There was once a time when the phrase ‘wine bar’, for many of us, conjured images of knackered carpets and easy listening jazz compilations. The wine bars of the eighties were a funny lot - sepia-stained and tobacco-fumed. Often they were upmarket pubs where the walls and bars were slightly less sticky. Though they are remembered fondly for many a boozy working lunch, the concept somewhat died in the new millennium.
But from the ashes, a new generation of wine bars has sprouted, and is slowly wrapping its tendrils around the trendier parts of London. The wine bars of old weren’t really concerned with wine itself, but the new generation are the domain of the wine-obsessed - they import rare wines from all over the globe, picking unknown winemakers from obscurity and showing their bottles to a crowd of connoisseurs who are all too ready to expand their culinary horizons.
Truth be told, London wine bars and restaurants have taken great inspiration from our European neighbours in the intervening years. Excellent wine is just one part of the equation - what separates great wine bars on the continent is the outstanding, effortless food that unites with wine to become something greater than the sum of the parts. In Noble Rot, 40 Maltby Street and Primeur, London has a quartet of wine bars that can also count themselves among the best restaurants in the city, and there’s not a prawn cocktail in sight.
East London has been the test bed for the wine bar regeneration, but now there are small eateries appearing all over the capital with carefully-curated wine lists and compact menus. We’ve rounded up some of our favourites here - yes, admittedly, some are stretching the true definition of a wine bar, but the lines are much more blurred than they used to be and we’re confident that if you’re looking for good wine you won’t be disappointed with any of these.
Best wine bars in Central London
You never know when you might find yourself feeling a bit parched somewhere in Central London. The list below covers a pretty wide area (London is quite big isn't it), but hopefully you'll find something for everyone below, from the whitewash of St John Smithfield to old-school, wood-panelled boozers like Champagne Charlies.
Quality Wines, Farringdon
What: Quality Chop House has been a consistent high performer in London for years, so this wine bar offshoot was always bound to happen. Quality Wines does everything the Chop House does, and just as well - the wines are first-rate and the food is truly special, even for London standards. Chef Nick Bramham manages to turn out clever riffs on Mediterranean classics on an oft-changing menu, but everything hits the mark. When a wine bar serves food this good, where does the line between restaurant and wine bar truly lie?
Where: 88 Farringdon Road, Farringdon, London, EC1R 3EA
Book now: Quality Wines
St John Smithfield, Farringdon
What: Fergus Henderson's timeless Smithfield restaurant famously ushered in a new era of nose-to-tail eating, but it was also a legitimate trailblazer in the wine stakes too - Henderson and business partner Trevor Gulliver went to great efforts to work directly with French winemakers in the restaurant's early days. You can still head to the original Smithfield restaurant for a good tipple - stop just short of the whitewashed restaurant itself and grab a table in the bar where you can enjoy some bar snacks and excellent St John wines by the glass.
Where: 26 St John Street, Farringdon, London, EC1M 4AY
Book now: St John Smithfield
Vinoteca Farringdon, Farringdon
What: The original Vinoteca has been one of London's best wine bars since 2005 and shows no signs of letting up now, despite the growing number of pretenders to the throne. The 200-strong wine list takes you on a grand tour of the winemaking world, all helpfully categorised with annotations, whilst the small plates and bar snacks menu also has excellent recommendations for every single dish. It speaks to the quality of the experience at Vinoteca that it remains popular, despite the calibre of London's newer openings.
Where: 7 St John Street, Farringdon, London, EC1M 4AA
Book now: Vinoteca Farringdon
Noble Rot, Bloomsbury
What: Keenly priced but dripping with top-drawer sourcing, Noble Rot’s one-of-a-kind wine list stems from owners who are also responsible for the titular cult wine magazine of the same name. Its culinary credentials aren’t bad either - there's serious skill involved in pulling off dishes like slipsole with smoked butter, and confit lamb's tongue with rocket and green sauce. There's plenty available for well under £20, and the set lunch menu remains one of the best value meals in London. The wine list is stuffed full of rarities and bargains too, and staff are only too happy to guide you.
