London has so many cool bars and traditional pubs and I´ve been to quite a few of them. The other day I suddenly thought about, if I could make a list with recommendable bars and pubs starting with every letter of the ABC. And in fact, I had a delicious cocktail, pint of beer or another drink in a venue with almost every letter. I added some recommendations from friends and could (almost) finish my list "London bars and pubs from A to Z". (Only a bar or pubs with the letter X is missing but I think there is no location starting with X.)
Best bars and pubs in London from A-Z
besten Bars and Pubs in London - A
Anchor Bankside - Pub close to Shakespeare´s Globe in London
The Anchor is well known because it used to have a very famous regular guest from the end of the 16th to the beginning of the 17th century, namely William Shakespeare. Maybe this is why today this pub is a popular location for tourists walking from Tower Bridge along the south bank to the museum Tate Modern. Thanks to the dark brick facade, the red windows and the golden sign saying "The Anchor", it´s almost impossible to miss it. No matter if you are sitting inside the pub or at the beautiful terrace with a nice view at the Thames, a visit will always be worthwhile.
Archer Street Bar - Bar in Soho / London
The Archer Street Bar is a very stylish bar in Soho with special entertainment. Every third or fourth song one of the waiters jumps at a table and turns out to be a professional singer and dancer. Saturdays between 5 pm and 7 pm the so called Disney Hour takes place. During this time only Disney Songs will be performed and if you´re lucky enough, you will see Belle and the Beast from "The Beauty and the Beast" singing and dancing. To get in, you have to dress up.
best Bars and Pubs in London - B
Ballie Ballerson - Bar in Shoreditch / London
The cocktail bar Ballie Ballerson is actually a playground for adults with 3 different ball pits, one million balls and a ball waterfall. Inside the biggest ball pit all balls are illuminated with LED light in different colours. But this is not the only reason the bar looks so colourful. There are also many neon coloured artworks on the walls. Moreover, the menu includes delicious cocktails, which are inspired from sweets, like the Skittle Sour. Please note: For this bar you need to buy a ticket and the best option is to buy it in advance on the internet. Ticket prices range between 8.50 -16 GBP.
Barrio Shoreditch - Bar in Shoreditch / London
The Barrio Bar in Shoreditch is characterised by a colourful interior and different theme rooms. In winter, I love to sit inside the orange retro caravan with a view at the La Boca quarter in Buenos Aires. In sommer, the colourful decorated back yard is the best choice for me. Inside the yard you will feel like on summer vacation. Late in the evening the stylish cocktail bar turns into a club.
Bounce Bar - Bar in Shoreditch / London
The Bounce Bar is another bar for adults who are still a child at heart or at least love to play games. Inside this venue there are some tables tennis and wonderball tables. Wonderball is like table tennis, but thanks to the modern projecting technology, the tables become giant computer games. The menu offers cocktails, beer, wine and soft drinks as well as pizza, burger and tacos. (The bar is a recommendation from a friend, I haven’t been there myself.)
best Bars and Pubs in London - C
Cahoots - Bar in Soho / London
After asking for the captain, you will be led into a former air raid shelter and to the year 1946. More precisely into a tube station in London in the year 1946. The employees wear outfits from the 40th, from the speakers sound swing music and in addition to the extraordinary cocktails you will get a can filled with popcorn for free. After 2 hours you are asked to leave post-war London so that other cocktail and swing lovers have the chance to have a drink at Cahoots, too. If possible, book a table in advance! Otherwise you have to wait a while or worst won’t get in. Good to know: this cool bar offers an afternoon tea on Saturdays.
Cauldron - Bar in Stoke Newington / London
On top of my bucket list for the next London trip is the bar "The Cauldron", because as a potterhead you can’t miss this Harry Potter location. At the (leaky) cauldron you will be a wizard yourself wearing a cloak and swinging your wand. During the two hours magical cocktail experience you will mix two drinkable poitions. You can make them with or without alcohol. The magical experience costs about £30 per person.
