Cool London Bars
London is full to the brim with cool nightlife destinations; so trying to choose where to go sometimes can be rather daunting. To make it all a bit easier, we have whittled down what we think are some of the coolest bars in London town, so next time you are looking for a great place to go you won't feel like you're stepping into the unknown, unless of course the unknown is what you're after.
Last updated on 21st September 2016
If there's one place to drink in London that's undeniably stamped with cool, it's the Bermondsey Arts Club where you'll find a former public conveniences turned into a space of art deco design and bespoke style. Churning out unique and creative cocktails by nature, this bar takes on some 1930s-esque character to accompany your supping.
From suburbs and the affluent youth to beaming parks and charming pubs, Battersea has plenty going for it. But the biggest perk? Well that would have to be Be At One. From unique cocktails and affordable mixes to a late night atmosphere, nothing's stopping one of the best cocktail joints south of the river.
Epitomising the ever blossoming art scene that is East London, Canvas is a cool bar on Old Street boasting a prim and cool selection of art pieces, murals and more. An industrial style haunt with bartenders turning out top notch concoctions at affordable prices, Canvas is coming up trumps for bars in Shoreditch and beyond.
Suave, sophisticated and opulent, Dirty Martini in Islington offers guests a brilliant spot to relax and unwind in. The team behind this successful brand have established a reputation for consistently serving up irresistible cocktails. Armed with an arsenal of spice, fruits and international spirits, creativity definitely isn’t lacking behind the bar. Relax, unwind and party in style at this cool cocktail bar.
Ask any given Londoner their favourite cocktail bar in town and LCC would be right up there, we’re sure of it. We’re not surprised either, with their Shoreditch hideout serving up their usual mixture of classic and contemporary cocktails in a biker themed environment complete with black leather couches.
Suburban Wimbledon, it may not strike you as the location to find some of the coolest bars in London, but you'd be wrong to think so. Join the trendy, neon clad Burgershack as they not only boast hipster innards, their menu is craft beer and patty prowess combined.
Catering for your every need and with a distinct devil-may-care approach to things, the Breakfast Club in Canary Wharf is always abuzz with energy and life. Decorated as a retro working man's club, expect to find intriguing furniture, hilarious antiques and a huge disco ball hovering over the entire venue. With a diverse range of dishes and catering for all kinds of palate, their chefs have worked tirelessly to offer a flavoursome brunch and dinner menu.
The clue is in the name. Long bar is a staggering 80 foot long, and belongs to the Sanderson Hotel in London. Unlike a lot of glamorous well known hotel bars, anyone can visit at any time. There is a beautiful outdoor area which complements the chic interior of the Long Bar perfectly, making it a worthy pick on our cool London bars list.
This dimly lit basement bar, electrified by the odd neon splash, with surfaces draped in copper, trendy bar stools sprinkled around and intimate booth seats tucked into the walls, is the suavest of Hoxton's hideaways and is well worth a visit.
Sneak through a cigar shop and uncover this Latino-laden den of fast rhythms, sassy hips and live musical musings. Embargo Republica is an island of Cuban cool, raucous partying and rummy-licious cocktail craft with over 20 bottles of the stuff lining the bar. Salsa, rumba and shimmy onto the dancefloor of this Chelsea joint where South American stylings seduce you into the night.
Elusive, renowned and hidden beneath Casita on Ravey Street, once you've found it, you'll know, A secret Shoreditch bar, Found is a haven for some of the best mixology in the city where skilled bartenders concoct quite the collection of drinks for you. Decked out with cosy interiors, low lighting and an intimate feel, Found is quite the retreat. If you can find it...
A fusion of sumptuous Indian style and middle eastern charm, Anise is a wonderland for all things contemporary chic. Their cocktail offering is a culmination of innovative spice blends and flavours to bring you some truly exquisite signature tipples. Sup on divine mixology and even tuck into home made Indian influenced cuisines.
With the happiest of happy hours, plenty of punchy concoctions to work your way through, and a crowd of the most approachable partygoers in the capital, how could Simmons Soho being anything other than a super cool cocktail spot? Head down to discover a cute space that dons all sorts of awesome ornamentation (including a super nintendo!). Spend the night drinking and dancing until the early morn.
