Secret Bars in London
Psst. We've got some secrets to share with you... Sometimes the best bars aren't always the most well known and London is filled with such hidden gems; whether they're bars, clubs or pubs. If you're looking to avoid the popular grind of London's busy venues then take a peek at our collection of the best hidden bars in London. Taking you off the beaten track, delving into fridges and stepping behind mirrors, these top secret London bars are some of the most unique places to drink in London.
Last updated on 14th October 2016
Nightjar Bar is a live swing and jazz speakeasy with inventive cocktails and a tasty food menu to boot, close to Old Street station. A unique haunt hidden between a chicken shop and a newsagent, there's nothing bog standard about this prohibition inspired nook. On finding this hidden London bar, expect innovation and invention by the glassful.
Ruby's bar in Dalston is a unique place to drink in London hidden away down a blackened door way. You will be enchanted and charmed by the buzzing atmosphere, free-flowing cocktails served in 1940's Manchester milk bottles, and the shabby chic, prohibition style decor. Sup on some sumptuous drinks (should you be so lucky to find it!) in this vintage feel space.
Tucked away down an unassuming Soho side-street is The Piano Bar, a gloriously chic and intimate cocktail bar that whisks you back to enjoy the glamour of a bygone era. It’s absolutely tailor made for date night, promising delicious cocktails, speakeasy vibes and some of the top performers on the European jazz circuit in one delightful swoop.
Completely secret and expertly elusive, The Little Yellow Door offers a truly unique concept to Notting Hill’s revellers. It’s based on a fictional flat share, where regulars are trusted with a key to let themselves in and their very own mug to enjoy the innovative cocktails from. Come on in and slob on the sofa with friends at this unusual London bar that's more of a living room than anything else!
The bar named after a talented jazz collective and set under the throngs of Broadway Market makes for perfect hideaway as one of London's secret places to drink. A truly small but perfectly formed space promises low ceilings, ambient supping and a bar well versed in the art of the class Julep - because it wouldn't be Kansas any other way.
Nestled away on Greek Street lies 68 & Boston, a must-try wine and cocktail bar owned by three of the industry’s key players. 68 is the wine ground floor wine bar, where quality bottles drawn from across the globe are on offer, each priced at £20. Upstairs you’ll find the real hidden gem - Boston - which comes alive after work with beautifully made classics and boundary-pushing original cocktails served in an intimate, elusive atmosphere.
Exuding something of a Parisian speakeasy feel, The Reading Room is a secluded hideaway offering an antidote to Islington’s rowdy nightspots. There’s cocktails, a dedicated absinthe menu and soothing live tunes at the weekend. Pull up a stool and get comfy, the Reading Room will remedy your troubles away and there's not just any old riff-raff here thanks to the private mentality of this secret London bar.
Though things may look calm and still, under the surface of Shoreditch's Bishopgate bar lies arguably one of the best kept secrets in London, W M Barker & Co. Serving a cocktail menu curated by the experienced team at Salts Of The Earth, each concoctions gravitates around a selection of specifically created syrups that perfectly complement the various brands of spirit that line their bar. With some of London's finest craft beers and International fine wines completing the bill, there's something for everyone here at this characterful secret bar in East London.
The renowned Shaker&Company houses a sweet little secret in its wake... Of all secret cocktails bars in London Belle&Co not only doles out killer doses of finely mixed liquors but also hosts a whole hoard of entertainment. The nifty little nook has a stage for an array of awe indulging visual and audio performances with a quiz night too. Cocktail connoisseurs rejoice in this basement bohemian den.
Shrouded in mystery is The Aviary Bar on Little Portland Street. A particularly wacky interior, including swanky red booths, a huge aquarium behind the bar and ivy hanging from the grotto-style walls make this one quirky place to drink in London. Boasting an impressive selection of world beers, spirits, wine and champagne this will be a drinking experience like no other.
You wouldn't expect somewhere as popular as Soho to be home to a secret bar in London, but The Light Lounge is certainly a surprisingly unknown spot settled on the far southeast corner of Soho district. Thanks to its hush-hush-ness, this lively cocktail lair oozes an atmosphere of exclusivity, so feel VIP for a night of debauchery.
Dimly lit and offering an unmistakable dose of decadence, Cecil’s is one of London’s highly desirable secret bars. The objective here is simple; offer high class live music, late nights and plenty of liquor to fuel the debauchery in their intimate, freshly refurbished basement.
Take a trip into this uber cool basement in the heart of buzzing Shoreditch, home of hushed shenanigans and party tricks and discover a world of fluorescent lighting, intimate booth seats and teetering bar stools. 5cc operates on a need-to-know basis, so we're helping you get in the know to uncover the antics of this hidden place to drink London.
Tracking down that perfect prohibition party was no easy feat, until the Candlelight Club came striding into the spotlight. They’ll keep their cards close to their chest right up until the day of the event, but we’re free to tell you to expect bespoke cocktails, vintage DJ sets and live jazz music in a buzzing venue lit entirely by candles. This one of London's secret bars best kept in the 20s.
