Last updated on October 15, 2022 by Wandering our World

Despite not being one of the most famous areas of London, Stratford continues to prove itself a worthy destination for tourists and locals alike. Its nightlife is lively and interesting, and there’s an array of exciting pubs and fun bars in Stratford to visit.

Taking into account the venue, decor, variety of drinks, quality of the food, activities, and atmosphere, we’ve selected a few bars that we consider the very best in Stratford.

From cocktail bars and live music venues, to bars with retro arcade games and one that’s even the spiritual home of British rockers Iron Maiden, we’re going to introduce you to Stratford’s best bars right here. Let’s dive in!

CONTENTS:

  1. The Two Best Cocktail Bars In Stratford
  2. The Two Best Sports Bars In Stratford
  3. The Three Best Bars In Stratford For Games & Activities
  4. The Two Best Bars In Stratford For Live Music & Entertainment
  5. The Best Brewpub In Stratford
Photo for illustrative purposes only: iStock.com/santypan

The Two Best Cocktail Bars In Stratford

1. The Mezzanine

Intimate cocktail bar with an extensive specialty drink menu and live music at the weekend.

This bar looks like a classy, sleek apartment. While elegant, the venue’s atmosphere is cozy and intimate, even when there’s a full house. The numerous sofas, armrest chairs, coffee tables, and cushioned stools keep everyone comfortable during the evening.

The bar is inviting, garnished with plants and lit-up shelves that display dozens of bottles behind the bartenders, who take their craft seriously. All the bottle juggling and innovation here results in some of the best and most creative cocktails in the world. Some colourful and eccentric, others refined and fresh, the drinks at The Mezzanine are their most distinctive attribute.

If you are not convinced to visit this one-of-a-kind bar yet, the live music they host and superb DJs they have might seal the deal for you.

Every Friday, a new artist comes into The Mezzanine to play some lively tunes without messing with the calm vibe of the bar. Fridays are not your only chance to enjoy good music, as DJs have their turn to play on Saturdays.

The Mezzanine is open on Fridays and Saturdays from 5 pm to 1 am, and is ideal for dates or catching up with a small group of friends. When it comes to cocktails, this place is easily one of the best bars in Stratford.

Address: Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, 20 International Way, London E20 1FD (inside The Stratford Hotel).

Photo for illustrative purposes only: iStock.com/iMaximFesenko

2. [Roots] Cocktail Bar

Vivid bar with a tropical atmosphere and outdoor area that serves unique cocktails.

The wicker pendant lights and plant decorations give [Roots] a tropical vibe, which is very rare in rainy London! You can sit at one of the numerous tables, on the bar stools, or in the (heated) outdoor area.

Once settled in, you can ask the efficient staff for something to drink. Color and fruits are the main notes of this bar’s exotic beverages since they are inspired by nature, but the menu truly caters to everyone’s tastes — wine, beer, mocktails, and more bitter drinks make their appearance too. Some of these drinks are served in tiki mugs, adding to the bar’s beachy and fun atmosphere.

If you want to accompany your tasty cocktail with something to eat, look through the menu to find tapas, grazing boards, and nibbles. They even have vegetarian options!

Apart from the drinks, the food, and the plant-filled decor, they also have live music on Fridays which adds a nice touch to the experience.

[Roots] is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. During the rest of the week, it opens at 5 pm and closes at 10 pm on Wednesday and Thursday, at 11:30 pm on Fridays and Saturdays, and 8:30 on Sundays.

Address: 3 W Park Walk, East Village, London E20 1DH

Photo only for illustration purposes(iStock.com/bhofack2)

The Two Best Sports Bars In Stratford

1. The Sportsman Stratford

Spacious sports bar with a laid-back atmosphere.

The interiors of The Sportsman consists of a large bar with numerous beer taps and a spacious table area. England flags hang from the wall and several TVs stream various sports, such as football, rugby, and tennis. It’s a fantastic place to watch the big game.

No sports bar would be complete without something to eat and drink. The Sportsman offers an endless selection of quality craft beer — including ales and lagers to please even the most demanding hophead — as well as wine, whiskey, and food options. We recommend trying the chicken wings since they are considered the star of this bar’s extensive menu. They also serve vegan meals and kids’ meals too.

The environment at sports bars can sometimes be a bit too rowdy, but that is not the case at the Sportsman. You can watch your favourite team or player without worrying about fights or being the victim of disrespectful behaviour. The attentive staff complements the bar’s friendly atmosphere, as they are happy to talk to every client while efficiently taking their order.

