When you fancy “one for the road” after last orders at the pub, these late night bars in London might just be the ticket. And with the arrival of the Night Tube, the drinks are still flowing in these speakeasys, pubs and cocktail bars, most of which are all open until at least 2am.
So if you’re looking for bars that are open late in London, here’s our guide to where to find somewhere in the small wee hours.
Soho | Covent Garden | Chinatown | Shoreditch | Liverpool Street | Old Street | The City | Clerkenwell | Dalston | Stepney | Canary Wharf | Kings Cross | Islington | Stoke Newington | Tufnell Park | Brixton | Camberwell | Tooting | Clapham | Crystal Palace| Waterloo | Mayfair | Chelsea
1. Jerusalem, Soho
A staple of the Soho scene for nearly 20 years, head down the steep stairs into this relaxed basement bar for a chilled-out end to the evening. While there is plenty of distressed seating to rest your legs – there’s also room for dancing and trying out their great cocktail list.
2. Cafe Boheme *closed until Spring 2018*
This traditional French cafe is one of London’s prettiest late night venues, and one that has outlasted plenty of rivals over its 20 years in Old Compton Street. The French wine list is extensive, but they also do plenty of cocktails. The beer and cider are reasonably priced too. There’s a lovely late night menu, so you can tuck into French classics like a Croque Monsieur or steak frites instead of a kebab.
3. Basement Sate
If you want to end the evening on a sweet note, head underground into Soho’s first permanent pudding bar. You can just go straight for a dessert or pair it with a cocktail. The lighting is dark and moody and they have DJs spinning tunes on a Friday and Saturday night.
4. Ain’t Nothing But…
It doesn’t matter what night you visit – there’ll be live blues helping you continue into the small hours. Music is the centre piece here but they do have a good range of drinks and a nice relaxed atmosphere. On Fridays and Saturdays there’s a small entry charge after 8.30pm.
If you’re all dressed up and looking for somewhere to go, this 1940s Britain-themed bar is a cheeky option. They put on different entertainment from live music, getting round the Old Joanna for a sing song, or playing vintage records. There’s an over 21s policy and getting in the spirit, clothing wise, definitely gets you brownie points on entry.
6. The Pink Chihuahua at El Camion
The restaurant here serves Mexican food until 2am if you want a late night bite – or just head straight downstairs to the cocktail bar for a fine Margarita. You can eat, drink and dance the night away – but it might be wise to join their membership club, or get someone to sign you in, to ensure entry.
Established in 1986, this cocktail bar continues to attract the crowds with its reasonably-priced drinks and down-to-earth atmosphere. You’ll find it under Shaftesbury Avenue, at the top of Monmouth Street, and for a basement bar it has an incredibly high ceiling and plenty of space.
Hours: Sun: 12pm to 10.30pm, Mon-Wed: 12pm to 11pm, Thur, 12pm to midnight, Fri-Sat: 12pm-2am
Getting there: 198 Shaftesbury Ave, London WC2H 8JL
8. Dirty Martini
This late night cocktail chain has bars across the city, including Clapham in south London, Angel, Monument and St Paul’s in the City – so check their website to find your nearest venue.
While you’re probably heading here after normal pub hours, their week-night happy hour extends until 10pm (except Friday – that’s 8pm) – where you can get a range of half-priced cocktails and money off beer and fizz.
9. Opium Cocktail & Dim Sum Parlour
Step through the jade door into this three-floored, multi-roomed venue for a more Bohemium cocktail experience. There are nice touches like a seasonal drinks menu, mixed with their own homemade syrups, and you can pair what you drink with some delightful dumplings.
10. The Experimental Cocktail Club
This Parisian-style speakeasy is all exposed brickwork and intimate lighting. It’s also surprisingly big – once you go through the shabby black door you’ll find an elegant townhouse. As the name implies, you’ll find a more unusual cocktail list than the norm.
There’s a £5 cover charge if you arrive after 11pm, and it might be wise to make a reservation and dress the part – they operate a strict door policy.
