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Late-night bars and pubs
Photograph: Time Out/Luke O'Brien

Late-night bars and pubs in London

Party time! Hit up these bars and pubs in the capital that stay open way past midnight

Sarah Cohen
Written by
Laura Richards
&
Sarah Cohen
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There’s no night tube right now and clubs are still closed, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have after-hours fun in London. To help you avoid the hapless post-midnight plod around town looking for more liquor, consult our list of late-night bars and pubs in London that rounds up all the capital’s drinking spots that stay open into the wee small hours, arranged by closing time. There’s even a couple that never close at all. Cocktail hour can be any hour in London.

RECOMMENDED: The 50 best cocktail bars in London.

Late-night bars in London

Aces and Eights
  • Comedy
  • Tufnell Park

Until 1am

Tufnell Park has a welcoming dive bar in Aces and Eights, where rock ’n’ roll plays on the jukebox, pizzas fly from the oven and whiskys are served by the dozen. With all that party to be had, it's a ruddy good job Aces and Eights stays open until 1am every day.

  • Bars and pubs
  • Gastropubs
  • Finsbury Park

Until 1am

There are a few beacons of hope along Seven Sisters Road, such as the Bedford Tavern. It attracts a mixed crowd of long-time residents and younger newcomers to Finsbury Park. All seem to be completely at home in the darkly painted room, drinking craft beers into the early hours.

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Black Rock
  • Bars and pubs
  • Cocktail bars
  • Moorgate
  • price 3 of 4

Until 1am

Looking for the ultimate nightcap? You've come to the right place. Black Rock is a small whisky bar with a great USP, housing an old oak tree that acts as a table but also doubles as a vessel for two 'whisky rivers' you can drink from. Dram, girl.

The Blues Kitchen Camden
  • Music
  • Camden Town
  • price 2 of 4

Until 1am

This iconic Camden venue has live jazz and DJs until 1am on Fridays and Saturdays. There are around 50 bourbons in a variety of categories, so you probably need all that time to ‘explore’ the extensive menu.

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Bunga Bunga
  • Bars and pubs
  • Battersea
  • price 2 of 4

Until 1am

A kitsch, tongue-in-cheek bar that pays homage to the playful side of Italy, with party-animal PM Silvio Berlusconi as the poster boy. It seems natural, then, that this bar would stay open late – although if you’re expecting an all-night Italian love-in, you’re sure to be disappointed.

Burlock
  • Bars and pubs
  • Cocktail bars
  • Marylebone
  • price 3 of 4

Until 1am

If you’re looking to end things on a gentle note, lull yourself into a very relaxed state at this low-lit Marylebone bar dedicated to rum. Get all blissed out on rum cocktails and feel totally tropical in the faux-Colonial Cuban setting.

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Dogstar
  • Nightlife
  • Late-night bars
  • Brixton

Until 1am

A Brixton institution from back when Coldharbour Lane was somewhere people feared to go, Dogstar is a big, three-floor street-corner pub exuding the urban authenticity loved by clubbers. Earning the accolade of being London’s first ever DJ bar, Dogstar has managed to sustain a loyal following over the decades. The atmosphere can be intense, but it’s never less than vibrant. Get down early to avoid a door charge.

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Murder Inc
  • Bars and pubs
  • Cocktail bars
  • Tottenham Court Road
  • price 2 of 4

Until 1am

A gangster-themed watering hole slap-bang in the centre of town, you could get up to some mischief at Murder Inc. The emphasis is on bang-for-your-buck cocktails in a slightly clandestine setting. The lights are set suitabably low for some late-night imbibing.

Rockwell
  • Bars and pubs
  • Hotel bars
  • Trafalgar Square
  • price 3 of 4

Until 1am

Go on a post-midnight safari at Rockwell. The bar is decked out with so much plantlife, it’s practically a jungle. It’s also in a prime position, just off Trafalgar Square, so you can continue your central London quaffing until 1am – and in serious style.

