Proudly perched high up in some of London’s tallest skyscrapers are a bevy of exclusive restaurants that have become as famous for their innovative cuisine as they are for the spectacular views available through their extra-thick, multi-pane windows. If you enjoy your food at terrifying altitude then you simply must make your way up to a few of these excellent eateries!
So have a look through our list of the five best skyscraping restaurants in London and take note of the venues that especially get your belly rumbling (and activate your fear of heights!) in your BUCKiTDREAM planner.
Duck and Waffle Serves Expensive, Luxury Cuisine 24 hours a Day On the 40th Floor Of Heron Tower This restaurant is famous for its extreme proximity to the Gherkin (you could reach across and touch it, please don’t try though!), as well as its lightning fast, Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory-style, glass lift, 24/7 opening hours, and wild, weird, and wonderful menu of rich and eccentric delights.
The panoramic view from the dining room is truly amazing – hello Gherkin, hello St. Paul’s, hello London Bridge, hello Essex! The food at Duck and Waffle is mostly small plates of inventive creations like Coal Roasted Beetroot, Smoked Eel, and Spicy Ox Cheek Doughnut. They also serve main courses including sea bass and roast chicken. Due to its 24/7 opening policy, early breakfasts watching a beautiful London sunrise, or late night snacks after a night of partying in nearby Shoreditch are great options.
Aqua Shard Offers Fine Dining On the 30th Floor Of London’s Iconic, Impossible To Miss, and Almost Randian Shard Building Aqua Shard is an atmospheric and moodily-lit restaurant with a heavenly view of London’s beautiful candy-box of rooftops and winding streets. As Tower Bridge and the South Bank spread out for your viewing pleasure down below, you can sample some excellent, and very expensive, international haute cuisine.
Aqua has an attached cocktail bar with a monstrous international wine list and a mouth-watering selection of cocktails including the strange but delightful Peanut and Corn Old Fashioned and the Pear and Cheese Martini. Another nice option at Aqua is their afternoon tea, which includes all the classic ingredients of a posh British afternoon tea, the only difference being it’s both eye-watering expensive and eye-watering high up. It’s all worth it, however, as the view is sublime.
Fenchurch Seafood Bar & Grill Sits in London’s Highest Public Garden, Way Up in ‘Nosebleed Territory’ Atop the (Strangely) Mundanely-Monikered Megastructure – 20 Fenchurch Street It may sound like you are going to visit your great aunt in a cozy, red-brick terraced house in east London, but in fact ‘20 Fenchurch Street’ is actually a gargantuan skyscraper in the City of London.
The building has been nicknamed the ‘Walkie-Talkie’ because it looks like a walkie-talkie, but we prefer the more modest ‘20 Fenchurch Street’. There is a gorgeous roof garden atop the tower, and nestled amongst the trees and flowers is Fenchurch Seafood Bar and Grill. The view is insane and the food is very good too. Tasty tasting menus, fine dining favorites, and a lengthy wine list make dining in the clouds a very pleasurable experience, and worth the suitably steep prices.
Hutong is a High-End Chinese Restaurant, Half Way Up the Shard Hutong clings to the side of the Shard for dear life, which means the views from its wide windows are wonderful. It’s decor is glitzy and very old-world Chinese, so sitting in Hutong is like being in 19th Century Beijing while looking out the window onto 21st Century London – pretty cool!
The menu is made up of northern-Chinese and Szechuan dishes. The food is very good and much better than what you’ll find in most Chinatown restaurants (it’s also a lot pricier). But given the wonderful surrounds, views, and food, Hutong at the Shard is definitely worth a visit!
City Social Offers a Wonderful View From Floor 24 Of Tower 42 (Almost a Tongue-Twister, But Not Quite) City Social sits on floor 24 of London’s third tallest building and is owned by Michelin-starred chef and restaurateur Jason Atherton. It is stylish, sophisticated and peppered with cool flashes of art deco, yet not overly pretentious and the vibe is friendly.
The comfy, curved booths offer a great view of the surrounding architectural icons (including the Gherkin, Cheesegrater, and St. Paul’s famous dome) and on down to the teeming city beyond. The menu is inventive, but also a tad more conservative than you’ll find in Atherton’s other, ground-level London restaurants.
That was our list of five skyscraping London restaurants that are not to be missed. So whether you’re enjoying a 4 am snack at Duck and Waffle, sipping a Pear and Cheese Martini while you gaze down on the Tower of London from Aqua, or smelling the roses in London’s highest garden as you recline in Fenchurch Seafood Bar and Grill, don’t forget to share your London high-altitude dining experience on your Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter!