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London is a city that loves to drink. Beyond the traditional pubs of England’s capital, there are also tons of great cocktail bars to fit every mood & every budget. Whether you’re looking for quiet drinks or a big night out, you’re covered. The same goes if you’re on a budget or if you’re looking to splurge (though let’s face it, even the cheapest places to drink in London still have London prices to some extent). Discover the best cocktail bars in London, including cool bars, quirky bars, fancy bars, and more.

The Best Cocktail Bars in London, England

Discount Suit Company

From the outside, Discount Suit Company looks exactly like you’d expect a textile business in Spitalfields to look, with a crumbling sign & a clothing business on the corner. That’s exactly the point.

Go through the black door on Wentworth Street, head down the steep stairs, & pull back the black curtain to find one of the coolest cocktail bars in London.

Discount Suit Company is located in the former basement storeroom of a suit tailor’s shop. With brick walls, peeling wood beams, wood floors, and well, wood everything, plus leather chairs and loveseats, there are lots of cozy nooks that are perfect for a date.

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Then there’s the music, a mix of Northern Soul, vintage rock, Motown, funk, and r&b, with weekend DJs. All of it combines for one of the best atmospheres of any London cocktail bar. It’s the perfect place to sip a cocktail.

Ah, yes, the cocktails. Discount Suit Company has a seasonally changing menu with house cocktails, plus beer & wine. There are cheese boards & other bar snacks available. The bartenders are also more than happy to make drink creations to suit your taste. Not only that but the cocktails are excellently priced. It’s not a cocktail bar where you’ll pay £15 for a drink. Service is also quick.

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On my visits, I tried a variety of cocktails, including the Money Runner, the Solero, and the Baklava. When I ordered the latter, I thought to myself that it would be cool if it came with an actual piece of baklava. Lo and behold, it did!

For a final drink, I went off-menu and requested something similar to a Manhattan, and mentioned I’d also liked all the flavors from my previous drinks. I thus got to have a Tipperary for the first time, a cocktail made with Irish whiskey, green chartreuse, sweet vermouth, & bitters.

It was delicious, just like the rest of the drinks at Discount Suit Company, who are making some of the best cocktails in London.

Address: 29A Wentworth St, London E1 7TB, United Kingdom (map)
Nearest stations: Aldgate East & Liverpool Street

Satan’s Whiskers

Satan’s Whiskers is not just one of the best bars in London, but it’s one of the best bars anywhere, having appeared on the list of the World’s 50 Best Bars.

There’s nothing flashy at Satan’s Whiskers, with no real gimmicks to be found. It’s a connoisseurs cocktail bar that’s popular with bartenders, a place that’s straightforward but with every detail carefully considered.

The bartenders took elements they loved from other cocktail bars, such as the ice display, and paired them with other subtle design choices like the backlit bottles & cool custom drip trays with the bar’s logo.

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The Bethnal Green bar is bright enough to be friendly rather than dank, with old posters & taxidermy to let you remind you that this isn’t some stuffy place (no pun intended). The old-school hip-hop playlist also sets the mood.

The Satan’s Whiskers cocktail menu changes daily, but their Manhattan is the star of the show. The Manhattan is my go-to drink, so I of course had to have one. I then followed it with the Mamie Taylor & a cheeseboard.

The drinks at Satan’s Whiskers may be straightforward & traditional, but they are oh-so-well done. They are truly masters of their craft, making it an unmissable London cocktail bar.

Address: 343 Cambridge Heath Rd, London E2 9LJ, United Kingdom (map)
Nearest station: Bethnal Green

American Bar

American Bar inside the Savoy Hotel on the Strand is the oldest cocktail bar in London, having opened in 1893. However, don’t let that make you think it’s some old relic. There’s a reason why it still appears on London’s top bar lists & has been a celebrity favorite for decades.

