Riverside Restaurants in London: The Best Places to Dine by the River

London is a city with a great deal of character and history, and its restaurants are no exception. The city is home to a plethora of riverside dining options, ranging from fancy spots to cosy diners. Dining on the waterfront is a great way to impress someone, and London does it well.

Whether it’s a romantic dinner or a casual outing with friends, there’s something for everyone in London’s riverside restaurants. This guide will provide you with all the information you need to find the perfect spot for your next waterside occasion.

Key Takeaways

  • London has a variety of riverside dining options, ranging from fancy restaurants to casual diners.
  • Dining on the waterfront is a great way to impress someone, and London does it well.
  • This guide will provide all the necessary information to find the perfect spot for any waterside occasion.

Best Riverside Restaurants in London

River Cafe

Located in Fulham, the River Cafe is one of the most iconic Michelin-starred Italian restaurants in London. The restaurant’s garden and terrace offer stunning views of the River Thames and make for a perfect al fresco dinner spot. The River Cafe has produced some of the finest chefs in the English restaurant scene, including Jamie Oliver.

Barge East

Barge East is a floating restaurant located in Hackney Wick. The owners of Barge East sailed the boat all the way from Holland before docking it on a canal in Hackney Wick. The restaurant is known for its sustainable and fresh ingredients, with a focus on modern takes on British food. The veg garden they grow on the canal bank is also a lovely place to dine.


Skylon is a modern European restaurant located on the first floor of Royal Festival Hall, offering stunning views of the River Thames. The restaurant is known for its skillful take on dishes that look pretty gorgeous on Instagram. While it’s primarily a pre-show restaurant, it still offers some laid-back items on its menu, including a delicious burger.

The Cheese Barge

The Cheese Barge is a giant barge docked up in a London canal, this time in Paddington, and is dedicated to all things cheese. They take great British cheese and incorporate them into a menu that changes with the seasons. Expect cheese platters, melted cheese, grilled cheese, and any other type of cheese you can think of.

The Pear Tree

The Pear Tree is technically a cafe located in Battersea, but it offers plates of food like any restaurant. The all-day menu features excellent light brunch dishes and a spread of pan-Asian cooking for dinner. The restaurant also has a decent selection of wines and cocktails, perfect for enjoying next to the still waters of Battersea Park’s ponds.

The Mayflower

The Mayflower is a welcoming pub located in Rotherhithe and claims to be the oldest pub on the River Thames. It’s old enough to be the place where the Mayflower ship set sail, carrying pilgrims to the New World. The pub is full of history, and you can see it in the very walls of the place and on them. The free space is used to hang trinkets and trophies gathered over the centuries.

The Bingham

The Bingham is a grand old country house turned restaurant located in Richmond, offering stunning views of the River Thames. The dining room is trimmed with gold and hung with chandeliers and looks as old-world and aristocratic as they come. The menu features small and big plates with a style that’s more in touch with the contemporary diner than the setting would have you believe.

Crate Brewery

Crate Brewery is one of Hackney’s many craft breweries located in Hackney Wick. The waterfront location offers some pretty excellent beers and plenty of them. The restaurant also offers some pretty killer pizza cooked in wood-fired ovens and made with a thin, crispy base. They even get creative with toppings like sage and truffle pizza and smoked aubergine and goat’s cheese.

Duke’s Head

The Duke’s Head is a 150-year-old pub located in Putney and sits almost directly on the waterfront. The river can be seen from the high windows while you dine, and if it’s a nice day, try to snag one of the few outdoor tables and get even closer to the water.


Gunpowder is an Indian restaurant located near Tower Bridge. The restaurant gained a cult following for its prawn toast, soft shell crab, and lamb shanks straight off the grill. The menu features highly innovative, incredibly delicious food that any fans of Indian cooking will love.

Le Pont de la Tour

Le Pont de la Tour is a white-tableclothed dining affair located near Tower Bridge. The restaurant turns out a mouthwatering menu of brasserie-style classics with no lack of bombast. The newly renovated waterfront space boasts sweeping views of the river, with Tower Bridge framing the whole lot.

Emilia’s Handcrafted Pasta

Emilia’s Handcrafted Pasta is located in St Katharine Docks and offers fresh, handmade pasta on the day. The restaurant doesn’t take itself too seriously and focuses on the cooking. The sleepy dockfront offers views of the yachts of the rich and famous, making for a perfect dining spot.

High Timber

High Timber is located in The City of London and is one of those restaurants that offer stunning views of the River Thames without the swanky atmosphere. The restaurant is known for its extensive wine list and a menu that features South African-inspired dishes.

London’s Riverside Restaurants: Practical Tips

To fully enjoy the experience of dining by the river in London, it is recommended to secure outdoor seating to enjoy the fresh air. Due to the high demand for these tables, it is important to book ahead. When making a reservation, specify a preference for a windowside table or one with a view of the water to avoid being seated in the back of the restaurant.