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Photograph: Pasco Photography

The best bars in London

Find London’s most excellent bars with Time Out’s ultimate guide to the best places for drinking wine, cocktails, craft beer and more

Leonie Cooper
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Want a drink? Well you've come to the right place. This is Time Out’s list of best bars in London, our curated guide to London’s drinking scene, featuring the buzziest booze dens in the capital right now. If it’s on this list, it’s excellent. These are the 50 places we'd recommend to a friend, because we love drinking in them and have done many times over. From classy cocktail joint to delightful dives, hotel bars, speakeasys, bottle shops, rooftops and wine bars, London's got them all.

The latest additions to our list include the new Three Sheets in Soho, Bar Lina, an Italian aperitivo spot underneath the famous deli, Moko hi-fi listening bar in Tottenham, Oranj's vertitable wine warehouse in Shoreditch, and Helgi's, a suggestively Satanic rock bar in Hackney. Now go forth and booze.

RECOMMENDED: Like bars? Then you'll love London's best pubs

Leonie Cooper is Time Out London’s Food and Drink Editor. For more about how we curate, see our editorial guidelines.

Best bars in London

  • Cocktail bars
  • King’s Cross
  • price 2 of 4

What's the vibe? The Standard's ritzy and joyful cocktail bar, discotheque and late-night lounge. Comes complete with floor-to-ceiling views of King's Cross. 

When to visit: Sweeties is open until 2.30am every Thursday to Saturday, so save this one for when you're hunting down a post-midnight bevvy. 

What to drink: See if you can handle a Hot Lips; made with mezcal, worcestershire sauce, pickled hot peppers, spiced tomato juice and smoked salt.

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Chiara Wilkinson
Features Editor, UK
  • Cocktail bars
  • Peckham

​​What’s the vibe? One for the crate diggers and soundsystem aficionados, Jumbi is a listening bar with big energy. A rolling lineup of London’s finest selectors will soundtrack the evening with sounds chosen from DJ and local hero Bradley Zero’s iconic wall of records, while its food and drink with flavours from the African-Caribbean diaspora will warm your soul.

When to visit: On a summer’s afternoon. Start on the terrace, then roll right through till close on the D-floor.

What to drink: The rum punch, obviously.

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India Lawrence
Contributing writer
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  • Cocktail bars
  • Soho
  • price 3 of 4

What's the vibe? The second London spot to take the Three Sheets name, following the Dalston original. This isn't your trad central London cocktail spot, but rather an innovative, young bar doing contemporary classics brimming with imagination. 

When to visit: Opening up at midday, this is something of an all-day spot. We suggest sneaking over in the early afternoon, before the evening rush to sip something strong and feel extremely chic. 

What to drink: A Mezcal Sunset, which is the grown-up older sister of a tequila sunrise, only more Ibiza than Benidorm.

  • Wine bars
  • Shoreditch
  • price 3 of 4

What's the vibe?backstreet Shoreditch buzz bar that's as much about natural wine as it isn banging kitchen residences. Recent decents include Ha's Đặc Biệt, a rightly hype-y Vietnamese pop-up direct from New York and Decatur – the much-loved New Orleans-worshipping one man kitchen.

When to visit: When your favourite pop-up or chef is installed in the kitchen. 

What to drink: Natural wine. Staff are more than happy to help with suggestions, never letting you feel foolish for not knowing the difference between a gewurztraminer and a grechetto.

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Leonie Cooper
Food and Drink Editor, Time Out London
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  • Nightlife
  • Nightlife venues
  • Fitzrovia
The Social
The Social

What's the vibe? Established by Heavenly Records at the end of the '90s and celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2024, this bar has been a nightlife hub ever since opening. Lovely wood-lined booths upstairs make you feel a little fancy even if you're just sinking pints and arguing about indie music. 

When to visit: Time your trip for when the downstairs space is hosting live music or literature events, with folk from Faber Social, Trojan, The Quietus and Rough Trade Books often in charge of proceedings.

