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Printworks by Carolina Farualo

50 best nights out in London

From super-clubs and queer techno raves to late-night yoga and cosy pub quizzes, we present our pick of the absolute best places to spend your evenings

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London nightlife is back with a vengeance after emerging from the lockdowns of the last few years. Fresh club nights are popping up, new venues are opening, and the vibes have been near immaculate. But London nightlife is more than just clubbing. It’s also poetry readings, pub quizzes, night-time running groups and drag shows. It’s sticky-floored bars, late-night cinema screenings and 24-hour kebab shops.

The problem is, we’re spoiled for choice. That’s why we’ve done the hard work for you, and have put together the top nights out in London right now. So whether you want to try something completely new or just feel like re-visiting the classics, these 50 best nights out in London offer something for everyone. 

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🎉 The 100 best party songs ever made

The Best Nights Out in London

KOKO Electronic
Photograph: Sam Neil

1. KOKO Electronic

In case you’ve not heard the news, Koko is back, bitches. And apparently, it’s better than ever. The iconic Camden music venue has launched its series of club nights, with an epic roster of DJs and artists lined up to keep you dancing into the early hours of the weekend. 

Koko, NW1 7JE. 

Bimini Bon Boulash has launched their very own club night, and it’s an absolute scorcher. A celebration of self-expression and freedom, House of Trash takes place at the late-night labrinth that is Electrowerkz and spins the trashiest disco tunes to get your booty moving. It sells out fast though, so make sure you’re on it with booking tickets well in advance. Not a joke, just a fact. 

Electrowerkz, 7 Torrens St, EC1V 1NQ.

 

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Shameless at Oslo
  • Music
  • Music venues
  • Hackney

Occupying the 140-year-old former railway building that was once Hackney Central station, Oslo is a double-decker late night boozer that opened in 2014. Downstairs hosts midweek quizzes, record fairs and craft markets and upstairs is a gig and club venue with a capacity of 375. Up-and-coming bands and DJs regularly make appearances on the schedule, alongside two legendary club nights: Friday’s Shameless (Proper Y2K pop) which doubles as a karaoke den in the green room and Saturday’s Locomotive Disco (house, disco, techno and funk).

1A Amhurst Rd, E8 1LL.

Black Owned Hackney Market
  • Things to do
  • Food and drink events

London’s best Black-owned street food purveyors, artisan traders and many more of the best Black-owned businesses in the capital will be selling everything from meaty barbequed treats and plant-based burgers to sustainably-made clothing and skincare in a former tram shed. Grab a glass of rum punch and shop the night away.

Bohemia Place Markets, Hackney. 

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  • Clubs
  • Clapham

It’s south London’s most notorious trash den. Known for its banterous clientele, cheesy music and a smell that will last up to four washes, Infernos its a must for any big night out. With multiple rooms, light-up dancefloors and even a fish tank, this club experience is character building at its finest. And while you might not enjoy the experience at the time, you will have excellent stories to tell your mates the next day.

Infernos, 146 Clapham High St, SW4 7UH.

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  • Nightlife
  • Alternative nightlife
  • Dalston

Formerly (and still commonly) known as Vogue Fabrics, Dalston disco den VFD hosts drag and spoken word events as well as genre-spanning club nights and parties. Look out for the massive penis mural in the loos. 

VFD, 66 Stoke Newington Rd, N16 7XB.

 

A space designed for London’s queer community, Crossbreed is basically one big, body-positive, sex-positive rave. The dress code and door policy is strict (think fetish gear, lingerie, latex and anything theatrical), but once you’re inside, anything and everything goes (within the party rules, that is). 

Colour Factory, 8 Queen's Yard, E9 5EN.

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Club de Fromage

Held every Saturday at the 800-capacity O2 Academy Islington, Club de Fromage is the stuff of London party legend. As its name suggests, the music policy is as cheesy as a quattro formaggi: come for wall-to-wall throwback bangers from the likes of Britney and Bon Jovi.

