London

The pace with which London bars and clubs go in and out of fashion is mind-boggling. New trends, likewise, emerge all time. In one somewhat recent development, the dreaded velvet rope has been usurped by the doorbell-ringing mystique of members-only drinking clubs. Some of the city's most talked-about nightlife spots these days are those attached to some of the best restaurants and hotels—no wonder, when you consider the increased popularity of London cuisine in international circles. Moreover, the gay scene in London is still going strong. One constant of the nightlife here is variety. The understated glamour of north London's Primrose Hill, which makes movie stars feel so at ease, might be considered dull by the übertrendy club goers of London's East End. Likewise, the price of a pint in Chelsea would be considered blasphemous by the musicians and poets of multicultural Peckham.

Whatever your pleasure, however your whim turns come evening, chances are you'll find what you're looking for in London's ever-changing arena of activity and invention.

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  • 1. Amused Moose Comedy

    Soho

    This roving West End comedy-night group is often considered the best way to see new talent as well as established household names doing "secret" shows....Read More

  • 2. Bar Américain

    Soho

    The beaux-arts interior of this popular subterranean bar just north of Piccadilly Circus is so opulent that you'd be forgiven for thinking it had been...Read More

  • 3. Cafe OTO

    Dalston

    A relaxed café by day, and London's leading venue for experimental music by night, Cafe OTO is a Dalston institution. Its programming of free jazz,...Read More

  • 4. Experimental Cocktail Club

    Chinatown

    It's easy to miss the unmarked shabby-chic black door with a scuffed wash of red paint on Chinatown's hectic Gerrard Street, but once you find...Read More

  • 5. Gordon's Wine Bar

    Westminster

    Nab a rickety candlelit table in the atmospheric, 1890s, low-slung, brick-vaulted cellar interior of what claims to be the oldest wine bar in London, or...Read More

  • 6. Pizza Express Jazz Club

    Soho

    One of the United Kingdom's most ubiquitous pizza chains also runs a leading jazz venue in Soho. Established in 1976, the dimly lit basement restaurant...Read More

  • 7. The 100 Club

    Soho

    Since this legendary live music venue opened on Oxford Street in 1942, many of the greats have played here, from swing and jazz stars Glenn...Read More

  • 8. The Blackfriar

    City of London

    A step from Blackfriars Tube station, this spectacular pub has an Arts and Crafts interior that is entertainingly, satirically ecclesiastical, with inlaid mother-of-pearl, wood carvings,...Read More

  • 9. The Blind Pig

    Soho

    Chances are you won't have heard of half the ingredients on the cocktail menu at this dark and sultry bar above Social Eating House, famed...Read More

  • 10. The Coach & Horses

    Soho

    On the corner of Greek Street, Soho's most famous pub is as authentic as they come, complete with light oak screens and fittings, spittoon troughs,...Read More

  • 11. The Comedy Store

    Soho

    Before heading off to prime time, some of the United Kingdom's funniest stand-ups cut their teeth here, at what's considered the birthplace of alternative comedy...Read More

  • 12. The Dove

    Hammersmith

    Read the list of famous ex-regulars, from Charles II and Nell Gwyn to Ernest Hemingway and Dylan Thomas, as you wait for a beer at...Read More

  • 13. The Lamb & Flag

    Covent Garden

    This refreshingly ungentrified 17th-century pub was once known as "The Bucket of Blood" because the upstairs room and front yard were used as a ring...Read More

  • 14. The Phoenix Arts Club

    Soho

    Thankfully, by booking online, nonmembers can gain entry to this legendary West End open mic, musical theater, cabaret, and late-night private members' club. Frequented by...Read More

  • 15. Union Chapel

    Islington

    The beauty of this sublime old chapel and its impressive multicultural not-for-profit programming make this spot one of London's best musical venues, especially for acoustic...Read More

  • 16. 606 Club

    Chelsea

    Established in 1976, this Chelsea jazz club embraced speakeasy style long before it became a nightlife trend. Buzz the door near the far end of...Read More

  • 17. Ain't Nothin' But ...

    Soho

    This sweaty and fun venue off Carnaby Street does exactly what its name suggests. Local blues musicians, as well as some notable names, squeeze onto...Read More

  • 18. Bloomsbury Tavern

    Holborn

    Located between the British Museum and the West End, this pretty Victorian-era pub and its stained-glass windows and varnished wooden floors and paneling is the...Read More

  • 19. Crate Bar and Pizzeria

    Hackney

    Enjoy canal-side craft beer and pizza at the busiest of a handful of grown-up bars in this ultra-trendy area of East London. Rub shoulders with...Read More

  • 20. Electric Diner

    Notting Hill

    A huge selection of bottled beers and quirky twists on classic cocktails are the big attractions at this bar and diner next to Notting Hill's...Read More

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