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diogenes the dog
Andy Parsons

London’s best wine bars

Natural or biodynamic, Old World or New – these top London wine bars are great for a drop of the good stuff

Written by
Laura Richards
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Forget starchy and old-fashioned. London’s best wine bars are bringing the humble grape to cool crowds of discerning drinkers. Find cosy, bistro-style settings, sophisticated bars that are great for date night, or hip Hackney hangouts where wine is the drink du jour. Discover everything from natural wines to grapes from far-flung vineyards, plus service from knowledgeable, approachable staff. 

From Diogenes the Dog, where wine from the Czech Republic, Poland and Wales are all par for the course to the rustic Winemakers Deptford, which is back open again and repping some of the best drops from more common wine-making regions. One thing is for certain, you’ll find more than a bargain bin Sauv Blanc at these great little grape-peddlers.

Recommended: London's best bars

The best wine bars in London

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Bars and pubs
  • Wine bars
  • Tufnell Park
  • price 2 of 4

Forget the French rustic clichés: this is an edgy space, with geometric white tiling, pendant lights and a goldfish bowl made from an old TV set. The wine, fromage and charcuterie are good, too: Authentique wants to bring the best from French-speaking parts of the world to a corner of north London, and the by-the-glass menu highlights a different region each month. Take it from us - this place is un-brie-lievable. 

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Bars and pubs
  • Wine bars
  • Walworth
  • price 2 of 4

For formidable wine recommendations that don’t feel rehearsed from some of the friendliest ‘somms’ in the business, check out this Walworth wonder bar. It’s named after a Greek philosopher but there’s nothing poncey about the place. Owner Sunny Hodge often buys direct from vineyards to champion lesser-known producers from emerging regions while keeping costs low for punters. We’re not talking bargain bin – but if you fancy flavours from Croatia and the Czech Republic, where better than in among the folliage of this down-to-earth spot.

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  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Bars and pubs
  • Wine bars
  • Hackney Road
  • price 2 of 4

This wine bar was a bit of a game-changer when it first opened in 2013, and it’s still just as trendy a hangout on the Hackney Road. It broke down the barriers to hard-to-find wines by selling them by the glass without restaurant mark-ups. So sit up at a bar made from pavement lights and let attractive staff fill your glass with wines you’ll never be able to pronounce. Don’t miss their cheese toasties, either.

  • Restaurants
  • British
  • Peckham

Peckham Cellars is a must for South of the river drinkers. It mixes a laidback, breezy atmosphere with a formidable wine list, which knowledgeable staff will happily break down for you. Natural wines are a particular speciality, and you'd be mad not to pair them with some of the simple, seasonal dishes this Michelin-accoladed spot does so well.

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  • Restaurants
  • Portuguese
  • Southwark

This stylish Portuguese spot is a treat to look at, with its shiny marble counters and intricately patterned blue and white tiles. And it makes a wonderful introduction to Portugal's thriving wine culture, with rare vintages making it a destination for anyone looking to broaden their palate. A menu of prettily-presented small plates seals the deal.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Bars and pubs
  • Wineries
  • Bethnal Green
  • price 2 of 4

As east London's first urban winery, Renegade has been producing since early 2017. Tucked under the railway arches is this bench-filled taproom surrounded by barrels and fermentation tanks. The grapes are brought over from wineries abroad, as well as those in the UK, produced and then served here, along with cheese. And while other European producers are available, it'd be a shame not to try the output from these passionate winemakers, especially when it's this good. It’s time you tried a London bacchus.

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The Remedy
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Bars and pubs
  • Wine bars
  • Fitzrovia
  • price 2 of 4

It’s time for a bit of skin contact at The Remedy, where orange wines are given a full page of the wine menu. You’ll also discover some harder to reach grapes, with many wines at the higher end of the minerality scale. It’s a small little space with a few cute alcoves if you’re looking to cosy up over your Côtes du Rhône. Sure to cure whatever ails you.

