21 crackin' places to drink in London, England

Sep 5 2018, 9:02 pm

London is a city with something for everyone, and that most definitely includes world-class spots for drinking. The bevvy scene starts early here and is certainly a way of life for Londoners and tourists alike.

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From cozy pub to epic club, here’s our list of places to go if you want to be seen, drink in secret, or anything in between in London.

Cocktail snug: The Zetter Townhouse


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Make your way down the cobblestone streets of Clerkenwell and find yourself at The Zetter, where you can usually get in without a reso. Underneath a hotel, come to this lovely cocktail bar decked out in reclaimed furniture, doilies, and quirky oddities, order yourself a cocktail, and they’ll make you the best one you ever had.

Pro tip: Order a few chocolate truffles as a side. Just trust us.

Address:¬†49-50 St John’s Square
Neighbourhood: Clerkenwell
Phone: +44-20-7324-4444
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Georgian haunt: Lamb & Flag


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Charles Dickens used to come here, so why wouldn’t you? This old Georgian pub with wood panels will leave you feeling like a true Londoner with a palette for a good ale and a story. A rowdy place no longer (because that’s what pubs where in those times), don’t expect bare-knuckle fights here – just good ales and lots of talk.

Address: 33 Rose Street
Neighbourhood: Covent Garden
Phone: +44-20-7497-9504
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Neighbourhood hangouts: The Stag


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Friendly right off the bat, this is an all-around great neighbourhood pub where it’s also totally cool to order a full bottle of wine (to share…). Take your drinks out back to one of the dozens of picnic tables on a warm day, or enjoy the cozy atmosphere inside.

Address: 67 Fleet Road
Neighbourhood: Hampstead
Phone: +44-20-7722-2646
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Tiny traditional: The Dove


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Step inside into what was once hailed as London’s smallest bar. While today, the historic establishment’s been expanded to include a bigger bar and dining area out back (encased in glass for a beautiful view of the river, might we add), you can still order at the original bar at the front and easily visualize the tiny place that was. They have a great traditional food menu as well as well as some English specialties – fancy some rare pigeon?

Address: 19 Upper Mall
Neighbourhood: Hammersmith
Phone:  +44-20-8748-9474
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Jazz hideaway: The Nightjar


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You may have a hard time finding this subterranean speakeasy, so listen close: Find the dark door wedged between a¬†Chicken Cottage and a barber shop, then convince the doorman you’re worthy of entry – he’ll probably tell you there’s nothing down there. Call ahead to get on the list, or show up and hope for a slow night (if there ever is one). Live jazz and blues nightly, rare spirits, and obliteratingly delicious cocktails served in a cozy Prohibition-style setting.

Address: 129 City Road
Neighbourhood: Hoxton / Old Street
Phone: +44-20-7253-4101
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Raise the roof: Queen of Hoxton


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A three-story bar and club that hosts dance DJs and live music, the Queen of Hoxton is a fun spot to drink up and dance it off in East London. There’s also a fantastic roof garden that offers BBQ.

Address: 1 Curtain Road
Neighbourhood: Hoxton
Phone: +44-20-7422-0958
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Amusing concoctions: Trapeze Basement Club


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Step inside for a rowdy good night stacked with fun, amusing cocktails and maybe even a contortionist show. Bring friends, order lots, and make sure you eat so you can keep going until the dance club opens, featuring some of London’s top DJs.

Address: 89 Great Eastern Street
Neighbourhood: Shoreditch
Phone: +44-20-7739-6747
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Quirky and fun: Callooh Callay


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A drinking institution, Callooh Callay is a must-go for anyone who wants to say they went drinking in Shoreditch. Low-lit vibe with a well-dressed crowd, order confidently at the bar or flirt your way to a bartender’s reco, then sip away and eye that cute lad across the floor, whether you’re at a table with friends, or just standing around one making sassy small talk.

Address:  65 Rivington Street
Neighbourhood: Shoreditch
Phone: +44-20-7739-4781
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Final stop: Cargo


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Where the party at? In a brick railway yard under the arches, that’s where. Fun atmosphere for drinks at a hip venue with a bopping dance floor late into the night (ahem, morning). Bring your friends or make new ones.

Address: 83 Rivington Street
Neighbourhood: Hoxton
Phone: +44-20-7739-3440
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East London nerdery: Draughts


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This brick-lined bar is set under a railway archway (we’re sensing a pattern here) and is London’s first board game cafe. Call ahead to make a reservation, because you’ll need a proper table to¬†play one of the dozens of tabletops on offer from its back shelves. Fun atmosphere that draws a younger crowd, expect good beers in a laid-back setting. Plus, a great foray into Hackney daytime digs.

Address: 337 Acton Mews
Neighbourhood: Hackney
Phone: +44-7930-936237
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Comedy and a pint: Angel Comedy


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You’ll find friendly crowds at this Angel pub so you’ll be sure to meet a new friend. If you’re feeling introverted, sit up at the bar and just people watch over a nice room temperature ale (that’s how the English drink them after all) or line up for the next comedy show on the schedule.