Where: 51 Lamb's Conduit Street, Bloomsbury, London, WC1N 3NB
Book now: Noble Rot
28°-50° Marylebone, Marylebone
What: Chic 28°-50° is a haven for oenophiles who can sample over 30 wines by the glass or carafe as well as choosing from a bespoke ‘collector’s list’ gleaned from private cellars at greatly reduced mark-ups. Attention has been paid to details and service is excellent. To eat, try exemplary foie gras terrine or a punchy gazpacho served over an olive and cucumber salad, before tackling a meltingly tender onglet or a rich Icelandic fish stew with chunks of cod and potato in a velvety béarnaise sauce. Otherwise, sharing plates, rock oysters and La Fromagerie cheeses encourage more casual grazing. A striking central bar provides focus in the airy dining space, while the more intimate basement boasts an open kitchen.
Where: 15-17 Marylebone Lane, Marylebone, London, W1U 2NE
Book now: 28°-50° Marylebone
Champagne Charlies, Charing Cross
What: Part of the dependable Davy’s stable, this sprawling basement bar in the arches beneath Charing Cross station features the group’s signature styling with sawdust floors, wood panelling, exposed brick and antiquarian knick-knacks. As the name suggests, there’s a range of fizz on the wine list – from reasonably priced Davy’s Célébration NV to Roederer’s Cristal at £200 – alongside interesting international reds and whites, bolstered by quality own-label bottles. Ports, sherries and Madeira feature too, while draft ales such as Old Wallop will please beer buffs. A revamped menu emphasises classic British dishes: think roast cod with caper mash, grilled chicken club or bangers and mash with Madeira gravy. Cooking doesn’t disappoint and swift service keeps local workers happy.
Where: 17 The Arches, Charing Cross, London, WC2N 6NG
Book now: Champagne Charlies
Hithe + Seek, The City
What: Wine and food are paired in perfect harmony at this internationally-inspired wine and cocktail bar. The wine menu is extensive and split into two sections: a more approachable selection under 'Hithe', and a range for those brave enough to try something new under 'Seek'. The food menu meanwhile, features a selection of innovative small plates with a wine pairing to match eat dish. Think braised pork belly bao buns, grilled Galacian octopus with forbedden rice and saffron aioli, and chickpea panisse with aubergine, courgette and harissa. Enjoy a couple of wines by the glass or go the whole hog with the full food and wine experience.
Where: 60 Upper Thames Street, EC4V 3AD
Book now: Hithe + Seek
What: Up a flight of stairs, Antidote’s sparse dining area feels far away from the bustling wine bar below, where aficionados can sup and swirl their way through an extensive array of natural and biodynamic bottles. The food is attention-grabbing stuff, driven by carefully sourced ingredients. After you've feasted on small plates, head back downstairs to soak up the atmosphere in the bar, and perhaps a cheese course.
Where: 12a Newburgh Street, Soho, London, W1F 7RR
Book now: Antidote
Noble Rot Soho, Soho
What: There was much sadness when The Gay Hussar closed it's doors in 2018 - the Hungarian restaurant had been a fixture of Soho life for 65 years. Thankfully, a new London institution inherited the famous Greek Street location, as Noble Rot Soho was born in it's place. The original is one of London's new elite - a place to enjoy some of the best food and wine in the capital - and there are nods to the Hussar all over, from reimagined dishes on the menu to art on the walls. The wine, meanwhile, spans the globe, and Noble Rot offers a huge range of wines by the glass in both 125ml and 75ml tasters.
Where: 2 Greek Street, Soho, London, W1D 4NB
Book now: Noble Rot Soho
Le Bar, Smithfield
What: Lovers of all things Gallic should swing by Club Gascon's 'Le Bar', a sophisticated cocktail bar offering French small plates. The menu is proudly regionalist, with a great line in charcuterie and artisan cheese: pick from snacks of pig’s trotter cake and truffled cheese baguette, or go for heartier options, such as oyster, mushroom and black pudding salad, or foie gras with mussels. The express lunch menu remains a steal for a dish of the day, plus a starter, glass of wine and pudding such as baked brandy custard. Other deals, including monthly wine dinners and oyster evenings, are also well worth considering.
Where: 59 West Smithfield, Smithfield, London, EC1A 9DS
Book now: Le Bar
Blandford Comptoir, Marylebone
What: Xavier Rousset was once the toast of the town when he was at the helm of 28°-50° some years ago. He left the business in 2019 to take a year out, but has since returned with new vigour for London to found Blandford Comptoir and Cabotte (which also features in this list). Blandford Comptoir combines Xavier's master sommelier experience and knowledge with a community vibe - customers are encouraged to share their thoughts on wines and suggest new bottles for the list. A delicious menu of easy Mediterranean food contributes to the casual, informal atmosphere.