Tucked away beneath one of the best places for fried chicken in the city, this hidden basement bar in London is primed for those after a quirky cocktail or three. Not only boasting a unique cocktail menu, Jailbird once even used to be a British police station.
Inspired by the classic comedy of ‘Allo Allo and Dad’s Army, step back in time to discover this world of special agents, gadgets and gizmos. It’s 1943 and you’ve been invited to join the French Resistance movement; receive your briefing, kit up and get stuck into your secret assignments, remembering to keep up that French accent throughout to avoid the suspicions of the Gestapo.
Expect an eccentric blend of retro furnishings, plush textiles and funky colourways at this Shoreditch special. A mish-mash of quirky features and cool surfaces, Callooh Callay has a comic book style menu for you to peruse at your pleasure and a secret Jub Jub room, hidden behind a wardrobe. Very Narnia, we know. A one of a kind unique cocktail bar in London for sure.
Somewhere previously closed to the public, the Victorian Bath House is doused in secrecy making it one of London's hidden places to drink. Running by appointment only, this exclusive bar will take you back to the decadence of the Victorian era with swathes of rich fabric, vintage furnishings and some of the finest snacks and drinks in London.
Ninetyeightbar is a quirky, magical and fun hidden basement bar in London pumping out delicious cocktails. Step into a narnia of wonderful decorations, cocktails and eccentric features draped with white furs and coloured cushions. One kaleidoscopic venue offering an experience more than anything.
A pad of 70s swag and muted colours makes it into our listings for some of the top secret bars in London. Become a member of this private club and discover Keystone Crescent in all it's vintage, swinging glory. Find the grey door, enter the personal door code on the keypad and recline in the cosy, intimate atmosphere with a good old fashioned hard-laced drink.
Tucked beneath The Breakfast Club in London Bridge, Call Me Mr Lucky is nothing but cocktail supreme. A sassy looking speakeasy with neon lit nooks in abundance, Call Me Mr Lucky is the city's patron saint of all things liquid as innovation and invention are the pinnacle of their entire, basement orientated, eclectic ethos. She's a hidden place to drink in London alright, but worth every search effort.
The Breakfast Club has a secret... So if you're in town, you should really pay the Mayor a visit. A cool-as-you-like, this cocktail heavy secret is perhaps the most discreet bar in this list. Ask to see 'The Mayor' after your delicious dinner, and you might just find what you're looking for in the fridge. Yes, the fridge. We'll say no more as we are talking about secret bars in London after all.
Hiding away inside an architectural salvage warehouse beside Bermondsey’s Maltby Street Market, Ropewalk is a neighbourhood cocktail bar brought to us by the folks behind Disappearing Dining Club. Head inside and find a truly intriguing space filled with reclaimed fabrics and trinkets; drinks are focused on classic cocktails and guests can book a space for private dining.
Find the gold plaque on the wall and descend into somewhere that is 'not a brothel', we repeat is 'NOT a brothel'. This secret gem in London is the decadent place to hit for your palate pleasers and your divine dishes. Top pastry chef Dorian Picard is at the helm to bring you the best in dessert plates while the bar tinkles with hand crafted cocktails.
Get your giggle on in this secret venue in London, hidden beneath a thriving restaurant on Drury Lane. With big names such as Jason Manford and Jack Whitehall to tickle your funny bones, your cheeks are gonna be hella achy after a litany of gags, jokes and slapstick from the best of the best.
Don’t you dare be fooled by that ‘Apothecary Off Licence’ shop front at 108 Essex Road. Be bold and investigate; for a cool speakeasy bar in London lies in wait. 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.
Hidden in the depths of East London and producing some of the coolest vintage inspired vibes in the city is none other than The Bootlegger. Head on down for stunning cocktails in a retro, Prohibition themed enviroment.
Located in a converted luggage room, if you want to get in, you'll need to find the unassuming black door before telling your name to the person on the other side who slides open the hatch (very secret agent style). Inside, you'll be rewarded with a chic and authentic 1920's bar complete with jazz music and a huge ice block for carving off into each perfectly mixed cocktail. Now that shouts cool secret London bar.
A secret London bar hidden beneath the Botanist Broadgate, this sleek city outpost promises quirky interiors, luxe bookable booths, a party-ambience and delicious drinks, six nights a week. Uncover this clandestine hideaway for a non-prenentious London bar experience.
The Purple Bar is a stunning space and one for your little black book. Draped in violet silk opera curtains, and furnished with lavender Queen Anne chairs, purple etched Venetian mirrors, and a bar that looks like an enormous meteorite just fallen from the sky, this is one dark and moody hidden London cocktail bar dressed to impress.
Found above the cool Fulham restaurant-bar Goat DINE, is The Chelsea Prayer Room. Oh find it if you can, for a secret London speakeasy style bar that serves only unbranded drinks offers quite the experience. Technically, you are supposed to be a member to gain entrance but an advance booking with DesignMyNight will get you in - so book your spot at this secret haven now.
