Hawksmoor Spitalfields (bar)

  • Bars and pubs
Critics' choice
13 Love It
1/5
Ed Marshall / Time Out
2/5
Ed Marshall / Time Out
3/5
Ed Marshall / Time Out
4/5
Ed Marshall / Time Out
5/5
Ed Marshall / Time Out
Spitalfields
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Downstairs from Hawksmoor steakhouse, in an architecturally fascinating basement space, lurks one of the best bars in London.

There’s no such thing as a bad seat in this stunning basement bar. A table under the vaults is first choice, but the central seating space is very agreeable too. Failing that, perch at the copper bar and ask the bartender to explain the provenance of all the various architectural features to you – and while you’re there, watch some brilliant drinks-makers at work. They know everything there is to know about balance of flavours, even in OTT concoctions such as the ultra-rich Nuclear Banana daiquiri.

Service from both bartenders and table crew is effortlessly friendly, and bar snacks (firm favourite is ox-cheek nuggets) give a taste of the meaty marvels from the kitchen upstairs. We love all the Hawksmoor restaurants, but this one has a bar that’s good enough to be a venue on its own.

Venue name: Hawksmoor Spitalfields (bar)
Contact:
Address: 157b Commercial Street
London
E1 6BJ
Opening hours: Open 5.30-11pm, Mon-Thurs ; 5.30-midnight Friday ; noon-midnight, Sun; noon-11pm, Sun. Food served 5.30-10.30, Mon-Fri; noon-3pm and 4-10.30pm Sat; noon-8.30pm Sun.
Transport: Tube: Liverpool Street tube/rail or Shoreditch High Street rail
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Average User Rating

4.3 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:6
  • 4 star:3
  • 3 star:1
  • 2 star:1
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|11
1 person listening
Lizzie W
Tastemaker

This cosy basement bar is located on commercial street with a very plain black shop front that you could wander straight past.
I've been once before on a weekday evening for cocktails and dessert where we were seated straightaway but surprisingly enough on our most recent visit at 8pm on a Friday evening for food there was a 30 minute wait. Unfortunately for 2 people you can't pre book a table so when we turned up we were added to the waiting list. We would have gone to the bar to wait however it was very busy so we popped across the road where service was so slow we didn't get a drink in the 30 minutes we were queueing. In the end we came back and got in line at the bar. Kindly the waiter seating people took our order and sorted us out - 2 nice beers from their delicious selection. Still no space to sit but only a further 10 minute wait.
We then got a nice corner seat. Other areas available are large booths for groups, tall table with bar stools and sofa seating.
With our beers in hand we took a seat and ordered very quickly as we had been looking at the menu beforehand. We ordered the ox cheek bites as a snack and the burger (with short rib), short rib sandwich and a side of poutine.
The ox cheek bites were deep fried with a centre of cheese and were just fab! As was the poutine (filthy - triple cooked chips, curd and rich gravy) and the short rib. The beef burger itself wasn't bad but nothing special.
We were so so full but the pudding menu there is amazing (previously we have had the salted rolos and peanut butter shortbread (both delicious) so opted to share a sticky toffee pudding with clotted cream. So so good - even being so full I could have devoured it myself. All in all for ox cheek bites, poutine, burger, short rib sandwich, sticky toffee pud and 3 beers it came to £65 including tip - sorta pricey but sorta a good deal! It was on the bf anyway so I was happy!
A great way to experience Hawksmoor food, ambience and great service.
Definite recommend!

Lisa S
moderator

Arguably better than the restaurant... Fantastic place for a date in one of the secluded booths - share a dessert and get the barman to create a cocktail for you.

Steph A

The best sticky toffee pudding ever! Head there after dinner for a glass of red and a pud.

NP
Staff Writer

Faultless cocktails and imaginative bar snacks in understatedly glam surrounds. The bar is hidden away down a flight of stairs to the side of the restaurant, feels like a speakeasy in a non-gimmicky way. From the copper bar to the moody booths, there's an air of the jazz age here, enhanced once you're a couple of potent drinks in. The staff are supremely knowledgeable and can shake up a classic cocktail that's not on the menu if you're in the mood for a French 75, for instance. The bar snacks consist of high-end junk food designed to make you thirstier – fries with lime pickle mayo are a must-try. Always a treat.

dwoodle
Staff WriterStaff Comp

Fantastic service, friendly and efficient staff and super cocktails make the whole experience worth repeating.  

Rachel H

Came here for my birthday in August 2014 - I have to say I haven't had a better time anywhere else! We turned up as a foursome, without booking, and let the bar manager know that there would be about 13 of us in total, but everyone was coming at different times. They made every effort to make us comfortable, giving us a smaller table to start, and then once there was room, they moved us to one of the biggest tables - amazing considering it was a Saturday The service was very friendly and very fast, and to be honest we didn't want to leave! Would definitely recommend for an ocassion - the drinks were London priced (ie expensive) but were very nice. Will definitely go again and would definitely recommend.

Dominic

I don't understand the positive reviews. The bar is a slightly dingy basement and smells like the ventilation duct of a meat restuarant kitchen - because it is next to one. I felt slightly ill after drinking one (lovely) cocktail there.

Amy

Whet I grew up, polite and efficient restaurant and bar service was a very normal expected thing, but here in London, it is SUCH a pleasant surprise. At Hawksmoor, every single member if staff I met was perfectly cheerful, polite, and served my every need sometimes before I even knew I wanted it. The food was superb and the beers we tried were great. I walked out 100% happy and impressed with not a single niggle to spoil my memory of the evening. An absolute joy!

Miss Monsoon

Hawksmoor, I love you, Hawksmoor! Every time I go, I think - I will not eat, well, at least not as much that it is hard to stand! Surely, this time I should've been on the safe side as surely to the bar you go to drink, no? But, no, my dear Hawksmoor... After several, as usual excellent, extra dirty, extra dry hendrick martinis, my hand reaches for a menu...and behold! Table fills with lobster roll, jalapeno coleslaw, triple cooked chips, mashed cucumber and bermondsay frier sandwich (did I say that I do not eat meat and still love them unconditionally.?)...and more martinis, and more...several hours later I'm standing in front of the building looking at it lovingly, bearly able to stand for several reason. Looove...! Hawksmoor is a must go.

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