1. Bobby Fitzpatrick, 2. Little Nan's Bar, 3. The Four Quarters, 4. Bunga Bunga, 5. Cahoots, 6. Evans & Peel Detective Agency, 7. Ladies & Gentlemen Camden, 8. Mr Fogg's Society of Exploration, 9. Tabac, 10. Tonight Josephine Waterloo, 11. Booking Office 1869, 12. Vaulty Towers. Not every month has to be depressing. You'll have fun at these strange and beautiful London bars whether you're drinking or not. Get sucked by a theme that is so "immersive" you'll think you've jumped right into your beverage. Explore hidden bars in the most improbable of locations. Or simply laugh at the arcade games, eye-catching lighting, costumed personnel, and cocktails served in the most bizarre drinking glasses ever. The coolest bars in London have been compiled by Toplist to make your evening more enjoyable.
- Bobby Fitzpatrick
- Little Nan’s Bar
- The Four Quarters
- Bunga Bunga
- Evans & Peel Detective Agency
- Ladies & Gentlemen Camden
- Mr Fogg’s Society of Exploration
- Tonight Josephine Waterloo
- Booking Office 1869
- Vaulty Towers
Welcome to Bobby Fitzpatrick, a West Hampstead cocktail bar with a ’70s vibe that elevates nostalgia. Think stylish wallpaper, a stucco ceiling, a retro music collection, and an excessive amount of wood. However, Bobby Fitzpatrick is effective once you get past the strangeness of seeing people from north London sitting in recliners at an assisted living facility in their shirtsleeves. Additionally, there is something oddly reassuring about spending the evening in another decade while intoxicated.
These cocktails are also very tasty. The Enrique the Fifth, smokey mescal, pineapple, absinthe, and egg-white concoction with the ideal amount of tang, is the most popular beverage here. Try the Alison Mahoney, though, as rum-based cocktails are the specialty, (The owner’s senior prom date is honored with this spiced rum drink.)
But the meal is where the novelty value wanes. The lamb doner pizza tastes like a drunk person dropped their kebab all over a deep-dish Icelandic pizza. Yes, you read that correctly. The prawn cocktail is a good choice; stick with it. What could be more distinctly 1970s than that?
Address: 273 W End Ln, London NW6 1QS, United Kingdom
Phone: +44 20 7433 1989
Rating: 4.6/5.0, 529 Google reviews
Little Nan’s Bar
The return of Little Nan’s Bar to Deptford—which it left in 2014 after being forced to close—feels as joyful. Those who have had the pure pleasure of visiting the bar while it was in pop-up form and roaming around London in anticipation of returning to Deptford will understand the “EastEnders” analogy. There are numerous references to Pat, leopard print, and china in this retro living room spoof in a railway arch at Deptford Market Yard.
Tristan Scutt, who identifies himself as the grandchild of this endeavor, is the owner of the small nan in question. While everything in the bar is old, he has made it very clear that there is nothing “shabby chic” in memory of his late grandmother, who lived to reach 104. Instead, there is a full-on ’80s front room fetishism going on, complete with cocktail menus tucked away in books of Charles and Diana memorabilia, mocktails served in mugs with leopard print, soap stars in picture frames, and tons of couches covered in cats.
You can order cocktails by the teapot or order one by yourself and receive a complimentary cocktail umbrella. The cocktails are on the sweeter, funnier end of the spectrum; my Chief Girl of Deptford was a frothy concoction of gin, prosecco, lemon, and Morello cherry syrup that resembled a boozy Vimto. True British snacks include a great fish finger sarnie and, if you’re feeling nostalgic, hoops on toast. Additionally, they put sparklers in our serving of hipster fries (dusted with paprika).
Address: London SE8 4BZ, United Kingdom
Phone: +44 7792 205375
Rating: 4.1/5.0, 334 Google reviews
The Four Quarters
There are frequently held gaming contests, as well as sporadic film screenings, one-off events, and parties, to make use of the collections of outdated arcade games. Check out their Instagram for weekly updates. Their basement bar typically has live DJ sets on Friday and Saturday nights. They frequently feature D&B and Jungle DJs, but they also offer events for a variety of musical genres, including EP launch parties.
