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.
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.
If you're after a drastically different bar experience, and a wonderfully weird evening guaranteed; look no further! Upstairs, you'll find yourself immersed in a parallel universe stuffed with fossils, skeletons, art and oddity. Following the fascination for taxidermy, two headed creatures scuttle about in glass cages and birds flutter their wings. Downstairs, a place of equal wonder exists - a basement bar offering all sorts of baroque cocktails.
One of the coolest new bars on the London cocktail scene, this great little basement offering from the teams behind Blixen and Three Sheets brings you not just a range of delightfully interesting cocktails but also a stunning setting in which to enjoy them.
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.
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.
Head over to Hawkes, London's first ever commercial cidery, where they bring you a stunning selection of their signature brews every day of the week. From tasty homemade brews to a rotating line up of guest ciders and tasty pizzas, it's the perfect place to get those post-work drinks in.
If you've been to the original bar in Waterloo, then you'll know that Josephine has a penchant for sassy vibes, eye-catching interiors and wacky cocktails. If you thought her move to east London would be any less, then think again because she's back and bigger than ever.
With four stunning venues across the city, Dirty Bones brings a delicious array of NYC-inspired comfort eats, and clever cocktails. Head over to one of their gorgeous bars in Carnaby, Kensington, Soho or Shoreditch for eats, drinks and an eclectic soundtrack.
The perfect bar for commitment-phobes everywhere, Chelsea Funhouse offers three nights out in one. Start off at the explorer-themed restaurant for a mouthwatering dinner, before heading up to the top floor for a 1940s style cocktail experience, finally taking to the espresso martini lounge for drinking and dancing into the early hours. Saturday night? Completed it.
Brazilian beach bar meets cool London bloc party club - Floripa is definitely one of Shoreditch's coolest bars. Hosting live bands and DJs playing everything from Drum and Bass to Funk, rock n roll, jazz and the latest classics, Floripa's legendary parties haven't gone unnoticed amongst the partygoers of London.
Shoreditch clubbing, dining and drinking can all be enjoyed at Gigi's, in wonderfully quirky, bold interiors. One of the best London late night DJ bars without a doubt, it's fab place to hang out with friends, go on dates or even alone to catch your favourite band live.
SAMA Bankside is a cool and contemporary London bar perfect for everything from after work drinks to a business meeting. Offering two bars and a great selection of alcohol on both, they offer the 'private member's club feel without the membership.'
From a five-hour happy hour through to mad drinking vessels, Simmons Temple is all sorts of quirky. Head to the new central London outpost for a night of affordable drinks, lively playlist, and wacky interiors.
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.
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.
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.
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 a bar in either Shoreditch, Bloomsbury, Victoria or Islington? 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. This is the dawn of darts, come along so you won't get left behind. Oche oche oche, oi oi oi!
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 The Fire Stables as they not only boast hipster innards, their menu is craft beer and patty prowess combined.
This bar's tagline is 'theatre served' so you know it's gonna pull out all the stops when you pay a visit. Housed in the bustling location of Old Street, The Alchemist provides sanctuary for the city's cocktail-lovers, dazzling them with multicolored creations and fizzing beverages.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Perception Bar attracts a certain stylish crowd into its halls, thanks to its stunning interiors that manages to be both light, dark, playful and serious at the same time. However, their delicious food and great cocktails really sell the venue, giving a unique experience rarely found within Central London.
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.
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).
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.
When it comes to cool and quirky bars in London, Vagabond nails the menus and decor in one fell swoop. Head to their Battersea location where fairy lighting and charming interiors are matched with British seasonal small plates and a vast selection of wine.
Sip cocktails on chaise longues, party to live music and cosy up in an intimate corner come date night as The Lucky Pig in Fitzrovia throws open its doors. The vintage-themed bar is a secret basement bar hidden moments from Oxford Circus and well worth digging out.
When it comes to independent bars in East London, there's nowhere quite as cool as The Rocksteady. This live music venue is strewn with funky neon lights, old school music memorabilia and comfy leather booths - perfect for hiding away in with a cocktail (or three).
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.
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.
An urban oasis just a stone's throw away from the river Thames, Vauxhall Food & Beer Garden is the perfect spot to soak up some rays whilst tucking into a feast on international street food and thirst-quenching sips. Open from 11:30am, it's popular with hungry lunchtime patrons and post-work drinkers alike.
How better to unwind after a day at work than by getting lost in a huge glass of malbec? Luckily for London's metropolitan workers, Humble Grape has branches across London. 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.
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...
Looking for something a little different? This north London space can cater to every need. Brunch comes paired with bottomless cocktails and fizz, while DJs take to the decks from Thursday and there's often themed club nights; from 'dead famous' to your favourite rappers.
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.
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.
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.