Finding the perfect spot to drink a daiquiri in London is quite the task. To save you the stress of searching, we’ve been hard at work scouring the best London cocktail bars to sip something special. However, at Like Locals, we’re all about unique experiences and uncovering hidden gems. So instead of showing you the standard, with the help of local insiders we’ve uncovered the most secretive spots only London’s most astute cocktail connoisseurs know about.
The Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town
Photo by Ewan Munro
This quirky London cocktail bar is located inside the Shoreditch branch of iconic Breakfast Club. In order to get inside this obscure cocktail bar, tell a staff member that you’re here to see “The Mayor”. You’ll then be ushered to an inconspicuous looking SMEG fridge. Opening the fridge door will reveal some steps, which lead to this unique speakeasy come hunting lodge style basement bar. Make your way down and enjoy a well earned bloody mary or old fashioned. If you can’t decide what you want, let the magical mixologists whip you up something special.
Details: 12-16 Artillery Lane, Spitalfields, London E1 7LS | Open Fri – Sat 5pm-2am,
Beast of Brixton
Behind an unassuming door off a bustling street in South London lies the Beast of Brixton. This secretive bar and restaurant is frequented by the most “in the know” locals looking for a good time. The drinks menu is innovative and the sorcerers behind the sips are the dynamic duo Killgrief and Comfort, the creme de la creme of Londons mixologists. Tell them what you want and they’ll fix you some tipple to match your taste. The beauty of this beast is that it isn’t just a cocktail bar, but also an amazing restaurant which serves the best in London street food, and a Sunday roast to die for. The cocktail bar is only open on Friday and Saturday, whilst the restaurant is open every day of the week.
Details: 89B Acre Lane, Brixton, SW2 5TN | Bar – Open Fri – Sat 5pm-2am
Despite the rising number of London speakeasies, Nightjar is one of the city’s oldest and still remains the godfather of them all. A favourite amongst London’s cocktail loving contingent, it’s more well known than some of the others on the list. The entrance is hidden between a newsagent and take away on City Road near Old Street Station. Head through the doors, down the stairs into this dimly lit 1920’s prohibition style cocktail bar. Select a cocktail of your choice from their award-winning menu, sit back on the leather sofas and enjoy your drink to a backdrop of jazz music. We’d advise booking as they can get quite busy on the weekends.
Location: Shoreditch | Opening Hours: Sun-Wed 6pm-1am, Thurs 6pm-2am, Fri & Sat 6pm-3am
This swanky London cocktail bar is hidden below Covent Gardens iconic St Martins Hotel. Most remain oblivious to its existence, but those who have been can’t stop raving about it. Make your way inside the hotel and ask to be directed to the tea counter, behind which lies a golden hand. Shaking it will reveal the secret door leading to this classy cocktail cavern. The selection of cocktails is extensive, but the Blind Spot is renowned for its tea infused drinks, so be sure to give them a try. They also hold regular live music nights, so you can drink and dance the night away.
Details: St. Martin’s Lane Hotel, 45 St Martin’s Lane, WC2N 4HX | Open Mon-Sat 5pm-1.30am, Sun 5-10.30pm
The Vaults Of Soho
The Vault Of Soho is a real hidden gem, tucked beneath the iconic Greek Street whiskey merchant, Milroy’s. As you step inside Milroys, the eclectic selection of malts can provide quite the distraction. Stay focused though, this secretive cocktail bar is right beneath your feet. Straight out of James Bond villains, a bookstand at the rear of the shop is actually the secret entrance to The Vault Of Soho. Make your way past the bookshelf and down the stairs where great drinks and vibes await. This cosy candle-lit cellar bar has a great selection of cocktails crafted by some of London’s most skilled mixologists. However, as they are in the basement of Milroys, their Whiskey infused cocktails are something to savour. Oh, and if you’re lucky, you might even get the chance to meet the resident dog, Chester.
Details 3 Greek Street, W1D 4BD | Open Monday 6-11pm, Tues-Sat 6pm-12am