30 Beautiful Canalside Cafés, Restaurants And Pubs In London

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Regents Canal bars restaurants

Enjoy a sunny day with these pubs, cafés and restaurants by London’s canals.

Although the Thames has its fair share of waterside dining spots, there tons of pretty places to eat and drink on London’s alternative waterways. We followed Regents Canal from Paddington in the west to Limehouse in the east (with a quick detour along the Grand Union Canal in Little Venice) to find the best towpath pubs and cafés – and also found you a few great locations on the Lee River Navigation in east London.

1) Pocket Park, Paddington

Floating Pocket Park
Photo: @

Is it a bar? OK, no. But let’s start with this peaceful floating park in Paddington basin – you can always grab some tinnies from the Tesco next door, eh?

2) Kupp, Paddington

Kupp Paddington
Photo: @mrthlmlr

Stop off at Kupp for light Scandinavian bites and a tipple. 5 Merchant Square, W2 1AS.

3) London Shell Co, Paddington

Regent Canal restaurant - London Shell Co
Photo: London Shell Co

This brilliant barge-based restaurant offers fine seafood based dining, sometimes moored up in Paddington Basin, and sometimes while you chug along the canal itself.

Tip: you can also hire your own GoBoat in Paddington Central.

4) Darcie and May Green, Paddington

Daisy Green

These two boats, designed by legendary pop artist Peter Blake, offer healthy cooking from Beany Green chain, and also a wicked bottomless brunch. More information here.

5) Sheldon Square

A gathering of chain restaurants along the canalside including Beany Green, Smith Bar & Grill, and Zizzi.

6) The Waterside Café, Little Venice

little venice cafe
Photo: Jamie Scott

A floating café on the Little Venice junction serves up tea, cake and the like. It’s just off Warwick Crescent.

Now for a quick detour…

Little Venice Map

We’ll mostly be following the Regents Canal east, but first, you can wander up Grand Union Canal for a couple more choice spots.

7) Summerhouse, Little Venice

thesummerhouse

A super seafood restaurant that couldn’t be any closer to the water if it tried. Mains about £20. 60 Blomfield Rd, London W9 2PA.

8) The Waterway, Little Venice

waterway restaurant canal

All-day dining with plenty of dishes from the grill. 54 Formosa Street, W9 2JU.

Now pull a U and rejoin Regents Canal, heading east towards Camden, and you’ll find…

9) Café Laville

Cafe Laville
Photo: @sionleyshon

This peachy Italian café sits directly OVER the canal, allowing you to wave at boaters travelling beneath, and enjoy views down one of the most picturesque spots in Little Venice. 453 Edgware Rd, W2 1TH.

10) Feng Shang Princess, Camden

Regents Canal Feng Shang Princess

This striking, floating Chinese restaurant on the edge of Regents Park has mixed reviews on TripAdvisor… but on the other hand, just look at it! Southern Star Cumberland Basin, Prince Albert Rd NW1 7SS.

11) KERB, Camden Lock

KERB Camden lock canal
Photo: @yummydiarie5

You’ll be absolutely spoilt for choice at this 34-trader street food market, situated on the banks of Camden Lock. (It gets pretty busy, so you might have to engage in some vertical eating.) We’d go for the halloumi fries.

12) Ice Wharf, Camden Lock

Ice Wharf Camden Canal Pub
Photo: canguvenc_

Alternatively, pop over a pretty pedestrian bridge for a pint at one of London’s most pleasingly-situated Wetherspoons. Ah, good old ‘spoons.

13) Constitution Pub, Camden Lock

Canal Pub London
Photo: leo_loewenherz_

A classic Camden boozer with graffiti on the walls, raucous live music in the cellar, and yes, a waterside beer garden42 St Pancras Way, NW1 0QT.

14) The Lighterman, King’s Cross

Lighterman Regents Canal Bar

Just past Granary Square, the modern Lighterman offers food and drink by Regents Canal, all day, every day. 3 Granary Square, Kings Cross, N1C 4BH.

15) Rotunda, Kings Cross

Canalside bar Rotunda

The astroturf might be fake, but the canalside views certainly aren’t. Enjoy seasonal British cooking, or just a few pints, on their lovely terrace. 90 York Way, N1 9AG.

16) Canal No. 5, Angel

Photo: @aysegul_roze
Photo: @aysegul_roze

The punniest canalside café in our list, Canal No. 5 delivers tasty, healthy plates and great coffee on a handful of lockside chairs and tables.