16 Parkfield St, The Angel, London N1 0PS.

  • Shopping
  • Music and entertainment
  • Shepherd’s Bush

The vinyl revival is still going strong and Next Door Records on Uxbridge Road shop is the latest place to get your wax fix. Not an audiophile obsessive? The café, bottle shop and live performances mean it’s likely to be your new favourite hangout – whether you know what a 45 is or not.

Next Door Records, 304 Uxbridge Rd, W12 7LJ.

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Prince Charles Cinema All Nighter
SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

11. Prince Charles Cinema All Nighter

Want to stay up all night watching movies and eating sweets? The only place to do it outside of your own gaff is at a Prince Charles Cinema All Nighter. Bring your best pyjamas, plenty of snacks (and maybe some Pro Plus) as you embark on a dreamy night of themed back-to-back films from 9pm until 9am. 

Prince Charles Cinema, 7 Leicester Pl, London WC2H 7BY.

 

Spending your night in a multi-storey car park might not sound like the ideal night out, but Peckham Levels isn’t your average motor-filled concrete block. Instead, it’s packed with food vendors dishing up mouth-watering street food from all over the world, including Plantain Kitchen's West African eats, Beza Ethiopia’s vegan smorgasbord and Boxwallah’s twists on Delhi-inspired classics. 

Floor 1-6, Peckham Town Centre Carpark, 95a Rye Lane SE15 4ST.

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If you’re after unpretentious clubbing, you can experience a stellar lineup for a reasonable price in an east London strip club turned disco den. It promises disco dancing at its most pure: steamy, sexy, and completely unfiltered. 

Metropolis, E2 9NN. 

South London party people Rhythm Section throw high-energy nights across London, exploring the sounds of garage, soul, house and all things electronic. Curated by Rhythm Section label head Bradley Zero, expect high energy, big bass, and splintering beats.

Various locations.

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Pxssy Palace

It’s hard to overstate the influence of Pxssy Palace, which ‘prioritises women and femmes of colour and other queer, intersex and trans POC’. Booking DJs often ignored by the mainstream, PP has shifted the paradigm big time. Keep an eye on @pxssypalace for updates on events and tickets. 

Various venues.

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We should all be trying to do better by the environment and The Chiswick Cinema make it easy. The area’s first cinema since 1934 is a dedicated eco-friendly space, with not a piece of single-use plastic in sight. Refreshments are all compostable and recyclable, while there’s even a living wall that offers a biodiverse habitat for local wildlife. Leonardo DiCaprio would approve. 

94-96 Chiswick High Road, Chiswick W4 1SH.

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Dust off your dancing shoes for a night of old-school singalongs with this epic musical clash between Swedish pop royalty and Fleetwood Mac. Unfortunately we can’t guarantee IRL performances, but the DJ will do their best to spin you into a similar state of disco-induced euphoria. 

Various locations.

Apples and Snakes

One of the UK’s most vibrant poetry organisations, Apples and Snakes is not so much an intimidating gathering in a bookshop as a place for rallying, edge-of-your-seat performance. From poetry readings to Brexit debates, there’s no fruit that’s forbidden here. Events pop up everywhere from Brighton to Bristol, check out their website for upcoming London nights.

Various venues. 

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A true source of Peckham pride, multi-floored concrete hub the Bussey Building continues to thrive as a warehouse-style club at night and a sweet arts venue during the day. Regular weekend parties like The South London Soul Train are joyful affairs, and also rare examples of young and old partying in sync.

Bussey Building, 133 Rye Ln, Peckham, SE15 4ST.

Phonox

Phonox has the utopian aim of building a welcoming community of likeminded clubbers. No frills, no pretence, just a sound group of people there for the dance. Expect unrivalled DJs and a first-rate sound system.

418 Brixton Rd, Brixton, SW9 7AY.

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Neon paint, UV lights and writhing bodies – no, it’s not something X-rated, this is a legit life-drawing class. Spend an evening creating psychedelic sketches of a life model in body paint at Neon Naked Life Drawing.

