Ray's Bar

Bars and pubs, Cocktail bars Stoke Newington
4 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars
(3user reviews)

Dance Tunnel’s successor, a funky basement cocktail bar.

Please note, Ray’s Bar is now closed. Time Out Editors, May 2018.

Drinking at Ray’s Bar in Dalston feels a little like going on a first date when you’re still thinking about your ex. I had a burning love for Dance Tunnel, the late basement club that occupied the space below pizzeria Voodoo Ray’s, which Ray’s Bar has replaced. This new squeeze is a worthy rebound, though – lively, yet dark and seductive.

The look? ‘Miami Vice’-meets-future-disco, with glittering granite worktops, mirrored wall tiles and zigzag patterns in pink and black. This is fully complemented by a soundtrack of deep beats that sound as sharp as ever through the hefty Funktion One soundsystem.

Ray’s menu sees cocktails laid out in chapters: aperitifs ‘to start’, ‘mains’ and sweet, creamy drinks ‘to finish’, plus a section labelled ‘the afterparty’, containing overproof elixirs. Bar staff served up cheeky drinks with equally cheeky chat, and almost all of both hit the spot. The Scotch Mist was the best of the drinks we tried, whisky given a tangy twist from orange sherbet, ginger and lemon. A gin-based Shady Pines had a gorgeous forest scent. The Crazy Talk was a bit too adventurous: balsamic vinegar added an unnecessary sweet-sour aftertaste to tequila and vermouth. Peckish? Then order pizza from Voodoo Ray’s upstairs, which come in gigantic 22-inch pies.

I had some great times with Dance Tunnel, but I have more than a little crush on Ray’s Bar. A second date is totally on the cards.

By: Laura Richards


Venue name: Ray's Bar
Address: 95 Kingsland High Street
E8 2PB
Opening hours: Tuesday & Wednesday 7pm-1am, Thursday 7pm-3am, Friday & Saturday 6pm - 3am, Sunday & Monday closed
Transport: Dalston Kingsland Overground
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Average User Rating

5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:3
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1 person listening

Absolutely love this place! Will definitely be heading back.

The retro feels begin as soon as you walk through a tiny seedy looking door. Think American neo-noir.

The staff are brilliant, the cocktails are delicious and the pizzas made upstairs at Voodoo Rays are scrumptious! We went on a Wednesday after work and it started to fill up at around 9pm when there was a live Jazz band playing (who were pretty incredible playing old classics)


We absolutely loved Ray's Bar. We stopped in for a cocktail after a cinema night at Rio, and wound up staying for 4. We sampled a couple of on-menu options, including Tunnel Dancer - an homage to the club which many will have visited in the same spot. The highlight, though, was an expertly made Old Fashioned, as well as the comfy booth and spot-on playlist. Afterwards we ducked upstairs for a cheeky slice of Voodoo Ray's finest. 

Being a south Londoner, Dalston is a bit of a trek for just for a few tipples. But this bar is nestled where Dance Tunnel used to be, and it's' keeping the Dance Tunnel dream alive! Musically, the vibe is similar, heavy on the disco and house and championing tunes that'll make you wanna get up and boogie. Ray's kicks on 3am on weekends so it's worth the journey if you don't reside in the East. If you follow the three-course cocktail menu as intended, prepare for a boozy one. And if you don't, there's something for everyone. Ranging from sweet delights such as the Sensational Sherry to something a little stiffer such as the Tunnel Dancer. The best bit? Voodoo Ray's acclaimed pizza parlour is just upstairs, and you can order slices to your table at the bar or stumble in after a heavy night... you're gonna need something to soak up all that booze, after all.