Underground Bars in London
From Dickensian gin palaces to Masonic lodges, underground bars in London are more than just places to grab a delicious cocktail; with their own unique atmosphere and a sense of the mysterious, they remain one of the capital's best kept secrets. Perfect for date nights or after-work drinks, these are the best basement bars in London - if you can find them.
Last updated on 3rd May 2018
All the very best secret basement bars in London have a good back story, and The Escapologist is no exception. Part Masonic lodge, part Gentlemen's club, the themed bar is filled with hidden coves, psychedlic art and 90s tunes which would certainly make their Victorian inspiration, master party-goer and criminal Baron Von Took, proud.
Coupling soulful live music with authentic julep cocktails, Kansas Smitty's is a charming underground bar in East London. The entire basement bar explodes into life 5 days a week, when the venue's house band take to the stage, playing a number of famous jazz tunes for guests to swoon with. Based below street-level in Haggerston in East London, this is definitely a hidden gem in London well-worth checking out.
Tucked away under the London Bridge Breakfast Club, this speakeasy bar offers Trump-mocking cocktails and plenty of cosy nooks to hideaway in. Fun, friendly and lit with colourful cocktail lanterns this underground cocktail spot is a perfect escape from the bustling London Bridge foot traffic.
Look behind the paintings, search a few of the bookcases and you might stumble across the hidden bar at Bourne and Hollingsworth Buildings. Serving a range of quirky cocktails and having hosted a variety of different events, this is the ideal spot for anyone that's not ready to call it a night.
Devilishly rich and decadent are the pervading themes of hidden underground bar Basement Sate, a dessert and cocktail bar in Soho. Discover the Parisian in you - sink onto a leather-clad chaise longue and pick delicately at one of the deliciously French desserts while sipping something fruity.
This rocking little hideaway tucked away behind Shoreditch High Street is one of the best underground bars in the area. The music is loud, the bartenders are skilled and the party is always on.
Cavernous and cool, not only is Burlock one of the best places to enjoy a little downstairs intimacy, it also boasts one of the best rum collections in London. Head on down to this fun little basement spot for strong drinks and vintage vibes aplenty.
Descend into Black Rock and you’ll find your newest favourite whisky playground. The cool and minimalist bar holds over 250 bottles of whisky, with the mood lighting surrounding to perfect it. There’s even an interactive cocktail ageing system in the form of a spectacular centrepiece, an 18ft, 185-year-old oak tree trunk.
We know what you're thinking. How could somewhere that boasts so much colour and creativity be found in a London basement? One of the most unique underground bars in the city, head on down for a rich and intimate menu of cocktails from B&H.
Hidden beneath the streets of London is Jack Solomons. This speakeasy boasts old school charm in abundance, with velvet-decked sofas, wonderful cocktails, and a delicious selection of small plates. And with a great soundtrack to boot, it’s worth heading underground.
WC Wine & Charcuterie Bar is a basement bar in London can be found underneath Clapham Common tube station. Occasionally hosting live musical performances, it's the pairing of fine wine and freshly made charcuterie that really grabs the headlines here. Expect effervescent flavours, stunning cheese boards and even better pieces of cured ham at this underground bar in London.
Fresh from a summer residency atop Oval Space's terrace bar, Behind This Wall is a secret little cocktail den that's setting up permanent shop in Hackney. The venue has purposely been decorated in an understated manner to stress the explosive flavours of the cocktail menu. With some of Britain's best small batch distilleries and a line-up of fresh fruits and liqueurs, every drink created here promises to dazzle.
When it comes to secret basement bars in London, there's no better than the Mayor. Hidden behind a fridge and granted only to those who know the right password, The Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town is a hidden treasure of cocktails and strong whisky led drinks.
Fitzrovia is ever brimming with places to eat and drink, but have you managed to find one of the best hidden, underground London bars in the area? Known for its industrial interiors and cocktail nods, join the Reverend for more than a drink or three.
Head downstairs for some serious central London fun. The Phoenix is a lively pub that is perfect for an after-work pint and dish of comfort food, or if you're in the mood for some silliness, stick around for a quiz or comedy night.
Look for the neon lights guiding you down to the industrial-feel W M Barker & Co, a basement bar in Bishopsgate. It's all about the underground cocktails here, with bartenders shaking up everything from a classic margarita to a Victoria Beckham from the celebrity-inspired list.
This Marylebone mainstay keeps itself well concealed. Hidden down some nondescript stairs, Purl is a great London basement bar for those looking for a bit of charm and maybe a spot of booze-infused afternoon tea.
As far as the best basement bars in London go, Old Street Records has got to be a contender. Jazz nights, EP launches and DJ sessions keep revellers rocking every night and to help get the party started there's a cocktail Happy Hour every day - need we say more?
On the ground floor you can enjoy Shaker and Company, where craft cocktails and dirty burgers reign. Descend below and find Nineteen Eighty Something, the ultimate retro 80s bar with classic tunes, retro cocktails and even a Sega Mega Drive.
Head beneath Covent Garden and find a place of temptations and indulgent drinks, Eve, with delicious cocktails with a theatrical touch served in refined surroundings.
Tucked out of sight at The Brewers Inn in Wandsworth is Jones Cellar Bar, a secret basement bar offering an alternative from the more formal atmosphere upstairs. Set against an exposed-brick-wall interior, visitors can order a tailored charcuterie or cheese platter to enjoy with one of the pub's excellent wines.
Absurd Bird is underground in Spitalfields, offering a great collection of food and drink inspired by the American Deep South. Head to the dishevelled-chic bar and you can enjoy a cocktail or two, with their signature blends being everything like moonshine and bourbon. For food expect, a menu of hearty Southern comfort food.
Charles Dickens' London is very much alive and kicking, hidden in a London underground cocktail bar in Shoreditch. Worship Street Whistling Stop is a Victorian-style gin palace, complete with gas lamps, waiters in waistcoats and some of the best gin found this side of the Thames.
Wine lovers rejoice - tiny, intimate-feel Humble Grape in Battersea is the underground bar for you. With low lighting and simple wooden interiors, the bar is date-perfect; the wine list is more than impressive, with a focus on biodynamic and organic bottles.
Wander through a vintage Mac repair shop to stumble upon The Natural Philosopher, one of the most unique secret basement bars in London. Oil lamps light the room, curios and knick-knacks line the walls and - most intriguing of all - the sunken bar where bartenders work at floor-level.
Both brewing their own creations and offering the best produce of London's most iconic breweries, the Temple Brew House has firmly established itself as a leading figure in London's craft beer circles. The venue sits below street level in Holborn and couples the great line-up of craft beer with an equally great menu of traditional British dishes. Think hearty roast dinners, topping-heavy burgers and fresh fish dishes.
This underground London bar on Portobello Road is one of the best finds in the area. With offbeat decor and a buzzing atmosphere it's one of the best quirky bars in London.
Finding secret speakeasy Found, is all part of the fun when it comes to drinking at this underground cocktail bar. The search is well worth it though; the bar's philosophy is quality rather than quantity, resulting in a choice of 12 perfectly mixed cocktails.
Hidden beneath the Nelson’s Head is the coolest bar you haven’t been to before. Not only does it have an effortless great interior and a killer atmosphere, the cocktails are expertly designed and changed monthly so every visit is a different experience.