London’s best budget rooftop bars
By Helly Barrett (follow Helly on Twitter @helly_barret)
With the sun shining in London over the recent weeks, there’s definitely a spring/summer vibe emerging throughout the city. So, grab your sunglasses and a map of London and read on to find out where this summer’s best budget rooftop bars are going to be.
The £ symbol next to each location indicates whether the place is more or less expensive (from £ = super cheap to £££££ = very expensive).
#1 Frank’s Café | Southwark | £
You wanted budget, we’re giving you budget. Located on Level 10 of the Peckham Multistory carpark, Frank’s café is a simple, rustic rooftop bar (by simplistic we mean you may have to sit on the floor). However, if it means you can watch the sunset over London with cocktails from £6 and sharing platters from £4.50, who the hell cares!
Where: 95A Rye Lane, London SE15 4ST
Prices: Beer/wine from £4.50, cocktails from £6, sharing platters from £4.50
Saturday – Sunday: 11am – 11pm
#2 The Golden Bee | Old Street | £££
If you’re one of London’s busier bees hoping to escape the hectic streets below, then head on up to the Golden Bee rooftop bar on Singer Street in Shoreditch. This cheap rooftop terrace boasts views of London’s financial district and Shoreditch either side. With fire-pits, and 2 for 1 happy hours during the week, this is the perfect place for budget drinks after work this spring.
We’re also excited about their rooftop cinema which comes with complimentary bottomless popcorn and snuggly blankets! At just £12 a ticket check out the line up here (now closed).
Where: Singer St, London EC1V 9DD
Prices: Beer from £4.50, drinks from £8.50, softdrinks from £3, sharing platters from £30
Tuesday: 5pm – midnight
Wednesday: 5pm – 1am
Thursday: 5pm – 2am
Friday: 5pm – 3am
Saturday: 5pm – 3am
Download the Drinki app which offers you one free drink every night in exchange for a Facebook Check In. Use the promo code BILDN on sign up to receive a Drinki token (free drink on us)!
#3 Alfie’s rooftop kitchen | Marylebone | £
Who says rooftop bars have to be all about the cocktails. Located in Angel on top of Alfie’s Antique market, Alfie’s rooftop kitchen offers the perfect setting for lunch or weekend brunches. A portion of chips and a Magners cider for just £6.50, while soaking up London’s sunshine? Sounds pretty sweet to us!
For more information on Alfie’s Antique Market click here
Where: 13-25 Church Street, Marylebone, London, NW8 8DT
Prices: Beer from £3, wine from £4, softdrinks from £1.50, main dishes from £5.95
Tuesday – Saturday: 10am-6pm
#4 Radio Rooftop Bar | Covent Garden | ££££
This roof top bar is already pretty well known so get there early to avoid the rush! However, if it’s night time views of the city lights you’re after than head to the roof of the ME hotel. With a fantastic atmosphere and candle lit sofa areas, (or a glass windowed interior bar), this is the perfect place to take in views of everything from Tower Bridge to the Shard.
Where: 336-337 Strand, London WC2R 1HA
Prices: Beer from £6, wine from £9, all cocktails £13, main dishes from £14
Monday – Wednesday: noon – 1am
Thursday – Saturday: noon – 2am
Sunday: noon– midnight
#5 Aqua Spirit | Regent Street | ££££
For those of you who don’t know London that well and are looking for an easy-to-find rooftop bar, head to Aqua Spirit. It’s practically next door to Oxford Circus station, and with views over all of Regent and Oxford Street, it’s like your shopping, but without the stress – and the spending.
Where: 5th Floor, 240 Regent Street, London, W1B 3BR
Prices: Beer from £5, wine from £8, cocktails from £12.50, snacks from £4.50
Monday – Saturday: noon – 1am
#6 Madison | St Paul’s | £££
Fans of photography this one’s for you. Madison roof top bar overlooks the stunning St Paul’s Cathedral. Grab a seat or standing table at sunset, night-time or on a sunny day and get snapping or simply take in the breath-taking view. Madison can be done on a budget with house wines at only £6 a glass.
Where: 1 New Change, St Paul’s, London, EC4M 9AF
Prices: Beer from £6, wine from £6, cocktails from £10, snacks from £5
Monday – Wednesday: noon – 1am
Thursday – Saturday: noon – 2am
Sunday: 10am – 9 pm
#7 The Queen Elizabeth Hall Roof Garden | Southbank | ££
Located in Southbank, The Queen Elizabeth Hall Roof Garden is the budget rooftop bar for those of you looking to escape the concrete jungle we call London. Overlooking the London Eye and Houses of Parliament, why not grab some friends, a pitcher of Pimms for £22 and take in London’s tourist attractions while relaxing on the quirky rooftop lawn?
Where: Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX
Prices: Beer from £3.85, wine from £5, coctails from £6.90, softdrinks from £2.80, small plates from £5.80, main dishes from £5.95
Everyday: 10am – 10pm
#8 Vista at the Trafalgar | Trafalgar Square | ££££
This one is another for our readers that are still tourists at heart. On top of the Trafalgar hotel is the hidden Vista rooftop bar with cocktails from £8. Take in the incredible architecture that Trafalgar square has to offer, including Nelson’s Column, as the sunsets and you sip on a delicious mojito.
Where: 2 Spring Gardens, Trafalgar Square, London, SW1A 2TS
Prices: Beer from £4.95, wine from £9.50, cocktails from £8, starters from £5.50, main dishes from £13, sharing platters from £17
Tuesday – Saturday: 10am – 6pm
#9 Queen of Hoxton | Shoreditch | £
This is a budget rooftop bar with the same relaxed, quirky vibe as a summer music festival. Rainbow benches, faux grass and fairy lights are the perfect complement to kitsch cocktails from just £6. They also hold regular events including a mass tie dye evening! For views over Shoreditch and something that little bit different head to the Queen of Hoxton rooftop bar now.
Where: 1 Curtain Road, London, EC2A 3JX
Prices: Beer from £2.30, wine from £3.10, cocktails from £6, softdrinks from £1.50, main dishes from £8
Monday – Wednesday: 4pm – 12am
Thursday – Saturday: 4pm – 2am
#10 Sushisamba | Liverpool Street | £££££
Now, at £13 a cocktail we know this may not be the cheapest rooftop bar in London. However, if it’s views of London’s skyline at night you’re hoping for, then this is the place to be – unless you have a fear of heights. Head up to floor 38 in the Heron building, take a deep breath and step out onto sushisamba’s balcony for views of London that’ll render you speechless.
Where: Heron Tower, 110 Bishopsgate, London EC2N 4AY
Prices: Cocktails from £13, small plates from £6, main dishes from £16
38th floor: SUSHISAMBA
Sunday – Monday 11:30am – 11:30pm
Tuesday – Saturday 11:30am – 12:30am
39th floor: Bar/Lounge
Tuesday – Saturday 4pm – close
You may also want to check out the Top 5 vintage fairs in London.