The world’s ‘best bars’ in Finsbury, Islington, Shoreditch and Hoxton

14:46 05 November 2012


Zetter's Townhouse Pic: Andreas von Einsiedel

Andreas von Einsiedel 2011, All Rights Reserved

Five of the top 20 bars in the world are in Finsbury, Islington, Shoreditch or Hoxton, a new survey has revealed.

A list of the 50 finest drinking establishments in the world is drawn up every year by Drinks International magazine after consulting some of the finest minds in the bar business.

Establishments from as far afield as Japan, Australia, South Africa and Singapore make up the list, with speakeasys, dive bars and psuedo-private residencies all featuring, along with the best bartenders on the planet.


But north and east London are particularly well-represented and Lucy Britner, who helps compile the list for the publication, says residents are spoilt for choice.

She said: “We do a poll of the top 150 bar people, like brand ambassadors, people who own their own bars – well-travelled experts basically. We want to find the best people to tell us where the best bars are.

“The Islington and Hackney areas have some fantastic bars. It’s a great area – you could have a fantastic bar crawl round that end of town.”

Here is what Drinks International had to say about some the local watering-holes:

■ Night Jar, City Road, Finsbury, which came in third place, is complemented for the excellent garnishes placed on the side of very special drinks. The menu is divided into pre and post prohibition era libation and the venue is done in a 1920s style with regular live jazz nights keeping the vibe alive.

■ A regular feature in the Top 10, 69 Colebrook Row, Islington, perches comfortably in eighth place. The man behind the bar, Tony Conigliaro, is one of the most celebrated bartenders in the world and is constantly beavering away at new combinations at his drinks lab.

Decor wise it’s cool, minimal and jazz age with live pianists a regular feature, along with the much sought after cocktail masterclasses.

■ Callooh Callay in Rivington Street, Shoreditch, comes in ninth place and is complemented for an unusual take on cocktail classics. The name comes from the Lewis Carroll poem Jabberwocky, and the design is as other-worldy as its namesake – complete with a giant wardrobe you walk through to get between adjoining bars.

■ Just outside the Top 10 is Happiness Forgets, Hoxton Square, Hoxton, which sits in 12th place. This basement bar is praised for an unassuming commitment to quality ingredients, recipes, methods and service delivering simple, classic and excellently made cocktails.

■ Possibly the most interesting entry on the list is Zetter’s Townhouse, in St John Square, Finsbury, in 15th place. The decor is in the manner of an upper class lady’s abode, stuffed with Victorian nick-nacks. And as the cocktails are handled by a certain Mr Conigliaro, quality libation is all but guaranteed.


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