London after midnight is a strange place to be. Streets get darker, foxes get bolder and once your drinking den of choice has closed it doors it’s hard to know where to go next. But it’s not time for bed quite yet. Late night London is a feast for the senses – if only you know where to go. Here’s our definitive guide to London in the small hours.
12.03am: Sager + Wilde, Hackney
The Hackney Road outpost pours left-field wines until 1am on weekends behind Raymond Chandleresque blinds. Fuel up for the night with one of the superb grilled cheese sandwiches.
193 Hackney Road, London E2 8JL, sagerandwilde.com
12.17am: Polo Bar, Mayfair
The Westbury’s plush art deco watering hole is open until 1am every night apart from Sundays. Nightcaps here don’t come cheap – but then again, not much around here does.
The Westbury, 37 Conduit Street, London W1S 2YF, marriott.com
12.33am: Trisha’s, Soho
One of the scruffiest remnants of old Soho, this Greek Street basement bar (formally the New Evaristo Club) is nominally a members’ club, but if the doorman likes the cut of your jib, you’re in.
3d, 57 Greek Street, Soho, London W1D 3DX, facebook.com
12.55am: The Bricklayers, Tottenham
You don’t have to be a Spurs fan to have a good night here (although it helps). Match day or not, it draws a big, friendly crowd with a solid drinks selection. Open until 1.30am Friday and Saturday.
803 High Road, Tottenham, London N17 8ER, facebook.com/bricklayersn17
1.07am: Ranoush Juice, Marylebone
It’s never too late for some of London’s best Lebanese food. Ranoush serves outstanding falafel wraps, shawarma and fresh-pressed juices a stone’s throw from Oxford Street until 3am.
43 Edgware Road, Hyde Park Estate, London W2 2JE, maroush.com
1.12am: PureGym, Holborn
PureGym is the place to head for a late-night sweat fix. Open 24/7, it’ll let you pump iron, hit the treadmill and do your pull-ups away from the usual daytime crowds.
Lacon House, 84 Theobalds Road, Holborn, London WC1X 8RW, puregym.com
1.24am: Voodoo Ray’s, Dalston
Got a craving for pizza? Near Kingsland Road? You’re in luck – this place is open until 3am on Saturdays. The superlative slices all come in at £4 or less.
95 Kingsland High Street, Dalston, London E8 2PB, voodoorays.com
1.45am: The Four Quarters, Peckham
Fancy some Pac-Man and a pint in the early hours? Try your luck at some classic arcade games on Rye Lane at The Four Quarters, which also has a Nintendo 64 hooked up to the big screen.
187 Rye Lane, Peckham, London SE15 4TP, facebook.com/fourquartersbar
2.42am: The Nickel Bar at The Ned, Bank
The standout bar in this blingy, much-talked-about City behemoth serves expertly mixed classic cocktails and all-American bites like pastrami cheese fries until 3am on Saturdays (and 2am Monday to Friday).
The Ned, 27 Poultry, London EC2R 8AJ, thened.com
3.15am: Bar Italia, Soho
A legend since 1949, Frith Street’s around-the-clock watering hole shines like a beacon of old-fashioned hospitality in the darkness. Come for strong coffee and cannoli to see you through ’til the rest of the world rises for breakfast.
22 Frith Street, Soho, London W1D 4RF, baritaliasoho.co.uk
4.03am: New Covent Garden Market, Nine Elms
Midnight is when the day starts for the city’s veg sellers. Haggle with the wholesalers to bulk-buy your week’s fruit and veg, before grabbing a bunch of blooms when the flower market opens at 4am by way of an apology for being out all night.
Nine Elms Lane, London SW8 5BH, newcoventgardenmarket.com
4.45am: Lanzhou Lamian, Covent Garden
The hand-pulled noodles here on the fringes of Chinatown – available in broth, dry or fried, in hundreds of different permutations – are sensational. Slurp roast duck la mian as the city’s early risers start to wake up.
33 Cranbourn Street, Covent Garden, London WC2H 7AD, lanzhounoodlebar.com
4.52am: Duck and Waffle, Bishopsgate
Open 24 hours a day, the restaurant on the 40th floor of the Heron Tower serves its late-night menu until 5am. Smoked eel croquettes and cocktails anyone?
110 Bishopsgate, London EC2N 4AY, duckandwaffle.com
One of TFL’s best-kept secrets, if your Sunday night finished in the small hours east and you live west, mosey down to Canary Wharf Pier to catch the first boat home.
Canary Wharf Pier, Docklands, London E14 8RR, tfl.gov.uk
5.30am: Thames Barrier Park, Silvertown
Greet the day where the river widens into an estuary. Find a bench pointing east and watch the sun rise. Practice some gratitude for the feat of engineering that keeps our city flood-free, and another day in the greatest city in the world.
North Woolwich Road, Royal Docks, London E16 2HP, london.gov.uk
6.42am: Electrowerkz, Islington
This alt-scene legend is normally open until 7.30am at the weekend. Home to underground techno titans Kaos, plus Slimelight, the UK’s longest-running EDM, industrial and goth night. Check the dress code, be respectful and you’ll have a good time.
1st Floor, 7 Torrens Street, The Angel, London EC1V 1NQ, residentadvisor.net