Churchill Arms - Pub in Notting Hill / London
The pub Chruchill Arms is well known for its extraordinary facade because it is covered with flowers and plants. According to Secret London there are 100 flower pots, 48 flower boxes and 42 hanging baskets in spring. During Christmas season 90 Christmas trees and 12000 lights replace the flowers. Inside the pub there are also a lot of flowers and plants as well as an indoor garden. The menu is great for Thai food lover because the Churchill Arms is not only a Pub but also a Thai restaurant.
Coppa Club - Bar close to London Bridge
The Coppa Club is famous for its glass igloos that offer an amazing view at the Thames, the Tower Bridge and The Shard. The igloos are redecorated every season. In winter 2019/2020 the theme was "Wonderland". Last summer the outdoor area of the Coppa Club looked like Surfers paradise. Unfortunately it is hard to be seated inside the igloos. Reservations must be made long in advance. I still hope to have a drink inside a glass igloo.
best Bars and Pubs in London - D
Dublin Castle - Pub in Camden / London
The pub Dublin Castle is only 300 meters away from the tube station Camden Town. This is the place to be for everyone who loves British pubs just as independent rock music. Since many years, almost every night different rock bands perform at Dublin Castle. In this legendary music venue the music career of many musicians began. In 1979 the famous Ska band Madness played concerts at the Dublin Castle regularly. But also other famous artists like The Killers, Blur and The Libertines played a gig there. Maybe this is why Amy Winehouse liked to hang out in this pub, too.
best Bars and Pubs in London - E
Elephant´s Head - Pub in Camden / London
The pub Elephants Head is located in Camden, at Camden Highstreet close to the famous Camden Market. It’s not a super extraordinary place that is known for something special. It is just a nice pub where you can have a great Full English Breakfast, Fish and Chips, a Green Thai Curry and a good choice of beers on tap. I really like this pub and this is why I loved to add the Elephants Head to this list.
best Bars and Pubs in London - F
Faltering Fulback - Pub close to Finsbury Park / London
The pub Faltering Fullback in North London is a large Irish Pub with probably the most beautiful beer garden in London. More precisely is the garden a beautiful tree house with different floors and many plants. You can sit there at dark wooden tables and have a cold beer as well as great Thai-Food. Furthermore, there is a pub quiz on Mondays, an open mic session on Thursdays and acoustic live music on sundays.
best Bars and Pubs in London - G
Gordons Wine Bar - Bar in Charing Cross / London
Gordons Wine Bar is the oldest wine bar in London. There are many different wines on the menu like white wine, red wine, rosé wine, sparkling wine, champagne, liqueur wine, organic wine or vegan wine. The best place to enjoy a nice glass of wine is the vault cellar because there is this special and cosy atmosphere.
best Bars and Pubs in London - H
Hawley Arms - Pub in Camden / London
The pub the Hawley Arms in Camden is famous because it used to be Amy Winehouse favourite pub. For five years the singer was a regular guest and also played some gigs there. But other musicians like Pete Doherty were spotted at the Hawley Arms, too. Not surprisingly, because this pub is all about music. There is often live music and the walls show record covers from different artists as well as signed pictures. Who likes to sit outside, can have a drink at the roof terrace or inside the back yard.
best Bars and Pubs in London - I
Ivy House - Pub in Nunhead / London
The pub Ivy House is a recommendation from a friend. Unfortunately it is located in south London pretty far from the city centre. But if you visit Nunhead or Nunhead Cemetery, one of the Magnificent Seven, you should not miss the Ivy House. It is right around the corner of the famous cemetery. On the pictures, the pub looks so cool and cosy with its red leather sofas and dark wooden interior. What looks best for me is the music room with a small stage and a massive red curtain which make the room look like a small theatre.
best Bars and Pubs in London - J
Jerusalem Tavern - Pub in Farringdon / London
The pub Jerusalem Tavern reminded me from the outside of Olivanders, a shop at Diagon Alley selling wands for witches and wizards. Maybe this is why I loved the location so much. Although due to the sign “Anno 1720” it looks like the Jerusalem Tavern is one of London’s oldest pubs, it opened its doors in the nineteenth. But who cares! The British pub is super cosy and absolutely recommendable. Another plus: more locals, less tourists.
