The 50 best cocktail bars in London

We've ranked the mixmasters making the finest cocktails in town. Scroll on discover London's best cocktail bars

So many cocktails, so little time. So just stick to the best cocktail bars in London by using our ranked list below. You'll find everything from dark and dirty speakeasy joints and secret bars to bold and brash party spots meant for a night out on the tiles. What they all have in common is mixed drinks that will blow your mind – and hopefully not your budget.

London’s very best cocktail bars: ranked

50

Hester's Hideout

Venue says: “A hidden speakeasy in Exmouth market, with 1930s jazz, burlesque shows, and cocktails starting from £8. What are you waiting for?”

What’s the vibe? A razzle-dazzle cabaret bar in an Exmouth Market basement.

When to visit Friday and Saturday night burlesque and acrobatic shows are a great accompaniment to cocktails.

What’s on the menu? Long-lost drink recipes are brought bang up to date. Try the Bread and Salt and prepare to have your mind as twisted as those acrobats’ bodies.

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Clerkenwell
49

Permit Room

What’s the vibe? Post-colonial drinking palace below Dishoom with just a touch of the speakeasy about it.

When to visit Off-peak times when you can sneak in for a gin.

What’s on the menu? Gin-based drinks with a warm and spicy twist.

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King's Cross
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48

Mr Fogg's

What's the vibe? Victorian explorer’s curiosity-filled abode, with spiffing cocktails.

When to visit For a feast for the eyes as well as the taste buds.

What’s on the menu? The sense of frivolity extends to the cocktail menu, but all drinks are made with real skill.

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Mayfair
47

Bloomsbury Club Bar

Venue says: “Hide away from the busy city and relax in our secret garden, with your favourite refreshing cocktail to cool down in this glorious weather.”

What’s the vibe? Unstuffy hotel bar with an English-gents-club-meets-library look, the cabinets filled with booze rather than books.

When to visit Early evening when a jazz duo twangs away by the door – pull up a stool at the bar for drinks with a view.

What’s on the menu? Sip on a Virginia Woolf. The bar names its cocktails after literary greats from the Bloomsbury Set.

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Bloomsbury
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46

Callooh Callay

Venue says: “Winner of the 'world's best high volume bar' at the 2016 Spirited Awards. Open seven days a week 6pm-1am. Cocktail classes also available.”

What's the vibe? A quirky but classy hideout serving some of the best cocktails in east London.

When to visit: If you want to avoid the masses when out on a big one in the 'Ditch.

What’s on the menu? Flavours from all around the world. 

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Shoreditch
45

Experimental Cocktail Club

What's the vibe? A hidden speakeasy with as much substance as style.

When to visit One of those special occasions when splurging on cocktails is just what you want to do.

What’s on the menu? Stunningly balanced cocktails, many with vintage spirits.

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Chinatown
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44

First Aid Box

What’s the vibe? Rocking apothecary with white-tiled walls and pharmaceutical gear. You’re sure to get hooked.

When to visit On a Friday or Saturday night when it’s strictly playtime. See if you can find their secret bar within a bar, Blinder.

What’s on the menu? Doctor’s orders: get yourself a Brockwell Park Bramble, which comes with a syringe of Chambord. Feeling better?

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Herne Hill
43

Below the Cut

What’s the vibe? World class cocktails below a steak restaurant in Fulham.

When to visit Skip dessert at Hanger SW6 and hit up Below the Cut for afters instead.

What’s on the menu? Bacon-infused bourbon in the Hanger Old Fashioned. Have the Lemon Cheesecake for afters (in cocktail form, of course).

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Fulham Broadway
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42

Dickie's Bar

What’s the vibe? Upscale bar within Corrigan’s restaurant filled with wild safari prints.

When to visit When you find yourself thirsty in Mayfair and don’t fancy the typical hotel lobby.

What’s on the menu? Knockout originals with ingredients sourced from Richard Corrigan’s Irish farm.

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Mayfair
41

Ruby's

What's the vibe? Artfully disheveled basement bar filled with artfully disheveled east Londoners.

When to visit When you want to add a shot of glamour to your night out in Dalston.

What's on the menu? Creative cocktails served in style, garnished with one eye on Instagram.

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Shacklewell
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Find more amazing places to drink in London

London’s best wine bars

Forget starchy and old-fashioned. London’s best wine bars are bringing the humble grape to cool crowds of discerning drinkers. Find cosy, bistro-style settings, sophisticated bars that are great for date night, or hip Hackney hangouts where wine is the drink du jour. Discover everything from natural wines to grapes from far-flung vineyards, plus service from knowledgeable, approachable staff. One thing is for certain, you’ll find more than a bargain bin Sauv Blanc at these great little grape-peddlers.

