Whether you’re into craft beer, cocktails, or wine, enjoying a drink with friends in a bar can be one of life’s little pleasures. London has a huge choice of bars all over the city, from the small and intimate to the big and raucous. If you’re looking for the ideal spot to savour your favourite tipple, get your night out started, or have a drink before dinner, we’ve got the guide for you. We’ve put together our pick of London’s best bars to help you find your new favourite haunt.
Guide to the best bars in London
In this guide
The best bars in London
- Nightjar – Cocktails and blues
- Coupette – World-leading cocktail bar
- Trailer Happiness – Award-winning tiki bar
- Connaught Bar – All aboard the martini trolley
- Ladies and Gentlemen – Sophisticated hidden speakeasy
- Black Rock – Specialist whisky bar
- The Cocktail Trading Co – Warm and friendly cocktail bar
- The Aubrey – London's first omakase cocktail experience
- 🔶🟥🔵 A Bar with Shapes for a Name – Bauhaus in a bottle
- Satan's Whiskers – Hella cool
- Copeland Social – Relaxed Peckham venue
- Tayēr + Elementary – One of the best bars in the world
- Lyaness – Sought-after cocktail bar
- Artesian – Exploring concepts through cocktails
- Homeboy Bar – Modern Irish cocktail bar
- Little Nan's Bar – Quirky award winner
- Callooh Callay – Literary-themed cocktail bar
- Oak N4 – Neighbourhood wine bar and store
- St James Bar – Unique and original creations
- Gordon's Wine Bar – Classic London wine bar
- Alcotraz Cell Block Two-One-Two – Immersive cocktail experience
- Upstairs at Rules – Classic cocktail bar
- Swift – 2 bars in 1
- Diogenes the Dog – Popular wine bar
- Hacha – Tequila and mezcal bar
- Laki Kane – Exotic tiki bar
- Opium – Asian-inspired cocktail experience
- Sager + Wilde – Nostalgic East End wine bar
- The Last Tuesday Society – Cocktail bar and absinthe parlour
- Bar Termini – Italian coffee and cocktail bar
- Dalla Terra – Modern bar and terrace
- Apples & Pears – Lively and eclectic
- The Piano Works – Live music every night
- Ridley Road Market Bar – Inclusive party venue
- Map Maison – Cocktails, tapas, afternoon tea
- Compagnies de Vins Surnaturels – Modern French wine bar
- Florattica – Beautiful wherever you look
- The Little Scarlet Door – House party or bar?
- Four Quarters – Drinks and arcade games
- Tabac – French-inspired local bar
- Jam in a Jar – Vibrant live music bar
- Mr Fogg's House of Botanicals – Rich floral decor
- Scarfes Bar – A caricaturist's drinking den
- Moët & Chandon Champagne Bar – Deluxe brand's largest stand-alone bar
- Experimental Cocktail Club – The most secret of secrets
- Madison – The best seats in the house
- Humble Grape – Your new favourite local wine bar
- 107 Wine Bar & Shop – Beloved Hackney hotspot
- The Library Bar – The liquid library
- City of London Distillery & Bar – Award-winning gin den
- Three Sheets – Keeping it short and simple
- Donovan Bar – One of the World's Best
- Brandy House Bar – One for the brandy bunch
The best bars in London
Cocktails and blues
When you visit Nightjar, you can sample classic and contemporary cocktails whilst enjoying late night jazz and blues music live. Sharing cocktails are available too for a sociable experience. Nightjar also offers a range of vintage spirits, including Pimms from 1905 and rye and bourbon from the 1930s.
World-leading cocktail bar
Coupette is ranked as one of the world's leading cocktail bars and has won awards for its stylish interior and sophisticated drinks menu. This modern environment channels the feel of a French bar. There's a varied selection on the cocktail list, focusing on simple and stylish presentation - the champagne pina colada is especially popular.
Award-winning tiki bar
Trailer Happiness is Notting Hill's award-winning basement tiki bar. The drinks menu has a strong focus on rum and serves up fruity tropical cocktails with a twist. Beer, wine, and champagne are also on the menu. This lively and unique venue also holds cocktail-making masterclasses.
