mixologist-making-cocktails

18 cocktail bars in London you need to visit

You need these on your radar

Chloe Best

There's no shortage of cocktail bars in London, and from laidback speakeasy bars to fun party hotspots you'll find something to suit any mood (and budget). We've rounded up 18 of the best cocktail bars in London that you need on your radar. The one thing they all have in common? An impressive selection of cocktails that pack a punch.

1. Dandelyan

The proud winner of a number of awards, Dandelyan – based within the Mondrian London hotel – is a must-visit for delicious cocktails and prime river views all within a seriously stylish setting. If the plush pink seats and green walls don't have you snapping away on Instagram, the cocktails will. The mixologists at this bar are focused on creating inventive and tasty cocktails that are unlike those you'll find anywhere else. See dandelyanbar.com for the menu.

2. American Bar at The Savoy

The American Bar at The Savoy is so prestigious, it was named the number one bar in the world in 2017. You'll feel like you've stepped back in time once you take your seat at this stylish bar, which is the longest surviving cocktail bar in London and has played host to a number of Hollywood stars over the years – photos of whom grace the walls. The only challenge is settling on just one drink; the menu is extensive and varied, taking inspiration from the 20 black-and-white Terry O'Neill portraits that have adorned the bar's walls since the 1980s. Get more details at Fairmont.com/savoy-london/dining/americanbar/.

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3. Madison

Located at the top of One New Change in the heart of the City, the bar at Madison offers views of the London skyline like nowhere else. Take a seat on the rooftop terrace and sip on punchy cocktails like the Lively Spritzer (grapefruit and rosemary, prosecco, Regal Rogue Lively White and Italicus) while basking in the views of St Paul's and beyond. Better still, the space can be enjoyed year round thanks to umbrellas and heaters. See more at madisonlondon.net.

4. Bar Termini

This lively bar should be your new go-to in Soho, for an Italian aperitif before dinner nearby. The House Negroni is the obvious choice, but we recommend the Spritz Termini (Beefeater gin, rhubarb cordial, Aperol and Prosecco) for a refreshing cocktail that's full of flavour. See the full menu at bar-termini-soho.com.

5. Mr Fogg's Society of Exploration

The newest opening from Mr Fogg's, the Society of Exploration is located by The Strand and comes complete with a train carriage, map room and hidden wonders just waiting to be explored. Cocktails start at £11, with highlights including The Mechanical Mixology – a mix of Star of Bombay gin, Martini Riserva Speciale Rubino vermouth and Martini Riserva Speciale Bitter aperitif. Find out more at mr-foggs.com.

6. Skylon

Located within Royal Festival Hall, Skylon is known and loved for its expertly-mixed cocktails and views over the Southbank and Thames below. You're spoiled for choice with the cocktail menu, including classics like espresso martinis and daiquiris, as well as more unusual tipples such as the Fifty Fifty, a blend of Plymouth gin, rhubarb and ginger syrup, fino sherry, lime juice and ginger bitters, topped up with sparkling wine. Get more details at skylon-restaurant.co.uk.

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7. Bluebird Chelsea

Bluebird Chelsea is a favourite among the Made in Chelsea set, and is bound to be your new favourite place once you sample the cocktails on offer. This King's Road bar has an extensive menu of both classic and signature cocktails including the aptly-named Kings Road Cocktail, with Cointreau, rose syrup, lemon and champagne. See the full menu at bluebird-restaurant.co.uk.

8. Radio Rooftop

Want your cocktail with a side of city views? Head up to Radio Rooftop, located on the tenth floor of the ME London hotel with a vantage point across the Thames and London skyline. The cocktail menu has seasonal updates, with the signature cocktail including the Me Breeze (Grey Goose, pineapple juice, strawberry liqueur, peach liqueur, cantaloupe, strawberry, ginger and lemon juice). Head to radiorooftop.com to make your reservation.

9. Happiness Forgets

This Hoxton Square bar has been named one of the best in the world, thanks to its promise of "great cocktails, no wallies". This laidback bar is the place to go for high-quality drinks in a chilled out environment, but you'll want to make a reservation in advance to guarantee a seat. See more at happinessforgets.com.

10. Connaught Bar

You'll experience a warm welcome and even better drinks at the Connaught Bar, another award-winning spot that is endlessly revered for its unique and high-quality drinks created by Agostino Perrone. Whether you choose a bespoke Martini, made to order at your table, or look at the menu featuring cocktails inspired by the team's travels around the world, one thing is for sure – you won't leave disappointed. See more at the-connaught.co.uk.

11. Oriole

Head to Smithfield Markets for a visit to Oriole, a bar that promises "beguiling décor, enthralling refreshments and glowing hospitality". And with a menu that is inspired by new tastes and ingredients from around the world, you're sure to sample something a little different from the norm. You can quite literally travel around the world with each drink, sampling tipples inspired by the Americas, Europe, Africa, and the Orient. The only difficult task is narrowing it down to just one. Visit oriolebar.com to see the menu.

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12. The Gibson

This quirky bar, located within an Edwardian-listed building near Old Street, is a feast for all the senses, with a huge selection of innovative cocktails that are inspired by different seasons, and presented with serious panache. It's no wonder it's been the recipient of several big awards, and sees customers return time and time again. Find out more at thegibsonbar.london.

13. Nightjar

Bringing a touch of old school glamour to Old Street, Nightjar serves some of the most creative cocktails in London, with a vast array to choose from. Nightjar signatures include the cocktail-meets-dessert, Banoffeescotch, which features Bruichladdich whisky, hazelnut granola milk, banoffee curd, waffle and chocolate. Meanwhile, whisky fans will be tempted by the Name of the Samurai (Nikka Whisky from the Barrel, popcorn tea infusion, lime juice, Akashi Tai sake, ume plum and galangal liqueur, mirin and rice syrup and bamboo shoots). See more at barnightjar.com.

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14. Untitled

You'll find a creative cocktail list and Japanese-inspired food menu at Untitled, located on Kingsland Road, east London. The drinks have been given intriguing names like Snow, Aztec and Gypsy, but you'll also find some classic cocktails on offer too if you're not feeling too daring. See more at untitled-bar.com.

15. The Bar With No Name

This speakeasy-style bar is located on a backstreet in Islington and is only identifiable by an outdoor lantern. Once you've made your way inside you'll be tempted by an experimental selection of cocktails served in a setting that blends 1950s Italian café style with a Film Noir feel. In short, it's sure to be a memorable experience. Get more information at 69colebrookrow.com.

16. Bar Elba

You're bound to have seen this colourful al fresco bar all over your Instagram feed, and won't be able to resist sharing your own snaps of the quirky wall art and amazing cocktails once you visit. With a prime position by London's Waterloo it's a prime spot for a night out; order one of the Big Jug cocktails to share among friends! Visit bar-elba.co.uk for more info.

17. Booking Office

Based within the famous St Pancras Renaissance Hotel, the Booking Office has a stunning 29-metre bar and even more impressive cocktail list, including the Tails of Discovery menu, which has been curated around inspirational characters and events. Trust us, you'll love it. Make your reservation at stpancraslondon.com.

18. Worship Street Whistling Shop

This Victorian-inspired cocktail bar has won a number of awards since opening its doors in 2011, and it's easy to see why. The stylish bar now specialises in just 12 cocktails, which are available in either traditional or alcohol-free versions. See the menu and plan your visit at whistlingshop.com.

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