Great Bars in London
There's a huge slew of bars in London all competing for your attention so it's worth doing your research to make sure you aren't spending your precious pennies in somewhere that's just average. Here, we've helpfully put together a list of the best bars in London that won't leave you disappointed. From funky Cuban bars to luxurious cocktail bars and exclusive bars in Mayfair, these are a few of the really great bars in London.
Last updated on 3rd August 2016
Very few things in life are certain, but swing by Drink, Shop & Do and you'll almost definitely find something fun is taking place. The King's Cross hangout offers a great range of light bites to eat and an equally decent list of drinks, but it's their fantastic entertainment packages that really put this place on the map. Recent events include "Speed Listening", a revolutionary approach to speed dating, and "Learn to Twerk Dance Classes", which we're pretty sure is self-explanatory...
This stylish Farringdon haunt is a real all-rounder. Swing by after work for a hard-earned cocktail or two, pop over for a few games of pool with your mates, throw some elaborate dance moves when their DJs come on the scene, or host a private function and get a bit of everything thrown in at once. Lively, sophisticated and friendly all at once, 1920s is a must visit if you're in the Clerkenwell area.
The London Cocktail Club is another of the bars on this list who are easily one of the best cocktail bars in London. This basement bar brings together some of London's greatest cocktail makers in a laidback and unpretentious drinking den to sample 'Gastro Mixology' such as squid ink sours or oyster bombs. Reserve a space in advance.
Discovered Battersea’s new hub for hot-desking and independent boozing? Out Of Office is an alternative spot that keeps workers going with specialty coffees and other refreshing beverages during the working day. Post 5pm? Well that’s all about showcasing the finest independent beers, with a handy selection of artisan spirits and wines also on cue to toast the end of a long working day.
Occupying a prime spot in the heart of the O2, the Slug & Lettuce brings a dose of affordable plates and varied drinks to North Greenwich. The venue has been recently refurbished to include cosy dining booths, elegant mirrors, bar brickwork and cool vibes aplenty, and it’s a great spot to enjoy everything from classic cocktails to an international spread of wine and beer. If the O2 is a no-can-do, the Slug also has venues at Tower Bridge, County Hall, Leicester Square and Wood Street.
Potent potions and drinks with a difference are what make this bar stand out; order your coriander concoctions, your mustard mixes and even get Marmite involved in a venue that isn't afraid to be daring. With interior stunning to boot, including vintage furniture, bare stone walls and intricate curtains draped around, this is a cosy venue, great for dates, catch ups and rowdy rabbles.
Blending Americana vibes with all kinds of quirky furnishings, dancing, live music and great cuisine; Steam & Rye is a true jewel in the City's crown. The venue boasts both a Michelin-starred head chef AND an award-winning bartender, meaning you've got to have a really, really good reason not to stop by.
If you're out to impress, you wouldn't go wrong with a trip to the Crazy Bear Fitzrovia - which has quickly cemented its reputation as one of the best Fitzrovia bars. With its red velvet staircase, intimate leather booths and crystal cocktail glasses, it's the perfect place to indulge in a few decadent cocktails. Make sure to reserve yourself a place.
Punch bowl sized cocktails, specialist mixologists and an oak paneled room? That would be what you'll find at The Punch Room, a timeless favourite London bar where you can douse yourself in classic supping and brooding atmospheres. Hidden in the London Edition Hotel she's a beauty for intimate drinks and vintage tinkerings.
If there's anywhere you can count on to look after you for your after work drinks or some weekend fun, Slug and Lettuce is the one. Their Leicester Square venue on Lisle Street is a haven for central folk looking to set up with come cocktails in hand. They're affordable, it's stylish and it's buzzing with a fun atmosphere - what's not to love?.
If it's a homely haven you want, a sweet retreat from those manic streets in the middle of Covent Garden, then you've found the right venue. This sophisticated cafe is a floral paradise of soft hues and delicate decor. Serving the cutest of cocktails, such as the Lavender Love which contains lavender syrup, peach puree and Absolut citron, enjoy some botanical booze in the most relaxing of vibes.
