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Written by Luke Bull - 09 October 2023

The 18 coolest bars in London

There are cool bars all around London, so whether you're in Soho or Shoreditch, you'll definitely find one (even if it may be hidden) and have a fun night out. Many of the coolest bars in London have a vintage or retro theme, taking inspiration from the city's history and heritage. Some bars even have live music performances or events, adding to the lively atmosphere.

London's cocktail scene also adds to the cool experience, with many bars serving up creative and inventive cocktails that use unique ingredients and presentation. From sipping cocktails out of beakers to drinking inside an abandoned tube station, London's coolest bars provide a spectacular experience for everyone. We have listed some of our favourites below, so make sure to check out the coolest bar you see!

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Tonight Josephine southwark bars
Tonight Josephine southwark bars

1. A very pink and cool London bar: Tonight Josephine Waterloo

Waterloo, London

Step into a world of pink neon lights and playful, feminist vibes at Tonight Josephine Waterloo.

This bar is packed with eclectic decor like glittering disco balls and vibrant wall art. Plus, the bar's namesake, Josephine De Beauharnais (who became the empress of France with her wit) adds a touch of royal elegance to the atmosphere. So grab a cosy negroni, strike a pose in front of the neon signs, and have a cool night at Tonight Josephine Waterloo.

With a capacity of up to 350 guests, you can surely host one big, crazy birthday party or other special occasion!

2. A people watchers dream: The Parcel Yard

Kings Cross

Nestled inside Kings Cross Station is The Parcel Yard, a popular Fullers gastropub. This Grade I listed building offers a unique location for guests to enjoy the nooks and crannies of the architecture.

Head to the classic bar and explore the vast drinks menu. Fuller's famous ale is the star alongside a range of beer and wine to artisan soft drinks. If you are feeling peckish, a menu of British classics accompanies.

With multiple seating areas available, choose between an enclosed terrace or looking over the buzzing station. Who knows, you might even spot the Hogwarts Express leaving platform 9 ¾. For an intimate experience, take your crew to The Boardroom, an intimate private dining space for 12 and get away from the station bustle.

Try a first-class experience and head to The Parcel Yard for a crisp pint.

Nikkis bar hoxton 1.

3. There’s always “whiskey business” involved at this London Bar: Nikki’s bar

Shoreditch, London

If you’re in the mood for retro vibes and vibrant cocktails, then you must go to Nikki’s Bar. When you walk into this Quentin Tarantino inspired bar, you’re hit with multiple sensations: bold colours, immaculate energy, and some of Shoreditch’s coolest cocktails.

Their vast cocktail menu features drinks like “Club Tropicana”, a fan-favourite that mixes Absolut Citron and Limoncello with hints of tropical flavours and mint. Nikki’s specially curated drink list ensures that everyone’s taste buds are satisfied, along with their desire to party.

There are also bad-ass party packages and plenty of space to host your own event. Every inch of Nikki’s bar provides Instagrammable moments, ranging from a PVC covered bed to nostalgic 80’s decor. If you’re looking for an excuse to party or host a corporate shindig, look no further than Nikki’s bar.

cache cache covent garden bars 1
cache cache covent garden bars 2

4. Try to find this speakeasy bar in London: Cache Cache

Covent Garden, London

Hidden underneath Covent Garden's iconic market piazza, Cache Cache is a contemporary speakeasy that exudes decadence and charm.

Step inside and immerse yourself in an opulent world of indulgence, where state-of-the-art sound and lighting systems set the mood for an unforgettable night of entertainment. With some of London's best DJs and musicians on rotation, you can dance the night away in a cool and secretive style.

This hidden gem is a great venue for intimate gatherings, accommodating up to 60 guests seated and 100 standing.

circus covent garden bars 2
circus london unique venues 3

5. Alexa, play “Circus” by Britney Spears to prepare for this London bar: CIRCUS

Covent Garden, London

Step right up and be amazed by CIRCUS, the ultimate hidden gem in the heart of Covent Garden.

For over a decade, this restaurant and cocktail bar has been serving up delectable pan-Asian dishes designed for sharing. But that's not all – they have also curated a spectacular troupe of gravity-defying aerialists, fire-breathers, contortionists, and hula-hoopers that will leave you and your guests breathless, and probably thinking you can perform the acts too by the end of night.

If you’re looking to ‘wow’ your guests with a night of glamour, quality entertainment, and escapism, CIRCUS is the coolest venue to choose. Take your pick from their signature stage table, restaurant seating, or bar area for private hire up to 250 guests.

the escapologist covent garden bars 1
Interior photograph of a cocktail bar in Covent Garden

6. Come escape reality in this cool London bar: The Escapologist

Covent Garden, London

Find yourself immersed into the past at The Escapologist cocktail bar in Covent Garden. Located in the former headquarters of a secret society that once ruled Victorian London, this bar blends elements of 'modern-day Victorian men's club' and 'Masonic lodge', offering a truly unique and outrageous space for you to party like it's 1899.

