London cocktail bars

Best cocktail bars in London 

It can be difficult to know where to begin when it comes to London cocktail bars. From longstanding city stalwarts to fresh new faces on the bar scene, if you're looking for somewhere to drink in the capital, you'll be spoilt for choice. Whether you're after a classy venue with a classic drinks list or want to mix things up with some more inventive combinations. Work your way through our own delectable selection and take your pick.

Top 8 cocktail bars


The ultimate list 


Top 8 London cocktail bars

London's cocktail scene is on fire - and we're not talking about flaming sambucas. The city's top bars offer drinks list that mix much-loved classics with creative new concoctions and in settings as diverse as the neighbourhoods they occupy. The best thing about this, is that you can hand-pick the perfect bar like the ingredients that go into your drink. Want something quirky and vibrant, or stylish and subdued? In every corner of the city you'll find an array of delicious options. 

1. Swift

Choose to sit upstairs or downstairs at Swift, a Soho spot serving an array of delicious cocktails. And, if the weather’s nice, a great place to perch outside and people-watch. Head downstairs for live music at weekends; wherever you choose to sit, you can’t go wrong with a Kew Gardens (gin, cucumber, basil, lime and prosecco) or a classic Bloody Mary.

Area: Soho

Vibe: Dimly lit sleekness

2. Supermax

Think disco meets decadence at Supermax, a King’s Cross joint that’s situated underground beneath a pizza restaurant. This is a fun place to wind down with a cocktail and Italian cicchetti snack, or swing by on a Friday night for a boogie to house, disco or funk beneath the disco ball. 

Area: King’s Cross

Vibe: Sultry neon

3. Beaufort Bar at The Savoy

Crank it up a notch with a carefully crafted cocktail at the Beaufort Bar at The Savoy. The menu focuses on a fun interpretation of magic throughout the ages: and with that in mind, we won’t ruin the surprise and allow you to taste their creations in person. The bar is a black and gold elegant affair, with tall arches, cushion-clad sofas and round-backed chairs. 

Area: The Strand

Vibe: Black and gold opulence

4. Cocktail Trading Company

Head over to east London’s Cocktail Trading Company for a tasty cocktail in a saloon-style bar. But this is Shoreditch, after all, so expect it to be different: your drinks will be served in a unique way (by mismatched glassware or tin can) with equally quirky toppings. There’s also live music nights. 

Area: Shoreditch

Vibe: Hipsters gon’ wild

5. The Connaught Bar

Over in classy Mayfair is the equally classy Connaught Bar, complete with gloved mixologists and all. This hotel bar is one of the most decadent of London cocktail bars, with a distinctive 1920s-Cubist vibe (who wouldn’t immediately recognize that aesthetic?). They also serve food, but if it’s just drinking you’re after, treat yourself to a rather pricey Fleurissimo or Connaught Martini. Make sure you appreciate the interior design by David Collins, too. 

Area: Mayfair

Vibe: Great Gatsby blowout

6. Untitled Bar

The minimalist Untitled Bar is located in Dalston, and offers a variety of classic cocktails as well as their own unique concoctions. Play it safe with a Plantain Rum Daiquiri or sip a Hallo Kitty Highball, before washing it down with small plates of saengseon-hoe, bibim-myun or gaji bokkeum. Not far from Dalston Junction Overground, there’s loads of other little bars around the area, like Three Sheets and The Haggerston. 

Area: Dalston

Vibe: Minimalism and tasteful nude art

7. Hacha

Hacha doesn’t just mix cocktails, but cultures too: Mexican is infused throughout its menu, thanks to its tequila-infused selection of cocktails. There are 25 different agave spirits on offer at this light, airy space. They also specialize in Mezcal, and what makes it even more unique is that it’s the only Agaveria in the city. Make sure you tuck into tacos to complete your evening experience. A London cocktail bar that celebrates Mexican food and drink? We’ll cheers and feast all night to that. 

