Hidden Gems in London

Like everyone who hangs out in our capital, we all think that we know everything about every bar out there. Well, that's not the case: there are a tonne of hidden gems in London that'll make you say:  "I can't believe I didn't know about this place before!" Our great city is full of hidden secrets, and luckily we are on hand to keep you in the loop. Check out this list of hidden bars in London and get to know some of the most elusive watering holes in the city.

Last updated on 3rd May 2018




Ruby's Bar and Lounge

11 user reviews 4

Perfect whether you're out in search of cocktails, beers, wine or food, Ruby's is one east London's true hidden gems. The reputation of this elusive gem speaks for itself, with visitors heading to the bar to enjoy seasonal drinks with table service and a charming atmosphere. The Lounge is a separate space with a wider choice of beer, wine and Vietnamese street food, with an innovative events programme and bookable booths for larger parties.

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. Grab a cocktail and soak up everything this charming little venue has to offer.

First Aid Box

20 user reviews 4

Hidden just off the beaten track of Brixton, this quirky little Herne Hill cocktail bar is the perfect medicine for anyone suffering from bar boredom. A hidden gem of South London, this tiny box of a venue offers delicious botanical cocktails and great, healthy dishes.

Rumpus Room

4 user reviews 5

Harking back to the glory days of London's Bright Young Things, you can expect masterful mixology and some of the best views of the city's skyline from this plush and elegant rooftop bar. Still something of an undiscovered gem on the 12th floor of the Mondrian, follow the sounds of the 1920s jazz age playlist and enjoy those cocktails with views of St. Paul's and the city providing the backdrop. It's pretty special all round, really.

Absurd Bird Soho

343 user reviews 4

Replicate their Spitalfields success, Absurd Bird is basically a Soho staple at this point. The southern American restaurant features the same brand of delicious dishes such as spiced buffalo wings and Jalapeno Mac n' Cheese while the bar is hidden downstairs in the basement and serves up an incredible selection of cocktails.

This secret London bar is little known to those who haven't ventured deep into the London Edition hotel. Somewhere in the back you'll discover a brooding bar inspired by 19th Century London with oak paneled walls, dark surfaces and rich textured furnishings echoing the style of a gentleman's library. Specialising in punch bowl cocktails, time will come to a relaxing stand-still here. 

The Four Sisters

6 user reviews 5

The Four Sisters isn't your typical cocktail shmoozing bar, no no, this Islington joint is all about charming elegance and a down to earth atmosphere staged by the skilled bartenders knocking up crafty libations in abundance. Sink into Chesterfield sofas, lap up their signature liquid concoctions and discover a bar that lacks the pretension and attitude that other London hangouts do. 

Basement Sate

205 user reviews 4

Only a gold plaque on the wall reveals this bar. Descend into a lair of dark luxury and French inspired interiors where Parisian chic mixes with desserts and cocktails - a match made in heaven. One of our favourite hidden bars in London, this is a well kept secret of ultimate indulgence and melt-in-the-mouth moments. 

A sensual indulgence like no other, Looking Glass Cocktail Club is a secret bar in London that creates a world of drinking, debauchery, decadence and sheer eccentricity. Expect artfully crafted bespoke cocktails and live entertainment that is all sorts of weird and wonderful. Looking Glass Cocktail Club is one of our favourite hidden bars in London that should not be missed.

The Narrow Boat

268 user reviews 4

Tucked away from the main bustle of Islington is The Narrow Boat; the only pub directly located on the Regent's Canal in the neighbourhood. Take a relaxed stroll along the water and pause to check out this complete gem, with its exciting range of boozy options, seasonal and fresh British food and a balcony space that overlooks the canal.

Beast of Brixton

192 user reviews 5

The Beast of Brixton might not be the most well-known hangout in town, but it's certainly up there with one of our favourite secret hideaways. Stumble upon this unassuming haunt somewhere on Acre Lane and make your way inside for cocktails, regularly rotating street food and great local brews. Return on Sunday if you fancy delving into one of their banging roast lunches.

Don't you dare be fooled by that 'Apothecary Off Licence' shop front at 108 Essex Road. Be bold and investigate; for one of North London's coolest speakeasy bars lies waiting to be discovered. Packed with the trademark LCC quirks and oddities, this cocktail pharmacy space is perfect for masterclasses, raucous private parties and swigging your way through some of the most creative drinks in town.

The Hide Bar

5 user reviews 4

Tucked away behind the busy metropolis of London Bridge, the Hide Bar is one hidden gem in London that exudes cool character. As patrons to the history of the cocktail, Hide Bar base their mixology on developing new, unique tastes to create their collection of cocktails so you can experience something expertly created. 

The Four Quarters

8 user reviews 5

When it comes to cool, hidden bars in London, this Peckham numbers is a quirky name above the rest. Not only can you join The Four Quarters for sizzling Americana inspired bites and cocktails, there's a whole heap of retro games consoles, machines and secret speakeasy bar in the basement. 