Aside from cool decor, this bar also focuses on serving twisted classic cocktails, like their ‘Mr Tea’ that combines Citron Gin and Earl Grey tea infused Martini Rosso, which is their twist on a Martinez cocktail. Whether you're looking to reserve a table or area for a night out with friends, book a party, or hire out a room for a private function or corporate event, The Escapologist has got you covered with a capacity of up to 220 guests.

7. You’ll have a hunky-dory time at this funky bar: Funkidory


Funkidory, a neighbourhood cocktail bar on Peckham Rye, definitely lives up to its name, as the funky mood is set from the moment you walk in.

The playlists are filled with groovy tunes and the cocktails have a fun twist to them. The drinks are expertly prepared and made with local, high quality ingredients. The menu also boasts an eclectic mix of musical references and nods to the area around Peckham like "Persepolis" after a nearby Persian restaurant and grocery store, and "Kalakuta Sour" honouring Fela Kuti with a Nigerian bitter leaf twist on a New York Sour.

Funkidory’s fun tunes and cocktails make it a great venue for a party and you’ll definitely get funked up with your friends.

8. Drink cool potions at this London Bar: The Alchemist


Everything about the Alchemist is cool: colour-changing cocktails, mystical environment, and bartenders that seem more like scientists.

With five spectacular venues around the city, the Alchemist is a must-see cocktail bar. As you enter The Alchemist, you'll be greeted by a team of bartenders ready to wield test tubes and beakers to make magical drinks.

The drinks menu at The Alchemist offers a wide range of innovative and playful cocktails that are sure to delight your taste buds. From the theatrical "Bubble Bath" that arrives in a cloud of smoke to the fiery "Mad Hatters Tea Party" served in a teapot, each drink is a work of art that will keep you entertained throughout the night.

If you’re looking for an immersive dining and drinking experience that fuses science fiction with fantasy, then the Alchemist is waiting for you.

9. A must-see London rooftop bar with immaculate vibes: London Bridge Rooftop


The London Bridge Rooftop is the ultimate cool venue, located smack dab in the centre of London, next to the London Bridge station. This historic building houses a breathtaking rooftop space that offers incredible views of the city skyline, with iconic landmarks like The Shard and Tower Bridge dominating the horizon.

Indulge in mouth-watering burgers, refreshing cocktails, and beats from the rotating DJs that will keep you moving all night long. This versatile venue can accommodate up to 300 guests and is perfect for corporate gatherings, private parties, and any special occasion that demands a truly unforgettable experience.

ballie ballerson london unique venues
ballie ballerson london unique venues

10. Balls, balls, and more balls at this bar in London: Ballie Ballerson

Shoreditch, London

Walk into a world of pure imagination at this cocktail bar, where one million balls await you.

The two giant ball pits will take you right back to the easy and fun days of childhood, but with the added twist of theatrical cocktails like their top-sellers: the Dibbie Dabberson and Skittle Sour.

You can’t miss the signature glow ball pit, encased in a massive mirrored cage, and illuminated by the most vibrant hues to create the perfect backdrop for a fabulous photoshoot. So what are you waiting for? Come dive in and immerse yourself in an unforgettable night of fun and flavour.

Nightjar headbox hackney bars 1

11. Escape into the night at this London bar: Nightjar

Shoreditch, London

Get ready to travel back in time to the roaring 1920s at Nightjar, the ultimate speakeasy-style subterranean bar located just steps away from Old Street Station. With live jazz and blues music filling the air in this intimate space, you'll feel like you've stepped into a scene from The Great Gatsby.

The award-winning cocktails and rare spirits are the stars of the show at Nightjar, with an extensive list of amazing cocktails that are sure to please your taste buds. And if you're looking for a private party venue, Nightjar offers bespoke and tailored options to suit your needs for up to 90 guests. With old school hospitality and a cool, old-timey atmosphere, Nightjar guarantees a truly unforgettable experience.

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the libertine new london openings 5

12. Venture into the vaults of the Royal Exchange at this London bar: The Libertine

The Libertine is a haven of indulgence in the heart of the city, located in the vast vaults beneath The Royal Exchange. This venue sits on the historic site where the first royal alcohol licence in Britain was granted, imbuing the space with a rich legacy of hedonism and mischief.

The Libertine is a contemporary reimagining of those carefree times, offering an impressive selection of spaces for dining, drinking, and relaxation, perfect for everything from a romantic evening for two to a large corporate event. This venue boasts a dazzling array of premium spirits and a fine European fare with dishes like Lobster gratin and Launceston lamb rump.

As you explore the venue, you'll discover a range of spaces like ‘the Whiskey Vault’ and a private dining room, both available for a private event and the whole venue for up to 400 guests.

Blame Gloria clapham bar
Blame Gloria clapham bar

13. Blame it on the boogie and Gloria at this London bar: Blame Gloria


If you do anything regretful in this bar, you can just blame Gloria, not yourself!

