With the night tube finally (finally!) grinding into the capital this Friday, it’s time to celebrate by drinking far too much without having to worry about sprinting for that dreaded last Victoria Line train.
From hipster cocktail clubs to American-ish dive bars, these are the best spots in London to get a drink after hours.
1 Hoxton Grill
With its grand fireplace, exposed brickwork and velvet chairs, elements of the Soho House Group (i.e. trendy) are on clear display in this American Grill hangout. They serve food until midnight, drinks until 2am and you can take your Negroni and sit out in the courtyard. What’s not to like?
Hoxton Hotel, 81 Great Eastern St, London EC2A 3HU, hoxtongrill.com
2 Worship Street Whisting Shop
The brainchild of the team behind Purl (one of London’s first speakeasy bars), this underground den – inspired by 19th century gin palaces – is fully furnished with an in-house lab, meaning everything from syrups to bitters, and even soft-drinks are homemade. Their Dram Shop has a massive selection of gin based cocktails, all wax sealed and stored for a month. All you have to do is pick one (and pay of course) and enjoy.
63 Worship Street, London, EC2A 2DU, whistlingshop.com
“Tucked away” may not be two words you would use for a bar placed on one of East London’s busiest main roads – but Nightjar appears to be just that. Serving vintage spirits (the oldest being Hannisville Bourbon, believed to have been distilled in the 1860s) in addition to food and signature cocktails, Nightjar captures the feel of being in a 1920s speakeasy without being too cliche. Oh and just a heads up, it’s closed on Wednesday’s.
129 City Rd, London EC1V 1JB, barnightjar.com
4 Slim Jims
Located in upmarket Islington, Slim Jims is an American style dive bar with a reckless selection of rums, bourbons and tequilas, as well as a juke box that (unsurprisingly) throws out rock classics from The Rolling Stones, Guns ‘n’ Roses and AC/DC. Their doors are open seven days a week and on weekends they don’t close until 3am.
112 Upper St, Islington, N1 1QN, slimjimsliquorstore.com
5 Vingt Quatre
VQ has the best opening hours the capital has to offer because it’s open all day and all night (Vaint Quatre = Twenty Four in French, very clever). So whether you want to head in to sober up before catching the night tube home, or fancy a cheeseburger and tequila at 6am, Vingt Quatre is like a much more sophisticated version of a late night chippie.
Chelsa, Bloomsbury and Notting Hill vq24hours.com
6 Bunga Bunga
You may not have guessed from the Venetian backdrop splashed across the wall, or the Vespas hung from the ceiling, but Bunga Bunga is a wholly Italian influenced bar and pizzeria. With bellinis, Amaretto and their very own house apéritif on the menu, Bunga Bunga is a solid late night option for those not looking to venture into central London.
37 Battersea Bridge Rd, Battersea, London SW11 3BA, bungabunga-london.com
7 The Social
Renowned for its Hip Hop karaoke night (every Thursday – we know you’re interested), The Social is nestled behind the backstreets of Oxford Circus. The stripped-down bar upstairs, with its brown leather booths and low lighting is ideal for a cocktail or eight, while the basement club – complete with a disco ball – is an obvious choice for those who’ve had one too many, but want to keep the night going…and going.
5 Little Portland St, London W1W 7JD, thesocial.com
8 The Horse And Groom
A self-proclaimed ‘Disco pub’, The Horse and Groom is a great combination of traditional boozer and East End debauchery. Open until 4am every Friday and Saturday (or if you can deal with Monday hangovers, they’re open until 2am on Sundays), the venue is contained within two floors, each with its own bar, DJ booth and seating area.
28 Curtain Rd, London EC2A 3NZ, thehorseandgroom.net