Best London Basement Bars
Who knew that so many of the capital’s leading bars could be found in the basement? Perfect for leaving the commotion of the outside world behind and kicking back with something tasty, London's flurry of subterranean spots offer a different dimension to your night out. Here's our hand-picked selection of the best basement bars in London.
Last updated on 6th October 2016
214 Bermondsey is a wonderful speakeasy-esque subterranean bar, ideal for those intimate get-togethers and cosy date nights. Think exposed brick walls and wood panelling accented by red leather stools. What's really astounding about this place is its commitment to juniper. Gin, gin and more gin. Go simple with a G+T, mix (or shake...whatever your preference) it up with a Martini or test your taste-buds on something novel.
Sat behind two heavy oak doors is Copa De Cava, a basement bar that pays tribute to those secret, underground bodegas in Spain. Polished wooden surfaces, the odd splash of bare brickwork and spots of colour among the sleek modern style give this bar a cosy homely feel. Nosh on some tasty tapas and sip your sangria in secret, safe in the knowledge that you can really unwind and let loose in privacy.
Featuring an unmissable mix of EP launches, new bands and established live acts, Old Street Records also features one of the best basement bars in Shoreditch. Stumble below street-level and experience intimate jazz nights and low-key DJ sessions, with authentic Italian pizzas washed down with bespoke cocktails, craft beers and a line-up of fine wines.
The Tokenhouse's cellar bar is a speakeasy style escape from the popular upstairs bar; it has intimate lighting, a great drink selection and a cool, relaxed vibe. For a special get together or private after work drinks the Cellar Bar is available for private hire.
The Humble Grape is an utterly charming basement bar in Battersea. Head down to this split-level, industrial-inspired hangout and you'll find yourself greeted by a charismatic decor - think rugged wooden tables and cork-laced walls. Take a seat on a pew and sip on a few glasses of some of the very best organic wines. And to soak it all up, the team of chefs have plenty of tasty nibbles for you to tuck into!
Although it still retains the 'Adult and Erotica' sign down to its basement club area, Drink Shop & Do has had a makeover from its previous life as a porn shop to now hold the best Friday and Saturday night parties in the King's Cross area. Expect this basement bar to have great cocktails that come in hefty jugs and for DJs to take control of the two floors of the venue as its revellers go hard deep into the evening.
This smart city restaurant bar comes complete with a cool basement space perfect for enjoying an easy-going meal or a few delectable drinks. The hotel-style front means you'd be forgiven for striding straight on by, but do so and you'll miss out on a great wine list and a stellar beer selection. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, the culinary experience on offer here is sure to leave you simply wanting more.
It was only a matter of time before the famous London Cocktail Club pitched up in Shoreditch. Here to nail it with classic and contemporary cocktails like the ‘Confessions of a Cucumber Salesman’, ‘Brixton Riot’ and the ‘Smoking Barrel’, you’ll enjoy such lush libations in biker themed surrounds complete with black leather couches.
Opening the doors to this once exclusive space in city, discover the decadence of the Victorian Bath House in Bishopsgate. Residing in the allure of a Grade II listed building you'll find a wonderful clash of Victorian antiques and contemporary, metropolitan vibes. Indulge in some of the finest food and drink, whilst taking in the ambient interiors at this themed bar in London.
This secret sojourn, draped in Parisian chic in a Soho basement on Broadwick Street, is a sweet retreat from the raucous rabble outside. Nestle into a plush leather arm chair, luscious libations in hand, and have an intimate drink with a date, a cosy catch up with an old friend or a sophisticated soiree with your favourite mates.
Nestled beneath the unassuming streets of Bishopsgate, WM Barker & Co makes it onto the scene as one of London's coolest basement bars. Decked out with old, leather armchairs and traditional furnishing, this subterranean drinking den doffs its cap to a simpler time. With a crack team of mixologists and an arsenal of spirits, fruits and spices, expect to find some wonderfully creative concoctions at this bar that's well versed in the art of the unusual and the wonderfully unique.
Zenna is an intimate cocktail bar of the highest order. Top mixologist Dan Thomson runs the show here, serving lip-smacking drinks that'll keep you coming back for more. There's a choice of cosy alcoves to tuck yourself away in if you're looking to unwind. Alternatively, weekend visitors can expect to find a slightly livelier crowd, fuelled by stunning drinks and by the amazing music coming from the DJ decks.
Roxy's packed schedule of fun-loving parties ensures that no two nights are the same. A refreshing getaway from the hustle of the Soho's streets above, you'll find a number of great drink deals, a cosy vibe and the line-up of expertly made cocktails that define The Roxy brand.
