Eating and drinking along Regent’s Canal: the 10 best sunny spots

Little Venice on the Regent's Canal, London

Little Venice on the Regent's Canal, London - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

It’s easier than you may think to get away from the noise and commotion of the capital – just stroll, cycle or boat down one of the hidden gems of London, the Regent’s Canal

Although less than nine miles long, the canal’s towpath and surrounding streets are packed with eating places and watering holes to suit every taste.

So while the Sun still shines and Regent’s Canal is looking its best, we’ve picked out some of the top spots where you can sit back and enjoy a drink or meal al fresco.

The Engineer, 65 Gloucester Avenue

Named for the great Victorian engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel, this Primrose Hill gastro pub has built a reputation for gourmet food and a wide selection of beers and ciders. For some local flavour, we’d suggest you try the lager Camden Hells. Using the freshest ingredients, the reasonably priced food menu changes daily and serves up pub classics, including a well-loved Sunday roast. Watch the hours at The Engineer melt away from the secluded walled garden, before moving back to the canal path.

Towpath Café, 36 De Beauvoir Crescent

Right on the canal path (near the Whitmore Bridge), this homely café sits at one of the more picturesque locations of the Regent’s Canal, tempting many a walker or cyclist to put a halt to their journey. When the weather is nice, the Towpath becomes a bird-spotting treasure, with swans and coots lazily skimming their way across the water, but even if it’s raining, the cottage-like indoors is just as comfortable. On the menu is some lovely café fare (if you like your Italian food, you’re in luck), but the Towpath also makes for an excellent drinking hole. Be warned, however, it’s closed during the winter months.

Proud East, 2-10 Hertford Road

Head east from the Towpath along the banks of the canal and you’ll immediately find another beautiful café, restaurant and bar rolled into one. What gives Proud East, in Haggerston, its vibrant atmosphere is the host of events, which should offer something for everybody. There are wine tastings or English high tea, live music or a cinema club held on the terraces, and for those who enjoy a game of pool, Proud East hire out four full-size Brunswick Centurion American tables.

The Constitution, 42 St Pancras Way

Take your pint up to the beer garden at The Constitution, a traditional pub in the heart of Camden, and you’re looking right down on the canal, making for quite a spot to be at sunset. What will surprise you, however, is how a place with such a friendly atmosphere in the ever-busy Camden town can avoid feeling too touristy. It’s a pub for regulars, pool and darts, plus a basement where music blares out several nights a week.

The Narrowboat, 119 St Peter’s Street

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As the name suggests, this is a popular mooring location for the narrowboats making their way along the Regent’s Canal, and it’s easy to see why. It’s a relaxed, welcoming bar with plenty of space, great food and London-brewed beers. The balcony seating provides great views of the waterway, but they are the first to get taken on a sunny day so be quick to nab a table. We recommend you head there for breakfast or brunch as the Narrowboat offers a delicious version of the Full English.

Crate Brewery, 7, The White Building, Queen’s Yard

Beer and Pizza – what could be a better way to relax on the Regent’s Canal? You’ll want to try out their own brew, concocted on site – pales, goldens, stouts and ciders to name a few – but there is also a selection of guest beers to whet the appetite. Whatever you choose will go perfectly with their uniquely flavoured pizzas, from the sweet potato, stilton and walnut to lemon chicken tajine. The Crate Brewery can be found in an old factory at Hackney Wick, between Victoria Park and the River Lea Navigation, which has been furnished with a bar made of railroad sleepers, wooden pallets for outdoor benches and even old bed springs as light fittings.

Canal 125, 125 Caledonian Road

While away your time at this charming bar and restaurant – only a few minutes from King’s Cross – sitting on the top-floor terrace with a pint from a local brewery and the Famous Canal 125 Burger. Or if you’re there on a Sunday, try the roast and its scrummy red wine gravy.

WaterHouse, 10 Orsman Road

This restaurant takes some finding as it’s not on the side of the canal with the path and it’s surrounded by industrial units, but trust us, it’s worth the effort. Not only is the menu something special while being great value, but WaterHouse was set up by the Shoreditch Trust, which provides opportunities to vulnerable or underprivileged young people from the area to learn about the catering trade. It’s a friendly place, where you can sit on the outdoor table and watch the traffic of the canal potter by.

Rotunda, Kings Place, 90 York Way

A stylish waterside bar at King’s Cross, Rotunda offers delicious meals – including meat sourced from their own farm in Northumberland and freshly caught fish – and an outdoor terrace, complete with deck chairs, to sit back with a cold, well-earned drink. For those looking for something a bit fancier than the standard old man’s pub, Rotunda is best known for its choice of homemade cocktails.

Feng Shang, Cumberland Basin, Prince Albert Road

If you’re not content with eating or drinking merely next to the water and what to get back on it, then Feng Shang may be what you’re looking for. The two-storey high floating Chinese restaurant sits on the edge of Regent’s Park (near London Zoo), and it’s hard to picture a better setting for a meal on the canal.