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Doodle Bar, best bars for making friends
Jamie Lau

The best bars for making friends in London

Whether you’re looking for new pals or a brand-new lover, get ready to mingle at these lively London establishments

By Laura Richards

To anybody who’s ever described London as a lonely place, we challenge you to head to these good-time bars. At the below London boozers, the punters are just friends you haven’t met yet. Get talking to potential new pals and share drinks with friendly strangers in an environment made for bonding over booze. And if it leads to something more – well, even better...

The best bars for making friends in London

Bobby Fitzpatrick

Bars and pubs Cocktail bars West Hampstead

Make friends the old-fashioned way in a bar made to look like a ’70s bachelor pad. The homely vibe aids casual chat with swinging strangers. And the piña coladas don’t hurt the situation, either.

Del 74 Dalston

Restaurants Mexican Dalston

Tequila flows as freely as water at this Dalston party spot. Sit up at the bar and let the conversation flow, too – staff set the tone for a fun night with amigos you’re yet to meet.


Doodle Bar

Bars and pubs Cocktail bars Bermondsey

With craft clubs, ping pong and chalkboards for you to let out your inner Picasso on, this playful bar practically doubles as an after-school club, and you never had trouble making friends there, did you?

© Daniel Gianini

Drink, Shop & Do

Bars and pubs Café bars Caledonian Road

From nipple-tassle making to neon life drawing, the creative master classes at this King’s Cross bar break down serious boundaries. And given that it’s a café by day, when the dance floor opens up in the evenings there’s something of a house party feel to the place.


Genuine Liquorette

Bars and pubs Cocktail bars Fitzrovia

The layout of the ground floor of Genuine Liquorette is wide open for cross-group conversation to flow, with bench and banquette seating round the perimeter looking inwards. Playful elements make great talking points – from cocktails on tap to Tom Selleck wallpaper.


Bars and pubs Cocktail bars Marylebone

Staff are so friendly at cocktail bar FAM, you’re sure to leave feeling the warm and fuzzies from chatting to them alone. But you can also charm fellow drinkers using your taste in music – a wall of vinyl can be used as your own jukebox. 


Copeland Social

Bars and pubs Café bars Peckham

Community vibes are already strong in Copeland Park – a part of Peckham filled with studios and co-working spaces – and Copeland Social could be considered as the hub of it all. Chat to young, friendly Peckhamites over pints, particularly in the bench-filled courtyard where smokers congregate.


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