Drink Guides

Wine Bars

London’s wine bar scene has come on leaps and bounds in the last few years. Far from stuffy old places, London has embraced the Parisian style of clean modern wine bars with unpretentious staff championing independent winemakers. Many specialise in low intervention, biodynamic and natural wines, and if you love that skin contact stuff, there are plenty of places to sip on orange wines too. One of our favourites, Weino BIB in Dalston even focuses on boxed wines which are more sustainable as they use less glass and packaging. For the best of the best low-intervention wine bars in London, get your hands on the Sausage Press Natural Wine Guide and drink your way around the lot.

A range of wine bars that celebrate lesser-known winemaking regions have popped up in the city but if you prefer the Old World classics, a full bodied Merlot or a crisp Sauvignon Blanc, you won’t struggle to find those either. There are even urban wineries bottling the good stuff right here in capital too. And whilst vino is the focus, many of these wine bars also serve up great food meaning you can drop in for a glass (or a bottle) or for a full-on dinner. So if you’re wondering where the best wine bars in London are, well you’ve come to the right place.

Best Wine Bars in London Highlights

The Drop is a cute little wine bar with organic and low intervention wines and a pretty banging menu of snacks and heartier dishes. The space is very cute and perfect for a wine bar with exposed brick walls and low arched ceilings due to the building’s heritage as a coal store.

Weino BIB started life as a pop-up serving wines from bags in a box making them not only better for the environment but also cost effective too, which essentially means you get cheaper glasses of great vino. The wines are mostly natural and you can also bring your own bottle which you can fill up from the boxes and kegs to take-home.

If you’re after natty wine and a real good time, head downstairs at Rondo at The Hoxton, Holborn to Rondo La Cave. The wine bar boasts a banging natural wine list, including London’s largest selection of bubbles, and it’s also running as an incubator space, meaning there’ll be rotating roster of chefs and pop-ups hitting the stove.

The original Sager + Wilde wine bar on Hackney Road can be credited with kickstarting a new breed of wine bars across London. It’s still one of London’s best, dark and cosy with a great selection of wines by the glass at non-ridiculous markups. Inside railway arches in Bethnal Green isn’t the first place you’d look for a winery but it’s where you’ll find one. Renegade is an urban winery that buys grapes from across the UK and Europe and turns them into wine right here in London.

RONDO LA CAVE

If you’re after natty wine and a real good time, head downstairs at Rondo at The Hoxton, Holborn to Rondo La Cave. The wine bar boasts a banging list, including London’s largest selection of bubbles with wines and ciders like Tempranillo Joven – a red from Rioja, a hazy white fruity Ciello Blanco IGP from Sicily, Angol d’Amig-Scaramúsc from Veneto, a juicy, acidic and tannic Pet Nat Perry Pear Cider, and an electric Grüner Veltliner Smetana from Slobodne. The bar is also running as an incubator space, meaning there’ll be rotating roster of chefs and pop-ups hitting the stoves (Adam Rawson kicked things off with his Cantina Valentina concept) and serving up snacks to go with all that vino. It’s late night VIBES at Rondo La Cave, so you may plan to pop in for one glass but you won’t want to leave.

CADET

Cadet on Newington Green has been set up by an all-star team; Francis Roberts and Tom Beattie of wine importers Beattie & Roberts, and charcutier George Jephson. Plus heading up the kitchen is chef Jamie Smart who’s previously worked at the likes of Lyles, St John and Brawn. Having worked at several of London’s best wine bars between them, Tom and Francis started their own importing business a couple of years ago, and the wine list at Cadet is made up entirely of their own selection – no bad thing at all when they are one of the most respected specialist importers in London today. You can also buy the wines to take home too. On the food front, there’s a combination of George’s incredible charcuterie and Jamie’s seasonal small plates, like a stew of borlotti beans enriched with lamb fat and garlic; fresh tomato, sliced white peach and fennel pollen; mussels with cucumber and dulse; and oysters with gooseberries.

BRUNO

Sager + Wilde founder Michael Sager is following up his Hackney cocktail bar Equal Parts with a new wine bar and bottle shop in Victoria Park Village. Bar Bruno, named for his father, has taken over the converted stable space held by the Place Next Door, and it’s an intimate little spot with candles on the go and bottles of wine lining the walls. The natural wines come from producers that Sager has a direct relationship with, so you can be sure you’re only getting the good stuff, and you can pair your drinks with charcuterie boards and filled soft pretzels.