The cocktail bar is a proper throwback that has remained stayed relevant as time has gone by. Yes, American Bar has old photos on the walls, art deco decor, and jazz & old standards (when there’s not a live piano player), but the frequently-changing cocktail menu still innovates.

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As you may have guessed, thanks to being in a fancy hotel in a posh area of London, American Bar is one of the most expensive cocktail bars in London. That said, you do get what you pay for, so it’s no ripoff at all. The dress code is smart casual.

The service is impeccable, and the drinks also come with snacks (olives & mixed nuts). In addition to the cocktail list, there is also a wine list, including champagne. The food menu includes upscale bar snacks, plus caviar & oysters.

I ordered the Pocket Rocket, a cocktail made from Redbreast 12, Discarded Cascara, Sweet Wine & Vermouth, Cynar, & Creme de Cacao, along with the salmon cigars. The drink was one of the best cocktails I’ve ever had, making the price worth it in my mind as a special treat.

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While the American Bar isn’t a budget cocktail bar by any means, it’s still a lovely place to go for a special occasion or if you want to feel fancy in London.

Address: The Savoy, Strand, London WC2R 0EZ, United Kingdom (map)
Nearest stations: Charing Cross, Covent Garden, Embankment, Temple

The Last Tuesday Society & Absinthe Parlour

Now for something completely different. The Last Tuesday Society & Absinthe Parlour inside The Viktor Wynd Museum of Curiosities, Fine Art & UnNatural History is the weirdest cocktail bar in London. I say that with complete adoration.

First, The Viktor Wynd Museum of Curiosities, Fine Art & UnNatural History is exactly what the name suggests. The basement museum underneath the cocktail bar is filled with all sorts of oddities, including taxidermy, erotica, and the macabre. It’s like an episode of “What We Do In The Shadows” come to life (or death, as the case may be).

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The ground floor of the building is home to The Last Tuesday Society & Absinthe Parlour, the only Absinthe cocktail bar in London. The space is decorated with a taste of what the museum is like below, including weird art & animal specimens. It is like drinking in the Museum of Zoology. The eclectic soundtrack of rock, metal, & funkier stuff with a garage sort of feel rounds out the experience.

The Absinthe found in the bar is from Devil’s Botany, London’s first Absinthe distillery. You can opt for Absinthe cocktails or Absinthe tasting in several ways, including via the traditional method of drinking it with water & sugar cubes.

I opted for one of the signature drinks, the chocolate Absinthe Sazerac, since I love a good sazerac.

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This was followed by Look at the Witches, made with chocolate Absinthe, Cynar, Borghetti espresso liqueur, Roasting Shed coffee, sea salt, and cherry bitters. It was smooth, and I enjoyed the cherry addition to it.

You can visit the museum before or after having cocktails at The Last Tuesday Society & Absinthe Parlour. Personally, I found it to be nice to wander through after having had a couple of drinks.

Read more about my experience at The Last Tuesday Society & Absinthe Parlour & The Viktor Wynd Museum of Curiosities, Fine Art & UnNatural History

Address: 11 Mare St, Cambridge Heath Rd, London E8 4RP, United Kingdom (map)
Nearest station: Cambridge Heath

🔶🟥🔵 A Bar with Shapes for a Name

🔶🟥🔵 A Bar with Shapes for a Name is another highly-regarded London cocktail bar. In addition to shapes for a name, the bar has a cool clean design based on the Bauhaus aesthetic, including round metal stools, high-backed wicker chairs, metal light fixtures, and smooth wood. The music is chill electro, keeping in line with the decor.

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Everything is hidden inside cabinets except for the specific items needed for the cocktail menu. As for that menu, it’s minimalist & clean, as you might expect based on everything I’ve described above. The drinks list includes both house cocktails and classics, as well as snacks.

I went for the Atlas, a cocktail made from Redbreast 12, mezcal verde, dulce de leche, & tonka.