What to drink: Become a member – which you can do by simply signing up to their mailing list at the bar – and you'll get two for £15 cocktails – think Negroni’s and Tommy’s Margaritas – before 8pm.

  • Cocktail bars
  • Soho
  • price 3 of 4

What’s the vibe? A cosy, speakeasy-esque atmosphere tucked away under Soho’s famous delicatessen, with a cocktail menu full of Italian twists.

When to visit: The snack menu would make a handy pre-show supper, but the intimate lighting and gentle hum of jazz mean this is also a nice spot for a digestif.

What to drink: The Bloody Martini (vodka, vermouth, crystal clear coffee-filtered tomato water) is set to become their signature, but for something sweeter, the Figlet is tasty too.

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Liv Kelly
Contributing Writer
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  • Cocktail bars
  • Dalston
  • price 2 of 4

What’s the vibe? A weighty, cocooning door on the Kingsland Road (at Dalston’s lower end) hides an exquisitely neat, sleek jazz bar with a vast number of natural wines and a tight menu of traditional-leaning cocktails.

When to visit: During a gig, obvs. While you can certainly visit Mu without a musical focal point, it’s designed with the stage and performer in mind: it’s a jazz bar, go see some jazz.

What to drink: You’re in a Japanese-inspired bar, so a Japanese-inspired cocktail is the done thing. The saketini is light and slick, you’d have no idea it was so boozy.

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Ed Cunningham
News Editor, Time Out UK and Time Out London
  • Music
  • Stoke Newington

What's the vibe? Tucked away in Stoke Newington, you’ll find this basement venue, which is home to a whole host of brilliant music, cabaret, queer comedy and drag shows, all of which are sure to get you out of your seat.

When to visit: Check the listings and time your trip with a great stand-up set or show. 

What to drink: Mezcal is Doña's thing, so get sipping on some tequila. 

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Leonie Cooper
Food and Drink Editor, Time Out London
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  • Cocktail bars
  • Holborn
  • price 3 of 4

What's the vibe? Scarfes Bar is tucked away in Holborn's Rosewood Hotel and is so called because legendary British cartoonist Gerald Scarfe’s caricatures and Pink Floyd artwork graces its walls. Despite this playful energy, it's definitely not for kids. 

When to visit: There's live jazz most nights, so plan to swing by when you'll hear something swinging.

What to drink: Keep it sweet with a 'Princess Peach', made of gin, peach wine, acacia and dill cordial and a splash of Sauternes.

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Leonie Cooper
Food and Drink Editor, Time Out London
  • Cinemas
  • Barbican

What's the vibe? The Barbican hosted a James Bond exhibition a few years back, and included a Martini bar as part of the deal. The exhibition closed down, but the bar, well, the bar stayed on. 

When to visit: Come before a gig or after an art show. Either way, make a day of your trip to London's most brutal arts complex with an extremely stiff cocktail. It's also worth noting that there's a daily happy hour at 5pm, where two cocktails are £15.

What to drink: The Brutalist, which is made up of Four Roses bourbon, amaretto, apple juice, hickory smoke and walnut bitters and is topped with a Laphroaig scented apple fan.

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Leonie Cooper
Food and Drink Editor, Time Out London
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  • Tottenham

What’s the vibe? Taking over the industrial-chic Tottenham warehouse space that formerly housed short-lived but fondly remembered nightclub Five Miles, Moko is an effortlessly cool new listening bar founded by DJ and Rhythm Section label head Bradley Zero, and is a twin venue to Peckham's Jumbi. Come for the eclectic tunes and top quality sound system, stay for the classic cocktails with a Caribbean twist.

When to visit: Whenever you feel like dancing.

What to drink: A rum punch from the ever-changing menu written on the chalkboard by the bar. Stop by during happy hour when they’re 2 for 1.

