The Best Cocktail Bars in London

The Brits adore a drink, whether it’s cold cans of beer in a park on a boiling summer’s day or a warm glass of mulled wine in a cosy pub in the heart of winter. This love of libations extends to the cocktails, and there are dozens of fantastic bars across the city that have some of the world’s best mixologists shaking and stirring their way to perfection. If you’re headed to the Big Smoke and want to sample some delicious tipples, then read ahead for our guide to the best cocktail bars in London!

The American Bar

America is certainly the spiritual home of the cocktail, and this classic bar in The Stafford Hotel in central London honours that legacy in a number of ways beyond its name. With classic decor and a refined but cosy atmosphere, they’ve been serving customers world class drinks for nearly a century, and are one of the oldest surviving cocktail bars in all of the city.

The American Bar is famous for its blend of classic and signature cocktails being pumped out every day, and its expert mixologists have been allowed to use their creativity to craft some truly outstanding drinks that will expand your taste horizons.

The dress code is smart-casual, but if you dress to impress then you won’t be alone. And, best of all, if you fancy something to nibble on while sipping the beautiful creations the bartenders have mixed for you, Michelin-starred chef Lisa Goodwin-Allen has put together a menu that wouldn’t be out of place in the finest restaurants in the city. Reservations can be made until 3pm, but after that it’s first come, first serve.

For bookings at The American Bar send us an email


Although this cocktail spot now has an outpost in the famous Carnaby Street, the original Shoreditch location remains a highlight in the mixology world of London. Blending old school cool with modern techniques and a vibe that’s more hipster chic than suits and ties, the menu here is ever evolving so that you’re surprised and delighted every time you visit.

While the delicious drinks are reason enough to visit, the atmosphere is buoyed by classy furnishings that make you feel like you’re in a private members’ club, while live music gives everything an extra special feel. The intimate size of the venue also means you’re never waiting too long for a drink, which is incredibly useful, as they’re all so delicious it takes a lot of effort not to slurp them down as soon as they arrive at your table.

For bookings at The American Bar send us an email

Viet Lounge

Who doesn’t love a hidden bar? Perched on top of the bustling Viet Food (which itself is worth visiting), this tiny, classy establishment serves hand-crafted cocktails and small plates that all use the freshest, best ingredients to create a taste sensation. The place itself isn’t really advertised anywhere, and to get a table you usually have to ring Viet Food and ask for a reservation upstairs, but once you’re there you’ll be served long and short drinks that have been made by some of the best mixologists in the city, as well as be able to indulge in food made by the former head chef of the world famous Hakkasan in Mayfair. A totally unique experience – just make sure you don’t tell too many people about this hidden gem, though, or it will soon be overrun.

Side Hustle

Located in a former police station, this charming little cocktail spot has a Latin-inspired menu that will make you feel like you’re sipping something under the warm South American sun. There’s a focus on agave-inspired recipes here, so even though you’re right in the heart of central London everything feels like a beach holiday, albeit one where you’re surrounded by friendly, knowledgeable staff who seem to be able to tell what drink you’d love just by looking at you.

While the cocktails are divine, the food menu matches them in terms of packing a flavourful punch, making this an ideal spot for dinner and drinks, or just a snack. No matter what kind of evening you’re looking for, Side Hustle will deliver.

For bookings at The American Bar send us an email

The Vesper Bar

Iconic doesn’t begin to cover this bar, located in the Dorchester Hotel in London’s most upmarket neighbourhood, Mayfair. With a history that stretches back decades and a reputation that precedes it, there are few cocktail spots in London that can boast the reputation of the Vesper Bar. Open until late, it’s also a brilliant spot for celeb spotting, but more importantly, they know how to make visitors feel special.

Each of the perfectly crafted drinks is poured into bespoke glassware, and there’s the chance to indulge in some of the tastiest small plates you’ll ever have the opportunity to savour. The mixologists are among the best in the world, and the decor brings the glamour of the roaring twenties to mind. An unmatchable cocktail experience.

For bookings at The American Bar send us an email

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