17) The Narrowboat, Angel

Regents Canal Narrowboat Pub

I’m not sure it can really be ‘the one and only pub situated directly on Regent’s Canal in Islington’, but it’s undoubtedly very pretty on a sunny day, serving up quality pub food all day, along with pints a’plenty. 119 St. Peter’s Street, N1 8Pz.

18) The Commissary, Angel

The Commissary Regents Canal bar

This bar and kitchen in Hoxton offers lunch, dinner and all-day refreshments, which can all be enjoyed on a big, decked waterside terrace (although sometimes you’re right next to a barge. So it goes.) 49-50 Eagle Wharf Rd, Hoxton, N1 7ED.

19) Towpath Café, Islington

Towpath Cafe Regents Canal
Photo: @rach_peplow

This very compact but excellent café delivers exemplary seasonal cooking during the warmer months of the year. The menu constantly changes: dishes on a recent variation included Napoli sausage ragu, roast squash and chickpea, braised cavalo nero, purple broccoli, anchovy and soft boiled eggs. 42 De Beauvoir Cres, N1 5SB.

20) Barge House, Islington

Regents Canal Barge House Restaurant

Just along from the Towpath Café (and also much larger), the Barge House maximises its canalside virtues with floor-to-ceiling windows. The House’s most famous dish is its weekends-only ‘Breakfast in Bread’ – a hollowed-out sourdough loaf packed with Full English goodness. Book in here46a De Beauvoir Crescent, N1 5RY.

21) Arepa & Co, Haggerston

Arepa Co Haggerston Canal

Just along the way, Arepa & Co specialises in Venezuelan cooking. Ingredients like shredded beef, avocado, and black beans will mean any burrito fan should feel right at home with this menu; but cornbread, plantains and cassava add a new twist. They all come together in SERIOUS sarnies called arepas. 58a de Beauvoir Crescent, N1 5SB.

22) Waterhouse, Haggerston

Waterhouse Restaurant Regents Canal
Photo: @davymace

This canalside restaurant is actually operated by a charity, offering disadvantaged youths in the borough an opportunity to master some culinary arts. And they’re obviously getting some crackerjack tuition, as the food on offer is generally pretty swell. 10 Orsman Rd, Shoreditch, N1 5QJ.

23) Proud East, Haggerston

Regents Canal Bars Proud East

Part of the Proud family of venues, head here for all-day drinks, decent dining and a few rounds of pool. DJs provide the tunes on the canalside terrace in the summer months. 2-10 Hertford Rd, London N1 5ET. 

24) Ombra, Cambridge Heath

Ombra canalside restaurant

There are Venetian-inspired dishes and drinks at Ombra – and, we’re told, fizzy wine on tap. 1 Vyner St, E2 9DG.

25) The Palm Tree, Mile End

Palm Tree Pub Mile End

Rumours of the Palm Tree’s death have been greatly exaggerated; this singular East End pub (lots of character; highly prone to alienating customers) remains very much open for business. 127 Grove Road, E3 5BH.

26) Kilikya, Mile End

Canalside restaurants London

The penultimate stop on our epic Regents Canal walk, this Turkish restaurant faces onto the canal and Mile End park beyond. 44A Palmers Rd, Mile End, London E2 0TA.

27) The Narrow, Limehouse

The Narrow Riverside Pub

Finally, The Narrow sits where Regents Canal (well, Limehouse Marina) meets the Thames, making it our only canalside AND riverside pub. Panoramic views and fine pub food (from Gordon Ramsay’s team) await. 44 Narrow St, E14 8DP.

Elsewhere…

28) Crate Brewery, Hackney

Crate Brewery

Take a table by the water with the beer boffins at CRATE Brewery. You can also catch the Alfred Le Roy barge here, and take a booze cruise up the River Lee Navigation.

29) Number 90 Bar & Restaurant, Hackney

Number 90 Bar And Kitchen

A fun, fuss-free east London bar with a full food menu, roasts on the weekend and, you guessed it, a canalside terrace. 90 Wallis Rd, E9 5LN.

30) The Princess of Wales, Clapton

Waterside pub Clapton London

A brilliant boozer on the Lea, the Princess of the people offers all-week dining, brunches, and Sunday roasts. 146 Lea Bridge Road, E5 9RB.

Guy Parsons

Guy Parsons

Guy is the editor-in-chief of Secret London. He likes running, cover versions and scotch.

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