The Best Happy Hours In London guide image


The Best Happy Hours In London

These are the London drinking deals we can get behind, that don't involve stepping near an All Bar One.

Happy hours in London mostly involve infiltrating a hen party to get anywhere near the bar and drinking cocktails that make your teeth tingle. But there are some places in the city where you can eat, drink, and be smug that your well-made margarita only cost a fiver. Onwards, for top bars doing discounted drinks that are better than a pornstar martini at Be At One. 


Bottle + Rye

£8 cocktails, £5 glasses of wine and beers from 5pm until 6:30pm, Tuesday to Friday

Bottle + Rye is a teeny, tiny wine bar where knees touch, hands are held beneath tables, and aptly named Feeling Grapeful cocktails are drunk. On the edge of Brixton Village, this simple, dimly lit space is the ideal setting for a romantic, rather than messy, happy hour. Even the name has been rebranded. During Smiler Hour, expect interesting-sounding cocktails like black tea and pear spritz for £8, glasses of house red and white for £5, and Brixton Coldharbour lager for £5. 

£6 double G&Ts and £7 aperitivo cocktails from 5pm to 6pm every evening 

Two One Four is an old-school cocktail bar in the basement of pasta restaurant, Flour & Grape. This place is big on deals, with their happy hour double G&Ts and aperitivo cocktails every evening. This Bermondsey spot has a slightly vintage, fashionable lumberjack feel, and is worth a visit whether you’re waiting for a table upstairs or after somewhere for a low-key date.

50% off between 4pm and 6pm every day

A moody little bar in Kentish Town, Tabac is the kind of place that screams third date potential. As well as exposed brick, a faux fireplace, and artisan cheese platters, Tabac also has an excellent daily happy hour. Although running out of work at 4pm for a half-price glass of merlot is a bit of a stretch, the weekend is when that 50% really comes in handy. The cocktails here are seriously good and paying five quid for their excellent negroni on a Saturday afternoon makes total sense to us. It’s one of the best in London.

2-4-1 on selected cocktails from 4pm to 8pm every day

If you’re into happy hours that come with a side of tranquil fish watching, then The Exhibit should be on your radar. This huge three-storey spot in Balham not only has an aquarium that will ignite all those childhood memories of begging for an angelfish at Pets At Home, they also have a four-hour happy hour every single day. Grab a seat on their outdoor terrace and get involved in tarted-up G&Ts, chilli negronis, and our personal favourite, the nutty mai tai.

£3.90 selected pints and two cocktails for £15, from 4pm to 7pm, Monday to Friday

A Friday night happy hour is truly a rare find in London, which explains why we all keep trying to make ‘Thursday the new Friday’ and attempt to pass off our Friday morning hangovers as hayfever. But a Friday night happy hour is exactly what you’ll find at this Stoke Newington boozer. At The Three Crowns, a loud and proud corner pub, there’s no creative ‘mixology’ funny business going on, just classic cocktails priced at two for £15 throughout the week.

£7 aperitivos before 6pm, Monday to Friday

One of Soho’s and London's best cocktail bars, Swift is one-part moody, two-parts glam, and 100% perfect for an excellent cocktail on a Friday night. Thanks to their aperitivo deal, the shiny art deco-style bar should always be on your radar for a pre-dinner drink in the area. Get involved in their blood orange vermouth and passion fruit Solstice number or the mandarin bellini which includes Aperol, prosecco, sherry, and bitter mandarin. For seven quid, you can’t go wrong.

£8 cocktails all night on Mondays and until 7pm Tuesday to Sunday

If we were to actually sit down and work out how much money we’ve spent on negronis at Goldfinch, we would probably issue ourselves with a restraining order against our own debit card. Luckily for us, we have zero interest in fiscal responsibility, and Goldfinch’s happy hour means that we can at least save on their excellent bevs if we get there early. Their early bird deal includes classic cocktails like margaritas, pisco sours, and espresso martinis.

2-4-1  cocktails and reduced beers from 5pm to 8pm, Monday to Friday

To give you an understanding of Slim Jim’s, let us tell you that someone once invited us on a date here, we declined, and never ever saw them again. That’s because the ceiling of this rock ‘n’ roll dive bar in Islington is covered in discarded bras and the music is very loud. Although it might not scream ‘intimate date night’, Slim Jim’s is perfect for when you’re looking to get sensationally drunk on a weeknight. Not only does their happy hour include a range of strong cocktails, you can also get four bottles of beer for £15 or a pint for under a fiver.


2-4-1 cocktails from 6pm to 7pm daily

If you’ve been around King’s Cross lately, you’ve probably noticed the big trendy hotel opposite the station with the bright red lift on the outside of the building. That hotel is The Standard, London and it’s home to Sweeties, their discotheque cocktail bar and lounge. For one hour in the evenings you can come here and sip 2-4-1 mezcal cocktails as you look out over the London skyline. It’s movie magic stuff. 

£2 negronis with a plate of pasta, from 5pm to 6:30pm during the week

The happy hour at Padella comes with the caveat that the drinks are only discounted if you order a plate of pasta—as if that’s a tough ask. The pasta at Padella has a near cult-like following, and the Shoreditch spot does dishes like pappardelle beef shin ragu and pici cacio e pepe with £2 negoronis during the week between 5pm and 6:30pm. Whether you’ve got a big carb craving or are hankering for a fettuccine-fuelled catch-up, this happy hour is worth eating early for. 

Two for £12 on selected cocktails until 6pm daily 

Crust Bros sounds like the only fraternity we’d ever actually want to join. Here’s hoping the initiation process involves seeing how many garlic mayo pots you can down in under 10 minutes. A casual industrial-look pizzeria, the Waterloo spot serves pies with thick, doughy crusts topped with things like salami, artichoke, and buffalo mozzarella, plus cosmopolitans and margaritas. Just know that the happy hour deal is only available if both of you get the same cocktail. And by both of you, we mean your left and right hand. 

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photo credit: Giulia Verdinelli

The Best Happy Hours In London guide image