Best Bars in Central London

Knowing where to grab a drink in central London isn’t always so straightforward, with so many appealing options the sheer scope of choice can overwhelm the unplanned tippler. Oftentimes this dilemma leads folks unwittingly into the nearest establishment for reasons of pure convenience. Never wanting to settle for less though, we’ve spent rigorous hours exploring W1 for the very best bars so that you don’t fall victim to this trap.


Steeped in history, this iconic bar was a favourite haunt of James Bond author, Ian Fleming. Martinis are mixed theatrically tableside from the dedicated trolley. In signature style, they are served ice cold, rather stiff and garnished with an Amalfi lemon peel. Non-guests are welcome on a first come, first serve basis.

Bar Termini

This cult Soho favourite is compact and riotous fun with a punchy menu of aperitivi, including five different types of negronis and signature spritzes, as well as sumptuous charcuterie. Reserve ahead of time or be prepared to wait on the walk in list.


Below street level, something special is stirring in this broody cocktail bar. The decor is minimal and enticingly moody while the drinks list is accented with Indian flavours. Tables fill up fast so arrive promptly at opening time or reserve in advance.

Side Hustle

Within the former Bow Street Police Station, the NoMad hotel has appointed a rather exhilarating cocktail bar and informal Mexican eatery that sits visually somewhere between an American diner and a prohibition bar. Stocked with a comprehensive selection of tequilas and mezcals, our standout drink is the fiery Sergeant Pepper.

Trafalgar St. James

Head to the rooftop terrace of Trafalgar St. James for some seriously scenic cocktails overlooking some of the city’s most iconic landmarks. Few rooftops boast a better location than this sleek bar situated just off Trafalgar square.

Noble Rot

This swishy wine bar and restaurant sits contentedly along a cobbled back-alley in Mayfair. At the front of house, you can enjoy a casual glass (or bottle) in the wine bar, or venture through to the dining room for an elevated dining experience.

Connaught Bar

Setting the precedent for hotel bars in London, the Connaught Bar is a masterclass in mixology and overall experience with complementary nibbles and recipe cards for your tipple of choice. No wonder it earned ‘Best Bar in the World’ for two years consecutively.

If you like what you read here, make sure to join the waitlist for our London City Guide due to be released later this year. The guide will feature curated recommendations for everything from where to stay, what to do and where to eat, as well as seasonal itineraries and much more expert intel.

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