East London late night drinking spots
11. The Redchurch Bar
This small late-night cocktail bar is a lovely place to cosy up in. Their extensive cocktail list includes signature punch bowls (min 4 people), if you’re in the mood for sharing.
12. Golden Bee
Rightly renowned for its excellent rooftop bar, it also has plenty more floors to explore. The resident DJs play the latest tunes, club and house classics, and even the odd request, for you to dance to. They have a great cocktail list, plenty of bubbles and a huge range of spirits to try.
13. The Horse and Groom
Known as the “Disco Pub”, thanks to its late-night parties at the weekend, you’ll find plenty to entertain you in this two-story venue.
Excavations by the Museum of London found the Curtain Theatre (where Shakespeare is believed to have performed) under where the female toilets currently are, however the entertainment is now totally 21st century, with top class DJs taking to the decks.
14. Miranda at the Ace Hotel
In terms of live entertainment, there’s something going on at this hotel basement bar every night of the week. Things get going at 6pm and continue late in the evening, and early morning. Most events are free, or free until 10pm. Some nights you just need to drop them an email to get on the RSVP list – check the website or ask at the door.
15. Joyeux Bordel
This French-themed champagne and cocktail bar will have your feet tapping to their retro sound system late into the night. The latest venture by the The Experimental Group, expect a stylish feel, with classic drinks and low-key lighting making for a relaxed atmosphere.
Hours: Mon-Thur: 6pm to 2am, Fri-Sat: 6pm to 3am, Sun: 6pm to midnight
Getting there: 147 Curtain Road, Shoreditch, London, EC2A 3Q
16. Barrio East
The colourful Barrio in Shoreditch is now open till 2am, serving a nice line in South American street food and cocktails. Every week they host different live music evenings such as Soul Jam, Retrolicious and Hawaiian Bop.
17. Duck & Waffle
For late night drinks with a view, few places can rival Duck & Waffle for watching over London as the sun comes up. Open until 5am, there is often a waiting list to eat, but you can have a cocktail in the bar either way. Make sure you’re dressed smart and not too worse for wear, as there’s a strict door policy.
18. The Nightjar
This award-winning bar is all about vintage: think rare drinks, a glamorous interior and background sounds. They operate a seat-service policy and serve a range of premium brands and classic cocktails. If you’re feeling flush they have an Old Tim gin (1910) and a Straight Rye whisky (1863), at £60 a shot to try.
There’s a small cover charge for the evenings when they have live music on, including blues, ragtime, swing and jazz, which usually starts from 9pm.
Hours: Sun-Wed: 6pm to 1am, Thur: 6pm to 2am, Fri-Sat: 6pm to 3am
Getting there: 129 City Road, London, EC1V 1JB
19. Whistling Shop
This acclaimed Victorian-themed cellar bar takes cocktails from the past and reimagines them using cutting-edge techniques.
Sit down in the cosy, moody interior and they’ll serve you at your seat.
20. Hoxton Grill
If you like eating late, this American inspired restaurant is open until 2am. If you’re not hungry, just pull up a stool at the bar. They serve cocktails, tonics and wines by the bottle, and have guest DJs at the weekend, so you can have a drink, light bite and a bit of dance as well.
21. Steam and Rye
This fun American-themed bar has food, drink and live entertainment, along with dry ice (the steam in the railway themed bar) going off now and again. Drink prices range from wine and beer to vintage champagne at the top end of the spectrum.
They also specialise in group bookings and parties with added extras – check their website for details.
22. Bourne & Hollingsworth’s Below & Hidden
This exclusive new clubroom aims at a discerning audience, as the den is no bigger than the average living room. Table service comes from a cabinet of cocktails and bespoke beverages. As the night goes on the resident DJ turns it into a rather posh house party.
You must book a table (4 to 6 people) and there is a guaranteed £200 min spend.
This large independent bar has cocktails, a banging sound system and food to keep the fun times going. Over two storeys, the bar is always free, but you’ll need to pay entry into the basement for the live music (although they promise to keep that cheap).
24. The George Tavern
Jump on the DLR and visit this old public house which dates from 1623 – mentioned by Charles Dickens in his writings. It’s wonderfully preserved, so enjoy a beer while you soak up the history. In the last decade it has become and arts, music and performance venue so check the website for details of what’s on.