Where: 1 Blandford Street, Marylebone, London, W1U 3DA
Book now: Blandford Comptoir
Gordon's Wine Bar, Embankment
What: When Gordon’s first opened, talk over the claret or hock might have turned to Van Gogh’s death, Tchaikovsky’s new ballet or the opening of the Forth Bridge. More than 120 years down the line, it’s remarkable that this bar is still going strong. Crepuscular, candlelit cellars will appeal to those who value raffish character above clean-lined corporate clones. Good for a first date, a tête-à-tête or Merlot with your mates, the wine list offers great value at around £20: crisp Portuguese rosado, Muscat from Bulgaria, cava, Marlborough Sauvignon, sherries and ports aplenty. Gordon’s is open for breakfast, but its lunchtime spread is the big draw for office workers, tourists and nostalgia geeks: cold cuts, bakes, winter-warmer pies and summery salads have distinctly retro appeal at this sepia-toned charmer.
Where: 47 Villiers Street, Embankment, London, WC2N 6NE
Book now: Gordon's Wine Bar
Davy's at St James's, St. James's
What: With its restrained, dark-hued ambience, this branch of the trusted Davy’s chain is a popular haunt for the pinstriped brigade. Despite its proximity to St James’s Palace, prices here are good enough to suit parsimonious republicans: around £25 bags a cracking Rioja Crianza or Davy’s own deeply sinkable Pinot Grigio from a cannily collated list that includes three dozen by the glass and peaks with a patrician Chassagne-Montrachet at £75. To eat, Davy’s egalitarian nosh includes duck liver pâté, followed by 28-day aged steak, for example. And there are tankards of Davy’s Old Wallop or Whitstable Oyster Ale, too.
Where: Crown Passage Vaults, Pall Mall, St. James's, London, SW1Y 6QY
Book now: Davy's at St James's
Enoteca da Luca Guildhall, City of London
What: Each of these attractive wine bars has its own distinct character and menu but the house style, which simply relies on great Italian ingredients and wines, should bring out the Latin lover in everyone. Dotted around the City with a further outpost in Mayfair, they’re ideal stop-off points for seriously tempting platters of antipasti and cheese, as well as beautifully prepared, tapas-sized sharing plates. Think octopus, chorizo and Jerusalem artichoke, or burrata with pickled beetroot and curly kale, embellished with a touch of honeycomb for sweetness. If you’re not one for sharing, don't despair: you can hog the slow-cooked pig cheeks with soft polenta and parmesan crisps for yourself, washing it down with a little Tignanello and leaving with a smile on your face.
Where: 10-12 Basinghall Street, City of London, London, EC2V 5BQ
Book now: Enoteca da Luca Guildhall
Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels Seven Dials, Covent Garden
What: If your wine tastes are unashamedly Gallic, head on over to Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels in Seven Dials for a list of French wines to swoon over. The cosy interior is spread over two floors (upstairs is more spacious) with plump cushions, divans, low tables and sparkling candlelight - the perfect atmosphere for enjoying big brash Bordeaux and delicate, flinty white Burgundies in equal measure. If you really fancy yourself as a oenophile, Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels also have a mystery wine on the menu - if you can guess what it is, you win a bottle to take away.
Where: 8-10 Neal’s Yard, Covent Garden, London, WC2H 9DP
Book now: Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels Seven Dials
The Bunghole Cellars, Holborn
What: A traditionally styled Davy’s bar, Holborn’s Bunghole is a popular choice for lovers of decent wine and alpha-British cooking. It takes particular pride in its steak, offering no fewer than seven cuts of grass-fed beef (each with its own detailed description), served with hand cut triple cooked chips. Elsewhere, expect king prawn and crab linguine with tomato, chilli and garlic – even hot beef sarnies. Open with duck liver pâté with toasted sourdough or smoked salmon; round off with a nursery treat – perhaps Bramley apple and blackberry crumble with custard. Tankards, ale casks and sawdust-strewn floors lend the space a warm, antiquated feel, and Davy’s can be relied upon to have a well-stocked wine cellar, with plenty from the Old and New Worlds, and almost everything available by the glass.