WINGNUT WINES

Beating even the teeny tiny Binch in Hackney, Wingnut Wines might just be the smallest wine bar in London. Located in Netil Market and run by Charlie Carr (who has also just opened Papi up the road with Matthew Scott of Hot 4 U) Wingut might be small but it packs a punch, with an incredible selection of unusual natural wines to take away and also to enjoy in the shop itself. Open late, it makes for a great spot for a pre or post drink when visiting Papi and they’ve even started doing a bit of food at Wingnut itself. Look out for regular events and tastings too. 

BAMBI

James Dye, the co-owner of Frank’s Café in Peckham and The Camberwell Arms, has opened new music-led wine bar and restaurant Bambi on the former site of Bright. Named after his great grandma and not the Disney deer, Bambi features a high-spec vintage sound system, a DJ booth and a custom-built wall of records, with both the collection and programme (DJs will spin until 1am on the weekends) curated by DJ, musician, poet and Run Dem Crew founder Charlie Dark MBE. Henry Freestone, who won a Bib Gourmand at Peckham Cellars, is heading up the kitchen at Bambi, serving coffee and deli-style sarnies like chicken caesar focaccia and corned beef with mustard & pickles during the day, and an evening menu featuring dishes like cauliflower cheese arancini; braised butter beans with kale & goat’s curd; and chicken parm ciabatta with vodka marinara, pickles & aioli. As for wine, the list centres around natural and low-intervention wines from around the world, with a strong by-the-glass selection and bottles available to buy to take home.

THE NOOK

The nook wine bar highbury

We love a new wine bar opening up, especially when it’s in our hood, so we were very happy to see The Nook appear in Highbury, in the little site that was the original Prawn on the Lawn and then Linden Stores. The Nook is run by husband and wife duo Lale and Angus Oztek-Pook and they fit right into the space with a menu of casual dishes taking in everything from cheese and charcuterie to hummus and cauliflower fritters. There’s also some EPIC roast potatoes with homemade ketchups and sauces. Wines on offer are a good mixture of classic and natural wines from Italy, France, Spain, Austria, Georgia, Armenia and even from London’s Renegade in Bethnal Green. If you don’t want to eat in, you can get all the dishes to takeaway as well as homemade condiments, cheese and charcuterie from the deli. And you can even pick up some vinyl too as Angus has a selection of records from independent labels for sale.

TRULLO BAR

304 St Paul's Rd, London N1 2LH

After converting the small space next to the main restaurant into a shop during lockdown, the Trullo team has since turned it into a tiny bar. It’s a concise offering (for a concise space) with a well curated rotating by-the-glass selection, featuring mostly low-intervention wines but there’s always a mix of old world classics and some underrated gems. If you’d rather something a bit stronger, there are a couple of cocktails, like sbagliatos, martinis and spritzes, on offer. You can pair your tipple of choice with snacks (which unsurprisingly have an Italian slant) such as courgette and sage fritti, crab crostini, salumi croquettes and stracciatella with cherries.

TOP CUVÉE

Top Cuvée, Blackstock Road, London

Top Cuvée, a wine bar and restaurant that recently opened in Finsbury Park, is pretty much the perfect neighbourhood restaurant. It’s got relatively simple but very well executed dishes at reasonable prices; it’s got an interesting wine list with some excellent natural, biodynamic wines; and it’s got very friendly service by genuinely welcoming people with not a hint of ego. The Top Cuvée team consists of Brodie Meah (who worked at Dinner by Heston when it moved to Melbourne) and Max and Noel Venning of Three Sheets cocktail bar, plus Dan Miller in the kitchen, who previously worked at Naughty Piglets. We can definitely recommend sharing a few dishes, beginning with the croquettes; hot crispy spheres stuffed with sweet potato and sage. The burrata with pickled carrots and hazelnuts is another winner but the must order of the smaller plates has to be the beef and smoked eel tartare with wild garlic – may not sound like an obvious combo but man does it work.

FARE BAR + CANTEEN

Fare Bar + Canteen, Old Street, London

Any new project from Michael Sager is bound to be a success and with his latest opening, Fare Bar + Canteen, he’s got another hit on his hands. Offering more than your straight up wine bar, there’s also a takeaway coffee area, strong cocktail list and separate restaurant as well as the 250-strong Sager + Wilde curated wine list sourced directly from boutique winemakers across the world. In the kitchen is Thomas Raymond, who used to work at Ellory, cooking a menu of small plates, grilled skewers and larger sharing dishes. We loved the ​Cylindra Beetroot; Fried Globe Artichoke; and Fare’s Wet Burger – Red devon beef patty, sweet paprika and sour cucumber. All in all, Fare Bar + Canteen is a great addition to London’s wine bar scene.

