Best-of Guides London

The Best London Restaurants Close To the River Thames

5 Restaurants
The snaking waterways of the River Thames is one of the first images that comes to mind when picturing the city of London. The truly iconic route slaloms through the capital, with fine restaurants on both sides. Only a few, however, have the fortunate distinction of boasting a view of the river from their dining rooms. Here is our pick of the places where you can watch the river flow by as you enjoy great cooking in the capital.
Updated on 22 March 2024
Café Spice Namasté
1-2 Lower Dock Walk, Royal Albert Dock, Newham, E16 2GT London
££ · Indian

A move eastwards brought with it a riverside location for this popular Indian restaurant, which now overlooks the Royal Albert Wharf. Run by the charming Cyrus and Pervin Todiwala, it has a relaxed feel to it, and is an ideal spot for sharing thanks to its menu of colourful small plates. The extensive list boasts a choice of samosas, including a lovely lamb option and an intriguing ‘apple crumble’ dessert. For the indecisive, a tasting menu is available to sample a range of the dishes they offer.

Cardamom Building, 31G Shad Thames, Southwark, SE1 2YR London
££ · Italian

Co-owners Matt and Jay used their experience in some of the capital’s notable Italian restaurants to set up one of their own – and they got it spot on. Relaxed yet professional, simple yet stylish, this unpretentious spot serves great homemade pasta that you can see being made in front of you by the skilful chefs. It’s not just the fine cooking and quality ingredients to be appreciated either, as the prices are appealingly low too. It sits on the south side of Tower Bridge, in one of the former spice warehouses of Shad Thames.

River Restaurant by Gordon Ramsay
Savoy Hotel, Strand and Covent Garden, WC2R 0EU London
£££ · Seafood

The Victoria Embankment Gardens may come between this restaurant and the Thames, but if you get the right table then you will still enjoy a wonderful river view. It is one of three Gordon Ramsay restaurants inside the Savoy Hotel, with décor courtesy of famed designer Russell Sage and a round ‘raw bar’ serving caviar, oysters and ceviches. The precise and accomplished dishes use the best of British seafood across an extensive menu that ranges from fish pie to Dover sole à la Grenobloise.

Sam's Riverside
1 Crisp Walk, Hammersmith & Fulham, W6 9DN London
££ · Modern British

Sam Harrison knows a thing or two about running a London restaurant and he picked a prime Thames-side spot for this venture. It’s situated on the ground floor of the former BBC Riverside Studios, where legendary shows such as Dr Who and Top of the Pops were filmed. Today, it is a hub of seafood cookery, with fruits de mer and hot shellfish platters and a choice of oysters. They have an ‘oyster happy hour’ during the week and Sam’s Larder is around the corner if you fancy buying some produce to take home.

New Wing, Somerset House, Strand and Covent Garden, WC2R 1LA London
£££ · Italian

Chef Skye Gyngell spent several years further along the river at Petersham Nurseries Café in Richmond, before moving into town and opening Spring at the majestic riverside building that is Somerset House. Skye was also once food editor at Vogue and there is certainly a stylish touch to the dishes and the décor here. Both have a pleasing unfussiness, with the cooking using the finest seasonal produce and following the Italian ethos of letting the ingredients do the talking.