Summer is here, and what better way to enjoy the sunshine than by dining outdoors at some of the UK’s best alfresco spots? Whether you’re in bustling London, vibrant Manchester, enchanting Edinburgh, or picturesque Bristol, we’ve got you covered with a list of top outdoor dining destinations that offer scenic views, intimate spaces, and delicious culinary experiences.

London’s Top Alfresco Dining Experiences

London is known for its diverse food scene, and in the summer months, it’s all about dining al fresco. From hidden courtyards to rooftop bars, here are some of the best spots to soak up the sun while enjoying some of the city’s top eats.

Riverside Restaurants for Scenic Views

For those seeking a peaceful riverfront meal, look no further than the bustling Southbank area. With stunning views of the Thames and several upscale dining options, such as Skylon and OXO Tower Restaurant, you’re sure to have a magical meal. The Southbank Centre Food Market is also a must-visit for foodies, with a wide range of street food vendors offering everything from vegan burgers to fresh seafood.

If you’re willing to venture a bit further out, head to the historic Cutty Sark Tavern, situated by the River Thames in Greenwich, for delicious pub fare. This traditional English pub offers a relaxed atmosphere and stunning views of the river, making it the perfect spot for a lazy Sunday lunch.

Rooftop Bars and Eateries with Panoramic Cityscapes

London’s skyline is iconic, and what better way to enjoy it than from atop one of the city’s many rooftop bars and restaurants? Whether you visit the stunning Madison Rooftop Bar near St Paul’s Cathedral, the lively Queen of Hoxton in Shoreditch, or the beautiful Aviary in the heart of the City, you’re sure to have a memorable meal with a stunning view.

The Sky Garden is another must-visit for those seeking a unique dining experience. Located in the heart of the City, this rooftop garden offers panoramic views of London’s skyline and a range of dining options, from casual cafes to upscale restaurants.

Hidden Courtyard Gems for Intimate Meals

The charm of London lies beyond its tourist hotspots. For a hidden gem, head to Chiltern Firehouse’s beautiful courtyard, nestled in the heart of Marylebone. With its fairy lights and industrial chic decor, it’s the perfect spot for an intimate dinner with friends or a romantic date. The menu is equally impressive, with dishes like truffle mac and cheese and roasted sea bass.

Alternatively, opt for Berners Tavern’s cosy courtyard, located near Oxford Street, for a sophisticated yet relaxed dining experience. The courtyard is surrounded by beautiful Georgian architecture, and the menu features modern British cuisine with a focus on seasonal ingredients.

No matter which alfresco dining experience you choose, you’re sure to have a memorable meal in one of London’s many beautiful outdoor spaces.

Manchester’s Must-Visit Outdoor Dining Destinations

Manchester is a city that has something for everyone, including a thriving food scene that offers everything from quirky street food markets to family-friendly restaurants with outdoor play areas. Make sure when you dine in Manchester to make a cheeky saving with tastecard’s Manchester restaurant deals. Here’s a list of Manchester’s must-visit outdoor dining destinations that will tantalise your taste buds and satisfy your cravings.

Bustling Street Food Markets

If you’re looking for a vibrant culinary experience, visit Mackie Mayor, an artisan food hall located in a renovated 1858 market building. The building itself is a sight to behold, with its stunning architecture and intricate details. Inside, you’ll find an array of street food stalls offering cuisines ranging from Chinese to Mexican, all prepared with locally sourced ingredients. The atmosphere is electric, with the sounds and smells of the different vendors blending together to create a unique and unforgettable experience.

If you’re in the mood for something a little more low-key, head down to the award-winning Altrincham Market. This market boasts a beautiful outdoor market area where you can enjoy your food under the sun or stars. The vendors here are some of the best in the city, offering everything from fresh seafood to artisanal cheeses.

Quirky Beer Gardens and Terraces

Manchester is home to some of the quirkiest beer gardens and terraces in the UK. For a laid-back vibe, visit The Oast House in Spinningfields. This rustic venue is decorated with an abundance of flowers and autumnal decor, creating a cosy and inviting atmosphere. The menu here features classic pub fare with a modern twist, all washed down with a refreshing pint of beer.

For a more upscale experience, head over to the 20 Stories rooftop bar. This stunning venue offers panoramic views of the city and is the perfect place to enjoy a drink or two with friends. The menu features a variety of small plates and sharing platters, all made with locally sourced ingredients.

Family-Friendly Restaurants with Outdoor Play Areas

For families with little ones, Manchester has plenty of restaurants with outdoor play areas. The Dockyard is a spacious venue that offers a large outdoor space with games such as ping pong and Jenga. The menu here features classic pub fare, as well as a variety of craft beers and cocktails. The atmosphere is lively and welcoming, making it the perfect place to bring the whole family.

Similarly, The Lawn Club is a family-friendly restaurant with a large indoor and outdoor space perfect for kids to run around while you enjoy a relaxing meal. The menu here is diverse, featuring everything from burgers to salads, all made with fresh and locally sourced ingredients. The staff are friendly and accommodating, making sure that everyone in the family has a great time.