25. Brodies Bar
As the only bar in Canary Wharf with a late licence, it’s safe to say Brodies gets busy towards the end of the week. It really comes into its own in the warmer months, as it has a large outdoor terrace overlooking West India Quay.
Inside they have plenty of seating and a jukebox during the day and live DJs at night to get the party started.
Late night opening in North London
26. The Booking Office
There are few more stylish late-night drinking destinations than the restored former grand station café at St Pancras station. Order a drink at the huge bar and enjoy the night-time entertainment. Despite it being a lively setting it would be hard to raise the roof – the venue is cavernous.
A late-night offering from the Simmons chain of bars, complete with a mirror ball shaped like a skull. The music ranges from 80s to funk and plenty in between, and they’ve got a late-ish happy hour (4pm to 9pm) if you want to get a bottle of beer or glass of wine for half price.
Simmons in Camden also opens until 1.30am (Thur-Sat)
28. Big Chill House
This cool converted Victorian Pub has several floors to explore, including a year-long roof terrace. It’s a real party venue at the weekends (note the over 21s policy), with DJs and drinks until 3am.
29. The Lexington
This American style bar has a lounge serving up craft beers from US microbreweries, along with a few homegrown ales – or choose from 40 bourbon and whiskeys.
They play the music loud in the large bar, and also have an upstairs area for equally raucous gigs and club nights should you be enticed upstairs.
30. Drake and Morgan
One of the latest bars and restaurants to open up behind Kings Cross station, this also has a funky basement bar. Alongside an extensive wine and fizz list as well as cocktails to get stuck into, they also have a large outdoor space for when the weather’s warmer.
31. Slim Jim’s Liquor Store
Rock the night away in Angel, in an American-themed bar which has floor to ceiling premium whiskies to choose from. Alternatively give their craft beer or cocktails a whirl while picking some rock standards from their classic jukebox.
Every Saturday from 6pm, there’s free live music, and happy hours from 4pm- 8pm.
32. The Dolls House
This former Victorian town house, with its distinctive monochrome interior in several of its rooms, does great cocktails. DJs play until 4am if you fancy a bit of dancing. It gets really busy at weekends, but the atmosphere remains really relaxed.
33. Wenlock and Essex
Inside the wooden interior of a traditional pub, you’ll find plenty of craft beers to keep you going until 2am at weekends. They serve food unto 10pm and they have gigs on selected evenings or DJ nights most weekends (watch out for the disco floor).
34. The Bar With No Name
Keeping with the Film Noir-themed interior, this mysterious untitled bar (known as 69 Colebrooke Row) has won numerous awards for its unique cocktails.
If you can find it (look for its outdoor lantern) inside you’ll be rewarded with cocktails created by the Drink Factory, a research and development laboratory located at Broadway Market. It’s pretty small so you might want to book ahead.
35. The Big Red
This popular Holloway Road late night spot is unpretentious, a little bit studenty, but most of all fun. Live bands often play or you can just get a beer until 4am on a Sunday morning.
36. High Water
This classy wine and cocktail bar in Dalston is open until 12:30am on week nights – a good place to take a date that’s going well. They’ve got a good list of booze to get through, it’s low lit, with table and bar seating. You can reserve a space behind the curtain if you’ve got a group. You can even bring your dog.
37. Original Sin
Spend time at the low-lit lengthy bar or pop into one of the booths for some table service. This is a sizeable place, with lovely wooden interiors throughout, and they serve up a great range of cocktails.
If you’re feeling competitive – the pool table is free.
38. Aces and Eights
Grab a seat or book a booth in this dimly lit bar until 2.30am at the weekend. You can watch live music in their basement bar (see website for tickets) on selected dates. They also serve a great range of pizza with more than ten to choose from.
39. Joe’s Bar
Drink and dance the night away every day of the week here – but make sure you take your ID – they have a strict over-21s policy. It’s close to the Roundhouse so it will be especially busy early and late when there is an event on.
