Fancy a drink or a bite to eat in the sun? Here’s the best terraces, alfresco dining spots and rooftop bars in north London…
Photo: Granary Square Brasserie
1 The Lighterman, King’s Cross
The Lighterman is a really lovely spot. It has a wraparound first-floor terrace and a canalside bar for more casual visits, but come for the views and linger for the food. While at first glance the menu seems fairly standard – fish and chips, rib-eye steak, pan-fried Loch Duart salmon – the calibre of the chefs (exec chef Diego Cardoso is ex- The Connaught and ex- Murano, while head chef Aaron Ashmore was a Masterchef: The Professionals semi-finalist) elevates this food to an artform.
Address: 3 Granary Square, King’s Cross N1C 4BH
2 The Standard London, King’s Cross
The Standard hotel open air rooftop offers a taste of New York’s iconic rooftop bars in London. The Standard Rooftop sits above the hotel’s 10th floor, serving a specially curated menu of cocktails, wine on tap and bottled beers. The hotel also offers a garden terrace at its all-day restaurant, Isla, serving traditional pub classics and NYC dive bar food.
Address: 10 Argyle Street WC1H 8EG
3 Granary Square Brasserie, King’s Cross
Granary Square Brasserie has a great terrace overlooking – no prizes for guessing here – Granary Square. With over 70 covers, it’s one of London’s biggest terraces, and a great spot to grab a bite while you watch people frolic in the fountains on a hot day or steal yourself for a day exploring this incredibly transformed neighbourhood with its public art, canals and great shops.
Address: Granary Square, 1-3 Stable Street, King’s Cross N1C 4AB
4 The Albion, Islington
This Georgian pub has a quaint walled garden with wisteria spilling down from the trees, foliage-covered back wall, plant pots, hanging baskets and stone pillars. The Albion boasts a classic English menu that has chalked up a number of awards and recognition, and is a place to go when you want to impress someone on a ‘casual’ date.
Address: 10 Thornhill Road, Islington N1 1HW
5 The Canonbury Tavern, Islington
Since the early 1700s, Canonbury Tavern has been providing Londoners with the perfect spot to drink, eat and laugh with friends. Even George Orwell once sat writing his book 1984 here. Showcasing classic British pub food, hearty meals from the grill and, of course, a Sunday roast, everything’s a winner on Canonbury Tavern’s menu. No matter when you go, make sure you spend time in the back beer garden, which is one of the largest in London with the room to seat over 200 people.
Address: 21 Canonbury Place N1 2NS
6 Smokehouse, Islington
This restaurant looks like a vintage doll’s house. But not only is it truly adorable, Smokehouse has won its fair share of plaudits for its original smoked and grilled food, great beers and small-vineyard wines. The outside space is enclosed by tall green hedges and accessed via a quaint leafy arch, where a chimenea at the far end keeps any evening chill at bay. There are also comfy cushioned banquets, ideal for enjoying a cold jug of Pimm’s while contemplating the menu of dishes like BBQ gilt head bream with Korean BBQ dressing and smoked bone marrow with pickled shallots and sourdough.
Address: 63-69 Canonbury Road, Islington N1 2DG
7 The Skinny Kitchen, Islington
With branches in Islington, Canterbury and Ibiza, The Skinny Kitchen offers all-day dining for the health conscious, with nutritious, healthy meals served up from breakfast through to dinner. There’s also a lively bottomless brunch option at the weekend, complete with Ibiza-style DJs and live entertainment (calorie-counting and Keto diets are replaced with bottomless pornstar martinis or prosecco here). Located right by the Business Design Centre, The Skinny Kitchen has a great alfresco terrace, complete with pergola, fairy lights and leafy green plants to add a tropical touch.
Address: 52 Upper Street, Angel N1 0QH
8 Big Chill, King’s Cross
Kitsch and colourful furniture decks out this rooftop bar which claims to bring a taste of Shoreditch to King’s Cross. Atop a Victorian pub with a quirky interior, this rooftop bar is an excellent place for an elevated drink. The menu ranges from craft beer, cider and wine to cocktails like the Big Tea Party – Absolut, Beefeater, El Jimador, Appleton white, Triple sec, apple juice, lemon juice, bitters and blackcurrant jam. It does food, too, and brunch for the morning after.
Address: 257-259 Pentonville Road, King’s Cross N1 9NL
9 The Lord Palmerston, Tufnell Park
After an extensive renovation, The Lord Palmerston re-opens its doors; with a new look that combines the historic beauty of the pub with fresh and contemporary features. This neighbourhood favourite celebrates the best things in life: hearty British fare and London’s finest craft beer, all enjoyed in a relaxing environment. The traditional pub has been given a new lease of life with an all-weather terrace complete with finer, cosy features. This is the perfect place to enjoy a spot of al fresco dining or relaxed afternoon drinks.
Address: 33 Dartmouth Park Hill, Tufnell Park NW5 1HU