Address: 2 Camden Passage
Neighbourhood: Angel
Phone: +44-7500-104816
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Fancy in a market: Champagne + Fromage


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Located in Brixton Market (which is worth checking out anyway), you’ll find this laid-back spot that serves up delicious cheeses and wines to pair. There’s nothing quite like sitting back for some fancy sparkly vino and fromage¬†on their little outdoor patio as crowds of people go by carrying produce and buying pantry fare in this bustling market.

Address: 22 Wellington Street
Neighbourhood: Covent Garden
Phone: +44-20-7240-1604
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Creative drinks: London Cocktail Club


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This London fave (there are loads of locations but this one is pretty central) feels more like a club than it does a cocktail lounge, per se. You’ll find fun music blaring and flirty crowds chattering over hefty drinks in this low-lit space. Expect very creative cocktails where bartenders are never stingy and 2-for-1 specials are the norm. Cocktails on fiiiyah or served with a side of cookie?! Yes, pah-leese!

Address: 224a Shaftesbury Avenue
Neighbourhood: Tottenham Court Road
Phone: +44-20-7580-1960
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Eastern paradise: The Artesian


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Step into a cocktail bar from your dreams, circa some other time in some other place far away when people lived truly glamourously, wore elbow-high gloves and spoke politely (hush hush) over drinks. The oriental decor will sweep you off your fancy heels as will their delectable drinks.

Address: 1C Portland Place
Neighbourhood: Marylebone
Phone: +44-20-7636-1000
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Award-winning bougie: Connaught Bar


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A cocktail here will throw you back at least twenty quid, but it will be so worth it. Half the pleasure is just watching them make it in front of your eyes, at your table! Beautiful crystalware, decor and lighting inspire you to savour a single a single drink like it may be your last, down to the very last drop.

Address: Connaught Hotel in Carlos Place (Neighbourhood: Mayfair
Phone: +44-20-7314-3419
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Cocktail in a teacup: Bourne & Hollingsworth Bar


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You heard right, m’lady. Soho’s little secret, the Bourne and Hollingsworth serves up cocktails in teapots and teacups in a bright garden setting, whether you’re seated inside or out. So, pull up a mismatched chair in this granny chic speakeasy, stick your pinky out, and pretend it’s all a totally sober affair.

Address: 28 Rathbone Place
Neighbourhood: Soho
Phone: +44-20-3174-1156
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Wine on tap: Vagabond Wines


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Load up your card and taste your way across their cellar offerings with over 100 wines on tap. Self-pour a few ounces before you commit to a full glass, then kick back with some share plates at this London classic. Lots of locations to choose from, though the Battersea Power Station location is great because they offer a free shuttle service from central spots in the city, allowing you to see a different part of town without much extra effort.

Address: Unit 12, Circus Village West, Circus Road West
Neighbourhood: Battersea Park
Phone: +44-20-3914-4655
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Shut the door! The Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town


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We love refrigerators in general because, well, they hold food for us. And food = life. But you know what else they hold, in the case of the antique fridge inconspicuously placed at the back of a diner in Shoreditch?

A SUPER SWEET AND EXCLUSIVE BASEMENT SPEAKEASY! Head to the Breakfast Club¬†in Spitalfields, open the fridge door at the back¬†and walk down¬†a secret passage that leads to this intimate little cocktail bar. To be let in, you need to give the password: ‚ÄúI‚Äôm here to see the mayor of Scaredy Cat Town.‚ÄĚ Feeling VIP yet? Even the exit from this bar is hidden, as you will have to nonchalantly saunter out through the bathroom. YOU PEOPLE SAW NOTHING.

Address: 12-16 Artillery Lane
Neighbourhood: Shoreditch
Phone: +44-20-7078-9633
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IPA bound: BrewDog Camden


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English pubs are known for their ales, but some Westerners may not find them offering the kind of hops they’re used to. For a good selection of local taps, head to any one of the Brewdogs in town, though the Camden location offers a fantastic atmosphere to boot. Try their Punk IPA, it’ll knock your socks off.

Address: 113 Bayham Street
Neighbourhood: Camden Town
Phone: +44 20-7284-4626
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Thirties Flair: Milk & Honey


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This Soho cocktail spot, while reservation-only, is worth the call because it has some of the most delicious drinks in the city. Nestled in the heart of Soho, it lives up to its reputation as one of the best spots in the city.

Address: 61 Poland Street
Neighbourhood: Soho
Phone: +44 20-7065-6800
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Cheap Classic: Penderel’s Oak


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You haven’t been out boozing until you hit a Weatherspoon, where you can expect to find some of the cheapest pints around, good rowdy city folk and a generally fantastic London drinking atmosphere. Pendrel’s Oak is as good as any location, but the fact that it’s nested in nicely in the city core, you’re bound to catch a great after-work crowd.

Address: 283-288 High Holborn
Neighbourhood: Holborn
Phone: +44-20-7836-5185
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This article was written by Visnja Milidragovic.

Want to share your favourite places to say ‘cheers’ in your own city? Email us at [email protected] or post using the hashtag #dailyhivemapped!

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