The Best Cocktail Bars in London | The Nudge London

The Best London Cocktail Bars

The Best London Cocktail Bars

The Best London Cocktail Bars

Last Updated: 6th December 2018

As with everything featured within the Nudge hitlists, this small guide to the best London cocktail bars is nothing more than a humble collection of our favourites.

It is, however, a collection of favourites which – by happy coincidence – doubles up as a more definitive and trustworthy list of the best London cocktail bars than you’re likely to find anywhere else.

Price; ambience; location; vibe and staff. 

None of these factors were given our direct consideration at any point at all. However they were all there – bubbling uncontrollably beneath the surface – as we diligently, and instantly, reacted to the command,

“The best London cocktail bars – list them”

by producing the following:

Bar Nightjar | Old Street

Nightjar - best cocktail bars london

Nightjar is a bona fide speakeasy, complete with candlelight, conspiratorial whisperings, rose-tinted mirrors, leather chairs, nightly live jazz and award-winning cocktails served in everything from hand-hollowed stones to bundles carried by a large model stork. It’s also a bona fide contender for the best bar in London. READ MORE
Like this? Try… their sister bar in Smithfield, Oriole
Details: 129 City Road, EC1V 1JB | Open daily

Blind Pig | Soho

Blind Pig - best cocktail bars London

A serious cocktail bar that doesn’t take itself too seriously. Misnomered Less-Than-Perfect Manhattans (made with artichoke amaro, maple syrup and ‘house brine’) and Paloma Gimlets, plus small plates from Jason Atherton’s downstairs restaurant, Social Eating House – all behind an inconspicuous entrance beneath an optician’s sign. READ MORE
Like this? Try… Milk & Honey, the speakeasy next door
Details: 58 Poland Street, W1F 7NR Open Mon-Sat

Satan’s Whiskers | Bethnal Green

A Bethnal Green bar cramped between newsagents, mini-cab offices and strip clubs, with taxidermy on the walls and an illuminated icebox on the bar full of sliced tropical fruits. Order the Champs Elysées with Cognac and green Chartreuse, and soak up the hip hop soundtrack. READ MORE
Like this? Try… Happiness Forgets: let happiness remember, at this secret underground cocktail bar in Shoreditch.
 343 Cambridge Heath Road, E2 9RA Open daily

Zetter Townhouse | Clerkenwell

Zetter Townhouse Clerkenwell - best cocktail bars London

The most sumptuous and intriguing of all London cocktail bars: packed with curios and oddities, it’s a den of lived in luxury… READ MORE
Like this? Try… the Clarendon Cocktail Cellar, another cosy gem beneath a boutique hotel
Details: 49-50 St John’s Square, Clerkenwell, EC1V 4JJOpen daily

Artesian | Marylebone

Artesian best cocktail bars london

Artesian: In The Nudge’s Best London Cocktail Bars Hitlist. Also, on a side note, crowned as The World’s Best Bar by Drinks International three years running. READ MORE
Like this? Try… The Fumoir at Claridges, another top-shelf, art deco hotel bar with slick cocktails
Details: Langham Hotel, 1C Portland Place, W1B 1JA Open daily

Callooh Callay | Shoreditch

A bustling Victorian-inspired bar, inside which lives the actual, legitimate speakeasy wardrobe to Narnia. And by ‘Narnia’, we mean Callooh Callay’s dimly-lit, tropicalia-inspired hideaway lounge. READ MORE
Like this? Try… Mr. Fogg’s Tavern, which has a Victorian gin parlour upstairs
Details: 65 Rivington Street, EC2A 3AY Open daily from 6pm

Nola | Bethnal Green

NOLA - best cocktail bars London

A Bethnal Green cocktail bar inspired by the rich culture and history of New Orleans’ French Quarter, with period fittings and a regular line-up of live bands – that also serves a multi-award winning sazerac. READ MORE
Like this? Try… Kansas Smitty’s, a nearby bar specifically opened for the KS band to play in
 107 Roman Road, E2 0QN Open Wed-Sat from 5pm, Sun 12-4 and 5pm-midnight

69 Colebrooke Row | Angel

A small, intimate room of 1950s Italian furnishings and top tier cocktails from drinks virtuoso Tony Conigliaro. And yes, this bar has no name; perfect for when you don’t know where to go. READ MORE
Like this? Try… Untitled, TC’s other unnamed bar, covered entirely in tinfoil
69 Colebrooke Row, N1 8AA | Open daily from 5pm-late

Dandelyan | Southbank

Dandelyan - best cocktail bars London

Dandelyan comes to you from the revered Ryan Chetiyawardana, raked in three awards at last year’s Tales of the Cocktail, and currently ranks top in the World’s 50 Best Bars list. Oh, and it’s closing next year. Bathed in flamingo pink and forest green, with floor to ceiling window views of the Thames and St Paul’s, it’s visually stunning. And the drinks – concrete sazeracs, nitrate manhattans and the like – are nothing short of cocktail wizardry. READ MORE
Like this? Try… Heads + Tails, a neighbourhood cocktail den with two different personalities
 Sea Containers London, 20 Upper Ground, SE1 9PD Open M-W from 4pm, Th-Sun from 12pm


Main image: Dandelyan

Fancy some quirkier options? Check out the Nudge’s Guide to the most unusual London bars.

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