During the day, Shoreditch bustles with professionals grabbing their artisan coffees and rushing to their open-plan offices. But the area really comes to life at night, with chic indie bars and floor-shaking nightclubs attracting creatives and cocktail lovers from all over the city. Of course, Shoreditch is so full of interesting bars that it can […]
During the day, Shoreditch bustles with professionals grabbing their artisan coffees and rushing to their open-plan offices. But the area really comes to life at night, with chic indie bars and floor-shaking nightclubs attracting creatives and cocktail lovers from all over the city.
Of course, Shoreditch is so full of interesting bars that it can be tricky knowing where to start. If you’re looking for the best bars in the area, we’ve got you covered! Check out these 10 cool Shoreditch bars for an unforgettable night out with friends or colleagues.
1. Swingers Crazy Golf
We couldn’t talk about cool bars in Shoreditch without mentioning our very own Swingers Crazy Golf at City – where you’ll actually get five cocktail bars under one roof. From the golden-lit Fairway Bar to the Gin Terrace draped in flowering vines, these 1920s-inspired spots not only offer amazing aesthetics, but also pretty much any drink you could imagine. Signature cocktails include the Hurricane Carter (a blend of rum, apricot brandy, spiced honey syrup, and ginger beer) and the Clover Club (gin, vermouth and fresh raspberries with a frothy lemon finish).
No matter your drink of choice, the bartenders at Swingers have got you covered – and the vast range of cocktails perfectly complements the food menu, too! Come with a date, a group of friends, or your whole office; whether you’re having a casual chat up on the Gin Terrace or revelling in the Upper Club House, Swingers has a space for you.
2. Tonight Josephine
You’ll find another fabulous, iconic Shoreditch bar in Tonight Josephine, a retro-inspired palace of shimmering surfaces and pink tinsel. All the decorations – including light-up walls and an alcove with a literal (heart-shaped) loveseat – make it the ideal Instagram destination, with amazing drinks to boot.
Feast your eyes on their lavish cocktail menu, which has beverages as extravagant as the décor, and don’t forget to take advantage of the bar’s happy hour deals! You’re also sure to get a kick out of weekly Prosecco Pong, Saturday bottomless brunch and the nightly dancefloor at Tonight Josephine, where you can strut your stuff to a selection of nostalgic 80s tunes. For just the right blend of retro and cutting-edge, you can’t do better than this Shoreditch bar.
3. Old Street Records
Or for a low-lit, slightly grungy, undeniably vintage vibe, check out Old Street Records, situated right on the boundary of Shoreditch and Hoxton. This dynamic venue not only offers live music every single night, but also a cool yet relaxed setting to meet up with friends – especially if you love discovering new bands and artists!
Adorned with industrial lighting, red neon and countless record covers, Old Street Records is yet another aesthetic achievement. But the real highlight is the sonic experience: exclusive basement sessions, hip-hop groups and funk bands, and seasonal theme nights every month. And on top of their delightfully fruity drinks, this Shoreditch bar also has a fantastic food menu! So pull up a stool, order some sourdough pizza and tune in for the evening, because this bar has everything you need for a rockin’ good time.
4. Nikki’s Bar
Equal parts upscale and quirky, Nikki’s Bar is correctly regarded as one of the very best bars in Shoreditch. Drenched in pink and orange lights and inspired by the cinema of Quentin Tarantino, Nikki’s provides an eclectic atmosphere you won’t soon forget! Colours pop at every turn, and the edgy decor provides great material for your Instagram grid. There’s even a bed on which you can snap some extra eye-catching pictures – and sassy neon signs to pose against for group shots.
You can reserve a table at Nikki’s online, or hire out the full venue for parties. Don’t miss their “Naughty Noughties” drag brunches every weekend, where you’ll hear everything from Kylie Minogue to Paris Hilton as you sip Prosecco, fruity tiki cocktails and much more! For a fun and flashy day or night out on the town, Nikki’s will not disappoint.
5. Queen of Hoxton
Looking for a top-tier (no pun intended) rooftop bar in Shoreditch? Look no further than the Queen of Hoxton: a mesmerising rooftop spot where the theme changes with the season. Think Parisian speakeasies and Vegas decor, plus enchanting holiday themes! And there’s more where that came from – beneath the rooftop, that is, where three sprawling stories make up the rest of this iconic establishment. Inside, you’ll find light-up floors, resident DJs, weekend drag brunches and plenty of pink.
As for cocktails, the Queen of Hoxton earns its title as one of the coolest bars in Shoreditch with a creative (and highly Instagrammable) menu. Choose from alcoholic slushies, fruity spritzes, and themed cocktails at the rooftop bar, plus all your typical wines and beers. You’ll be sorely tempted by the watermelon margarita – but take care not to overdo it, as this is one dance floor where you don’t want to be impaired!
