It’s that time of year again. Our favourite spots to soak up the evening sun with a cold drink are welcoming us back with open arms.
Whether you’re looking for breath-taking panoramic views of the City or after incredible light bites during golden hour, there’s a rooftop bar in the Square Mile for you. Here are just a few of our favourite sky high saloons.
This botanical City of London rooftop bar provides the perfect place to escape the concrete jungle. Stunning views of St Paul’s cathedral can be enjoyed from every angle against a backdrop of vibrant foliage and contemporary design.
And with two outside terraces – one with a retractable roof for all-weather drinking and dining – Sabine is a bar for all seasons. But it is a lot more than just a rooftop bar – expect the likes of burrata with white peaches and pistachios and big Lebanese meat platters. This is a must-see spot.
10 Godliman Street EC4V 5AJ
From the bronze interiors to the flirty cocktails, ETM Group’s Aviary has been ergonomically engineered for City boys and girls to celebrate successes over amazing panoramic views. And while the slick kitchen does a gastropub-style menu of British classics and meats straight up from the open coal oven, it’s the colossal south-facing terrace, complete with cushy furniture and marble bar that will have them jostling for the lift at the end of the working day.
22-25 Finsbury Square EC2A 1DX
This high-end dim sum paradise has the best location within Broadgate Circle. It wraps around about a third of the public space, with large terraces on both sides. Sit out here on a hot summer’s day, nibbling on delicately crafted dumplings and meat filled bao buns. Add a few cheeky Asian-inspired cocktails to the experience and you’re sorted.
And, when the rain and cold inevitably return, you can still sit outside under the heaters and umbrellas opting for some heartier food and drinks. This is one of our favourite restaurants in the City of London –their terrace is simply the cherry on top.
1 Broadgate EC2M 2QS
The City of London rooftop bars of this historic old boozer is home to a herb garden and vegetable patch as a nod to its namesake, 17th-century herbalist Nicholas Culpeper. Because this is London, there’s also a bar, where you can sip on a Bloody Mary amongst the tomato vines if you so fancy.
It’s as locally sourced as it gets! Try cocktails infused with herbs fresh from the garden and stick around for dinner; the no bookings policy during summer means seats here don’t grow on trees.
40 Commercial Street E1 6LP
We still aren’t sure why this City of London rooftop bars remains hidden from so many people. It is a brilliant spot to head up to for either a night of cocktails and nibbles or a proper sit-down dinner. In one sweep, the view from Mercer Roof Terrace takes in London’s skyline, from the dome of St Paul’s Cathedral to the glass tip of The Shard.
You can even treat yourselves to a quintessentially British experience up here – the afternoon tea. Treat yourselves to cakes, crustless sandwiches and the highly coveted scone while taking in all of those marvellous London landmarks.
20 Garlick Hill EC4V 2AU
Sushisamba – the Brazilian, Peruvian and Japanese joint – is certainly one of the best City of London rooftop bars. The indoor restaurant is home to not one, but two outdoor terraces. Choose between the sprawling views on the East Terrace or toast the summer on the Tree Terrace under our iconic 26ft orange tree.
These are the highest outdoor dining terraces in all of Europe so expect spectacular views with just the right dose of vertigo. And, once you acclimatise, be sure to get around their world-class cocktails alongside some finger food before heading inside for a full-on feast.
Heron Tower EC2N 4AY
Jin Bo Law
Most City of London rooftop bars are lucky to land one or two of London’s landmark buildings in their line of vision, but Jin Bo Law lays claim to the big four – The Gherkin, Tower Bridge, the Walkie Talkie and The Shard – from its perch on the 14th floor of the Dorsett Hotel in Aldgate.
Inside, a giant geometric pineapple stretches the length of the bar and slopes across the ceiling, injecting a healthy dose of playfulness into some fairly ritzy marble and gilt-framed decor. But let’s be honest, it’s all about that postcard view of London’s skyline, best appreciated over a couple of Asian-inspired cocktails.
9 Aldgate High Street EC3N 1AH
The team at Madison have transformed the rooftop space just in time for summer. It is all designed so that guests feel as if they are fully immersed in a boho Ibiza Beach Club. The space is spectacular, and the views over St Paul’s are their biggest drawcard.
Grab a cocktail or two, watching as sunset changes the entire City skyline. Italian Rosolio spirit, Italicus, has sponsored the bar, but we recommend you also indulge with a drink from the classic drinks on the Madison menu too.
One New Change EC4M 9AF
This City of London rooftop bar is a must-see if you’re in the area. Sip on a glass of wine on the South Terrace as you join people soaking up the sunshine. Make sure you book a table on the terrace to avoid disappointment. Grab your mates, fill up a table and tuck into bar snacks while you enjoy the incredible views of the Tower of London beyond.
7 Pepys Street EC3N 4AF
If you haven’t been to Coq d’Argent yet, then you best make sure you get there this year. Surely, you’ve seen the massive rooftop lawns overlooking Bank Junction and the rest of the City on Instagram before. But it’s far from being one of those tourist destinations where you get to see across London but then are inevitably underwhelmed by the food and drink options.
This spot is built for locals and doesn’t skimp on quality. Either come for lunch and drinks by the lawns during the day or head over for late-night cocktails with live DJs once the sun goes down – and trust us, this is one hell of a spot to see the sunset in the City.
No.1 Poultry EC2R 8EJ
Radio Rooftop Bar
If you’re keen to broaden your horizons beyond the City skyline, head to the 10th floor of Meliá’s ME hotel on the Strand for Radio Rooftop’s killer panoramic views over the Thames that stretch from Tower Bridge in the east all the way over to the Houses of Parliament.
Park yourself on one of the Ibiza-style lounges and soak up the sun while sipping cocktails and snacking on international tapas. Just be prepared to queue for the privilege; Radio Rooftop is one hot ticket during the summer months and hard-won reservations usually come with a minimum spend. One of the coolest City of London rooftop bars around.
336-337 The Strand WC2R 1HA
The Skyline London
At the top of Tower Suites by Blue Orchid Hotels, you’ll find the spectacular Skyline bar. One of the newest additions to the City’s incredible rooftop bars, the Skyline offers Italian bites and unique cocktails created by on-site mixologists.
The views are incredible and you can revel in the evening sun while gazing at the Tower of London, Tower Bridge and the River Thames. With sleek furnishings, delicious drinks and panoramic views, this will become your favourite not-so-secret spot in no time.
100 Minories EC3N 1JY