Once known as the Concrete Jungle, Croydon today is the neighbourhood in London everyone wants to live in or at least visit. It has significantly changed over the years, and with its increasing popularity, the area has become a hype.
With its convenient location, many transport options, and fantastic shops, restaurants, and markets, Croydon is a must-visit during your stay in London. But one of the highlights are Croydon’s bars, attracting all kinds of crowds. Whether you prefer fancy cocktails, real ale or a glass of bubbly, Croydon has you covered.
Here are the 8 unmissable bars to check out in Croydon.
Best Bars in Croydon
Working place during the day, brunch spot on the weekends, and a cocktail bar with an innovative yet tasty menu at night. It’s no surprise people call The Store one of the best cocktail bars Croydon has to offer thirsty travellers. A husband and wife manage the venue in the South End of Croydon. Their approach brings together the fusion of fabulous cocktails and stunning decor.
The cocktail menu is relatively small but well designed, with a delicate balance of interesting combinations and flavours. The cocktail menu is so good it has created quite a buzz around this place and is definitely one of the draws for visitors.
The atmosphere of The Store hits you the moment you walk through the door. Large windows, gorgeous decor, and ambient lighting are perfectly put together to create a classy and vibrant interior design. If you want to enjoy the ambient atmosphere in a private group of 20 or so people, there is a space called The Green House.
The Store serves brunch every Friday and Saturday from 4pm. Besides the food, the menu includes numerous cocktails, coffee, soft drinks, and various bar snacks.
- Location: 73 South End Croydon, CR0 1BF
- Prices: Drinks £9.50-£11, Brunch £9-£13
- What they are known for: beautiful decor with ambient light, a relaxing vibe, occasional live music
Art & Craft
For high-quality craft beers, pass by Surrey Street Market. In a former Croydon Advertiser building, you will find a small cosy bar called Art & Craft. Besides their passion for beers and ciders, they have a surprisingly extensive and attractive cocktail and wine menu. Their selection constantly changes, so you definitely won’t get bored with tastes.
What makes the atmosphere is the staff – always welcoming, friendly and knowledgeable about offered selection. And the decor is something to write home about. Artwork displayed on the walls made by local and international artists (including the original Banksy!) will definitely get your attention.
Art & Craft is that place you go for when you want to escape the crowds and pop in for a pint or two. The place is small but lovely, stylish, and cosy, offering some outside seating as well.
- Location: 46 Surrey St, Croydon CR0 1RJ
- What they are known for: friendly and knowledgeable staff, craft beers
Slug & Lettuce Croydon
Cocktail bars in Croydon are many but this is one that everyone talks about. Right near East Croydon train station, the Slug & Lettuce Croydon perfect location attracts many hungry and thirsty passers-by. The relaxing atmosphere and delicious menu make this bar a great spot for after work drinks or catching up with friends.
The cocktail menu is extensive, with Porn Star Martini being the most popular. The highlight of the bar are their cocktail trees ideal for celebrations and excellent Instagram photos.
Slug and Lettuce also offers a variety of food, bottomless brunch and they also cater to vegan and vegetarian needs.
If afternoon tea is your thing, they serve one with a twist. It is called tipsy afternoon tea served with either two cocktails or two glasses of prosecco. If you are like competitions and fun games, why not join their cocktail making classes? You get to eat, drink, shake and compete for whole 90 minutes!
- Location: 10 Park Ln, Croydon CR0 1JA, United Kingdom
- Prices: Cocktails from £10.95
- What they are known for: cocktail trees, drink deals and afternoon tea
Basil & Grape
Even in Croydon, you can taste a bit of northern Italy. Basil & Grape is one of the best wine bars in Croydon for many reasons. Not only does the bar offer delicious pizzas but they serve a wine list of hand-picked wines, some of the best in the world.
The place’s owners constantly travel worldwide, tasting wine in different vineyards and looking for hidden wine gems worth bringing to London. If you are not a wine enthusiast (yet), do not worry! The staff is always friendly and ready to recommend the best option for your meal or occasion.
Love good deals? Basil & Grape offers special Wednesdays and Sundays when you get a free wine bottle of their House wine for every £35 spent on food.
If you don’t fancy wine, there are some tasty cocktails on offer. Try a classy drink Old Fashioned with a modern twist, and if you have a sweet tooth, go for Pichu Pichu or Strawberry&Basil Smash.