Furanxo
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Bars and pubs
  • Wine bars
  • Dalston
  • price 2 of 4

Furanxo doubles as a Spanish grocery store (or an abacería, to those acquainted with the concept), so you can pick up a tin of sardines before tucking into natural wine. They’re all very interesting tipples, sourced from across the Iberian Peninsula, with just four available at any given time by the glass. There’s not much room for sitting and sipping, so get up close and personal with other punters, as is the Spanish way.

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

The rear restaurant at Noble Rot gets a lot of deserved praise. But the wine bar at the front of the room is a character-filled hangout with covers of the eponymous Noble Rot magazine framed on the walls. 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?

10 Cases
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Bars and pubs
  • Wine bars
  • Covent Garden
  • price 2 of 4

Chances are that when you think of wine bars, you think of French-style bistros, clad in wood and filled with cute little tables à deux. Take a trip to The 10 Cases to make your dreams a reality. There are 20-ish wines on the list each day, available by glass, carafe or bottle. Devour food from a modern European menu or head to the shop, where an enomatic machine keeps samples fresh. They’ve even developed Drop, a wine delivery app that brings the 10 Cases experience direct to your door.

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  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Bars and pubs
  • Wine bars
  • Dalston
  • price 2 of 4

Bag-in-box wine is made trendy at this wine-bar-meets-deli in Dalston – not only does it prove the point that you can get a fresher tipple by the glass, but this bar is also doing its bit for the environment (and for your wallet). Grab an orange, canteen-chic seat and choose a wine from the blackboard. Or ask genial staff for tasters (easier than ever) and guidance – they sure know their stuff. In fact, you could say they’re box clever.

Planet of the Grapes
  • Bars and pubs
  • Wine bars
  • City of London

Look beyond the silly pun-based monicker and you'll find a serious wine bar/wine shop with over 450 bottles on sale, tucked away down an alley in Leadenhall. In keeping with the City location, it's a bit on the pricy side, but meat and cheese platters and a cosy, quiet atmosphere make it a worthy hangout for oenophiles.

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  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Bars and pubs
  • Wine bars
  • Deptford
  • price 2 of 4

The Winemakers Club’s Deptford bar is back open and serving up deliciously rustic peasant grub on a slightly more limited menu then before – but they’re still nailing it. You get a much longer read from the wine list, which champions low intervention vino from the brand’s partner producers, based far and wide – from the Barossa Valley to Borolo, Italy to Hungary.

Unwined in Tooting
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Bars and pubs
  • Wine bars
  • Tooting
  • price 2 of 4

Rustic and ramshackle, Unwined sits inside Tooting Broadway Market and takes the ceremony out of chardonnay. Enjoy wine tastings or head along for a glass or two of the good stuff from a selection of bottles to fit a different theme each month. Pop-ups take up residency in the kitchen from Thursday to Sunday so you can scoff while you quaff – that way you won’t leave in an equally ramshackle state.

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Humble Grape
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Bars and pubs
  • Wine bars
  • Blackfriars
  • price 2 of 4

There are 200 varieties by the bottle at the Fleet Street branch of Humble Grape. They’re easy enough to get your head around, though, thanks to an insightful menu serving up advice like ‘virtually unpronounceable, completely unforgettable’. Get maximum booze for your buck by ordering one of their flights of four wines. 

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Bars and pubs
  • Wine bars
  • Spitalfields

Bottles is located on the edge of Old Spitalfields Market and boasts an impressive wine list; it’s tight, focused and reflects a deep knowledge of the grape, with emphasis on Italian wine. Those eponymous bottles have been sourced from independent producers and small vineyards, and if there’s anything that tickles your fancy, you can buy one to take home from the wooden crates that line the bar. All the waiting staff are sommeliers, fully equipped to chat through the options as you settle in to the moodily lit space.

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  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Bars and pubs
  • Wine bars
  • King’s Cross
  • price 3 of 4

That moment when the owners of London’s top Spanish restaurant Barrafina say they’re opening a wine bar. Expect semi-bodega vibes across three interconnected, bare-brick arches – even if it’s a little deceptive; the wine list celebrates low-intervention vineyards around the world and from far beyond just the Iberian peninsula. That’s especially true of the by-the-glass selection (which starts at £5), where you’ll find wine from Greece, Tenerife and Georgia for starters. 

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