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Top 10 Best Restaurants on the river Thames

Picture of Top 10 Best Restaurants on the river Thames

If you're searching for the best riverside restaurants in London, this go-to guide covers the top restaurants dotted along the banks of the river Thames. Much is made of the capital's north-south divide. It's nonsense really; what divides us is also what unites us - the majestic river Thames. Yes, it also flows through Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire (among other counties) but everyone in London knows it's OUR river and we love it. Riverside bars, pubs and restaurants have always been popular drinking spots, so that's why we've chosen ten of the best restaurants on the Thames so that you can get all gooey and romantic.

Image of The Bingham Riverhouse

Richmond & Kew
Restaurant / Hotel

With perfect views of the river Thames, The Bingham offers elegant fine dining (check out the 3 AA Rosettes!!) in one of the most romantic riverside restaurant settings in all of London. Saunter up to the cocktail bar and order yourself and your loved one a glass of bubbles each. Then head for the heated balcony (be smart, secure your booking ahead of time) so that you can gaze from each other's eyes, down to your delightful dinner, and then out across the lawn to the river. This venue is also a hotel so be extra smart and combine your evening with a romantic walk on the river and an overnight stay. You old devil, you!

Image of Le Pont de la Tour Restaurant

London Bridge & Bermondsey

London's Le Pont de la Tour restaurant is one of London's most illustrious restaurants. Beloved of celebrities, courting couples, London visitors and local residents alike, the riverside restaurant offers fabulous French food in an awe-inspiring setting near Tower Bridge. The classically elegant restaurant comes into its own at nightfall when the bridge is floodlit and the glittering cityscape beyond twinkles with life. As restaurants with a view go, the Thameside terrace is one of its most enduring and alluring assets. In the summer, it boasts an open-air crustacean bar; while in the winter, it welcomes its Champagne bar for cocktails and winter warmers against the backdrop of Tower Bridge.

Image of Chokhi Dhani

Bar / Restaurant

This is one of those hidden gem Indian restaurants that not only has the resplendent view of the river Thames to enjoy, especially if you are seated on the outdoor shisha terrace, but also a split level concept with bags of fun to look forward to. Once the lights fade on the river's calm waters near Battersea Park, step inside this Nine Elms restaurant for cheap street food and exotic cocktails downstairs, and fine dining upstairs. Encounter is the very best of royal Rajasthan (so think vegetarian and Tandoor). If you book a table Thursday to Sunday, you'll also encounter a variety of free entertainment at your table. One of the most eclectic riverside restaurants in London.

Image of Coppa Club Tower Bridge

Aldgate, Fenchurch Street & Tower Hill

At this City of London restaurant you get multiple views to be in awe of. From a window seat, or from one of the inventive greenhouse dining pods on the south-facing alfresco terrace, you have unrestricted views of Tower Bridge, City Hall, The Shard, London Bridge, HMS Belfast, the Tower of London and the river Thames itself. Quite the collection. The restaurant serves breakfast, brunch, grills, salads, small plates, pizzas and bar snacks. You can also grab a refreshing cocktail or four. So if you work in the City, or if you're visiting one of the many attractions nearby, this is your starting or finishing point, right next to the river.

Image of Skylon Restaurant & Bar

South Bank & Bankside
Bar / Restaurant

For those foodies who also have a penchant for culture, this is the riverside restaurant for you. There aren't many restaurants better placed if you're visiting a show at the Southbank Centre (Royal Festival Hall, Hayward Gallery, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Purcell Rooms), the BFI Southbank cinema, the National Theatre or the BFI IMEX. In fact, even if you're not going to a show, check out the pre-theatre menu anyway as it offers exceedingly good value, and views of the river Thames from above. The large airy restaurant is best visited at night to avoid the glare of the daytime sun, although the brunch menus would work well for culture on the weekends. Booking is strongly advised for show nights.

Image of Northbank

City of London
Bar / Restaurant

There is a sun-trap terrace at this restaurant on the Thames, but you can only enjoy dining out there for lunch. For dinner, you'll need to come inside, where you can still enjoy riverside views of the Millennium Bridge, Tate Modern, Shakespeare's Globe and The Shard, only from behind the glass, away from the elements. The menu leans towards a City-working crowd (steaks, market fish, oysters, lobster, crab and salmon), as does the prices involved, but that does mean the quality is exceptional (the head chef has previously worked for Marco Pierre White, Portrait restaurant, Ham Yard Hotel and the Zetter Hotel). The drinks list includes small producers as well as Cornish mead made from honey.

Image of Sea Containers Restaurant

South Bank & Bankside
Bar / Restaurant

Sea Containers at Mondrian London is one of those restaurants on the Thames that will suit a sunset as it glistens off the water and dips below the bridges to the west. It's also a fabulous location to eat and rink if you're visiting the nearby National Theatre, Tate Modern, Shakespeare's Globe, or Royal Festival Hall. Indeed any romantic walk along the Southbank would be improved with a stop off at Sea Containers. The menus bring together fresh produce from Borough Market close by, and you can dine any time of the day: breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinners. Top tip: the terrace menu differs from the menu inside the restaurant; it's a simpler version but you get more of that killer view.

Image of Gaucho Canary

Canary Wharf
Bar / Restaurant
Steak House

Boasting a superb riverside location, Gaucho is one of the best Canary Wharf restaurants available and it offers amazing, secluded river views; with a continental feel provided by the large alfresco terrace. Buenos Aires has a reputation for shining hospitality and the welcoming staff at this glamorous location make it a prime choice during beautiful evenings (especially at sunset). Traditional dishes are cooked in onion, chilli and peppers with tall glass servings of Latin American grappas and rum based cocktails to quench that summer thirst. The meat-hungry sect in the banking and finance sector will want to book a table at this excellent restaurant for those famous Argentine steaks.

Image of Blueprint Cafe

London Bridge & Bermondsey

Blueprint Cafe on the southern banks of the Thames has completely unique vantage point. The cafe-restaurant sits looking up at Tower Bridge in Shad Thames with the glass front spanning both East and West providing you with an unmissable setting for brunch, coffee or whatever you like. The view is so interesting that it's almost worth ordering tap water and gazing out like a moron for an hour. The new Sunday brunch menu and chef's fixed price menu (three courses for less than £25) are where you'll want to set your gaze once you've taken in that amazing view. There is a decent range of wines by the glass if you want to mosey along the river after your feed.

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