Covent Garden’s best restaurants for al fresco dining

With its iconic piazza, market halls, and street entertainers, Covent Garden is one of London’s top spots for outdoor dining. Whether you fancy rooftop cocktails or a long lunch on a sun-soaked terrace, here are the area’s best restaurants for al fresco eating and drinking.

If you can tear yourself away from its beautiful bar (complete with leafy ‘living ceiling’), you can dine al fresco on Sushisamba’s balcony terrace and tables out on the piazza. The menu takes its inspiration from Japan, Brazil and Peru, so you’ll find sushi and tempura alongside churrasco and ceviche. Whether it’s date night, girls’ night, or just Friday night, this West End stunner is guaranteed to impress.

At this West End smokehouse, meat is carefully sourced, butchered in-house and cooked over fire for maximum flavour. Whether you fancy a steak or some of their famous cheeseburger tacos, good times (and meat sweats) are guaranteed. Grab a seat at the counter to watch the chefs at work or soak up the sun on their spacious terrace.

28-50 Wine Bar & Kitchen
With 30 wines available by the glass, carafe, and bottle, 28-50 is the ideal place to indulge your passion for wine. The list changes often, so there’s always something interesting to try. On warm days, you can sit out on the terrace and enjoy dishes like crab salad, seared tuna Niçoise, and simply grilled steaks. Close your eyes and you’ll feel like you’re on holiday.

The Ivy Market Grill
Escape the bustle of the piazza and rest for a while amongst the flowers and foliage at this glamorous all-day brasserie. The Ivy Market Grill adds a touch of luxury to every occasion, whether you’re celebrating over dinner or just popping in for cocktails. The menu is vast, with something to satisfy all your cravings – try the crispy duck salad or their famous shepherd’s pie.

La Goccia
Recapture the magic of Italian summer holidays at La Goccia, an all-day restaurant from the team behind Petersham Nurseries. In the warmer months, tables spill out on to Floral Court so diners can enjoy cocktails and small plates amongst the potted plants and fragrant lemon trees. As the sun sets, there’s nowhere better to unwind with a spritz and snack on burrata and zucchini fritti.

Radio Rooftop
From sunrise to sunset, this rooftop restaurant offers stunning views of the London skyline. You can pop in for a lunchtime lobster roll, catch up with friends over weekend brunch, or enjoy dinner and drinks as the sun sets over the River Thames. With a glass of Champagne in hand, you’ll feel like an A-lister in no time.

A Covent Garden institution for nearly 30 years, Tuttons is the perfect place to refuel after a few hours of retail therapy. Grab a table overlooking the piazza and enjoy a solo breakfast or a long, leisurely lunch with friends. The menu is full of classic crowd-pleasers, from steaks and seafood to pasta and fresh salads.

Best of the rest: You can dine outdoors at Tredwells, Barrafina Drury Lane, Shake Shack, Vyta, Ladurée and Aubaine Deli.

Dining elsewhere? Visit OpenTable to discover more of London’s best restaurants for al fresco dining.

Photo Credit: Thierry Delsart for Radio Rooftop and Andrew Montgomery for La Goccia. All other images courtesy of the restaurants.