The best bars in Camden
This lively bar-diner on the main Camden drag celebrates American musical heritage in song, spirits and sustenance. Get in a mess with gumbo and buffalo wings. Then work your way through around 50 bourbons in a variety of categories, some used as bases for cocktails. The bar has since spawned two sister sites in town.
This popular DJ bar on Inverness Street tempts in passers-by with its happy hour from 4-7pm, where two-for-one martinis and mojitos are on offer. It seems the Zombie is one of the bars most popular cocktails, though. Punchy.
The Scottish craft brewery’s first London outpost worships beer on a Camden backroad. Admit to a bartender you’ve no idea where to start and they’ll gladly guide you through the list, offering tasters – and what a list it is. Brewdog has since taken over the capital, but see where the London story began right here.
BYOC stands for ‘Bring Your Own Cocktail’ – which you may think defeats the whole point of a bar. But if you bring a bottle of booze, mixologists will mix you up cocktails using their stash of syrups, mixers and bitters. The speakeasy setting and theme makes for a novel night out.
Camden Assembly retains its reputation for seven-day championing of cool and upcoming talent, making it a destination venue for serious music fans and partygoers alike. But its ground-floor bar also welcomes in those who are just after a pint and a burger in a buzzing setting. Lucky Chip are serving their famous finger-licking grub down here.
Camden Town Brewery may have outgrown its railway arch premises near Kentish Town West – they’ve in fact opened a super-brewery outside of Camden in Enfield – but this taproom remains in the ’hood. Sample the full range – from Hells to Gentleman’s Wit – and munch on street food from vendors who park up outside.
Although Cottons is primarily a Caribbean restaurant doling out fried plantain and curried mutton to regulars, its bar holds a collection of 250 different rums in stock, with many weaved into original cocktail recipes. For Caribbean warmth try a Jamaican mule or a Cotton’s pina colada.
Although it’s away from the ever-busy heart of Camden, Fifty-Five is party central. Its dog-leg terrace spread over a corner, the bar fills with a loud crowd of late teens here to breeze through happy hour and beyond. Two-fers are offered on cocktails during happy hours; no wonder it gets a little boisterous.
For a small place this bar manages to pack in a lot of fun. Whatever genre the DJ's spinning (usually old rock 'n' roll tunes) the dancefloor will be full of people having a late-night boogie. The bar kicks back until 3am every night of the week, so swing (sometimes literally) by when your Camden crawl doesn’t show signs of slowing.
This first-floor boathouse-like venue makes great use of its location. It’s occasionally hired for private parties but when it’s open to all, you can gaze over the twinkling lights around the lock and the bobbing barges as you knock back Boilermakers. If it’s too nippy, the interior is long and artily loft-like.
Venue says The next in our series of Big Summer Weekends kicks off this Friday and features one of our all time favourites, Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum!
Feel the heat at Made in Brasil, where the caipirinhas keep on coming – they mix 12 different versions of the cachaça-based drink here. Happy hour is all day long on Tuesdays (or just between the hours of 4pm and 7pm the rest of the week) – luckily they serve up trad Brazilian meats and stews if you need help soaking up those cocktails.
This venue was once stables for horses who were injured pulling barges along the nearby canals. Nowadays, the 200-year-old, Grade II-listed horse hospital plays host to far less lame attractions, focusing on Radio 1-ish indie-electro and synth-pop for its young crowd. It’s a gallery space by day and there’s a roof garden bar to get lost in too, so if multi-faceted drinking is your thing, wear it with pride here.
The outlook on life at Trufflesecco is pretty glitzy for Camden. The bar wants to shower its punters in prosecco and truffles (not the choc kind). The truffles are laced into bar snacks and heftier dishes, and they even serve prosecco cheese and truffle cheese. As for the bubbles, there are four different varieties available by the glass.