The Best Bars in Clapham, London

Photo of Shay Waterworth
12 July 2017

Clapham is a young and vibrant area of London stereotyped as the home for recent grads, Aussies and rugby players. It’s therefore important for the young enthusiastic crowd to access a range of places to let off some steam, which leads naturally to some of the best bars and clubs in south London.

Inside Adventure bar on Clapham High street | ©Leigh Harries/Flickr

Adventure Bar

Restaurant, Bar, Cocktail Bar, American, $$$

There are two Adventure Bars in Clapham but the one on the high street explodes at night relying on neon lights and heavy DJs to keep the place ablaze. It’s exposed walls and impressive lighting create cool vibes and their dancing bartenders will supply your cocktails in plastic red cups and allow you to create shapes of your own.

Powder Keg Diplomacy

Restaurant, Bar, British, $$$
This modest looking bar just a short walk from Clapham Junction station is very easy to walk past, but it would be a cocktail crime to do so. Once you put a foot through the door you transport into a distant land filled with great vibes, random plants from every angle and amazing cocktails. The best room is in the Powder Keg Diplomacy is designed like an indoor veranda allowing natural light to shine down on their classy furniture. Be sure to try their Henry Martini Rifle for the ultimate gin satisfaction.

The SchoolHouse

Bar, Restaurant, British, $$$
The SchoolHouse is a quaint little bar near Clapham Junction that poses as an old school classroom interior amongst the grown up world. The bar has everything school themed from lab chairs to changing room benches that will remind you of your first PE class. They have a huge variety of bottled and draft beer on offer to enjoy and their cocktails come in chemistry beakers and test tubes accompanied with safety goggles if necessary. But when you walk in don’t forget to do the hopscotch on the floor and hang your jacket up with the lab coats!

Bar 366

Bar, Japanese, $$$
A lively evening at The Jam Tree
A lively evening at The Jam Tree | © The Jam Tree
Bar 366 is another cute bar near Clapham Junction that offers a tremendous array of cocktails and wines. Their softly comforting armchairs create a homely feel and their small area outside absorbs endless sunshine for some necessary hydration to take place. There is a very cosy atmosphere delivered by the homely furniture and anywhere with a real dear head mounted above a fireplace is worth a visit.

The Jam Tree

Bar, Restaurant, British, Vegetarian, Gluten-free, $$$
Inside the incredibly atmospheric Zahra Bar
Inside the incredibly atmospheric Zahra Bar | © Zahra
There are two Jam Trees in London and Clapham’s is particularly special. The bar has everything from DJs, to Chesterfields, to a secret restaurant hidden behind a bookshelf trapdoor. Throughout the summer they offer free hog roasts and student friendly happy hours which is good news for most of the city’s population. The jam theme runs throughout the bar it’s essential to have at least one shot from their cute little jam jars. Most importantly a good service and eloquently executed cocktails provides the formulae for one of the best all round nights in Clapham.


Bar, Middle Eastern, $$$
Middle eastern style digs are hard to come by in London but Zahra bar in Old Clapham Town is a fine example of a warm, authentic bar bursting with character. It’s candle lit to maintain the unique scents of the middle east and their unusual cocktails give the bar an extra kick of individuality which makes it a great place to take your friends for something a little different.

Fu Machu

Bar, Restaurant, Nightclub, Asian, Dim Sum, $$$
Everything in this bar is inspired by the fictional villain mastermind Fu Manchu including the lights, food and especially the cocktails with their devilish alcohol content. The bar turns into a small rave late at night with a low brick ceiling that hangs over the dance floor making it very easy to indulge in their Secret Essence of the Poppy Hill cocktail and embrace the unusual atmosphere.

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