All aboard the martini trolley
The bar at the five-star Connaught hotel in Mayfair is a timeless drinking establishment that regularly ranks at the top of whichever list of the world's best bars you look at. Designed by the acclaimed David Collins Studio, the Art Deco ambiance features textured walls, a sleek grey bar, and a fusion of vintage and contemporary elements. The mixologists masterfully craft cocktails that embody intangible experiences and emotions, but the centrepiece remains the dry martini, expertly prepared on a tableside trolley.
Sophisticated hidden speakeasy
Ladies & Gentlemen is a sophisticated hidden cocktail bar, tucked away down some steps in a former public toilet. Here you can enjoy cosy surroundings and classic cocktails. Beer, wine, and champagne are also on the menu at this smart and discreet establishment in Kentish Town.
Specialist whisky bar
Having been named the UK's best specialist bar for 4 years in a row, Black Rock is a destination for whisky lovers. The aim is to demystify whisky, with the bar serving a wide range of whiskies by the dram and whisky-based cocktails. The venue also holds whisky-blending masterclasses.
Warm and friendly cocktail bar
The Cocktail Trading Co is known for friendly service and affordable drinks - everything is the same price here. Choose from a classic cocktail, a contemporary signature recipe, or request your own off-the-menu drink. The bar team here are committed to making sure you have a good time, offering warm and thoughtful service.
London's first omakase cocktail experience
Situated within the luxurious Mandarin Oriental hotel in Knightsbridge, The Aubrey is a Japanese izakaya-style establishment. Alongside its nightly offering of authentic Japanese cuisine, you can try an exclusive omakase cocktail experience. Led by Bar Director Pietro Rizzo, a maximum of six guests embark on a two-hour journey of inventive cocktails, Japanese influences, and Asian ingredients within The Aubrey's hidden speakeasy.
Bauhaus in a bottle
A Bar with Shapes for a Name challenges conventional notions of a bar, embracing minimalism and functionalism in its design. Inspired by Bauhaus principles, this unpretentious establishment plays with simplicity and absence. With a concise menu of just a dozen cocktails, each crafted from blindly selected ingredients, your order arrives at your table within 60 seconds. The standout favourite is the Pastel, a carbonated vodka-based bottle that earned the prestigious title of Cocktail of the Year 2022 at the CLASS Bar Awards.
Satan's Whiskers defies expectations by pairing their killer cocktails with a hip-hop playlist, deviating from the traditional loungey or jazz music typically associated with cocktail bars. Renowned as a legendary East London establishment, it boasts a devilishly cool atmosphere with retro liqueur posters and taxidermied artefacts adorning the exposed brick walls. This neighbourhood gem has rightfully earned its reputation as one of the world's premier bars.
One of the best bars in the world
Tayēr + Elementary consists of two interconnected spaces in Shoreditch. At Elementary, a minimalist walk-in bar, the focus is on the drinks and observing passers-by through large windows, with a daily menu of pre-bottled drinks and their signature One-Sip Martini. In the back, Tayēr showcases the resident mixologists' expertise, with a laboratory-like atmosphere and seasonal ingredients used to create unique cocktail flavours.
Sought-after cocktail bar
A reimagining of iconic cocktail bar Dandelyan, Lyaness is a relaxed and sought-after spot on the South Bank. There's a luxe, retro interior and a modern drinks menu that offers a twist on classic cocktails. The focus is on experimentation to create unique and well-balanced cocktails. A cocktail afternoon tea is also available here.
Exploring concepts through cocktails
Although renowned bartender Remy Savage has moved on to his own thriving establishment, A Bar with Shapes for a Name, his former abode, Artesian, remains irresistibly captivating. Nestled within The Langham hotel, this bar continues to shine after securing the Drinks Menu of the Year accolade in 2020 under Savage's leadership. The changing cocktail menus tackle concepts such as dualities or ingredients of the future, pushing boundaries and ensuring each drink comes with a fascinating story.
Modern Irish cocktail bar
Homeboy in Islington has a reputation as one of Europe's leading cocktail bars. Combining Irish hospitality with a wide choice of contemporary and classic cocktails has earned this bar recognition. Beer, wine, and champagne is also on the menu. Enjoy DJ sets or a roast on Sundays at this friendly venue.