An intimate space located below Joe’s Southern Kitchen, retire to Cocktail Baby and escape the endless hustle and bustle of Covent Garden. With a vast expanse of cocktails, beers, wines and ciders to choose from and happy hour discounts are on offer at all times, it's easy to settle down in one of their candlelit tables with your favourite drinks. Disco, soulful and deep house tunes provide the backdrop.
While The Brewers Inn may be one of the most notable pubs in Wandsworth, they're harbouring a secret downstairs bar that's bursting full of vibrant colour and delicious drinks. Head on down to this vintage, intimate space for a colourful evening, signposted by the cosy basement drinking and framed by delicious gastro-pub cuisine.
Warm, intimate and cosy; Be At One is your fail-safe choice for a feel-good night out in Covent Garden. Happy Hour discounts get you off to a flying start from 4.30, there’s guilty pleasure party tracks on the speakers and bartenders are impossibly charming, as well as seriously talented. A licence until 3am means you can stay and party long into the early hours.
With a crack team of DJs and an even more impressive team of talented bartenders, Phonox below has quickly become one of London's best kept secrets. Sitting comfortably underneath the popular Phonox club, the venue is welcoming and warm to visitors, decorated with huge neon light mounted on the bar's exposed brick walls. With mellow songs filling the air in this venue, guests are encouraged to sink into their handcrafted cocktails and leave all their troubles at the door as they sample some of the best spirit concoctions the city has to offer.
Judging from its charming façade by day, you wouldn't think this city restaurant hides a cool basement bar. The Gable is a stylish restaurant bar perfect for socialising and tucking into classic British nosh. But after dark, the main attraction is their mysterious basement bar. Head downstairs and discover their low-lit subterranean bar space, where a selection of fine wines, cocktails and spirits accompany an intriguing range of London themed eccentricities.
If you can keep this one on the down-low then we can help you find the way. Mysterious by name, mysterious by nature, Found is one of Shoreditch's most secretive basement bars. Decked out with some classic decorations and old world antiques, it offers East London's revellers a chance to sample some of the most carefully crafted cocktails the city has to offer.
Imitated by many, matched by few, Ruby’s in Dalston is one of east London’s true treasures. Head below street level and settle at the bar, where a seasonal menu of innovative cocktails are served in an intimate atmosphere. You’ll also need to check out The Lounge; a separate space specialising in a wider range of craft beers, a wine-list curated by the Clapton specialists at Verden and sumptuous Vietnamese street-food from the impressive Hanoi Kitchen.
In 1848, the infamous Baron fled to London shrouded in scandal - his every move met with controversy and outrage on the streets. He ended up landing a date with the gallows, only to escape after requesting one final drink at one of Covent Garden’s brew houses. Popularly known as The Escapologist thereafter, there’s now a bar named in his honour, operating as a Victorian men’s club / Masonic Lodge hybrid at the HQ of the secret society that ran Victorian London. Expect sharing cocktails, authentic design and cheese-drenched pizzas from this cool and quirky Covent Garden joint.
A cool-as-you-like homage to only the best of Scandinavian culture, Nordic is a unique basement bar boasting lodge-like decor, authentic grub and its very own ping pong table. Located just a stone's throw from Tottenham Court Road, expect a buzzing ambience and friendly crowd . For all the adventurous revellers out there, spin the 'shot wheel' behind the bar at your own peril and see just how lucky you really are.
We're inviting you to look past the delicious food at Jamie's for one second and consider the intimate basement bar downstairs. If you're looking for an evening of chatting and drinking with friends than look no further. The extensive wine list is sure to keep you satisfied, as is the bar's impressive range of international spirits and craft beers.
Partial to the odd rum-based tipple? It’s time for you to get acquainted with Burlock. With over 200 different types of the spirit this is the place for any afficianado; especially one who is drinking on a budget - there’s continuous happy hour deals that run from opening ‘til close. Away from the beautiful rum cocktails there’s Cuban and Caribbean food to pair with your drinks and a Havana-styled barber shop that doubles as an extra quirky drinking space.
Step back in time to a Victorian drinking den featuring an adventurous and quirky cocktail list that you really ought not to miss. A cavern of cool that won't fail to charm with its candlelit ambience and table service policy, retire to Worship Street and wile away the hours in true style next time you're out East.
