The UK’s 15 Best Bars for Debauchery

It’s not always about sitting down for a sophisticated cocktail. Sometimes you just want to cut loose, drink shots and party down until the sun comes up. Here are the UK’s BEST bars for debauchery. Now whatever mischief you get yourselves into, it ain’t our fault … enjoy!

LONDON

Aces and Eights Tufnell Park1. Aces and Eights, Tufnell Park

You can chuck out some proper shapes here. And the pizza is pretty damned good.

casita shoreditch tequila con verdita2. Casita, Shoreditch

It might be one of London’s teeniest charms, but what Casita lacks in square footage it makes up for in personality. This is the kind of bar you pop into for a quick one and then end up cancelling all of your plans (happily so).

Covent Garden cocktail club3. Covent Garden Cocktail Club, Covent Garden

Live piano music, sing-a-long throwback tunes, crazy-looking cocktails and some of the happiest party people in town. If you’re not feeling up to it, nip down here and they’ll turn that frown upside down — guaranteed.

El Camion Soho4. El Camion, Soho

An industry mecca, El Camion is where the drinks trade comes to party late into the night and sink back tequilas.

Modern love old street5. Modern Love, Shoreditch

With blackboard walls, plenty of chalk, and an easygoing crowd bopping about to garage rock — don’t be surprised at the more adult content drawn up on the walls. You can even have a go at one-upping them yourself. And remember, downstairs is for dancing. End of.

Slim Jim's Liquor Store Angel6. Slim Jim’s Liquor Store, Angel

You know you’re in for some good ol’ fashioned trouble when you step into a bar and immediately need to peel your shoes off the floor. This is party-time Americana at its best and grungiest. It’s open seven days, always late, with a (sometimes) free jukebox cranking out classic tunes – from BRUUUUUUCE to Joy Division. So let’s get turbo-sh*tfaced on the bountiful bourbons. And we should probably tell you, if you give them your bra, they’ll give you a free drink. Now the decision is yours.

The Dolphin Hackney7. The Dolphin, Hackney

East London hipsters are a given, but those fond of a tipple – or twelve – come in by the bus-load after 3pm. Music-lovers are also in luck, as it often holds free events showcasing upcoming talent – from acoustic guitarists to spinning DJs.

trailer happiness notting hill8. Trailer Happiness, Notting Hill

The 70s basement décor is cheeky and cheerful, much like their staff and drinks. So when you’re looking to cut loose, there’s little better than this ode to Polynesia/Tiki-Americana, kitted out with (un)ironic shag carpets and Tretchikoff prints.

EDINBURGH

Garibaldi's Edinburgh
Kinga Sosnowska

9. Garibaldi’s

This cheeky spot is where Edinburgh comes to play. Garibaldi’s is a colourful Mexican-themed institution, beloved by all, boozed in by all, pole danced in by all. It’s late-night partying seven days a week, and it’s impossible not to shed your inhibitions here … the tequila shooters will make sure of that.

LEEDS

Neon Cactus Leeds fire10. Neon Cactus

One tequila, two tequila, three tequila … and then it all gets a bit hazy, but we’re told Neon Cactus is home to well over 70 types of this beautiful spirit. The vibrant-themed joint not only specialises in Mexico’s infamous liquor but also brings the nation’s love for traditional street food, upbeat vibes and late-night partying to Leeds’ Call Lane.

Oporto Leeds hot dog eating contest11. Oporto

Oporto is a must-visit for music lovers and late night revellers. This Leeds rock bar certainly lives up to its slogan/hazard warning of “Go Hard or Go Home”. Prepare yourself: you’re in for a night of heavy music, all night partying and shots, lots and lots of shots.

LIVERPOOL

Rum Aloha Liverpool12. Aloha

So Tiki it hurts, Aloha’s Polynesian carvings, colourful flowery wallpaper and bars set in wooden shacks transport guests to tropical climes where rum is king and Piña Coladas are served in fresh pineapples. This large basement bar attracts a fun crowd who are keen to dance in the packed room to classic songs and cheesy numbers.

El Bandito Liverpool Millionaire cocktail13. El Bandito

Open every night until 5am with all the tequila you could ever want. Viva Mexico!

MANCHESTER

Liars Club Manchester bartenders and fire14. The Liars Club

A bright and flaming Tiki den, The Liars Club is all about having a real good raucous time. From cheeky flaring tricks from the bartenders to bangin’ reggae tunes to bamboo huts – you’d struggle not to cut loose down here.

MOJO manchester bartender15. MOJO

Rock ‘n roll tunes, shots galore and dancing on the bar. The party doesn’t get any better (or more debaucherous) than this.

— Sasha Filimonov, @SashaSips

Prince of Wales

Prince of Wales Birmingham MoTiki 3An “old man’s pub” given a new lease of life, The Prince Of Wales’ clientele boasts a beautiful mix of traditional cask ale lovers and hip, young Moseleyites looking for cocktails and street food. More proof they can live in harmony! From the classic boozer to the Tiki bar to the shed du vin, there’s a bit of everything at this mish-mash venue.

The cocktail must-have is the Ocean Colour Scream named after local band of the Britpop era, Ocean Colour Scene. It includes their Mo-Tiki homemade grog, lime juice, blue curaçao, cranberry and guava juice.

Check out the incredible cigar shop and winery out back, both of which face into the colossal beer garden that houses the Mo-Tiki bar (and heaters!).

