Okay so it's more a rooftop terrace than a rooftop bar, but we still felt The Windmill worthy of a slot on the list. You'll find this hidden oasis of calm above the cosy vibes of the pub downstairs, where mouth-watering pies and an exceptional selection of cask ales are on offer.
Best Rooftop Bars in London
Picture the scene: it’s just you, your closest mates, a round of ice-cold drinks and some of the best views in the biz. A pretty sweet set-up all round; but where exactly can these top alfresco spots be found? Our guide to the best rooftop bars in London reveals all, whether that's for lounging back when there's not a cloud in the sky or drinking under the stars at one of the city's most legendary rooftop parties.
If it's stunning views of St Paul's, a tasty tapas menu and creative cocktail card that you're after, Madison's is an absolute must. Their roof terrace is among the most spacious in the continent, but it's head and shoulders above the rest when it comes to the views on offer. Come by when the sun is setting for a cocktail or bite to eat and you'll see what we mean.
A favourite for hosting private parties and events, this boutique King's Cross venue even comes with a lovely rooftop bar. The Driver gives off the relaxed air of a gastro-pub and somewhere you can come for after-work drinks that's not going to be 10 deep at the bar. Head up to their rooftop and check out views across central London as you enjoy a bevvy or two.
Setting the scene for some of the best rooftop experiences in London is Stratford. Coming at guests not only with a roster of street food stalls and pop-up bars, Roof East is a name on the entertainment scene with events, activities and plenty more for any and all.
Flight Club landed in Victoria to applause thanks to more oches and creative darts games than ever before, but it's their Magic Gardens that have rooftop suppers gagging for more. Decked out in festoon lighting and kitsch bits, it's the perfect spot for a rooftop bev once you're done slaying each other on the board.
We know, we know, NT's in Dalston isn't strictly a rooftop bar, but it's close enough. Beaming with plants, foliage, creative cocktails and excellent DJs and live music every Wednesday to Sunday, this outside terrace is more than worthy of a place on this list.
Set on the rooftop of trendy Waterloo bar Tonight Josephine, Bar Elba is a tropical paradise based on the island that exiled dictator Napoleon used as a party island with his mates. Prepare for sunny colours and panoramic views while you sip on a choice of over 20 cocktails and boozy slushies.
An outdoor bar that knows how to commit to the bit, Radio Rooftop is a sucker for a bit of dress up as it transforms its alfresco terrace into a drinkers paradise. From a hacienda to an English summer garden, this spot above The Strand is must-visit for those looking for a little escapism.
An ever so swish private members club in the heart of Moorgate, Eight is a rooftop bar in London with finesse and charm to its name. From high-end bottles of the good stuff to renowned evenings and charming London views, this rooftop haunt is a smasher in the summer.
Coq D'Argent serves up classic French fare in a truly striking setting. The terrace garden offers a perfect retreat from the frenetic outside world, with gorgeous views of London's skyscrapers, and is perfect for a date, business meeting or just wiling away the hours with a drink in tow.
Formerly The Terrace, this gorgeous rooftop number offers views over Wimbledon alongside delicious cocktails and tasty food for any occasion. And when you're not getting your sip on al fresco, you can be dancing it up in their spacious interiors to some of the best DJs in West London.
The slinkier option when it comes to rooftop drinks in London, The Rooftop St James is a premium destination for global wines and a view of one of the city's biggest landmarks, The London Eye. It's also fully heated and home to an array of gorgeous, hand-crafted cocktails.
With three floors of gorgeous views to take in, you'll be spoilt for choice with Sky Garden's collection of great bars. From their in-house restaurant where you can dine out on the London skyline, to its chic Sky Pods and pretty garden bar, it's perfect for any occasion.
Skylark Roof Garden is one of London's most exciting new rooftop bars, providing unparalleled views of Notting Hill and beyond from the banks of Little Venice. To top it off, the bar provides frozen cocktails, hand-crafted creations and a succinct menu of fine wines and exquisite eats.
Tucked away on top of the Courthouse Hotel, this a beautiful rooftop bar boasts much more than a few fruity cocktails. Seasonal and fresh, the Upper 5th drinks selection keeps it simple, perfect for pairing with panoramic views over Shoreditch and some delicious grill plates.
Head to Canary Wharf where you'll find some of the finest street food in the city. Giant Robot boasts four pop up restaurants, three bars and a stunning amount of space, perfect for fulfilling any occasion. Head out on to their terrace for waterside views and the ultimate post-work sipping spot.
