East London’s Best Rooftops, Beer Gardens & Terraces
If you find yourself in Hackney on a warm, sunny day and feel like enjoying it with a beverage in hand, here’s The Resident’s pick on which beer gardens, roof tops and terraces to head to…
Photo: The Boundary
1 Chesham Arms, Homerton
An absolute gem of a place, The Chesham is a welcoming backstreet boozer with a cracking leafy beer garden, reminiscent of your favourite village pub that pulls in a jovial, friendly crowd. There’s no food available, but you’re welcome to order yard Sale pizza (go the broccoli one).
Address: 15 Mehetabel Road, Homerton E9 6DU
2 Crooked Billet, Clapton
The Crooked Billet has a sprawling beer garden that has many chapters to it. There are covered tables and booths should the weather turn, as well as a smattering of food huts to fill up from. Inside, you’ve got an unfussy slightly shabby chic traditional pub with craft beers and real ales of tap, that knows how to serve up a good roast.
Address: 84 Upper Clapton Road E5 9JP
3 SMOKESTAK, Shoreditch
If you’re in the mood for food with your sun, then BBQ restaurant SMOKESTAK has as large south facing terrace for you to make the most of the warm sunshine. While you bask in the sunshine, feat on signature dishes of the likes of crispy ox cheek with anchovy mayo, pigtails with soy molasses and charred pork belly rib, pickled cucumber. While the menu sounds like a meat-eater’s dream there’s also enough vegetable-based dishes for the vegetarians as well.
Address: 35 Sclater Street E1 6LB
4 The Scolt Head, DeBeauvoir
Another friendly backstreet neighbourhood pub, and this one comes with a charming beer gardens enshrouded in greenery. The kitchen serves up classic British pub fare, and behind the bar, you’ve got craft beers, cocktails and a host of wines to try.
Address: 107A Culford Road N1 4HT
5 Netil360, London Fields
A hugely popular joint at the top of Broadway Market, sometimes the que can run the length of the stairwell, so arrive early. The view from here is superb, sweeping across London Fields and Shoreditch, with the City in the background. There’s also cocktails on tap and astro-turf on the ground, so you’re likely to stick around if the sun comes out.
Address: 1 Westgate Street, Hackney E8 3RL
6 Pub on the Park, London Fields
Pub on the Park’s park-side terrace is a great spot to watch over all of London Field’s ongoings with a pint in hand or a burger on the way. When a game is on, you can watch the football or rugby on an outdoor screen as well. A bit of a party pub, things at Pub at the Park can get a little bit rowdy the later you stay, and given that the terrace is a suntrap too, you’ll be forgiven if your’e still there for last drinks.
Address: 19 Martello Street, Hackney E8 3PE
7 People’s Park Tavern, Victoria Park
Convivial and always heaving on a warm sunny day, the People’s Park Tavern pulls in a young crowd and stragglers from park picnics. It too has as bit of a rep for being a party pub, so here’s where to go should you want the afternoon to follow on seamlessly into the night. The pub does standard pub grub such as burgers, comedy on during the week and DJs at the weekend.
Address: 360 Victoria Park Road E9 7BT
8 Hackney Coterie, Hackney Downs
Warehouse brasserie and wine bar Hackney Coterie plates up an all day menu created by Dominic Auger (ex-HIDE and Scully St James) and low intervention wine in a low-key cool kind of way. Dressed with festoon lighting and trestle tables, the large sun-trap terrace is a great way to spend a low-key afternoon drinking your way through the wine list.
Address: 230B Dalston Lane, E8 1LA
9 Crate Brewery, Hackney Wick
The pick of Hackney Wick haunts, Crate Brewery is a sun trap perched on Regent’s Canal, overlooking canal boats and Hackney Bridge and all the canal-side action- a perfect spot for an afternoon beer or two. The brewery has a decent range of beers from crisp lagers to punchy IPAs, and it makes stone-baked pizzas too. Open until 1am on the weekends.