Best Bars tip: Gourmet hot dog specialists Chilli Dog Dog are on hand Thursday through to Saturday nights serving jaw-dropping dogs made with local award-winning “Lashford” snags. Get involved.

— Tom Cullen

Prince of Wales Birmingham pub fireplace

The Liars Club

Liars Club Manchester bartenders and fireA bright and flaming Tiki den, The Liars Club is all about having a real good raucous time. From cheeky flaring tricks from the bartenders to bangin’ reggae tunes to bamboo huts – you’d struggle not to cut loose down here.

Tiki is the name, and rum is the game … and they’re playing for keeps with over 100 different rums on the backbar. If you’re really going for it, order a Zombie – and while the fiery passionfruit husk flames on be careful not to set yourself alight. And to be honest, if your cocktail isn’t on fire here … you’re probably not doing it right. For one of the house signatures that’s only slightly less boozy, try the Sarsaparilla Soother – aka “the (self-proclaimed) best drink ever made” – made with Jamaican sarsaparilla root cordial, condensed milk, vanilla, Bacardi and Appleton Rums as well as a slew of other secret ingredients. This is rummy sweetness that’s bound to please.

The happy dancing drinkers here are a wonderful mishmash of young professionals, bar industry types, uni students and the like. And everyone is here to have fun, so don’t take yourself too seriously or you won’t get lei’d.

Best Bars tip: Prepare yourself for a wild and crazy night, and don’t be surprised when you walk outside and the sun is coming up.

— Sasha Filimonov, @SashaSips

The Liars Club Manchester

The Voodoo Rooms

The Voodoo Rooms Edinburgh
© Suzanne R Livingstone

Housed in part of what was Edinburgh’s first Gin Palace, The Voodoo Rooms screams decadence. An array of rooms from the cosy American bar which is available for small parties through to the grand ballroom which often gets packed out for live music shows and club nights – there is something for everyone – with the long main bar open to all every day of the week.

With such an array of uses, The Voodoo Rooms has a bar stocked with drinks to cover all tastes. If you’re in the mood for a classic, try the very well-made Tommy’s Margarita to wash down a Sunday brunch of eggs benedict and a great coffee. That will set you up nicely to try the Gin Palace Blush with Beefeater 24, Aperol, blueberries, lemon and vanilla which is topped with prosecco and tastes sublime.

With food being served throughout the venue and a huge range of killer cocktails – alongside the cream of talent on show – there is always a good buzz in The Voodoo Rooms. If you want a table midweek, it’s always a safe bet to book. There are also two separate function rooms each with their own fully stocked bars for private events.

Best Bars tip: A hive of cocktail creativity which has the outlet of a vast menu but pay attention to the specials board, the team bring you their freshest creations which will delight your palate.

— Martin Duffy

The Voodoo Rooms Edinburgh
© Suzanne R Livingstone

The Cocktail Shack

The Cocktail Shack BrightonA Tiki shack-style bar is the focal point at the bijou joint that is … The Cocktail Shack. Old furniture and vintage signs set the tone and the backdrop of Regency Square and Brighton’s skeletal West Pier remind you of where you are.

Rum is a key contender with over 20 to choose from. If that’s not your bag, try a twist on a Negroni, made with tequila – it’s a bittersweet and earthy number. For a savoury sensation, try the Truth Be Told with gin, coriander, pineapple and jalapeño water.

Curious cocktailians, holiday-makers from the hip hotel above and discerning Brightonians can be found sipping in this quality addition to the Brighton cocktail scene. If you can’t be bothered to go home, check in to the quirky Artist Residence hotel above.

Best Bars tip: The newly opened ping pong room downstairs is perfect for a round of rum punch pong or for a straight-up rally. It’s definitely one of the best looking tables we’ve ever seen, so grab your paddles pals.

— Lucy Britner, @Britner

The Cocktail Shack Brighton collage

Aloha

Treasure Chest Aloha LIverpoolSo Tiki it hurts, Aloha’s Polynesian carvings, colourful flowery wallpaper and bars set in wooden shacks transport guests to tropical climes where rum is king and Piña Coladas are served in fresh pineapples.

This large basement bar attracts a fun crowd who are keen to dance in the packed room to classic songs and cheesy numbers.

The bar staff are quick off the draw, firing through drinks to quench the thirst of the throngs. Pirate’s Grog – Aloha’s house punch – is an easy-drinking, fruity number with mystery ingredients in it that will please even the fussiest of drinkers.

Best Bars tip: Groups should pre-book a booth, with different packages available that offer sharing drink options in treasure chests, Aloha Doubloons to spend or just spirit and mixers brought to the table.   

— Laura Foster

Rum Aloha Liverpool

Turtle Bay

Turtle Bay Birmingham barYes, it’s a chain. No, we don’t care. The Caribbean vibrancy extends past the décor and into the staff making Turtle Bay, possibly, Birmingham’s most friendly restaurant. Take a seat if you’re dining, but we much prefer to prop up at the bar which is both big and heavily staffed – meaning it’s almost never too busy.

The Reggae Rum Punch is the pick of the cocktail menu. Insatiably moreish you should mind how many you have because – as the name suggests – it packs a punch. The food is, across the board, of a high standard, but anything jerked seems to win through.

Because the emphasis is on food, the vibe is never too raucous – but it’s far from quiet with an energised buzz throughout.

Best Bars tip: If you’re ordering food, ask for Bajan hot sauce (it’s free). The yellow, spicy goodness goes wonderfully with fish, chicken and pork. 

— Tom Cullen

Turtle Bay Birmingham