Address: 232 Kingsland Rd, Whitmore Estate, London E2 8AX, United Kingdom (map)
Nearest station: Hoxton

Three Sheets

Three Sheets is an unassuming cocktail bar in Dalston, but the pink neon Suntory outside signals that good drinks are to be found inside. It’s a small spot with just a handful of small tables, plus another handful of seats at the white marble bar. The music is chill & relaxed, but also with some funky beats & influences from around the world, just like the drinks.

The rotating cocktail menu has levels of “sheets” based on the strength of the drinks on each. There are also classic & non-alcoholic cocktails.

I had two drinks at Three Sheets: The Whisky ginger, and the Peaches, which was delightful & dangerously refreshing.

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For those looking to take some inspiration home, the owners of the bar Max & Noel Venning have written a batched cocktail book that’s available for sale.

Address: 510b Kingsland Rd, London E8 4AB, United Kingdom (map)
Nearest station: Dalston Junction

Happiness Forgets

Happiness Forgets is located in a basement bar in Shoreditch, underneath the bistro Cocotte.

The dark underground spot is a cool bar with lit candles, brick walls, and lots of wood. It’s warm and cozy, with a soundtrack of soul and r&b.

The slogan on the cocktail list proclaims “A menu for mixed drinks and mischief”.

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First I had a whiskey cocktail called the Racketeer, then I had the Shiso Treacle, a take on a rum old fashioned. Happiness Forgets has some of the nicest cocktails in London at great prices.

Address: 8-9 Hoxton Square, London N1 6NU, United Kingdom (map)
Nearest stations: Old Street & Shoreditch High Street


There are three Swift cocktail bars in London, each with a slightly different vibe, but all are excellent.

Swift Soho was the first of the three London bars. It has two floors. Upstairs is open to walk-ins & features quick cocktails in a bright atmosphere. Downstairs, there is a darker reservations-only cocktail bar with a more complex menu and a collection of over 300 whiskies from around the world.

The Swift Shoreditch location is a fun, bright modern cocktail bar with an eclectic menu featuring aperitivos. The food menu includes toasties and snacks.

There’s funky piano music, but also rock and disco. Basically anything fun. Even the coasters join in on the action, featuring little cartoons.

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The newest location is Swift Borough, which in addition to featuring everything you’d expect from a Swift bar, also has a speakeasy called The Back Pocket in the basement.

Address: 12 Old Compton St, London W1D 4TQ, United Kingdom (map) – Swift Soho
Nearest stations: Leicester Square & Tottenham Court Road

Address: 91-93 Great Eastern St, London EC2A 3HZ, United Kingdom (map) – Swift Shoreditch
Nearest station: Old Street

Address: 66 Borough High St, London SE1 1XF, United Kingdom (map) – Swift Borough
Nearest stations: London Bridge & Borough

Sun Tavern

Sun Tavern is a London cocktail bar that brings a bit of Ireland across the Irish Sea. The lovingly restored neighbourhood bar in Bethnal Green dates back to 1851.

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The bar specializes in cocktails made with Poitín, also known as Irish moonshine. They also have tons of Irish whiskies, a solid craft beer list, and bar snacks. There is also live music, plus DJs.

Address: 441 Bethnal Grn Rd, London E2 0AN, United Kingdom (map)
Nearest station:
Bethnal Green

Home Bar

Home Bar is different from all the other cocktail bars on this list. There’s no fancy menu, nor are there any gimmicks. The decor is cozy, with just a bit of kitsch & photos of customers on the wall.

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What Home Bar does have is a fantastic atmosphere and well-made classic cocktails. Sometimes that’s all you need in life. Whether you’re one of the regulars or a visitor who has just popped into the Shoreditch bar for the evening, you’ll be welcomed with open arms to join in on the fun (provided you can squeeze in!)

Address: 5a Ravey St, London EC2A 4QW, United Kingdom (map)
Nearest stations: Shoreditch High Street & Old Street

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