best Bars and Pubs in London - K
Kwant - Cocktailbar close to Piccadilly Circus / London
The new bar Kwant is on my bucket list for the next London trip. It was opened in 2019 and directly voted as one of the best 50 bars in the world. The Co-Owner and renowned barkeeper Erik Lorincz is well known in London from the legendary American Bar at Savoy Hotel. In London he is celebrated as profi-mixologist, alco-alchemist and cocktail guru. Kwãnt is his first own project. The interior of the bar used to be inspired by the movie Casablanca but the pictures reminded me of The Great Gatsby. I’m excited!
best Bars and Pubs in London - L
Lamb and Flag - Pub in Covent Garden / London
The pub Lamb and Flag is the oldest public house in Covent Garden. Today the area is one of the most popoluar tourist areas in London. In the earlier days Covent Garden used to be a rough neighborhood and the pub Lamb and Flag was known for staging bare-knuckle fights. Right around the corner one of the regular guests, the poet John Dryden, was killed. Today the pub with the nick name Bucket of blood is a typical British pub with a great atmosphere. It is located in a small side street. Thus, it’s nice to have a drink in front of it as well, if the weather is good.
best Bars and Pubs in London - M
Madison - Bar close to St. Paul´s / London
The bar Madison is located on the roof of the shopping mall „One New Change" directly next to St Pauls cathedral. This is what makes the rooftop bar so special. When having a drink there, you will have an amazing view at one of the biggest churches in the world. I would recommend the Madison especially in summer because it is great to sit outside.
best Bars and Pubs in London - N
Nine Lives - Cocktailbar close to London Bridge
The cocktail bar Nine Lives is located close to London Bridge. The service and atmosphere is great. The big Asian lamps, the bamboo decor and many green plants create a beautiful and exotic atmosphere. Another advantage: the bar has a zero waste concept. This means for example that remains from lemons are recycled and used to produce soap, they offer drinks made from remaining ingredients, there are bamboo straws and second hand furniture.
best Bars and Pubs in London - O
Old Blue Last - Pub in Shoreditch / London
The pub Old Blue Last is an institution in Shoreditch. On the ground floor it is a beautiful typical British pub with a few tables. On the top floor the cool Eastend pub turns into a music venue where rock concerts take place regularly, especially on weekends.
best Bars and Pubs in London - P
Pride of Spitalfields - Pub close to Brick Lane / London
The pub Pride of Spitalfields is an authentic British pub in a small street close to Brick Lane. "Lenny the Pub Cat" is the real boss here. The drinking menu includes a good choice of beers on tap. Prices are pretty good and the atmosphere is very nice. Like most pubs the Pride closes latest at 0am.
best Bars and Pubs in London - Q
Queen Elizabeth Hall Roof Garden Bar & Café - Rooftop Bar in Waterloo / London
The Queen Elizabeth Hall Roof Garden is located on the roof of the Southbank Centre. The garden which includes a restaurant, a bar and a cafe is only open from April to October and when the weather is good. Then you can have a drink between wild flowers and fruit trees with a nice view at the Thames and the London Eye. By the way: entrance is free.
Queen of Hoxton - Bar in Shoreditch / London
Having a drink inside the bar Queen of Hoxton is pretty cool but enjoying a drink on the roof terrace is even cooler. Especially in summer it is great to have a pint there and watch the sunset. Unlike other rooftop bars in London the Queen of Hoxton does not close in winter. They just winterise it. Last winter you could hung out there in an emerald green garden with a huge tepee enjoying hot cocktails and roasted marshmallows.
best Bars and Pubs in London - R
Ruby´s - Bar in Dalston / London
Ruby´s Bar calls itself Jazz Bar and Lounge. It is located in Dalston, a cool neighbourhood in North London. You won’t find many tourists there. To find the Ruby’s, you have to watch out for an old cinema sign. Directly unter it is the entrance to the bar. Via a small wooden staircase you can enter two rooms: a lounge bar in the 50th style and a smaller cocktail bar in the 20th style. Prices for cocktails range between £8.50 and £11.50.
