stay snuggly no matter if it's a heat wave or a rain storm this Spring.
The best restaurants with outdoor seating in London
Best Restaurants With Outdoor Seating in London - Grazia
Looking out over the boats and water, Burger & Lobster at West India Quay is the perfect alfresco spot to crack a claw. The restaurant is housed in the refurbished quayside warehouse with a menu featuring dreamy Burger & Lobster classics including whole Nova Scotian Lobster, Nebraskan beef burgers and OG lobster rolls. And until 6th June, sarnie maestro and TV chef Max Halley of Max's Sandwich Shop has curated two limited-edition rolls available across nine B&L locations: the Lobster Cocktail Roll and the Fish & Chip Lobster Roll. Trust us, you MUST experience this incredible collaboration before it escapes you forever!
The latest addition to Marylebone's Old Quebec Street cove is Chourangi, taking its name from Chowringhee, the oldest and most vibrant quarter of Calcutta. Chourangi promises to bring the unexplored flavours of Calcutta cuisine, and boy does it deliver. The brainchild of chef-turned-leading Indian restaurateur Anjan Chatterjee and tech entrepreneur, Aditya Ghosh, Chourangi has a menu like no other. Hero dishes' include Prawn & Crab Parcels, Banana Flower Croquettes, Slow Roasted Kosha Lamb and Aam Aachar Hilsa. Our favourite? The Tiger Prawn Tandoori.Chourangi is the perfect place for an intimate yet luxurious dinner with friends, just as appropriate for celebrating as a romantic date with outdoor seating set among cosy heaters. Inside, the unique interior designed to reflect the soul and essence of Calcutta features neutral Indian limestone floors and rattan teak-stained furniture designed by Steve LaBouchardiere and Simon McCarthy's award-winning hospitality design studio, Design LSM. The service is impeccable too, but ultimately it's the incredible food that keeps you coming back for more.
Now open for indoor diners too, Circolo has brand new gems on their menu with their classic carbonara reimagined in pizza form! Visiting for a birthday recently, the service continues to be unmatched and food better than ever. The outdoor terrace area of this incredibly instagrammable restaurant is surprisingly cosy, with friendly, efficient and incredibly hands-on service. My favourite from the menu? Well, I've been dreaming of the Mafaldine Al Tartufo for weeks. Of course, it's the carbonara pizza and octopus ragu people go crazy for, and for good reason. Honestly, I could live in this restaurant, the perfect place to catch up with friends, drinking the house dry of wine and eating your weight in the most delicious italian food, what more could you ask for?To make the experience even more enjoyable, customers can now also gain back time by settling their bill via a new innovative payment app, sunday, launched by Big Mamma co-founders. Allowing you to pay the bill in under 30 seconds via a QR code provided at your table, the new technology means no more time wasted waiting for the bill and more time to order one last cocktail!
One of the most underrated spots in London, Arenella's rooftop is situated perfectly just outside the hustle and bustle of Angel. With incredible service staff and the friendliest chef, dining here is about more than just great food. We tried the hugely popular bottomless lunch and honestly, we've not stopped dreaming of the elderflower spritz, five-star calamari and delectable chicken milanese with mafalde pomodoro (don't let us forget about the mini chocolate hazelnut donuts!).A step up from bottomless brunch, Arenella's offer takes place from 12pm-9pm and includes a 2 -course meal comprising seasonal Southern Italian inspired fare and a choice of free-flowing spritzes or Prosecco, all for £35pp over the course of 2 hours. For £55pp, customers can be upgraded to a luxury Champagne lunch, with unlimited glasses of Autréau also on offer. Honestly, with food as good as this and staff as delightful to match, it's the re-entry afternoon you deserve!
The Goring is hosting a series of incredible events this summer, kicking off with a Rick Stein pop-up June 14-20 for a special week celebrating 'A Taste of Cornwall'. Rick and his team will unleash iconic Rick Stein dishes bursting with lobster, crab and the freshest fish imaginable for guests over a series of lunch and dinners in the sunny veranda overlooking The Goring's majestic secluded garden. As well as an utterly luxurious overnight stay (with a guaranteed upgrade), guests will choose a three-course lunch or dinner of exquisite fish and seafood, created by the supremely talented Stein family. A Rick Stein book will be included as a memento for guests to take home. The Goring's summer lineup also includes The Lobster and Fizz Garden from 17th May onwards, plus Britain's most popular little pony, Teddy the Shetland as 'pony in residence' from 16th - 31st August. Teddy will pack his saddle bags and live in The Goring Garden where guests will be able to enjoy a limited-edition Teddy the Shetland afternoon tea and a special Teddy overnight package.