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Rosie Hewitson
Newsletter and Events Editor, Time Out London
  • Hackney

What's the vibe? A self-described 'occult rock bar', this is a heavy metal bar by any other name. If you like your music loud and your bands bearded, Helgi's is the one. 

When to visit: After the witching hour. This place is open very, very late, every night of the week. 

What to drink: A michelada, the mighty Mexican combo of beer, lime and clamato juice. Think of it as a Bloody Mary lite.

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Leonie Cooper
Food and Drink Editor, Time Out London
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  • Cocktail bars
  • Dalston
  • price 2 of 4

What’s the vibe? Dalston’s tropical party shack where disco tunes rule and zingy drinks will cool the dancefloor heat.

When to visit: When you want to kid yourself you’re on a Caribbean holiday.

What to drink: The ginger Mojito is one of London’s best drinks. Try the frozen pina colada if you're in need of serious refreshment. 

  • Cocktail bars
  • Crouch End
  • price 2 of 4

What's the vibe? Super-friendly service and on-trend cocktails all the way up in Crouch End.

When to visit:  Come here for small group catch-ups over cocktails – large, tall tables help you keep it social at just the right distance.

What to drink:  Served from a bottle like sparkling rosé, the bar’s reimagining of a Pornstar Martini makes the UK’s most popular cocktail seriously cool again. Indeed, any of the bar’s bottled cocktails are ideal for taking home, too. 

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  • Hotel bars
  • Mayfair
  • price 4 of 4

What’s the vibe? As classy as they come, the Connaught Bar is a must-try for any Londoner. Sip mega-dollar drinks in a mega-dollar Mayfair setting, among a clientele of flashy hotel guests. Hey, you’re worth it.

When to visit: That very special occasion.

What to drink: Order a Martini and they’ll roll a trolley to your table. You may need rolling out after, too.

  • Breweries
  • Hackney
  • price 2 of 4

What’s the vibe? A beer bar owned by the brewery that occupies a neighbouring railway arch in Hackney’s aptly named Bohemia Place.

When to visit: When an Indian summer is in the air – a big beer garden is accommodating and the beers can be easily classified as ‘sessionable’. Food here is also thrillingly good, coming from the mighty Lagom

What to drink: Its own IPA is lightly sweet and fruity.

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  • Cocktail bars
  • Old Street
  • price 2 of 4

What’s the vibe? Minimal in style yet maximal in powerhouse cocktails, Tayēr + Elementary is a two-part bar from mixology heroes Alex Kratena and Monica Berg.

When to visit: When you’re looking for the house party, but in a house where they really, really, really know their drinks.

What to drink: Grab a cocktail from a slushy machine in Elementary. Tayēr (at the back) has with drinks made with the bar’s own liqueur with flavours so complex they change from sip to sip.

  • Cocktail bars
  • Shoreditch

What's the vibe? The basement of 100 Shoreditch hotel is a moody but friendly little listening den, with vinyl only DJs and cocktails courtesy of Ryan Chetiyawardana aka Mr Lyan. 

When to visit: They're closed Monday and Tuesday, but we recommend a mid-week or Sunday sesh to beat the crowds and have a chill one. 

What to drink: The famous C.R.E.A.M. Margarita, made with Patron Silver, blood orange, manuka tea, estate dairy cream and champagne. Woof. 

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  • Cocktail bars
  • Bethnal Green
  • price 2 of 4

What’s the vibe? Upmarket mixed drinks in a down-to-earth and devilishly cool location, where you’ll find some of the best cocktails on Bethnal Green’s burgeoning booze scene (in among all the taxidermy).

When to visit: Thursday night: the weekend starts early here – they still know how to start a party, despite recent challenges.

What to drink: Satan’s Americano (Campari, sweet vermouth, grapefruit soda).

