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21 Bar Snacks In London That Will Soak Up Your Booze

Because you deserve better than a few questionable nuts.

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1. A Scotch egg at The Princess Victoria

Instagram: @thepv

This glorious pub used to be a Victorian gin palace, so they're already on my good side. Luckily they still serve gin, and a wide array of delicious bar snacks to go alongside it (FYI, the proper food here is really, really good too). The Scotch eggs are particularly well done – they have magic runny yolks – but they have loads of other goodies too, like beef scrumpet and quails eggs with celery salt.

Price: £5.90

Location: Shepherd's Bush

2. An Italian sharing platter at Aperitivo at the OC

Instagram: @aperitivo_oc

A truly lovely little gin bar that's hidden on top of the Oliver Conquest pub. The best part about this place is the wonderful staff (shout-out to Sarah-Jane and David, who are both total dreamboats), the excellent Negronis (I don't even like Negronis, but I like their Negronis) and the FREE SHARING PLATTERS OF ANTIPASTO. Yeah, you read that right. These guys don't just throw some nuts your way. You get free sharing platters of beautiful Italian antipasto with your drinks here.

Price: free

Location: Aldgate East

3. Olives at Dukes Bar

Instagram: @innavation

Turns out olives aren't just for Martinis. Dukes Bar, the illustrious spot that Ian Fleming reportedly found inspiration for James Bond's martini, serves some of the best olives in London (Nocellara, of course) alongside its cocktails. Plump and vibrant green, they're great both in your martini and out of it.

Price: Free

Location: Green Park


4. Coq 'n' Balls at Joe's Southern Kitchen

Facebook: JoesSouthernKitchenNW5

Diner-style restaurant Joe's Kitchen is also home to a cracking bar: The Earl Grey tea old-fashioned makes me happy in ways I can't articulate. Which is why if you're there for a few cocktails (happy hour runs 4 to 6.30pm), you should get the best of both worlds with some bar snacks on the side.

The fried chicken wings, artichoke dip, and corn bread are all drool-worthy, but it's the Coq 'n' Balls that have won my heart (yes, I heard it too). Fried chicken cheese balls served with hot sauce? Yes. Please.

Price: £4

Location: Covent Garden and Kentish Town

5. A fresh ginger curd and magnolia salad at Sager + Wilde Restaurant

Instagram: @sagerandwilderestaurant

If all the beer sticks and fried bar snacks are getting the best of you, head to Sager + Wilde. An airy, chic wine bar and restaurant in East London, they do a bar snack menu filled with greenery, like the Jerusalem artichokes and caramelised yoghurt, bran-roasted carrots, and the tart, fresh magnolia flower and ginger curd salad.

Or, you could forget all that and just order the fried pork skins. No judgement.

Price: £6

Location: Bethnal Green

6. A can of popcorn at Cahoots

Instagram: @raven__rae

Tallyho, old chaps. Cahoots is a secret underground bar, done up like a 1940s tube station. If you manage to get into the bar – they have a charming doorman (Lewis, yet another dreamboat) who won't let anyone in without the top secret password – they serve freshly popped popcorn in vintage cans with all their drinks. Spiffing, eh?

Price: free

Location: Carnaby

7. Beer sticks at London Beer Dispensary

Twitter: @LDNDispensary

The pub without a bar, this spot is down-to-earth and knows their beer. The guys pull you pints direct from big casks stacked against the walls, while chatting you through the beer. They also have a lot of beer sticks on hand to go with the beer, because sometimes that's really all you need.

Price: £1.20

Location: Crofton Park


8. Padron peppers at The Empress

Twitter: @cecilbasil

When you get sick of olives, head over the The Empress and grab some of their incredible Padron peppers. This spacious Victorian pub has Elliott Lidstone in the kitchen – he's got 12 years experience working in Michelin-starred kitchens, nbd – and the bar food is the stuff of dreams. They get their meat from the Ginger Pig (you need to try the rillettes) and they triple-cook their chips. Anyone who triple-cooks their chips is a good egg.

Price: £5

Location: Victoria Park

9. Smoked sausages at Mr Fogg's Gin Parlour

Johnny S Photography

A little while ago, I went on a gin crawl. At Mr Fogg's (bar no. 6 on the route), we had these little sausage slices in a bowl. I was five cocktails deep, but the first moment I tasted those sweet, sweet sausage slices I knew: I had discovered true happiness.

Basically, these sausage slices are amazing, and I highly recommend them.

Price: £5

Location: Chinatown

10. Tapas at El Nivel!gallery/crrl

El Nivel is a hidden bar that sits just above La Perla bar. Both bars are owned by Tomas Estes – the International Tequila Ambassador for the National Chamber of the Tequila Industry (casual). It's the best bar for tequila and mezcal in the city, if not the whole country.

They also happen to serve some of the most beautiful tapas in town, which can be delivered direct to the bar.

