Cider. Wine. Gin. Vodka. Munchies. All available at the best London gastropubs and bars near you!
Whatever your poison is, London has something for everyone. We’ve gathered 7 of the best London gastropubs and bars that you need to try!
This post has everything from futuristic wine bars to traditional cash-only pubs with epic bingo nights.
Keep reading to start planning your next night out!
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Table of contents
Did you know that no all alcohol is vegan?
We sure didn’t until late 2019.
As it turns out, some alcohol, like wine, is filtered through isinglass (fish guts) while others include eggs. Although usually neither of these actually ends up in the final product, they are a byproduct making them not vegan-friendly.
Here’s a quick guide of vegan drinks to help you know what to purchase:
- Guinness is always vegan
- Brand wines from grocery stores (Tesco, Sainsbury’s etc.) are usually vegan and will say on the bottle
- Clear spirits (vodka, white rum) are usually vegan
1. Vagabonds Wines
Location: Various locations around London
Price Range: $$-$$$
Food: Munchies only, must ask for vegan options
Vibe: Posh but relaxed. Dress nicely but be prepared to lounge while you drink, eat and chat
Perfect For: Getting a buzz and food before a night out or a date night
Vagabonds is a great way to introduce a first-timer to the London nightlife. With locations all over the city, it’s also a doddle to find.
The key concept of Vagabonds revolves around their charge cards. You first have to buy a card and then you load it up with funds. After that, you can go to one of the many wine banks to pick a bottle and size of glass you want. This allows you to try many different wines in one evening without having to buy full bottles.
Don’t get us wrong, you can still spend a pretty penny in Vagabonds if you are not careful as it’s so easy to drain your card with multiple tasting samples.
2. TT Liquor
Location: 17B Kingsland Rd, Hackney, London E2 8AA, United Kingdom (Looks a bit like a storefront. Go in and down the stairs for the bar)
Price Range: $$$
Food: None available on their website
Vibe: Intimate and cozy (but rich people cozy, not uni student cozy)
Perfect For: Intimate nights. Great place to finish the night.
TT Liquor really is something else. One of the best cocktails bars we’ve been to (after a crazy Hendrick’s Gin event) and with such an individual style. It has a very speakeasy vibe with intimate vaults.
You can reserve these vaults where you and a group of friends can enjoy a hosted tasting session. Or you can reserve the area just to enjoy in your own way by ordering off of their substantial cocktail menu. Not only can you drink, but TT Liquor also offers cocktail making classes for all you would-be bar staff out there.
TT Liquor is easily one of the best London gastropubs and bars and should be at the top of your list!
Location: Various locations around London
Price Range: $-$$ (decent happy hour prices)
Food: Mexican with loads of clearly marked vegan options
Vibe: Loud and exciting, don’t expect an intimate conversation
Perfect For: Drinks to get you ready for the club
Barrio has locations all over London from Soho to Brixon. Every Barrio is an individually funky styled cocktail bar that has so much to offer. From amazing drinks (their version of a Moscow Mules are a must-try) to their great music tastes (mostly late 90’s through to the early 2000’s). Barrio is a great way to start your evening if you’re feeling like dancing. Not club dancing thankfully, more of a living your best life kind of dancing.
Barrio also often works with the Dusk app. See the section below. So it’s also a cheap way to start a night. If it’s not clear by now, Alysa and I love a bargain. While probably not your first thought when talking about London’s best gastropubs, Barrio is a fantastic option!
Dusk isn’t a bar or a pub. It’s actually an app and a great way to get free/ discounted drinks. All you need to do is download the app and find a local bar offering a free drink or discount. You’ll head into the bar, open the app, go to the bar page, and click “Free drink now”. The bartender will then do the rest. Alysa and I were once able to get four cocktails for just ten GBP. That’s an absolute steal for anywhere in the UK nevermind in London.
You can only use each section of the app once per day but that’s more than enough to get your evening going without having to spend more than a tenner. Regardless of where you are planning on heading for your evening, we think it would be silly to not have Dusk downloaded on your phone ready for any potential deals.