  • Cocktail bars
  • Hoxton
  • price 2 of 4

What’s the vibe? Incredible cocktails, and, in our experience, dazzlingly wonderful service. Join laughing locals quaffing classy cocktails
 in a Shoreditch bar that’s stood the test of time. As the website says, ‘great cocktails, no wallies’.

When to visit: On a late East End night out that demands something a bit classy.

What to drink: A Tokyo Collins (gin, yuzu saké, lemon, grapefruit, sugar, soda)

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  • Cocktail bars
  • Soho
  • price 2 of 4

What’s the vibe? It’s always la dolce vita at Bar Termini, with Continental-style service and Italian aperitifs (and espressos). Lively and always busy, but quiet because of its size, the minute setting offers the rare luxury of peace and quiet in central London.

When to visit: Early evenings are perfect for a cocktail before dinner in Soho – indoors or out on the streets.

What to drink: Marsala Martini (gin, sweet marsala, dry vermouth and almond bitters)
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  • Cocktail bars
  • Hackney
  • price 2 of 4
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Recommended
Behind This Wall
Behind This Wall

What's the vibe? A bar squirrelled away down some stairs and a big old curtain on Mare Street (phew! No actual walls to clamber over). It's safe haven for record enthusiasts, and vinyl is king.

When to visit Have a chill one on a week night (it's open from 6pm every Weds through to the occasaional Sunday), with good tunes and great booze.

What to drink Stick with the classics – we could have ordered manhattans all night: so syrupy, with just a sweet lick of vermouth. 

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  • Cocktail bars
  • Soho
  • price 2 of 4
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Recommended
Bar Américain at Brasserie Zédel
Bar Américain at Brasserie Zédel

What's the vibe? Part of the Brasserie Zédel complex, Bar Américain is one of the loveliest bars in London, with an art deco look that’s changed little in decades of its existence.

When to visit: Whenever! Treat it as a way-station en route to dinner, a nightcap-dispensary before heading home, or an evening’s entertainment all in itself (with terrific bar snacks). 

What to drink: Cocktails are split into pre, post and during prohibition eras. We go for slap bang in the middle, with a Blood and Sand, named after the 1922 bullfighter movie starring the dashing Rudolph Valentino.

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Leonie Cooper
Food and Drink Editor, Time Out London
  • Wine bars
  • Peckham
  • price 2 of 4

What’s the vibe? A rooftop bar in Peckham to rival Frank’s – Forza Wine has a snug indoor set-up, an expansive drinking terrace and an Italian drinks list. Not to mention some great views.

When to visit: It’s a rooftop bar that works year-round. Come when you’re hungry; the bar snacks are exceptional.

What to drink: Wine is the bar’s strong suit, so choose something low-intervention and robust.

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  • Cocktail bars
  • Dalston
  • price 2 of 4

What’s the vibe? Elegant, modern and minimal Kingsland Road bar filled with friends and pouring light, bright drinks.

When to visit: For an intimate catch-up over cocktails. Bring your discerning pals.

What to drink: Pick any of the striking cocktails – from low- and no-alcohol numbers to genius reimagining of the classics – like the French 75 and the Cosmo.

  • Pop up restaurant
  • Dalston

What's the vibe? Named in tribute to some of the great Pamelas (Anderson, Des Barres, etc), this late-night Dalston hangout is, and will always be, one of the coolest joints in town. 

When to visit: When a new foodie pop-up takes over the kitchen. It's currently Colombian cuisine, but swing by their socials to check in advance.

What to drink: Fresh cocktail concoctions are always being tried out. Ask what's new. 

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Leonie Cooper
Food and Drink Editor, Time Out London
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  • Cocktail bars
  • King’s Cross
  • price 2 of 4

What’s the vibe? A home for Italo disco and vermouth-laced cocktails in the basement of a King’s Cross pizza joint. It’s brought to you by audiophile haven Spiritland, so expect some slick sounds with your sipping.