Quirky award winner
Little's Nan's Bar is a quirky, award-winning concept inspired by the owner's grandma. Enjoy electic decor, signature cocktails, and comforting food like fish-finger sandwiches in this cosy, popular bar. You can also have bottomless brunch or a boozy afternoon tea here, as well as book for celebrations and events.
Literary-themed cocktail bar
Callooh Callay in Shoreditch is a literary-themed cocktail bar. The rich interior is packed with comfortable furniture, feature lighting, and, of course, books. The innovative drinks list has won awards and includes dynamic cocktails plus beer, wine, and champagne. Food is also available here.
Neighbourhood wine bar and store
Oak N4 is a local wine bar and store close to Finsbury Park station. There are around 180 wine varieties available to drink in or take home, including wine sold by the glass. You can expect a diverse and frequently-changing wine list, including less common varieties. Tastings and events are also held at Oak N4.
Unique and original creations
At St James Bar you'll discover unique and innovative cocktails that you won't find anywhere else. The bar team draw inspiration from a wide variety of sources to develop original recipes, served in an intimate setting. The bar also serves a variety of wines and spirits, including whiskies from around the world.
Classic London wine bar
Gordon's Wine Bar is an icon in London, having been established in 1890. This makes it the city's oldest wine bar. In a unique weathered interior that's full of character, you can choose from an extensive wine list, including changing specials. Food is available too, with a particular focus on cheeses.
Immersive cocktail experience
Alcotraz Cell Block Two-One-Two is a unique cocktail bar experience in Hackney. Smuggle in your alcohol of choice, don an orange jumpsuit, and settle down into your cell to enjoy bespoke cocktails made using your own alcohol. This is a popular venue if you want a cocktail experience that gives you something totally different.
Classic cocktail bar
Upstairs at Rules is an elegant cocktail bar and well-kept secret on the London bar scene. Upstairs from the restaurant you can enjoy a menu of cocktails in the wood-panelled bar, or sit in the balmy Winter Garden area filled with palm trees. Enjoy classic cocktails as well as signature recipes here.
2 bars in 1
At Swift you can choose between two different bars in one venue - sit upstairs in the award-winning and modern cocktail bar or head into the basement drinking den with live music downstairs. A wide range of alcoholic and non-alcoholic cocktails are on offer. There's also a choice of more than 300 whiskies.
Popular wine bar
Diogenes the Dog is a neighbourhood cafe and store by day and an intimate wine bar by night. You can expect a broad variety of wines, including some more surprising bottles. You can also pick from a range of bar snacks, including cheese boards. Both the food and wine menus change regularly.
Tequila and mezcal bar
Hacha is London's first bar devoted to tequila and mezcal and has been voted one of the country's best bars. Here you can enjoy spirits and cocktails, plus an authentic Mexican food menu, in a simple and homely interior. The Mirror Margarita here was voted one of the top 10 cocktails in the world.
Exotic tiki bar
Laki Kane is a tropical tiki bar, serving exotic cocktails presented in exciting ways. Expect fruity flavours and plenty of rum-based drinks. Shots and sharing cocktails are also available here. When you want to celebrate a special occasion in style, you can choose from Laki Kane's range of drinks packages.
Asian-inspired cocktail experience
Opium is an immersive Asian-inspired cocktail experience. Across two floors you'll discover three different bars with their own characters, transporting you to 1920s Shanghai. Each has its own menu serving cocktails packed with Asian flavours. Dim sum platters and other bar snacks are also served to complement your cocktails.
Nostalgic East End wine bar
Sager + Wilde is a nostalgic wine bar in a converted East End pub. In a comfortable setting filled with tradition, you can sample wines from across the world, including unexpected options. European-inspired snacks and small plates are also on the menu here, alongside generous cheese toasties. Private hire is possible too.
Cocktail bar and absinthe parlour
The Last Tuesday Society is a quirky cocktail bar and absinthe parlour, filled with taxidermy and gothic details. Part of the Viktor Wynd Museum, it offers a range of curious cocktails and a selection of absinthes, which can be served in a number of different ways. Events and talks also take place here.
