The ever-popular Hoxton Square Bar and Kitchen hasn’t lost its edge, seamlessly transforming itself from eatery to night time hotspot with as much liveliness as ever. If the thought of a night out in Hoxton makes you roll your eyes and think of try-hard hipsters, head down to Hoxton Square Bar and Kitchen and you should hopefully have your mind changed.
With a prime location in Hoxton Square, this bar is an aptly named hive of activity and charm. A former warehouse, the venue boasts several large rooms including the dining area, a smaller bar area with sofas and seating, and a large room that is all dance floor come the weekend. There’s also a small outside area on the square for alfresco dining or some fresh air.
Its former life does mean that the venue can feel vast. This doesn’t detract from a good night had, especially when the place is bursting at the seams on a Saturday, but if your thing is intimate and cosy drinking, you’d best look elsewhere. True to the indie scene it inhabits, Hoxton Square Bar and Kitchen also offers itself up as a live music venue during the week. Entry can be as low as £5 so get there before the queue gets too long.
For non-hipsters, don’t be put off by any preconceptions you may have. The bar has grown out of its ‘too cool’ vibe – a bane for visitors to other venues in the area – and that’s a big plus. Clientele really is anyone and everyone – the East End ‘alternative’ types, naturally, but also young professionals, students and even some of the Chelsea crowd. Essentially, the Bar and Kitchen is the perfect location for those wanting somewhere to meet up with friends and enjoy good music.
The staff are a smiley lot, and even the bouncers are cheery - they’re the type to knowingly smile whilst telling you off for being too loud or a bit tipsy in the queue.
The music at the weekend can only be described as crowd-pleasing – expect the old classics in between current chart music. Being in this end of the city, you won’t be able to escape the indie crowd for long. There are live music and album launch parties throughout the week.
If you’re looking for some grub to fuel your partying, the kitchen offers a hearty Tex Mex menu. A lengthy selection of burritos (around £6.50) and enchiladas (around £9) will set you up for the night ahead without spending a fortune. There are also staples such as burgers and chips for around £8 and various steak dishes, too. Weekend brunch is also popular.
The bar is very well stocked – beer and lager drinkers have a particularly good selection of bottle and draught beers. Bottles of wine start at a very reasonable £15.50. There is also the usual selection of spirits on offer, so there really is something for every taste.
For somewhere that doesn’t sell itself as a cocktail bar, those on offer are surprisingly good – better than what's offered at some of the dedicated cocktail bars in Hoxton. At around £7.50, they too are very reasonably priced. You can’t go wrong with the classics, so stick to the Mexican theme and enjoy a Margarita after your burrito.
The Last Word
Hoxton Square Bar and Kitchen is fun, friendly and still cool – but effortlessly so, thanks to good food, music for all tastes and an unpretentious, relaxed atmosphere. There’s no ‘try-hard’ vibe, and for that it stands out amongst many of the other East End establishments. It also explains why its popularity is yet to wane.