Venues across London, inc The Old Queen's Head and Boxpark Wembley - visit their website for upcoming events. 

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Rowans Bowling has a deserved legendary rep. There are two floors of lanes, karaoke booths, an arcade, pool tables, boozy slushies and you can even get pizzas at your lane. Plus it’s open until 2am on weekends. Strike!

10 Stroud Green Road, Finsbury Park, N4 2DF.

Orii Community
Photograph: Jess Hand

26. Orii Community

Orii (meaning ‘soul’) is a full-frontal Monday night jam session run by artist Neue Grafik, featuring a full stage of drums, keys, trumpet, MC(s), guitar, bass, triangle and then whatever the audience throws in. The talent is incredible and for the most part, the vibes are immaculate – a comforting confirmation that live music is still alive and well. 

Colour Factory, E9 5EN. 

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No nightlife venue has the wow factor like Printworks. This huge post-industrial space provides a playpen for the world’s biggest house, etchno and D&B DJs to get epic on your ass.

Surrey Quays Rd, Rotherhithe, SE16 7PJ.

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East End super-pub The Glory has become an LGBT+ landmark. Open nightly, it’s also hosted everything from queer Jewish night Butt Mitzvah to a George Michael tribute with ‘Club Tropicana’ hot tubs.

281 Kingsland Rd, E2 8AS.

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On the last Friday of every month, art lovers head to Tate Modern Lates. These giant free parties are packed with performances, music, films, talks and DJ sets. It’s the perfect place to discover London’s hottest new artists and have a cocktail while checking out those tenth-floor views.

Bankside, SE1 9TG.

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33. UnFOLD

SPFDJ recently tweeted that ‘Unfold the best party in the UK’. Damn, it must be good then. But seriously, if you’re the type of person that needs a boogie to wind down before the start of a new week, or one who just refuses to see the party end, this is the place for you. No photos or videos are allowed, making room for only pure vibes on the dance floor. 

Fold, E16 4SA. Tickets on the door. 

Horse Meat Disco

Horse Meat Disco is everything a good weekly club should be: friendly, inclusive, not too pricy and playing music that’s defined yet unpredictable. The four DJs behind this Sunday standout at Eagle London revived disco for queer audiences at a time when such silky sounds were dead.

Eagle London, 349 Kennington Lane, Vauxhall, SE11 5QY. 

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Loads of pubs have quizzes, so why should you pick this one? Because this Bethnal Green boozer really goes for it – from sambucca challenge rounds, to dance competitions to crafting. You might even have to bust out an Elvis impression; we're all shook up.

359 Bethnal Green Rd, E2 6LG.

Fancy a wax-fuelled boogie from bygone times? Get down to Deptford Northern Soul Club’s Friday night residency at the literally glittering Moth Club. Childhood mates Will Foot and Lewis Henderson have accumulated a rather hefty collection of soul records, establishing themselves as authorities in the genre’s dance floor renaissance. Think: gurgling vocals, contagious bass lines and grooves to keep your feet moving all night long.

Moth Club, E9 6NU.

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If you like your movie nights a tad more old-school, you need to check out Ciné Reel – the only film club in the UK that exclusively plays 16mm format films. Each month, the wonderful Umit from the legendary Clapton film emporium Umit & Sons projects a favourite classic round the corner at The Castle Cinema for appreciative celluloid enthusiasts.

The Castle Cinema, 64 - 66 Brooksby's Walk, E9 6DA.

Roof East
  • Things to do
  • Stratford

There’s plenty of rooftop bars in London, but where else can you watch a film alfresco or challenge your mates to a game of crazy golf, virtual reality foosball, a spot of curling, jenga or a swing in a batting cage? Roof East, a complete Stratford stalwart, reopened this year with a load of new street food offerings, drinks menus and playful surprises.

Floors 7-8, Stratford multi-storey car park, Great Eastern Way.