Address: 187 Rye Ln, London SE15 4BN, United Kingdom
Phone: +44 20 3754 7622
Rating: 4.5/5.0, 820 Google reviews
Bunga Bunga is one of the coolest bars in London. You’re in luck if you’ve been waiting patiently for a kitsch, ironic bar that celebrates the frivolous side of Italy and features party animal PM Silvio Berlusconi as its face. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that it was created by Charlie Gilkes and Duncan Stirling, the team behind Sloane bars Kitts, Bart’s, and Lady Thatcher-inspired, 1980s-themed nightspot Maggie’s.
There isn’t a square inch of this bar-pizzeria that isn’t plastered in some form of vibrant memorabilia, from humorous political cartoons to Roman busts on the walls to old mopeds dangling from the ceiling. Another feature is live music, again of the most bizarre (or dubious) variety: at the launch party, Wagner from “The X Factor” was in charge of the bongos, and on Saturday night, a mustachioed man dressed in Tyrolean garb is prancing around on the small stage while singing songs like “Valerie” and “Delilah” and strumming a tiny banjo.
A small range of Italian wine and beers, along with Prosecco, Martini, and Campari-based cocktails, round out the menu’s beverage offerings. The Berlusconi Bellini, a straightforward concoction of spiced peach purée and Prosecco presented in a Champagne glass reminiscent of the 1920s with charming miniature flowers, is seductively girlie and ideal for luring a few barely-legal fillies in the wee hours of the morning.
Address: 167 Drury Ln, London WC2B 5PG, United Kingdom
Phone: +44 20 7590 3602
Rating: 4.2/5.0, 798 Google reviews
You’ll enjoy Cahoots, the bar with a vintage-tube vibe that is more popular with visitors than Madame Tussauds. It was more terrifying than rush hour on the Central Line before you even got to the “platform,” from its ‘tally ho’ e-comms after making a reservation to the awkward ‘train guard’ actor on the door and his utter reluctance to break Mockney character (you know, the bar). However, once you were inside, the helpful staff, dim lighting, and vintage (read: kitsch) underground decor allowed you to immediately unwind into cocktail hour. The period it’s portraying is a little hazy, but you’re not really searching for historical accuracy because Cahoots isn’t exactly taking itself seriously.
An extensive menu of cocktails that is the size of a newspaper makes it easier to get in the mood, but it is also damned long to read. Fortunately, they highlight a few from the menu that best suit particular tastes and the staff offers suggestions. Unsurprisingly, a Judy Garland ($10) in a cup and saucer was delivered. The combination of gin, Aperol, grapefruit, and camomile tea was light and zesty. The ingenious “Cahooch” part of the menu’s “grog” section served as the foundation for the old-fashioned (£11), which had more of an edge. Snacks are simple and fall short of being retro, but they do offer some added hilarity packed in ration trays for those who enjoy quirky things.
Address: 13 Kingly Ct, Carnaby, London W1B 5PW, United Kingdom
Phone: +44 20 7352 6200
Rating: 4.6/5.0, 2647 Google reviews
Evans & Peel Detective Agency
With this new subterranean pub accessible off Earl’s Court Road, the speakeasy movement either achieves its apogee or nadir, depending on your taste. The menu implores diners not to ever bring unwelcome attention to the establishment. Depending on how far you want to go with the pantomime, Evans & Peel becomes a typical pub for 2012 with bare brick walls, cracked white butcher’s tiles, and orange-filamented lights. Once inside, the gumshoe element is dropped.
And it’s dark: ‘Pit and the Pendulum’ is dark, supernaturally dark, which is OK if you’re simply sipping a cocktail but a little unpleasant if you’re trying to eat, as we did. There are smoked pulled pork sliders, smoked beef ribs, and smoked Tabasco butter on corn cobs since a lot of the food is served after spending some time in the restaurant’s in-house smoker.