Oxford Street is obviously the city's most notorious shopping spot, but what about their cocktail front? That comes courtesy of Be At One. Join them not only for some of the most affordable happy hours come sundown, there's cool cocktails, party vibes and plenty more.
Oozing a stylish speakeasy vibe, this secretive Fulham Road cocktail bar is located above the outstanding restaurant and bar; Goat DINE. With room for just thirty guests, Chelsea Prayer Room offers a classy, exclusive environment for discerning drinkers to enjoy a top notch cocktail or two.
This quirky bar, Soho's most sophisticated secret, is a fabulous addition to the list of great bars in London. With Parisian chic drooling from the polished wooden surfaces and the plush leather armchairs, relax in a haven of luxury. Order a decadent dessert plate prepared by top chefs or sip a tasty tipple conceived by the experts in mixology.
The Hollywood Arms provides a luxurious setting for trendy Chelsea residents to enjoy a few cocktails or an evening meal out. With its flamingo wallpaper and heavy draped curtains, it takes its decor straight from an upmarket home design magazine, making it one of the quirkier bars in Mayfair. Book now as it gets busy!
One of the best spots in the Canary Wharf area, The Attic at Pan Peninsula is a fine drinking and dining establishment that'll leave you awestruck. Boating 360 degree panoramic views of London, amazing cuisine and an array of whisky, vodka, gin and champagne based cocktails, available at prices that won't break the bank, it truly has it all.
We won't lie, Opium isn't the easiest venue to locate in the world. Located behind a fairly non-descript green door in China Town, this chic hangout plays host to three floors of amazing Asian cocktails and food with a contemporary London twist. A little hard to find, sure, but boy is it worth searching for.
Based at the HQ of the secret society that ran Victorian London, The Escapologist is part modern-day Victorian men’s club, part Masonic Lodge. It’s one of Covent Garden’s true treasures, offering a refined cocktail list, cheese-drenched pizzas and bottle service with guests having their own secret lockers in a beautifully designed basement space.
Famous for it's irresistibly vibrant atmosphere and exceptional cocktails, Ruby's in Dalston is an intimate retreat that has established itself as one of the capital's hottest drinking dens. With signature cocktail Blackberry Mojitos served in original 1940's Manchester milk bottles and the passion fruit Bison Vodka Juleps coming in tin cups, Ruby's unique vibe attracts visitors from all over London.
To call this luxurious cocktail bar a 'hotel bar' doesn't do it justice. Sure, it is technically a branch of the swish London Marriott on Grosvenor Square, but there's absolutely no doubt that this place could stand alone as one of Central London's finest watering holes. There's a prohibition vibe to the place, which serves up stylish cocktails in really decadent surroundings.
Not only making a name for itself in the Shoreditch area, Trapeze has already turned a few heads all the way across the capital. A circus themed venue that boats a cocktail bar on the ground floor and a buzzing basement club downstairs, it's definitely one of the best openings in recent times.
Looking for a great night out in Leicester Square where the music is on high and the cocktails are ever flowing? Then meet your night out mistress, Scarlet's. Perfect for birthday shindigs, evening drinks and dinner alike, Scarlet's is a great bar in London thanks to its bustling atmosphere and quirky interiors.
Fancy immersing yourself in the creativity of Shoreditch? Indulging in the artistic whims of East London? And all while tucking in to a cocktail. We've just the destination. Found just shy of Old Street, Canvas bar stands strong as an industrial haunt boasting a cool and quirk selection of artistic innards, all set to the sounds of cocktail shakers and bold beats.
Channelling the rock 'n' roll attitude of a backstage after party, Roxx at Blagclub is one of the more raucous bars in Notting Hill. Expect to see dancing on the tables, spontaneous live music and a glamorous crowd. Book guestlist to experience a night like a VIP.