The Bar with No Name
Otherwise known by its address, 69 Colebrooke Row, this award-winning cocktail bar is set on a narrow backstreet in the heart of bustling Islington. It’s a unique place with one intimate room that has swanky, dark and cool interiors. The exciting cocktail list includes drinks made with the best ingredients that have been developed by the nearby Drink Factory - a research laboratory!
Located on the effortlessly trendy Hoxton Square, this arsty bar and restaurant offers great barbecue food, live music and a huge range of drinks. With regular happy hours, it’s one of the best party bars in North London and is always busy on friday and saturday nights with regular funk, hip-hop and soul inspired nights. Its menu offers all the barbeque classics, including amazing burgers and super spicy, finger-lickin’ wings.
Big Chill House
Located in Kings Cross, next to St Pancras, this stylish bar and restaurant is spread over multiple floors. It’s the sister bar to the Big Chill Bar located in Shoreditch and is similarly trendy with their links to former music festival. As the name suggests, it’s pretty laid-back but during the weekend it plays host to some lively DJs playing everything from hip-hop to old school garage.
House of Hammerton
This bar specialises in locally brewed beer in the heart of London. Set on the lively Holloway Road, it’s just a few minutes’ from Highbury Football Stadium and has 20 keg lines and 4 cask lines. Its stripped-back interiors are definitely fashionable but not the cosiest, making it better for group of mates rather than a date night. It’s not really about the decor though, this place is all about the beer.
A popular haunt for gig-goers keen to catch the ‘next big thing’, the basement live room at Birthdays attracts some of the most cutting-edge names in music. The main bar is a suitably exciting hang-out in its own right too, whether there’s live music on or not. This unassuming black fronted building adorns an otherwise unspectacular residential block, but inside it’s all about unadulterated fun and a super-cool atmosphere. Even the food is darn trendy, and sumptuously tasty too.
The Spaniards Inn
A place with no end of legendary tales, this 16th-century pub was once run by notorious highwayman Dick Turpin. In fact, he was so fond of it that he still hangs out here, as one of the three ghosts said to haunt the inn. Still, don’t let these ghostly goings on scare you off, this is a must-visit oldey-woldy inn that captures the charm of a country pub in the heart of the city. It’s a romantic spot too, and even inspired the likes of Keats and Dickens to pen some of their finest works.
The Faltering Fullback
This is an Irish pub tucked behind leafy Finsbury Park that boasts all the fine qualities that any authentic Celtic-inspired boozer should – a warm welcome, buzzing atmosphere, fantastic live entertainment and a great selection of beers. But it’s when you step outside that this place really excels, with a treehouse-themed beer garden offering a magical al fresco escape, ideal for cosying up under the heaters in the winter or enjoying the sunshine in the summer.
A cracking little bar that is bursting with atmosphere, every little detail has been thought out at Ruby’s to ensure a genuinely special drinking experience. The hotchpotch furniture all adds to the character, while drinks are stylishly presented in a variety of quirky receptacles. A hidden gem but understandably popular, so booking ahead is always advisable.
The Lock Tavern
This Camden institution is renowned for its sunday roasts, great DJs and live music nights, as well as its massive selection of beer. With a terrace, 3 bars and a ever-busy dance floor, it has become one of the most popular in North London. Despite its popularity, it still feels authentic and definitely has a different vibe to the many touristy bars in Camden.
Billed as ‘high end cocktails in a low rent basement’, the emphasis here is on quality concoctions served up in an effortlessly cool and pretension-free atmosphere. Incredibly popular, you want to make sure you get in early to secure a spot or book in advance. Secrets this good don’t stay secret too long, but it still remains one of Shoreditch’s best bars and, as the name suggests, it’s guaranteed to make you smile.