Some of the best bars in The City of London

Great drink, food, decor - even the occasional Happy Hour

City bars have had a bit of a reputation for being crammed to the rafters with pin-stripe-suit-wearing, slick-haired Patrick Bateman types (minus the blood lust), hell-bent on spaffing their bonuses on something ostentatious.

Well, times have changed... whether it was the recent dose of austerity or some PR lessons over at PWHSBC but City bars are now some of the best in the capital (even with the odd Happy Hour - who'da thunk it?)

So take a look at some of the best bars the City has to offer...

The Old Bank Of England
194 Fleet Street EC4A 2LT
Region: The City
Nearest Station: Temple (0.2 miles)

AIL Says: In terms of décor alone, this is the capital’s most spectacular pub. Its opulent interior remains true to its former incarnation as the Law Courts of the Bank of England - golden chandeliers, carved balustrades and frescoes have beenrestored to their 19th century glory. Legend has it that Sweeney Todd transported his victims from his barber’s to the nearby pie shop via the tunnels beneath the building, and in a nod to this story the pub now specialises in handmade pies (albeit filled with Dorset lamb and ham hock).

  • OUR REVIEW 7/10
9 Devonshire Square EC2M 4WY
Region: The City
Nearest Station: Liverpool Street (0.1 miles)

AIL Says: Part of the acclaimed restaurant Cinnamon Kitchen, Anise is a destination bar in its own right. Cocktails are mostly fruity and exotic (spiced rum punch, Asian sour apple) and there is Indian food like tandoori chicken and lamb seekh kebabs.

    The Jugged Hare
    49 Chiswell Street EC1Y 4SA
    Region: City
    Nearest Station: Moorgate (0.1 miles)

    AIL Says: The Jugged Hare is one for the foodies. Dishes from the modern British menu are prepared in full view of the diners in the “theatre kitchen”, where you might also see whole pigeons and rabbits being spit roasted (there’s a strong focus on game here). If that doesn’t get your appetite going there’s a great selection of British and European beers available.

      The Cocktail Lounge at Zetter Townhouse
      49 - 50 St Johns Square EC1V 4JJ
      Region: Clerkenwell
      Nearest Station: Farringdon (0.2 miles)

      AIL Says: The trendy boutique Zetter Townhouse boasts one of London’s best bars, run by Tony Conigliari who you may know from the famous Bar With No Name in Islington. Tony C’s drinks are highly experimental (not to mention dangerously drinkable), like the Bloody Mary with parsley vodka and the Pine Needle Gimlet.

      • OUR REVIEW 9/10
      115 Chancery Lane WC2A 1PP
      Region: Holborn
      Nearest Station: Chancery Lane (0.2 miles)

      AIL Says: If you’re after something a little different for your after-work drinking session check out this Provençal bar which specialises in pastis and wine. Located under beautiful brick archways, there’s an indoor petanque court should you feel boisterous after several absinthe cocktails.

      • OUR REVIEW 8/10
      Hix City
      9a Devonshire Square EC2M 4AE
      Region: Broadgate
      Nearest Station: Liverpool Street (0.1 miles)

      AIL Says: Basement watering hole Mark’s Bar, beneath Hix Soho, has proved almost as much of a hit as the restaurant itself, so the City branch has faithfully reproduced it. Here you’ll findthe same winning combo of classy cocktails, mouth-watering “snax” and designer furniture.

      The Nightjar
      129 City Road EC1V 1JB
      Region: The City

      AIL Says: The speakeasy revival may be over, but this seductive den will never go out of fashion. Dark and atmospheric, it has one of the UK’s largest selections of absinthe, the bar staff’s mixing skills are faultless, and drinks are served in super chic glassware – this is where you take someone you want to impress. Make sure you book in advance as it’s seating room only and gets very busy.

      • OUR REVIEW 7/10
      33 Black Friars Lane EC4V 6EP
      Region: The City
      Nearest Station: City Thameslink

      AIL Says: Thankfully in these seemingly never-ending times of austerity, bars offering happy hours are ten a penny. Don’t settle for a Pitcher & Piano and instead check out Camino. It’s cheap and cheerful enough for a post-work booze-up and offers enough Spanish sherries, wines and moreish tapas for the discerning customer.

      • SPANISH
      Old Bengal Bar
      16 New Street EC2M 4TR
      Region: The City
      Nearest Station: Liverpool Street

      AIL Says: A former warehouse once owned by the East India Company has been transformed into a one-stop shop for all City workers’ needs: there’s a British grill restaurant, a fish restaurant, a wine shop, and this chic bar complete with a terrace. You’ll find a very grown-up menu with cocktails, cigars and barbecued meats.

      • USERS 3/10

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