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The Tiger
  • Bars and pubs
  • Camberwell
  • price 1 of 4

Until 1am

This Camberwell pub is dear to the hearts of locals, who voted it runner-up in the Time Out Love London Awards. That’s in part thanks to late opening hours come Friday and Saturday, with DJs often providing ample entertainment.

Tonight Josephine
  • Bars and pubs
  • Cocktail bars
  • Waterloo
  • price 2 of 4

Until 1am

If you’re feeling a bit drowsy post-midnight, hit this Waterloo bar plastered in neon and glowing from head to toe. It’s one hell of a wake-up, as are its sugary drinks from a playful cocktail menu and its tongue-in-cheek music selection... at least, we hope it’s supposed to be tongue-in-cheek.

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  • Bars and pubs
  • Cocktail bars
  • Tottenham
  • price 2 of 4

Until 1.30am

This Tottenham cocktail spot is as cool as they come. At the weekends, DJs playing everything from funk and soul to deep house tempt in crowds of fashionable locals. Be there with them until 1.30am.

  • Bars and pubs
  • Cocktail bars
  • Soho
  • price 3 of 4

Until 2am

Fancy a bit of late-night role play in Soho? No, you filthbag, not like that! Get your name down at Cahoots, the subterranean cocktail den based around a 1940s tube theme. If you get there late at night, just be sure to mind the gap.

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Four Quarters South
  • Bars and pubs
  • Sports bars
  • Peckham
  • price 1 of 4

Until 2am

A dedicated classic and retro arcade games bar, Four Quarters is the place to go if you want to brush up on your Street Fighter II skills or just revel in nostalgia by playing Pac Man until your eyes go square. They certainly will if you’re playing until 2am.

The Gibson
  • Bars and pubs
  • Cocktail bars
  • Old Street
  • price 3 of 4

Until 2am

Creative cocktails served in crazy glassware, a 1920s theme with flapper girl service and a modest look lit by flickering candles. There’s a lot to love about this Clerkenwell hangout. And it stays open until 2am at weekends.

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  • Bars and pubs
  • Cocktail bars
  • Camden Town
  • price 2 of 4

Until 2am

The fun decor of the Camden party palace definitely suits a late-night rendezvous. Bag you and your pals the cocoon chairs and rock the night away in style.

  • Bars and pubs
  • Cocktail bars
  • Hoxton
  • price 2 of 4

Until 2am

Nightjar opened in 2010 and has become such a huge success that it now operates an online-only booking system, and charges your credit card if you don’t show up. It takes away much of the spontaneity of late-night drinking, but it truly deserves its reputation as one of London's best bars – so book ahead. 

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Ninth Life
  • Bars and pubs
  • Pubs
  • Catford

Until 2am

Catford’s circus-themed nightspot channels a festival theme (it’s a pub with its own artistic director, no less). As such, grab some street-food snacks and then stay up late in among the acrobats and actors.  

Old St Records
  • Bars and pubs
  • Cocktail bars
  • Old Street

Until 2am

A popular bar in the heart of Shoreditch. Great for group outings, especially if you’re up for live music and sharing pizzas.

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Oriole
  • Bars and pubs
  • Cocktail bars
  • Smithfield
  • price 3 of 4

Until 2am

If you're looking for a touch of glam on your late-night escapades, hit up Oriole in the Smithfield neighbourhood. It’s a tropical underground hangout and the cocktails are out of this world. You can expect live jazz at this hour, too.

  • Bars and pubs
  • Gastropubs
  • Homerton
  • price 2 of 4

Until 2am

The USP at this Homerton spot is that it’s completely animal-free – from its vegan menu to its conscious candles and non-leather upholstery. So a little bit of late-night sinning that won’t have you feeling too guilty the morning after. For weekends, it brings DJs into the mix for even more good vibes.