Area: Dalston

Vibe: Mexican vibrancy

8. Bar Termini

We’ve saved the best ‘til last with Bar Termini, a tiny bar located on Old Compton Street at the heart of Theatreland. With that in mind, it’s perfect for a pre-theatre (or post-theatre) tipple, but it’s just as enjoyable whatever the occasion – especially if the occasion is ‘we need to go to Bar Termini’. Sip the Italian classics here, from Spritz Termini and Bellini to the more inventive (and still very Italian-themed) Death in Venice or Garibaldi. You’ve got a better chance of getting a table if you’re in a small group (no more than four people); otherwise, you might need to be flexible with your timings at this popular bar. 

Browsing London holidays? Bar Termini is located in one of the most popular parts of the city, conveniently located around the Chinatown, Soho  

Area: Soho

Vibe: It’s like sitting in a very small, yet extremely stylish, Italian living room: complete with a round corner bar, of course

The ultimate list of cocktail bars in London

We couldn't resist – there are just too many great cocktail bars in London that we had to mention. Some of these are award-winning and promise quality drinks whether you like them long and strong or short and sweet. So here, in no particular order, are 42 more cocktail bars to visit in the Big Smoke. You're certainly spoiled for choice! 

9. The American Bar at The Savoy, Strand

The bar is named after the slang for cocktails so you know you are in the right place. The Savoy Cocktail book is still regarded as the “Bible for bartenders”. Class all the way. 

10. Bourne & Hollingsworth, Rathbone Place 

A tiny 30s bar hidden away (look for the stairs by the black and white poster). Very handsome bar staff too. Expect drinks served in jam jars and tea cups.

11. Dirty Martini, The Piazza, Covent Garden

In the week, happy hour till 10pm – but get there early at the weekends (open late!!) Get here early for their 2-4-1 deals. Make sure you get the chocolate martini. But if it’s busy and you’re thirsty, go elsewhere. 

12. Trader Vics, Park Lane

Come here for the famed Mai Tai. Just had a major revamp – over a tenner for the top cocktails - Aloha. 

13. Trailer Happiness, Notting Hill 

Fun and silly, which is what cocktails should be, don’t you think? Kitsch rum cocktails.

14. Freud, Shaftesbury Avenue 

Great little bar and gallery, but the cocktail list is enormous. Worth the trip if you can afford to try lots of new things.

15. Zetter, Farringdon 

Worth the trip east for the fabulous martinis. The Zetter Townhouse hotel is award winning, too. 

16. Nightjar, Old Street

An Art Deco slice of heaven - This 1920s themed bar (think pre & post prohibition cocktails on the menu) is open until 3am at the weekend and often has live music.  

17. Aqua Shard, London Bridge 

If you like your drinks served with a view, you can’t get much better than this one from the 31st floor of London’s tallest building. With prices to match the sky-high setting - it’s one for a special occasion. Best to book in advance.

18. Benugo at the BFI, Southbank 

Wonderful movie-themed drinks. Better when it’s quiet though, which is pretty rare. 

19. Garlic and Shots, Soho 

Well it’s great... if you like garlic and you’re not planning on kissing anyone. 

20. Oscar Bar & Restaurant, Charlotte Street Hotel, Fitzrovia

Great in summer, if you’re lucky enough to get a table outside. Don’t move if you do. And go for the Dark ‘n’ Stormy. 

21. Vijay's Lounge, Fitzrovia 

An intimate Indian-inspired speakeasy, found above the acclaimed Lokhandwala Indian tapas restaurant. 

22. Mele E Pere, Soho 

Primarily an Italian restaurant, but great for an aperitivo too - give the homemade vermouth a try. Not the cheapest, but quality all the way. Plus they have Prosecco on tap!

23. Beach Blanket Babylon, Notting Hill 

Stunning design and a classy feel, fitting its west London address. The signature cocktails will give you holiday vibes.

24. Cellar Door, Aldwych / Covent Garden 

A funky underground cocktail bar in a former public toilet. Yep, really. Open until 1am every night so a great central London late night option. 

25. SUSHISAMBA, Covent Garden

This glitzy and eclectic city restaurant took over the market terrace in Covent Garden so you can enjoy views of the Piazza with their signature cocktails and bar snacks. A winning combination for your Insta feed.

