A Nightlife Guide to Camden, London

The Electric Ballroom in Camden is a great place to catch a live band
The Electric Ballroom in Camden is a great place to catch a live band | © Roger Garfield / Alamy Stock Photo

As the cradle of counterculture and the home of loads of live music, Camden is the perfect place for a lively night out in London. From bars and pubs to nightclubs and music venues, here’s a guide to nightlife in Camden.

Nightclubs and live music

1. Electric Ballroom, London

Restaurant, Nightclub, Street Food

Electric Ballroom, Camden, London
© Andrew Spiers / Alamy Stock Photo
Electric Ballroom has been at the heart of Camden’s music scene since the 1930s. It’s located on Camden High Street, just one minute’s walk from Camden Town tube station. You can catch both up-and-coming and big name artists here. On Saturday nights the venue hosts a weekly indie rock party, Propaganda, until 3am.

2. Camden Underworld

Pub, Nightclub, Pub Grub

The Worlds End Pub and Underworld music venue in Camden, London
© Andrew Spiers / Alamy Stock Photo
Camden Underworld is a music venue in the basement of The World’s End, a pub that’s been a stalwart of Camden High Street for hundreds of years. This is the go-to spot for the alt crowd – expect a heavy programme of metal, punk, screamo and everything in between. Head here on Friday and Saturday nights for rock music you can dance the night away to.

3. KOKO

Concert Hall, Music Venue, Theatre, Building

KOKO, Camden Town, London
© Jansos / Alamy Stock Photo
KOKO first opened as the Camden Theatre in 1900 and has since been known by many other names, including The Music Machine and Camden Palace. Now operating as a live music venue and nightclub, KOKO brings new flavours to Camden’s historically rock-heavy music scene, hosting grime artists, soul nights and a big hip-hop bash every Friday. With a capacity of almost 1,500, it’s one of the biggest clubs in London.

4. Jazz Café

Concert Hall, Music Venue

Jazz Café, Camden Town, London
© Jeffrey Blackler / Alamy Stock Photo

The London home of soul, jazz and disco, the Jazz Café is one of Camden’s most iconic venues. It has previously welcomed the likes of Amy Winehouse and Bobby Womack, and continues to host local and international stars in an intimate setting. With live music seven nights a week, there’s never a bad time to go; if you’re looking to dance the night away, a soul-themed club night takes over at the weekends.

5. King's Club at Shaka Zulu

Nightclub, Restaurant, Market, African, South African

Shaka Zulu
© MarkKent/flickr

Injecting some opulence into rough-and-ready Camden, King’s Club at South African restaurant Shaka Zulu is a huge nightclub situated above Stables Market. Saturday nights see circus performers, from contortionists to fire breathers, entertaining the club’s stylish crowd.

6. FEST

Nightclub, Restaurant, British

Taking over from Camden’s Proud, Fest is a club and restaurant housed in a 200-year-old former horse hospital in Stables Market. Visit for the cabaret club, the cinema and the heated rooftop.

Pubs and bars

7. The Hawley Arms, London

Pub, Pub Grub

The Hawley Arms, Camden, London
© KEITH MAYHEW / Alamy Stock Photo
Despite being famed for its unruly clientele, The Hawley is not one to be missed. With hearty English food on the menu and a large selection of drinks on offer, this famous pub remains a favourite with the locals. Amy Winehouse frequented the pub on a number of occasions and tributes to her adorn the pub, adding a touch of personality to this North London drinking spot.

8. Fifty Five Bar

Bar, British

Fifty Five Bar, with 200 different cocktails on offer, stakes a convincing claim for Camden’s cocktail crown. This is the perfect spot for happy hour (did someone say two-for-one cocktails?) or to kick off a big night out. Beware: it gets loud.

9. The Assembly House, London

Pub, Pub Grub

The Assembly House, Camden, London
© Fotomaton / Alamy Stock Photo
Formerly known as The Barfly, over the years this intimate venue has welcomed all the greats, including Coldplay, Franz Ferdinand and Muse. Even if you’re not seeing a gig, it’s a cool hangout spot with a great menu.

10. The Blues Kitchen, Camden High Street

Bar, Nightclub, Pub, Restaurant, American, European

Camden’s rock ‘n’ roll restaurant, The Blues Kitchen is not only a great spot for American diner fare, it also hosts live bands and DJs every day of the week. Head here for your fill of blues, soul, country and folk.

11. Lockside Camden

Bar, Restaurant, American, Mexican

Lockside
© Nathaniel Noir / Alamy Stock Photo

Lockside is a bar and terrace overlooking Camden’s famous lock, and at weekends it’s the place to be if you’re after hip-hop and R&B. There’s also a weekly karaoke night, a full bar and a menu of delicious American and Mexican dishes, perfect if you’re after unfussy food and an unpretentious night out.

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