Price: £5 and up

Location: Covent Garden

11. Caol ila Smoky Peated Pate at Worship Street Whistling Shop

Facebook: Worship

Whistling Shop is a boozy place full of boozy drinks, and their bar snacks carry on that theme. Their jalapeños come pickled in tequila, the olives are marinated in gin and their tomatoes are done "Bloody Mary" style. My pick is the pâté, because I bloody love pâté – and this one comes enriched with a stunningly peaty whisky from the Isle of Islay.

Price: £8.50

Location: Shoreditch


12. Popcorn cockles at Old Tom & English

One of my favourite bars in London, Old Tom & English is a sultry bar that's hidden under the streets of Soho. The cocktails are great (the smoked old-fashioned is a must), and the bar snacks equally so. They have triple-cooked chips that are my go-to staple, but their signature snack is the popcorn cockles – deep-fried cockles. They sound weird, but taste delicious. Like British seaside trips and Friday night fish and chips.

Price: £5

Location: Soho

13. A threesome at Mark's Bar

Facebook: HIX

Mark's Bar lies under the super popular Hix restaurant, and their bar snacks come directly from the restaurant's excellent kitchen. The secret to good bar snacks, I'm learning, is to find a bar that's attached to a really good restaurant.

There are loads of tasty bar snacks on the menu, so the best thing to do is get their threesome offer – three bar snacks for a tenner. FYI, my picks would be the Holy Fucked chicken wings, crispy salmon skin with whipped smoke salmon, and the crispy pork crackling.

Price: £10

Location: Soho

14. Short rib nuggets at Hawksmoor Spitalfields

Let me tell you something: You have not known true joy until you've bitten into a crispy nugget and discovered that instead of processed chicken, it's full of succulent beef short rib. Especially when you're three cocktails down and have kimchee ketchup to dip them into.

Price: £7

Location: Spitalfields

15. Buttermilk fried chicken & pine salt at Clove Club

Paul Winch-furness

This fancy bar and restaurant lives in Shoreditch Town Hall – which was built in 1865. FYI, their Edwardian toilets are so old, they're protected by the National Trust. The bar food is equally as fancy, with flame-cured mackerel sashimi and venison sausages on the menu. I'd go for the fried chicken with pine salt though – it's the fanciest fried chicken you'll ever have.

Price: £7.50

Location: Shoreditch


16. Mac 'n' Cheese at Blind Pig

Instagram: @petite

Cocktail bar Blind Pig sits smack bang on top of Jason Atherton's famous restaurant Social Eating House. So, the snacks there come straight from the Michelin-starred kitchen, and are SO DELICIOUS. They're still pricey as far as bar snacks go, but bloody hell, they're worth it. Plus, I just think of it as gaming the system – Michelin-starred food for less than a tenner.

My favourite is and always will be the mac 'n' cheese, but really, you can't go wrong with anything on the menu.

Price: £8

Location: Soho

17. Deep fried mac 'n' cheese at Meat Liquor

Instagram: @meatliquorsin

There are some people who say I love mac 'n' cheese too much. But they are wrong. I love mac 'n' cheese the right amount; it's deep fried mac 'n' cheese that I'm in an unhealthy relationship with (on so many levels). Meat Liquor do amazing dirty burgers and fried chicken in their restaurant, but it's a side of deep-fried mac 'n' cheese served at the bar that I just can't quit.

Price: £5.50

Location: Covent Garden, Hoxton, Brixton, pretty much everywhere really.

18. Croquettes at The Drapers Arms

Facebook: The

The Drapers Arms is a truly lovely pub with a much-lauded restaurant attached, and the bar food reflects that. The snacks change regularly, but there's usually some croquettes to be had, peppered with things like ham hock and salt cod. The crispy pigs ears are also a proper treat if you can nab some.

Price: £4.50

Location: Islington

19. A mixed snacks tray at Donovan's Bar

Instagram: @nychriskann

Donovan's at the five-starred Brown's Hotel is a seriously beautiful bar. They also give you a little tray of mixed snacks with your drink, including olives, mixed nuts, and a little something special. If you need something proper to soak up the booze though, don't worry – the bar snacks menu has been created by Hix, and the same three for £10 deal stands.

Price: free

Location: Mayfair

20. Sausage rolls at Zetter Townhouse

Facebook: thezettertownhouse

Zetter Townhouse's cocktail bar looks like it was put together by someone's eccentric great-aunt (the guys at the bar have nicknamed her Wilhelmina), but the food is anything but. Their bar menu is full of simple classics that have been done very, very well – the sausage rolls are my favourite, though if you're looking for something a bit more out there, they also do old-fashioned-cured smoked salmon.

Price: £4

Location: Clerkenwell

21. Lemon sole goujons at Satan's Whiskers

Instagram: @p

It looks like a dive bar on the outside, but it is actually one of the best cocktail bars in London. Satan's Whiskers is a neighbourhood joint that doesn't take itself too seriously and serves killer cocktails and excellent bar snacks to match. The sole goujons are great, but if you're more a meat eater, I'd go for the baby back ribs drizzled in Satan's marinade. They're devilishly good.

Price: £5.50

Location: Bethnal Green