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Bars in London

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Bars in London: things to know before you go

Does London have the best bars and pubs in the world? Of course it does. But here are some other things about bars in London you might not know.

Which are the best bars in London?

The chances of being able to visit every bar in London are pretty slim – unless you’re this guy. There are trendy new hotspots popping up every minute in our glorious capital. But here are some of the top picks. London’s excellent cocktail bars are well represented among Groupon customers’ favourite spots.

  • 5th View Bar & Food in Piccadilly presides over incredible views of London’s skyline while serving up drinks that are basically works of art and grub that you’ll just want to inhale.
  • Bugie Bar is literally on another level, thanks to its basement location, complete with speakeasy vibes. Its mixologists serve up marvellously imaginative drinks within easy walking distance of Shoreditch High Street – perfect for carrying on the party.

Who does the best gin and tonic in London?

London has been sipping G&Ts since the 17th century. With fine establishments serving up mother’s ruin across every London borough, the absolute best might be just around the corner.

  • A good place to start might be The Distillery in Notting Hill. The first ‘gin hotel’ in the city is a four-floor love letter to gin. Its home to Portobello Road Gin and The Ginstitute (a masterclass and museum in one). It’s a hotel too – so you can sleep off all those G&Ts upstairs
  • For something rather different, why not try the back-to-basics Mother’s Ruin in Walthamstow? There are more than 80 gins to select from here – including all the fruity options you could ever dream of.

This is just a starter for 10. Discover more places that’ll be happy to top up your tipple by casting your eye over this list.

What is the difference between a pub, bar, club, and a lounge?

The key differences between pubs, bars, clubs and lounges come down to how late they’re open – and your chances of getting a seat. But let’s break it down a little more:

  • If it shuts at 11:30, it’s probably a pub. A traditional London pub will most likely have plenty of beer, a selection or pork scratchings and crisps behind the bar.
  • A bar is a little swankier. A bar in London will have the same emphasis on socialising with some music playing and will stay open until the early hours.
  • A lounge has a more premium feel. It also usually has a small dancefloor on hand for when those mojitos start to kick in.
  • A club opens late and closes late. Here it’s all about the music, the dancefloor and the experience. Clubs are where to head to let your hair down and have a good boogie.

Of course, London is riddled with exceptions to these rules, but they’re a good starting point if you’re unsure what you’re looking for.

What are the best apps to find nearby restaurants and bars?

There are several apps that will help you find the best restaurants and bars in London near you, including:

  • Groupon – on our app you can find amazing deals on London bars, restaurants and food and drink venues.
  • Time Out – which has lists and reviews of the best bars and restaurants in your area.
  • Michelin Travel Guide – where you can find the best places to eat across the world, if fine dining’s more your cup of tea.