Joe’s Southern Kitchen may cook up a storm, but it's what lies beneath that appeals to us. Retire to Cocktail Baby to escape the hustle and bustle of Covent Garden and find a new favourite hidden gem in London. Settle in at one of their candlelit tables and enjoy a drink or two; there’s a vast expanse of cocktails, beers, wines and ciders to choose from.
In amongst the hustle, bustle and frenetic nature of the city, Demon, Wise & Partners brings a touch of respite. This is a classic cocktail bar found beneath The Arbitrager, where guests enjoy a refined but relaxed atmosphere that never fails to charm. Take a break from the 100 mph nature of London and settle in for a night of exceptional cocktails at this snug, secretive bar.
This moored boat on the Thames packs a big punch with jaw-dropping views of the river and London landmarks to the twinkle of the OXO Tower, Houses of Parliament and the London Eye. Complete with an outside deck for you to take it all in and some fun late-night parties this is one charming floating drinking destination. Less secret, more if you stumble upon it, Bar&co makes for one unique bar in London.
Hailing all Gin guzzlers. This underground speakeasy in London pays big attention to their Gin cocktails, superbly crafted and served up with exquisite presentation. 214 Bermondsey is an intimate drinking affair hidden beneath the Italian comfort-food restaurant, Antico. Discreet and humbly sized, it's the perfect secret bar for sampling your favourite spirit combinations.
Arriving back in Peckham after a short stay in the Caribbean, the Little Nan’s team are on top form at their latest vintage kitsch hideaway. With all the makings of an unusual place to drink in London, a high-tea parlour by day and Caribbean-styled cocktail bar by night, discover this hidden gem. Aside from the wonderfully personal hospitality, there’s also candy vodka shots, Caribbean food, a pic ‘n’ mix stand and plenty of prosecco.
Hosting secret events in London with the location revealed but days before, our favourite princess of pop-ups always comes up creative, vibrant and bursting with colour. The concept is born out of owner Christabel Beeson’s love for immersive drinking and dining concepts, and you can expect specially sourced props and hand-painted menus are whipped up for every bespoke event.
Tucked away on Rivington Street, NOLA is an internationally-acclaimed venue inspired by the tastes, sights and spirit of New Orleans. Bringing some Louisiana luxe to London, NOLA is a cosy hangout of deep green leather booths and bartending artistry. Think tailored cocktails, a cigar terrace and a genuinely unique ambience at this tip-top secret bar in London.
Opium is a secret cocktail bar in the heart of Chinatown. They are London's leading purveyor of seasonal Oriental themed libations, using ingredients sourced locally in Chinatown. Concealed behind an ordinary little door; it's perfect for a cool and unique place to drink in London. Opium would certainly impress a date or be a good place to have a meal with friends. Private hire? Their Peony bar is a stunning, secret option to boot.
Step through the opulent looking glass mirror and enter a coveted world of decadent debauchery, expertly mixed drinks and lavish decor. Victorian furniture, gorgeous cocktails...and a secret room? This unique hidden bar in London is a completely original venue exuding charm, fantasy and an intriguing ambiance. Best to keep this one hush hush.
Worship Street Whistling Shop is a decadent, quirky cocktail bar in London with all the prohibition vibes and a dose of Victorian charm thrown in. There's a dark and brooding atmosphere from low-lit candles where grand furnishings cast shadows and crafted cocktails blow your mind. A certified emporium laden with dram shop exhibits, specially curated drinks and an elegant ambiance.
Now we don't want to ruin the surprise here, but the Jam Tree in Clapham has a special secret that seriously needs discovering. Locate the fairly innocuous looking bookshelf and we'll leave the rest up to you ... but lets just say that a stylish private bar complete with ping pong table and special access to the patio garden isn't too far away. If behind a bookcase isn't a secret place to drink in London, we don't know what is.
Decked out in rich oak paneling, velour furnishings and leather finishes, the Punch Room is one of 19th century glory, when you find it that is. Somewhere in the London Edition hotel you'll discover this unassuming room to find a secret place to drink in London that oozes a brooding atmosphere and the timeless style of a Manor House library. The cocktails here come punch bowl sized, so set some time aside, you're not leaving any time soon.
You're on your way out of Old Street station, wondering where that pounding music and ... is that the smell of food too? But how does one get to the playground that is the Magic Roundabout. Seek out the entrance in Old Street underground and you shall find on of London's hidden bars and a true catch for alfresco vibes complete with DJs, beer, burgers and other wonderful booze.
LCC Oxford Circus’ secret London bar is every shade of cool. Groups of mates pick up a bottle of Ketel One Vodka (£150) and get busy whipping up their own cocktail creations, before checking out the room’s very own DJ decks and karaoke facilities. Head inside and seize your moment, you’re free to belt out any power ballad or drop any kind of beat you’d like.
Following on from the stellar work of its multi-award winning sister venue, Oriole brings an oasis of warmth, mystery and magic to London. Leave the stressful streets of the capital behind and immerse yourself in a truly exotic experience at this hidden bar in London. There’s a vibrant live music programme, tasty plates and a cocktail list showing a penchant for the finest ingredients.