The Best Cocktail Bars in London

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Interior of Bart's Cocktail Bar, Chelsea

Dimly-lit cellars, swanky posh hotels, and typical tiki undercrofts: London has every variety of cocktail bar you could care to name. Here's the master list of the top, top Cocktail spots in the capital.

South London


Image of the Lyaness cocktail bar

20 Upper Ground, London, SE1 9PD

Lyan-ess is a rather special award-winning cocktail bar on the banks of the River Thames. Created and owned by Mr Lyan, it’s been awarded the Best Bar & Best Hotel and it’s near 2000 Google ratings and glowing reviews all point towards a cocktail that has to be tested. 

It’s not difficult to see why Lyaness has been so successful. He and his team have created a unique menu designed around some weird and wonderful ingredients (not just cocktail styles) and lots of experimentation by its chefs and collaborators. The interior is stylish and their weekend house DJs play an eclectic mix of hip hop, funk and disco.

Monday to Thursday the bar is open from 5pm-12am and 12pm-1am on Saturday nights.

For reservations click here

Sugar Cane

Image of a bartender pouring jagerbombs at Sugar Cane cocktail bar, Clapham

247/249 Lavender Hill, London SW11 1JW

Step into Sugar Cane and you feel like you’ve been transported from Clapham Junction to a Hawiian island. The bar’s complete with exotic private huts, Tiki statues, exotic flowers, lush green palms, bamboo textures and a colourful cosy garden out the back.  

Not surprisingly, the cocktail menu is rum fuelled and serves up well known favourites including – Hurricane, Mai Tai, Mojito and Singapore Slings. Even the cocktail mugs come decorated with a Tikki face.  

For passionate cocktail makers, there’s a cocktail masterclass which sounds great fun and they cater for party sizes between 4 to 40 people.

For more click here

Bermondsey Art Club

Image of a dimly-lit bar at Bermondsey Art Club

102a Tower Bridge Rd, London SE1 4TP

This cocktail venue has come a long way. Once a public lavatory, it’s now a very cool, romantic (if a little bit edgy) bar in the middle of South London. 

The intimate, art deco-style hideaway serves up original craft cocktails which pack a punch. Open Your Mind, Howton Hipster, Last Minute and Cinnamon Sour are all on the line-up to tempt your tastebuds. Live jazz and a seriously cool vibe will keep you sampling the line-up.

The Art Club is open till late weeknights 6PM- 2AM and even later at the weekend till 3AM

For more click here

Canova Hall

250 Ferndale Road, London, SW9 8BQ

If you’re looking to sip your cocktail somewhere with a little heritage, and smack bang in the middle of Brixton, then this will feel right up your street.  Canova sits in the grand Edwardian building that was once Brixton’s Bon Marche department store.

It combines stylish features including wooden booths and a goods lift cleverly disguised as a birdcage, together with an industrial concrete ceiling and exposed wiring. It all creates a rather cool and spacious space.

We like the Canova cocktail which showcases Canova Hall’s Small Batch gin, elderflower and lemon tonic, Creme de Mure, blueberries and lemon.  We also recommend you visit with an appetite and try the very tasty and freshly made pasta and pizza menu.

Reservations can be made here

601 Queen’s Road

601 Queen’s Road, Centre Court Shopping Centre, No.4 Crescent Road, Wimbledon SW19 8YA

This all day bar and restaurant adjacent to Wimbledon Station, boasts a gorgeous rooftop bar and stunning views of Wimbledon. The perfect hideaway on those summer days to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. 

601 comes with an extensive cocktail menu with a reasonable price tag and serves up delicious plates of food including light bites, plant based specials, Sunday specials and a good children’s menu.

The bespoke music playlists and handpicked tunes really round off the experience making this one of the best bars in the South London area.

For more info click here

West London

The Connaught

Image of the foyer at the bar at The Connaught Hotel

The Connaught, Carlos Place, London W1K 2AL

If you’re feeling like you want to sip your Gin Fizz in ultra stylish 1920s elegance, surrounded by shimmering mirrors and platinum silver leaf walls, then the Connaught is bang on.  Not only is it in Culture Calling’s top 5 but it was also voted one of the Top 8 bars in the world recently.   

