Red, white, sparkling, dry – whatever you fancy there are plenty of bars serving great wine in the capital. It's not all about craft beer and cocktail bars, after all. From stylish wine bars to vino taverns, our critics have rounded up the best bars in London with outstanding wine lists. Think we've missed a great wine bar in London? Let us know in the comment box below.
London's best wine bars
Venue says: Testalonga, Baby Bandito, Stay Brave with 21 days skin contact is the latest outstanding wine from Craig Hawkins, being served by the glass.
KWR is thoroughly modern in using dispensers to keep wine fresh for longer, so allowing single glasses to be served and thus facilitating experimentation.Book now Read more
The name ‘Mission’ doesn’t refer to a position, or even a crusade to save souls. It is a homage to California where the wine country is littered with Spanish Missions: the first sacramental grape was called The Mission. This Mission – named after the San Francisco neighbourhood – is a big step up for Michael and Charlotte Sager-Wilde (of critically acclaimed wine bar Sager & Wilde).Book now Read more
Coming from the pair behind the wine mag of the same name, Noble Rot is an old-school hangout with a soul that is very much still alive. Cracked stone floors, dodgy brown furniture and vineyard-themed frescos are a throwback to the former site of Vats and the food is as classic and unpretentious as the surroundings - we're still swooning over a stunning piece of monkfish in a tangy white wine sauce. Warm, knowledgeable staff are lovely, while in the front the room, the boisterous spirit of a wine bar is very much alive – hardly surprising, given the affordability of the list (with a sizeable by-the-glass offering kicking off at £3 for a 75ml ‘sampler’, or bottles from £20).Book now Read more
The Quality Chop House carries deliberate echoes of its 19th-century origins by offering ‘a chop and a glass’. Wine rather than ale is the main draw now (though Kernel beer is offered). There’s a wine shop alongside the bar and dining room, with plenty to interest both casual sippers and serious imbibers.Book now Read more
In the 90s and Noughties, ‘ABC’ – Anything But Chardonnay – was the term used to describe a movement that avoided the obvious, the mass-produced, the populist. More than a decade later, in a city that’s now brimming with exciting and unusual wines to try, there’s no excuse for ordering the usual. Pop down to The Remedy for some proper excitement in your glass.Read more
The term ‘vin naturel’ – natural wine – was revived in France during the 1980s to describe a process of ‘natural’ fermentation, with minimal intervention in the viticultural process. Terroirs in London pioneered a similar approach in 2001, and soon had branches, as well as imitators – Toasted is the latest in the Terroirs tradition.Read more
A second outpost from the crew who opened The Truscott Arms gastropub in Maida Vale, The Truscott Cellar has a vaguely nautical vibe with suspended storm lanterns and cabin-like booths. A backlit wall of resting bottles tells you the list of reds, whites and rosés, which is tip-top. Most come by the glass and the food menu is compact, offering cold meat or cheese boards plus a few hot plates and puds.Read more
Venue says: L'Etranger is located just minutes away from some of London’s most iconic amenities, including the Royal Albert Hall and the V&A Museum.
This jewel box of a restaurant entices the beau monde of Kensington with its Franco-Japanese cooking, impressive wine list and plush decor – all gleaming mirrors, dainty cutlery and sparkling wine glasses. The likes of maki rolls and sashimi, or caviar and foie gras, are equally at home on exec chef Jerome Tauvron’s dual-nationality menu. For indecisive diners, the six-course tasting menu (£95) is a good introduction, but choosing carefully from the à la carte is a less pricey and no less flavourful option – or order the excellent-value set lunch. From the carte, inventive dishes might include beetroot ‘ravioli’ (in which fine slices of beetroot form a sandwich for tangy goat’s cheese mousse) or succulent smoked langoustines wrapped in kadaifi (fine filo pastry). The latter made its dramatic appearance at table served under a glass cloche filled with aromatic smoke: this place has wow factor and the cooking rarely falters. Chicken is pepped up with nori salt and a sherry reduction, and spicy yellow-fin maki rolls would pass muster in Kyoto. Service is amenable, and the broad-ranging wine list is an oenophile’s dream (bottles can be bought to take away), so it’s a shame only six are available by the glass. In the basement is the rather bunker-like wine bar Meursault, where the food has a similar, though more casual, Franco-Japanese approach. Insider’s tip: Meursault’s wine-pairing menu (£59 per person with wine) is a good-value alternative to dining upstairs.