- Location: 46 George Street, Croydon CR0 1PB
- Prices: Drinks £8.50-£10, Vines £5.80-£70
- What they are known for: well-priced wine with plenty of choices, tasty pizza, and antipasti
Memory Box Cocktail Bar
South London comes to life at night and partygoers looking to show off their vocal skills head to Memory Box cocktail bar for late-night karaoke every Wednesday. This is one of the best cocktail bars in Croydon for late-night parties, cocktails, celebrations, or just catching up with friends and colleagues over a few drinks.
Memory Box has been a part of Croydon’s nightlife since 2017. It sits on the site of the former Caffé del Ponte on High Street. The co-owner Louise Sainsbury wanted to restore Croydon’s late-night economy by bringing in a novelty bar that will attract visitors until the wee hours of the morning. And his plan worked!
Guests get to enjoy the sounds of old-school R’n’B, disco and club classics. There is a variety of food to snack on while sipping one of their popular cocktails like Jessica Rabbit, Pornstar Martini, or Summer Loving. From pizza and pasta to steak and calamari, their delicious menu is ever so tempting.
- Location: 88 High St, Croydon CR0 1NA
- Price range: Pizza starts at £10.95
- What they are known for: late-night karaoke, celebrations, and lively atmosphere
Do you prefer a raw, energetic atmosphere? Boxpark is definitely not a place for posh, sophisticated cocktails. Rather than that, this area made out of shipping containers, brings together international cuisine and the beer on tap (or wine, if you fancy). Many locals know this place as one of London’s biggest food, culture, and social hubs.
If you are one of those groups where everyone has different tastes, this place is a perfect choice. But don’t get fooled! Boxpark serves you well even if you just want to hang out with your group, enjoy some beers or watch football.
Boxpark won’t remind you of the usual bar but is more like a substantial modern food court with a transparent roof. There is a bunch of events, from dance raves, World Cup screenings, karaoke, lip-sync battles, Monday quizzes, and even panel talks.
- Location: 99 George St, Croydon CR0 1LD
- Prices: starting at £5 upwards
- What they are known for: unique outdoor atmosphere, international cuisine
Also Read: Best Bars & Pubs in Peckham
Playground Cocktail Bar
There are tons of cocktail bars Croydon has to offer visitors. If you are on the hunt for both tasty and good-looking drinks, go to Playground Cocktail Bar! Even though they currently do not serve all the experimental cocktails served in a camera lens or the ones with Fizz Wizz they were known for, they still have much to offer.
If you are more of a classy drinker, a safe choice is Cosmopolitan or Long Island Iced Tea (only for the brave ones), and if you want to bring some tropical vibes to rainy London, get yourself Banana – Rama or Pina Colada. Music in here is something to brag about as well! Dress up and enjoy the world-famous RnB and soul hits from the 80s and 90s! The place is open until 2am on Fridays and Saturdays, but after 10pm, it can get pretty packed, so you better book your table ahead.
- Location: 63 S End, Croydon CR0 1BF
- Prices: Drinks £9
- What they are known for: great music, tasty and cheap cocktails
The Dutchie is a famous bar and restaurant in Croydon, offering traditional Caribbean dishes and drinks. It’s an authentic Caribbean joint featuring Caribbean ambiance and music too. Their tropical drinks are highly recommended, starting with the classic Mojito to Hurricaine Gilbert and Bob Marley, these cocktails are available all day, every day.
The family-owned and operated bar attracts not only tourists and locals from the Caribbean, but they are open to one and all. Their extensive food menu includes mouthwatering dishes full of flavors from the Caribbean. Make sure to call in advance if you wish a special set up, or order takeaway.
- Location: 3 The Arcade, 32-34, High Street, Croydon
- Prices: Cocktails from £8.95
- What they are known for: Caribbean food and drinks
Read More: Best Restaurants in Croydon
Whether you are looking for great Croydon’s wine bars or you are more in the mood for some cocktails, this area is perfect for girls’ night out or friends’ gatherings.
Unfortunately, if you want to spend your night in some of the high-end gay bars, Croydon is not the place. Gay bars in Croydon are in decline and you will need to head to central London, especially Soho. We hope one of the Croydon bars and places mentioned above will fit your needs.