The buzzing, affluent district of Canary Wharf in London has traditionally been known as one of the UK’s main financial centres; it’s gaining a real reputation now as a trendy spot for a night out and is the place to be seen for the post-work crowds who gather in stylish bars and restaurants along the riverside. The only problem is knowing where to go; to help you decide here’s our guide to the best alfresco dining and drinking destinations in Canary Wharf…
Burger & Lobster, West India Quay
Burger & Lobster is located in West India Quay in Canary Wharf. Unless you live or work in Canary Wharf, you might not know about West India Quay, but it showcases a slice of Docklands history in London. The warehouse at West India Quay was used to store imported goods from the West Indies, such as tea, sugar and rum, and is now a pretty brick Grade 1 listed building fronted by water-front terraces which form the perfect place to grab an alfresco drink or meal, overlooking West India Docks.
I just love the story behind Burger & Lobster; it was created in 2011 by 4 school friends sitting on a rooftop in London. They wanted to develop a restaurant whose main focus was perfecting the craft of just one or two main ingredients. And so, Burger & Lobster was born in a small Irish pop-up in Mayfair. Now you can find them in many destinations worldwide; our favourite of which is at West India Quay in Canary Wharf!
It’s simply fabulous for alfresco dining and drinking on the gorgeous covered open-air tap terrace. People watch as the sun goes down on a beautiful summer day in the city. Sit on the trendy terrace which is strung with pretty lights set amongst the tables and greenery and enjoy the inspiring views of the skyscrapers of Canary Wharf. The outside bar specialises in craft beer on tap, they work with local breweries and this summer are featuring Freedom Brewery, Siren Craft Brewery and The Wild Beer Brewery. If beer isn’t for you, their excellent cocktails are also on tap outside too and they do sharing cocktails if you’re feeling sociable. On chillier days head inside to the cosy and atmospheric restaurant. The warehouse has been beautifully converted with the red brick walls still on show and the signature Burger & Lobster stylish bar and seating areas. Muted lighting makes this a great venue both for a business lunch or a romantic evening.
As for dining; you can indulge in a full-on and rather delicious delux burger with ‘Best in Class’ Angus beef from Nebraska or be tempted by their “pièce de résistance” and select your own live Lobster from Nova Scotia from the tank in the restaurant. And if you simply can’t decide, they do a Canary Wharf Combo too!
Rum & Sugar
Rum & Sugar, located in a former rum and sugar store in West India Quay, celebrates all things Caribbean. The menu is bursting with flavour and of course, there is rum. Over 200 rums in fact! The interior is all exposed brick walls and wooden ceilings and plays host to live performances and there’s an outside terrace for sunny days.
Contemporary Japanese cuisine is served at popular Roka which overlooks Canada Square in Canary Wharf. Their tasting menu comes highly recommended and there’s also an à la carte menu. When the weather permits there’s a terrace and on chillier days sit at the chef’s table and watch the magic at work at the robata grill. Drinks include cocktails, wine and sake or try jars of Japanese spirit shochu infusions which are infused with fruits and herbs.
Ibérica La Terraza
If you’re in the mood for some Spanish tapa alfresco style then head to Ibérica La Terraza. House favourite the beer sangria deserves sampling too. Located on Cabot Square, the restaurant was inspired by pavement dining in Madrid and the city squares of Barcelona.
All day café and bar Cafe Brera in Cabot Square is the place to go for pizza. You’ll feel as if you’re on the streets of Milan sipping bottled beer with the soothing waterfall beside you. They also serve two blends of Italian coffee under the shade of their distinctive red umbrellas.
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