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 19th February 2018
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.
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.
Hidden off the busy streets of Brixton is a door, and beyond that door is one of the best bar and restaurants in South London. Known for cocktails, parties, great food and a spectacular Sunday roast, the Beast of Brixton welcomes any savvy enough to find it. And with a menu packed with delicious street food and wonderful cocktails, you’ll be silly to miss it.
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 away on Roman Road, 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, Creole and Cajun cuisine and a genuinely unique ambience at this tip-top secret bar in London.
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.
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.
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.
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 is one of London's secret bars best kept in the 20s.
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.
Soho has long been an enclave of secret drinking spots and late-night shenanigans and Six Storeys is the latest opening to add to that scene. Head to the exclusive venue to discover vintage wares, cocktails and delicious dining. The venue is also a great option for parties, with the option to reserve spaces for up to 30 or even the whole six floors.
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.
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 1920s 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.
Look behind the paintings, search a few of the bookcases and you might stumble across the hidden bar at Bourne and Hollingsworth Buildings. Harking back to the secret basement bars of old, Below & Hidden serves its guests a variety of different cocktails and potent drinks. Sink back into a cosy chair and enjoy all the carefree vibes on offer.
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 let's 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.
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.
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.
The bar named after a talented jazz collective and set under the throngs of Broadway Market makes for a 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.
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.
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 1940s 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.
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.
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 concoction 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.
Decked out in rich oak panelling, 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.
Megaro is charming and characterful cocktail bar, sitting below the bustling streets of Kings Cross. The venue is split between two rooms and serves a diverse range of signature cocktails, curated and flaired together by a crack team of mixologists. We'd recommend The Lost Steps cocktail, created by infusing sweet tea with tequila.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Breakfast Club has a secret... So if you're in town, you should really pay the Mayor a visit. 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.
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 ye shall find one of London's hidden bars and a true catch for alfresco vibes complete with DJs, beer, burgers and other wonderful booze.
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.
Voodoo Ray’s may seem like just a deliciously quirky pizza joint, but hidden within is one of its best secrets: Ray’s Bar. Serving up the best in liquid dinners, they offer up a three course meal made of cocktails – that’s a cocktail for starter, main and dessert – using the best in handcrafted spirits, fresh fruits and bespoke bitters. And you can tuck into this libation lunch while surrounded by the quirky interior made to reflect a back-street Tokyo bar meets East London.
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.
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.
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.
Opened by cocktail sumpremo Oskar Klimaszewski, Found is worth the hunt. The cocktail bar is hidden away in Shoreditch, head downstairs and through the velvet curtain to discover delicious tipples and a venue of cosy nooks and crannies.
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.
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.