Inside London's 5 Best Secret Bars

5:00 AM 10/3/2017

by THR Staff

Avoid the hordes in town for the BFI London Film Festival by sneaking off for a quiet evening in four distinct neighborhoods.

Markus Unger/Flickr

This story first appeared in the Sept. 27 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

  • La Bodega Negra

    9 Old Compton St.

    It's a seedy-looking, neon-lit sex shop on the outside, and a cool Mexican restaurant on the inside. Hold your nerve as you enter and just hope that no Hollywood execs are watching.


  • The Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town

    12-16 Artillery Lane

    Inside a retro fridge at the hipster-friendly Breakfast Club are the stairs to this dimly lit basement speakeasy. (Yes, you enter via the fridge.) Remember to ask for "The Mayor."

  • The Vault

    3 Greek St.

    The ground floor may offer whiskey and whiskey only, but if you've got another spirit in mind, a hidden door in a bookcase leads down to a quiet cocktail hideaway in one of London's busiest areas.

  • Experimental Cocktail Club

    13A Gerrard St.

    A dark, unmarked door on a street covered top to bottom with illuminated Chinese restaurant signs opens the way to three floors of sophisticated cocktail bliss. Look out for the bouncer as a marker.

  • The Nightjar

    129 City Road

    Easy to miss among the cafes on Old Street, this speakeasy offers low lighting and woodsy Prohibition charm. The decor may scream (or whisper) whiskey, but for those in the know, the Bloody Mary is not to be missed.