And if your match gets boring, the bar has two pool tables so why not have a game!

The Sportsman is an excellent option for everyone, not just sports fans. It is open every day from 10 am to 11 pm, except on Fridays and Saturdays, when it closes at 1 am. The kitchen is open until 9 pm, though. After that, you can only order drinks.

Address: 78-102 Broadway, London E15 1NG

Photo for illustrative purposes only: iStock.com/blizzard_77

2. The Abbey Tap

Fun sports bar that serves quality craft beer and cocktails.

You would never guess how vivid this pub’s interiors are when just seeing its neutral-colored facade from outside. They have colorful LED tubes that light the booths, tables, and the bar, while the brick walls and metal furniture give it a chic industrial look.

Sports are on every day at The Abbey Tap. Whether you are a wrestling or football fan, you’ll always find something to watch on their TVs. You can also ask the staff for a board game to play with your friends, family, or kids, if you fancy something a bit different.

While you’re at it, you can order one of their delicious burgers or, if you prefer a quick bite, order some tapas. This kind of food always goes well with a beer, and Abbey Tap has plenty of that too. The wide variety of real ales is what really makes this pub stand out.

In addition to the beer, The Abbey Tap’s specialty is gin, and you can order all kinds of cocktails made with it. The bartenders will pour them into huge glass cups with fresh slices of different fruits. Those are included in happy hour offers, such as 2-for-1, when purchasing two of the same cocktail.

The Abbey Tap opens its doors at noon every day and closes at 1 am on Fridays and Saturdays. During the rest of the week, it closes at 11 pm.

Address: 12-14 Broadway, London E15 4QS

Photo for illustrative purposes only: iStock.com/Drazen Zigic

The Three Best Bars In Stratford For Games & Activities

1. Escape Bar Stratford

Cozy bar with a wide range of games, consoles and arcades.

Shelves packed with games, rustic wooden walls, large tables, and decorations that vary depending on the occasion make Escape Bar the perfect cozy spot to unwind and have fun. There is never a dull moment in this bar, as it offers endless amounts of entertainment.

You can use the consoles they have, play with the retro arcade machines, or ace some guitar solos in Guitar Hero.

That being said, if you’re more into the classics, Escape Bar’s incredible board game collection will blow your mind. You can sit at one of the tables and play Jenga, Cards Against Humanity, Scrawl, and many more games. It provides the perfect opportunity to connect with your friends, meet new people, and unwind after work.

On Mondays at 7:30 pm, the bar also hosts a quiz! All you have to do is book a spot, and you will be in the running for a £30 bar tab prize.

Although it doesn’t have a kitchen, Escape Bar complements the gaming sessions with delicious cocktails, craft beer, cider, and live music.

The fun starts at 4 pm and finishes at 11 pm from Monday to Thursday. On Friday, hours of operation are from 4 pm to 1 am, Saturdays from 2 pm to 1 am, and Sundays from 2 pm to 11 pm. When it comes to fun, this place is easily one of the best bars in Stratford.

Address: 25 W Ham Ln, London E15 4PH

Photo for illustrative purposes only: iStock.com/Suntharin Permpoon

2. Bat & Ball

Modern bar with an array of competitive & fun games to choose from.

This two-story establishment has a stunning modern bar with lit-up shelves behind it and a pleasant sitting area on the first floor. That’s usually where clients watch live sports on the TV, but it is not the main attraction. The fun actually happens on the second floor where five ping-pong tables, two dart boards, and two pool tables await you.

For each tariff you pay, you are given 55 minutes to play ping-pong, beer-pong, prosecco-pong, pool, or interactive darts. There is also a karaoke room that can host groups as big as sixteen, where you can choose from over 25,000 songs to sing your heart out.

All that action will make you hungry of course, in which case you can head down to the first floor and order anything from pizza to pork ribs! The drinks menu is even more extensive than the food one, with over five pages of endless options, the most acclaimed being the craft beer and sophisticated cocktails.

Pay attention to the deals this bar offers too, such as “Beer + Ping-Pong” which includes a game of ping-pong and pints for less money than if you were to purchase them separately! There’s also a 2-for-1 with beer and cocktails during happy hour.

Bat & Ball opens at 11 am every day, but closing hours vary. From Sunday to Wednesday, it closes at 11 pm, on Thursdays at midnight, and on Fridays and Saturdays at 1 am.