THE DROP

Unit 22-24 Bagley Walk Arches Coal Drops Yard London, N1C 4DH

The Drop is a cute little wine bar with organic and low-intervention wines and a pretty banging menu of sandwiches. The space is very cute and perfect for a wine bar with exposed brick walls and low arched ceilings due to the building’s heritage as a coal store.

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WEINO BIB

Weino BIB, Balls Pond Road, London

Weino BIB started life as a pop-up serving wines from bags in a box, making them not only better for the environment but also cost effective too, which essentially means you get cheaper glasses of great vino. The wines are mostly natural and you can also bring your own bottle, which you can fill up from the boxes and kegs to take-home. The food menu which is put together with ingredients from the deli also available to take home and sourced from the best local suppliers – Cobble Lane and Dusty Knuckle to name just a couple. The creamy goose rillette, sobrasada with honey on toast and fresh burrata ravioli are all winners and there’s a build-your-own cheese board from the fridge – essential wine snacks. It’s a bit DIY inside but it works and feels a bit Parisian hipster, plus it’s cheap and you can stock up on your refills of the essentials during your dinner – milk, pasta sauces, juices the LOT.

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FINLEY'S

297 Hoxton St, London N1 5JX

Finley’s, founded by Sia Smith, is standing out from the crowd thanks to its focus on products from women-made businesses. All about celebrating the diversity of the local community, the Hoxton bar stocks an ever-changing range of wines from female winemakers, like Little Frances and Vins Et Volailles, as well as beers from Queer Brewing. Sommelier Eleonora Kausinyte (of Maison François and Brat) is in charge of the list so you’re in good hands when it comes to the vino.

ANTIDOTE

Antidote Wine Bar and Restaurant, Newburgh Street, London

Downstairs at Antidote, which is just off Carnaby Street, is more familiar wine bar territory, a casual space where you can enjoy wines by the glass and snacks from a short menu while perched on stools. Upstairs is a more formal, though still relaxed dining room, where an a la carte menu is on offer. You can expect dishes like red mullet and cauliflower in a sweet tomato broth, perfectly-pink Hereford beef, turbot with lovage and sea aster, and caramelised black figs, whipped fresh cheese and damsons. Wine pairings with each course are all perfect, naturally. A four-course tasting menu is £40 here, which, for the quality of food, is an absolute bargain

BOTTLE + RYE

Robin Gill and his wife Sarah have opened a new bistro and wine bar in Brixton called Bottle + Rye and we can confirm it’s an absolute banger. Located on the edge of Brixton Market and Coldharbour Lane, the pair have carved out a little piece of Paris in south London, with a stellar line up of relaxed bistro dishes and superb natural wines. Lewis Wright has curated the wine list with a selection mostly sourced from France and Europe but also including a couple of bottles from Renegade in London, and head chef Ben Hughes-Gage has created a food menu to match – we’re talking dishes like anchovies on honey toast, raw scallop with watermelon & plum, smoked eel brandade with pink fir crisps, and gooseberry & fig leaf choux eclair.

GORDON'S WINE BAR

Gordon's Wine Bar, Villiers Street, London

No round up of London’s best wine bars would be complete without Gordon’s. Established in 1890, it’s the oldest wine bar in London, and stepping inside is like going back in time. There’s candlelit caves, aged wooden walls, and of course a fantastic selection of wines, sherry, port and Madeira. They have an epic selection of cheeses, as well as a few other snacks like pork pies and Scoth eggs too. In the summer, they have a long row of tables set up outside, making it one of the summer’s best outdoor drinking spots as well as one of London’s best wine bars. A true classic.

SAGER + WILDE WINE BAR

The British Lion, 193 Hackney Rd, London E2 8JL

The original Sager + Wilde wine bar on Hackney Road can be credited with kickstarting a new breed of wine bars across London. It’s still one of London’s best, dark and cosy with a great selection of wines by the glass at non-ridiculous markups. As well as being a great place to discover and drink new wines, they also knock out one of London’s best cheese toasties, plus charcuterie and other nibbles. One of our all time faves.

HECTOR'S

Hector’s, run by former Hill & Szrok partner Jimmy Stephenson and his wife actor Anna Shaffer (along with the backing of current Hill & Szrok owner Luca Mathiszig-Lee), takes inspo from the bars of Paris, San Sebastian and Lisbon, and brings those European vibes to De Beauvoir. During the day it runs as a coffee shop, serving pastries and Climpson’s brews, and a bottleshop stocked with a range of classic and natty wines. In the evenings (from Thurs – Sun), it flips into a wine bar with vino available by the glass and bottle, alongside small plates like Cantabrian anchovies in olive oil, courgette carpaccio with fresh cheese, tins of sardines on toast, pate-en-croute and bocadillos like tortilla with red peppers and jamon con tomate, with guest chefs coming in to cook too.