The Connaught’s mixologists serve up vintage classics to new concoctions – order Vintage Martinis,  a long and refreshing Faraway Collins, or the Good Fellas 1930’s Whiskey inspired recipe from the Waldorf Astoria cocktail book. 

There’s also a nice bar menu including black truffle pizza and Korean fried chicken oysters to keep the taste sensation going a little longer. 

See more info here


Interior of Barts Cocktail Bar in Chelsea

Chelsea Cloisters, Sloane Ave, London SW3 3DW

If you like to hide away with your cocktail of choice and pretend you’re doing something you shouldn’t, then Barts is the perfect drinking establishment for you. 

Concealed below the depths of a Chelsea apartment block, this speakeasy inspired den is complete with quirky wall ornaments, a dressing-up box and swing music. 

There are over 40 cocktails to agonise over and their sharing cocktails come served in china tea-sets. Another cuppa, anyone? Yes, please!

See more info here

Trailer Happiness

Trailer Happiness

177 Portobello Rd, Notting Hill, W11 2DY

Is a 20 year old cocktail bar on the uber cool Portobello road in Notting Hill.  

The interior is laid back and chilled with a strong vibe from the Caribbean and Asia. The cocktail menu serves up classics and ‘original cocktails with a Tiki Twist’. Think rum laced concoctions like Mai Tia, Zombie and Espresso Martikis. 

The vodka based Polynesian Princess topped with Veuve Clicquot Champagne, fresh lemon and watermelon syrup will brighten up even the worst winter’s day.   

The Sharing cocktails are a nice touch and a cheaper alternative to the singles.

See more info here

Smith’s Cocktail Bar

170 Shepherds Bush Road, Hammersmith, London W6 7PB

This cocktail bar is tucked away in South West London and inspired by famous local artist, William Morris. The line-up includes intriguing names such as Bird, Strawberry Thief,  Life and Love and Blackthorn which all make sense when you match them up with Morris’ artwork. 

The outstanding signature cocktails are curated by Smith’s expert mixologists who pour a lot of attention into every drink. They also offer delicious small plates of cheese, cured meats and oysters to accompany your cocktail of choice.    

Fancy celebrating with cocktails? Smith’s has four bookable spaces for private parties from Sunday through to Wednesday.

You can make a reservation here

East London

Coupette, Bethnal Green

Image via DesignMyNight

423 Bethnal Green Road, E2 0AN

We’re starting with one of the best bars in East London. In fact, voted one of the World’s Best Bars in 2019 no less. Inspired by France, but proudly London, think exposed brick walls, bar stools, live music and an impressive cocktail menu.

The mixologists are exceptional, pushing the boundaries with their ever-evolving line-up of concoctions using the finest spirits, local ingredients.  Take your pick from the tastebud sounding sensations – Fizzy Fiesta, Ecrureuil Highball and Burnt Affogato – to go with their live music line-up.

You’ll also find seasonal specials which is great touch!

For more info see here

Barge East, Hackney Wick

Image via

Sweetwater Mooring, River Lee, White Post Lane, E9 5EN

Like to sip your cocktails on the water? It’s not the French riviera but award-winning Barge East on the River Lee is impressive. 

This 120 year old Dutch barge has one of the largest outdoor drinking and dining areas in London and serves up some rather tasty cocktails from its deck. The Garden Marg with a blend of Tequila, watermelon, strawberry and lime is the perfect accompaniment to a balmy summer’s eve.   Meanwhile, the Tangled Root laced with rum, ginger and lemon sounds like a tantalising winter warmer.  

Barge East also serves up award-winning food from its on-board restaurant and prides itself on sourcing the best local ingredients, together with handpicked homegrown ingredients from the barge’s own garden. Impressed?  We’ve got our table booked!

For more information, click here

Discount Suit Company

Image via DesignMyNight

29 Wentworth Street, E1 7TB

We’ve been into some quirky hidden bars in the backstreets of Soho, but we’re loving everything about this joint in East London.  It’s hidden in the basement of a former suit tailor’s stock room just a short stroll from Liverpool Street station.