Set in the new foodie wing of Somerset House comes a stylish London bar turn restaurant space that will cater you through from day to night. Pennethorne's is a modern space of simple charm where a menu of European food and drink awaits. Toting a laid-back and informal space, Pennethorne's is as cool as London bars come.
Burlock is one of the best places to drink rum cocktails and feast on authentic Cuban and Caribbean food in London. You’ll find more than 200 types of the spirit lining the shelves, available to enjoy as part of a beautifully crafted cocktail or as a shot. There’s a cavernous party atmosphere to this Marylebone hangout which almost certainly has a lot to do with the unique happy hour which runs from open until close.
In our eyes, Humble Grape is the epitome of cool - this industrial-inspired hangout is the ideal spot for a chilled out afternoon. Head down to this split-level venue, post yourself up on one of the charmingly-rugged wooden pews, and treat yourself to a few premium glasses of organic wine. And if you get peckish, Humble Grape serves up some cracking charcuterie boards to chow down on too.
If you're happy to splash your cash, then head down to The Met Bar, a cool London bar in the heart of Mayfair. With an impressive list of cocktails and expert mixologists on hand, you will not be disappointed with this cool bar in London. Seeing as it's so cool and so popular, you better book now to secure your spot.
If the makings of a cool London bar comprise of industrial and stripped back interiors, lashings of independent art, a unique roster of craft beers and a top selection of wood-fired pizzas, then we think Heist Bank in Paddington may just have what it takes.
Ask For Janice is one kitchen and bar that oozes contemporary cool with an industrial décor of rough woods, concretes and exposed metals creating a space of chilled edible and drinking delights. Go from coffee to cocktail at this chameleon of a venue and even discover the basement bar behind an inconspicuous door where you'll find Ask For Janice's darker, party sister.
Archer Street is a cocktail lounge in London's southern soho with a stylish, sophisticated vibe. It has a cool basement bar, Piste, with plenty of sofas to lounge on and secluded alcoves to get lost in. Archer Street heats up on the weekends with live DJ's providing you with some classic tunes to dance along to. Cosy, yet with an "exclusive" feel to it, this cool cocktail bar is not one to miss out on if your looking for a delicious drink in equally delicious surroundings.
This Shoreditch venue is definitely one of the coolest to rock up in recent times, further adding to the area's riveting nightlife scene. Trapeze is a circus themed venue, split between a cocktail bar and basement club, with great nights on each night and some incredible drink and food offerings on, you won't be disappointed.
When it comes to cool places to grab a cocktail in London, there's one name that always has you covered come East of the city, and that's JaguarShoes. Head to RedYellowBlue, their Stratford spot, for stunning cocktails, geometric interiors, hot dogs, brunches and a whole lot more.
With a boat load of character, it's fair to say that 'cool' is the only word to describe this East London bar. Wonderfully combining the harsh, airy feel of a Victorian warehouse with the suave and opulence vibes of a bustling piano bar. Alongside their range of compelling cocktails and spirits, guests will be able to sample a number of culinary treats, including a succulent steak or a mouth-watering chilli dog.
Not really sure if there can be anything cooler than a burger orientated disco diner on top of Old Street roundabout...? No didn't think so. The one and only Burger Bear has absolutely stormed it this time with a new gaff made out of shipping containers, a huge sound system and some of East London's best loved burgs.
As Friday night comes knocking and you're banging down the door for a bevvie, head to Farringdon for a delicious slice of the London life. Not only boasting some of the best cocktails in the business alongside their trendy, industrial interiors, Barsmith is a cool London bar thanks to its ever delicious pizza roster.
How better to unwind after a day at work than by getting lost in a huge glass of malbec? Luckily for the City's metropolitan workers, the Humble Grape now opens a branch on Fleet Street. Beautifully decorated with sleek, chic furniture, the venue is stocked with over 30 different varieties of wine from all over the globe. Completing the experience, guests can indulge is a few accompanying dishes of food, created by the venue's head chef Anna Allan. Few venue's offer a sophisticated, opulent experience quite like this cool spot.
Topolski's is a space of urban cool, industrial edge and abstract art. Top that off with a boozy bar of cocktails, beer and wine and an Eastern European menu offering of day time foods and light bites come evening and that makes for one ultimate chilled and unique venue. Playing host to live music events, cabaret performances and other shows, Topolski's is a hubbub of entertainment to delight in.
