Square-mile-ophile: Top five restaurants with views in the Square Mile

Food with a view: There’s no finer way to enjoy London’s skyline than from some of the most elevated restaurants in the Square Mile.

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It’s not often you go to a restaurant and hope the food has to battle to be the main event. But there are certain restaurants in London that take your breath away before you’ve had a chance to look at the menu.

With skyscrapers tickling the clouds all over the City of London, alongside some of London’s most historical buildings punctuating the landscape, the Square Mile has a wealth of restaurants with awe-inspiring views. Here’s our pick of the bunch.

map of the restaurants

1.  Coq d’Argent, Unit 8  1 Poultry, EC2R 8EJ

Perched high on the roof of No.1 Poultry, this eatery commands spectacular views over the City’s most illustrious landmarks. Get a bird’s eye view of St Paul’s Cathedral, Mansion House, Monument and the Bank of England all in one sitting.

As you might guess from the restaurant’s name, the Head Chef Mickael Weiss serves up a melange of French cuisine. He takes much of his inspiration from Burgundy and the north of France.

Coq d’Argent meanwhile takes its name from two references: “Coq”, which is French for cockerel, is inspired by restaurant’s address at No.1 Poultry, and “Argent” (meaning silver) from the fact that the building was designed by the architect, James Stirling, and that the site was previously home to the jewellers and silversmiths, Mappin & Webb.

The rooftop garden has been described as the ultimate “champagne picnic ground”. Delighful.

2.   Rhodes Twenty Four, Tower 42  25 Old Broad Street, EC2N 1HQ

Not a good choice for those with a tendency for vertigo, Gary Rhodes’ lofty restaurant is set on the twenty-fourth floor of one of London tallest buildings.  

Along with the sweeping panorama, the restaurant offers traditional British cuisine, and if you fancy quaffing a few glasses before you dine, there’s a bar with equally stunning views.

3.  Smiths of Smithfield, 67-77 Charterhouse Street, EC1M 6HJ

Smiths of Smithfield

Smiths of Smithfield

Topping off chef John Torode’s empire-eatery, in Smithfield Market you’ll find his third floor restaurant with great views over the Grade II listed market and the surrounding City-scape.

Torode’s dedication to eulogising the best in British meat means a trip to this restaurant promises to be a meaty affair. The top floor restaurant serves lunch, dinner and brunch on Sundays. Expect NY-style big plates for sharing along with the infamous steaks.

If the weather permits you can take a seat on the terrace to make the best of the views. Just don’t take your vegetarian friends.

4.   Madison, One New Change, EC4M 9AF

The spanking new shopping/dining/office complex One New Change offers spectacular views of St Paul’s Cathedral from any number of vantage points but none better than that of the Madison Restaurant.

Whether you prefer to enjoy the views from inside or from the huge roof terrace, (part of one of the largest terraces in Europe no less), the vista provided by St Paul’s radiant architecture is something to behold.

The food lends itself to all-day eating and provides a more casual affair than the other eateries on this list.

5.    40/30, 30 St Mary Axe, City of London, EC3A 8EP

For a more exclusive affair you might be interested in becoming a member of 40/30, The Gherkin - London’s highest private members’ club. Members can gain access to the fine-dining restaurant, cocktail bar and champagne bar.

30 St Mary’s Axe, more commonly known the Gherkin, won the “COOL venue awards” in 2011. The awards were judged on “charisma, originality, style, innovation, sex appeal, authenticity and uniqueness”. Well. That might just be worth investing in….


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