Old Street’s Silicon Roundabout is the beating heart of the UK tech startup industry, a melting pot of artists, dreamers, founders and investors who are as serious about their nightlife as they are about their work. Given the demographic, it’s no surprise that around (and even in!) the roundabout there’s some of London’s best bars, all echoing Old Street’s inimitable zest and attitude.
Updated for 2021, we've put together our top 5 bars and pubs in Shoreditch, perfect for a team night out, an after work drink, a catch-up with friends, or an intimate date night.
The Singer Tavern
The Singer Tavern on Finsbury Square is a sleek art-deco affair, but behind the highly polished facade is a warm atmosphere with friendly staff and comforting chatter.
The extensive list of craft ales, stouts, and cocktails can seem overwhelming, but the trick is picking anything – it’s all good! If you’re feeling peckish, then the food menu ranges from scotch eggs with marmite mayonnaise, to a shepherd’s pie which is a little more gastronomical than the one Gran always used to make.
Go for: The decor
Stay for: The atmospheric basement bar that most people miss – perfect for escaping the after-work crowds
Rooftop bars and restaurants are the epitome of London sophistication and at Runway East we’re lucky to have The Aviary, one of London’s newest and best, right on our doorstep. With exceptional views of the London skyline, this 10th-floor bar and restaurant is a showstopper for any business meetings or even personal rendezvous’ which require that little extra.
Its a la carte menu boasts fine British dining, with seasonal, local ingredients that emulate the high standards of its surroundings. But its drinks menu and nighttime appeal are why it’s listed on our selection. It offers an unformidable wine selection including some of France and Italy’s finest Chablis, Barolo, and Riesling’s; and cocktails ranging from the sweet to the sultry. If it’s your first time, try the High Heel Society, a concoction of Tanquery gin, Joseph Perrier champagne, cucumber and honey.
Go for: The views
Stay for: The views… they’re really good
The legend of the speakeasy has inspired many a basement bar, but few pull it off as stylishly as Nightjar, which offers a heady mix of wood panelled sumptuousness, historical legacy and amazing cocktails.
Divided by eras, their drinks span from pre-prohibition to post-war; a quirky and old-school glamour haunt guaranteed to take you back through the ages. With live jazz playing every night, the bar is a must-visit – it’s our favourite of the bars in Old Street – but make sure to reserve your spot in advance as they’re often fully booked.
Go for: The cocktails
Stay for: The real life time-travel
The Alchemist London
Situated on Old Street, The Alchemist serves up some of the most innovative cocktail creations in London. Looking to spice up your after-work drinks? Look no further, from drinks that change colour in front of your eyes, to cocktails that fizz like a bath bomb. If it's a team night out that you're after, why not book one of The Alchemist's infamous masterclasses and learn from some of the best in town.
Go for: The decor!
Stay for: The innovative cocktails
Dirty Martini Bishopsgate
Opposite Liverpool Street Station, Dirty Martini is the perfect spot to stop by before heading home after work. This lively and atmospheric bar has happy hours every day, with half-price martinis and other delicious cocktails to try. Even if you do fancy yourself a bit of a martini connoisseur there's bound to be something on this drinks menu you're yet to have tried... Mango & Chilli Martini, anyone? 🍸
Go for: Happy Hour
Stay for: Sampling all the weird and wonderful martini concoctions
The Crown and Shuttle
The Crown and Shuttle brings an array of craft beers, London ales, spirits and wine to its hip bar space. With junkyard decor and exposed brick lacing its interior, and a large outdoor garden equipped with its very own food truck, this is one cosy Shoreditch pub you need to check out.
It has an excellent selection of food and drink and is a far cry from its past as a strip club. With its new look, you'd never know - though one stripper pole does remain as a shrine!
Go for: The large garden
Stay for: The food, the craft beer... We can't choose!
There are so many great pubs and bars in Shoreditch, but these are just a few of our favourites. If you've got any other recommendations let us know!