The scruffy sign at street level leads you to a black door and a descent into a dimly-lit cocktail bar. There you’ll be greeted by Dorian – who’s travelled the world looking for cocktail inspiration – and now mixes up playful sounding delights including – Uncle Waldo, Drugstore Cowboy and Wigan Casino.  

Be warned, they are addictive.  But there’s a tasty cheeseboard to nibble on whilst you sink into a worn leather armchair and listen to some Motown and Northern Soul classics.

To book a table, click here

City of London Distillery & Bar

Image via Office Break

22-24 Bride Lane, EC4Y 8DT

This hidden cocktail gem is somewhat overshadowed by the multi award winning on-site gin distillery producing Whitley Neill gin since 2012. 

The cocktail bar overlooks the striking copper stills of the distillers and the faint aroma of gin hangs in the air while you sip on gin based cocktails.  

There’s also a nice selection of bar snacks to nibble on, including deli platters of meats and cheeses, while you work your way through the cocktail list.

You can take a full guided tour of the stills and learn about the history gin making in the City here

If you fancy a table at the bar click here

Servant Jazz Quarters

Image via

10A Bradbury Street, N16 8JN

If you like some cool beats with your Bee’s Knees, then you’re in for a treat at this little bar.  SJQ is in the heart of Dalston and a great place to experience London's live music scene during the week and dive into some of the capital's hottest DJS at the weekend. 

Its classic cocktail menu serves up well-known faves including – Negroni, Margarita and their Expresso Martini’s will help keep your feet tapping into the early hours.  They run happy hour from 6-8pm on selected cocktails every weekend.

Don’t miss their stonking line-up of well-known DJ’s and up-coming artists playing. Check out their line-up here


Nightjar Carnaby

Image © Facebook via @barnightjar

Kingly Court, 49-51 Carnaby St, London W1F 9PY

Nightjar is as cool as they get.

Think prohibition speakeasy with a long bar that’s dimly lit and with live music. The cocktail menu is extensive and unashamedly themed Pre-prohibition, Prohibition to Post-War. 

The cocktails are exceptional. Indulge in ancient recipes and early classics with intriguing names such as Evening Sun, Bamboo and Bird.  Prohibition cocktails mix up short and strong cocktails which are definitely not for the faint hearted.

If you’re looking for something more familiar, try Nightjar’s 30s and 40s classic cocktails with a twist.

Live music featuring some of London’s top jazz, swing, blues and funk musicians play every night of the week from 9pm to accompany your cocktail(s) of choice. It’s almost impossible to have only one! Check out the listings here.

Take a look at what's on and book here

Soma Soho

Image © Instagram via @somasoho

14 Denman St, London W1D 7HJ

Soma is another inspired speakeasy bar located on Denman Street and voted British GQ’s Best Bar in 2022. Its glamorous slate grey and dark wood interior is enough to seduce anyone into trying more than one drink from the Indian themed exotic menu.

Soma’s reimagined classics include: Kashmiri, or commonly known as Martini, which mixes a blend of Haku vodka, chilli sake and pickled Romanesco. Banana, a Daiquiri, blends banana rum, banana skin, Indian spices and Bitters. There’s 8 other Classics and originals to sip your way through.

Soma is open from 6PM – 1AM Mon/Tue – Wed/Thu 2AM – Fri/Sat 3AM.  Book a table here

Alma by Sucre

Image © Instagram via @almabarlondon

47B Great Marlborough St, London, W1F 7JP

Alma is a cosy little vintage cocktail bar is located beneath the renowned Argentine restaurant, Sucre. It’s perfect for an aperitif or post dinner tipple. 
The cocktail list is bold and inventive combining unusual ingredients with modern day craft methods. Our favourites are Kunama – long espresso Martini, Babel – a gin fizz style with a coconut and Ethiopian Korekima spice twist and Pina Colada style refreshing drink with ash roasted pineapple. 

A mouth-watering sharing plate menu complements the cocktail menu and the live music will keep you seated way past your bedtime.

You can check out their menu or reserve a table here

Sussex Snack Bar

Image © Instagram via @sussex_resto

63-64 Frith Street, London, W1D 3JW

Sussex is a relatively new and unpretentious snack and cocktail bar right in the heart of Soho. It’s proud of its use of independent spirits and in-house fusions mixing up tempting tipples including Royal Blossom, Peach Cobbler and Jalapeno Gimlet.

