London's Best Canal-side Dining

Discover our favourite waterside tables and canal-side dining destinations, along London's iconic canal.

A canal-side canteen from the ex-River Cafe and St John Bread & Wine chef. Max Rocha, the Dublin-raised chef has cooked at London institutions St John Bread and Wine, Spring and River Cafe. Named after Max’s grandmother, Cafe Cecilia (situated on the canal off Broadway Market) is a true family business - his designer brother Simone helped out with the design of the stripped-back dining room and dishes have been largely inspired by their Irish mother Odette. His cooking is unfussy, seasonal and on-trend. Expect Guinness bread and dishes such as ham hock, butter beans, and mustard; potato and onion galettes; and brown bread ice cream to feature on the menu. Currently open for breakfast and lunch, Wednesday to Sunday - plans to open for dinner are in the works for later this year. 
A delightful floating restaurant and bar housed in a converted barge, serving simple, French and Italian-inflected cooking. The 40-cover floating restaurant in a converted working canal boat has been launched by brothers Fin (Bentleys, Trullo, 69 Colebrooke Row) and Lorcan Spiteri and follows the brother's Hoxton space, Studio Kitchen. Moored on the banks of Regent’s Canal the canal boat has been converted to house an elegant restaurant - with nautical splashes of white and navy paint; polished up wooden floorboards and a smattering of crisp tablecloth-bearing tables with vintage lamps. The floating restaurant serves a menu based on simplicity and the best seasonal ingredients - and draws on Lorcan’s experience from his time in the kitchens at Quo Vadis, Oldroyd and Rochelle Canteen. Dishes span a range of British, Italian and French classics such as white crab tagliatelle, fennel & garlic and crispy pork belly, green beans & anchoïde. 
Towpath is the creation of Lori De Mori, an American Italian food writer and fanatic - who cooked at Rochelle Canteen and at the Auberge de Chassignolles in France before opening this cult canalside cafe. Occupying four small units facing Regent's Canal towpath - under the Whitmore Bridge between De Beauvoir Town and Shoreditch - this simple and charming cafe has become one London's best loved cafes - complete with rustic mismatched tables, benches and chairs Expect a menu of simple and delicious fare - seasonal, honest, unfussy and comforting - with dishes such as radishes with taramasalata and smoked mackerel with crème fraîche and pickled cherries. 
The Summerhouse
A West London dining institution, The Summerhouse perched on the Regent’s Canal, provides a perfect alfresco dining setting in which to make the most of the spring and summer months in London. The Summerhouse’s light and spacious Hamptons-inspired interior, with nautical accents and a retractable roof, transport you to the coast, with a menu of fresh seafood dishes taking centre stage, best enjoyed whilst sipping on refreshing cocktails and cool glasses of rosé whilst observing canalside life. Highlights on the menu include: pan fried scallops with candy beetroot puree, fresh garden peas and pea shoots, pan roasted whole lemon sole with fennel salad, crushed potatoes & green salsa, alongside Jersey Royal Oysters, Canadian lobster and Mediterranean grilled prawns.
The Waterway 
Just up the road from The Summerhousein the heart of Maida Vale's 'little Venice' area, The Waterway’s sprawling floral terrace is a sun trap for lazy grazing throughout the day. On the covered and heated terraces overlooking the canal, choose from a vibrant array of dishes, such as jumbo asparagus with Serrano ham, aged feta, wild arugula & pomegranate molasses, Maldon cured smoked salmon, avocado, red chard & Poilâne bread, generous mezze platters and sharing boards, as well as mains such as Dedham Vale dry aged steak and the tempura battered soft shell crab burger with crunchy asparagus, watercress & wasabi tartar sauce. Weekly changing Sunday Roast specials are a must for hearty weekend feasting.
London Shell Co.
London Shell Co. first permanent floating restaurant on Regent’s Canal, serving up the finest, locally sourced seafood and game with perfectly paired wines and spirits, all in an incredible and intimate environment. With their permanent mooring in Paddington Central in the form of the impressive The Prince Regent canal boat, London Shell Co. have created something truly beautiful along Regent’s Canal. Expect static lunches and cruising dinners - with a menu of seasonal inspired dishes from British wild game to the highest quality seafood. Or visit their sister ship moored adjacent to their cruising restaurant boat. The Grand Duchess (pictured) specialises in supreme British fish with a drinks list that focuses on sparkling wines. Expect dishes like beer battered lobster with chip shop curry sauce, monkfish and wild garlic kiev, and Dexter rib and garlic langoustines surf ‘n’ turf. 
Plaquemine Lock
A relaxed, all-day canalside boozer from Bocca di Lupo’s Jacob Kenedy. Known for his Italian restaurant, here Kenedy dishes up Louisiana-style Cajun and Creole food - in this restored pub set on the Regents Canal in Angel. Inspired by the melting pot of French, African and American cultures found in the southern US state, the pub specialises in oysters, boiled crawfish, po’ boys and gumbo alongside mostly British beers, and all-Luisian cocktails. The name refers to a lock in Plaquemine (a small town in Louisiana), which enabled timber and the like to be transferred from the Bayou to the Mississipi in the early 1900s and was opened by Kenedy's great grandmother - as the family steamer passed through the lock gates. 

Coal Office
Located in Kings Cross, London, adjacent to Granary Square and Coal Drops Yard, the Coal Office - is housed in a Victorian building. Discover a stricking stripped-back, industrial look and style with the space curving around the canal with several distinct areas, including two outdoor terraces. Coal Office is a collaboration between renowned British designer Tom Dixon and Michelin-starred Israeli chef Assaf Granit, and their combined expertise allows it to deliver on both style and substance in equal measure. Granit, the brains behind the world-famous Machneyuda in Jerusalem and a collaborator on The Palomar and Barbary serves up dishes including sea bass pritim with Israeli cuscus, pumpkin butter, cured cucumber and thugurt – inspired by his Israeli roots, as well as North African and Middle Eastern influences.

Ideal For

Waterside dining, dining alfresco