Karaoke London: 13 of the best karaoke bars to release your inner diva in

Your mum was right, you really can be anyone you want to be (for around a tenner an hour)

Updated on 15 November 2019 • Written By Rosie Conroy

Karaoke London: 13 of the best karaoke bars to release your inner diva in

Recently we’ve been asking ourselves some pretty big existential questions, and we wanted to share our findings with you. Where exactly did Karaoke come from? There’s not enough known about the origins of this glorious past time for our liking, but it’s thought to have begun in Japan. The tale goes that a performer pulled out of doing a show one evening, and the owner of the bar where they were scheduled to appear decided to play music and invite the punters to come up and sing along to fill the silence. Pretty genius, we’re sure you agree. And so, the birth of a beautiful thing; a thing that we will be forever grateful for.

In true London style we’ve adopted this ritual and made it our own, having welcomed it with open arms (and lungs) since it landed on our shores. Now, we’re proud to say, the karaoke London has to offer is some of the best in the world. From low-lit, budget karaoke dens in Chinatown to all singing, all dancing KTV rooms in some of London’s coolest restaurants, there’s something for every occasion.

Most operate a price per head booking policy, meaning you can hire a room or area for an hour or two for your group, and lots come with the potential to order food and drink packages too. Because there’s nothing sadder in this world than being at the bar queuing for a drink and hearing your friends or colleagues singing your favourite tune, we’d recommend picking a spot that has a table service. This genius solution means the drinks come to you, and you don’t miss a second of the action.

We do have some bad news though, while we can deliver you the following list of the best karaoke bars in London, there’s nothing we can do about Karen from accounts insisting on always singing that Westlife duet on repeat. Enjoy.

The best Karaoke bars outside of Chinatown

If it’s Chinatown hot spots you’re after keep scrolling to our dedicated section at the bottom of the page, but if you’d prefer to frequent a different part of town the following few spots are for you. From East London to London Bridge, we’ve found the best Karaoke in London to be a far-reaching fascination with an option in nearly every neighbourhood.

Bao

Why: Bao first made its way onto our radar when we heard about the queues its small market stall was causing in East London. The team’s signature bao serves were a sell-out sensation which sparked five openings in just a few short years. The most recent address in the Bao portfolio is the Borough branch which comes with its very own KTV room. This magical, disco-lit space combines all your favourite western hits with a whole ream of Korean and Japanese pop to try if you’re feeling adventurous. Platters and sharing jugs of cocktails are available to add on to any package, making for an inviting, hospitable space that makes leaving at the end of your allocated time a bit of a struggle. Our advice? Book an hour more than you think you’ll need.
How much: £5pp per hour at lunchtime and £8pp at dinner per hour
Capacity: 6-14
Where: 13 Stoney Street, SE1 9AD

 

Brazen monkey

Why: Sometimes a night of karaoke calls for cheap drinks and a sticky floor, with a long list of chart-toppers on the box and enough microphones to go around the whole gang. Here, in this niche area, Brazen Monkey provides. With three venues - in Holborn, Archway and Leicester Square - and regular special offers, they cater for the mass market and with the ‘anything goes’ vibe nights here are always good fun.
How much: Between £16-75 per hour, depending on group size
Capacity: 4-100
Where: Various locations across London

 

The Karaoke Hole

Why: This east London hotspot for those in the know has become increasingly popular since it opened, but despite the crowds it’s still one of the best karaoke bars in the city. Differing from most of the other venues on our list, The Karaoke Hole (AKA the K-Hole to its friends) takes karaoke back to its glory years of it being a public performance. Each night the communal stage is graced by a drag queen who plays host for the evening, and brave sing stars are invited up on stage to perform in front of the packed bar. It probably goes without saying but The Karaoke Hole is also LGBTQ friendly, all and anyone is welcome here. Our favourite part is predictably centred around food. This special place finds its home above a Voodoo Ray’s and you’re allowed to order up pizza to keep your singing sustained throughout the night. Ideal. This is an over 21’s venue, so make sure you remember your ID.
How much: Entry is free on Thursdays, £5 on Fridays after 1pm and £10 on Saturdays after 10pm.
Capacity: Unknown
Where: 95 Kingsland High Street, E8 2PB

 

Lucky Voice

Why: Perhaps the most recognisable karaoke bar brand in London, Lucky Voice has three venues across the city to ensure wherever you find yourself you’re within easy reach of pelting out a few belters. If you happen to be outside of the big smoke there are also venues in Brighton, Cardiff and Dubai. All rooms come with a ‘thirsty’ button that allows you to summon service, and once your two-hour slot is up you can enjoy the atmosphere of the main bar area in each location. On weekends these spaces are filled with the sound of a live DJ and host photobooths so that you can take a quick snap with friends or colleagues before you stroll off singing into the night.
How much: Prices vary but are rates are typically around £7-11pp per hour
Capacity: up to 30
Where: Various locations across London

 

Karaoke Box

Why: Colourful they are not, but what Karaoke Box lack in interior design they make up for with a cracking list of absolute bangers. You can view their song list online before booking in with them which is always handy if you have a hard-core Spice Girls fan on your hands, or you simply must perform that obscure Bryan Adams duet with your bestie on their birthday. With a long list of drinks that includes cocktails, beers and wines, as well as a finger food selection and pizzas on offer, you’re sure to have a good time (despite the interesting beige theme).
How much: £24-220 per hour depending on party size and day
Capacity: 4-30
Where: Various locations across London

