East London’s best bars


In recent years, East London has exploded as the place to go in the capital for a bit of alternative culture. Of course, in the UK, culture and alcohol tend to go hand in hand, and so this part of the city has also become home to some of the best and most creative bars going.

Cocktails at Park Grand Hotels London – Espresso Martini

Cocktails in jam jars may seem like the norm now, but it became cool here, where pretentiousness and fun are dished out in equal measure. For a great night out in London, head east to some of these fine drinking establishments.

The Hoxton

The Hoxton in Shoreditch has been a part of the East London establishment for a number of years now, proving that it’s not just another trendy flash in the pan. In fact, this bar and grill is quite the opposite and it has expanded from a typically quirky watering hole into much, much more.

As well as the bar, there are apartments, a venue, a meeting space and a whole host of alternative spaces to look cool in.

However, it’s the Hoxton Grill where you’ll likely want to spend the majority of your time with its open kitchen and sleek-looking leather interior. The bar wouldn’t look out of place in 1920s New York (with an East London twist, of course) and the menu reflects its American influence.

Unlike many other places in Shoreditch, craft beer is not a major part of the drinks menu here. Instead, it’s all about a fine selection of diverse wines, prosecco and some delightful hand-crafted cocktails. A great place to start the evening.

Happiness Forgets

One of the most popular cocktail bars in East London (which is no mean feat when you consider the calibre and diversity here), Happiness Forgets combines chic drinks with, well, a basement.

The irony of serving incredibly expensive drinks in a low-rent cellar has not been lost on London’s fabulous counter culture troubadours and the ambiance is partly created by the basic surroundings you will find yourself in here.

But at the end of the day, what’s really important, the place you’re in or the quality of the drinks served there? We think it’s the latter and you won’t find many better places than this Hoxton Square bar for cocktails.

It gets busy here, but the bar does keep tables open for walk ins.


This Old Street bar is always incredibly busy, a sign of how good it is here. Indeed, you would be foolish not to book in advance, it would just be a case of you not getting in.

Although the classic cocktails are readily available here, this is a place to try something new, confusing and, ultimately, delicious. To call the menu extensive is an understatement, it’s almost a literary work of art. The staff are experts and take what they do very seriously. If you want to sip on a cocktail that’s been meticulously designed and lovingly crafted, then this is your place.

The Wenlock Arms

If you don’t fancy a fancy drink with ingredients you can’t even pronounce then the Wenlock Arms is probably more up your street. This pub is much more about craft beer and it boasts some of the best locally brewed beers in the city as well as a few out-of-town options.

Although it strays precariously close to the fringes of North London, it’s still boozer of the East and close enough to get to the other drinking establishments in Shoreditch, Dalston and Hoxton.

bars in London

The decor is no frills, the food options are simple; there’s nothing over-the-top about the Wenlock and that’s just the way the locals like it. Pull up a seat at the bar, ask what beer is recommended and enjoy a pint in one of London’s best pubs.

Hawksmoor Spitalfields Bar

Another trendy underground haunt, the Hawksmoor is an institution of fine cocktails and top-notch drink making.

The interior of somewhat random-looking furnishings has been put together flawlessly to create a warm and welcoming bar that still maintains an air of sophistication.

Located close to the Liverpool Street tube station, you’re right in the heart of East London and close to decent transport links.

London’s premier bar guide Bar Chick recommends the Square Mile “martinis”, Shakey Pete Ginger Brew or any of the “Desert Island cocktails” which change each month – you can’t go wrong here.

Whether you’re in Shoreditch, Hoxton or another part of East London, you are bound to find a cracking bar to spend your evening in. And for when the party’s over, we’ve got the perfect place for you to rest your weary head. Book a room at the Shaftesbury and sleep off those incredible cocktails.