Best bars in London - Cocktail bars
Sup on classic cocktails at one of London's best cocktail bars
Whether you're looking for a top Tom Collins, a magnificent martini or the quintessential cosmo – somewhere in town there's a bartender just waiting to mix it for you. Check out our guide to the best cocktail bars in London.
Think we've missed a great cocktail bar in London? Let us know in the comment box below.
London's best cocktail bars
This tiny bar opened in Islington in mid-2009, and is overseen by Tony Conigliaro, who is widely considered to be one of London’s top bartenders and cocktail experts.
Read 69 Colebrooke Row review
- 69 Colebrooke Row, N1 8AA
The superlatives come easy when describing the Booking Office: it is epic, soaring, dramatic, magnificent.
Read Booking Office review
- St Pancras Renaissance London Hotel, NW1 2AR
This landmark of the Shoreditch bar scene takes its inspiration from a line in ‘Jabberwocky’, a Lewis Carroll poem, and tends to divide visitors.
Read Callooh Callay review
- 65 Rivington Street, EC2A 3AY
This Peruvian bar and restaurant is the place to pay homage to the Peruvian spirit and national drink, pisco.
Read Ceviche (bar) review
- 17 Frith Street, W1D 4RG
After a slew of less than complimentary reviews, it has come out fighting, with new decor and, it seems, a new attitude to its cuisine.
Read Cottons review
- 70 Exmouth Market, EC1R 4QP
Dabbous astonished us with its cutting-edge cooking, and its downstairs cocktail bar sets out to do the same.
Read Dabbous (bar) review
- 39 Whitfield Street, W1T 2SF
Dach & Sons is the latest bar from Fluid Movement, the people behind Purl and the Worship Street Whistling Shop, two of London’s most innovative cocktail bars.
Read Dach & Sons review
- 68 Heath Street, NW3 1DN
'Speakeasies' are a trend at the moment, but as bar owners balance covertness with the economic reality of bringing in punters, some of the illicit thrill is inevitably lost.
Read Experimental Cocktail Club review
- 13A Gerrard Street, W1D 5PS
This tiny basement has such low light that torches ought to be provided to aid with reading the drinks list. But low light makes the room – dark walls and dark wooden floorboards – just that much more appealing.
Read Happiness Forgets review
- 8-9 Hoxton Square, N1 6NU
Over many visits over the years, using different reviewers, for breakfast, lunch, dinner or drinks, we’ve struggled to find faults in any of them.
Read Hawksmoor Spitalfields Bar review
- 157 Commercial Street, E1 6BJ
Happily for SW4’s discerning drinkers, this first-floor bar is still missed by the party-hunting 20-year-olds who trawl Clapham High Street.
Read Loft review
- 67 Clapham High Street, SW4 7TG
Inhibitions are unwelcome, as are any intentions of solitude or complex conversation. It's loud, extroverted and unashamedly cheesy.
Read London Cocktail Club review
- 6-7 Great Newport St, WC2H 7JA
Since its unveiling in 2002, The Lonsdale – hip cocktail bar, restaurant and lounge in upscale Notting Hill – has become local favourite and destination venue all in one.
Read The Lonsdale review
- 48 Lonsdale Road Notting Hill, W11 2DE
Lost Society? You must be joking! They're all here, supping cocktails, gossiping in the small courtyard garden and picking at the platters.
Read Lost Society review
- 697 Wandsworth Road, SW8 3JF
The well-established bar of Knightsbridge's Mandarin Oriental now operates partly as a holding pen for people waiting to bag a walk-in table at the hotel's high-profile restaurant, Dinner by Heston Blumenthal.
Read Mandarin Bar review
- Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, 66 Knightsbridge, SW1X 7LA
Opened in 2009, together with the Mark Hix-operated restaurant on the ground floor, this is a destination in its own right.
Read Mark's Bar review
- Hix, (66-70 Brewer Street), W1F 9UP
You could walk past the door of this Soho speakeasy every day and never know it was there, and that's just how the owners like it.
Read Milk & Honey review
- 61 Poland Street, W1F 7NU
On City Road, about 25 metres from the roundabout beneath which the Old Street tube labyrinth winds, you’ll discover a door.
Read Nightjar review
- 129 City Road, EC1V 1JB
Gentrification has sunk its claws into this once-scruffy boozer, for years one of the holdouts along the Portobello Road.
Read Portobello Star review
- 171 Portobello Road, W11 2DY
A loveable place that aims to recreate the atmosphere of a New York speakeasy, Purl has simple but endearingly eclectic decor.
Read Purl review
- 50 Blandford Street, W1U 7HX
Beneath landmark Japanese restaurant Roka, the buzzing, chic Shochu Lounge deals chiefly in drinks built around the vodka-like distilled spirit from which it takes its name.
Read Shochu Lounge review
- Basement, Roka, (37 Charlotte Street), W1T 1RR
We've noticed a few conspicuous themes appearing in London's bars: a semi-secret location, Victoriana, faithful interpretations of classic British drinks.
Read Worship Street Whistling Shop review
- 63 Worship Street, EC2A 2DU
Imagine an eccentric antique shop where the owner is reluctant to actually sell anything, and instead sees an empty shelf, table or bit of wall as an invitation to show off a seemingly discordant but holistically pleasing collection of curios.
Read Zetter Townhouse review
- 49-50 St John's Square, EC1V 4JJ