Manchester is a city that is constantly evolving, and its food scene is no exception. Whether you’re in the mood for street food, a quirky beer garden, or a family-friendly restaurant, this vibrant city has something to offer everyone. So why not grab a friend or two and explore all that Manchester’s outdoor dining destinations have to offer?

Edinburgh’s Enchanting Open-Air Eateries

Edinburgh is a magical city, especially in the summer months when its beautiful parks and gardens come alive. Here are some of Edinburgh’s best outdoor dining destinations to make the most of the city’s enchanting ambiance.

Historic Pubs with Outdoor Seating

For a more traditional dining experience, visit some of Edinburgh’s historic pubs with outdoor seating areas. The Sheep Heid Inn, established in 1360 in Duddingston, is one of Scotland’s oldest pubs and has a beautiful beer garden with wonderful views of Arthur’s Seat. The pub is steeped in history and has been frequented by many famous figures, including Mary Queen of Scots. It’s a great place to enjoy a pint of ale and some traditional Scottish fare, such as haggis, neeps, and tatties, while taking in the stunning views.

Another historic pub with outdoor seating is The Bow Bar, located in the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town. The pub has been serving patrons since 1886 and has a cosy outdoor seating area where you can enjoy a pint of real ale and some delicious pub grub.

If you’re looking for a more upscale dining experience, the iconic Cafe Royal Circle Bar is the place to go. Boasting an extensive outdoor seating area on the prestigious West Register Street, the bar has been serving customers since 1863. The stunning Victorian decor and the delicious food make it a must-visit destination.

Scenic Gardens and Parks for Picnics

Edinburgh is home to some of the most stunning parks and gardens in the UK, and they’re perfect for a picnic. For a luxurious experience, head over to The Royal Botanic Garden, which offers a beautiful setting and incredible views of the city. The garden spans over 70 acres and is home to over 13,000 plant species, making it a paradise for nature lovers.

Alternatively, visit Princes Street Gardens, nestled in the heart of the city, and experience a beautiful picnic with Edinburgh Castle as your backdrop. The gardens were created in the 1820s and offer a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. You can enjoy a picnic on the lush green lawns while taking in the stunning views of the castle.

If you’re looking for a more off-the-beaten-path picnic spot, head over to the Water of Leith Walkway. The walkway runs for 12 miles through the heart of Edinburgh and offers a serene setting for a picnic. You can sit by the river and enjoy the peace and quiet while watching the swans and ducks swim by.

Seafood Spots with Coastal Views

Edinburgh is a city by the sea, and it would be remiss not to try some of the city’s incredible seafood offerings. For a coastal view with your meal, visit The Ship on The Shore, located in the historic Shore area, known for its fresh seafood and beautiful views of the Firth of Forth. The restaurant has been serving customers since 1999 and has won numerous awards for its seafood dishes.

Another seafood spot with stunning coastal views is The Boathouse in South Queensferry. The restaurant is located right on the waterfront and offers panoramic views of the Forth Bridges. The menu features a wide range of seafood dishes, including oysters, mussels, and lobster.

If you’re looking for a more casual seafood experience, head over to the Oyster Bar at the Scottish Seabird Centre in North Berwick. The bar offers stunning views of the Bass Rock and serves up fresh seafood dishes, including oysters, crab, and lobster. After your meal, you can take a walk along the beach and enjoy the fresh sea air.

Bristol’s Best Spots for Outdoor Feasting

Bristol is an incredible city with a unique food scene and plenty of scenic spots to enjoy a meal outdoors. From waterside dining to urban green spaces, here are some of Bristol’s best spots for outdoor feasting.

Waterside Dining Options

Bristol’s is known for its waterside dining, and for good reason. For an upscale experience, head over to Glassboat, a stunning converted barge serving fresh seafood and offering views of Bristol’s beautiful waterfront. Alternatively, visit The Grain Barge, an independent bar and eatery situated on a converted tugboat, for a more laid-back atmosphere.

Urban Green Spaces for Casual Bites

Bristol has a range of beautiful green spaces perfect for a casual bite with friends or a picnic. Brandon Hill Park is located in the city centre and offers stunning views of the city. Alternatively, visit Castle Park, which boasts a variety of food stalls and an abundance of green space to enjoy your meal.

Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Restaurants

Bristol is a city leading the way in sustainability and eco-friendliness, and its restaurants are no exception. For a plant-based feast, head over to The Spotless Leopard, a vegan food truck located in St. Nicholas Market. Or, try the innovative cuisine at The Cauldron, which sources its ingredients from local farms and reduces food waste by turning it into compost.


Summer in the UK is a fantastic time to explore the incredible outdoor dining experiences available in some of the country’s most vibrant cities. Whether you prefer a riverside view or want to enjoy the bustling atmosphere of a street food market, there’s something for everyone. So, grab your friends, family or loved ones and head out to experience some of the UK’s best alfresco dining experiences this summer!

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