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The Best Wine Bars In London

The Best Wine Bars In London

There are few cities better than London in which to drink wine. There’s an outdated stereotype that these haunts are the stomping grounds of crusty codgers sniffing rich clarets alongside their bangers and mash, but in reality, they’re much more than that. 

The city that was politically responsible for the fortunes of Bordeaux, Port and (in a lesser sense) Champagne now boasts exceptional vinous diversity. 

One can drink from as broad a selection of wines as producers that make them. The foundational level of wine knowledge is impressively high, and a glass of the good stuff can be found everywhere from the most modest of watering holes to the glitziest of establishments.

The past 10 to 15 years have ushered in a particularly exciting and democratizing era for wine drinking in London. The proliferation of natural wine bars has enlivened a once notoriously stuffy English wine scene. Meanwhile, hyper-focused, single-origin venues like the all-Spanish Barrafina or Portuguese Bar Douro treat drinkers to a delicious dose of armchair travel. Combine this with the maturation of gastro-pubs, and the line between what’s a restaurant, bar or even pub gets blurry. 

And if you need one more reason to get your drink on in Londontown, consider the remarkable growth in quality and quantity of English wine. Many labels are only found within British borders. Try them in wine bars around London, then plan a day trip to visit the wineries in person: the majority are located within a 60-mile radius from the city and boast excellent tasting rooms and other experiences. 

Here are eight top wine bars to quench your thirst in London: 

Noble Rot


Photography by Juan Trujillo Andrades / Tom Cockram

Located in an early 18th-century townhouse along historic Conduit Street, Noble Rot is the kind of place where you can order anything from the menu with the confidence it won’t disappoint.

Founded in 2015 by the dynamic wine duo of Mark Andrew and Dan Keeling, who also founded a successful indie magazine of the same name, Noble Rot puts wine front and center. 

The multi-award-winning 44-page wine list is a love letter to the fermented grape. There’s an obvious devotion to France (swoon-worthy Champagne and Burgundy offerings, for one) but there’s also strong support for local English labels. You’ll also find thoughtfully curated bottles from producers large and small—and vintages young and old—around the world. 

The wines are expertly paired with an à la carte menu of “Franglais” cuisine led by executive chef Stephen Harris. This, plus the restaurant’s cozy-yet-classy interior—think forest-green wainscotting, red leather booths and banquettes and flattering lighting—and friendly staff, and Noble Rot achieves a world-class wine experience sans pretension.

“It’s like going to church,” says Dan Belmont, director of online U.K. wine retailer Good Wine Good People. “You’re on hallowed ground.” 

Covent Garden 

10 Cases
Image Courtesy of 10 Cases

Like Manhattan’s Times Square, the center of London is known for theater and shopping, but not for the city’s most interesting culinary destinations. This is why The 10 Cases is such a gem. 

Opened in 2011 by friends Will Palmer and Ian Campbell, the venue occupies two shop fronts in the heart of Covent Garden. 

On one side, Bistrot à Vin is open for lunch and dinner. It serves up Franco-European, wine-friendly fare like duck rillettes, steak frites and roasted cauliflower. The concise wine list consists of 10 whites, 10 reds and a few sparkling, rosé and dessert offerings. French labels dominate—but there are a few wild cards, like English pét nat and other natural-leaning bottlings, all available by the glass, in 500ml carafes or full bottles. 

Next door, Cave à Vin is primarily a wine shop. In the evenings, it hosts walk-ins at tables where guests can order food from the bistro menu, pluck a bottle from the shelf and drink right there for a £12 (roughly $15) corkage fee.  

Lists for both the bistro and the cave are ever-changing: “In 12 years of trading, the same wine has not been listed twice,” boasts The 10 Cases website.


Sager and Wilde
Image Courtesy of Sager and Wilde

Once upon a time, the East London neighborhood of Hackney was a place to avoid after dark. These days, the hipsters—and their preferred drinks—have descended; it’s now home to many natural wine bars. Brawn, in nearby Shoreditch, led the charge in 2010 (it remains one of London’s best natural wine bars). Michael Sager’s Sager + Wilde, where the wine is front and center, quickly followed in 2012.

Don’t be put off by the locale. This part of Hackney Road may not be the prettiest, but within its four walls, Sager + Wilde is an intimate, friendly neighborhood haunt where the by-the-glass options are scrawled on a chalkboard and the deep wine list reads like a who’s who of international natural wine producers. There are a few non-natural-but-iconic names, too: 1982 Dom Pérignon anyone? 

It’s “the OG of East London,” quips Belmont. “Wash down a very satisfying cheese toastie with some crunchy, new wave culty juice, or do a deep dive into the list and unearth some unicorns.” 


Full disclosure: Draper’s is technically not a wine bar; it’s a historic pub that is, frankly, all you could hope for in these iconic English establishments. There’s warm-the-cockles food like seven-hour-braised lamb shoulder, pig’s head and black pudding terrine and, of course, savory pies. The craft beers flows at the circular bar; and the beer garden heaves on sunny days.  