It’s got an independent dive bar feel to it, but this is one of the best places to hear vintage and live music from the 1950s in London.
Bars open late in South London
The Brixton branch is currently closed, but the Tooting bar is still open. Their seasonal cocktail menu has ten signature drinks, made with homemade bitters and syrups, and you can also buy your spirits by the bottle.
Hours: Mon: 5.30pm to midnight, Tue-Wed: 10.30am to midnight, Thur: 10.30am to 2.30am, Fri-Sat: 10.30am to 3am, Sun: 10.30am to 10.30pm
Getting there: 1 Salvador Lane, Tooting SW17 9NA
Website and Twitter
41. The Tiger
This traditional British boozer has a living-room feel to it, albeit a very large one with bay windows. A late night spot to get real ale, with a rotating selection, as well as craft beers. They have DJs playing until 3.30am every Friday and Saturday and it’s a great venue to watch sports in.
42. Communion Bar
The stunning stained glass effect on the windows and bar in this cocktail bar offers something different.
They have a huge cocktail range, with the classics covered, along with their own unique blends and mixes.
If you’re hungry, order tapas from the Angels & Gypsies kitchen and visit on a Sunday for their monthly party nights with live music.
43. Prince of Peckham
This newly opened pub with a diverse range of live music and different themed nights, including LGBT. There’s Caribbean food like jerk chicken on the menu, and the whole feel is very much embracing its south London roots.
44. The Tooting Tram & Social
This huge bar (it’s 75 feet from floor to ceiling) has a massive main bar as well as mezzanine levels if you want to view the action from above. They have a great range of beers and ales on tap and bottled, as well as three different wine measures, depending on how thirsty you are.
A great live music venue, they do open-mic nights, club sounds, DJs and gigs throughout each month. Entry before 10pm is free and after it’s £3 (or more if it is a specific event).
45. Fu Manchu
This self-dubbed Edwardian/Opium den themed restaurant, cocktail bar and nightclub is a fun place to dance until 3am at the weekend. Underneath its funky railway arch interior, you can try their homemade Dim Sum or one of their colourful cocktails – with Asian influenced flavours.
46. Westow House
This traditional pub has a late-night local feel, so you can sip from their range of craft beers and real ales while lounging on a Chesterfield sofa. They have board games, a 1950’s pinball machine and table football if the conversation is lulling.
Free live music plays on a Friday night, they show all the football games, and if you fancy popping back in on a Sunday, a fine roast dinner awaits.
47. Mark’s Bar
Unusually, you’ll find Mark’s Bar in a famous theatre – The Old Vic – open until 2am Thursday to Saturday. It’s up in the Dress Circle and Upper Circle bar area and theatregoers can get access from 6pm. Once the evening performance is finished (check website for timings), anyone can pop in.
Late night drinking in West London
48. Trader Vic’s
Most famous for creating The Original Mai Tai® in 1944, this is one of London’s classic cocktail bars – and following a remodel – still going strong. You’ve got 200 signature cocktails to choose from and the drinks come in all shapes in sizes, from mugs to glassware and huge punchbowls.
They also serve up fusion cuisine in their restaurant at London’s Hilton on Park Lane.
49. Galvin at Windows
One of the best bars with a sweeping view of London is on the 28th floor of London Hilton at Park Lane. Start with one of their signature cocktails, or if you’re after something stronger, ask about their large whisky collection. They also do tapas in the bar and the dress code is smart (no sportswear)
50. Vingt Quatre
This 24-hour-diner which also serves drinks is on the Fulham Road. You can get fed and watered at any time of day here and the ambience is very relaxed, with the lights dimming as it gets later. They’ve also opened a venue in Bloomsbury as well if you don’t fancy heading west.
Drinking in London
If you’re looking for further inspiration, why not peruse our list of cocktail bars in London? Or how about getting up high for some cracking views – our rooftop bars guide might help with that. When it’s warm, our list of beer gardens really comes in handy, with plenty of opportunities to drink alfresco in the capital.
And if you really want to make a weekend of it – you can always find plenty of places to stay within shouting distance of London’s famous nightlife – no need to get a taxi home.