best Bars and Pubs in London - S
Ship & Shovell - Pub in Charing Cross / London
The Ship & Shovell is a recommendation from a friend. I've never been there myself. It’s the only pub in London, that is devided into two halves. Both buildings are located at Craven Passage in Charing Cross, directly opposite from each other. They are connected via an underground passage where the common kitchen is located. From the inside both pubs look pretty differently. This is why I would love to visit both of them when being in London next time. If I can’t decide which one I like most, I may drink my Lager in front of the pubs at the wooden barrels.
best Bars and Pubs in London - T
Termini Bar - Cocktail bar in Soho / London
The Termini Bar in Soho is well known for 2 things: coffee and cocktails. The bar is just as tiny as the menu (coffee, a few cocktails, three wines, one beer, a Limoncello and six Italian dishes). Nevertheless, the Termini Bar made it to the list of the best cocktail bars worldwide. But who thinks now that the bar is super expensive is completely wrong. All cocktails cost £12, which is a normal cocktail price in Soho.
best Bars and Pubs in London - U
Uxbridge Arms - Pub in Notting Hill / London
The pub Uxbridge Arms is located pretty close to the famous Portobello Road in Notting Hill, but not too close to be overcrowded with tourists. It’s a typical English pub which is popular with locals. But as a tourist you will be warmly welcomed as well. The menu includes meat from Great Britain and selected cheese from Europe.
best Bars and Pubs in London - V
Virgin Queen - Pub in Hackney / London
The pub Virgin Queen is located in East London, more precisely in Hackney, away from London’s tourist areas. It’s a typical charming British pub with creaking wooden floors, dark wooden interior, a fireplace, Fish and Chips on the menu and a good choice of beers on tap. Who visits Hackney or the Columbia Road Flower Market, should not miss to have a pint and a dish of Fish and Chips there.
best Bars and Pubs in London - W
Westminster Arms - Pub in Westminster / London
The pub Westminster Arms is only a stone’s throw from St. James Park, Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament. This is why it is popular with tourists as well as politicians and journalists. Bill Clinton visited this pub once but also other famous people like Angelina Jolie had a pint of beer there. On the ground floor the Westminster Arms is a typical pub, on the first floor there is a cosy seating area with many caricatures from former prime ministers and in the cellar there is a wine bar.
best Bars and Pubs in London - X
I really think there is no cool bar or traditional pub with the letter X in London. If you know one, please let me know!
best Bars and Pubs in London - Y
Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese - Pub close to St Pauls / London
The pub Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese is one of the oldest pubs in London. Writers like Charles Dickens and Mark Twain used to come here regularly. Today the pub still has a cosy, historical charm. After finding the entrance in a small side street, you enter the bar on the ground floor. I would recommend to go via the tiny staircase directly to the vault cellar because I love the cosy atmosphere there.
Ye Olde Mitre - Pub in Holborn / London
The pub Ye Olde Mitre is a beautiful historical pub inside a listed building. The entrance is a little bit hidden in a small side street. A long long time ago there used to be a cherry tree and Queen Elizabeth I loved to dance around it with Sir Christopher Hatton. The tree trunk is integrated in the outdoor mounting and you can still see it today. The pub has two small charming rooms on the ground floor and one more on the first floor. But if the weather is good, it is also great to have a cold beer in front of the pub at the big wooden barrels.
best Bars and Pubs in London - Z
Zeitgeist - Pub in Vauxhall / London
A long long time ago when the pub Zeitgeist was named JOLLY, it was one of Charlie Chaplins favourite pubs and his father played the piano there to entertain visitors. Moreover, this 120 years old venue was a film location for movies like Snatch and Calcium Kid. Then the pub was extensively renovated and reopened under the name Zeitgeist. Today the pub calls itself London’s first German Gastro-Pub. Who loves German beer, should not miss this place because they offer 18 beers on tap and 30 bottled beers. Also on the menu, great German food like Schnitzel, Leberkäse or Bratwurst.
I would love to add more recommendations to my list. If you know a cool bar or a cosy pub which has to be part of this London Pub and Bar ABC, feel free to let me know. Don’t forget to explain why this pub or bar is such a great place.
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