Jason Allen 04/09/23

Callooh Callay

‘Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe

– Jabberwocky, Lewis Carroll

Clearly, Lewis Carroll enjoyed a drink or two.

callooh callay shoreditch main bar

And clearly, the people at Callooh Callay respect that, naming their Shoreditch cocktail bar after a line from his famed nonsense poem. The sizeable, low-lit space has dark walls, and is filled with Victoriana touches including an antique gramophone, and an ornate wardrobe (which we’ll come back to later…).

Callooh Callay has had awards practically thrown at it; an early one including The World’s Best Cocktail Menu, handed out at Tales of the Cocktail (“the Oscars of the cocktail world”). Today, that menu includes an array of old school diner-themed serves like the Mint-Choco Ramos (marrying cacao-infused whisky with double cream and crème de menthe) and the Cup O’ Joe (made with cold brew, cognac and stout reduction). And you can soak it all up with some LA Korea-town styled comfort food from chef-of-the-moment Jay Morjaria, whose menu includes bulgogi loaded fries and Gochujang hot honey wings.

Now back to that wardrobe.

Callooh Callay Shoreditch

You see, if you ask the bartender kindly, they’ll open it up for you. You can literally climb inside, and find yourself in a secret, private bar area… and then, if you head upstairs from there, you’ll find yourself in a whole other secret bar.

Welcome to the Jubjub.

A smaller, more intimate affair, the walls are adorned with neon wall art, with rock music providing a moody soundtrack to a creative, ever-changing cocktail list.

Best go regularly, then.


NOTE: Callooh Callay is open daily from 6pm, with the Jubjub open from Thurs-Sat. To access the upstairs bar just ask the bartender, but be aware it’s invite only after 10pm. Jay Morjaria is in residence Weds-Sat. You can find out more, and book, on their website HERE.

Callooh Callay | 65 Rivington St, EC2A 3AY

Like drinking in East London? Check out our guide to the best bars in Shoreditch

Callooh Callay

65 Rivington Street, Shoreditch, EC2A 3AY

020 7739 4781

8.5 | Great