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Holborn bars

From hotel bars serving world-class cocktails to heaving craft beer bars, discover the best of drinking in Holborn

Written by
Laura Richards
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In Holborn you could be out for after-work pints, in need of a classy pre-theatre tipple or on the hunt for a refuge from the tourist trail. We’ve curated a list of the best bars in Holborn for you to hole up in and order something strong. Pick from hotel bars, party-ready cocktail bars, chic wine bars and down-to-earth craft beer bars – it’s time to get high on Holborn’s drinking scene.

RECOMMENDED: Find more fun in the neighbourhood in our Holborn area guide

The best bars in Holborn

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Restaurants
  • Contemporary European
  • Holborn
  • price 2 of 4

An abundance of wood and soft lighting give this City branch of the three-strong 28°-50° group a low-key, almost rustic feel. Quaff to your heart’s content on affordable wine (or some pricier numbers, you fancy so-and-so) and match your drinking with cheeses from La Fromagerie.

All Star Lanes
  • Restaurants
  • Bloomsbury

This retro-themed venue styling itself on stateside ‘boutique’ bowling alley caters to the drinkers just as well as it does to the sports players. Rock up at the kitsch red bar (complete with mirror ball) for cocktails and a stonking gin collection. Strike!  

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Bar Polski
  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Bars and pubs
  • Holborn

If you’re into the voddy, step into Bar Polski. The diminutive Polish hideaway stocks some 50 different vodkas, categorised according to descriptions such as ‘clean and clear’, ‘dry and interesting’ and ‘nice and sweet’. Polish beers are just as tempting, but it’s often the pierogi that bring punters through the door.

Bloomsbury Club Bar
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Bars and pubs
  • Cocktail bars
  • Bloomsbury
  • price 3 of 4

You may have spotted the Bloomsbury Club Bar’s twinkly terrace on Instagram before now – it’s a stunner. But this hotel bar has plenty more to offer visitors, indoors and outside. That’s probably reassuring, as finding a space on the busy terrace can be a bit of a challenge. Pull up a cosy leather chair indoors instead and knock back exquisite cocktails to a live jazz duo.

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  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Bars and pubs
  • Cocktail bars
  • Bloomsbury
  • price 3 of 4

The Coral Room lives on the ground floor of the Bloomsbury Hotel rather than in the basement like its secluded sister. Smiling, suited staff behind the bar mix fun and original cocktails, but the bar’s specialty is English sparkling wine. It all makes for seriously stylish sipping in a bright pink setting.

Fitz’s Bar
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Bars and pubs
  • Cocktail bars
  • Bloomsbury
  • price 3 of 4

The disco era and the jazz era collide at Fitz’s Bar, a hotel joint with a seriously playful atmosphere – from staff in floral uniform to a mirror ball dangling from the ceiling. Cocktails are sublime, music is groovy and bar snacks are pretty impossible to share with your date.

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Freud
  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Bars and pubs
  • Shaftesbury Avenue

A hidden cellar with a faintly industrial feel, Freud’s is one of London’s bars that’s stood the test of time. On the edge of Holborn and down some stairs, it doesn’t seem to have changed a bit. Enjoy cocktails down under the comings and goings of the West End. 

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Bars and pubs
  • Craft beer pubs
  • Holborn
  • price 2 of 4

With its tiny size and its cracking range of beer, The Holborn Whippet can see crowds on its courtyard out the front, especially at clocking off time. Force your way to the bar and you’re greeted with a tantalising array of ales on draught. 

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London Cocktail Club
  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Bars and pubs
  • Cocktail bars
  • Shaftesbury Avenue

This loud ’n’ lairy basement bar is all about the good times. It’s part of the London Cocktail Club group, and if you don’t know the drill already, here’s a quick recap: the soundtrack is eclectic but hails mostly from the ‘90s, the walls are clad in garish colours and waiting staff are jokers. Play along, though – the drinks are excellent.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Restaurants
  • British
  • Bloomsbury

Noble Rot is predominantly known for its restaurant at the rear. But perch near the entrance and marvel at one of the best wine lists in London. The full wine list is an epic tome, but the options by the glass are a joy to read, with wines from Burgundy and the Jura met with more distinctive grapes sourced from lesser-celebrated regions. Anyone for a tipple from Tenerife?

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Scarfes Bar
  • Bars and pubs
  • Cocktail bars
  • Holborn

This bar at the five-star Rosewood London hotel is named after the London-born artist and caricaturist Gerald Scarfe (former illustrator for The Sunday Times and New Yorker). His work can be seen adorning the marble walls here, providing a great backdrop to a swanky-looking spot. The cocktail menu pays homage to a number of well-known London figures – Boris included. 

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