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 25th October 2017
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.
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.
Tucked away beneath the multi-award winning L’etranger restaurant, L'entranger Piano Lounge is a late night lounge dressed with a west London swagger. Opening from 5pm until late, there’s a relaxed yet refined atmosphere to the Piano Lounge, which offers everything from an aperitif to a late night tipple, as well as the complete gourmet experience that echoes the cuisine of the restaurant upstairs. Hop off the tube at Gloucester Road and enjoy the decadent and lush setting of this cool basement bar.
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.
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.
Located in the heart of the city, Mac & Wild delivers some of the finest Scottish steaks, seafood and venison around, all washed down by over 200 whiskies. But despite being underground, their Gun Room lets you pretend to be in the Scottish Highlands, as you hunt in virtual fields.
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.
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.
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.
If you like your basement quaint and cute, then Bourne and Hollingsworth in Fitzrovia is the perfect spot for you. The London basement bar is filled with cosy armchairs, wacky wallpaper and an unbeatable atmosphere; to top it off, the cocktail list is as original as it is delicious.
The former home of Reverend JW Simpson has been given a new lease of life as a cocktail bar. The quirky venue in Fitzrovia still has many of the Rev's original features and serves a cocktail list unlike any other with ingredients often foraged.
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.
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.
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.
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.
There’s one underground bar in London that plays non-stop live music that you want to go to. Hidden in the heart of Farringdon, come here for songs requested by the audience, amazing cocktails and hand-selected wine, perfect for getting you to dance the night away. Come in the day and you can enjoy steaks and other bar foods.
Head downstairs in Absurd Bird Spitalfields and you’ll find a basement bar that channels the heart of the American Deep South. The aesthetic is dishevelled-chic, the drinks feature lashings of moonshine and bourbon, and the food is all comfort food.
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.
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.
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.
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.
WC Wine & Charcuterie Bar is a basement bar in London can be found underneath Clapham Common tube station. The 24 red and white wines behind the bar work with the sharing platters and cheese boards served by the kitchen to offer the ultimate wine drinking experience. Grab your mates, settle into a cosy booth and soak up everything on offer at this wine bar in South London.
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.
Fresh from a summer residency atop Oval Space's terrace bar, Behind This Wall is a secret little cocktail den that's setting up permanent shop in Hackney. The venue has purposely been decorated in an understated manner to stress the explosive flavours of the cocktail menu, which showcases some of Britain's best small-batch distilleries.
The Temple Brew House has developed a bit of a reputation for itself when it comes to offering the finest craft beer that London's brewers have to offer. The venue sits below street level in Holborn and couples the great line-up of craft beer with an equally great menu of traditional British dishes. Think hearty roast dinners, topping-heavy burgers and fresh fish dishes.
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.
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.
Coupling soulful live music with authentic julep cocktails, Kansas Smitty's is a charming underground bar in East London. Really making sure that everyone has a memorable experience here, the venue's house band take over the stage 5 nights a week, playing legendary jazz numbers and intoxicating guests with their melodic tunes. Basement bars in London don't get much better than this.
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.
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.
Beneath Covent Garden lies an Eden of temptation and indulgence. Eve is all about delivering delicious cocktails with a theatrical touch to lose submitting to temptation, all while you hang out in refined, cool surroundings.
Hidden in a Victorian basement is Nine Lives, one of the most beautiful bars in London. There’s a zero-waste philosophy to their drinks, meaning their ‘Loop’ cocktails are as guilt-free as they are tasty, whereas their music is just as curated as their drinks menu. Come here for exclusively good times.
Underneath the streets near Liverpool Street sits one of the coolest whisky bars in London. Serving up over 250 bottles of whisky as well as tonnes of different cocktails, you can relax in this cool and contemporary bar that’s perfect for whisky-lovers.
Many may consider The Mitre an unassuming pub in the heart of Notting Hill, but then again, those people had never wandered below. Found in the basement and brimming with an illicit stir, join Old Mary's for cocktails, whisky and hot dogs should the night take you there.
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.
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.
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.
The Bourne and Hollingsworth Buildings might look like an idyllic bar, but it's got a bit of a secret. Have a wonder around the bar, look behind a few pieces of furniture and you might stumble upon Below & Hidden, a secret basement bar based underneath the venue. Serving a range of quirky cocktails and having hosted a variety of different events, this is the ideal spot if you're not ready to call it a night.
Based in Kings Cross, Megaro is a basement cocktail bar full of charm and character. The venue is split between two rooms and serves a diverse range of signature cocktails, curated and flaired together by a crack team of mixologists. We'd recommend The Lost Steps cocktail, created by infusing sweet tea with tequila.
Hidden underneath the renowned pizza specialists Voodoo Rays, Ray's bar is an easy-going cocktail bar in Dalston that's taken the phrase liquid dinner to extreme lengths. The cocktail menu is broken up into starters, main courses and desserts; prosecco cocktails get the ball rolling, followed by a rum main course and a sugary sherry dessert drink. And if things get a bit too hazy, guests can also enjoy a slice of pizza, courtesy of the experts upstairs.
Looking for something a little different? For a positively Bavarian affair, head down to the Munich Cricket Club's modern bierkeller-themed basement space, for live bands, delicious imported beers and some of the best German-inspired eats in London.
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.
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.