Top 50 Cocktail Bars in the UK announced.

See if your favourite made the list

East-London bar, Satan’s Whiskers, was voted number one in this year’s Top 50 Cocktail Bars sponsored by Franklin & Sons. Coming in at number two is last year’s winner, Lab-22, based in Cardiff. Also situated in Cardiff is Penny Royal, number 36 on this year’s list, which has a 300-bottle strong list of spirits and an extensive cocktail menu. 

Number three on this year’s list is Tayēr + Elementary, based in East-London. Established in 2019, Tayēr + Elementary is the lovechild of bartending elite, Alex Kratena and Monica Berg. This cocktail bar is set in two-parts, with Elementary serving up classic cocktails from a draught system and Tayēr is where the theatre of bartending takes form, with an ever-changing menu of drinks that focus on seasonality. 

The highest new entrant this year is Soma, based in Soho in London. This modern and minimalist cocktail bar serves up Indian influenced cocktails. The bar is set around a magnificent sleek stainless-steel island where bartenders shake up drinks all evening. 

Project Halcyon in Manchester was named One to Watch whilst the Newcomer of the Year was given to Manolo in Liverpool. The team at Hey Palu in Edinburgh were awarded Bar Team of the Year, and for the second consecutive year Little Mercies in Crouch End won the Sustainability award. 

London dominates this year’s list with 23 bars in the Top 50 spots, followed by Yorkshire, which claimed five of the Top 50 spots including Public in Sheffield, a tiny cocktail bar which occupies the former men’s toilet below the Victorian town hall. 

Scotland also secured five spots on the 2023 list, with Panda & Sons, coming in at number six on the list.  Also on the list for Scotland is Bramble, Absent Ear, Hey Palu and Lunar.

Chris Lowe, publisher of Top 50 Cocktail Bars, said “Whilst London continues to dominate this year’s list, it is very exciting to see other major cities across the UK make their mark on the list. The ever-growing interest in cocktails and bartending within the UK means we are spoilt for choice on where to go, and this list allows for the best of the UK bar scene to have a spotlight placed on them – and for consumers to find these hidden gems.”

The Top 50 Cocktail Bars 2023 list is as follows: 

1Satan’s Whiskers, Bethnal Green, London 
2Lab 22, Cardiff
3Tayēr + Elementary, Shoreditch, London 
4SCHOFIELD’S BAR, Manchester
5Swift, Soho, London 
6Panda & Sons, Edinburgh
7Three Sheets, Dalston, London 
8Speak in Code, Manchester
9Bar with Shapes for a Name, Hackney, London 
10The Connaught, Mayfair, London
11Little Mercies, Crouch End, London
12Couch, Birmingham
13Bramble, Edinburgh
14The Pineapple Club, Birmingham
15Ojo Rojo, Bournemouth 
16Disrepute, Soho, London
17Artesian, Oxford Circus, London
18Hideout, Bath
19Nightjar, Shoreditch, London
20Present Company, Liverpool
21Publiq, South Kensington, London 
22Scarfes Bar, Holborn, London 
23Lyaness, South Bank, London
24Opium Cocktail & Dim Sum, Chinatown, London 
25The Absent Ear, Glasgow
26Happiness Forgets, Hoxton, London 
27Hey Palu, Edinburgh
28Filthy XIII, Bristol
29Homeboy, Islington, London
30Soma, Soho, London
31Coupette, Bethnal Green
32Passing Fancies, Birmingham
33Bar Termini, Soho, London
34Seed Library, Shoreditch, London
35Murder Inc, Soho, London
36Penny Royal, Cardiff
37Callooh Callay, Shoreditch, London
38Silverleaf, Liverpool St, London
39Public, Sheffield
40Fox & Chance, Birmingham
41Blinker, Manchester
42Below Stairs, Leeds 
43Milk Thistle, Bristol
44Gungho!, Brighton
45Hedonist, Leeds
46Amaro, Kensington, London
47Cottonmouth, Nottingham
48Tabula Rasa, Leeds
49Lunar, Glasgow
50Bench, Sheffield

More details can be found at 




I am Emma and with my husband Mark write Foodie Explorers, which is a food and travel website.

I am a member of the Guild of Food Writers and British Guild of Travel Writers.

We have a wide range of judging experience covering products, hotels and have judged, for example, for Great Taste Awards and Scottish Baker of the Year.

Along the way Mark gained WSET Level 2 in Wine and I have WSET Level 2 in Spirits as well as picking up an award with The Scotsman Food and Drink Awards.    

Usually I can be found sleeping beside a cat.

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