According to the statistic that we’re about to make up, roughly a hundred new bars open in London every day. Obviously no one’s got the time -- real or otherwise -- to go to all of them, but luckily we’re here to narrow them all down to the very best eight...
8 new London bars you need to check out immediately
Peg + Patriot (address and info)
Neatly ensconced in the Town Hall Hotel, P&P takes the cocktail game up several notches by first of all, distilling their own spirits (three styles of gin alone), then mixing them into both creative & finely crafted drinks, such as their Marmite Vodka Martini (homemade Marmite vodka & dry vermouth), or the Salt Beef Sazerac, whose cognac/absinthe combo is served w/ an actual salt beef bagel on the side.
Agaveria El Nivel (address and info)
Accessed via a unmarked door adjacent to La Perla, Nivel takes up the first floor above it, filling it w/ informally rustic fittings and an appropriately laid-back atmosphere. The spirits shelf is composed exclusively of agave drinks (that is, mescals & tequilas), which are nonetheless amazingly diverse, and are included in mixeds like the Diplomat’s Downfall (white tequila, lemon thyme & pineapple syrup, and a port float). You’ll also find some extremely likable bar food (pork w/ crackling covered in teriyaki, sambal, & sesame seed sauce, for instance) to go with it all...
The City Barge (address and info)
Sadly not an actual barge, TCB is however on the river, and in a very nice location, with a ton of outdoor space to exploit it. Inside, it’s a freshly refurbed 14th century pub, from which they’ve kept the three open fireplaces and the Victorian panelling, and added a reclaimed Victorian bar from which they’re slinging draft Prosecco, seven rotating hand-pulled ales, and craft bottles like Camden, Hogs Back, and Fordham & Dominion.
Portside Parlour (address and info)
Emerging from their loo-concealed pop-up, Portside’s newly opened permanent space is still at least a little bit hidden, disguising itself from the street behind a maritime antiquities shop -- inside, however, it’s got the same dark, moody ship's-belly vibe of the original, as well as the vast rum selection, and the classic cocktails which include the Squid Ink Martini made from a house-distilled squid ink liqueur.
The Culpeper (address and info)
From the folks behind Forza Win, Culpeper’s East London pub has old-school fittings and high ceilings, on top of which they’re growing a “working farm” with the aim that literally “every single dish on the menu will feature something from it”. The cocktails, therefore, all come loaded with herbs, while the bar food includes simple things like English asparagus & Catalan vinaigrette alongside more adventurous numbers such as the deep-fried pig’s head w/ dandelion leaves & pickled walnuts.
East London Liquor Company (address and info)
Doing almost exactly what it says on the tin, the Victoria Park-adjacent ELLC has taken over a former glue factory to create a little social lubricant of their own -- they’ve currently got gin & small batch vodka on site, while a warmer-climate still located way out West in California makes their rums & whiskeys. Alongside their home brews, they’ve filled out the shelves with a huge range of other people’s sprits too, to go into beautifully crafted cocktails like the Ginger Tommy's (locally made Quiquiriqui mezcal w/ lime & ginger).
Ask For Janice (address and info)
Set over two floors, and slapped literally opposite Smithfield Market, Janice is filled w/ reclaimed wood & tiling, as well as slightly more modern wall decorations from Damian Hirst & Kid Acne. The bar itself is split evenly between 50 craft beers, and 45 varietals of gin going into an entire G&T menu, which pairs each spirit w/ its own tonic & garnish (for instance, the cardamom-laden Opihr gin is teamed up w/ Fever-Tree tonic & a slice of orange).
No. 32 The Old Town (address and info)
Set on the site of former pub The Frog, 32 has refurbed & upscaled its sizable roof terrace, stuffed the place full of reclaimed furniture, and made a few changes behind the bar too; you’ll now find two cask-conditioned taps from Redemption, as well as a huge cocktail list featuring the likes of a Tequila Old Fashioned served w/ rosemary, and an amazingly complex house martini made with a grand total of eleven ingredients and a side of olives.
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1. Peg + PatriotPatriot Square, London
2. Agaveria El Nivel28 Alto Maiden Ln, London
3. The City Barge27 Strand on the Green, Chiswick, London
4. PortSide Parlour14 Rivington St, London
5. The Culpeper40 Commercial St, Spitalfields, London
6. East London Liquor Company221 Grove Rd, London
7. Ask For Janice50 Long Ln, London
8. No. 32 The Old Town32 The Pavement, London
This Shoreditch cocktail bar has an old-fashioned vibe and a host of delicious craft 'tails, which are primarily made using house-distilled spirits and off-the-beaten-path ingredients like roasted rice ice-cream liqueur, beeswax cheery, and passion fruit hops.
This classy Covent Garden 'tail spot specializes in agave spirits and antojitos (small plates), the former of which is represented by a large variety of rare and exclusive tequilas, mezcals, bacanoras, sotols, and raicillas.
This Chiswick haunt holds up in a historical 14th century public house nestled alongside the Thames and not only serves classic British eats, but they also dole out craft beer with seven constantly changing hand-pulled local ales and ciders and a range of craft lagers on tap, as well as an extensive wine list.
What started as a pop-up under Broadway Market has turned into a fully fledged cocktail bar on the lower stretch of Rivington Street. PortSide knows a thing or two about concocting quality cocktails, with new ones popping up all the time. With a vaguely nautical theme and a banging soundtrack, the Parlour's a place to pop in for one drink and end up staying all night (well, until midnight, when it closes). Into rum? So are they -- their collection is pretty spot-on.
This multistory playhouse in Shoreditch ticks all the boxes: stylish pub vibes on the ground floor, dining room with next-level fare on the first, and a seasonal roof terrace up top for catching those temperamental London rays. There’s always a good selection of beer, the rotating food menu offers delicious British fare, and the cocktail game here is better then some actual “cocktail” bars.
This distillery produces and imports a wide variety of gin, vodka, rum, and whiskey, and then serves 'em up in their bar, which features a comprehensive list of 'tails made with the finest ingredients.
Formerly bar and restaurant Kench & Bibesy -- this two-floor space is both resto and bar, serving an all-day menu of small and large plates, as well as sharing platters, not to mention a selection of 45 gins, 50 craft beers and 20 wines by the glass.