To complement it, Chef Director, Oliver Gladwin serves up the very best of local and wild British ingredients. We’re seriously tempted by the mushroom marmite éclair, leek and parmesan ravioli and cured Chalkstream trout. Yum!

Check out their menu or book here


Image © Facebook via @OpiumChinaTown

15-16 Gerrard St, London W1D 6JE

Opium is an award winning 1920’s Shanghai themed cocktail and dim sum bar located in the heart of Chinatown, Soho.

This classy watering hole is split across two floors each housing individual themed bars within a bar -  Peony Bar, an intimate setting hidden behind red curtains; Apothecary Bar, fit with more traditional oriental décor and a ‘tea parlour’ area perfect for dining; Academy Bar, a relaxed lounge area with sofas and coffee tables.

Each one serves up an eclectic mix of experimental and original cocktails together with well-known classics

Opium’s open from Monday to Sunday from 5pm till late.

Reservations can be made here

City of London

The Ned

27 Poultry, London EC2 8AJ

Since opening in 1917, The Ned has become of the most popular destinations in The City. Located in the former Midland Bank headquarters, the grand, marble and columned interior houses a private members’ space, gym and rooftop bar together with a spa, a hotel and not one, but ten restaurants and bars. It’s swanky to say the least. 

Amidst The Ned’s historic 3,000 square metre former banking hall and lower ground floor, are 7 restaurants and 3 bars. Electric Bar and Diner, sister to Soho House & Co’s Electric, serves up your cocktail of choice direct to one of the bar’s plush red leather booths and live sports most nights of the week.

The Parlour is an intimate jazz and cabaret restaurant serving up great 1920’s sounding cocktails - Kiss from a Rose, The Night Train and Parlour Fizz - while you’re entertained.

For more info click here

City of London Distillery & Bar

Image via tripadvisor

22-24 Bride Lane, London EC4Y 8DT

This hidden cocktail gem is somewhat overshadowed by the multi award winning on-site gin distillery producing Whitley Neill gin since 2012.  The cocktail bar overlooks the striking copper stills of the distillers and the faint aroma of gin hangs in the air while you sip on gin based cocktails. 

There’s also a nice selection of bar snacks to nibble on, including deli platters of meats and cheeses, while you work your way through the cocktail list.

You can take a full guided tour of the stills and learn about the history gin making in the City here.

If you fancy having a go at making your own gin, book on a tour or visit their Gin Lab here.

Sky Garden

1 Sky Garden Walk, London, EC3M 8AF

Want your Elderflower Bloom with one of the best views of London? The Sky Garden is London’s highest public garden on top of the affectionately named Walkie-Talkie tower, AKA The Fenchurch Building.

Located on the North bank of the River close to the Shard, the Sky Garden is a three-story glass dome that offers incredible 360 degree views of the city and its famous landmarks.  

The Sky Pod Rooftop Bar is an all-day drinking and dining rooftop space, serving up sumptuous sounding cocktails including:  Sakura Blossom, Mango Salsa, and Pear Sherbert.

To add to the views, there’s also a packed line-up of events and live music. Take a look at the full event schedule here:

Sky Pod Bar is open Monday – Sunday, 8am – 12am and 8am - 1am on Friday and Saturday night.

For reservations book here:

Madison London

Rooftop Terrace, One New Change, St Paul’s, London, EC4M 9AF

Madison is one of the best cocktail bars in London with a view. Step out of the lift onto the top floor of One New Change in the heart of The City, into the world of Madison.

With several rooftop terraces offering supreme views across the London skyline, you can take your pick from Madison’s 10 Signature cocktails.

Our favourites are the aptly named and Vodka based Rooftop Sunset; Ocean Blue with Henricks, Aperol and cucumber syrup; or (and for special occasions only ) the Martini 1942 complete with a dash of caviar.

Madison is renowned for its atmosphere with entertainment from its resident DJs and live musicians. The spectacular views make it the ideal spot to catch up with friends and colleagues while enjoying fine nibbles and cocktails.

For more click here.