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Written by Luke Bull

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November 17, 2023

Our favourite Camden cocktail bars

The borough of Camden is one of the most spacious, stretching from central London into the north and northwest, it encompasses everything from Swiss Cottage to Kentish Town and the entirety of Hampstead Heath.

With Camden’s reach, it means there is a lot of ground to cover when it comes to scoping out our favourite cocktail bars. Some areas are cool and edgy, others quiet and swish, and still others busy and full of nightlife.

This list is by no means exhaustive, but we made sure the fine establishments listed will take you on a journey across the borough.

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1. Try your luck at Heads + Tails

Camden, London

This Camden cocktail bar is right around the corner from West Hampstead Overground and train station and has been featured on the list of the UK’s Top 50 Bars and the Top 500 Bars in the World list. It’s laidback, the epitome of chill, and best of all, it offers £7 Negronis and Spritzes until 7 p.m. every day.

We have to give it to Heads + Tails for not being too dark—a very bad habit of many cocktail bars—with the right amount of light to admire its swanky yet relaxed interior and the presentation of its cocktails.

The menu is divided into Heads—light and refreshing, and Tails—dark and decadent. We have two recommendations for you: Gunsmoke made with Mezcal and bergamot, and Tokyo Vice which is essentially a Vieux Carré made with Japanese plum sake. Any of the aperitivos and cocktails at Heads + Tails will hit the mark in our humble opinion.

2. 9 taps, 101 whiskies, and cocktails, of course: The Gallery

Camden, London

The Gallery is a West Hampstead cocktail bar with a neighbourhood vibe. Pop in on any night of the week and you’ll see people in their 20s through to middle age and older. There’s something really endearing about seeing people across generations hang out in the same place whilst a DJ spins Hip-Hop records.

This Camden cocktail bar manages to feel intimate and relaxing, there’s a balcony overlooking the main area, and the basement space is ideal for private parties, but if you’re looking for something bigger, the entire bar can be hired with a maximum capacity of 180.

It’s quaint with exposed brick walls and tables decorated with candles, but the apple of our eye is the vinyl record collection to the left of the bar. The Gallery is where you’ll find us when we’re in the neighbourhood. They have a veritable library of whisky and a drink for any kind of mood you’re in—beer, spritz, and the beloved cocktail.

3. For the love of cocktail bars with world-class sound systems and vinyl records: Spiritland

Camden, London

There’s no excuse not to journey to the King’s Cross area of Camden, every form of transport and almost every Tube line is here. We frequent the area quite often to visit one of our favourite cocktail bars—Spiritland.

The modern, industrial interior is recording studio meets cool cocktail bar, but with little groovy touches in the lighting and decor and just the right amount of neon lights. This Camden cocktail bar is dominated by massive speakers and a wall of vinyl records.

The signature cocktail menu changes regularly, but we’ve yet to be let down by any of the offers. Go mid-week to experience a different vinyl feature each night or go at the weekend to catch world-class DJ sets. Spiritland is great if you care about music as much as the cocktails, it’s also one of our top-pick places for a private party.

4. The old-school Camden cocktail bar: Tabac Bar

Camden, London

Tabac Bar is a short walk from Kentish Town station and feels miles away from just about anything, and we like that. It’s small with a couple of seats at the bar and tables along the opposite wall. When the weather is lovely they have some tables outside.

It looks like the kind of old-school bar you’d find in some Paris alleyway in the 1950s, filled with beatniks and artists chainsmoking cigarettes in a red and orange-lit space. But for all our talk of writers and bygone Paris, it’s actually unpretentious. Relaxed with a neighbourhood feel, the kind of place where you want to spend several hours sipping cocktails and playing a game of cards.

As for the cocktails, we rate the Holy Water with spiced rum, cognac, and chartreuse, Smokers Delight with Laphroaig, chocolate liqueur, and bitters, and, in general, the bar’s ability to make classics to T, and pretty much any other cocktail you might have a fancy for.

5. The year-round rooftop Camden cocktail bar: The Lucky Club

Camden, London

Closest to Chalk Farm Tube station and located in London's Camden Market, The Lucky Club is our favourite rooftop bar for cocktails, pints, spritzes, and everything in between.

Since we’re discussing cocktail bars let it be known that The Lucky Club is one of the few places with a Mezcal Negroni on the menu, and they do a Chai Old Fashioned that’s love at first sip.