An absolute must visit in London, German Gymnasium has indoor and outdoor seating to serve it's chic brasserie dining and premium cocktails. And this summer, the restaurant has just opened it's German Gin Garden, an alfresco terrace which is a must visit for gin fans, with mouth-watering cocktails featuring Monkey 47 Schwarzwald Dry Gin. (We really recommend the Bee's Knees Sour, btw.) The Mittel-European German Gymnasium Grand Café menu has made it a favourite for Londoners, with 4.4 stars on Google and thousands of glowing reviews. The chicken schnitzel is a fave.
OK, so we can totally see why the A-list are obsessed with Nobu. And you won't need to jet off to LA to feel like a movie star (or honorary Kardashian), as Nobu have opened a Roku Japanese Gin Garden at their Portman Square branch. Try the build-your-own cocktails, but be prepared to be completely wowed by the food. The miso-marinated black cod is a must try, as well as the rock shrimp tempura. And of course, the hotel' chain's world-famous sushi. Bonus: the heating is 10/10 so you can wear whichever fancy outfit you want.
One of the most chic rooftop bars in all of London, The Nest Rooftop Bar sits atop Treehouse Hotel London and has a uniquely decorated interior perfect for instagrammable moments - combined with cosy outdoor seating with glorious views over London. Their calamari is a particular favourite of ours, as well as the delectable cocktails.
Even when no one wanted to eat outdoors in the UK, Aviary's adorable winter igloos meant they were booked up the entire festive season. If you can squeeze a booking in this year, it's a must-visit purely for the festive feels alone.
Ham Yard Hotel's heated outdoor dining terrace is open for all day dining and afternoon tea. Keep warm whilst keeping in touch with friends and family, celebrate a special occasion or experience the hotel's very own Winter Roof Terrace Nights. Sip your way through a delicious menu of cocktails on the hotel's roof terrace with views overlooking Soho's rooftops and beyond.
Located right on South Bank, with gorgeous views over the Thames, Sea Containers is a perfect choice for a summer evening or a relaxed afternoon. This summer, the restaurant has opened their Laurent-Perrier Summer Terrace, so you can soak up the view while enjoying champagne and gorgeous seasonal food - with a choice of large or small plates. We really recommend the Fruits de Mer seafood platter - including octopus, prawns, dressed crab and oysters. The cocktails and the key lime pie are also to die for. The terrace is on a first come, first served basis - so we'd definitely recommend you check it out if you happen to be strolling along South Bank.
Pergola Paddington's 'Miracle on Kingdom Street' is a seasonal escape featuring a Winter Wonderland Forest and Alpine Winter Hall, decked out with lodges and igloos. With indoor and outdoor seating for groups of up to 6 people, you can enjoy this winter wonderland day and night, seven days a week!
A beautiful and casual restaurant serving Italian ciccetti with a heated terrace. What more do you need?
There are numerous outdoor options at Coq d'Argent, with beautiful rooftop views of the city from their dining area and glorious gardens to roam around on the other side of the roof. Basically, Coq d'Argent is a must-visit!
Bala Baya, the acclaimed Southwark restaurant inspired by the sites and sounds of Tel Aviv, will launch the Discarded Umbrella Winter Garden this December. The show-stopping installation will transform lost and found umbrellas from TFL during lockdown into a sustainable, colourful winter canopy - a must-see!
Beloved by the Made in Chelsea cast, The Ivy Chelsea Garden hosts one of the cutest outdoor seating areas in London. Plus, with a menu like theirs you'll be thankful for the substantial meal requirementu2026
Turning their summer terrace into a warm and cosy winter terrace, complete with a crackling fire pit and festoon lighting, The Standard terrace is set to be one of the city's cosiest spots to curl up in with friends this winter.
This open roof and terrace-style space is ideal for sipping on tempting cocktails and dining on Mama's refreshed menu which includes a selection of delicious kebabs.
Contemporary Japanese restaurant Aqua Kyoto has reopened as a peaceful retreat from the bustling crowds on London's Regent Street.
From the 12th April, Petersham Nurseries will throw open their doors and welcome guests back to their Richmond and Covent Garden homes for alfresco dining.Petersham Nurseries Café in Richmond will be re-opening throughout the week with evening service on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Located a stone's throw away from Richmond Park and set within the nurseries' abundant gardens, tables and chairs scatter the courtyard and guests are invited to dine alfresco beneath the pergola.
While we can't all fly out to the Greek isles, the METAXA and Ampéli Summer Spritz Terrace have brought a taste of the Mediterranean to London's Fitzrovia, offering a host of seasonal METAXA spritz cocktails, indigenous wines and Greek inspired dishes, making the ideal spot to wine and dine alfresco style this summer.