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The Tiger
  • Bars and pubs
  • Gastropubs
  • Homerton
  • price 2 of 4

Until 2am

Pizza, squishy leather sofas and Fifa on the big screen all make The Tiger feel like your home away from home. But the booze is infinitely better – from craft beer to sour cocktails. If you’re indulging in an after-hours party here, rest assured that the atmosphere is buzzy.

Laki Kane
  • Bars and pubs
  • Cocktail bars
  • Islington
  • price 2 of 4

Until 2.30am

If you find yourself washed up in north London in the wee hours, you should definitely say aloha to Laki Kane. The Upper Street bar has a tiki theme, a beachy soundtrack and more rum than you can shake a sugar cane at. Ideal for some late-night good vibrations.

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Moonshine Minnie’s
  • Bars and pubs
  • Cocktail bars
  • Shoreditch
  • price 2 of 4

Until 2.30am

A semi-speakeasy in Shoreditch is always worth knowing about, especially when it stays open until 2.30am on Saturdays (2am on Fridays). This one lives below Blues Kitchen and serves up cocktails with some kick to them – the Mezcal Margarita is one to seek out, a smoky drink that suits after-dark sipping.

Prince of Peckham
  • Bars and pubs
  • Pubs
  • Peckham
  • price 2 of 4

Until 2.30am

There's a lively roster of events at this Queen’s Road Peckham pub, as well as a menu of jerk chicken treats to fuel you until the wee hours. Get on the dance floor for hip hop, R&B and disco nights that suit the young neighbourhood pretty well.

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Troy 22
  • Bars and pubs
  • Tottenham Court Road
  • price 1 of 4

Until 2.30am

A cheesy soundtrack of dancefloor fillers and, um, Queen hits keeps central London party people going until 2.30am on Fridays and Saturdays and 1.30am during the week. People clamber up the stairs to the first floor for a boogie once other Soho and Fitzrovia joints have long shut up shop for the day.

Dalston Superstore
  • Clubs
  • Dalston

Until 3am

This Kingsland High Street hangout is a bit of a face on the east London party scene. In true Dalston style it’s home to all sorts: popular with a large and diverse LGBTQ+ crowd, but welcoming to all and everyone. DJs – mostly local, many well-known – keep feet dancing with sets from Wednesday through to Sunday.

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  • Bars and pubs
  • Cocktail bars
  • Soho
  • price 3 of 4

Until 3am

This members’ bar takes walk-ins, so come on down and try getting a seat in one of the plushest-looking subterranean bars in central London. Disrepute is all about cocktails, and you can order something from a rather enigmatic menu or get the bar staff to whip you up a late-night Martini. Best of all, it stays open until 3am throughout the week, not just at weekends.

El Camion
  • Restaurants
  • Mexican
  • Soho

Until 3am

El Camion is Mexican-themed but, unlike the kitsch Baja Californian restaurant above – where you can corral generous burritos, tortas and tacos – it’s more a discerning basement drinking den downstairs where Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) iconography sits above a series of snugs. There’s swift and smiling table service and it’s open late. 

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Experimental Cocktail Club
  • Bars and pubs
  • Cocktail bars
  • Chinatown
  • price 3 of 4

Until 3am

A buzzing three-floor joint filled with trendy groups and dating couples absorbed in lively chatter. The door policy is a little strict at times, so perhaps it’s not best suited for spontaneous trips. But if you’re planning a late-night soiree, book a table and sip on outstanding cocktails.   

Martello Hall
  • Bars and pubs
  • Cocktail bars
  • London Fields
  • price 2 of 4

Until 3am

This couldn't be a more on-trend hangout if it tried – a gin distillery on Mare Street occupying the site of the former London Fields pub. Decor is artfully distressed, and so will you be at 3am when the bar closes.

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Opium
  • Bars and pubs
  • Cocktail bars
  • Chinatown
  • price 2 of 4

Until 3am

The design of this Chinatown cocktail bar and dim sum parlour is Eastern smoking den meets Western hipster hangout, great for a late-night rendezvous. Come for theatrical cocktails until 3am at the weekend, with quality dim sum served up until 2.45am.