DINA

289 High Rd Leytonstone, London E11 4HH

Over in Leytonstone, wine bar and shop Dina has been serving up seasonal and newly-released natural wines from small-scale producers since 2021. There’s always a reason to come back as the by-the-glass list changes daily and there’s a cold plates snack menu on offer, plus Dina also plays host to top-tier guest chefs for pop-ups and supper clubs. It’s exactly the kind of bar you’d want as your local.

QUALITY WINES

Quality Wines, Farringdon Road, London

Quality Wines, the offshoot wine bar from Quality Chop House, has a rotating selection of wines by the glass and bottles on the shelves available for drinking in. There’s also a full small plates menu, devised by former sous chef Nick Bramham so you can make a proper evening of it. The dishes will be changing regularly but you can expect the likes of violet artichoke with tropea onion, burrata and mint; torched sardines with pine nuts, raisins and fennel; pig fat cannoli with whipped ricotta and pistachios; and seasonal sorbet with frozen vodka. Even if you’re only popping in for a quick glass of vino, it’d be rude not to have at least one little plate…

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BOTTLES

BOTTLES, Old Spitalfields Market, Brushfield Street, London

Bottles is an Italian wine bar from the co-founders of Bottles & Battles in Mercato Metropolitano. Teaming up with SOOD Family, who look after the kitchen, Bottles is where your relationship with wine is taken up a notch or two. It’s a beautiful spot, with exposed bricks, vintage fruit crates, distressed leather stools and a gold and blue theme. The wine list, as you’d imagine is extensive, but you’ll be in good hands as every member of the Bottles team is a sommelier in their own right. From sparkling rose, a crisp and sharp Malibran ‘Sottoriva’ Col Fondo Nv Italy Veneto, paired with cacio and pepe rice balls with pecorino and mozzarella to handmade spaghetti all’ amatriciana paired with an Antonio Camillo Morellino Di Scansano, a strong but not heavy red, the wine and food is perfectly matched.

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LADY OF THE GRAPES

Lady of The Grapes, Maiden Lane, London

Run by Carole Bryon, Lady of the Grapes focuses on female winemakers, with more than half of the organic, natural and biodynamic vinos on the 80-strong list made by women. As well as the wine (which you can buy to take away), Lady of the Grapes also serves a food menu designed by Victor Garvey of Rambla. It’s seasonal and regularly changing, with a mix of sharing boards and larger plates on offer, so expect dishes like mussels and clams with bone marrow, and steak tartare with ceps and kohlrabi. If you can’t sit in, there’s be a deli full of cheeses, charcuterie and other grocery produce so you can pick up everything you need for a wine night at home.

YARDARM

238 Francis Road, London E10 6NQ

Run by couple Eliza and Dan, Yardarm is a wine shop that stocks wines (duh!) spirits, beer, coffee and deli food, and all the produce stocked inside is stuff that the pair genuinely like, with a focus on independent producers and low intervention wines. There’s a sharing table in the back where you can get involved in tastings or just pop in for a glass of wine and a cheese board at the bar. It’s a real local gem.

40 MALTBY STREET

40 Maltby St, London SE1 3PA

Owned by Gergovie Wines, 40 Maltby Street stocks a range of low-intervention wines, mainly from France, Italy and Slovenia, which you can buy to take home or to drink in. And you’ll want to drink in because the kitchen at 40 Maltby Street turns out some great grub, with the same ethos that’s applied to the wine. The European-influenced menu changes regularly with dishes like salsify fritters with aioli, pork terrine with pickled prunes and plaice with carrots and crab butter sauce appearing in the past.

NOBLE ROT

51 Lamb’s Conduit St, London, WC1N 3NB

Mark Andrew and Dan Keeling are the boys behind Noble Rot magazine (think Lucky Peach but all about the wonderful world of wine) and a wine bar and restaurant of the same name, with Stephen Harris of Michelin-starred The Sportsman in Kent in charge of the food. The site on Lamb’s Conduit Street was actually already a wine bar and the building itself dates back to 1700, so there is plenty of cosy charm to the place and it feels as if they’ve been doing their thing here for years already. In the front are tables for drinking and snacks and at the back there is a slightly more formal sit down restaurant. Wine is of course as big a focus as the food and these guys know their stuff so you’re in safe hands. The food menu is the perfect match; big flavoursome dishes but nothing overly complicated or fussy, like pork & walnut terrine, smoked eel with rhubarb & soda bread, braised monkfish with crab bisque, and chocolate mousse cake.