When to visit: Happy hour runs from 5.30pm until 7pm, when you’ll get a plate of cicchetti and a cocktail for £6. Then get grooving under the mechanical mirror ball.

What to drink: An Amer Citron is a citrussy two-tone wonder that really looks ready for the party.

  • Pubs
  • Oxford Street
  • price 1 of 4

What's the vibe? Ok, so it might feel more like a pub, but Bradley's says its a bar, so we will too. With its jumble sale decor and tattered furniture, it puts the 'shabby' in 'shabby chic'. Also home to one of the best jukeboxes in town – think northern soul and disco bangers – and it's free! 

When to visit: Join the post-work crew here every early weekday evening. 

What to drink: Pints, pals.

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Leonie Cooper
Food and Drink Editor, Time Out London
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  • Cocktail bars
  • Soho
  • price 2 of 4

What’s the vibe? A Soho bar with a split personality spread across two floors – aperitivos upstairs, nightcaps and whisky in the moody downstairs lounge – but all drinks are flawless at Swift. No surprise, really: its owners have worked across London’s best bars. It has a spin-off in Shoreditch. 

When to visit: A date night where it could go either way.

What to drink: The prosecco-based sgroppino contains lemon sorbet. Dreamy.

  • Wine bars
  • Hackney Road
  • price 2 of 4

What’s the vibe? The wine bar you’ve been waiting for, this Hackney Road haven is a pitstop for professional people who may lack a professional appreciation of wine. All the plonk here is served at a reasonable price by the bottle or glass.

When to visit: In the winter months. Small and dark, this is the perfect place to hunker down on a cold and wild evening. Although drinking at tables on the pavement outside suits punters in the current climate very nicely indeed.

What to drink: Though beers are available, it really has to be wine. You won’t regret any choice.

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  • Breweries
  • Hackney Wick
  • price 2 of 4

What’s the vibe? Great pizza, great beer, great outdoor space; Crate is the ultimate brewery bar and the centre point of Hackney Wick’s social scene. It probably doesn’t hurt that it’s placed right by the canal, either.

When to visit: On a sunny evening, the lure of Crate is hard to resist. Failing that, make it a lingering weekend session after a brisk walk by the water. Either way, this place is primed for socially distanced beers. 

What to drink: The irresistibly malty and light Crate Best is a treat any day of the week.

  • Wine bars
  • Bethnal Green
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Recommended

What's the vibe? The lads that do Top Cuvée (the wine bar that pivoted to Covid shop that pivoted to classy Highbury restaurant) also have a cave. And this is it. You get to their Bethnal Green bottle shop, descend some stairs and there you are. That kind of pared-back, casual spot that your mates told you didn’t really exist in London. 

When to visit A week night when you don't really want a big night, but a nice night. 

What to drink Wine, of course! House red and white are a steal at £5.50 a glass. 

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Joe Mackertich
Editor, Time Out London
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  • Cocktail bars
  • South Bank
  • price 3 of 4

What’s the vibe? The ‘World’s Best Bar’ Dandelyan makes way for a concept from the same award-winning, cocktail-shifting team.

When to visit: When you feel like having your mind expanded. Mr Lyan hasn’t just created new cocktails – he’s created a whole new roster of ingredients to power the drinks list.

What to drink: Try ‘Infinite Banana’ in a Soy Wax Old Fashioned – then never look back.

  • Cocktail bars
  • Deptford
  • price 2 of 4

What’s the vibe? Off the wall. Imagine your nan’s front room and times it by ten. And throw in a load of Princess Di and Pat Butcher memorabilia. You’re part-way there to the weirdest trip of a bar in south London.

When to visit: Evenings, when it cranks up the Abba tunes, or afternoon tea with your ma. Sunny days are best right now, as the outdoors has been turned into a Deptford drinking terrace.

What to drink: Any cocktails named after ‘EastEnders’ characters, of course.