Ridley Road Market Bar
  • Bars and pubs
  • Cocktail bars
  • Dalston
  • price 2 of 4

Until 3am

Open until 3am on Fridays and Saturdays, Ridley Road Market Bar always has a queue winding down the road as soon as night falls. But it’s well worth the wait to get a spot on the dancefloor underneath the mirrorball for a spot of cosmic disco. Grab a ginger mojito and let the good times roll.

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The Shacklewell Arms
  • Music
  • Music venues
  • Dalston

Until 3am

The Shacklewell is usually crowded but generally convivial, welcoming a hipster-ish crowd to gigs seven nights a week. There are also club nights, magazine launches and afterparties, all benefitting from a late licence (the pub stays open until 3am on Fridays and Saturdays).

Simmons King’s Cross
  • Bars and pubs
  • Holloway

Until 3am

This DJ bar still attracts a studenty, music-savvy crowd to what looks like a cross between an old-style corner newsagents and a Shoreditch-like retro bar. Fantastic Four comic albums, board games in tatty boxes and furniture both wobbly and ratty are juxtaposed with a disco ball and a United Nations of beer cans on display. As for actual liquid nectar, drinks include cocktails and taps of Amstel and Tiger atop a tiny bar, behind which packets of Refreshers and Wizz Fizz offer childhood allure.

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Slim Jim’s Liquor Store
  • Bars and pubs
  • Angel

Until 3am

Few bars stay open late all days of the week the way Slim Jim’s Liquor Store does. This Upper Street haunt is alive and kicking until 2am from Monday to Wednesday, and then keeps its doors open until 3am from Thursday to Saturday. This makes a 1am closing time on Sunday look modest (it’s really not in Islington!). Drop in for DJs, cocktails and quality whiskies.

The George Tavern
  • Bars and pubs
  • Stepney

Until 3.30am

The George Tavern is thought to be one of the oldest pubs in London, with the current building dating back to the Georgian era. The historic feel has been meticulously preserved, making it a late-night spot that’s full of character (and characters). 

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  • Restaurants
  • Global
  • Soho
  • price 2 of 4

Until 4am

Balans is famed for moving seamlessly from dinner in the evening to late-night sessions to early-morning imbibing. A good selection of the global wine list is available by the glass, including champagne. But cocktails prove most popular, with frozen daiquiris and various Martinis alongside an apple and elderflower Collins, a passion fruit and pineapple Swizzle and a Monkey Gland: Broker's Gin, absinthe, orange juice and grenadine.

The Dolphin
  • Bars and pubs
  • Pubs
  • Hackney

Until 4am

Perhaps Mare Street’s late-night booze house The Dolphin is notorious for all the wrong reasons, but for many, it’s an end-of-the-night institution worth saving (thousands signed a petition to stop its closure). Open until 4am and with the cheesiest tunes in the area, it’s always party o’clock here.

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Bar Italia
  • Restaurants
  • Italian
  • Soho
  • price 1 of 4

Until 5am

One of London’s few famed 5am-ers, this historic Soho café was established in 1949 by Lou and Caterina Polledri, and quickly became a social hub for the Italian community in London. Despite several upgrades to the decor, much of the original fixtures still remain, from the red-and-white formica to the Gaggia espresso machine and the flooring.

  • Restaurants
  • British
  • Liverpool Street

24 hours

Immediately opposite the main entrance to Liverpool Street station, this 24-hour café also serves local craft beers, English ciders and wines. It’s probably more convenient for a late-night feed than for getting tanked up, but there’s no denying its convenient location.

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VQ
  • Restaurants
  • Chelsea

24 hours

This original VQ on Fulham Road – there’s another just off Tottenham Court Road, plus one in Aldgate – brings 24-hour dining to Chelsea. It’s been going for nearly 20 years, with its success not just down to all those people popping in after other local spots have kicked out. If you are stopping by later in the night, drinks – ranging from classic and house cocktails to draught beers and wines from a varied list – are available till late.

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