The 20 Best Wine Bars In London guide image


The 20 Best Wine Bars In London

Casual spots for an excellent glass of wine.

Londoners, according to Londoners, are experts at everything. Sorry about that. But there is one thing we’re legitimately accomplished at, and that’s drinking. It makes sense then that London is full of wine bars where you can leisurely drink wine and get something to eat if you want to. It’s something that people always want to do: pop in for a glass, or a couple of hours, or for an entire evening. 


photo credit: Ewan Munro

Antidote Wine Bar review image

Antidote Wine Bar


12A Newburgh St, London
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Antidote by name and antidote by nature. Given the wine bar’s location just off Carnaby Street you’ll be surprised just how pleasant it is to pitch up at one of the dozen or so tables outside. There’s a serious cellar of European biodynamic bottles, but you don’t have to delve into the magnums from the Loire (or, do you?). Glasses start at £6 and the snacks, all tomato-ish and charcuterie, are made for picking at.

Noble Rot is London’s best wine bar. Aside from the super comfortable atmosphere and a bar menu that features the best bread in the city, it’s the staff that make Noble Rot. Whether you know anything about wine or not, the staff are friendly, helpful, and won’t say a thing about skin contact unless you ask them to. This shows on the wine list, which ranges from half glasses at a few quid, to crazy once in a lifetime bottles worth a lot more. Be warned, the twinkling bar area up front is an extremely dangerous place to get comfortable in.

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One day when we are very rich because we got confused and invested in Dogecoin thinking it was some kind of pug help-to-buy scheme, we will invest in a beautiful flat in Fitzrovia and go to Carousel most nights. Until then, we will dutifully utilise the Victoria line to make our Be Carousel Regulars dream come true. The main dining room is a restaurant with a rotating line-up of guest chefs, but it’s their casual and cool wine bar up front that you and your pét nat craving need to know about. Expect an assortment of exciting low-intervention wines available by the glass or—why not—the bottle. 

photo credit: Lady Of The Grapes

Lady Of The Grapes review image

Lady Of The Grapes



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As well as being an affectionate family nickname for mothers all over the UK, Lady Of The Grapes is also a wine bar in Covent Garden. Everything is a celebration of women working in the wine industry, and it’s a place you’ll generally feel celebratory in. Whether you’ve got good reason to or not. There’s a large selection of natural wines to choose from, as well as charcuterie and things like croquettes and crispy squid.

If you close your eyes while sitting outside at The 10 Cases and smell the smoke in the air, taste the wine in your mouth, and blindly fumble for a bit of ham on the table, you might think you were in Paris. Only you aren’t. This Covent Garden spot is about as close to that lively Parisian wine bar feeling as we’re going to get. The wine list is extensive and the charcuterie decent. Be aware that lots of other people will have the same idea, so expect a wait.

Underneath Holborn Viaduct is The Winemakers Club, a candlelit wine bar housed in a couple of 150 year-old arches, that looks like the kind of place Hannibal Lector would drink a nice chianti. Winemakers is best suited to the evening thanks to its underground setting, and it’s intimate and relaxed enough for a casual date, or even to go on your own. The wine selection is good, as are the prices, and it’s a great spot to try something new. Not least their raclette toastie.

The Remedy in Fitzrovia is an excellent little hiding place if you’re looking to tuck yourself away, surrounded by exposed brick, small plates, and a substantial wine list. The cosy atmosphere makes it equally perfect for a low-key date or a solo drink, and the owners are extremely happy to talk you through the (somewhat pricey) list.

Cadet is a matchbox-sized, oat-toned, chalk-and-board, walk-in only N16 wine bar that’s big on bottles and small on plates. It all sounds very familiar, doesn’t it? That’s because it is. But it’s still completely wonderful. This place is an example of everything working in tandem. Immaculate wines are poured, peerless classic French charcuterie is served, and elegant small plates are lazily forked by candlelight.

Authentique in Tufnell Park is a Francophone wine shop and bar that’s a perfect spot for a glass of something before moving on elsewhere. The regional wines on offer change periodically, and although wines by the glass are a little expensive, it’s a very good place for a couple of drinks. There is a small plates menu with things like tartiflette, but you should use it for the bar where you can get a glass of something red and some cheese, which will come with probably the best baguette you’ve eaten in London.

