5 Top-Notch Cocktail Bars & Pubs In London

There are 1,327 pubs in London, that’s not even counting the rise of cocktail bars. Here’s the best pick out of the extra large selection.

London is known for many things: Buckingham Palace, The London Eye, and maybe even the change of the guards who never quite make eye contact. But along each street in London be sure to keep a look out for these hidden gems: cocktail bars and pubs brimming with flavors sure to knock your taste buds’ socks off.

Prospect of Whitby

57 Wapping Wall, Wapping, London E1W 3SH, United Kingdom

The Prospect Of Whitby
FACEBOOK The Prospect Of Whitby

Built in 1520, this historic public house on the banks of the Thames claims to be the oldest riverside tavern. Sailors, smugglers, British movie stars, and politicians have all dined and drank here for over 400 years. This tavern hosts a wide range of drinks and cocktails including all your favorites and some new ones, like espresso martinis, blood orange spritz, Old Mout Cider (pineapple & raspberry flavor), Black Cow strawberry vodka, and wines from all around the world (New Zealand, Spain, and Italy).

Perfect with a pint of real ale, the Prospect of Whitby also features traditional pies like Steak and Ale Pie which includes British beef, beef dripping gravy, seasonal vegetables, and mash or triple-cooked chips. Click here for the full food and drink menu. You can find the Prospect of Whitby in Wapping, Greater London.

The Mayflower Pub

117 Rotherhithe St, Rotherhithe, London SE16 4NF, United Kingdom

Mayflower Pubs in London
FACEBOOK MayflowerPub

With tables on an upper-deck overlooking the Thames River, head to The Mayflower to find any drink you desire. The restaurant is surrounded by cobblestone streets on the outside, and you’ll be dining in a cozy candlelit atmosphere in the inside. At The Mayflower you can even spot the original 1620 mooring point of the Pilgrim Father’s Mayflower ship.

British dishes offer classic takes, most using fresh and local ingredients with traditional ales, craft beers, local gins, and wines. There’s even hot mulled ciders!

Best time to visit The Mayflower? At sunset. Or, even if you just want to stop by to sit by the open fire inside. This pub is located in Rotherhithe.

The Harp

47 Chandos Pl, Charing Cross, London WC2N 4HS, United Kingdom

The Harp pubs in London

A two minute walk from the National Portrait Gallery, The Harp is the perfect example of a traditional British ale house brimming with good beer and good conversation. There are 10 hand-pumps at the bar, serving up classic cask ales and also guest brews for sampling. The Harp is known for its perries from around the world and also its traditional ciders. There are delicious bar snacks, sandwiches, and pork pies as well, as charm and character come hand-in-hand with every dish.

Bar Tip: Want a recommendation? Don’t be afraid to ask the bar staff! They have all the best suggestions depending on what flavor and taste you’re looking for. The Harp is located in Covent Garden.


20 Upper Ground, South Bank, London SE1 9PD, United Kingdom


Lyaness is an upscale cocktail bar located in a swanky hotel setting with a marble bar and river views. It was voted as one of the top 50 bars in the world, and it was created by Ryan Chetiyawardana AKA Mr Lyan (“The World’s Most Awarded Bartender”). Rather than just include cocktail types, the menu is designed around specific ingredients. Lyaness’s team hunts out rare and unique flavors in order to incorporate something new in every cocktail.

Stop on by Lyaness for comfortability and fun, and see what the bar experimentation is all about. Who knows, you might even catch the house DJ over the weekend playing a mix of eclectic rock, funk, and disco. Click here for the quirky drink menu (maybe you’ll even order a peach emoji cocktail):

Every Cloud

11A Morning Ln, London E9 6ND, United Kingdom

Every Cloud
FACEBOOK Every Cloud

This cocktail bar highlights gin and tonics, specialty martinis and old-fashions located in Hackney Central. Some unique drinks include:

A Champagne Daiquiri: What everyone in The Great Gatsby would have been drinking. What’s really inside it? Rum.

A Umeschu Fizz: Plum sake and Icelandic vodka (a twist on a Russian spring punch). This one is both sweet and sour, with lemon, sugar, and bubbles for the ages.

In the Garden of Eden, Baby: This drink explores the mix of coconut flavors, coffee, and absinthe. At Every Cloud, this drink is known as Satan’s coffee with a rich, fruity scotch layered with coffee cognac and absinthe. Notes are dark and infused with fig fruit leaves.

Fun fact: Every Cloud has a MarTiny on the menu. They use a machine that was originally designed to pour ice cold liqueurs at ski slope lodges, freezing down gin or vodka to negative 14 degrees Celsius. This liqueur is then poured on draught into a frozen, crystal glass and ganished to your liking.

Amanda spent two weeks in London.

Amanda Dettmann


Amanda is an avid traveler who calls Maine her home, but her favorite places include Amsterdam's Christmas markets and Shakespeare's Globe in London. She is passionate about poetry, theatre, and teaching writing to kids and adults with disabilities. She thinks the best part of traveling is hearing strangers' incredible stories. Her ultimate mission? To find the tastiest cappuccino in the world.

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