The Lucky Club’s contemporary interiors feature pared-back materials, natural planting, foliage, and a neutral colour palette. During spring and summer, this outdoor covered bar is a tropical haven, and during the colder months, it’s transformed into a winter garden with twinkling decor.

With an overall standing capacity of 150 people, its hospitality, vibe, and rooftop setting—so great for both summer and winter sunsets—The Lucky Club is an ideal destination for private hire for a myriad of occasions.

6. A nocturnal haunt for dreamers, lovers, sybarites, and libertines: Gothic Bar

Camden, London

A sybarite is someone who is self-indulgent in their fondness for sensuous luxury. We channel a sybarite vibe when we’re at the Gothic Bar, the jewel in the crown of the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel. The bar takes its name in honour of the building’s Gothic Revival style.

A moody, dimly-lit, and opulent space for lovers of all things Victorian Gothic and Romantic. We love the Gothic Bar for a special occasion, for when we’re feeling decadent—in other words, when we want to flash a little cash on cocktails and maybe even an absinthe pour from a curated selection.

With cocktail names like Diablos Descent and Close The Curtains, along with the dramatic and dark interior, velvet sofas, and gilded features, this Camden cocktail bar is one for when you’re feeling a little flush and devilish.

7. Dust off that bottle at the back of your liquor cabinet and bring it to BYOC Camden

Camden, London

BYOC Camden’s bartenders mix up cocktail concoctions based on the bottles of spirits you bring with you for a truly unique bring-your-own-cocktail experience. We rate the bartenders at this Camden cocktail bar knowing their trade so well they can make delicious cocktails based on whatever base their customers bring in.

BYOC’s speakeasy vibe extends to its decor, with poker-light chandeliers and tables repurposed from roulette tables. We like that BYOC is a speakeasy experience that actually feels like one whilst still offering something different.

With a capacity for 55 people and conveniently located near Mornington Crescent Tube station, it’s a great spot for exclusive private hire, perhaps a little fancy dress to get you in character as you sit at an old roulette table sipping on cocktails.

8. No witches or alchemists here, but plenty of potions, concoctions, and many fine libations: Hokus Pokus—Alchemy Lab

Camden, London

If you’ve ever wondered how many magical manuscripts and grimoires are housed in the British Library, well, you’ll have to wonder a little longer as we don’t know either. However, the library is directly across the road from Hokus Pokus which happens to house two centuries of British esoteric literature.

This Camden cocktail bar, an alchemy lab if you will, prefers its botanical concoctions distilled infused, pickled, and smoked. Its potions and elixirs are classified as Smokey Potions, Tea Potions, Tempered Prescriptions, and other entertaining categories.

With a uniquely stylish and fantastical interior by British artist and designer, Henry Chebaane, it blends Steampunk, apothecary furnishing, theatrical lighting, and Victorian-engineered details, and goodness gracious do we love it.

9. The bar with cocktails and charcuterie so good it should be as illegal as its name: The Racketeer

Camden, London

The Racketeer in King’s Cross is a neighbourhood Camden cocktail bar and bottle shop. Inside, the atmosphere feels elegant yet relaxed, blue walls surround a space with a wooden bar and small wooden cocktail tables placed strategically at the many French-style doors.

Whether we’re sitting at little cocktail tables outside or inside, or at the wedge-shaped bar, there’s something easy-going about The Racketeer. Arguably a great cocktail bar at night, we like it in the afternoon.

The Racketeer has a house cocktail menu and wine menu to salivate over, but don’t worry too much as it has bread to mop that up, and cheeses and charcuterie to boot. We recommend the Earl of Sevilla cocktail and the Racketeer Sour, and—you know what? order just about anything, knock yourself out, you can’t go wrong here.

10. The traditional pub with its own cocktail lounge: The Lock Tavern

Camden, London

The Lock Tavern is a three-storey yellow brick pub in Camden Town with a roof terrace, beer garden, and a cocktail lounge. The pub has earned its place on the list of our favourite Camden cocktail bars for having all the trappings of a cosy, traditional pub—complete with a fireplace and armchairs—with a love for cocktails.

We like the lively atmosphere, especially when a gig is on, and there’s something to be said about being able to recline in a plush armchair, dressed in jeans and a hoodie, and sipping on an Old Fashioned; cocktails don’t always require you to get dressed up.

