Remember when you were a kid and your imagination use to conjure up all sorts of crazy ideas where you could hide your toys, or imagine a hidden world beneath a dusty old basement door? Whether you had a fun childhood or not, the best 10 hidden bars in London will definitely tingle your adult mind’s imagination. There’s something marvelous and mysterious about being hidden away from the public eye. And how cool would it be taking your friends to an unmarked door to some back alley only to knock on an unassuming entrance and revealing a gorgeous smoke filled boozer with jazz playing in the background? Since the smoking ban is still in place for all pubs and bars, the smoke filled part of this hypothetical situation kind of sucks, but never the less you get the idea. Taking a lady to such a place will definitely score you some extra points too. They love a mystery man. The finest secret bars in London are scattered all over the city and some are so well hidden many people wouldn’t know about them if it weren’t for the internet. If you seek something a bit more different on your night out, here’s our list of the top 10 secret London bars.
If the name itself isn’t amusing on any level for you, than visiting it might just give you a good giggle. This hidden bar is located in the Breakfast Club, or more precisely, in the branch of Spitafield. Upon entering the place you should immediately tell a staff member that you “need to see the mayor”. They will direct you towards an old styled SMEG fridge that is actually a hidden door. If that’s not cool, then I don’t know what is!
Visiting address: Artillery Ln 12-16, London E1 7LS
It’s a BYOC venue which stands for bring your own cocktail. So while they don’t sell alcohol, they do offer a splendid and unique experience. All you need to do is pay a £25 entrance fee (which isn’t a lot considering you bring your own cheap booze) and they’ll lead you to an unassuming door and dimly lit staircase that leads into a brick walled hidden bar. There you find an expert mixologist who will turn your spirits into heavenly beverages.
Visiting address: 28 Bedfordbury, Covent Garden, London, WC2N 4BJ
Located in Chinatown between two restaurant entrances, it’s super easy to miss this one. Many wouldn’t think twice about this bar’s door, but if a friend takes you here by any chance, it’s a given you’ll want to share this hidden London gem with others as well. This place is nothing if not completely cool. The cocktails are priced around £12 but once you try them, you won’t think they’re too pricey.
Visiting address: Gerrard St 13a, Chinatown, London W1D 5PS
Situated in Shoreditch the Callooh Callay has a secret. Or we’ll just pretend that we were the first ones to actually find out, for the story’s sake. Designed with the old styled bars in mind, this venue adds a bit more of colorful tones and details onto its walls and decorations. But the interesting part is once you walk through an old styled wardrobe which leads to the hidden back lounge of the bar. Having a secret meeting with someone? This might be the perfect place for it.
Visiting address: Rivington St 65, London EC2A 3AY
In the traditionally modern Soho style designed Old Tom & English bar is where you should take out your girlfriend for a drink at least once. Stroll down Wardour Street with her and nonchalantly walk up to its red door and ring the bell. Act cool though, don’t let your excitement show too much. Upon being greeted by staff you’ll walk into a meticulously designed bar that is the Old Tom & English. If that doesn’t impress her, don’t waste too much of your time and effort.
Visiting address: Wardour St 187, London W1F 8ZB
A speakeasy in the middle of London? Have certain Chicago mobsters taken over the city? If you asked the bar owners they’d confirm this. But what’s more important about this neat hidden gem are the tremendous drinks, a wide range of cocktails and the fact that they have partnered up with the neighboring sushi place so you’ll never get hungry either.
Visiting address: Chelsea Cloisters, Sloane Ave 87, London, SW3 3DW
This is a sister bar to the Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town and it is also located underneath the London Breakfast Club. The prices are reasonable and their notorious “Good Time Tonics” priced just £6.50 will definitely make it worth your while.
Visiting address: Canary Wharf Crossrail, London, E14 5AR
Head to the Off Broadway bar and go straight to this establishment’s facilities. There you’ll find a single cubicle with a cistern and a sink. Then simply pull the chain which will open the doors to one of London’s finest “secret” bars. The bar boasts a big selection of rums, classic cocktails and new fun twists on the classics. The design of the bar is heavily influenced by the colonial era and it’s one feature that gives this place its soul.
Visiting address: 14 Rivington Street, Shoreditch, London, EC2A 3DU
This inventive London speakeasy is located right between a newsagent and a chicken shop. Inconspicuous to say the least. But upon entering this hidden London bar you’ll be exposed to tremendous vibes and jazzy tunes that can’t leave you indifferent. The cocktails are made with great style and showmanship on the part of the friendly bartenders. Charming, warm and great fun. What else could one ask for?
Visiting address: City Road 129, London, EC1V 1JB
Are you intrigued by secrets of all kinds? Feel like venturing out to London’s most secretive bar? In that case you’ll have to get to Shoreditch, but before that you need to make an “appointment”. Their website is mysterious as it gets. The interior is very reminiscent of an old Soviet like trendy bar. Maybe you can go with the flow and put on a Russian accent and just have some fun with the whole thing.
Visiting address: Great Eastern St 1E, London EC2A 3EJ