Italian coffee and cocktail bar
Bar Termini is a classic Italian bar in Soho, with only 25 seats available. Enjoy freshly-prepared coffee during the day and a classic cocktail in the evening. Beer, wine, prosecco, and champagne are also served. You can choose from a selection of antipasti to complement your drinks.
Modern bar and terrace
Dalla Terra is a modern wine bar and restaurant with a spacious outdoor terrace. International wines and a cocktail menu are available here. There's also a broad menu of Italian food, ranging from small snacks to full meals. You can listen to relaxing live music here too.
Lively and eclectic
Apples & Pears is a lively venue with a fun and eclectic decor. Expect new twists on classic cocktails like the raspberry espresso martini. You can also enjoy varied music here, with DJs and regular open mic nights. It's a popular venue for a night out in East London.
Live music every night
The Piano Works is a fabulous bar for music lovers. With the piano taking centre-stage, you can sing and dance to live music every night, whilst enjoying popular cocktails and snacks from the bar. A restaurant is also available here serving main meals. Request your favourite song, order your favourite drink, and join the party.
Inclusive party venue
Ridley Road Market Bar is an inclusive and atmospheric party venue with tropical decor and eclectic music. You can enjoy a range of cocktails, including frozen drinks, and food from kitchen pop-ups. Indoor and outdoor seating is available and DJs and live performers play here regularly.
Cocktails, tapas, afternoon tea
Serving tapas and afternoon tea in the day and cocktails by night, Map Maison is a chic destination. The comfortable interior feels timeless with wood panelling, jewel tones, and vibrant florals. Sample tapas all day, with brunch and a unique afternoon tea served. Plus, there are sophisticated cocktails, including pre-blended bottles to-go.
Modern French wine bar
Compagnies de Vins Surnaturels is a modern French wine bar in Neal's Yard with more than 400 bottles to choose from. Champagne is available too and many wines are sold by the glass. Relax in this comfortable setting and enjoy snacks including cheese and charcuterie with your wine.
Beautiful wherever you look
Perched on the 11th floor, Florattica is a verdant oasis adorned with a captivating interior that matches the stunning vistas visible through its floor-to-ceiling windows and from its outdoor terrace. Drawing inspiration from East London's textile legacy, this elegant cocktail bar showcases a ceiling adorned with an opulent floral installation, complemented by a marble bar and floral motifs embellishing the cosy furnishings. The drinks menu offers a sensory voyage through the floral realm.
House party or bar?
The Little Scarlet Door is inconspicuous from outside but there’s plenty going on inside, making this one of the most unique bars in London. Enter a lively house party and wander from room to room in this extravagant flat. You can expect large and imaginative sharing cocktails with innovative presentation and tempting treats like Vietnamese meatballs or baked feta.
Drinks and arcade games
Four Quarters is a bustling arcade bar in Peckham – enjoy classic and signature cocktails, beers, and spirits, plus bar snacks, whilst playing retro arcade games. The games here date from the 1970s to the early 2000s. Four Quarters regularly holds live music, DJs and comedy nights too, making this a popular local destination.
French-inspired local bar
Tabac is a French-inspired bohemian local venue in Kentish Town. With the building's original facade intact it's easy to miss but once inside you'll find a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere. A wide range of drinks are available including cocktails, craft beer, wine, and prosecco. International bar snacks and available too.
Vibrant live music bar
Jam in a Jar is a vibrant local venue that's a relaxed café-bar by day and a live music venue by night. Sit on an armchair or lean against the wall to hear music from a diverse range of performers and enjoy a cocktail or beer. On the walls you'll see art by local artists too.
Rich floral decor
Mr Fogg's House of Botanicals has a rich floral decor that's just made for Instagram feeds, with an elegant bar area and hidden upstairs treehouse. There's an adventurous cocktail of of botanically-inspired creations and you can also enjoy a boozy afternoon tea with your choice of cocktail served in a teapot.
