Summer's rolling in, and so are a bunch of rad new places to knock back a few drinks. From a New York-style boozer in Soho to a department store Champagne bar that's dripping with luxury, these are the London bar openings you won't wanna miss this month.
Tequila lovers, this one’s for you: Mezcalito has been serving up Margs and party vibes in Chelsea since 2018 and is now taking its agave-focused brand of Mexican hospitality to Islington. Order a round of small plates - choose from the likes of elote, nachos and quesadillas - and begin working your way through the bar’s killer agave spirits selection, which has more than 250 bottles on offer (and is apparently the second largest in the UK - who knew?). While you’re at it, might as well try out the interactive cocktail menu, with each drink inspired by a different holiday destination in Mexico. Our rec? Round up your crew and visit on a Tuesday, when unlimited tacos are £25 and Frozen Margaritas are two-for-one.
63 Newington Green Road, London N1 4QU
The original Riding House Café is a Fitzrovia institution thanks to its chic yet chilled atmosphere - think members’ club without the membership. Its new outpost, housed in the concrete kingdom of The Brunswick Centre, aims to build on this sophisticated rep with stylish interiors (concrete booths, a garden centre’s worth of greenery, salvaged furniture) and an internationally influenced menu (flat iron steak and comté yakitori is officially a thing). Of course, the number-one reason we’re making our way to Bloomsbury ASAP is for the bar, complete with massive barrels of Negronis, Old Fashioneds and Rum Manhattans and a fresh new cocktail list.
The Brunswick Centre, Bloomsbury, London WC1N 1AF
We’ve always believed that a good cocktail has healing powers, and this new bar is proving our point with its line-up of spirited elixirs and remedies. Since this is a Mr Fogg’s joint - yep, based on the main character from Around the World in 80 Days - you can expect a healthy dose of Victorian whimsy, with cocktail ingredients measured on antique scales, lots of mahogany furniture, busy wallpaper and grandfather clocks. But our favourite part has gotta be the secret bar, complete with a hidden entrance in a cabinet. Just say BarChick sent ya…
34 Brook Street, Mayfair, London W1K 5DN
Can’t make it to Mallorca? This breezy new Spanish wine bar in Borough Yards - the latest project from the tapas legends behind Barrafina - is your ticket to island vibes. The vino here is the main attraction, with eclectic by-the-glass options and a stellar list of classic bottles, too. If you’re more in the mood for a cocktail, you’re in luck, ‘cos the team are slingin’ Spanish staples like Agua de Valencia and unique riffs like F*ck It Ducky, a Bloody Mary alternative with gin, sherry, fresh tomato and spice. And don’t miss out on the bar snacks and cold tapas, obvs.
10 Park Street, London SE1 9AB
Portobello Road is going Greek with the launch of Zephyr, a new neighbourhood spot from the Pachamama team. Take your pick from a menu that sounds like it’s imported straight from Santorini: we’re talkin’ whole charcoal-grilled fish carved at the table, salt-baked beetroots with loads of fresh herbs and smoked aubergine with citrus yoghurt. As the weather heats up, there’s space to dine al fresco, and - most importantly, in our opinion - a secret bar below the restaurant serving up a selection of 10 signature cocktails.
100 Portobello Road, London W11 2 QD
Ready to live out your teen film house party dreams? Make your way to Soho and keep an eye out for the little scarlet door. If you’ve been to The Little Yellow Door in Notting Hill, The Little Blue Door in Fulham or The Little Orange Door in Clapham, you know what this place is all about: outrageous cocktails, live DJ sets, cosy corners for dishing up the chat and a disco ball or five. This new outpost puts a distinctly New York twist on the experience, with more exposed brick than the set of Friends and tons of neon art and funky decor. Head over during the bar’s soft launch from 20-26 June for 50% off - you’re welcome.
12-13 Greek Street, London W1D 4DL
The best way to unwind after a long, luxurious day of shopping at Harrods is with more luxury, and Champagne house Moët & Chandon is here to help. Pull up a chair at the brand’s new 34-seat bar on the ground floor of the department store and order a glass of fizz - or invite your favourite trust fund baby along and make it a magnum, darling. After all, window shopping is hard work.
Harrods, Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7XL
Rarebit is part grocery, part restaurant and part bar - it’s called VERSATILITY, look it up - and it’s bringing neighbourhood hangout vibes to Elephant & Castle. On the dining side, expect modern British cuisine from head chef Liv Lionel, and when it comes to drinks, tap into the bar’s impressive selection of draught brews from London Beer Factory or kick back with a cocktail. Don’t forget to stock up on grocery essentials before ya leave - from bread, to cheese, to charcuterie, this place has got the goods.
11 Sayer Street, Elephant & Castle, London SE17 1FY
Thirsty for more new bars? Check out our pick of the best new openings in May.