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  • Cocktail bars
  • Peckham
  • price 2 of 4

What’s the vibe? London’s most famous rooftop bar, find Frank’s on top of a Peckham multistorey car park and reward yourself with a Campari when you get up there.

When to visit: On rare sunny days in London – it’s only open in the summer months. Just be mindful: the rest of London may have the same idea.

What to drink: Anything red or orange – an Americano or an Aperol Spritz would be our choice.

  • Cocktail bars
  • Hoxton
  • price 2 of 4
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Recommended

What's the vibe? A floating cocktail bar bobbing away on the Islington stretch of the Regent’s Canal. Run by brothers Fin and Lorcan Spiteri, you’ll find it moored next to their equally barge-based restaurant Caravel, which has already made waves (sorry), thanks to its playful take on British cuisine. 

When to visit: Bruno's is relatively tucked away and hidden, so it's the perfect place to hit up on a Friday night when everything else is rammed.

What to drink: Our server said the Hazelnut Sour with Frangelico tasted ‘exactly like a Kinder Bueno’ and it did! More sweetness is available in the Starliner Martini, a turbo Espresso Martini with tequila and chocolate liqueur.

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Leonie Cooper
Food and Drink Editor, Time Out London
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  • Cocktail bars
  • Soho
  • price 2 of 4
Blind Pig
Blind Pig

What’s the vibe? Yes, it’s another take on the old Prohibition theme, but it’s classy as hell (Jason Atherton’s at the helm). Rich, dark oak furnishings and white marble features (and even a mirrored ceiling) juxtapose playful, decorative drinks. Think ‘Bugsy Malone’ for grown-ups and you’re about there.

When to visit: After an indulgent dinner in Atherton’s Social Eating House downstairs.

What to drink: The bar’s take on Butter Beer from a menu inspired by childhood stories.

  • Cocktail bars
  • Bethnal Green
  • price 2 of 4
Coupette
Coupette

What’s the vibe? Chic Bethnal Green calvados-and-cocktail bar serving French-tinged tipples to an in-the-know crowd.

When to visit: If a pint after work just isn’t going to cut it, an apple brandy should do the trick instead.

What to drink: The Champagne Piña Colada. Filled with coconut sorbet, it’s the stuff dreams are made of and has basically become east London’s most popular drink.

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  • Cocktail bars
  • Peckham
  • price 2 of 4

What’s the vibe? Peckham cocktail bar with just as much know-how when it comes to playing the tunes.

When to visit: Hit up the bar after dinner for a groovy nightcap and a chat with fun regulars. Currently, the bar also serves as a shop, selling local produce and vinyl records. 

What to drink: The Kalakuta Sour is a Fela Kuti-honouring cocktail that’s like a New York Sour but made with Nigerian bitter leaf.

  • Cocktail bars
  • Shoreditch
  • price 2 of 4
Cocktail Trading Company
Cocktail Trading Company

What’s the vibe? Small, secretive and playful but always serious about the cocktails. Look beyond the pink umbrella in your drink for full-on flavour and watch the barmen at work for a masterclass in mixing.

When to visit: When you’re up for a chat with your local barman – they’re a friendly bunch at CTC.

What to drink: The menu changes regularly, but all cocktails have wacky decorations that won’t disappoint.

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  • Cocktail bars
  • Kentish Town
  • price 2 of 4
Tabac
Tabac

What’s the vibe? A super-chic cocktail-and-wine spot in an old tobacconist’s, with more than a touch of the Gallic about it.

When to visit: When you’re in the mood for le romance.

What to drink: The Lemon Garden is a fresh and aromatic twist on a Gin Martini. Or go all-out Parisian with a glass of wine from the bar’s own enomatic machine.

  • Hotel bars
  • Strand
  • price 4 of 4
Beaufort Bar at The Savoy
Beaufort Bar at The Savoy

What’s the vibe? There’s eye-opening dusky glamour any time of the day at this supremely stylish hideaway – so head there early doors and just pretend it’s past 10pm. The setting is as rich as you’ll find in London, with walls embossed in gold for the mega-dollar effect.

