When you think of Irish bars, it's all Guinness and Paddy's Day, right? From the Waxy's to the O'Neills, we've seen it all... but a bar focussed on quality cocktails? London's not got many of those. When Homeboy burst onto the Islington scene back in 2018, the Essex Road haunt was giving a new name to Irish hospitality. And now that they've got a sister site in Battersea, we headed south of the river to see what all the fuss is about.
Touted as a hip hop-lovers hangout, Homeboy has got the perfect weekend soundtrack. Flitting between Russ and The Fugees, the Sunday evening playlist went from new to old with ease. There was even a sprinkling of Bonita Applebum before a brief dip into MGMT and the Arctic Monkeys. But it’s not only about sounds here, style is just as important. Green leather banquette seating and low lighting are mixed with high tables and candlelight. Did someone say date night?
Diving headfirst into a Champagne Paloma (£11), it was all tequila, Champagne and grapefruit sherbet for me. For my other half, the juicy Wogan (£10), which carefully combined Teeling whiskey and apricot brandy with sugar and lime. Food-wise, it’s Irish stews, sandos and burgers on the menu. Keeping it carby, we kicked things off with a classic cheese board (£14) and steak sandwich (£14.50) cooked to medium rare perfection; pink in the middle and so tender that it melted in the mouth. Slathered in the kind of sauce that’s so sharp you can literally smell it, chunky Buffalo nuggets (£8.50) stole the show.
Named after the Gaelic term for prime minister, his Taoiseach (£11) was a short little number. Pomegranate syrup gave it a deep pink hue, while Redbreast 12 pot still whiskey, Martini rosso, triple sec, orange bitters and Angostura worked together to form a fragrant blend. Opting for something a little less Irish, my pink picante (£10) fused tequila, Ancho Reyes verde, lime, agave and tabasco for a punchy concoction underpinned by a vinegary lick of pink pickle.
As the soundtrack settled in favour of a live pianist, we made our way onto liquid dessert. Not content with serving the usual Irish coffee, Homeboy has three different varieties on the menu. There’s the Belfast Coffee (£11), served cold and doused with Bán Poitín for a raw take; while the Pot Still (£11) utilises Redbreast 12; but it was the traditional Irish Coffee (£11), that takes things back to basics with Jameson for the kind of smoothness you’d expect.
The DesignMyNight Digest
Shaking up what we know of Irish bars, Homeboy is ditching the old school pub for something a little more modern. Whether you're a whiskey lover or have a taste for tequila, the Battersea bar has something for all tastes, and paired with a menu of substantial bar snacks and live music through the week, they're onto a winner.
💰 The damage: £90 between two, plus service charge.
📍 The location: Embassy Gardens, between Battersea Park and Vauxhall.
👌 Perfect for: date nights and catch-ups with friends.
⭐ Need to know: keep an eye on the live music schedule - there's a pianist every Thursday and Sunday, and DJs every Friday and Saturday.
Discover more to do south of the river with our list of Battersea's best bars.