 

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If you miss childhood bedtimes (and frankly, who doesn't?), then join professional storyteller Vanessa for an evening of magical tales. In 'Portals of London', she'll explore the secret history of the City's forgotten corners, while other nights focus on urban legends, ghostly stories and more; you'll meet in a series of different, atmospheric London locations, but you'll be transported back to who knows where...

Venue locations depend on the event, and some are secret. Check the website for more details.  

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Nightlife
  • Clubs
  • Vauxhall

This iconic LGBT+ venue has welcomed everyone from Lily Savage (slaying on stage) to Princess Diana (enjoying a sneaky night out in the '80s). Now Grade II listed and reasonably safe from developers, the Royal Vauxhall Tavern is open seven nights a week for drinking, dancing and drag shows, and queer cabaret platform Bar Wotever has become a Tuesday institution.

372 Kennington Lane, Vauxhall, SE11 5HY.

 

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East London's queer Bollywood night Hungama has given the city's LGBTQ+ scene a friendly shot in the arm. It's taken place at various venues including The Glory and Dalston Superstore, but every Hungama is a super-inclusive mix of Bollywood imagery, hip hop beats and anything-goes gay abandon.  

Venues vary. Check the Facebook page for up to date details. 

Bethnal Green Working Men's Club

Get yourself down to Bethnal Green Working Men's ClubThis East End destination has been welcoming revellers since Victorian times. Sink the Pink began here around a decade ago, and something about its proper old-school working's men's club vibe seems to lend itself to colourful, chaotic and forward-thinking club nights.

42-44 Pollard Row, London E2 6NB.

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  • Clubs
  • Elephant & Castle

Located underneath two railway arches behind Elephant & Castle Shopping Centre, this intimate south-east London club has been booking top house and techno DJs and producers from around the world since 2005. They have one of London’s best soundsystems, and are involved in developing underused urban spaces around the capital for use as socially minded arts venues.

Corsica Studios, 4, 5 Elephant Rd, London SE17 1LB.

Bangface
Running in total contrast to dance music's intensely po-faced demeanour sits Bangface, a colossally fun rave extravaganza. It provides a home both for humour and also music on the absurd outer edges of taste and decency! In a good way, natch. 
Various locations.
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World Unknown

A flag-bearer for London nightlife’s independent and community-minded spirit, Andy Blake’s WU parties have become a turning point – thanks to their use of renegade spaces, judicious use of smoke machines and an audio aesthetic that words like ‘chugging’ and ‘throbbing’ were made for.

Various locations.

Want to relax but don’t want to miss out on a great view and (maybe) a gorgeous sunset? Netil House’s saunas allow you to get your fix of both. Go for a soak by yourself or bring your mates and unwind while overlooking east London, then grab a drink at the rooftop bar to continue your zen. 

Netil House, 1 Watergate St, E8 3RL.

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A total, bankable PEACH of a venue, located on a quiet Hackney side street, Moth is a former club for ex-servicemen (Memorable Order of Tin Hats). Luckily for those who haven’t seen action, Moth is open to all and it’s retro chic, breezy vibe and pop/indie-centric music policy means it’s never a downer.

Valette St, E9 6NU.

Much more than just a running club, Midnight Runners gives you the chance to do something healthy and invigorating with your evening while escaping the confines of your local gym. They're a worldwide movement as well, with clubs in cities across the world such as LA, Sydney, Barcelona and more. Go for it and join in, your body will thank you later.

Various locations.

 

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Heavy Load

As trends have come and gone, Heavy Load has repped its niche for a staggering 20 years now. And that niche is: funky retro rock you can properly shake your butt too. Downstairs at the Phoenix near Oxford Street is where it all happens – don check shirts and triple-denim, and enjoy the night’s incredible collection of retro lights too. 

The Phoenix, 37 Cavendish Square.

So many aspects of living in London aren't the best for your body: tube fatigue, pub culture, all the amazing (but not always healthy) eating out options. Give your body back some vital goodness at Frame's latest yoga offering – with candles for company, no less. Sensual. 

25-33 Berners Street, W1T 3LR.

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