No one could hope to visit all of the drinking establishments in London, such a quest would be very traumatic for your liver and bank account, so it might be handy to narrow down a few options.
If all you want is cheap booze theres a chain of pubs in the UK called ‘Wetherspoons’, its the Walmart of pubs but even in the city centre its drinks and food are extremely cheap.
In terms of particular areas where one might go for a few drinks, the two which stand out are Soho and Shoreditch. Right in central London,
Soho is London’s entertainment centre. Home to a multitude of bars, restaurants and theaters, you are never stuck for something to do. The Piccadilly Line to Leicester Square will take you to where you need to be. Soho is, however, eminently touristy, and the chances of paying extortionate drinks prices are fairly high.
If you are looking for a younger, more student crowd, East London’s Shoreditch area is probably your best bet. Housing in East London tends to be slightly cheaper; and as such it is home to many of the city’s students attending University College London, King’s College and Queen Mary University. Taking an over ground train to Old Street Station or the tube to Liverpool Street station will put you in the right area. A walk along Old Street itself will take you past many pubs, bars and clubs, from which you can take your pick. A particular personal favourite is The Book Club, details of which can be found below.
The Book Club
Versatile venue at the heart of Shoreditch’s nightlife. Acting as a bar and restaurant during the day, The Book Club puts on a range of music and poetry events, while also featuring a ping pong table if you are feeling competitive. You won’t be stuck for things to do when the sun goes down either, the venue boasts a basement bar and dance floor for when you’ve had a bit too much to drink. You can find it a 10 minute walk from Liverpool Street tube station. The area is rammed with bars and clubs so take your pick.
00-106 Leonard St, London EC2A 4RH
Located in Camden market itself, this old stable block features a chilled bar area as well as a club venue for when the night turns messy. Also a handy pit stop if you are visiting the markets. Get off the Northern line at Camden tube station.
The Horse Hospital, The Stables Market, Chalk Farm Rd, London NW1 8AH
5cc, Old Street
5cc is a small chain specialising in turning little corners of London pubs into cocktail bars. The Old Street branch, the chains 5th incarnation and is nestled in the cellar of the Singer Tavern, itself a reasonable pub. Each 5cc bar specialises in a certain type of cocktail, Shoreditch’s has a huge variety of gin based drinks on offer. Despite coming under the name ‘Old Street’, 5cc is actually on City Road, just to confuse you. The bar is a short walk from both Old Street overground station and Moorgate tube station-the entrance itself is a little hard to find, enhancing the cellars ‘hole in the wall’ vibe, persevere and you will be rewarded!
1 City Rd, London EC1Y 1AG. Look for the Singer Tavern at street level, 5cc is in its basement!
Great little spot just off Trafalgar Square serving a variety of Ales produced by an independent brewery in north Yorkshire. Prices very reasonable by London’s standards. Northern line to Charing Cross will get you there easily enough.
29 St Martin's Ln, London WC2N 4ER
Now, this one comes with a disclaimer, because Montagu Pike is a Wetherspoons. For those not familiar with this symbol of 21st century British life, Wetherspoons are essentially the McDonalds of pubs. They are a chain selling cheap booze and food at prices you are unlikely to get anywhere else. You do get what you pay for, but with the rest of London being so expensive, finding a Wetherspoons owned pub is never a bad option. The Montagu Pike, just round the corner from Tottenham Court Road tube station, will sell you a cheap beer, and is located in Soho: the place to be for a night out in London.
105-107 Charing Cross Rd, London WC2H 0B