You’ll find loads of the best London gastropubs and bars to satisfy your thirst and hunger!
Note: As of the time of writing, Dusk only works in London and at a few places in Manchester, UK.
Stay Connected: If you want mobile data while you’re in the UK or Europe, I recommend ordering an EE pay as you go sim card. Have it sent to your accommodation for an easy and affordable way to stay connected.
5. The Hide Bar
Location: 39-45 Bermondsey St, Bermondsey, London SE1 3XF, United Kingdom
Price Range: $$
Food: Standard bar food with lots of vegan options (burgers, fries, meze platter)
Vibe: Lively but not much mingling
Perfect For: After-work drinks or casual date night
WARNING! I may get a bit soppy in this description but that’s only because The Hide Bar is where I first got to meet the absolute stunning women that I love with all of my heart… Alysa.
The Hide Bar itself is a fairly swanky bar offering craft beers, selected spirits, and even some vegan food options. It’s not cheap but being located on Bermondsey Street in Southwark you have all the choice you could ever want right on your doorstep. The main reason I like this bar is because I have the memory of when I first actually laid my eyes on Alysa.
Through the crowded room of people enjoying their evening, Alysa walked with such captivating confidence and red lipstick that could catch anybody’s eye.
Then finally the moment we had all been waiting for (well, mostly me): Alysa had found where I was standing by the bar and I was blessed with seeing Alysa’s eyes in person (we had met on Hinge first). The easiest way to describe them is to imagine two immaculate sunrises that make you feel like you’re the only person in the room that matters.
Anyway… it’s fair to say The Hide Bar has a special place in my heart.
Read More: 6 Must-Visit Date Night Spots in London
6. The Kings Head
Location: 126 Blackstock Rd, Finsbury Park, London N4 2DR, United Kingdom
Price Range: $
Food: It’s not one of the best London gastropubs, but free sandwiches come around during bingo night and you can satisfy your hunger elsewhere
Vibe: Locals and an older crowd. You’ll stand out if you wear anything nicer than jeans and a T-shirt.
Perfect For: An chilled evening drink before/after dinner
The Kings Head (not spelled with an apostrophe which drives me crazy) is a strange one for this list because it’s like many pubs up and down in the UK: a music-less, cash-only establishment that offers more soul than any of the other entries on this list.
The regulars you will meet are friendly, chatty and helpful (especially when you suck at bingo). The drinks are actually affordable (3 pints for under 10 GBP).
Most importantly, the bingo night is great fun. Can I get a “TWO FAT LADIES, 88!”? They even bring around free sandwiches (none vegan sadly) during bingo. Bingo is pay to play (a couple of quid) and you stand a chance of winning 20 to 30 pounds.
At the time of writing, bingo was Thursday nights at 7 pm.
7. Prince Arthur
Location: 49 Brunswick Pl, Old Street, London N1 6EB, United Kingdom
Price Range: $-$$
Food: Traditional pub food with vegan options
Vibe: Chilled and casual
Perfect For: Relaxed date night or after-work drinks
The Prince Arthur is a great place to call your local pub. As pointed out by Alysa (an American), anyone reading this will think that the English have a drinking problem.
Alcohol habits aside, the Prince Arthur has a lovely balcony area to sit and drink on a summer evening. You can also spill out on to the street as there are plenty of benches. You’ll also find a dartboard up a flight of stairs that seems to get steeper the more that you drink.
That being said the Prince Arthur is just as brilliant in the winter. The downstair area is a cozy size and there are plenty of vegan options (including a great vegan roast) to keep you warm. The drinks also aren’t crazy expensive but don’t expect fancy cocktails. In proper English pub style, beer and a few spirits are about the extent of it.
If you don’t go anywhere else on your search for the best London gastropubs and bars, you need to go to the Prince Arthur.
Keep Exploring London Beyond Gastropubs and Bars
With a full belly and a slight buzz from exploring the best London gastropubs and bars, why not extend the adventure!
London is one of the best cities for shopping, and for drinking it’s no exception!
Check out the posts below to find out all of the best secret spots and activities in London.