Address: Unit 7 Queen’s Yard, London E9 5EN
10 Skylight at Tobacco Dock, Wapping
Skylight at Tobacco Dock became one of London’s most popular and imaginative rooftop destinations and a firm fixture on any summer hotlist. Soaring above one of London’s most unique event venues, Tobacco Dock in Wapping, Skylight boasts three floors of bars, street food, croquet, pétanque, screens, DJs and an unrivalled view of London’s iconic skyline.
Address: Wapping Lane, Wapping E1W 2SF
11 Boundary Rooftop, Shoreditch
The Boundary rooftop combines grape producing vines and wild herbs to create a rooftop garden space that is open all year thanks to the weatherproof pergola and open fire. In terms of eating, you can expect Mediterranean hors-d’oeuvres, bar snacks and steaks off the grill. When the weather’s good there may be a wait on tables, and the venue doesn’t take bookings on small tables so either get together a group and plan ahead or expect to join the well-dressed queue of punters. The views over the roofs of Shoreditch are worth it, though.
Address: 2-4 Boundary Street, Shoreditch E2 7DD
12 The Culpeper, Spitalfields
A green rooftop garden that grows herbs and vegetables for the pub’s kitchen, Culpeper’s rooftop is charming oasis near Liverpool Street – you can even volunteer to tend to its plots. Already an excellent place for the list of natural wines and dishes making the most of nature’s bounty such as pickled mussels, roast parsnip, walnut mayo and watercress; and stuffed cabbages with spiced lentil and cauliflower, the rooftop garden just makes things better.
Address: 40 Commercial Street E1 6LP
13 TT Liquor, Shoreditch
TT Liquor has a garden roof terrace with great views over the City skyline this summer. As well as seating among the verdant greenery, there are covered and heated booths from which to enjoy summer spritzes, charcuterie and Neapolitan pizza made on-site by Good Fired Pizza. Booths are can be covered should the weather turn, and come heated too.
Address: 17 Kingsland Road, Shoreditch E2 8AA
14 Upper 5th Shoreditch at Courthouse Hotel, Shoreditch
With a panoramic view over the City of London skyline, the Upper 5th Shoreditch is a sweet spot for a sunny summer’s evening. There’s comfy seating with table service, with light bites and sharing plates. Walk-ins seated on a first-come-first-served basis. Reservations are recommended for larger groups.
Address: 335-337 Old Street, Shoreditch EC1V 9LL
15 Dalston Roof Park, Dalston
Relaxed venue, Dalston Roof Park hosts music and film nights, as well as providing a spot to bask in the sun. Nestled among Hackney’s Victorian buildings and overlooking London’s skyscrapers, it’s a great spot to relax, eat, drink and dance. It’s run by the Bootstrap Charity, where all profits go back into empowering young people and businesses. Walk-ins only – first come, first served (unless there’s a special event on).
Address: The Print House, 18-22 Ashwin Street E8 3DL
16 Roof East, Stratford
Much more than a rooftop bar, Roof East is London’s biggest outdoor playground at a whopping 30,000sq ft. You can play bowls, belt out a tune at carpark karaoke, have a round of crazy golf and play a round of cornhole, where you throw bags into a hole. The bar serves wine, craft beers, softies and specially crafted cocktails and there’s street food from the likes of Naughty Burger, Raastawala and Piddaji.
Address: 7 & 8 Stratford Multi Storey Car Park, Great Eastern Road E15 1BB
17 Hackney Bridge, Hackney Wick
Hackney Bridge, from the team behind Pop Brixton and Peckham Levels, is a bar and food truck space with studios and coworking spaces too. It’s home to In The Courtyard, an alfresco drinking and dining hotspot for east London with bar and a revolving selection of street food traders. The Courtyard hosts events throughout the summer, including big sporting events like Wimbledon on a giant outdoor screen.
Address: Units 1-28, Echo Building, East Bay Lane E15 2SJ