6. Tayēr + Elementary
Tayēr + Elementary is also high on our list of best bars in Shoreditch, and for good reason. Despite its relatively recent opening in 2019, the bar has already made a name for itself with fresh ingredients and unique recipes, offering cocktails on tap and to order via their online store. Just a small sampling of the available drinks: a quince-infused old fashioned, a sandalwood martini and a vetiver tequila negroni.
If these flavour combinations don’t pique your interest, we don’t know what will! On top of exceptional cocktails, Tayēr + Elementary also boasts a breathtakingly elevated industrial space in which to enjoy them. Here you can pair singular drinks with equally exciting snacks like artisan mussels, tuna tartare and freshly prepared churros. Needless to say, if you go to T + E in Shoreditch, prepare to have your tastebuds rocked and rolled.
7. The King’s Head
With an actual (taxidermied) polar bear standing proud in one corner, The King’s Head is literally one of the coolest bars you can visit in Shoreditch. It’s also one of the most exclusive – you can only get in with a booking or as part of its members’ club. The latter grants you access to the quirky yet tasteful pub area, as well as a hidden nightclub in the basement and several private rooms for hire.
There’s really no better place than The King’s Head for an eccentric friend’s birthday or an indulgent weekend meal. The food from fu:dizm fusion tapas is sure to wow you: goat cheese kunefe, pumpkin gnocchi and braised octopus carpaccio are just three items on the menu. The drinks are also beyond reproach – lengthy wine and champagne lists, plus a number of whimsical signature cocktails. Our favourite is the first one on the list, Palatium Igne: an undeniably compelling combination of peach puree, elderflower liqueur, gin, spiced syrup and lime with an egg white finish.
8. Trapeze Bar
An ideal Shoreditch spot if you’re looking for a vibrant, high-energy night out, Trapeze Bar is a circus-themed extravaganza with new sights and sounds at every turn! Explore their three dazzling levels to find the main bar complete with carousel booths and popcorn machine, an exclusive mezzanine area for beer pong and other activities, and a massive lit-up club space for dancing and performances.
As for food and drink, don’t miss cheeky circus-themed concoctions like the Flamin’ Bobo – a fiery blend of rum, passionfruit, strawberry puree, lime juice and ginger beer – or flavour-packed platters like the Strongman and the Bearded Lady. In addition to walk-ins, Trapeze also hosts in-house events (including one of the best hip-hop/R&B nights in London), corporate events and private functions. In other words, no matter how small or large your party, you’re bound to have big-top levels of fun at Trapeze Bar!
Tucked away on City Road, Nightjar is a wonderfully quaint venue and one of the most beloved cocktail bars in Shoreditch. With standout decor such as trombone-shaped glasses, elegant drinks cabinets, dark wood and leather booths, it’s an authentic speakeasy in a world of charlatans. You can drink wine in a cosy, low-lit corner or revel in live music – you’ll hear jazz, blues and swing bands every night at Nightjar. And take it from us, there’s nothing like sipping the perfect old fashioned with music to match!
Speaking of drinks, Nightjar offers yet another impeccable cocktail menu: not just the classics (though they excel at these too), but also unique and elaborate choices for every era. For example, on the pre-Prohibition menu you’ll find the “malty, leathery, refreshing” Highlander, while on the post-war menu there’s the Aperol-inspired Canaletto and the multi-layered Lei Lani Volcano. Honestly, you have to see these beverages to believe them – so do yourself a favour and slip into Nightjar the next time you find yourself near Old Street Station.
10. Black Rock
Nothing says “cool” like a basement whisky bar, and Black Rock is surely the trendiest whisky bar in Shoreditch. Low lighting and edgy decor conjure an impressive yet intimate atmosphere, making it just the right place to enjoy high-end Scotch and equally high-end company.
When it comes to variety, Black Rock’s whisky menu is to die for, with singular blends from across the world and fascinating notes such as seaweed and coffee. For a true whisky lover’s session, you can even try out the Black Rock blending experience, during which you’ll learn the history of different types of whisky and make your own bottle to take home! Whichever experience you choose at Black Rock, we guarantee you won’t soon forget it – just don’t overdo it on the whisky (you know, in service of retaining memories and all).
We’ve given you 10 of the coolest bars in Shoreditch, but if you still can’t choose a venue, why not circle back to Swingers? Whether you visit the City or West End location, you’ll find all the trappings of a cutting-edge Shoreditch cocktail bar plus amazing food and lively crazy golf. Don’t delay – book a brilliant night out at Swingers.
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