But the drinks are really good. Meanwhile, cocktails were noteworthy, and London Pale Ale is delivered through an old radiator, which is neat. For instance, Tanqueray in a G-minus was combined with orange bitters and lavender and earl grey after being infused; Sheer Fashion simply combined fine bourbon with honey, sugar, and vanilla syrup. Although a bit delayed due to a high caseload, the overall service was effective.
Address: 310c Earls Ct Rd, London SW5 9BA, United Kingdom
Phone: +44 20 7370 5378
Rating: 4.6/5.0, 829 Google reviews
Ladies & Gentlemen Camden
The best bars are dive bars because they are seedy places to have a little fun. And it doesn’t get any dirtier or more decrepit than a former public restroom. Founder of Vestal Vodka William Borrell already has one bar in a restroom, called Ladies & Gentlemen in Kentish Town. He has since expanded to a second bar, serving cocktails in the convenience store by Camden Road station.
Keep an eye out for the lightbox and down the steps to a small area with space for 45 people. Concrete and concrete flooring in disrepair is illuminated by pavement lights that project a twilight tint from above. As it grows darker, candles and a few wall lamps highlight the room’s wood paneling and ultramarine seats. It’s incredible how nicely these restrooms have been cleaned.
Cocktails are the focus, and there are 12 to pick from on the list. These featured margaritas and martinis as well as less well-known drinks like the aviation, a seductive purple beverage with a parma violets flavor that may not be to everyone’s taste but will at least drive your fans into a frenzy online. The cocktail menu is poised for some mild updates now that Borrell is making rum infused with CBD. Of course, the bogs in Camden have probably seen it all before.
Address: 2 Highgate Rd, London NW5 1NR, United Kingdom
Phone: +44 7956 749793
Rating: 4.5/5.0, 311 Google reviews
Mr Fogg’s Society of Exploration
Mr. Fogg’s Society of Exploration is one of the coolest bars in London. How about an intricate gin and beer concoction served in an elephant’s tusk if a G&T won’t do? That is a beverage that is available at Mr. Fogg’s Society of Exploration. It’s one of a few establishments of the Mr. Fogg’s bar group, located on a side street just off the Strand, and it advertises itself as a “whistlestop tour” across the globe through alcohol. The menu is divided into sections featuring cocktails that are inspired by various far-flung places in the world, such as the Sahara desert, the Amazon rainforest, and the North Pole.
Phileas Fogg’s adventures have undoubtedly given him more than just ideas for beverages. Sledges hang from the ceiling, there is a badger on the bar, and there are stuffed animals all throughout the place. There is also a replica of the Orient Express where you may sit and sip if you want to feel like you are off on your own adventure. If you don’t feel quite as adventurous, you can relax in a cozy booth or velvet armchair.
Address: 1A Bedford St, London WC2E 9HH, United Kingdom
Phone: +44 20 7590 5255
Rating: 4.6/5.0, 1152 Google reviews
Do you like romance? If so, you’ll like Tabac, a tiny bar in Kentish Town managed by the same French-English couple as Patron Cave à Manger on the same street. Tabac is oh-so-French and très, très romantic. This small room, a former tobacconist’s, is sleek yet rustic, with mid-century modern furnishings strewn across the area among the flowers, souvenirs, and French antiques. The back wall of the establishment is lined with bookcases filled with vintage tobacco tins, and my favorite table is a cozy booth for two with candlelight.
A modest amount of bitters was added to the Lemon Garden, a super-smooth gin Martini with vibrant flavor, and a lovely branch of lemon thyme was added as a garnish. The Holywater, on the other hand, was a potent but expertly proportioned blend of rum, cognac, lime, and grapefruit that was on the opposite end of the spectrum. Try the truffle honey goat’s cheese if you want something cheesy and delicious, and the bartenders were just as pleasant as you’d expect from a French bar, so the food on offer went well with the concept and the drinks.