When to visit: To remind yourself that such places exist in your city. Make the most of them.

What to drink:
 A Champagne Cocktail. What more of an excuse do you need?

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  • Cocktail bars
  • Portobello Road
  • price 2 of 4
Trailer Happiness
Trailer Happiness

What’s the vibe? Delve beneath a layer of kitsch to discover a trippy tiki bar that’s casual, sunny and funny – and now open a little earlier in the afternoon to suit that vibe.

When to visit: Weekdays are chill-days, but this is Notting Hill and a party is never far away.

What to drink: Dia de Muertos (mezcal, blood orange cordial, pineapple and citrus).

  • Cocktail bars
  • Islington
  • price 2 of 4
Homeboy
Homeboy

What’s the vibe? Irish-run Homeboy honours the homeland without any of the shamrocks, fiddles or clichés.

When to visit: It’s lively on the weekends, so go seek out the craic.

What to drink: While Guinness is popular, cocktails are the business. The Irish Coffee is unmissable, but the Wogan is just as easy to quaff. 

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  • Mezcalerias
  • Dalston
  • price 2 of 4
Hacha
Hacha

What’s the vibe? Kingsland Road by way of Oaxaca, this light-filled spot is London’s first agaveria, specialising in tequila, mezcal and more.

When to visit: When you’re in need of a very stiff drink, as well as a bit of booze education.

What to drink: Dive in deep with a flight of mezcal, or prepare to be dazzled by the Mirror Margarita – a totally see-through take on Mexico’s classic cocktail.

  • Cocktail bars
  • Bloomsbury
  • price 3 of 4

What’s the vibe? Imagine 'if Rick James and Jay Gatsby got together' to throw a bash filled with delicious cocktail confections, they say. A lot, but a lot of fun at the same time. 

When to visit: Perfect for an early-evening tipple. 

What to drink: Sample a cocktail from Fitz's 'Theory of Colour' menu. 

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  • Sports bars
  • Peckham
  • price 1 of 4
Four Quarters South
Four Quarters South

What’s the vibe? There’s not much to the decor, since Four Quarters says it all with retro arcade games available to play at 25p a pop. Swap pals for Pac-Man with a drink in hand – this is London’s nostalgia craze at its best.

When to visit: When a Scrabble session or a Zoom pub quiz won’t cut it in the entertainment stakes.

What to drink: Cocktails and craft beers. But remember to focus your energy on beating your Street Fighter score.

  • Café bars
  • King’s Cross
  • price 2 of 4
Vermuteria
Vermuteria

What’s the vibe? Like a museum to drinking, this Coal Drops Yard bar-restaurant is covered with posters and artwork paying homage to Italian vermouth brands – which are in strong stock behind the bar. 

When to visit: Pick a sunny day and make the most of the sweet terrace just designed for spritz swigging. 

What to drink: Vermouth by the glass (on tap or from the bottle), lengthened in a spritz or made as strong as you like in a negroni. 

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  • Cocktail bars
  • Moorgate
  • price 3 of 4

What’s the vibe? Broodingly dark bar shining a light on whisky, Black Rock takes any fustiness out of the spirit. Sample from bottles in cabinets or from a tree, cut lengthways, running across the room and filled with two house blend ‘whisky rivers’.

When to visit: For serious, considered whisky drinking given a fun edge. Nightcaps never tasted so good.

What to drink: Whisky, obvs. From the tree or bottle, or served in cocktails and high balls.

  • Cocktail bars
  • Peckham

What’s the vibe? A rooftop bar to rival nearby Frank's Café. 

When to visit: Clearly, this is a spot made for long summer afternoons and into the evening. Check to find out when they're open this year. 

What to drink: Cocktails run to no more than a tenner, so you can’t go wrong there, really. 

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