London's best bar food

Something to help the drink go down...

So what's the difference between a bar that serves food and a restaurant that serves... drink?

Well these venues are bars, first and foremost. Renowned for the quality of liquor and attention to detail in creating the perfect drinking environment. They also happen to serve a bit of grub, as a side-line. But for these venues, featured in our list, it's more than just a side-line; the same attention to details has been applied to their food and snacks as it has their drinks menu...

So what's on offer? How's about tomato tartare and quail egg with caviar, goose salami and spiced carrot with olive and Persian feta, octopus with fennel or pork jowl with croutons? Yep, definitely more than just a side-line.

5 William Iv Street WC2N 4DW
Region: Charing Cross
Nearest Station: Charing Cross

AIL Says: This wine bar just off Trafalgar Square has a fantastic menu of hearty Gallic fare like Toulouse sausage and puy lentils, duck rillettes, and speck. The wine list isn’t narrowed to French varieties but all are sourced from small artisan producers.

  • OUR REVIEW 7/10
Pancras Road N1C 4TB
Region: King's Cross
Nearest Station: King's Cross St. Pancras

AIL Says: Part of the Great Northern Hotel, this bar has food so moreish it might just stop you from venturing to the hotel restaurant, Plum + Spilt Milk, for dinner.Snack on oysters, salt and pepper squid and beef dripping chips, or choose one of the main courses like chicken escalope with fried egg and anchovies.

  • OUR REVIEW 9/10
CRATE Brewery & Pizzeria
Queens Yard E9 5EN
Region: Hackney Wick
Nearest Station: Hackney Wick

AIL Says: You can’t get much hipper than a former warehouse by the Regent’s Canal in Hackney Wick, transformed into a brewery producing craft beer. They also make pizza to order with unusual toppings such as lamb and sweet potato, and walnut and stilton.

  • OUR REVIEW 8/10
44-48 Lonsdale Road W11 2DE
Region: Notting Hill
Nearest Station: Westbourne Park (0.4 miles)

AIL Says: This swish cocktail bar is a Notting Hill favourite, plus over the last decade they’vewon several awards for drinks and food. The kitchen’s speciality are the steaks; all meat is free range and sourced from small farms in the north of England.

  • OUR REVIEW 9/10
27 D'Arblay Street W1F 8EP
Region: Soho
Nearest Station: Oxford Circus (0.2 miles)

AIL Says: This Soho tapas bar gets incredibly busy of an evening and rightly so, as all their wines are available by the glass and the food is magnificent. Classic tapas dishes are available like croquettes and grilled octopus, as well as more universal options such as soft duck egg yolk with girolles and pork jowl with croutons.

  • OUR REVIEW 8/10
7 St. John Street EC1M 4AA
Region: The City
Nearest Station: Farringdon (0.1 miles)

AIL Says: This wine bar and shop boasts a European menu to complement the tipples on offer. Expect dishes like mussels in white wine, Tamworth pork chop with colcannon and Spanish charcuterie.

  • OUR REVIEW 8/10
The Nightjar
129 City Road EC1V 1JB
Region: The City

AIL Says: The trend for speakeasy-style bars may be tired now, but Nightjar’s dimly lit, somehow illicit-feeling basement bar is still a great hangout regardless. Their delectable cocktails are complemented by an original tapas menu which includes fried Murcia cheese with lemon and octopus with fennel.

  • OUR REVIEW 7/10
Sager + Wilde
193 Hackney Road E2 8JL
Region: Bethnal Green
Nearest Station: Hoxton (0.1 miles)

AIL Says: This stylish wine bar began life as a pop-up in Shoreditch. Now in its permanent home on Hackney Road. Sager & Wilde offers wines from producers big and small, locally brewed beers and appealing snacks like goose salami and spiced carrot with olive and Persian feta.

    The Bar with No Name
    69 Colebrooke Row N1 8AA
    Region: Angel
    Nearest Station: Essex Road (0.3 miles)

    AIL Says: One of London’s best loved bars launched a food menu in 2014, and it’s every bit as exquisite as the cocktails. Mixologist and owner Tony Conigliaro has created dishes that are ideally suited to his concoctions, such as tomato tartare and quail egg with caviar.

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