Address: 16 Fortess Rd, London NW5 2EU, United Kingdom
Phone: +44 20 3941 4874
Rating: 4.7/5.0, 68 Google reviews
Tonight Josephine Waterloo
Tonight Josephine Waterloo would like your visit to be the latter tonight. Sure, it’s a bar, but in reality, it makes for one incredible photo opportunity in a rainbow of pink. It’s akin to a Venus fly trap for millennial feminists who are enamored with Instagram. Cyber-sayings and meme-related content are literally plastered all over this tiny basement pub. It’s silly, snarky, and completely without shame. It wants you to be and to post about it on social media after that. That girl who is constantly begging for likes is Josephine.
Cocktails on the menu are visually appealing but too sweet, making them as loud as the music. A tube of Parma Violets was perched on top of the purple, gin-based drink known as The Violet Femme. Love Potion, a tart mixture of pineapple syrup, strawberries, and prosecco, was served from a tumbler rimmed with sparkling sugar. The flavors weren’t very memorable, but the drinks fit well with the boisterous, chaotic atmosphere of the establishment. A small wine and bubbly menu, bottled beers, cider, and shots are also available. If you really want the sugar to make you crazy, try the vodka-infused Skittles.
Address: 111 Waterloo Rd, London SE1 8UL, United Kingdom
Phone: +44 20 7928 4918
Rating: 4.5/5.0, 681 Google reviews
Booking Office 1869
In the heart of King’s Cross, Booking Office 1869 opens its doors in November 2021, offering an exciting new venue for dining and drinking. Tuesday through Saturday, starting at 4:30 p.m., the bar and restaurant are open. It has a late license and on-site DJs. As it works to establish itself as an all-day dining destination, these days and hours will be expanded in the spring of 2022.
Chef Patrick Powell oversaw the creation of the menus, and Bar Manager Jack Porter created the corresponding beverage selection. Hugo Toro, a renowned Parisian architect, oversaw the thorough remodeling of the station’s original 19th-century ticket hall in order to provide a concept that brings the space to life by fusing old and contemporary inspirations and showing a visual conversation with the site’s exceptional legacy. Hugo’s reinvigoration of the space, along with the elegant yet understated food and cocktail menus created by Patrick and Jack, respectively, help the recently opened Booking Office 1869 fully embrace the characteristics of its location, which serves as a passport between London and the rest of Europe. St Pancras International Station.
Address: Euston Rd, London NW1 2AR, United Kingdom
Rating: 4.2/5.0, 641 Google reviews
You can tell that the owners of this Waterloo bar, which is a hybrid of a pub and a theater play, are also the minds behind The Vaults. Huge stage props are all throughout the place; a huge imitation moon rests among the tables, and an enormous pair of glittering red lips beams brilliantly at patrons. One of the tables is in a treehouse with a small stairway leading up to it, and another is in a tiny cavern that is covered in camouflage netting. One of the bar stools is so intentionally, hilariously high that you can sit on it with your bum clear of the bar.
Everything about it is enjoyable, even the drink options. Beyond Lagunitas, there aren’t many more craft beer alternatives, but there are alcoholic lychee or Pimm’s slushies, espresso martinis, and draft negronis that may be obtained from a rope-entwined pump that is lit by fairy lights. Anyone who is having trouble choosing a cocktail will be given the chance to spin a cardboard “Wheel of Fortune”-style pointer by the bar staff as a joke.
It’s clear that this property wasn’t designed by a classy, well-funded company. Particularly in the cellar with its cracked mirror ceiling and crimson velvet curtains, it seems like a do-it-yourself project. But what makes it so endearing is the haphazard assortment of garish homemade placards and accessories.
Address: 34 Lower Marsh, London SE1 7RG, United Kingdom
Phone: +44 20 7928 9042
Rating: 4.5/5.0, 1671 Google reviews