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
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
'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, the bar of Brounet Loubet's terrific 'non-meat focussed' King's Cross restaurant, is equally imaginative, with the likes of truffle martinis and 'butter and hay champagne' on offer.
- Granary Square, 1 Stable Street, N1C 4AB
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
From the crew behind Maggie's and Bunga Bunga comes another 'themed bar done well', this time taking inspiration from eccentric Victorian explorer Phileas Fogg. The cocktails are excellent too.
- 15 Bruton Lane, W1J 6JD
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
It's ground-breaking stuff at Hackney's one-time White Horse, where mixologist Ryan Chetiyawardana has ditched all the ice (and all the perishables) to create a compact list of exceptional (but still cold) house cocktails.
- 153 Hoxton Street, N1 6PJ
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
I have to say that one of the best up and coming cocktail bars in London is 214 Bermondsey Gin and cocktail bar on Bermondsey Street. It is equidistant from London Bridge and Borough and is serving up really good quality cocktails at a good price in a really mellow environment. If you are into your Gin then I would get down there. They even make there own tonic water!
the best bar Bluebird bar kings road Chelsea all new signature and fresh fruit cocktail and so many type of the glassware
Central & Co, just opposite Carnaby street, has a small but great cocktail list in it's basement bar. They also take you on a journey through flavours as all the spirits are unbranded and described for you by their flavour profiles. I thought it was a great experience.
Apres London next to selfridges is one of the best cocktail bar you can find in london town. Not sure why it is not in your classement. The drinks & the service are great and its bouncing every nights with Dj or Live music
For a unique cocktail experience, check out Tart Bar & Restaurant! Sitauated a few minutes away from Farringdon Tube station, Tart Bar features both an impressive conventional cocktail menu, as well as their own special "Tartinis" Menu. These unique cocktails provide an interesting infusion of alcohol and tasty deserts! Available for private hire, and sporting a 4am license, Tart is an exceptional night out!
For a great cocktail experience South of the River try House of Tippler cocktail bar & kitchen. Situated in the heart of lively Lordship Lane East Dulwich, H.o.T is a friendly independently run neighbourhood cocktail bar and kitchen. The drinks list has been carefully created to offer a unique twist on all the classics. Try the Tippler Martini served in a mini martini glass with the remainder of the drink in baby carafe on ice to keep it cool! The Tapas style food menu is designed to compliment the drinks list with seasonal specials and locally inspired ingredients are used to create a menu of small plates designed for sharing. Try the grilled Bavette steak, trompette mushrooms, sauce vierge - amazing! Open late at weekends with live music every Friday and DJs on Saturdays. Great space for hire for parties too! There's also a neat little back garden for al fresco dining in the Summer months and the Sunday roasts and Bloody Marys are to-die-for!
This list is incomplete without best Cocktail Bar in City of London- Anise. Famous for spice infused cocktails, small and affordable bar food and Live music on occassions. Tucked in the Devonshire square 2 minutes from London Liverpool Street, it is a must try institution for great cocktails, atmosphere and reasonable prices.www.anisebar.com and the adjacent best Indian restaurant Cinnamon Kitchen.
The new Jamies Wine Bar on St Martins Lane does excellent cocktails- and most of them are £4.50 between 5pm and 9pm!!!
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