While dedicated London kombucha bars are still far and few between, the number of regular pubs and bars selling kombucha in the capital is growing rapidly. Here at Real Kombucha, we’re seeing more and more people drinking our booch as an alcohol alternative (we’ve written all about that over here), and kombucha cocktails (with or without alcohol) are increasingly common on the city’s menu’s. We’re not surprised, therefore, to find that the city’s more forward-thinking watering holes are giving it a whirl.
With that in mind, we thought we’d introduce you to 10 great bars and pubs where we like to pull up a stool and get stuck into a bottle of cold kombucha. Bottoms up!
The Book Club
Time Out magazine called this place, “one of the most consistently creative bars in London”, and it doesn’t take much to see why. By day, a cosy place to sit and browse through a book (much as the name suggests), but by night… well, the picture above speaks for itself. One of the first bars in London to spot the potential for kombucha as an alcohol alternative, and one of our favourite Shoreditch spots ever since. The Book Club… we salute you! www.wearetbc.com
There’s a lot to love about NT’s Bar, but we tend to go there for the roof garden, the great cocktails… and, now, the kombucha. With its converted warehouse vibe, it’s about as East London as it gets, and there’s nothing better than getting out on that rooftop and drinking in the views. www.ntbar.co.uk
Food, drink, music, a Nordic aesthetic… what’s not to love? Actually, it’s the combination of all these things that makes Oslo, Hackney, something of a standout. It’s a great London nightspot to catch a gig, but come Sunday and the roasts are legendary in their own right. It’s no surprise then, really, that somewhere with such an independent spirit would jump at the chance to serve a decent kombucha, and as London kombucha bars go, Oslo is very decent indeed. www.oslohackney.com
The burgers, though, eh? If you’re not going to the Dragon Bar for the kombucha, then go for the burgers. Also – may we say – some of the friendliest and most welcoming bar staff we’ve had the pleasure of meeting in a good long while. With very reasonable prices, this is always one of our lunch stop-offs when we’re wandering up and down Rivington Street, giving away free booch samples.
Strongroom Bar & Kitchen
That the Strongroom Bar in Shoreditch hides one of London’s coolest beer gardens is not much of a secret anymore. That it is one of the best London kombucha bars, perhaps, is. We’re big fans of this split-level, music-friendly venue on Curtain Road, and we’re not the only ones. There’s a reason that bars like this attract a regular, friendly crowd, and it’s not merely down to location. The Strongroom boasts a great selection of drinks, and the food is top notch, too. www.strongroombar.com
It may look like a fairly traditional pub, but The Empress in Hackney is known for the unconventional (are we spotting a trend among these London kombucha bars?) If you’ve ever wondered what goat tastes like, then The Empress is your kinda place. Great food, a good selection of drinks, famous brunches and the perfect location alongside Victoria Park to walk it all off. Top all that off with a nice booch and you’ve got a surprisingly healthy Sunday – off the beaten track in more ways than one. www.empresse9.co.uk
Part of a chain, we often find ourselves hanging about in the Bower (Old Street) edition, largely because they’re a London kombucha bar worth a visit. They’re big on their craft beers, which is probably why kombucha fits on the menu so comfortably, and the ease of access (right next to Old Street Station) makes it an attractive place to stop off to for a quickie on most of our journeys home. www.drafthouse.co.uk
The Scolt Head
Midway between Haggerston and Dalston you’ll find The Scolt Head, a bright and breezy pub that is known for its dedication to locally-sourced, high-quality produce. Described by several people we spoke to as “a proper local boozer”, it says something for the forward-thinking management that they’re one of London’s first traditional pubs to proudly display kombucha on their menu. Lead the way! www.thescolthead.co.uk
The Manor House
Surely one of the last pubs before you break out of the North London boundaries, the Manor House is a fair distance from the city centre. That hasn’t stopped it keeping its finger on the pulse and stocking a decent kombucha, however. Great Sunday lunches and a very plush beer garden make it well worth the visit. Look out for the mad chef cycling around the lounge on a bicycle. What’s a pub without a bit of eccentricity, eh? www.themanorhousewanstead.com
The Barge House
Famed for their Breakfast in Bread, the Barge House is one of those London bars that has become so well known it attracts queues. It’s a light and airy joint in a lovely location, and the fact that it is soon to be a booch bar only adds to the attraction as far as we’re concerned. We have it on good authority that they’ll be stocking Real Kombucha from late November, 2017. Better start forming an orderly queue now, then. www.bargehouse.co.uk