The Best Bars in Shoreditch
If you’re a ghost reading this, you’re in the right place.
Because happily, all these bars serve spirits.
And if you’re a regular human being looking for the best bars in Shoreditch, well, you’re in the right place too – because we’ve selflessly spent our evenings sampling the tipples in the area’s many, many drinking dens; just to create this bespoke, diligently-crafted guide for you…
Last updated: 18th September 2018
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Sometimes you want a place for an apocalyptic knees-up, with flights of shots, a light-up dance-floor, and lasers. And sometimes you want a subterranean, date-worthy speakeasy with nightly jazz performances and award-winning cocktails. Nightjar is very much for those times. READ MORE
Details: 129-131 City Road, EC1V 1JB | Open Sun-Wed 6pm-1am, Thurs 6pm-2am, Fri/Sat 6pm-3am | £££
Discount Suit Company
The Discount Suit Company, despite its name, is ready to kit you out with a different set of ‘tails. Tucked down an unmarked door on an unlikely street, it’s a genuinely illicit-feeling drinking den, with a roaring soul soundtrack, industrial bulbs glowing atmospherically against exposed brick walls, and cocktails that may – nay, will blow your mind. READ MORE
Details: 29 Wentworth Street, E1 7TB | Open M-Th 5pm-midnight, F/Sa 2pm-1am, Sun 5-11pm | ££
This multiple award-winning bar is inspired by Alice in Wonderland – though we’re fairly confident in saying that the drinks here won’t have any unexpected side effects regarding your height. They are, however, extremely delicious-tasting – though if you get tired of the offering down here, you can always ask very nicely to make your way through the mysterious-looking wardrobe, and head up to the bar upstairs where drinks are named after emotions. That ought to make you feel happy. READ MORE
Details: 65 Rivington Street, EC2A 3AY | Open daily 6pm-1am (Jubjub bar 6pm-2am Wed-Sat) | ££
As Jacques Prévert wrote, “Even if happiness forgets you a little bit, never completely forget about it”. Sage advice, given that it’s the ultimate in candlelit, subterranean cocktail bars, lying low underneath Hoxton Square. It comes to you from an ex-Pegu (in NYC) mixologist, who’s also behind Stoke Newington stalwart Original Sin. The cocktails here are simply excellent – even if you can’t remember them the next morning. READ MORE
Details: 8-9 Hoxton Square, N1 6NU | Open daily 5-11pm | £££
The Gibson, tucked unexpectedly on an Old Street corner, likes to think of itself as a time machine, offering you the opportunity to traverse space and time through the medium of cocktails. It’s miraculous it hasn’t been done before. The interiors are a beautiful Belle Epoque mish-mash, drinks arrive served on candlesticks and in smoking coconuts, and there’s regular music nights (from different decades, of course) to see you on your way.
Details: 44 Old Street, EC1V 9AQ | Open Mon-Sat 5pm-2am, Sunday 1-10.30pm | ££
Despite its location underneath an innocuous-seeming kebab shop in Shoreditch, the fact that it sports a mid-century Czech Republic theme, and serves molecular cocktails in toothpaste tubes, Lounge Bohemia remains – somehow – completely unpretentious. A cosy gem of a spot, the cocktails here come courtesy of Paul Tvaroh, a self-trained mixologist. Proof, if ever was needed, that if you want something doing right, you should do it yourself… VIEW DETAILS
Details: 1e Great Eastern Street, EC2A 3EJ | Open daily 6pm-midnight (11pm Sun) | ££
This converted Victorian police station has gone from putting people behind bars to… well, putting some more people behind bars. Only needless to say, they’re a lot more happy about it. It’s now a temple to booze, including a rare bottle shop, a cinema, a mixology classroom and a subterranean cocktail den with intimate booths set in the former cells. The drinks menu rolls through the great cocktailing eras, which they’ll also happily curate into a bespoke drinking journey for your group. READ MORE
Details: 17b Kingsland Road, E2 8AA | Bar open Wed-Sat, 5pm-12am | £££
The great Mr. Lyan’s original bar, White Lyan, has evolved. It’s now Super Lyan, which takes the classics and (appropriately) soups them up with his characteristic creative flair. Manhattans are made with ‘leathered cherry’ and two types of vermouth, while the Gimlet sports watermelon agave. The surroundings are sleek, understated and modern – the perfect backdrop to your drink… READ MORE
Details: 153-155 Hoxton Street, N1 6PJ | Open Tues-Sun, 5pm-late | £££
Hawksmoor Spitalfields Bar
With porthole doors, subway tiling and shimmering, beaten metal walls, the Hawksmoor Spitalfields Bar is like a surprisingly glamorous submarine. Take a seat in their intimate alcoves and sip now-classic numbers like Shaky Pete’s Ginger Brew; Green & Red margaritas and the Penichillin slushy… READ MORE
Details: Hawksmoor Spitalfields Bar, 157a Commercial Street, E1 6BJ | Open Mon-Thurs 5.30-11pm, Friday 5.30pm-1am and Saturday 4pm-1am (closed Sunday) | ££
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Walking into a restaurant full of people minding their own business, announcing that you’re here to see the mayor, and promptly stepping into a giant fridge is likely to be one of the more bizarre ways you’ve started a Friday night. Or perhaps it’s not – in which case, you’ll feel perfectly at home in the speakeasy-style cavern beneath retro brunch spot, The Breakfast Club. It’s small, candlelit, and home to a bevy of quality cocktails – not bad for something you found at the back of the fridge. READ MORE
Details: The Breakfast Club, 12 Artillery Lane, E1 7LS | Open Mon-Thurs 5pm-12am, Fri 3pm-12am, Sat 12pm-12am, Sun 12-10.30pm | ££
Ah, Shoreditch. The only place in London where you could expect to find a hotel that has more bars than rooms. And that’s precisely the case at The Napoleon, whose basement bar, Black Rock, is a love letter to whiskey. Dark, moody, and sporting half a tree filled with whisky laid down the middle, it’s an excellent spot for a late night dram, carefully selected from the flavour-profiled whiskey cabinets lining the walls. READ MORE
Details: 9 Christopher Street, EC2A 2BS | Open Mon-Sat from 5pm-late | £££
Worship Street Whistling Shop
In Victorian England, secret, illicit spirit bars were known as ‘whistling shops’.
We don’t know much about them, but we imagine they served their drinks in flutes.
WSWS, on the other hand, have imagined a lot more, creating a time-warped Dickensian drinking den filled with a steampunk laboratory, in which they produce all sorts of bizarre ingredients for their cocktails, from Chai masala bubbles to naga chilli lemonade. Expect your drink to smoke, sizzle, or possibly explode on arrival. READ MORE
Details: 63 Worship Street, EC2A 2DU | Open M/T 5pm-12am, W/Th 5pm-1am and F/Sa 5pm-2am | ££
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