Enjoy the hustle and bustle with Frenchie's terrace dining slap bang in the thick of it all in Covent Garden. The food's pretty special too. Frenchie's Chef Patron Greg Marchand - famed for his use of traditional French techniques and international flavours - has cherry-picked five of Frenchie's classic dishes to create a Best of Frenchie 5-course tasting menu (£70). Try this for a monkfish that's off the scale and a banoffee dessert which will leave you speechless.
If it's real deal Indian you're after, head straight to Pali Hill for regional Indian small plates at their best, right in the heart of Fitzrovia. Derived from home recipes and traditional techniques, the restaurant serves up wow factor with every dish - but it's the lamb chops in particular you'll be writing home about.
Find us a more sophisticated spot for outdoor dining than a heated terrace on the streets of Savile Row in Mayfair. Sartoria is the place to take that friend/date you really want to impress. With renowned Italian chef Francesco Mazzei at the helm, you're in extremely safe hands. Think sublime carbonara and extra special risotto, followed by a home cured black cod to make you immediately rebook your next meal here.
Stanley's outdoor dining area feels like a secret garden hidden in the middle of Chelsea. Inspired by the countryside, the tables are surrounded by trees and pink blossoms with heaters and blankets dotted around the patio to keep you warm as the night gets cooler. The espresso martinis are particularly good - and you have to try the truffle gnocchi.
Cold beer, great tapas and a beaut view of the Thames - this place is perfect for after work drinks. Somerset House has partnered with San Miguel for the third season of their summer terrace (with heaters, obv) and is open from lunch till late.
Pantechnicon is a six story concept store with a gorgeous rooftop that's perfect for drinks or dinner. Combining Japanese and Nordic cuisine, the flavour combinations in the Mentaiko spaghetti have got us hooked.
360 degree views of London's skyline, luxury cocktails and fine dining. Are you sold? Because we definitely are. Trust us, they do an incredible negroni. Get yourself settled in here this summer.
Hotel Cafe Royal's elegant terrace has launched a collaboration with our favourite champagne brand Veuve Clicquot. Designed with South of France vibes in mind, the terrace is open from Tuesday to Friday from 4:00PM to 10:00PM and Saturdays from 12:00PM to 10:00PM with a menu that covers everything from cocktails to sparkling vintage rosé.
Fiume is the brain child of Francesco Mazzei and the perfect place to enjoy an aperol and an antipasti after work - right next to the Thames and Battersea Power Station. Inspired by a traditional terazza, the summer terrace menu is in partnership with the delicious Malfy Gin and features everything from prawn carpaccio to grilled calamari.
Toklas restaurant has a super zen terrace garden a short walk away from Covent Garden that's the perfect respite from the chaos of central London. Their cocktail menu puts twists on your classic favourites while the food menu, which changes daily depending on the fresh produce, includes everything from octopus to clam risotto.
While these restaurants may not have outdoor seating yet, they're certainly London must-visits too...
Best Restaurants in London - Grazia
Bun House, which offers Cantonese steamed bun heaven in London's Chinatown, has welcomed award-winning chef Joo Won for a pop-up running until October 4. Joo is serving a menu of South Korean and European-inspired sharing dishes, including his take on an Italian classic, a kimchi and cheddar risotto topped with poached egg and seaweed crisp (delicious) and his unique JFC - Joo's Fried Chicken – fried chicken paired with gochujang (red chili paste), ginger, honey and apple, topped with creamy cashews and coriander. Finish with a dark chocolate cremeaux with yuza marmalade, hoji tea and toasted grain cream.... and roll home happy. Click here to book.
Little Bat Bar is part of the world renowned cocktail bar Group Callooh Callay, with a 12 year track record for serving great drinks to amazing people. The Little Bat Bar food menu offers an impressive selection of small-plates, with dishes effortlessly fusing cosy Mexican cuisine with East Asian flavour and a whole lotta love. As well as small plates available every day from 5pm to 10pm, the bar also offers a bottomless brunch from 11am to 3pm each Saturday and Sunday, where £30 gets you 90 minutes of bottomless Prosecco or brunch cocktails, when ordered alongside a main brunch dish.
Just round the corner from Carnaby Street, Yeni Soho is the brainchild of Civan Er and Cem, who founded Yeni Lokanta in Istanbul. Their modern take on Turkish food comes on sharing plates, with treats including tempura courgette flowers, stuffed with aged feta and drizzled with honey, chilli, and almonds; aubergine baked with stilton, figs and sherry; and the dainty beef manti dumplings. Finish your feast with sütlaç (rice pudding) topped with oh-so-Instagrammable saffron sugar floss - and it all tastes just as good as it looks.