Where: 57 High Holborn, Holborn, London, WC1V 6DT
Book now: The Bunghole Cellars
Davy's at Plantation Place, City of London
What: Perfunctory Victorian decor is juxtaposed with the modernist building at this popular City wine bar-cum-restaurant. Having racked up over 150 years’ experience as wine merchants, Davy’s can be depended on to deliver. A selection of more than 50 by-the-glass tipples covers everything from frisky Chilean whites to sturdy French stalwarts – viscous, velvety Vacqueyras, say – as well as Champagne from £50 or so per bottle. Graze on tapas-sized savouries (black pudding Scotch egg, for instance, or mushrooms on toast with walnut pesto); alternatively, order sharing boards, burgers and steaks, fritto misto, or main course portions of bangers and mash with Madeira gravy. There’s posset, tarts and cheeses for afters – and private rooms if a party’s on the cards.
Where: Unit 8, Plantation Place, City of London, London, EC3R 7BD
Book now: Davy's at Plantation Place
Bar Crispin, Soho
What: Bar Crispin is the younger sibling to Crispin in Spitalfields - whilst the latter is primarily a restaurant, the former puts wines firmly in the spotlight. In-house sommelier Alex Price (formerly of Beaverbrook and Annabel's) has focused the 150-strong wine list on old world and indigenous grape varieties as well as indie producers and natural wines. The food menu is broadly European with an emphasis on seasonal produce. With wine tastings, unique events with winemakers and importers, guest chefs and more, there's always something good happening at Bar Crispin.
Where: 19 Kingly Street, Soho, London, W1B 5PY
Book now: Bar Crispin
Crusting Pipe, Covent Garden
What: Named after an antiquated method of making port, the Crusting Pipe is part of the Davy’s portfolio, a group noted for its quality and value – especially where wines are concerned. In quasi-Dickensian surroundings, there’s plenty of oenophile interest around the £20 mark (Kiwi Sauvignon Blanc, Alsace Pinot and Castilian rosé) or you can trade up to vieilles vignes such as Châteauneuf du Pâpe. Food is a familiar mix of brasserie, trattoria and country pub (think superfood salad with grilled halloumi or bangers and mash). A lighter menu is served in the courtyard where musicians and magicians complete ‘ye olde Nell Gwynne experience’ over afternoon tea.
Where: 27 The Market, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 8RD
Book now: Crusting Pipe
Cabotte, City of London
What: With not just one but two master sommeliers at the helm (Xavier Rousset and Gearoid Devaney), Cabotte has a serious pedigree. Cabotte is a love-letter to the wines of France, particularly the region of Burgundy which retains legitimate consideration as the finest and most historic wine-making region in the world. As such, there are some very serious wines on the list here, but fear not if you're easily overawed - there's a handy shortlist that will guide you in the right direction. Food is the domain of Ed Boarland (formerly of The Waterside Inn and Restaurant Gordon Ramsay), who plots a course through classic French cookery - think oeuf en meurette (duck egg in red wine sauce) and veal sweetbread and calves brain with pomme puree and smoked bacon sauce.
Where: 48 Gresham Street, City of London, London, EC2V 7AY
Book now: Cabotte
Best wine bars in East London
East London has been a hotbed for new talent in the food and wine stakes - you'll find all of the hotly tipped Noble Fine Liquor stable here, as well as cult favourites like The Laughing Heart and Sager + Wilde. Expect plenty of low-intervention and natural wine options, as well as some of the best food in the city.
Sager + Wilde, Bethnal Green
What: Sager + Wilde was among London's early bird wine bar trend setters, and it's fantastic to see what this (and the sister site on Hackney Road) have become over the last few years. The wine selection and atmosphere have always been superb, but in recent years Sager + Wilde has transformed itself into a proper restaurant that makes one of the best plates of pasta anywhere in London. On top of that, you can get a plate of pasta and a glass of house wine for £12 on most weekday lunchtimes and evenings, which qualifies as an absolute mega-bargain.
Where: 250 Paradise Row, Bethnal Green, London, E2 9LE
Book now: Sager + Wilde
Passione Vino, Shoreditch
What: This indie wine store in Shoreditch was already beloved thanks to the thoughtful wine buying of sommelier owner Luca Dusi, but Passione Vino added casual dining to its offering in 2021 as well. Chef Pascal Lazzarotto worked at Lyle's and Broadway Market's Hill & Szrok before taking over at Passione Vino, and he cooks quintessential Venetian classics here - bigoli with duck ragu, baccala mantecato (whipped cod served on thin slices of crisp polenta), and beautiful polpette made from feather blade of beef. Meanwhile, Luca focuses on lesser known Italian producers and grapes, delving deep into his extensive knowledge to find the right wine for you - there's no list here, just tell Luca what you're looking for and he'll find something to suit.