A caricaturist's drinking den
Scarfes Bar at the Rosewood London is inspired by British caricaturist Gerald Scarfe, showcasing his art on its walls and throughout its branding. The venue boasts a cosy ambiance, with Scarfe's art complemented by over 1,000 antique books and a unique drinks menu featuring inventive concoctions. Beyond the artwork, guests can enjoy live lounge music on select nights, further enhancing its status as a world-renowned bar – in 2023, Scarfes Bar ranked #41 on the World's 50 Best Bars list.
Deluxe brand's largest stand-alone bar
The Moët & Chandon’s Champagne Bar at the iconic Harrods department store is the deluxe brand’s first permanent bar in Europe. Beneath a shimmering chandelier, you can enjoy signature Moët & Chandon wines by the glass or by the bottle, or even in precisely crafted cocktails. The lavish bar also offers refined snacks to pair with your drink.
The most secret of secrets
The quest to find the Experimental Cocktail Club is as much a part of the fun as the bar itself. Once you find the right door, you'll enter a mesmerising Chinatown cocktail bar that conjures up enchanting concoctions in a luxurious ambience, using a selection of rare and exquisite ingredients. It's well worth the effort of tracking it down.
The best seats in the house
Madison has established itself as one of the city's most renowned rooftop bars, offering unobstructed views of St. Paul's Cathedral and serving as a popular spot for making memories, whether in mental or camera form. The award-winning terrace provides panoramic vistas of London's picturesque skyline, attracting a fashionable crowd for weekend or after-work drinks.
Your new favourite local wine bar
The Humble Grape wine bars around London are distinguished by their unpretentious setting and welcoming atmosphere that doesn't care whether you're a professional oenologist or venturing beyond the house red for the first time. They source top wines from all over the world and will happily recommend one to suit your tastes. It's also worth saving precious tummy real estate for the food served here.
Beloved Hackney hotspot
Previously known as P.Franco, a buzzy, trend-setting Hackney wine bar, 107 Wine Bar & Shop was reborn with the help of crowdfunding, which demonstrates the love and loyalty it inspired in its patrons. Expect to rub elbows with strangers at this snug spot, trying out different wines, snacking on creative dishes by guest chefs, and generally enjoying life at one of the neighbourhood's hottest spots.
The liquid library
The Library Bar is a renowned cocktail haven celebrated for its exceptional array of spirits, including rare 1770s cognacs. With an atmosphere evocative of an exclusive private club, this sophisticated hotel bar delights guests with live music, adding to the overall ambience. Expert mixologists skilfully curate a diverse range of inventive cocktails, even serving a delightful cocktail cream tea.
Award-winning gin den
The first and only gin distillery in the heart of London's gin country, The City, this is the exclusive home of Whitley Neill, an acclaimed premium gin brand. The remarkable venue welcomes guests into a compact underground space among the distillery's vats and copper piping. You can book a tour of the production facilities, try a variety of gins, and even embark on a unique opportunity to distil your very own personalised gin.
Keeping it short and simple
Despite their training at notable establishments like Tony Conigliaro's 69 Colebrooke Row, the Venning Brothers take a different approach, honing their expertise on a concise selection of nine cocktails each week. Organised into three sets of three (hence the name), this deliberate focus has transformed their unassuming bar into an indispensable gem within London's vibrant cocktail scene, showcasing their remarkable skill.
One of the World's Best
Part of the luxurious Brown's Hotel in Mayfair, Donovan Bar is a flashy local hotspot helmed by Salvatore Calabrese, the one-time president of the UK Bartender Guild, and his right-hand man, elite mixologist Federico Pavan. The bar is furnished with plush velvet armchairs, gold fittings, elegant decor, and stained-glass windows, reflecting the essence of the carefully constructed cocktail menu. In 2023, Donovan Bar ranked #92 on the World's Best Bars list.
One for the brandy bunch
Inspired by the renowned Cognac region of France, Burnt Faith is the UK's first dedicated brandy distillery, reviving age-old brandy-making methods. Their Walthamstow Brandy House boasts a stylish bar with soaring ceilings, where patrons can savour an array of their distinct brandies. Innovative brandy-infused cocktails grace the menu for a contemporary twist as well.