If you’ve been to Discount Suit Company, then you may understand why we’re so excited about their sister bar, The Sun Tavern. Taking a casual approach in setting, this unassuming pub on Bethnal Green Road is pure magic inside. The dim, narrow, candelit space is equal parts cool and sexy with an L-shaped bar that’s lit up with some of the snazziest lanterns we’ve seen around. This is another page ripped straight off the New York City playbook, striking that perfect balance of Irish dive bar-meets-cocktail den.
Speaking of cocktails, they’re hella good. The emphasis here is on Irish whiskey with poitín cropping up across the menu. If you don’t know what that is, it’s essentially Irish moonshine that’s seen a revival as of late (and is tastier than the versions of yore). The must-have drink here is The Bogcutter with poitín, apricot brandy, amontillado sherry, lemon, honey water and ginger that is served in a big frosty tankard. It’s superbly fresh, and the dryness of the sherry cuts through the drink’s sweet elements perfectly. If you’ve got a big group, ask the bartender what the sharing punch special is for that week. £25 and you’ll all be in it together. Food is simple and tasty: meaty subs, cheese boards, pork pies and the like.
Expect the young and beautiful Bethnal Green locals in for a swilling session. But that doesn’t mean you need to get all razzle-dazzled up to join in. This place is laid back, so throw on your casual digs and maybe a beanie for good measure — then head on down.
Best Bars tip: This is not the kind of bar you’ll go just for one in … park up, kick back, and enjoy the night.
— Sasha Filimonov, @SashaSips