Where: 85 Leonard Street, Shoreditch, London, EC2A 4QS
Book now: Passione Vino
What: Between Acqua7, Newcomer Wines, Weino Bib, Slurp and more, you're really spoilt for choice if you're looking for a nice glass of something in Dalston. One could write a dissertation on how this little corner of London became such a hot bed of wine talent, but it has been for some time now, and Acqua7 has been here for the long haul, not just pouring glasses but also hosting events, kitchen takeovers and exhibitions to support local artists. The wine list focuses on Italy for the most part, served with a simple menu of cheese, charcuterie and antipasti.
Where: 7 Balls Pond Road, Dalston, London, N1 4AX
Book now: Acqua7
Traders Wine Bar, St Katherine Docks
What: Overlooking the picturesque Central Basin near Tower Bridge, Traders is an independent wine shop, café, bar and tasting room from the crew behind Pall Mall Fine Wine and Shepherd Market Wine House. Good stuff at approachable prices is the deal, served at sheltered outdoor tables, or indoors in a cobbled-together casual bar alongside tasty cheese and charcuterie boards. A beautiful spot to enjoy a glass on one of London's rare sunny days.
Where: Units DE1 and D2 Ivory House, St Katherine Docks, London, E1W 1AT
Book now: Traders Wine Bar
Best wine bars in North London
North London's wine bars are a classy lot. Islington is a great place to be if you're looking for good food and drink, but we've picked out a couple of standout options - the superb Primeur in Newington Green and Top Cuvée, which is doing its best to single-handedly make Blackstock Road a foodie destination.
Top Cuvée, Highbury
What: Seasonal, ingredient-led food, natural wines from small producers - stop us if you've heard this before. It would be a shame to miss out on Top Cuvée though, because it's a wonderful little wine bar in an area that has traditionally been starved of good food and drink, unless your drink of choice is lager before a north London derby. As a result the place is often packed and tables can be hard to come by. There are no wine lists to speak of, but sommeliers are extremely knowledgeable and there's a tidy little menu of bar snacks and small plates to enjoy alongside.
Where: 177B Blackstock Road, Highbury, London, N5 2LL
Book now: Top Cuvée
Primeur, Newington Green
What: This converted 1940s car showroom in residential Stoke Newington has become one of London's favourite wine bars, famous for honest cooking, top-quality seasonal ingredients and a low-intervention natural wine list that occasionally wrinkles the nose of a restaurant critic. Dishes change day-to-day on the restaurant blackboard, and all entries on the ever-changing wine list (also chalked up) are available by the glass. Nearby competition is sparse, so Primeur is frequently packed: book well ahead to avoid disappointment.
Where: 116 Petherton Road, Newington Green, London, N5 2RT
Book now: Primeur
Porte Noire, King's Cross
What: You might know Idris Elba best for his role in hit drama Luther, or even for spinning the decks during any spare time he has spent DJ'ing, but as a sommelier? Not so much. Well, Elba opened a wine bar last year with partner and founder of Connaught Wine Cellars David Farber, overlooking Coal Drops Yard and serving the pair's own brand of Porte Noire wines, which they launched back in 2018. Guests can choose from over 800 bins here, from wines on tap to a selection of rarer bottles, while snacking on small plates such as truffle fries and pecorino and artisan charcuterie boards.
Where: 1 Lewis Cubitt Square, King's Cross, London, N1C 4BY
Book now: Porte Noire
Best wine bars in West London
There's no shortage of drinking holes in West London, but we've kept the list short and sweet with a couple of our favourites - neighbourhood champagne bar Amuse Bouche in Fulham, and beautiful Margaux in Chelsea.
Margaux, Kensington and Chelsea
What: As the name suggests, Margaux is as much about wine as it is about food. Sixteen house selections come in four different sizes for easy matching and, boy, is there some matching to be done on this menu. From homemade pork terrine and tuna tartare with umami-rich miso dressing, via pappardelle with rabbit ragù or confit duck with cocoa, pear compote and blackberries, right through to tarte Tatin, you can almost taste the wine you're going to drink before the bottles are open. Enthusiastic staff will guide you towards choice bottles from the 200-strong list, and there's plenty of interest below £50 – though you might be tempted to splash out on that namesake Bordeaux. The urban decor – all Brooklyn bare bricks and pendant lights – might not be the perfect fit for such classic food and wine, but the room is comfortable and atmospheric.