Zigfrid Von Underbelly is a cool London bar in the heart of Hoxton Square. Shoreditch clubbing, dining and drinking can all be enjoyed at Zigfrid, in a wonderful, quirky and completely sensical non-sensical mish mash of interiors. One of the best London late night DJ bars without a doubt! A fab place to hang out with friends, go on dates or even alone to catch your favourite band live. A top tip for a cool and quirky night out in London. Book online.
Championing a revolutionary new recipe approach for cocktail craft - Lotus is introducing the art of edible flowers into mixology. This urban haunt is a slice of contemporary cool toting botanical infused drinks as well as authentic Italian cuisine. Experience some of their specialty libations and tuck into some exquisite eats at this elegant bar.
XOYO might well be known as one of London's clubbing heavyweights, but have you checked out their chic upstairs bar area yet? Coming to you with street art and cast iron lining the walls, this is an eccentric industrial bar with a striking NYC vibe. Head on up to escape the debaucherous mayhem below for a quick breather; you can book tables in advance!
In homage to the lavender that saved the Four Thieves back in medieval times, The Four Thieves pub even has its own lavender crop on its roof! This lavender will be brewed into the pub's own gin to the delight of its customers. Eccentrically decorated with taxidermy aplenty, 60s kitsch and just a touch of masonic symbolry; The Four Thieves is a seriously unusual hang out.
Heading to the skirts of Central London? Looking for a bar where the Tequila and atmosphere are on high? Then try the Charlotte Street Wahaca bar on for size. Brimming with Wahaca's signature cocktails alongside small bites, try this contemporary and cool bar for great drinks in the city.
Keep it under your hat, but there’s actually an extra top secret bar to be explored at LCC Oxford Circus. Meet The Studio; a truly unique concept where patrons lap away at top quality vodka cocktails and play their own DJ sets. Kitted out with seductive black booths, hanging microphone lights and a showpiece recording studio room it’s hella stylish too, and the venue offers among the best cocktail masterclasses in town.
If you're looking for a cool place in London to drink that's a good local spot for an after work social, The Gable is a favourite in city for relaxed drinks in a classy and sophisticated setting. Their restaurant space is classically British in style and in cuisine with a basement bar also following this trend themed on this here city and offering somewhere for a late night tipple (or two).
Borrowing its name from the Mad Hatter’s poem, Little Bat is a quirky neighbourhood cocktail bar with subtle Wonderland-themed influences. Brought to us by the guys behind the multi award-winning Callooh Callay team. Promising banging drinks, cosy vibes and attentive service from the talented bar team, this is a must-try if you’re looking for somewhere special close to Islington’s Upper Street.
The swankiest of interiors, all dressed up in Parisian chic, these polished woods and plush leather armchairs will envelop you in an olden day gentleman's study. Soak in the sophistication with a tasty tipple and a delicious dessert plate, created by top chef Dorian Picard and mixologist pro Blyly Tran, famous for his involvement in Prescription Cocktail Club.
What do you get if you throw an oche, some heavy drinking and an East London bar together? You get Flight Club. (DUH). If you're unfamiliar with this turn of phrase it's quite simple the latest social gaming bar in London that quite frankly makes Ping look amateur. This is the dawn of darts, come along so you won't get left behind. Oche oche oche, oi oi oi!
Kitted out with vintage music memorabilia and all kinds of rock ‘n’ roll knick-knacks, Venn Street Records is a hub for alternative nightlife in Clapham. There’s regular live bands taking the stage, cocktails to the tune of AC/Daiquiri and #CheapDate deals where you can get 2 drinks and 2 pizzas for just £15 between Sunday and Wednesday evenings.
Joe's bar in Camden makes for a totally unique London bar experience. Get down and dirty at this cool London 50's rock and roll bar; while you're at it eat some amazing hot dogs, sing along to some great rock 'n' roll classics provided by Joe's amazing jukebox. Go large, dance on the tables and have a serious party at this fun and vibrant venue, easily one of London's coolest bars.
With a luxuriously stylish interior, staff with a passion for the art of drinks making and DJs to liven up evenings with the likes of R&B, hip-hop, reggae and dance, Lonsdale is the epitome of cool. The lively, yet laid back atmosphere brings in a mixed crowd so the Lonsdale is usually full to the brim sophisticated drinkers and lively party-goers making this one of London's coolest bars.