The Best Clubs in London

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For intimate all-night spots, daytime warehouse raves, and Berlin-style club experiences, London caters to every niche across the world of clubbing. We'll help find your flavour:


fabric

Image via Barista Rules

77a Charterhouse St, Clerkenwell, EC1M 6HJ

To start our list, it only feels right to start mega.

fabric (stylised with lower-case) was London’s answer to the Berlin megaclub; multiple floors, experimental chill-out zones, and an innovative approach to venue design. Not only boasting sound and sight, the whole club experience of feeling immersed in a sprawling complex of halls and staircases (it doesn’t feel so sprawling when stone-cold sober, mind) is what you’re here for.

Farringdon’s hotspot also has an outrageous pull, bringing in some of the biggest names in dance and electronic music. Almost every big DJ you know has played there. Have a look at its past events to see how comprehensive their listings are.

More than a club, fabric have their own label where they regularly release live mixes from guest artists, as well as offering a membership where you can receive recent fabric vinyl to your door. You even get a snazzy membership card. Another membership offers half-priced tickets, the freedom to queue-jump, and a free plus-one. Now we like that a lot.

To our delight, the Berlin spirit has been kept alive to the modern day, as there no phone recording allowed. Upon entry, bouncers will place a fabric-logo sticker over both of your phone cameras, discouraging photography.

And thank god. A call-back to a time where you could actually be free on a night out, and not have to fear seeing your indiscretions over social media the next morning.

When it comes to sound, experience, and quality of artists, fabric might just be number one.

See their upcoming events here


DRUMSHEDS

Image via Rolling Stone

6 Glover Drive, Edmonton, London, N18 3HF

The newest club in the capital may also just be one of its very best.

Opening on the old site of Edmonton’s closed-down IKEA, brought to you by the same team behind the recently closed-down Printworks (Broadwick Live), still using the very same lighting rigs and speakers from their former joint, DRUMSHEDS is probably the UK’s biggest capacity nightclub.

Here’s some perspective: the o2 arena holds 20,000, while DRUMSHEDS holds 15,000, and like the o2, it sells out faster than a humanities graduate. That’s 10x more than what fabric can hold in its walls, and 20x more than Village Underground.

An ambitious project considering the state of clubbing in these painful times, Broadwick Live will always get full marks for audacity.

While Edmonton residents reel over the loss of their beloved IKEA, the nations ravers make no effort to hide their excitement. Their events, which follow a similar format to Printworks, are like festival line-ups, with multiple huge artists sharing the bill for the mainroom with smaller artists sharing the smaller stages.

The whole feel is like an indoor day festival, a Field Day for the pale-skinned. While not always a ‘nightclub’ for its events typically end before midnight, inside it will always feel like it’s between 2 and 4 in the morning.

It has to be one of the most unique club experiences you can find on this island, if purely just for its sheer size. The quality of the listings only bumps it up further than it already is.

See their upcoming events here


Phonox

Image via DesignMyNight

418 Brixton Road, SW9 7AY

Speaking of listings, Phonox probably has the biggest muscles to flex in that department.

Not a week goes by where Phonox isn’t hosting an outrageously popular artist in their surprisingly intimate venue. I’ve seen Mercury-prize winner James Blake play to a few hundred people, on surprise visit no less. The best really just want to play there.

Why? If I had to guess, maybe its Soundsystem. Their behemothic rigs, often provided by the acclaimed Sinai Soundsystem, will have your inner ear whistling for the rest of your life. Please do rave with care, earplugs do come strongly recommended. Even with ear plugs you’ll hear every grain.

Typically hosting house, dubstep, and dnb, Phonox offers some of the best of London’s underground artists, acting as a de facto hotspot for South London’s electronic dance scene. Every Friday plays host to whatever four week residency they have on at the minute. 2023 had Mala, Marcel Dettman, Lenzman, and Berlin’s Hor label take on month-long residency’s.

Though the smoking areas tight and the orientation of the bar makes for some interesting human traffic, Phonox has our hearts for its unrivalled sound and its consistent, star-studded line-ups. 

See their upcoming events here


KOKO

1a Camden High Street, Camden Town, NW1 7JE

In 2023 especially, KOKO surprisingly found itself on many a ravers radar.

Once more known as a venue for gigs and other such non-clubby outings, it has now – quite recently - become regarded with the same honour as its nightclub bigger brothers.

Don’t be fooled by the theatre-like interior, there is very little formal about the nights that KOKO throws.

Their KOKOElectronic branch has been a major hit, attracting big players like Ben UFO, Goldie, Acid Arab, Groove Armada, Harrison BPD, and Hot Chip. And that’s just for KOKOElectronic, I’m not even listing their gigs, which are delightfully regular and plentiful.

While the airy innards may feel a far cry from the tight corridors of fabric, KOKO uses this to its advantage; tall lighting rigs and large and low lamps horizontally aligned to create a cave of stunning visuals.

The big hall leaves a lot of space for dancing, a spatial friendliness to large groups that clubs are often short of, even if it means you’ll likely all be facing the stage (ugh).

With the sound system, sumptuous interior, and the muscle to pull in big names, KOKO deserves a seat at the big boys table.

See their upcoming events here


FOLD

Image via Refinery29

Gillian House, Stephenson St, E16 4SA

A newcomer, one that has polarised the unsouthern, yet has now become one of the city’s most talked-about clubs.

FOLD, atop an old printing factory between Canning Town and Star Lane, opened a few years before Covid hit, and bounced back strong after the levees were lowered, showing that in the short time it was opened, it already fostered some sort of community.

Seriously, peak to any man with piercings, a mullet and a tank-top, and he will tell you that his favourite club in London is FOLD, specifically their UNFOLD nights. Unannounced line-ups, tickets only sold at the door, no guaranteed entry even if you’ve been standing in line like patience on a monument, Berlin-style admissions where doorstaff can bounce who they like for whatever reason.

Exclusivity at nightclubs is a thing of the past, but in queer spaces like FOLD, it is essential in keeping the nights safe and enjoyable, as well as fostering a specific vibe conducive to the whole club experience.

It’s run by people who really care, attended by those with a passion for the music, the scene, for the community. It’s something you notice about the place almost right away.

A long, spacious smoking area for those who indulge, outstanding visuals for its size, and a friendly, convivial dancefloor, even if FOLD didn’t have the community/exclusivity USP going for it, it would still make a top 5.

See their upcoming events here