The best rooftop bars in Shoreditch also happen to be the best rooftop bars in London. If you’re looking for a fabulous outdoor space with breathtaking views of East London and beyond, then the rooftop bars of Shoreditch are undoubtedly the places to be.
With tempting cocktail menus best cocktail bars, plenty of food and great music best jazz bars, the rooftop bars in Shoreditch tend to fiercely compete to get your bums on their seats. This means there’s plenty of choice of great places to go, and that’s why you need a guide. We’re constantly combing for the best, most exciting spots to eat and drink all around London, and we’ve put together this guide to help you find the best of the best rooftop
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic means that many of these bars have had to temporarily shut their doors. However, many are offering takeaway of their best cocktails, and planning events for when it’s safe to reopen, so it’s worth keeping an eye on the places featured so you can be first in line.
So, from the glitzy to the humble, the cavernous to the cosy, let’s count off the ten best rooftop bars to go to in Shoreditch right now!
The A-Z of the best rooftop bars in Shoreditch
Located in the business district of Finsbury Square, Aviary is a bar-restaurant that sits ten floors up and provides views to die for – among the best in London, some say. While you can and should stop by for after-work cocktails with a near-unbeatable view, we’d definitely recommend dropping in to put in an early shift with the legendary bottomless brunch. For an impressively cheap price, you get two satisfying courses and all the drinks you can imbibe before you slope off for a mid-afternoon nap.
You’ll find Aviary on the tenth floor of the Montcalm Royal London House Hotel. The terrace is spacious and well-supplied with heaters, making it one of the best winter rooftop bars in Shoreditch. The expert bartenders can whip up a host of popular cocktails, as well as some bespoke creations, and the food menu is replete with premium cuts of British-reared meat. Cooked in a cast-iron Bertha coal oven, these dishes are simply brimming with flavour – we’d recommend trying one of the 45-day aged beef steaks.
Head here for: Relaxed drinks in a spacious setting; generous meals of tasty, home-grown meat and fish.
22-25 Finsbury Square, EC2A 1DX | 020 3873 4060 | aviarylondon.com
The Boundary Project is the brainchild of the late Terence Conran, Britain’s legendary design mogul who had a hand in, among other projects, the Design Museum. So, as you might imagine, it all looks pretty darn spectacular, and perched at its top is the fantastic Boundary Rooftop Bar and Grill. With skyline views that’ll take your breath away, it’s a seriously spectacular place to stop for a drink or a both to eat, and there are plentiful options for both.
You can take your choice of seats on the Rooftop Terrace, or if the weather is looking dicey, retreat to the glass-covered Orangery. Snack on everything from freshly grilled meats to crisp salads and tasty olives while enjoying the extensive drink selection and watching the sun go down – it’s pretty much the perfect place for it. In winter, the team takes inspiration from Alpine ski resorts when crafting its food and drink menu, so expect warming cocktails and pots of thick fondue.
Head here for: Architectural splendour and striking design, all-weather views and delicious, seasonal food and drink.
2-4 Boundary Street, E2 7DD (entrance in Redchurch Street) | 020 7729 1051 | boundary.london
A classic London pub with a rooftop twist, the Culpeper hosts a spectacular garden space at the top of its premises. Not only is this a place to sit and have a drink or a bite to eat, but it also serves as one of the pub’s premier suppliers! The team grow their own veg up there, using mushroom compost, and if you stick around to sample the menu, there’s a good chance you’ll try something that’s been home-grown, whether that’s a garnish for your cocktail, a bar snack or a vegetable in your main dish. There’s also a plentiful drinks selection, including plenty of beers from local brewers.
With views of the City, the Culpeper is an ideal space for a cheeky Instagram snap. Its styling is simple and effortlessly cool, blending the best of traditional pubs with the trendiest qualities of Shoreditch’s nightspots. It’s well priced too, so you won’t have to break the bank to enjoy a few pints and a bite to eat in front of a gorgeous view.
Head here for: Sustainable dining, good old British pub grub.
40 Commercial Street, E1 6LP | 020 7247 5371 | theculpeper.com
Just a stone’s throw away from Old Street tube station you’ll find the Golden Bee, one of Shoreditch’s premier nightspots. If you wend your way through the Main Bar and up you’ll find yourself at the spectacular Golden Bee Rooftop and Terrace Bar. It’s designed to be an ideal spot for a drink all year round, whether you want to lounge around in the summer evenings or gather around a fire with a warming whiskey in the dead of winter. There’s also a retractable canopy, so the party doesn’t need to stop just because the weather has turned.