Off Blackstock Road is Top Cuvée, a small plates restaurant that’s best used as a wine bar. It’s big and airy, and perfect for a pre or post-dinner glass/bottle of something. The list is all natural and works well with the menu’s more snackable bits, like burrata, terrine, or carpaccio. Although the food isn’t anything to shout about, it’s the kind spot every neighbourhood would be glad to have.

Provisions comes from the P. Franco school of wine shops and bars. Meaning, you’ll lean, stand, or perch on the big central table, drink funky wines, and have a chat (or listen in to the juicy chat across the table). This Holloway Road spot often has a lot of things on the go, both bottles and cheese-wise, and the staff are as unpretentious as they are knowledgeable, so it’s a great place to try a few new things, be it day or night.

A teeny, tiny wine bar where knees touch, hands are held beneath tables, and stories are shared over London’s most sensational anchovy toast is Bottle + Rye in a nutshell. The Brixton wine bar adds a touch of Parisian romance to SW9 and its bottle list tends to stick around western Europe. The menu is similarly long weekend-inspired, with smaller plates that include grilled calcots with poivronade (a creamy pepper and feta-based dip from Provence) to bigger plates like steak and frites.

40 Maltby Street is easily (and seemingly effortlessly) one of London’s most consistently lovely wine bars and restaurants. Inside, its changing small plates and laid-back atmosphere make it a guaranteed good time, whether you’re lazily eating plums and green beans, or terrine alongside a low-intervention bottle of something. It’s only open Wednesday to Saturday, and is walk-in only.

Diogenes The Dog is in Elephant and Castle, which is a combination of animals you wouldn’t necessarily expect to see in south London. You’ll want to check out this wine bar and cafe though, as it's the most comfortable we’ve been to in London. It specialises in smaller wine producers and the staff can tell you as much or as little as you want to know. The snacks, from terrine of the week to burratina, are excellent and reasonably priced.

When we were briefly and somewhat misguidedly put in charge of a friend’s Extremely Cool, Late-Teens Cousin, we took them to Good Neighbour. This is a Tooting neighbourhood wine bar that’s two parts cosy and one part trendy. Think great, creative small plates, plenty of exposed brick, and a buzzy counter that is perfect for a little quality time with a bottle of natural red. The wine list changes regularly but know that there’s plenty of old world, new world, and so-good-can-pretend-the-world-does-not-exist options.

Along a quiet residential road and signalled by a buttercup-yellow awning, Hector’s is a petite cave à manger in De Beauvoir. That is, a small wine bar which also does snacks like tinned fish and crisps—but it doesn’t sound quite so good in English, does it. It’s a bottle shop earlier on in the day, with corks popped and glasses of the fizzy, funky, and fine variety poured from late afternoon. On warm evenings, there’s no better place to live out your Parisian fantasy as seating spills out on to the pavement and all the très chic people come out to drink, eat, and be merry.

The name of this wine shop and bar translates to ‘wine passion’ which, like everything, sounds much more sordid in English. This all-Italian wine spot is one of the best places in Shoreditch to have a few glasses before moving on elsewhere, or upstairs. The staff are very helpful, whether you’re popping in to buy a bottle or sitting down for a few glasses. If you do choose to go upstairs, you’ll be going (via their hidden mirrored door) up to a kind of 1920s living room with a load of charcuterie.

When someone says part-wine bar part-social enterprise, what we hear is ‘you can come here and drink something funky and feel like a really great, deeply generous person at the same time’. That’s exactly the case with Sohaila, an intimate Shoreditch wine bar and restaurant from Fat Macy’s who train Londoners and help them to move from hostels into their own homes. We love to see it. Genuinely, we do. They’ve got over 100 wines on offer with accessible price points and a casual downstairs bar for drinks. Plus, we hear that feeling charitable really helps with any and all inevitable hangovers. 

A wine shop with an extremely don’t-tell-anyone patio out back, Newcomer Wines is a nice spot to escape the crowds around Dalston. It’s deceptively roomy inside, and combined with its secret outside space, makes for a good spot if there are a few of you. The wine is mostly Austrian which, unless you have a particularly niche interest, might not matter to you. What matters more is that glasses start at £6.50.

This Hackney Road spot can be a little bit beard-strokey, let me tell you something about wine-y. But it’s a cool and comfortable place to grab a couple of drinks later on, as it’s open until 1am from Thursday to Saturday. There’s a huge wine list, but the ‘by the glass’ list is also pretty big and accessible price-wise, with everything from natural to fortified wine covered. They also do cheese toasties if you fancy a snack.

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