The Lock Tavern is an ideal spot for private parties between the terrace, beer garden, cocktail lounge, and pub, it offers all these spaces separately (or combined) for private hire to suit all types of special occasions.

The best cocktail bars to hire in Camden

Finding the perfect Camden cocktail bar shouldn't be a chore. Let us bring you the very best Camden has to offer in beautiful cocktail bars available to hire. From rooftop bars to underground venues, hidden speakeasies to famous cocktail bars with the best mixologists – hire out your own room, or even the entire venue, without any hassle. Camden has an unbeatable cocktail scene and a range of stunning venues to enjoy. Take a look at the top selections below, or let us know what you're looking for and we'll make sure the perfect cocktail bar venues reach out to you.

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Guide to hire cocktail bars in Camden.

When it comes to hosting events or gatherings in Camden, hiring a cocktail bar can elevate the experience. Camden, known for its vibrant culture and diverse scene, offers an array of cocktail bars, each with its unique flair. Here's a comprehensive guide to assist in selecting and hiring the perfect cocktail bar for your event in Camden.

Define your needs:

Begin by defining the specifics of your event. Consider the number of guests, the ambience you desire, and the type of cocktails you want to offer. Are you aiming for a trendy, modern space or a more classic, intimate setting? Understanding these details will guide your search for the ideal cocktail bar.

Online Platforms:

There are endless websites that will provide you with a rundown of the best cocktail bars in Camden. It can often feel overwhelming to search through these sites. That’s why at HeadBox we work with the best venues and will circulate your event details directly to them. You’ll hear back from trusted venues that have availability and cater to your event. If only it were always this easy.

Visit the venues:

Whenever possible, visit the cocktail bars in person. This allows you to experience the ambience, observe the layout, and assess whether the space suits your event. It can often feel overwhelming to visit these sites. That’s why at HeadBox we are proud to offer an innovative and eco-friendly solution to enhance your venue selection process. Our 3D tour videos allow you to experience the venue as if you were there in person, all from the comfort of your device. This not only saves you valuable time and effort but also aligns with our commitment to reducing carbon emissions by minimising the need for unnecessary transportation. Explore, choose, and plan your event easily while contributing to a greener, more sustainable future.

Negotiate and finalise:

Once you've chosen a cocktail bar that meets your needs, negotiate the terms of the agreement. Confirm the details such as the rental cost, any minimum spend requirements, deposit amounts, and the services included. Clarify the setup time, access to the venue, and any restrictions that may be in place.

Ensure Legal and Licensing Compliance:

Ensure that the chosen cocktail bar has the necessary licences and permits to serve alcohol at events. Confirm they comply with legal requirements and possess liability insurance, ensuring a seamless and risk-free event.

Coordinate Event Details:

Communicate your event specifics with the bar's management. Share the guest count, dietary preferences, any themes or specific requirements. Confirm the timeline, and any entertainment or additional services, and ensure a clear understanding of expectations from both parties.

Confirm Reservations and Follow-Up:

A week or so before the event, confirm all reservations and arrangements with the cocktail bar. Follow up on any last-minute changes and ensure everything is in place for a successful event.

Enjoy Your Event:

On the day of your event, relax and enjoy the fruits of your planning. With the cocktail bar taking care of the drinks, ambience, and service, you can focus on entertaining your guests and creating memorable moments.

By following this guide, hiring a cocktail bar in Camden for your event becomes structured and straightforward, ensuring a delightful experience for you and your guests.

Frequently asked questions

Booking out a cocktail bar in Camden is easy with HeadBox. All you have to do is tell us what you're looking for, we'll share your enquiry with suitable cocktail bars in Camden and you'll get messages from venues & match with your favourites. Easy.

Most cocktail bars are willing to accommodate dietary restrictions and special requests for cocktails. It's recommended to discuss these requirements in advance to ensure a smooth experience for all guests.

Yes, many cocktail bars offer event packages that can include bartenders, a customisable cocktail menu, venue decoration, and sometimes even additional services such as catering or entertainment. These packages can be tailored to suit the specific needs of your event.

Many cocktail bars in Camden may have minimum spending requirements, particularly for private events or reservations. These requirements can vary based on the day of the week, the time of day, and the size of the group. It's advisable to clarify this with the chosen bar beforehand.

Cocktail bars in Camden often offer a range of services including bartenders, customised cocktail menus, venue decoration, and sometimes, entertainment options. Specific inclusions can vary, so it's essential to confirm these details with the chosen venue.

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