Contrary to popular belief, us Brits have been introduced to the sunshine. In fact, every few years we are treated to a whole week of summer. During this summer in the city, people in England find themselves flocking in their droves for crispy sausages and burnt skewers. Londoners, however, don’t always have the same luxury of an expansive garden to host the neighbours for a good old-fashioned BBQ-and-booze up. Don’t let the lack of garden space put a dampener on your sizzling plans though, there are plenty of places to strike up a grill without raking yourselves over the hot coals…
Best BBQ Restaurants in London
Bodean's: If you can trust anywhere in London to know their way around a weiner, it’s Soho. Bodean’s is a unique American style smokehouse that promises Londoners a BBQ experience much better than their Dad’s overcooked burgers in the back garden. Just a few minutes’ stroll from Oxford Street, this is a centrally located BBQ experience that would make even the most cockney of Londoners feel like an urban cowboy.
Nearest tube: Oxford Circus
Pitt Cue: Not far from Liverpool Street and Aldgate underground stations, this restaurant set in an industrial-rustic setting in the historic Devonshire Square serves up some sizzlers straight off the grill alongside a selection of fine ales, in-house brews and a sampling of cocktails.
Nearest tube: Liverpool Street
Porky's BBQ Bankside: A Memphis style venue with classic American food in a traditional American diner… all just at a walkable distance from Shakespeare’s Globe. The best of both sides of the Atlantic collide in this perfect spot of indulgent dining. Think pork, think classic Louisiana flavours, think whatever you like – the food is just too good to care.
Nearest tubes: Borough, London Bridge
Smokehouse: One of London’s best and most critically-acclaimed BBQ joints, Smokehouse Islington has been open since 2013 and offers punters a salivating menu with BBQ dishes inspired from flavours and fusions all across the world. The BBQ takes inspiration from Korea to Argentina and all the grills in between, with locally sourced food and some of London’s finest ales.
Nearest tube: Highbury and Islington
The Blues Kitchen: With restaurants in Camden, Brixton and Shoreditch, this brand cooks up the best of Texan traditional BBQ with hints of Cajun charisma and live music. What could be better than perfectly cooked meat with perfectly tuned jazz? Certainly not your Mum’s old Robbie Williams CD and a Tesco bun.
If BBQ wings ain't your thing, you can always just opt for some alfresco dining instead.
Sparks in the Park: the best parks to BBQ in London:
We’ve already given you the once over about London's best parks, but what we must confess is that not all London parks welcome BBQing. You could say you need a license to grill…
It’s always good to visit the local council website to find out if you can BBQ in your chosen park - make sure lighting up won’t get you locked up. But for now, let us give you some of the best parks you can (legally) cook up a storm in London!
Lincoln’s Inn Fields, the largest public square in London, is already a rarity in that it is a secret little green haven in the City. It, fortunately, is also one of the areas you can legally put some burgers on the grill and enjoy some London sun. Go at lunchtime if you can and watch the city buzz whilst you unwind.
Highbury Fields is perhaps the mecca of outdoor BBQing for Londoners. Islington council were the first authority to lift the blanket ban on BBQing in their parks back in 2011, so come and enjoy a part of history with your chicken skewers and bangers. Ideally located just a few minutes’ walk from Highbury and Islington tube station, this park is also surrounded by cute cafés on the famous Upper Street and you can pick up any supplies you forgot from the Tesco and Waitrose on Highbury Corner.
Burgess Park is South London’s answer to the BBQing crisis of our capital. A huge space spanning from Camberwell to the west and Old Kent Road to the East, this Southwark park has eight purpose-built BBQing stations, suggesting to us that South Londoners are much more optimistic about the British Summer than any other part of the city. Just a stone’s throw from New Cross, this is a great place to get out and chill out.
London’s wish to be reinvented into a global green city means we are all that closer to becoming a barbequer’s paradise – the gems are there to be found! Slap on the sun-cream, crack open a cold one and have a cookin’ good time. Bring a brolly with you though, just in case.