With its unassuming black door and sliding hatch, The Luggage Room in Mayfair boasts a secret speakeasy ambience with greater authenticity than most. Head through the windy corridor to enter into the chic 1920's basement bar complete with jazz music, period curiosities, fine liquors and even a huge ice block behind the bar to carve off into each cocktail.
The Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town is an elusive basement bar in London that's perfect for stopping by after a hectic day at the office. Hidden behind a SMEG fridge in The Breakfast Club, descend into a snug basement bar with lots of wood and exposed brickwork. The cocktails and drinks are top notch, the food is perfect to snack on and the atmosphere is always abuzz.
Purl proudly announce themselves as a 'speakeasy and purveyors of fine beverages', and who are we to argue? Their innovative team pull out all the stops by manipulating anything from foams to liquid nitrogen in their quest to create the perfect beverage. Grab one yourself and pitch up in one of their cosy alcoves for the evening.
A cool and modest bar with a basement DJ room, the Hoxton Seven is what the area's nightlife is all about. Quirky cocktails head up the drinks menu and a regular DJ slot in the basement bar ensures a buzzing atmosphere all night long. The speciality home-made pizzas here are also worth a look, as are the awesome happy hour prices.
Hidden right beneath Hoxton's happy feet is the 5CC Electricity Showrooms, a gorgeous amalgamation of industrial old fashioned quirk with the very best in modern design. Married in this basement bar, you'll find plush cosy booth seats, copper surfaces, trendy bar stools and neon splashes. Perfect for starting those big nights out in London, 5cc Electricity Showrooms will leave you smiling from ear to ear, and ready for whatever the rest of the night has in store.
Fresh lillies, scented candles and plush sofas make for a hugely welcoming ambience at this Soho plot. Once comfy, consider a cocktail card of flair and creativity, and watch out for the spontaneous entertainment served up by the waiting team at Archer Street. Vibrant by nature and full of character, a night at this basement bar won't be forgotten anytime soon.
A basement bar laden with slow cooked meats, delicious dishes and big sharing platters straight from America's Deep South, Joe Southern Table and Bar is arguably one of best restaurants in Camden. Alongside producing dishy dinners, it also hides a cool little basement bar called the Jailbird, where it's all killer cocktails, hard liquors and alluring lighting.
LCC's Tattoo Rum Parlour pulls in the punters with its excellent mix of killer cocktails, retro tunes and laid-back atmosphere. Ideal for winding down after work with a couple of cocktails or perhaps launching you into a spectacular night on the town, don't forget that the Happy Hour on Mondays last all night long.
The towering skyscrapers might steal the headlines, but those in the know will head straight for this plush cocktail haunt when they’re next in the city. It’s an absolute classic of a cocktail bar, where bartenders mix up a storm in signature drinks and guests lap up the relaxed yet refined atmosphere. Rightly considered one of the best basement bars in London, it leaves all visitors with a huge smile on their face.
Covent Garden Cocktail Club is only two minutes from Leicester Square and is hidden under the streets of London. Head down a very unassuming metal staircase into this stunning and very snug cocktail bar-cum-gentleman's club. The drinks menu is fabulous and the small space is always filled making for a great, lively atmosphere.
If you manage to tear yourself away from the mouth-watering steaks upstairs at Hawksmoor, you'll find an equally outstanding cocktail bar worth the visit alone. Masterful bartenders whip up unique cocktails by breathing a fresh lease of life into forgotten classics, and there's a great spread of fine wines and locally sourced beers up for grabs too.
Situated below the thriving Wahaca on Wardour Street, Azulito is an undeniably cool drinking den with no less than 80 varieties of 100% agave tequila in their drinks cabinet. Chill out in one of their swinging basket chairs, enjoy a couple of games of foosball during the week or see their weekend line-up of lively DJs spin a mix of classic and contemporary tunes from into the night.
You'll find one of our favourite drinking dens beneath a Thai restaurant in Hoxton Square. An atmospheric space lit by candles, Happiness Forgets is the perfect date night bar where you can climb into some Thai nibbles and cocktails before heading on to another of Shoreditch's late-night hangouts.
A secret cocktail and party bar hidden beneath the popular Mexican restaurant, Casa Negra, the Casa Playroom mixes expertly blended cocktails, a refined selection of bar snacks and completely unique decor to front one of the coolest basement bars in London. Anyone for a delicious Frozen Margarita?
La Bodega Negra is an elusive drinking and dining den in the centre of Soho. Successfully locate their secretive dining area and you're in for a real treat, as their masterful team conjure up delicious Mexican food matched with hand-crafted mezcal and tequila infused drinks.