FARM SHOP

Farm Shop, Mayfair, South Audley Street, London

Farm Shop is an excellent new food shop and butcher in Mayfair run by Artfarm, the hospitality arm of Hauser & Wirth. They also have The Fife Arms in Scotland, Mount St and The Audley just up the road, and their original farm shop down in Somerset, which is attached to their gallery and Durslade Farm. The shop upstairs is stocked full of their own produce and man there is some good stuff in there, from rhubarb curd and chutneys to chocolates, cheese, and fresh veg. All of which would be enough to recommend stopping by there, but we haven’t even mentioned best part yet – the cute wine bar downstairs, which is open from 12pm to 10pm every day apart from Sunday. It’s a nice casual space (especially for Mayfair) with terracotta tile floors, wooden bistro chairs, marble tables, and shelves lined with gleaming bottles. The wine list offers a solid line up of champagnes, old world classic wines, and even a few natural wines from around the world, and there’s a very respectable amount available by glass or carafe. There’s also a good selection of UK wines, including three wines from Artfarm’s own Bacchus winery in Somerset, and a superb pinot noir from Danbury Ridge in Essex. To eat, there’s classic wine bar snacking, including charcuterie, cheese boards, steak tartare, and pickles. 

VINS

Vins, a neighbourhood restaurant and wine bar in Canonbury, is small, cute, cosy and a go-to for a ‘quick’ wine. As the name suggests, wine is central to the experience at Vins, where low intervention winemaking from small artisan producers is championed. Owner Vinny Burke’s tasting notes litter the wine list, and Vinny himself is always on hand for extra advice, which definitely helps with the decision making. They also serve up a simple set menu of three, four or five courses, so you can also really make a meal of it here.

THE BLACK BOOK

Former members’ club Trade is now The Black Book and it’s open to everyone. Co-founders Gearoid Devaney and Xavier Rousset are both master sommeliers so you know the wine is on point. The list includes more than 25 wines by the glass under £10 as well as rare vintages on at lower price points than you’d typically see at restaurants (although we’re still talking three figures for a bottle). The Black Book also serves a brasserie style menu to complement all the wine, with dishes including burrata with figs & red onion compote, pan fried cod with autumnal ratatouille, onglet with peppercorn sauce & hand-cut chips, and salted caramel & chocolate tart. And with the bar staying open late it’s a good one to have up your sleeve for those times when you’re not ready to go home.

KEN'S

Dalston has got Dan’s, Clerkenwell has got Ken’s. The latter, opened by the team behind the former, is a bigger neighbourhood wine bar with a regularly rotating list that has a focus on crisp and tasty wines from both classic and natural producers, and a strong by the glass selection. Fergus Shields (ex-Sessions Arts Club, Noble Rot and Quo Vadis) is in charge of the Basque-influenced food menu, which features dishes like boquerones & pan con tomate; beef tartare with bottarga & capers; Iberico pork with celeriac & sage; and chocolate mousse with rosemary, creme fraiche & fig.

RENEGADE URBAN WINERY

Inside railway arches in Bethnal Green isn’t the first place you’d look for a winery but it’s where you’ll find one. Renegade is an urban winery that buys grapes from across the UK and Europe and turns them into wine right here in London. Their wines change year on year, depending on the grapes they get, and they rarely repeat a style, so every bottle (instantly recognisable thanks to their face labels) you drink from here really is special. You can buy bottles to take home but its best to pull up a chair inside, or grab one of the outside tables in the alley if it’s sunny, and crack them open right then and there.

NEWCOMER WINES

5 Dalston Lane, London E8 3DF

Dalston wine bar, Newcomer Wines, is all about quality and no-fuss wines, and although the shop traditionally has a broad selection of Austrian wines it also stocks vino from other countries that align with their speciality of the ‘New Old World’. Wherever the wines come from, they’re low-intervention and terroir-driven. You can drink in the shop and they often host interesting kitchen residencies too.

DAN'S WINE BAR

From the brains behind Natty Boy Wines, Dan’s Wine Bar is a bar and shop that offers a jolly 600+ wines (that’s everything on the Natty Boy site for a £15 corkage fee) ranging from the low intervention, sustainable naturals to mature classics and more. With monthly tastings and a by the glass menu that rotates weekly, you’re not gonna get bored. It’s all served in the bar’s comfortable, communal space with chill vibes and there’s small plates on offer too, including cheese and bread provided by Jumi in Newington Green.

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