Read more
By: Laura Richards

Comments

25 comments
Caroline M

Wish you can have this in a better format as i.e in areas of London so all bars, restaurants are shown in each area such as Covent garden, borough market etc 

Jason James

Bar Termini wins hands down. It's a bugger to get into but it's always worth the wait. Amazing old fashioneds and martinis. 

Dijana K

It's articles like this that contributes to gentrification. To put ridley road in dalston on the top 50 cocktail bars is absolute bull. £5 for a mohito in a plastic cup yes. And tourists will be robed and stared out of locals. Welcome! 

Michaela M

Cartier off Bond Street most beautiful bar with decor that's elegant - great wine and cocktails. Comfortable bar - intimate and also secret hidden room is good for a larger group / party. My favourite.

Greg S

Where's Opium in Chinatown?

Amy

There's a new little cocktail bar on Liverpool Street called W.M Barker & Co, it's underground right beneath the pub Dirty Dicks and they do AMAZING cocktails. On Thursday, Fri and Sat they're open till 3am and it's free entry as well... great place! 

Gabriele G

Went to Zetter last weekend  -  fantastic experience. Will be going back with anyone coming to visit me.

Alfred s

The vault soho should def be on this list

Martin S

Gilbert and Scott do amazing cocktails.

Paul P

Don't forget R.S. Hispaniola and the Upper Deck Bar.  The cocktail list is great and great views opposite the London Eye.

Jeff M

It’s interesting that none of the THREE London bars shortlisted in the top four, “best new international cocktail bars in the world” by the drinks industry biggest international award “The Spirited Awards” hosted in New Orleans last year are even mentioned on this list - Blind Pig, White Lion and NOLA are all absent... While most of the other bars on this list are great the author definitely needs to get out more...

RichardEhrlich moderator

@Jeff M Thanks for your comment, Jeff. I'd just like to point out that White Lyan is on our list.

Riccardo

Colony Club in Mayfair definetly one of the best bars.

Dave still

I have to say that one of the best up and coming cocktail bars in London is 214 Bermondsey Gin and cocktail bar on Bermondsey Street. It is equidistant from London Bridge and Borough and is serving up really good quality cocktails at a good price in a really mellow environment. If you are into your Gin then I would get down there. They even make there own tonic water!

Xoni

the best bar Bluebird bar kings road Chelsea all new signature and fresh fruit cocktail and so many type of the glassware

Brice

Central & Co, just opposite Carnaby street, has a small but great cocktail list in it's basement bar. They also take you on a journey through flavours as all the spirits are unbranded and described for you by their flavour profiles. I thought it was a great experience.

Sarah Jouan

Apres London next to selfridges is one of the best cocktail bar you can find in london town. Not sure why it is not in your classement. The drinks & the service are great and its bouncing every nights with Dj or Live music

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Adam Weston

For a unique cocktail experience, check out Tart Bar & Restaurant! Sitauated a few minutes away from Farringdon Tube station, Tart Bar features both an impressive conventional cocktail menu, as well as their own special "Tartinis" Menu. These unique cocktails provide an interesting infusion of alcohol and tasty deserts! Available for private hire, and sporting a 4am license, Tart is an exceptional night out!

Suzanne Oakley

For a great cocktail experience South of the River try House of Tippler cocktail bar & kitchen. Situated in the heart of lively Lordship Lane East Dulwich, H.o.T is a friendly independently run neighbourhood cocktail bar and kitchen. The drinks list has been carefully created to offer a unique twist on all the classics. Try the Tippler Martini served in a mini martini glass with the remainder of the drink in baby carafe on ice to keep it cool! The Tapas style food menu is designed to compliment the drinks list with seasonal specials and locally inspired ingredients are used to create a menu of small plates designed for sharing. Try the grilled Bavette steak, trompette mushrooms, sauce vierge - amazing! Open late at weekends with live music every Friday and DJs on Saturdays. Great space for hire for parties too! There's also a neat little back garden for al fresco dining in the Summer months and the Sunday roasts and Bloody Marys are to-die-for!

Reese Wither Smith

This list is incomplete without best Cocktail Bar in City of London- Anise. Famous for spice infused cocktails, small and affordable bar food and Live music on occassions. Tucked in the Devonshire square 2 minutes from London Liverpool Street, it is a must try institution for great cocktails, atmosphere and reasonable prices.www.anisebar.com and the adjacent best Indian restaurant Cinnamon Kitchen.

Danni

The new Jamies Wine Bar on St Martins Lane does excellent cocktails- and most of them are £4.50 between 5pm and 9pm!!!

barmen pirate

my name is yılmaz if you wist that name off ı gıve you my name you can fıne lots diffrent cocktail end ı can hel you for everythıng you want ın there end about anythıng you want you can ask