Canary Wharf is named after the Canary Islands.
The Canary Islands are named after the Latin word for dog, canis.
The Latin word for dog, canis, is derived from the Greek word for dog, kūon.
The Greek word for dog, kūon, is also where we get the word ‘cynic’.
And in a remarkable, multi-millennium-spanning coincidence, Canary Wharf is full of cynical people. People who all need a stiff drink after (and occasionally during) work. So to help them, and possibly you, we’ve rounded up the very best bars in the neighbourhood…
This Scottish-inspired restaurant has all the decadence expected from the Canary Wharf elite – including a 12-metre-long whiskey bar on the second floor. Bearing the Boisdale design (there are other branches in Belgravia, Mayfair and Bishopsgate) of lacquer red, dark green walls and rich mahogany panelling, this grand old jazz bar boasts over 1000 bottles of malt whisky.
And the cherry? They have regular jazz, blues and soul nights, all curated by their patron Jools Holland (of Friday night fame).
Details: Cabot Square, E14 4QT
Perched atop the Docklands branch of the Novotel on the 38th floor, this scandi-chic bar seems to be made entirely of raw wood, with the exception of the metal trim & and the glass outer wall of the building itself, which boasts some amazing views of the city. And for further, I-can-almost-see-my-house-from-here panoramic views and some fresh air – head to the roof terrace on the 39th floor.
The menu focuses on the different docks in the area, and each cocktail description comes with a bit of history associated with its name, like The British Moai (rum, falernum, amaro d’angostura, guanabana, lime, coconut), which is named after the Moai statue taken from Easter Island and presented to Queen Victoria.
Details: 40 Marsh Wall, E14 9TP
Davy’s is a 5th generation wine merchants that was established in1870 and has since expanded into venues across London.
The Canary Wharf branch is reminiscent of the best kind of old school British pub, with parquet flooring, patterned wallpaper, leather booths and a dark wood panelled bar. They have a long eclectic wine list and every bottle they serve is also available at shop price to take home. If wine isn’t your tipple, then you probably shouldn’t be here – but they have a healthy selection of craft beers both on tap and bottle, just in case.
Details: 31-35 Fishermans Walk, E14 4DH
Giant Robot is part of the Street Feast clan.
But instead of being built in a derelict car park or dilapidated model market, the Canary Wharf division is in a massive Star Wars-esque structure. Inside is a giant industrial space littered with sharing tables and oil drums with which to perch, sit or lean on while you devour the wealth of street food avaiable.
Booze wise, you’ve got options too – a 38-strong tap craft beer selection at one bar and a separate, 360-degree island bar dedicated to house shakes such as the watermelon margarita: tequila, orange liqueur, watermelon chunks and lime juice.
Details: Crossrail Place, E14 5AR
In the basement of one of the old wharf warehouses on West India Quay is where you’ll find this quirky restaurant & bar. Original features like heavy old wooden beams and thick cast iron pillars are offset by modern mint green banquettes and sheep skin rugs draped over the backs of Art Deco chairs.
The outdoor terrace is utilised year round: in the summer they turn the space into a botanical garden and in the winter, they erect waterproof domes over the tables so you can drink in the comfort of your own igloo.
Details: West India Quay, 16 Hertsmere Road, E14 4AX
Arguably Canary Wharf’s best kept secret.
Tucked away at the end of a corridor, at the back of The Breakfast Club (masters of secret bars like The Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town) is a plain door that reads Dr. Kluger. Definitely go in.
It looks like something out of Hogwarts – floor-to-ceiling dark wooden panelling with heavy leather sofas and taxidermy clad walls. The only thing that lets you know it’s not a Bullingdon Club hideout is the giant disco ball.
Expect a bunch of classic cocktails, plus a few house specialities like the Bermuda Highball: Gosling’s dark rum, amaretto, orange juice, sugar, lime juice and soda.
Details: The Breakfast Club Unit 30, Crossrail Station, 1 Crossrail Place, E14 5AR
Then you’re in luck. Rum and Sugar is a Caribbean leaning bar/restaurant with over 100 brands of the Caribbean spirit.
Operating out of a 200-year-old warehouse space on West India Quay used for the import of – you guessed it – rum and sugar, it boasts impressive wooden beams and pillars, bare brick walls and a 360-degree island bar as its pièce de résistance.
Try house mixes such as The Heart of Te Fiti: Bayou spiced, Pimento drum, pomegranate, passionfruit, pineapple, lime and cinnamon. And the kicker? They hold daily live music events if the rum is telling you to get up and dance.
Details: West India Quay, 1 Warehouse, E14 4AL
Want to check out more of London’s best bars? Have a browse of London’s best cocktail bars…