Where To Eat & Drink By London’s Canals

From Little Venice in Maida Vale, through to Regent’s Canal, Haggerston Basin and Hackney Wick, London has plenty of quirky spots to sip cocktails, sample seafood and even take in a gig or two away from the River Thames. Discover a new favourite with this roundup of SL’s top canal-side haunts.…

Rotunda Bar & Restaurant

Part of arts venue Kings Place, Rotunda Bar & Restaurant focuses on all things seasonal and sustainable (it even has its own farm in Northumberland that provides its beef and lamb and has an on-site butchery). This summer, the team has partnered with Havana Club to transform the waterside garden into the vibrant streets of Cuba, covering the terrace with artificial grass and a scattering of comfy deck chairs. A sharing barbecue menu includes the likes of whole jerk chicken served with lobster tail and charred gem salad.

90 York Way, King’s Cross, N1 9AG

Visit RotundaBarAndRestaurant.co.uk

The Lighterman

Located between Granary Square and Regent’s Canal, the three-floor Lighterman offers great views of the square or tranquil waterfront, depending on where you sit. On the lower ground floor, the canal-side bar and terrace offer extensive outdoor seating. Kitted out with wooden furniture, parasols and beautiful planters, the terrace is perfect for al fresco dining. We’re big fans of its courgette, mint and ricotta flatbread.

3 Granary Square, King’s Cross, N1C 4BH

Visit TheLighterman.co.uk

Giant Steps

Earlier this summer Brilliant Corners and Analogue Foundation launched Giant Steps, an indoor and outdoor food, drink and music residency in Hackney Wick. Running until 23rd September, the waterside terrace is home to one of the largest al fresco spaces in east London, hosting a roster of top London restaurants such as Morito and Brawn, an impressive selection of natural wines, craft beer and cocktails, plus a brand new indoor music venue. Giant indeed.

60 Dace Road, Hackney Wick, E3 2NN

Visit BrilliantCornersLondon.co.uk

Alfred Le Roy

Now the weather’s warm, Crate Brewery’s very own barge, the Alfred Le Roy, is back open for business. Decked out in pale shades of pink and blue, the pretty 40-seater serves up classic cocktails while moored, but is available to hire for two-hour booze cruises on the River Lea. Also on the menu is a selection of sharing platters, featuring local goods such as Neal’s Yard cheese, E5 Bakehouse bread, charcuterie, olives and relishes.

White Post Lane, Hackney Wick, E9 5EN

Visit AlfredLeRoy.com

Darcie & May Green

This isn’t just any floating barge. This canal-side bar and eatery, from the brains behind the Daisy Green Collection, has been designed by iconic pop artist Sir Peter Blake – best known for the cover of the Beatles album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. With their zany 60s motif, the two vessels called Darcie Green and May Green, offer two types of dining experiences: May Green – a laid-back café and exhibition space where culture vultures can get their caffeine fix; and Darcie Green, a cool waterside dining spot serving up an all-day menu of Aussie-inspired classics.

1A Sheldon Square, Paddington, W2 6PY

Visit DaisyGreenFood.com

The Waterway

With one of the largest outdoor spaces in the capital, The Waterway’s fully heated terrace on Regent’s Canal provides the perfect spot for al fresco drinking and dining, with a menu that spans sashimi to lobster rolls. Guests can kick back with a refreshing craft beer and feast on barbecued wares from the outside kitchen, or pull up a pew in the Lower Garden (available to hire for parties) and soak up the sun in leafy surroundings.  

54 Formosa Street, Maida Vale, W9 2JU

Visit TheWaterway.co.uk

The Summerhouse

Situated on the beautiful banks of Little Venice, The Summerhouse is a tranquil spot for waterside dining, where guests can tuck into New England-style clam chowder and popcorn shrimp. In the summer months, the picturesque restaurant rolls back its windows to leave only leafy partitions standing between diners and the bobbing barges beside them. We’re a big fan of the decor: picture light-oak floors, whitewashed walls, blue and white striped furnishings and a scattering of seaside artefacts.

 60 Blomfield Road, Maida Vale, W9 2PA

Visit TheSummerHouse.co

Proud East

Formerly the Proud Archivist, this multipurpose venue has everything from a laid-back restaurant to a café, bar and events space, all housed in a picture-perfect spot on the banks of Regent’s Canal. The space is designed to allow guests to linger from breakfast until late: the venue offers pool tables, games consoles and a bar stocked with local brews and spirits. Weekend brunch focuses on pizzas and sharing plates, with a side order of panoramic waterside views.

 2-10 Hertford Road, Haggerston, N1 5ET

Visit ProudEast.com

Arepa & Co

This quirky canal-side cafe and bar serves up authentic Venezuelan mains and light bites: think cornbread, maize, black beans, fried plantain, avocado, cassava, shredded beef, pork loin and roasted vegetables, all spiced and seasoned to perfection. The sister site of Paradise Row in Bethnal Green, the Haggerston branch comes complete with a terrace and hammocks, making it the ideal spot to sip a punchy cocktail (we’ll have an ‘Arepita Sour’) and take in the bustle of Haggerston Basin.

58A De Beauvoir Crescent, Haggerston, N1 5SB

Visit ArepaAndCo.com


London Shell Co.

London Shell Co. serves an ever-changing British seafood menu while guests cruise along the historic Regent's Canal. Moored on Sheldon Square at Paddington Basin, the boat’s journey takes guests through the depths of the Maida Hill Tunnel and past iconic landmarks such as ZSL London Zoo and Regents Park. Those wanting to stay put should opt for one of the ‘static lunches’ on Tuesday-Saturday: menus across the board change daily but expect the likes of Cornish crab on toast with peas and broad beans; and smoked cod’s roe with radishes and seeded crackers.

 Sheldon Square, Paddington, W2 6PY

 Visit LondonShellCo.com

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