12 secret bars in London you need to check out

Shhhhhhh! From tucked-away cocktail lounges to underground pubs, there are countless secret bars in London waiting to be uncovered.

Get ready to explore magical mocktail and cocktail menus inspired by sourcery, planet Earth and even Pokémon. Read on to discover some of the most outrageous hidden bars in London.

1. Murder Inc. – Soho

Murder Inc secret bar in LondonNestled next to London’s bustling Oxford Street, you’ll find this funky, gangsters-inspired paradise known as Murder Inc. Filled with cheeky paraphernalia from vibrant neon lights to an array of celebrity cardboard cutouts (you might bump into Danny DeVito or Sacha Baron Cohen’s Borat).

And the cocktail selection is simply outstanding. The menu is filled with goofy-named beverages like the Gonzo, Middle-Aged Waiter and Still Stuntin’, inspired by Jackie Chan.

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2. Nightjar – Shoreditch

Nightjar secret bar in LondonBlink and you’ll miss this elegant, secret bar in London! Situated off of Old Street in Shoreditch and hidden behind an unassuming door with only a bird engraved plaque to identify it sits Nightjar.

Renowned for its reviving cocktail menus, atmospheric jazz nights and low-lit, intimate interiors, Nightjar is a true London speakeasy. Inspired by Latin routes, Nightjar’s creative cocktails are complemented by monthly specials and mouthwatering small plates and desserts.

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3. The Natural Philosopher – Hackney

The Natural Philosopher secret barIf intimate dining and mind-blowing flavours are your thing, then The Natural Philosopher is the hidden bar for you. Described as Hackney’s hidden gem, this London cocktail bar is a cosy spot filled with ambient lighting, exposed brick, rustic decor and (of course) delicious cocktails.

With a brand new menu, The Natural Philosopher’s expert mixologists have crafted an array of cocktails and mocktails inspired by Earth’s gorgeous terrain. From the fresh, light Beryl influenced by wetlands to the tannic, herbal Crown Shy inspired by woodland terrain – we’re sure there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

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4. Opium – Chinatown

Opium cocktail bar in Chinatown, LondonTucked behind a whimsical jade-painted door right in the heart of Chinatown, you’ll find Opium. This dim sum cocktail bar brings together not just one but three tantalising secret bars with a Shanghai-inspired twist.

Offering a collection of stunning oriental-influenced cocktails and mocktails, Opium has even grabbed a spot on the Top50CocktailBars global list. If you’re looking for an extra special evening, book your seat at the Peony bartender table, where expert mixologists are ready to serve you a memorable cocktail treat.

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5. Evans & Peel Detective Agency – Kensington

Old fashioned cocktailRing the doorbell, negotiate with the detective and uncover the immersive 1920s oasis of the Evans & Peels Detective Agency. Behind this hidden bar’s humble facade, you’ll discover a quirky, cleverly designed detective hangout serving up perfectly mixed bootlegged liquor alongside swinging jazz and blues performances.

With a menu inspired by the biggest gangsters in the business, the Evans & Peels Detective Agency is the ultimate vintage speakeasy experience in West London.

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6. The Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town – Spitalfields

The Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town secret barHidden inside one of London’s favourite all-day-breakfast joints, you’ll never guess how to enter The Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town. Well, at The Breakfast Club Spitalfields, simply ask to see ‘the Mayor’, and you’ll be guided through a modest Smeg fridge down into The Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town basement bar.

With fun and cheekiness at the centre of this secret bar, The Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town offers the warmest of welcomes. Discover a boozy brunch every weekend and a spectacular menu with all the thrills.

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Why not enjoy your cocktails with a view? Check out our list of Britain’s 10 best rooftop bars here.

7. The Blind Pig – Soho

The Blind Pig secret barWalk along Poland Street in Soho, and you’ll come across the splendid exterior of Social Eating House. However, next to this Michelin-star restaurant, you’ll find a dark archway with a red optician sign above. You wouldn’t guess this was the entrance to an intimate, moody London bar.

Situated above the Social Eating House restaurant, you’ll find The Blind Pig. This dimly lit, buzzy secret bar is not just known for its exquisite and quirky cocktails but also its smooth vodka, scotch, rum and liqueurs – all the speakeasy essentials!

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8. WC – Clapham 

WC Clapham secret barDescribed as ‘unexpectedly romantic’ by the Nudge, WC Clapham is probably in the most out-of-the-blue London location on this list… A former Victorian toilet.

Sitting underneath Clapham Common Tube Station, WC Clapham has been restored into an intimate bar with original mosaic flooring and tiled walls present throughout. Renowned for its expert wine and cheese pairings, WC Clapham has even been described as one of the best secret bars in London!

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9. Barts – Chelsea

Barts secret cocktail bar In a city teeming with hidden speakeasy gems, Barts stands out as a local and tourist favourite. Dubbing themselves ‘London’s worst kept secret’ (and rightfully so), stepping into Barts Chelsea feels like you’ve time-travelled straight back to the roaring 1920s.

 Hidden within a charmingly quirky apartment block in Chelsea, Barts delivers a splendid menu of 40 ‘bootlegged beverages’. Arriving with a crew? The Mad Hatter sharing cocktail is perfect for larger groups – bottoms up, friends!

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10. Gremio De Brixton – Brixton

Couple enjoying cocktailsLooking for your next date-night favourite? This intimate, medieval-style London cocktail bar, located under a Victorian church in Brixton, makes for the perfect romantic evening out. Enjoy Gremio De Brixton’s glorious tapas menu and classic cocktails creations amongst gothic, stone pillars and candle-lit tables.

In the late evenings, Gremio De Brixton transforms into a Spanish extravaganza with Latin tunes playing throughout – making it a unique bar experience in Brixton!

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11. SUPERMAX – King’s Cross

SUPERMAX cocktail barVermouth lovers, this hidden cocktail bar is the one for you! Bringing disco, DJs and happy hour together in perfect harmony, SUPERMAX is a late-night cocktail lounge located underneath the popular King’s Cross pizza joint, Happy Face Pizza.

Open four nights a week, SUPERMAX is a neon wonderland with regular DJ sets perfect for anyone looking for a late-night boogie. The happy hour bar menu also features expertly crafted vermouth-inspired cocktails. Open until the early hours, SUPERMAX has even been named “London’s coolest happy hour” by Time Out.

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12. Callooh Callay – Shoreditch

Callooh Callay pokemon secret barThis eccentric hidden cocktail bar, nestled in a Shoreditch side street, is bound to bring out the inner kid in you. East London’s Callooh Callay is a quirky, secret cocktail bar serving a wonderfully unique cocktail menu known as the POKEMENU.

With a cleverly crafted Pokémon-inspired cocktail menu filled with childhood nostalgia and fun, Callooh Callay’s lively atmosphere makes this secret bar a Shoreditch hidden gem.

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