Get ready to party as FEST Camden open their doors for a whole line-up of fun events. The North London venue has a covered roof terrace and various rooms to go wild in, which shouldn't be hard as their nights include singalong screenings, scorching burlesque and top DJs.
Set high up above Leicester Square this stunning bar is latest permanent drinking den from Bourne & Hollingsworth. Offering a brasserie-style menu of seasonal plates and the brand's signature cocktails it's the perfect spot for some after work drinks with gorgeous views of the city.
With London home to rooftop bars around every corner, what makes a place stand out? From unrivalled views with a side order of ice skating, to Alpine themed spaces that are perfect for private parties, Skylight knows what it takes.
One of the most popular rooftop bars in East London, you'll find the terrace at Queen of Hoxton changing with the seasons. They've done Las Vegas, Bedouin settlements and currently they're all about The Wizard of Oz, with storytelling, witchcraft lessons and craft classes.
With a stunning alfresco space in the heart of King's Cross, Big Chill makes for a perfect pick for everything from after-work drinks to weekend brunching. You'll find craft beers, tasty food and, of course, a stunning rooftop space, as well as DJs through the weekend.
In the heart of Aldgate, this rooftop bar is as pretty as a picture both inside and out. Jin Bo Law has views over the iconic London skyline from the roof terrace, while inside, interiors are bright and fun, with Asian inspired art and a fruity cocktail menu.
Head upstairs to the elegant Capeesh Sky Bar for gorgeous food and even more gorgeous drinks. Not only are their hand-blended cocktails created from high-end liquors, but their tasty selection of pizzas make the perfect pairing, particularly when you throw in a window seat and panoramic views of East London.
When it comes to rooftop bars in London, Vintry & Mercer is bringing you sky-high drinking and dining in the form of Mercer Roof Terrace. Expect stunning views and a menu of modern British dishes washed down with classic cocktails.
Offering some of the most stunning views over the Albert Embankment, this gorgeous rooftop restaurant is must-visit if you're looking to impress. Offering two distinct menus of Japanese and Lebanese eats, it's also got a little something for every palate.
Found in a darling Georgian townhouse in the heart of Farringdon, those looking to soak in some sunshine with a few drinks upon a London roof terrace need look no further than this neat little treat. A place bustling with botanicals found atop Bird of Smithfield, this petite rooftop bar is a meandering of cocktails and faux-grass alike.
When it comes to rooftop bars, there's few more cosy that Vagabond on Northcote Road. Not only is there a mouthwatering menu of tapas-style dishes, but there's even a huge wine list, as well as super cute lighting and intimate seating areas.
If the sun's out and you live in Angel, you'll want to hot-foot it round to The Castle while the best seats on their roof terrace are still available. Found at the top of Pentonville Road this is one of the finest outdoor drinking spots in all of north London, where guests top up their tans while nursing real ales and great wines.
For sleek interiors, a spacious roof terrace, incredible cocktails and brilliant views, look no further than Aviary in Finsbury Square. Located on the tenth floor of the Montcalm hotel, the venue has been carefully designed to take in as much of the city as possible; there's also an inside seating area where you can tuck into some delicious seasonal fare.
The Culpeper may be infamous for its pub and hotel alike, but it's the rooftop bar that they boast that has got us talking. From greenhouse to growing their own herbs, this bar doesn't just have foliage, it has views unlike anywhere else.
An urban outdoor oasis with stunning views of London's skylines, the lush greenery and deckchairs of Dalston Roof Park create a chilled and friendly atmosphere ideal for whiling away a warm, summer evening. But it's once the sun goes down and the DJs come out that this place really comes to life.
It's one of the most talked about rooftop bars in South London and it's with good measure, what with its incredible space and top notch selection of party nights. A summer pop-up with some seriously sweet views of the city, this indie favourite is awash with punters once the sun comes both up and down.
Sip a tasty cocktail and take in the stunning views of East London whilst sat in the pretty exterior terrace of this high end Shoreditch rooftop bar. Boundary offers more than just style though, with a menu of delicious food and hand-crafted cocktails showing that its got the substance to match.
When it comes to rooftop bars in London, there's none quite as sexy as Sushi Samba. Found atop the Heron Tower in the heart of the City, gorge on luxury cocktails, bottles of champagne and sushi in this unique, sky-high setting.
Shoreditch House is a dynamic private members house which comes complete with a 16 metre heated swimming pool, bar, kitchen and lounge. It's a popular choice for anybody looking to work, socialise and relax in chilled surroundings and can be found just minutes away from Old Street station.