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.
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.
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.
You don't have to be a Hampstead local to love this bar. Brought to you by Will Partridge of Kilburn Ironworks and Disrepute's Chris Denis, this two-floor hotspot is home to some stunning drinks, impressive interiors and a buzzing vibe that you'll be hard pressed to find anywhere else nearby.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
Hidden in the City of London is The Factory House, a swish wine bar and steak restaurant. Along with having an excellent choice of bottles, the venue cooks up BBQ food and hearty steaks.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
Connoisseurs in all things live music and fun, Studio 88 is a cool basement bar found in Covent Garden. The spot has a delectable menu of California rolls and cocktails, and will keep you up late with their raucous live band, who take requests.
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.
Tucked away from the streets of Soho, Jack Solomons is the place to be for delicious small plates, an extensive drinks menu, and heaps of old school charm. Whether you're sipping on cocktails in their velvet-laced sofas, or storming the dance floor to the sound of their live music, you are in for a good time.
Located below Blixen this Brushfield Street basement bar is one of the finest little cocktail spots in East London. Offering table service and cosy surroundings, its perfect for a cute date night or a couple of after-work drinks.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Are you ready to join Josephine's posse? She's come all the way from Waterloo, bringing her plush interiors, creative cocktails and eclectic vibes with her. Whether you came for the insta-worthy shots or just to have a good time, you'll be staying for more than one tipple.
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.
Located under Covent Garden's Lima Floral, this hidden gem is a cocktail and pisco bar that packs a punch. Featuring drinks made from Mexican mezcal, Brazilian cachaca and Venezuelan rums, the cool vibe and funky sound track will give you a taste of paradise.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Exploring the depths of world in its upstairs display area, and concocting great cocktails and bar snacks in its basement bar - The Last Tuesday Society certainly plays amongst the shadows! Be astounded by the amazing relics, fossils, memorabilia and inexplicable objects upstairs, and rejoice in some healthy hedonism in the bar.
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.
It's rare you're told to bring your own booze to a bar, but BYOC like to do things differently. Pitch up to this quirky London basement bar with a bottle of the hard stuff and watch is transform before your eyes into an array of fabulous cocktails.
Located in the heart of the City, El Vino brings a taste of the Mediterranean to St Paul's. Dig into full-flavoured Spanish-inspired dishes and an impressive wine list in swanky surroundings.
Covent Garden Social 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.
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.
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.
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.
Hidden beneath this slick Fitzrovia restaurant is one of the coolest basement bars in London. Offering Shochu infusions and Japanese cocktails, it's a sexy spot for date nights and intimate catch ups.
Hidden beneath Blues Kitchen Shoreditch is Moonshine Minnie's, a fun speakeasy serving the best in whiskey-based drinks. Alongside their cool speakeasy aesthetic, you can nibble on southern American bar snacks as you sip your wonderful cocktails.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Hiding in a basement near Oxford Street is one of central London's most fun pubs. The Phoenix is bringing the party to you with their craft beer, big quizzes, live comedy nights and hearty burger menu.
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.
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.
Showcasing over 95 board games and 180 different types of craft beer, The Board Game Cave is all about beers and friendly competition as they bring you everything from Buckaroo to chess.
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.
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.
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.
The sister venue to Patch St Paul's, this cute and quirky London basement bar offers flamboyant interiors, delicious food and eclectic cocktails. Get down for some of their sweet happy hour deals soundtracked by the best in electro, house and funk.