Bars in North London
Got your eye on a cheeky night out in north London? With such a varied mix of unmissable party spots to try, that’s hardly a surprise. Our list of the best bars to go out in north London promises slick speakeasies in Islington, creative party hubs in King’s Cross, kitsch cocktails in Camden and everything else between.
Last updated on 29th September 2016
Ignore that ‘Apothecary Off Licence’ front outside 108 Essex Road; it’s hiding a naughty speakeasy neighbourhood bar you can’t afford to miss. LCC’s cocktail pharmacy features a ‘Doctor’s Waiting Room’ for off the chain private parties, and there’s an ‘Apothecary Off Licence and Tasting Room’ to host their famous cocktail masterclasses. We’ll be out back in A&E (Alcohol & Entertainment), where the usual flurry of delightful cocktails are up for grabs.
Picture your ideal date night venue; it probably looks a lot like Little Bat. Brought to Angel by the guys behind the multiple award-winning Callooh Callay, this neighbourhood cocktail bar is dark, intimate and cutesy all the way. Drinks are exceptional and the vibes cosy, with an attentive bar team who like to have a bit of banter at this must-visit spot away from the crowds on Upper Street.
Drink Shop & Do is a North London bar that not only excels in its daily craft masterclasses and boozy afternoon teas, but also when it ramps up the volume for its raucous club nights. The ex-porn shop now hosts great party DJs every Friday and Saturday that keep the North London party crowd up and dancing until 2am. Expect tasty cocktails served in hefty jugs and an up-for-it party crowd.
A real party pub in Angel, The Old Queen's Head guarantees a lively atmosphere and some of the best DJ sets in town. There's live music and regular themed and comedy nights to consider, too. Just looking for a quiet pint? This place is unlikely to be the one for you, with a buzzing atmosphere and late night dancing that rivals some of the best party bars in Islington.
The iconic Jazz Cafe has hosted all kinds of globally famous acts since it opened back in 1990. Still at the forefront of London’s live music scene even now, enjoy live bands throughout the week, hip-hop club nights and dinner with a view from the mezzanine level at this ever-popular Camden hangout.
With venues scattered all over the capital, Dirty Martini bring their brand of sophisticated elegance to Islington with this impressive cocktail joint. Mixologists use spices, fruits and international spirits as they whip up signature martinis and other impressive drinks, each available at knock down rates during happy hour. A strong shout for after work drinks, there's every reason to stay a little later as DJs and dancing goes long into the night.
Barrio brings a lively, fun-filled party atmosphere to Essex Road. Ideal for groups dropping by for Amigo Hour after work as well as party people who want to go big and long into the night on the dance floor, there’s killer Latin cocktails and a menu of tasty South American nibbles to pick at. One of our top picks for a night out in Islington.
You just cannot go wrong with a few drinks with Be At One. Located just a short walk from bustling King's Cross station, it's a great addition to the Be At One family, with some of the friendliest bartenders in the business conjuring up some incredible drinks. The menu is more like a catalogue of great drinks and happy hour discounts offer great value for money.
Sure, King's Cross is known for having one of the mightiest stations in London, but it also boasts a serious roster of bars to boot. Known for their seasonal fare, unique cocktails and contemporary interiors, head on up to Drake and Morgan for a slice of the good life.
One of the most infamous drinking dens in the whole of London, Ruby's often sets the standard when it comes to basement bars. With a focus on top quality drinks, this treasure of a watering hole brings something different to Dalston, creating an intimate and infectious atmosphere along the way. Another must try venue for a date or catching up with friends after a long day.
Sister bar to the hugely popular Simmons King's Cross, this place is oh-so charming. Full to brim with vintage fun and all sorts of kitsch bits, Simmons is not your regular drinking spot - its fun, quirky and undeniably cool. Be sure to get there in time for their happy hour (one of the best in London) to get your hands on a spirit and mixer for only £2.50, or two cocktails for £10.
As part of a wider chain of bars and taverns, Brewhouse & Kitchen in Highbury is the perfect spot for all you beer lovers out there. Alongside a fantastic menu full of gastro-pub favourites, the main attraction in this North London pub has to be its micro-brewery, which remains open and visible for all to see. In addition to a huge range of beers and ales that they brew themselves, their drinks menu also boasts an array of British and International craft beers.
Need a good pub in Hampstead? Say hello to The Flask, a Victorian boozer that comes with bags of charm and charisma. Ideal for meeting up with friends over a couple of pints of Young’s ale or enjoying a great meal in their conservatory as the natural light floods in, eat and drink to your heart’s content at this proper, homely boozer within a 15-minute walk of Hampstead Heath.
North London may be a wonder for pubs and quirky dining, but when it comes to champagne and oysters, there's only the one that is a cut above the rest. Join Searcys at St Pancras as they indulge your tastebuds with press for champagne buttons, oysters and bubbly like you've never seen before.
