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The best bars in Shoreditch
A bar in the cellar of a popular pub, within a building that was once HQ for sewing-machine manufacturer Singer. Get tangled up in classic cocktails done well in one of 5cc’s many darkened nooks.
A stripped-back basement cocktail bar in Spitalfields serving drinks without the gimmicks – every tipple is a bright, clean and flawless classic. You’ll want to make every drop count. The crowd is fun, and there are plenty of darkened nooks to cosy up in. Bar magic, pure and simple.
This bar looks like a science lab and lives beneath a Scandi smokehouse restaurant. So far, so Shoreditch. But with a Nordic-flavoured cocktail menu created by drinks whizz Talented Mr Fox, nothing is run of the mill here.
Yes, it’s all about the beer at Brewdog’s Shoreditch outpost, but it’s got far more of a bar vibe than pub. Hole up in a wooden booth with your friends and get stuck into craft beers from around the land. Oh, and the Aberdeenshire brewers’ own famed sauce, of course.
You know what all other bars are missing? A massive hunk of oak tree sawn in half, laid flat and used as a vessel for two whisky rivers. And there are plenty more clever things happening with the brown stuff in this dark, brooding basement. Whisky never looked so good.
Japanese whisky is put on a pedestal at Bull in a China Shop, a lively, grungy bar at the foot of Shoreditch High Street. They serve Scotch too, but it’s Nikka From The Barrel you should seek out. Pair it with rotisserie chicken for a unique spin on Shoreditch.
Forget the cocktail umbrella. CTC goes the extra mile when serving up tipples to fun-loving punters. Expect oddly shaped vessels, props and flames – and never to the detriment of flavour. Come for piano nights, where hip hop classics get a twist.
Drift up towards Hoxton and then sneak underground for what is still many a bartender’s favourite bar. Cocktails at Happiness Forgets are faultless, decor is minimal and service is fun. Bag a seat up at the bar for maximum impact.
And here you were thinking the whole speakeasy thing was so 2010. Well, it kind of is. That’s when Nightjar opened and blew all other speakeasies out of the water. It’s still a bucket-list bar. Book ahead for a night of Jazz-era glitz and mind-boggling Prohibition-tinged drinks.
Forget the luck of the Irish. Shoreditch locals are the lucky ones now, having Nuala Bar open up on their doorstep for Guinness, whiskey cocktails and strong glasses of delicious punch. There’s a daily dose of live acoustic music to really get the party going. A craic-ing spot for a drink.
For a touch of ye olde London, make a pit stop at the Whistling Shop, an old-school cocktail joint below ground. The dim room is lit by an ominous lamppost in the middle of the room, but only good things can come of the often-creative cocktails served up in this Victoriana setting.