We all love admiring the River Thames – particularly if it’s while tucking into a delicious plate of food. London has great eateries dotted along its waterside, from rooftop restaurants on the Southbank to seafood hotspots in Richmond and even a few boats docked on the river itself. Visit during the day to watch boats meandering along; or book an evening table to see the lights of the city’s landmarks reflected on the water. Read on to discover our pick of the best riverside restaurants in London.
The Best Riverside Restaurants in London
The clue’s in the name: fiume translates as river in Italian, and that’s exactly where you’ll find this gem from Francesco Mazzei. Perched on the banks of the Thames in Battersea Power Station’s Circus West Village, Fiume is the perfect setting for enjoying some rustic southern Italian fare. Head chef Lazarin Kroni and his team cook up fresh, hearty dishes inspired by the Amalfi Coast: think grilled seafood, hand-rolled pasta, pizzas and sorbets. Pair with an Aperol Spritz or two for a real taste of la dolce vita.
Battersea Power Station, Circus West Village, London SW8 5BN, fiume-restaurant.co.uk
Le Pont de la Tour
One of the capital’s longest standing riverside restaurants, La Pont de la Tour has been around for over 30 years – and its charm shows no sign of slowing. The sophisticated French eatery offers unparalleled views of Tower Bridge, best enjoyed from the large outdoor terrace. Traditional yet innovative cooking is the focus, with the menu featuring dishes like moules mariniere, roast native lobster with garlic butter, and steak frites. There’s also a set menu offering three courses for £35 – and this summer guests can enjoy special cocktails from Mirabeau.
36D Shad Thames, London SE1 2YE, lepontdelatour.co.uk
At the end of last year, Richard Caring’s uber-glamorous Mayfair restaurant Scott’s opened a second branch on the Richmond riverside. Unsurprisingly, celebrities were flocking to the seafood destination within weeks of the launch, with everyone from Ed Westwick to Lady Amelia Winsor and Peter Crouch spotted dining there. Inside is suitably glitzy, with a standout central bar and chandeliers aplenty – but for the best riverside views nab a seat on the al fresco terrace. Settle in for English oysters, fruits de mer platters and champagne for the ultimate summer’s evening.
4 Whittaker Ave, Richmond TW9 1TH, scotts-richmond.com
The River Cafe
A true London stalwart, The River Cafe has remained largely unchanged since Ruth Rogers and Rose Gray launched it back in 1987. Perched beside the Thames in Hammersmith, it’s an endlessly glamorous spot serving Italian fare, with its own dreamy riverside terrace. The menu is seasonal, though some signature dishes remain constant, such as the chargrilled squid with chili and rocket, and the Chocolate Nemesis dessert.
Thames Wharf, Rainville Rd, London W6 9HA, rivercafe.co.uk
Off-the-beaten-track gastropub The Gun is a bit of a walk from Canary Wharf, but it’s well worth going out of your way for. Perched right on the riverside, the stylish pub boasts lovely views of the 02 and Greenwich – particularly from its waterside terrace, which fills up quickly during the summer months. Despite undergoing a lengthy refurbishment a couple of years ago, The Gun maintains its history and heritage, with long-cherished features such as open fires and wooden panelling. Head there on a Sunday afternoon for a roast with a view.
Docklands, 27 Coldharbour, London E14 9NS, thegundocklands.com
A more recent addition to the capital’s riverside dining scene is Tavolino, an Italian restaurant opened in 2020 in London Bridge. Grab a table on the outdoor terrace to enjoy panoramic views of the Gherkin, Tower Bridge and the Tower of London, paired with Sicilian-inspired dishes. The restaurant is spearheaded by Louis Korovilas, former head chef of pasta bar Bancone, and pasta takes centre stage here too, alongside antipasti and pizzas. To drink, sip wines from Italy’s lesser known vineyards alongside plenty of cocktails.
2 More London Pl, London SE1 2RR, tavolino.co.uk
Sam Harrison has been a favourite in west London for many years now, having run Chiswick hotspot Sam’s Brasserie for a decade. Now he’s at the helm of another eponymous restaurant, Sam’s Riverside, a bright, airy brasserie in Hammersmith. Big windows offer beautiful riverside views, with a particularly special private dining room seating up to 18 people. The menu focuses on seasonal British cuisine, with oysters a speciality, alongside dishes like scallop ceviche with mango and passionfruit, spatchcock poussin with asparagus, and Cornish hake with fennel. Alongside this there’s an extensive wine list, with all wines handpicked by Sam, including plenty of English sparkling.
1 Crisp Rd, London W6 9DN, samsriverside.co.uk
Sea Containers London
This sleek hotel marooned on the South Bank has remained one of the city’s most popular riverside spots since opening in 2014. Its ground floor restaurant offers relaxed all-day dining with views of the Thames, with stylish interiors courtesy of Tom Dixon alongside a terrace which is currently running in collaboration with Laurent-Perrier. Kick off with some small plates such as four cheese croquettes and grilled sweetheart cabbage ahead of meat and fish grills, pastas and salads.
20 Upper Ground, London SE1 9PD, seacontainerslondon.com
The latest addition to the Aussie-inspired Daisy Green Collection, Peggy Green is housed on a restored former Jesus College Oxford barge docked on the Thames in Richmond. It’s the perfect spot for a fun Saturday brunch with friends, with both outdoor and indoor seating and an ultra-instagrammable look – think pink umbrellas, greenery aplenty and blue booth seating. Favourites here include the legendary sweetcorn fritters and the Daisy Green twist on a Full English, The Bondi, featuring fermented charcoal sourdough, avocado, bacon and chilli and fennel sausage. Add an extra layer of fun by going bottomless, with 90 minutes of free-flowing Daisy Green fizz.
The Boat, Bridge Boat House, Riverside, Richmond TW9 1TH, daisygreenfood.com
OXO Tower Restaurant
Rooftop and riverside: the restaurant at the top of the OXO Tower ticks two big boxes. Whizz eight stories up to see London from a unique vantage point, plus enjoy refined British dishes and top-notch cocktails. This chic stalwart has been around for over two decades and is a surefire hit for special occasions. Its afternoon tea is well worth a try too – particularly special when enjoyed al fresco.
Barge House St, London SE1 9PH, oxotowerrestaurant.com
Featured image: Peggy Green