Setting the bar for cool, colonial inspired bars in the city, Hoxley and Porter are the ultimate watering hole for those that like a slice of that vintage life. Known for their gastro plates and cocktails that scream of creativity, head on up for a truly unique night out in North London.
Located just a few yards from Primrose Hill, The Queen’s might just occupy one of the most sought after spots in the whole of London. This is a beautiful and characterful pub, with a great range of hearty pub grub served for those looking to dine and an equally interesting choice of locally brewed craft beer and spirits to sample if you’re just here for drinks.
Dripping in deep mahogany with a smattering of deer skulls, Elk in the Woods is an Angel-based bar with a distinctive rustic character. The mismatched furniture perfectly compliments the neutral tone of this spot, and makes the entire venue feel like a hangout in the Rocky Mountains. To complete the experience, why not try one of their specialist cocktails, such as the Bourbon Growler or the English Garden Martini?
Offering the friendly and familiar vibes that you’d associate with any good local, The Duchess is something of a secretive pub just around the corner from Highbury & Islington station. Come for a top-quality drop of ale - Doombar, Roadside and Redemption are on tap - something from their modern and contemporary wine list or pop in for a lazy Sunday featuring a roast lunch and Bloody Mary’s. All the sport is shown on SKY and it’s close to the Emirates Stadium if you’re heading on to the match afterwards.
Kentish Town’s Bull & Gate is a beautiful pub down to every last detail. It’s steeped in history and has a majestic feel running through both the ground floor and the upper level Boulogne Bar. There’s all kinds of innovative and seasonal pub classic dishes on the menu, a Sunday Roast that any foodie will want to check out and a great range of beers, cocktails and fine wines if you’re just in for a few drinks.
A north London bar with a penchant for knocking out signature cocktails and a healthy happy hour sits pretty on Camden's Inverness street. BOHO is a classic laid-back space where you can enjoy the best of British cuisine, including slap-up roast dinners, as well as a fun atmosphere for some after work drinks.
Kentish Town kicks boring nights out to the curb with this hidden gem. A top place to drink cocktails in North London, Jailbird is the perfect place to grab a few glasses of something special once you're done whoofing down South American chow from upstairs.
This buzzing bar in Kings Cross is a great spot for your weekend boozy boogying, so get down low for these banging beats with your favourite mates. a great Gastro pub menu brings those tasty favourites to your table too, so line your stomachs before you get onto those classy cocktails and those fine wines. Often packed out, make sure you get in there quick with a reservation!
Looking for some seriously laid back pints in the heart of North London? Just shy of Regents Park and sitting pretty in Camden, not only are Spread Eagle churning out craft beers, there's a roster of British bites to be found spread across the menu to boot.
This classy corner of Islington is a great place to hire out for those private parties, or grab a tipple with a friend or partner and have a sophisticated evening on a cosy leather couch. Situated in a restored Edwardian public house, this bar is a short walk from the historic Chapel market and is a great haunt for those who want to drink in style.
Looking for the gift that keeps giving when it comes to a bar in North London? Let The Somers Town Coffee House be your guide. From hidden garden and speakeasy bar to themed rooms and private dining, there's a little something for everyone here.
If there's anyone or any place that can advocate drinking and dancing in North London, it's Blues Kitchen Camden, Part of the heralded party group, Blues Kitchen know no bounds when it comes to American bites, bourbon and an ever pumping roster of live music.
The King’s Head is Winchmore Hill’s “veritable palace of refreshment”, where fresh and ethically sourced food is served alongside a great range of ales, beers and fine wines. There’s a vaulted dining room for private hire groups, a covered terrace space and a decked beer garden if you’re heading round when it’s sunny.
Boasting two cocktail menus, both of which demonstrate their innovative and experimental expertise when it come to cocktail making, there is no doubt that The Four Sisters is one of the best cocktail bars in North London. Serving up premium cocktails in a cool and quirky setting, this is a great spot for a couple of drinks after work or to get the party started on a Friday or Saturday night.
The Bridge offers a great balance of convenience and comfort just a few minutes away from Wembley Stadium. A hybrid of 68 en-suite bedrooms, function rooms and an inviting pub, settle in for drinks with friends at this Greenford favourite; there’s a great range of seasonal ales, craft beer from around the world and top spirits to choose between.
The Nags Head is Angel's answer to a country side pub in the City. With wooden interiors and old fashioned décor, this North London boozer oozes bags of character and vintage charm creating the ultimate in laid-back atmospheres perfect for Sunday drinking sessions or after work tipples. Tuck into this classic pub for brunch, lunch, dinner or drinks.
Camden Assembly is a bar, nightclub and restaurant rolled into one cool exposed-brick hidey hole. Lucky Chip provide the food so expect crazy delicious burgers and hot dogs, while drinks are hot to trot with beers from all the best London breweries and a spanking selection of cocktails.