Where: 152 Old Brompton Road, Kensington and Chelsea, London, SW5 0BE
Book now: Margaux
Amuse Bouche, Fulham
What: Few localities suit a neighbourhood Champagne bar quite like Parsons Green. Burberry-clad couples, sharp-suited bankers and the odd Made in Chelsea cast member all gather here to be seen through large, concertina windows. With its stripped-back walls and low-hanging lights, Amuse Bouche also cuts it as an informal and upbeat spot to quaff high-class bubbly. The list starts with Mabis Prosecco and climbs all the way up to Louis Roederer Cristal, via the usual big-name Bollingers and Taittingers. A handful of rosés offer something different, as does a selection of classic Champagne cocktails. Red oysters and lobster nuggets are on hand to counteract all those bubbles – but the real foodie action takes place upstairs in Claude’s Kitchen.
Where: 51 Parsons Green Lane, Fulham, London, SW6 4JA
Book now: Amuse Bouche
Best wine bars in South London
London's south of the river denizens didn't have much to crow about for a while, but now Brixton, Peckham, Balham, Tooting are thriving with exciting new restaurants and wine bars. Scroll down for our favourites.
Peckham Cellars, Peckham
What: A relative newbie to London's dining scene, Peckham Cellars has done a great deal to bolster Peckham's reputation as a serious foodie destination. Handling the wines is Ben McVeigh (former head sommelier at 28-50 Fetter Lane), who has assembled an eclectic yet accessible line-up that focuses on variety and affordability, but also has a few surprises for even the most experienced connoisseurs. Back that up with bold, unfussy cooking coming out of the kitchen, and it's no wonder that this Peckham Cellars has quickly built a sizeable following in south London.
Where: 125 Queens Road, Peckham, London, SE15 2ND
Book now: Peckham Cellars
Lulu's, Herne Hill
What: This diminutive wine bar attached to popular Herne Hill restaurant Llewellyn's does a lot with very little, serving a compact but delicious menu alongside a smartly curated wine list and some nice house cocktails. Outside tables are in high demand during the summer, when Lulu's really comes into it's own as you sip on a crisp white in the dappled shade of nearby trees. If you're lucky enough to live nearby, Lulu's does great lunchtime sandwiches too.
Where: 291 Railton Road, SE24 0JP
Book now: Lulu's
Bar Douro, Southwark
What: Bar Douro founder Max Graham's family has been producing Churchill’s Port in the Douro Valley for 200 years, and Bar Douro looks and feels every part the authentic Portuguese taberna thanks to its blue-and-white azulejos tiling and marble counters. Max's wine list celebrates indigenous Portuguese grape varieties, and the one-page menu is packed with homely Portuguese cooking too - there's bacalao, spicy sausage croquettes, garlic prawns, prego steak and, of course, sweet pastel de nata and port to finish.
Where: Arch 35B, Union Street, Flat Iron Square, Southwark, London, SE1 1TD
Book now: Bar Douro
40 Maltby Street, Southwark
What: Maltby Street is one of London's best-known foodie addresses these days, and also one of the hardest to get around during market hours. That doesn't stop people heading to 40 Maltby Street en masse, though, to try and grab one of the most in-demand tables in the city. Resident booze-experts Gergovie Wines focus largely on low-intervention wines that eschew chemicals and pesticides, and the food team is led by Stephen Williams, once of The Ledbury. No wonder everything is so good here.
Where: 40 Maltby Street, Southwark, London, SE1 3PA
Book now: 40 Maltby Street
What: Italian restaurants preaching hyper-authenticity aren't in short supply in London, but this Brixton Village favourite is among the best of them thanks to some exemplary cooking and warm service. The wine list isn't very big, but it's well-assembled and picks out some really special lesser-known producers over the typical Tuscan wines that you'll see in other restaurants. Yes, there are other restaurants in London that do Italian food as well, but none with the same charm and warmth of heart as Maremma.
Where: 36 Brixton Water Lane, Brixton, London, SW2 1PE
Book now: Maremma
Call yourself a oenophile? You might want to check out the best of London's fine wine stores - some of them even deliver so you can fill up the cellar from the comfort of your own home. Or if you prefer to get out of the house for a tipple, make a note of London's best late night bars.