Blame Gloria in Clapham Junction draws inspiration from a captivating figure - an opulent grandmother with a wild past. Legend has it that Gloria was known for throwing the wildest parties, mixing the perfect whiskey sour, and having the best legs in Soho. Now, her legendary reign of rockstar joints has extended to the Southwest.

The result is a cocktail bar that exudes a free-spirited and unapologetic vibe. The interior design takes cues from the iconic Jimi Hendrix, with pink and green accents, velvet booths, and playful neon lights.

Blame Gloria is not just a great place to let loose and enjoy a night out with a few friends, but also an ideal venue for your next private or corporate event. The venue can hold up to 220 partygoers and offers an extensive cocktail list that will surely impress your guests.

cahoots london unusual birthday ideas 3
cahoots london unusual birthday ideas 2

14. Discover an abandoned tube station at this London bar: Cahoots

Soho, London

Looking to escape the now and go back to the past? Then gather your gang and make your way to Cahoots in Soho.

Transport back in time to post-war London and enter an abandoned underground tube station, transformed into now one of the city's quirkiest cocktail bars. With a life-size vintage tube carriage, old-fashioned wooden escalators, a dramatic platform bar, and mismatched furniture, Cahoots offers an immersive and unforgettable experience.

The extensive cocktail menu is sure to impress, with 1940s inspired creative and delicious concoctions. Whether you're looking to host a fun night out with friends or a themed corporate event, Cahoots can accommodate up to 150 guests

15. A London bar where you can feel in control all the time: Control Room B

Battersea Power Station, London

Be of the pioneers to activate the switch and uncover Control Room B, London’s new all-day bar situated within the heart of the renowned Battersea Power Station. This hidden gem, listed as a Grade II* heritage site, offers a unique opportunity for visitors to delve into history and rewind the clocks to the 1950s. Guests can relive the bustling atmosphere of the original Control Room, which remains fully operational and frozen in time, seven days a week.

Recharge by powering up with high-voltage cocktails, you can choose from a unique assortment of 10 premium cocktails shaken up and transmitted by the Control Room Engineers.

Located on a dedicated mezzanine level, Control Room B offers an unmatched backdrop for exclusive gatherings of up to 250 attendees, with stunning views overlooking one of the two colossal turbine halls.

Stereo london new bar

16. A London bar that can take you to New York: Stereo

Covent Garden, London

Want to discover London's newest live music and cocktail spot? Head down to Stereo, hidden under the hustle and bustle of Covent Garden Market.

With vibes inspired by the lively scenes of New York and London, plus a touch of Parisian chic, Stereo serves up a carefully crafted blend of music, food, and drinks that will make your heart sing. Stereo has a very cool list of cocktails to choose from, and Thames Distillers even bottled their very own Stereo house vodka and gin.

So swing by for a cocktail, stay for dinner, and dance until the early hours of the morning. And if you're planning a big bash, Stereo has you covered - gather your squad of 30 (or more, you party animal!) and celebrate at Stereo.

The Little Scarlet Door, Christmas venue in London
The Little Scarlet Door

17. Make sure to knock on this London Bar: The Little Scarlet Door

Soho, London

If you’re on Greek Street in Soho, then you may come across a standalone scarlet red door. We suggest you walk in to find one of London’s coolest and intimate cocktail bars, the Little Scarlet Door.

The Little Scarlet Door spans two floors, offering a spacious and lively atmosphere inspired by the iconic loft apartments of New York. With exposed brickwork and industrial finishes, this Soho gem exudes metropolitan flair.

On the ground floor, step into the vibrant open-plan kitchen and dining area to savour delectable light bites, cocktails, and engaging conversations. Venture downstairs to the industrial basement studio, where the resident DJs will have you dancing and partying Wednesday through Saturday. This is where the real house party magic happens.

With 4 different spaces to privately hire, including their Andy Warhol themed vault, The Little Scarlet Door is a great venue to host your next birthday party or corporate event.

18. A London bar where you can feel artsy and cool: Arts Theatre Club

Soho, London

Looking for Soho’s coolest best kept secret? Then it’s time to venture into the Arts Theatre club.

Located in the vibrant neighbourhood of Soho, this cocktail bar brings the glamour of the Prohibition era to life. This former illegal drinking den, once frequented by the notorious Krays, is rich in history and steeped in London's theatre and gangland culture.

Private seating areas and plush sofas set amidst candlelit surroundings and vintage decor, including a classic piano that doubles as a DJ booth, create an inviting and intimate speakeasy vibe. Guests can indulge in artisanal cocktails served in vintage china or Prohibition Teapots and dance to retro classics until dawn. The Arts Theatre Club is the perfect spot for a chic, yet laid-back night out or for hosting a special occasion.

Looking for a bar as cool as you? Hire the best in London today

These aren't just regular bars, they're cool bars. The type of bar you want to go to with a date you're trying to impress or take your mates from out of town to make them think - wow, our friend is pretty cool. How'd they find this place? They must really have their life together. Go on, hire out one of the coolest bars in London for your next event. Bar keep, your haziest IPA, please!

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