Top 10 London wine bars

Pink stools lined up around a wine bar
28-50 wine bar, London

As any London wine-lover will tell you, there’s plenty of choice when it comes to the capital’s wine bar scene. From popular city centre haunts to off-the-beaten-track local venues, there’s plenty to explore – whether you want high-end French classics or new-wave natural bottles. With more and more venues offering by-the-glass options, as well as bottles to enjoy on-site or take home, there’s never been a better time to taste what London has to offer. So pull up a chair and relax with a glass or two in one of our top venues.


Pink stools lined up around a wine bar

28°-50° Marylebone.

Originally a single site in Holborn, 28°-50° is now a chain of five chic bars/restaurants across London. There’s Marylebone; its neighbouring jazz-centric venue 28°-50° by Night; Chelsea; South Kensington; and latest addition Oxford Circus. With the wine programme overseen by group head sommelier Jules Bensacq, each site has a decent selection of wines available by the glass or bottle, including a small collection of pricier drops by Coravin. This is supplemented by a ‘Collector’s List’ of reasonably priced fine and rare bottles with a focus on France, supplemented by a decent showing of other wines from around the world.

Bar Pepito

A wine bar with tables and chairs


This tiny pocket rocket of a Sherry bar is brought to you from the team behind the Camino restaurant chain. Bar Pepito may be situated in Kings Cross but you’re transported to Andalucía as soon as you step through the door. The list of Sherries is relatively short, with two or three wines offered for every style, but there’s enough variety for new Sherry drinkers and experts alike. It runs the gamut from big names such as Tio Pepe Fino to more esoteric drops like Equipo Navazos’ La Bota ‘I Think’ En Rama Manzanilla. Numerous flights and a paired tasting menu of wines and tapitas help to encourage experimentation. Settle in with a flight and tableful of tapas, then pretend you’re in Jerez.


A dark bar interior with old photos


Take a quick wander from Covent Garden to Charing Cross and you’ll find yourself in a piece of wine bar history. Gordon’s has been serving patrons for over 130 years, and you certainly feel the history oozing out of the walls lined with pictures and newspaper-clippings. The interior is all vaulted cellars and candlelight. While the bar is covered in blackboards and Sherry-filled barrels. The eminently affordable wine list is an exercise in excellent editing, focusing on key regions from the Old World, with the odd addition from Mendoza, Marlborough or Maipo Valley. Food is available in the form of chunky meze platters, cheese and baguettes. Those who fail to get a table inside have a much better chance on the large outdoor terrace.

New Street Wine Shop

A chalk board and shelves of wine bottles


The first venue to fully dissolve the boundaries between shop, bar and restaurant, this fairly small space is smartly designed. Choose a bottle from the well-stocked New Street Wine Shop shelves to take away or drink in for a very reasonable £8 corkage. You can also buy by the glass or sample top-end wines from the Enomatics. The range concentrates on European classics. A playground for wine lovers.

Noble Rot

The front windows of a wine bar overlooking the street


When Noble Rot’s first venue opened its doors on Lamb’s Conduit Street in Holborn, oenophiles fell over themselves in their enthusiasm for its cooler-than-thou interiors, delicious food and adventurous wine list. A second site, taking over former institution The Gay Hussar in Soho, has followed to perhaps even greater acclaim. At both restaurants, most wines by the glass are offered in 75ml ‘taster’ or 125ml servings, with a decent, ever-changing range also available by Coravin. Those with deep pockets might be tempted by a glass of Trimbach Riesling Cuvée Frédéric Emile 1996 or a Château d’Yquem from the same decade. But there are plenty more eminently affordable options too. The wider list has a notable bent…

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