26. Mr Fogg’s Tavern, St Martin’s Lane

Once you’ve decoded the extensive cocktail list, sit back and soak up the setting. It’s all rather theatrical (well, you are in the West End).  

27. Simmons, Camden 

A London chain with several centrally-located bars. Camden is the perfect place to embrace Simmons' creative cocktail list, retro games, neon lights and extended happy hour.

28. Booking Office, St Pancras 

This ain’t no ordinary station bar. Forget a swift pint before running for your train - this first-class cocktail lounge is your destination. Fine dining, stylish drinks and a recently refurbished bar/brasseris are there to be savoured. 

29. Soho Hotel, Soho 

They do great mojitos at the hotel’s Refuel Bar. Expect to pay well over a tenner though. Ouch. 

30. Good Godfreys, Waldorf Hilton, Strand / Covent Garden 

Another hotel bar which is open late; try their decadent signature cocktail, The Perfect Host, for a 1920s twist. 

31. Sketch, Mayfair 

Worth a trip for the egg-shaped toilets alone. This is a destination cocktail bar in magical surroundings. 

32. 69 Colebrooke Row, Angel

This small, classic, award-winning bar whips up a darn good tipple. Book ahead. If you're feeling inspired try a cocktail masterclass. 

33. Be at One, Soho 

It’s a pub turned bar chain, so it’s got a very friendly vibe and you'll know what you're getting. 

34. Bob Bob Ricard, Soho 

If you can get a space at the elegant bar, the cocktails are great (if a tad expensive). Otherwise just sit at the tables pressing the champagne trolley buttons. 

35. The Courthouse, The Courthouse Hotel, Soho  

Want to drink convict-themed cocktails in a prison cell? Then come here; I rest my case! 

36. Basement Sate, Soho 

Dessert, cocktails and dessert cocktails! What better way to end a night? 

37. Artesian, The Langham, Marylebone

On several of the world’s best bar lists, this is the height of cocktail bar sophistication. They love pushing the boundaries and have unique and experimental recipes. 

38. Freedom, Soho 

This is a great little gay bar open to everyone. Awesome cocktails (try the Zombie) and a giant disco ball above the dancefloor. 

39. The Gibson, Old Street 

Edwardian chic meets cutting edge cocktails. Winners of the title of World's Best Martini 2018. 

40. The Hawksmoor, Shoreditch 

Not just incredible steak, they can shake a decent tipple as well. Amazing cocktail list. 

41. Callooh Callay, Shoreditch

Fitting in rather snugly with its trendy Shoreditch neighbours, this award-winning cocktail menu just has to be tried. Go through to the back room for a more private space. 

42. Cock Tavern, Kennington 

An historic Georgian pub, turned popular gay bar with a Tiki-twist, thanks to its formerly being known as the South London Pacific. 

43. Shoreditch House, Shoreditch 

Very swanky members’ club (part of the Soho House group). Very swanky drinks, naturally.

44. Sugar Cane, Clapham 

Who wouldn’t want to drink in a Tiki hut? Lots of rum on the shelf here in, err, tropical...Clapham. 

45. Covent Garden Cocktail Club, Covent Garden 

This members-only club only costs £1 to join via email 24 hours before you go (and you can then sign in 3 pals). Their 2-4-1 deals run nightly and membership means it doesn’t get absolutely heaving. 

46. The Rivoli at The Ritz, Piccadilly 

Great drinks in amazing Art Deco surroundings. But then it's the Ritz - you wouldn’t expect anything less, would you? 

47. The Oriole, Smithfield Markets 

Charming underground bar, inspired by the spirit of adventure - both in its quirky decor, and its exotic drinks menu. 

48. Tonight Josephine, Waterloo

Fun, kitsch and very, very pink. The perfect spot for a girls’ night out. Happy hour runs during the week and you can get a free cocktail by signing up to their mailing list. 

49. Cubana, Waterloo 

Sure it’s a bit of a dive, but the mojitos are wonderful. 

50. Hakkasan, right by Tottenham Court Road 

Tucked away, you’d think you were in another part of the world.  Other branches of the chic restaurant group have since popped up in Mayfair and several glitzy locations across the globe. But why not go for the original when it’s this good.

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