Food & Drink

These are London's Bad Decision Bars

Published On 01/07/2014 Published On 01/07/2014
London's Bad Decision Bars

Ah, the Bad Decision Bar -- when you’re juuuust about to call it a night, and someone suggests grabbing one last drink at that one place that’s still serving, and all of a sudden you’re drinking pitchers of neon alcopop-laced cocktails, wearing someone else’s jacket, and singing Babylon Zoo on a broken karaoke machine between fistfuls of kebab. London has at least eight of them, and here they are:

El Camion

Baja Room at El Camion
Soho
The insanely steep and narrow staircase leading down here basically traps you in, and the insanely powerful margs basically trap you on the postage-stamp dance floor making an arse out of yourself, and loudly asking when they stop serving fageeetas.

Efe’s Pool Club & Bar
Dalston
If you remember you’re first time at Efe’s (and that’s a BIG if), what you’ll remember is thinking that the guy in the fancy nylon tracksuit looks slightly overdressed, childishly fighting with an 18yr-old over who had the next game, and trying to hustle a pot plant.

Dalston Superstore

Dalston Superstore
Dalston
The bass is so earthshakingly loud, it causes involuntary twerking... at least, that's what you're telling people happened.  

Flickr user Inanimatt

Moonlighting Nightclub
Soho
The cost of a vodka Coke from a bottle that looks suspiciously like relabeled Eastern European paint thinner? £1. The cost of your dignity, self-respect, and sterling reputation as someone who has never eaten a chip they found on the floor? About seven to 10 of those. 

The Dolphin

The Dolphin
Hackney
When you're this deep into Hackney, it's difficult to know whether the karaoke has come full circle and become cool again, or ironically uncool, or whatever, but what is for certain is that the noises actual dolphins make are more melodious that what's coming off the stage. 

Heaven

Heaven
Central London
Just because it’s open past 3am on a school night, does not mean that you have to be there past 3am on a school night.

Zoo Bar

Zoo Bar
Leicester Square
A bar crawl classic ending spot, you’ll be sure to make some new bedfellows... until you have a Trainspotting-moment and realize you were already drinking when they were learning how to walk... earlier that night. 

Flickr user Ewan-M

Walkabout bar
Multiple locations
If you went to a Walkabout bar and didn't chat up a blonde ex-pat Aussie estate agent who "misses Vegemite" while drinking a fishbowl of Long Island Iced Tea chased by a pint of snakebite and a quick nap on the dance floor, then you didn't really go to a Walkabout bar. 

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1. Zoo Bar & Club 13-17 Bear St, London, WC2H 7AS

Even though it's not full of animals, Zoo Bar can still be a pretty wild time considering it doles out a wide variety 'tails, craft beers, and is open til 3am.

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2. El Camion Mexican Grill 25-27 Brewer St, London, W1F 0RR (Soho)

This colorful slice of Baja California brings the heat, and an impressive amount of tequila and mezcal, to a ground-level London cantina … sip on a custom margarita or just go for gold (someone get the salt and limes). No matter what you’re drinking, or shooting, you have to stuff your face with surprisingly good Mexican food…they make fillings like chicken tinga and pork carnitas and then make burritos, tacos, nachos, quesadillas, and everything in between. In true Soho fashion, head downstairs (watch your step) to the cocktail bar Pink Chihuahua for tequila-fueled debauchery.

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3. Moonlighting Nightclub 17 Greek St, London, W1D 4DR (Soho)

Located in Soho, this nightclub usually attracts large crowds with its live music, DJs, comedy shows, and super-cheap drink specials.

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4. Efe’s Pool Club & Bar 17B Stoke Newington Rd, London, N16 8BH

This Dalston bar certainly is of the divey variety, but it's definitely well-stocked with a large variety of cheap beers and there are plenty of pool tables to play a few games while enjoying your drink.

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5. Dalston Superstore 117 Kingsland Rd, London, E8 2PB

This multipurpose bar hosts a variety of club nights throughout the week and you have the choice of hitting up the more relaxed space upstairs or the loud, bangin', gritty party that's usually happening downstairs. And if you don't feel like partying, just stop by for breakfast or lunch for some quality food.

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6. The Dolphin 165 Mare St, London, E8 3RH (Hackney)

Best reserved for weekend visits, this divey bar/karaoke parlor is a decent spot to hit up and shoot some pool or listen to some live tunes.

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7. Heaven 9 The Arches, London, WC2N 6NG

This place is exactly what you'd expect heaven to be: if you expected heaven to have a large stage with live bands and raucous crowds, and if heaven was open later than all the other places around.

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8. Walkabout Temple Station, London, WC2R 2PH

One of many Walkabouts across the UK, this Aussie-inspired bar that aims to "share the best of everything Australian".

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