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London’s best nightclubs

From sweaty warehouse rave venues to towering nightlife monoliths, here are London’s best nightclubs

Written by
Time Out London Nightlife
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With London’s nightlife given the all-clear to begin its renaissance after Monday July 19, it’s time to swap the sweatpants and slippers for real outfits again and rediscover the city’s eclectic clubbing scene. It won’t take you long to remember that London’s nocturnal playground has it all – whether you want to let loose to the best in underground techno and house, be entertained by big-name DJs at globally acclaimed clubbing institutions or dance the night away at great LGBTQ+ spaces. 

RECOMMENDED: The best music festivals in London in 2021.

London’s best clubs

  • Clubs
  • Farringdon

Over its 16+ years, Fabric has established itself as one of London's clubbing landmarks – a reputation built through consistently high quality programming that showcases all strands of the UK's electronic music underground.

Printworks
  • Nightlife
  • Canada Water

Finally, after a destructive few years, there’s some encouraging news for London’s party people. London has a huge new 5,000-capacity music and culture space. Printworks is a few minutes’ walk from Canada Water station. It’s essentially a massive industrial complex that used to be where newspapers including the Daily Mail were printed. But don’t let that put you off...

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XOYO
  • Music
  • Music venues
  • Shoreditch

Established in 2010, this excellent Shoreditch venue quickly cemented itself as one of the most on-point clubbing spaces and gig venues in London, thanks to a booking selection that ignored genre and simply focused on quality.

  • Music
  • Southwark

A hugely welcome addition to London's music and nightlife ecosystem, this newish two-roomed venue has a fantastic arched main room, replete with exposed brick work. The bar room also doubles as a second room for club nights – and on the right night can feel like an absolute riot.

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Phonox
  • Clubs
  • House, disco and techno
  • Brixton

This Brixton club has a similar feel to XOYO: a sleek, dark dance cavern with plenty of space for dancing, and the programming leans very much towards the leftfield side of dance music – don't expect cheesy '80s nights here, it's quality, underground house, techno, disco and bass all the way. 

Dalston Superstore
  • Clubs
  • Dalston

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: popular with a large and diverse LGBTQ+ crowd, but welcoming to all and everyone.

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Village Underground
  • Music
  • Music venues
  • Shoreditch

You can't miss Village Underground thanks to the four brightly coloured, graffiti-covered tube carriages, now artists' studios, perched on its roof. Their renovated Victorian warehouse space hosts exhibitions, concerts theatre, live art and – most impressive of all – some amazing club nights.

  • Nightlife
  • Bethnal Green

This industrial-ish space in Tower Hamlets is owned by the same team that run Oval Space. Sitting directly opposite that venue, TPF did indeed used to operate as a working pickle factory, but after being used for foodie pop-ups and exhibitions in 2013, Oval Space have fully revamped the intimate venue as an excellent club and live music space.

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  • Music
  • Music venues
  • Hackney

A hip nightspot in Hackney from the team who run the Shacklewell Arms and Lock Tavern, Moth Club is a former trade hall that houses a military veterans’ club alongside its hipper clientele. It borrows its name from the Memorable Order of Tin Hats, an order of ex-military servicemen and women who still regularly meet and drink at the venue under a motto of ‘True Comradeship, Mutual Help and Sound Memory’. Regardless of the recent refurbishment of the club, these words continue to ring true, right down to the last commemorative plaque, preserving the original feel of the club.  Well, almost. By a stroke of creative brilliance, the venue's backroom has been entirely covered in gold glitter, a look which somehow works remarkably well with the retro, dated interior. It really does need to be seen in all its spangly glory to be believed.

VFD
  • Nightlife
  • Alternative nightlife
  • Dalston

Formerly (and still commonly) known as Vogue Fabrics, this bijou Dalston basement hosts drag and spoken word events as well as genre-spanning club nights and parties. As its name suggests, it attracts a creative and fashion-conscious LGBTQ+ crowd who love to dress up (though no one will really care if you rock up in sneakers and a polo top). VFD has the chutzpah to host club nights with names like Cuntmafia and Sassitude, but never takes itself too seriously. After all, the venue’s most famous feature is the massive penis mural in the loos.

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