 

The Old Queen’s Head

Why: For a taste of the tropics your mind might not immediately skip to an old boozer in Islington, but the karaoke rooms in The Old Queen's Head have a rather striking bright red design with shadow palms and mountains overlaid for that retro sunset vibe. There are two rooms to choose from and you are free to bring between 10-50 people, making it ideal for bigger gatherings like birthday parties or hen dos. There’s a pretty varied music list too, which happily means you can cater to mixed groups easily.
How much: Free Sundays and Mondays, £20 per hour Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, and £150 for two hours on Fridays and Saturdays
Capacity: 10-50
Where: 44 Essex Road, N1 8LN

 

Star of Bethnal Green

Why: We’re not sure where the connection lies but there’s something about alcohol and karaoke that just works… Begin your evening in the bar at the Star of Bethnal Green before making your way to the karaoke rooms following some Dutch courage. This spot is actually powered by the team behind Lucky Voice, so you can expect a pretty professional line-up of songs, from current chart-toppers to old school classics. The room is hired on a private basis so you can let your guard down and get a few of your favourites off your chest without feeling shy. The only problem might be relinquishing the space once you’ve found your feet. That performance rush is real.
How much: £49 per hour Sunday to Thursday and £69 per hour on Fridays and Saturdays
Capacity: Up to 20 people
Where: 359 Bethnal Green Road, E2 6LG

 

All Star Lanes

Why: As the name might suggest, All Star Lanes is famed for its bowling before its known for its karaoke, but for us it’s the icing on the cake. The dedicated party rooms are decked out in cool large-print wallpaper and green leather banquette seating to help you get your all-important Instagram op, while the large TV and iPad-style control helps make things as simple as possible (which is always useful when you’re a couple of glasses of fizz down). For under a tenner per person you can enjoy a sing song at All Star Lanes, and if you’re feeling like really going to town you could always enjoy a few rounds of bowling and some burgers in the diner-style restaurant before or after your performance.
How much: Between £5-8.50pp per hour
Capacity: 1-14
Where: Various locations across London

 

Jidori Covent Garden

Why: Jidori is a pretty trendy Japanese restaurant in its own right and has added to its cool factor by tacking on a karaoke room to its offering. In order to bag this beauty of a space (the walls are lined with metallic fringing and the table is topped with brightly coloured patterns for full on party vibes) you’ll have to sign up to a tasting menu. This group deal sees you served a whole host of classic small plates for £44 per person, as well as full use of the room which is powered by Lucky Voice.
How much: £40pp for a tasting menu plus karaoke
Capacity: 8-12
Where: 15 Catherine Street, WC2B 5JZ

Karaoke Chinatown

It’s a little-known fact that Chinatown actually houses some of the best karaoke bars in London. A handful of the Chinese restaurants in Chinatown have their own rooms which you can hire to put on a few hours of entertainment before or after tucking into a feast of noodles, rice and roast meats. Below are our favourites, but we’d love to know if you frequent any hidden gems. Let us know on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter and we’ll add your suggestions to our roundup.

JinLi

Why: The karaoke rooms at JinLi masquerade behind a cavernous 100-cover restaurant which is regularly packed out with tourists and locals alike. Dive a little deeper and you’ll find the neon-lit karaoke rooms which offer up space for up to thirty people and include some of the latest TV tech, ensuring your night is a fun, up-beat evening where everyone gets a shot of the mic in your private space. Part of the joy here is also the food of course, so make sure to book a table for a pre- or post-performance pick me up.
How much: Price varies
Capacity: 5-30
Where: 4 Leicester Street, WC2H 7BL

 

Sugar Karaoke

Why: High end this is not, but fun it most definitely is. The slightly basic nature of the room (complete with spinning disco light ball) only adds to the feeling of letting your hair down - there’s going to be no posing necessary here. All focus is on the singing, with TVs taking centre stage in each of the karaoke rooms. For those who require sustenance before they sing, the team can organise a line-up of Chinese dishes, and to keep thirst at bay there is a full drinks list that covers all the favourites. As well as all the usual hits there is also a chunky selection of Chinese pop songs that gives this place an edge.
How much: Various
Capacity: Various
Where: 11 Wardour Street, W1D 6PG

 

Plum Valley

Why: What’s better than enjoying a Chinese feast with friends? Enjoying a Chinese feast with friends while singing along to a whole host of terrible, terrible tunes of course. Plum Valley provides the perfect venue for this unique combination, offering up four private karaoke rooms at its central London restaurant. As well as cooking up creations from China, the team here also serve up Japanese and Thai dishes, so there should be something to suit everyone.
How much: Various
Capacity: Various
Where: 20 Gerrard Street, W1D 6JQ

 

Imperial China

Why: Like your Michelin meal with a side of music? Imperial China are the karaoke venue for you. This high-end Chinese restaurant serves delicious dim sum and beautiful plates of noodles that are consistently recommended in the Michelin guide, but also houses secret karaoke rooms for excitable guests to expend some energy in. Each of the different options are offered on a private basis so that you can enjoy a quiet meal with friends, family or colleagues before busting out some tunes post-dinner.
How much: Set menus for the karaoke rooms cost from £38.80 per person and include three courses plus entertainment
Capacity: 10+
Where: White Bear Yard, 25A Lisle Street, WC2H 7BA

 

Looking to add to your repertoire of extracurricular London fun? Check out our round-up of the best mini golf places in the capital