Opium

664 user reviews 4

Located behind a fairly non-descript door in the heart of Leicester Square, Opium is a hidden gem in every sense of the phrase. Once you're finished punching the air at having found it, you'll immediately reap your rewards by discovering three floors of amazing Asian cocktails and equally compelling food with a contemporary twist.

WM Barker & Co

82 user reviews 4

Retaining some of its secretive edge, WM Barker & Co is a hidden gem in London underneath Bishopsgate. Known for knocking out a seasonal foray of creative cocktails, WM Barker & Co has a team of specially skilled mixologists at the helm crafting unusual ingredients to make some of the coolest and most original drinks in the city.

The Light Lounge

29 user reviews 4

Nestled between southeast Soho and Covent Garden, this sleek-chic cocktail bar screams sass, but in fact is surprisingly well hidden. On unveiling this urban gem, we say grab the gang and mosey on over to Newport Place for a cocktail-fuelled night of fun and antics as you boogie down to a bunch of disco whoppers.

This little cracker, perched on the corner of Grosvenor Square, evokes the spirit of the roaring twenties with it's chilled speakeasy vibes. To label The Luggage Room as a 'hotel bar' simply doesn't do it justice; the venue is comfortably good enough to stand alone as one of the West End's top cocktail bars. Fresh juices and fine spirits come together in authentic period glassware.

Behind This Wall

30 user reviews 5

Having spent a summer at the top of Oval Space's terrace bar, Behind This Wall is a secret little cocktail bar that's setting up permanent shop in Hackney. Serving vibrant cocktails that showcase the finest produce of Britain's small batch distilleries, the venue's simple decor clashes nicely with the explosive taste of every drink. Head down and relax in this new hidden gem in East London.

Kansas Smitty's

70 user reviews 5

Harking back to the golden years of Jazz, Kansas Smitty's is a vintage bar that couples great live music with traditional julep drinks. The entire basement bar explodes into life 5 days a week, when the Kansas Smitty's house band take to the stage. Based below street-level in Haggerston in East London, this is definitely a hidden gem in London well-worth checking out.

The Hollywood Arms

214 user reviews 4

The Hollywood Arms is a cool gastropub just steps away from South Kensington tube; in amongst the swift happenings of Kensington lies this great little place, one of the best hidden bars in London. Decorated with quirky decor, including flamingo wallpaper and bird cages, this hidden gem in London plays host to micro-brewers, wine makers and fortnightly jazz.

Callooh Callay

465 user reviews 5

When a lot of venues claim to offer the best cocktails around, they are of course bending the truth slightly. But when Callooh Callay say it, they really mean it; and they've got a long list of awards to back up this claim. Hidden on a cobbled East London side street in Shoreditch, this is a hidden gem you'll want to find, sharpish!

Tucked away behind Angel station, the faint aroma of hops is the Brewhouse's biggest giveaway. Come inside to find a charismatic space where the staff are friendly, the plates are freshly prepared and the beer comes courtesy of the onsite micro-brewery. Its relaxed atmosphere and high quality produce makes it decent for after work drinks, relaxed Sunday lunch and catch up with mates.

Powder Keg Diplomacy

102 user reviews 4

Powder Keg Diplomacy is one of the best restaurant bars that you might not have heard about yet. Serving up a menu of delicious, seasonal British food alongside beautiful cocktails, spirits, wines and beers, this colonial drinking den will really blow you away once you eat within its wonderful vintage conservatory for a fully elegant Victorian dinner.

Magic Roundabout

232 user reviews 4

When you waltz out of Old Street station, the last thing you'd expect is a heaving disco diner to be in full swing right above you. Well, enter Burger Bear and his latest patty powered vision atop of Old Street Roundabout. Don't miss the entrance, you'll ascend the stairs and discover an alfresco land of shipping container kitchens, bars and seating areas. 

Megaro Bar

42 user reviews 4

Megaro is a basement bar in Kings Cross that's created a reputation for itself thanks to its stunning cocktail menu and quirky decor. The venue's expert mixologists have really let their creative side shine, curating a menu of signature creations and spirit infusion. Gulp down a few Borsh Marys or enjoy a tequila and sweet tea infused Lost Steps cocktail.

The Den

2 user reviews 2

Perfecting a snug and intimate set-up with leather sofas, warm lighting and eccentric artwork on the walls, we only wish we had discovered The Den sooner. You'll find it inside the St. Martin's Lane hotel, welcoming those lucky enough to find it inside for a divine Afternoon Tea experience or just a few drinks from the bespoke G&T menu.

Next on our list of Hidden Gems in London is The SouthSider Cocktail Club, taking us South of the River to Clapham. Decked out with cool exposed brick and with a trendy New York vibe, this is one of the best secret bars in South London for relaxation during the week and raucous fun time parties over the weekend.

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The Coborn

150 user reviews 5

Located a little further away from the frenetic bustle of central London, The Coborn is a boozer you'll stumble upon amongst the Victorian terraces of a quiet residential street in Bow. It's celebrated as an east London jewel in the Young's crown, with award-winning cask ales and vintage wines from around the world enjoyed on the side of freshly prepared pub classic grub.