A late-opening rooftop bar, the Golden Bee lets you continue the alfresco partying long after the sun has gone down – and if you’re still buzzing after the rooftop bar calls time, you can head down to the main bar for one more drink. It’s got one of the best Shoreditch rooftop bar happy hours around, allowing you to sample plenty of its cocktails with 2-for-1 offers, as well as discounts on beer and wine for those who prefer. If you’re enjoying a summer sunset, we recommend trying the famous passion fruit cooler for a refreshing fruity hit
Head here for: Partying into the night, all year round
Singer Street, EC1V 9DD | 020 7253 1110 | goldenbee.co.uk
It’s perfectly possible that you could visit the Old Fountain without ever twigging that it has a roof terrace. However, this green little space is one of Shoreditch’s most enjoyable secrets, and is the perfect place to do some relaxing while you sample its extensive selection of craft beers and real ales. The folks at the Old Fountain really care about beer, and you’ll always find an extensive selection of weird and wonderful brews to try – so get stuck in!
There’s also a pleasing selection of low-ABV beers – less than 0.5% – so if you’re driving or just trying to stay off the booze for a day, you won’t have to miss out on the sampling fun. There are always vegan beers available, and the team also make sure to stock a selection of gluten-free beers. No matter your requirements, there’s probably a beer for you at the Old Fountain! The food selection is also hearty, extensive and well priced, with scotch eggs for snacking and big main courses for dining.
Head here for: Craft beers and real ales in a homely, rustic space.
3 Baldwin Street, EC1V 9NU | 020 7253 2970 | oldfountain.co.uk
Queen of Hoxton
One of the most famous rooftops of East London, the Queen of Hoxton’s rooftop bar gets regular refreshes of its theme, and always looks iconic. It’s open all year round, from summer to winter, and is the perfect spot for a serious cocktail session. The Queen of Hoxton’s menu has plenty of delights, both home-grown inventions and old classics, and the team promise that they'll do their best to whip up pretty much any drink you can name! It’s also well-priced, making the Queen of Hoxton one of the best cheap rooftop bars in Shoreditch.
The Queen of Hoxton is an extravagant space spread over three floors, so if your rooftop cocktails put you in the mood for dancing, it’s a matter as simple as heading downstairs. With regular events, DJ sets and more, there’s always something going on. If you’re there in the daytime, you can also be tempted by the famous Bottomless Drag Brunch – prepare for things to get loud!
Head here for: A party atmosphere with cheap cocktails and iconic tunes.
1 Curtain Road, EC2A 3JX | 020 7422 0958 | queenofhoxton.com
The Red Lion
The Red Lion predates Shoreditch’s transformation into one of London’s trendiest spots. However, the place has rolled with the times and now makes a claim to being one of the best rooftop bars in Shoreditch. Just off Hoxton Square, the Red Lion is a little less crowded than the hotspots of the city, and is a perfect choice if you want to enjoy a quieter drink in its spacious roof garden.
The tables are covered to keep off the rain, and there are plenty of them, so while they can be booked, it’s worth trying for a walk-in if you happen to be passing. The pub is famous for its top-notch pizzas and premium selection of beers. If you want something a little less bustling and hectic than many of the spots in Shoreditch, it’s well worth heading for the Red Lion.
Head here for: A quieter pint in a rooftop setting, as well as some delicious pizza.
41 Hoxton Street, N1 6NH | 020 7729 7920 | redlionhoxton.co.uk
SUSHISAMBA - Heron Tower
If you want to stand head and shoulders above the rest of the crowd in Shoreditch, then definitely head to the Heron Tower, and its SUSHISAMBA bar and restaurant occupying the 38th and 39th floors. It offers one of the most expansive views in the city, and we guarantee the first thing you do when the glass lift arrives at its destination is rush over to the window to snap a few pictures. It’s okay. Everybody does it. The terrace is nothing short of spectacular too, and lays claim to being the highest outdoor dining terrace not only in London, but in Europe.
The food is a fusion of the cuisines of three countries – Japan, Peru and Brazil, so you can gorge yourself on sushi, anticuchos, tempura, churrasco or whatever else takes your fancy. The extensive cocktail menu, meanwhile, has been built up over years by the alchemists behind the bars at SUSHISAMBA, and includes such temptations as the Samba Sour, which blends BarSol Primera Quebranta pisco, maraschino liqueur and turmeric, shaking for the finish with Japanese citrus and egg whites. The views are truly breathtaking, and you’ll definitely want to linger long enough to watch the sun go down.
Head here for: The highest views in town!
110 Bishopsgate, EC2N 4AY | 020 3640 7330 | sushisamba.com
Upper 5th Shoreditch
The Shoreditch Courthouse Hotel plays host to its very own rooftop bar, Upper 5th. It offers a panoramic view of the building’s surroundings in the City of London, and is an absolutely outstanding place for photo opps, even by the lofty standards of London’s rooftop bars! The Courthouse Hotel is so named because its building was once a real magistrates’ court and police station, so you can sip on your cocktails safe in the knowledge that you’re literally above the law (sorry).
The cocktail list is superb, making use of local tipples where possible, and there are also bar snacks to keep you going while you sample the different delights on the menu. In the summer there’s also a BBQ kitchen on offer, so you can enjoy some smoked meaty treats to go with your cocktail.
335–337 Old Street, EC1V 9LL | 020 3310 5555 | shoreditch.courthouse-hotel.com/eat-and-drink/upper-5th-shoreditch
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