Then there’s the wine list. It’s astonishingly deep—and not just for a pub, but for anywhere. 

You can order a magnum of Muscadet, an orange wine from Italy’s Dolomites, a classic Gigondas red from the Rhône or a barrel-aged Greek Assyrtiko, all served in high-end wine glasses that solidify what you already suspected: The Draper’s Arms is a serious wine destination in disguise. 

Sarah Wright, a sommelier for Sune restaurant and consultant for U.K. importer  Sip Champagnes, says it’s “perfection.” She calls out its airy pub feeling, wooden tables and silver candlesticks plus “three or four dogs keeping their feasting owners company, a relaxed and buzzing atmosphere, and the treasure-trove of wine in the keg cellar.”


The Remedy London
Image Courtesy of The Remedy London

With so many new trendy wine bars over the last decade, it’s easy to overlook the longer-standing ones. Opened in 2013, The Remedy remains one of the standouts. 

The establishment’s pint-sized, cozy interior—which features brick walls, wooden tables, a cushy long bench and welcoming bar—gives it the homey feel of an outer-borough neighborhood haunt rather than one in a central, touristy location. Pop in after a visit to the British Museum or Regent’s Park.

The Remedy’s thoughtful, mid-sized and mostly European wine list features plenty of natural superstars, but just as many small-batch producers like De Moor in Chablis; Castagna in Australia; and Strohmier in Austria. (These may not be social media’s current cool kids, but they’ve been quietly crafting excellent wines for decades.) 

Like its interior, The Remedy’s wine list is classy, comforting and hugely enjoyable. There are also wonderful pairing with the bar’s half a dozen food offerings, like oyster mushrooms with Jerusalem artichoke chips or its ever-rotating pasta dishes. 

St. James’s 

Photography by Steven Joyce / Frank’s

Frank’s is the subterranean bar beneath upscale brasserie Maison François, located in one of central London’s swankiest neighborhoods. 

The moody lighting, white brick walls, concrete floor and shiny, mirror wall panels feel like a wealthy person’s idea of industrial decor, but, when combined with the suited-and-booted sommeliers and waitstaff, it’s a space that will make you feel very fancy.

Perch upon one of the black-leather stools, slurp oysters and sip something from the award-winning wine list created by wine director Daniel Illsley. At 300 to 500 bottles long, the list—which serves the brasserie upstairs, too—is unsurprisingly French-dominant, with a few good nods to other corners of Europe (mostly). 

There are some impressive multi-vintage offerings and affordably priced older vintages perfect for wine dinners. Hand-drawn maps and bite-sized bits of wine info on the menu’s sidebar add accessibility. 

While the bar itself may have a stuffier air than some of its East London counterparts, Illsley and his team infuse a sense of fun at every opportunity. 

“This swish part of Mayfair was sadly lacking in a bar with a sense of humor until [Frank’s] opened,” says Nina Caplan, author of The Wandering Vine: Wine, The Romans and Me. “They open magnums on Mondays and rejoice in offal. And if you haven’t seen Daniel behind the bar in platform heels so he can reach the top shelf, then you’ve missed out!” 

East London 

Photography vy Philippa Langely

Sune, which opened in 2023, is an apt example of how blurry the line is between wine bar and restaurant. Hospitality veterans Honey Spencer and Charlie Sims designed their light-filled space beside Regent’s Canal to accommodate every kind of guest. 

Pull up a wooden stool around the curved bar for a glass of the natty stuff from the concise, two-page wine menu. (Spencer is a well-known naturalista with a newly published book titled Natural Wine, No Drama, so the menu is unsurprisingly full of natural gems.) 

Or tuck into an outstanding meal from the one-page food menu created by head chef Michael Robins. The food—whether it’s Spanish anchovies, lamb sweetbreads or wild sea bass—is beautifully prepared with bold, punchy flavors that pair perfectly with the crunch, fizz and funk of the natural wines on offer. 

“When you visit Sune, you feel like it’s your local, even if you don’t live in the area,” says Doug Wregg, sales and marketing director at natural wine importer Les Caves de Pyrene. “The welcome is always warm and friendly, the atmosphere unpretentious, the food delicious and you can drink some cracking natural wines from small artisan producers. What more could you want?” 

Battersea Power Station 

Vagabond Battersea
Image Courtesy of Vagabond Battersea

Of London’s four excellent urban wineries, Vagabond arguably offers the most for visitors. While the chain, founded in 2010 by the entrepreneur Stephen Finch, has eight locations, its Battersea outpost is the only one to house an urban winery. 

Sip the wines made on premise while watching the winemaker José Quintana work his magic in what is possibly the smallest winery ever. The range of 10 minimally-made wines includes a Piquette and Solera-style Ortega, a U.K. heritage variety. 

“José is making some brilliant wines that focus on texture and aromatics that create an ethereal drinking experience,” says fellow urban winemaker Sergio Verillo of Blackbook Winery. 

Part of the swanky new shopping and dining establishments surrounding the once-derelict Battersea Power Station, Vagabond is the perfect place to perch after a hard day of retail therapy. 

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