Shoreditch: Drinking The East Dry

Having now lived in the middle of Shoreditch for the last 6 months, I feel now is a great time to pass on some tips for how and where to drink in one of London’s most vibrant quarters.
East London is famous for its creative-types, big hair, skinny jeans and technology startups. This smorgasbord comes together to create an interesting mix of drinking venues, however - like much of London – you will find it hard to make the most of it without knowing the right direction to stumble. A wander out of exit 6 of ‘Old Street Station’ is generally the right direction but without a destination in mind, I imagine many backpackers passing through might spot the greasy Kebab shops and decide to make a hasty retreat.

‘Hidden’ Bars

Shoreditch and surrounding areas are home to a range of ‘hidden’ bars. These are generally speakeasy-style places underneath exiting venues. If you’re coming from Old Street (or heading back that way), check out ‘NightJar’. This prohibition style venue features live jazz, awesome cocktails and is open until 3am at the weekend.
If you’re approaching from Liverpool Street then drop by ‘The Breakfast Club’. If you arrive after 9pm expect to queue but the basement bar is a great experience and is accessed through a fridge. When you head in, ask for the Mayor and the staff will usually get you in as fast as they can. Expect to buy a drink in the ‘normal’ bar whilst you wait for a subterranean cocktail, though which can make this a more pricey start to an evening of boozing.

Brewdog is admittedly a chain, bar but this branch located at the top of Brick Lane has a twist which sets it apart from the rest. On offer are over 40 different types of beer and ales and staff are super friendly. If you’re not sure what you want, ask for a taster and their suggestions are usually top class. In the middle of the bar is a staircase which looks non-descript but reveals a basement bar featuring ‘beer cocktails’ – surely a unique to London experience – although there may be a reason for that.

The last one that I’m aware of is Ruby in Hoxton Square. I’ve yet to go and research this venue (update will follow) but I’m told it’s a great place to be if you’re around the square.

Rooftop Bars

There’s a few ‘rooftop’ bars I’ve found in the area but none that I would really recommend other than the ‘Queen Of Hoxton’. It’s far more of a place to end the night (despite it closing at 2am), the entry fee makes it a place to hit up for at least a couple of hours. The bar is spread over 3 floors, features different genres of music, and the rooftop is amazing.

‘Cheap’ Bars

Unfortunately there’s no such thing as a ‘cheap’ night out in London. However, there are a number of cool bars on Kingsland Road which often feature drink offers most nights of the week. Often overlooked by the masses (but with a hipster following of their own), bars such as ‘Prague’, ‘Jaguar Shoes’ and ‘The Dictionary Hostel’ (incidentally also a cool place to stay) are great if you want a chilled vibe and plenty of interesting people to meet. 

By James on
About London
Tagged with Bars, London, Shoreditch, Drinking, Hidden Bars, East London, Cheap Bars and Rooftop Bars