Address: 2 Montfichet Road Westfield, London E20 1EJ

Photo for illustrative purposes only: iStock.com/DisobeyArt

3. All Star Lanes

Lively bowling bar with a retro look.

This bar gets its name from the fourteen bowling lanes it holds. The retro decor — neon lights, shelves full of bowling shoes, and red seats — makes it look like a scene straight from a vintage movie!

Gather your group (no more than seven people per lane) and bowl! You can enjoy a handcrafted cocktail, mocktail, or milkshake from the bar while waiting for your turn. The ‘All Stars Collection’ also features a good number of specialty drinks you won’t want to miss.

All Star Lanes offers a wide range of after-bowling meals as well. And if you decide to visit the bar at noon, you can order a bottomless brunch that includes craft beer and cocktails. This option is available until 4 pm every weekend.

During the week, All Star Lanes opens at 11 am. On weekends, at 10 am. It closes at 11 pm Sunday through Wednesday and at midnight from Thursday to Saturday.

Address: Montfichet Rd, London E20 1ET

Photo for illustrative purposes only: iStock.com/RushayBooysen

The Two Best Bars In Stratford For Live Music & Entertainment

1. Cart and Horses

Iron Maiden sanctuary and a fantastic live music venue.

This bar is also known as the Birthplace of Iron Maiden, as the famous British band played their first gigs there. Pictures of Iron Maiden’s young days cover the walls, and the place is filled with a fun, energetic atmosphere.

Music runs in Cart and Horses’ veins, so it is only right that this pub has a live music venue in its basement. Tribute bands and rising artists play every Friday and Saturday from 7:00 pm, keeping the pub’s musical essence and rock heritage alive.

Live shows are Cart and Horses’ main selling point, but the beer always brings out many of the best reviews from customers too. Craft beer, be it lager or ale, is of the best quality in this bar. This pub is also the only place in London that sells The Trooper, Iron Maiden’s official beer brand!

The staff in Cart and Horses are fantastic: welcoming, friendly, and as passionate about Iron Maiden and music as the clientele. They set the bar high regarding customer service.

The pub opens at noon and closes at 12:30 am from Monday to Thursday. On Friday, it closes at 3 am, while on Saturday and Sunday, the closing hour is 3:30 am.

Address: 1 Maryland Point, London E15 1PF

Photo for illustrative purposes only: iStock.com/Pro2sound

2. Grow

Innovative eco-friendly bar with outstanding live performances.

Standing right on the border between Stratford and Hackney, Grow puts forward something a little different. It is a reformed sausage factory, which now functions as a live music venue!

The exterior and interior of this bar give it a unique aesthetic: the facade looks like a warehouse, whilst the inside walls are covered in graffiti. The outdoor area consists of upcycled bus shelters, and it’s full of plants that contrast with the industrial look. But the best part about this place is the canal view and the boat sightings. Simply put, this is one of the most photogenic and unique bars in Stratford.

Grow has small stages indoors and outdoors, where bands, DJs, singers, and any kind of musician you can imagine gets to showcase their art every day. Jazz, rock, pop, afro beats, and electronic are just a few genres that you can enjoy here. That variety, the sound quality, and the lively atmosphere make Grow one of the best and most loved live music bars in Stratford.

The food and drinks also sets Grow apart from the crowd, as it bases its gastronomy on whole foods and plant-based meals. Hummus, kale, and vegan are words that make several appearances on the menu, which gives you a good idea of what the food is like in this bar.

Regarding drinks, Grow offers a wide selection of ales, lagers, IPAs, wine, prosecco, and several cocktails you can sip while toe-tapping to the incredible live performances.

Operating hours on Wednesdays and Thursdays are from 11 am to 12 am. Fridays and Saturdays from 11 am to 2 am and Sundays from 11 am to 11.30 pm.

Address: Main Yard, 98C Wallis Rd, London E9 5LN

Photo for illustrative purposes only: iStock.com/sarra22

The Best Brewpub In Stratford

Tap East

Unique brewpub with a friendly atmosphere that serves self-brewed beer.

The picturesque decor, fun atmosphere, history, and award-winning craft beers have earned Tap East a place on our list of the best bars in Stratford. It is the perfect place to find refuge from the busy Westfield Shopping Center. And if you are a true beer lover, you will be pleased to know that there’s a microbrewery on site that customers can watch in action.

Mike and Richard, Tap East’s founders and directors, are pioneers in the field since they created Tap East long before brewpubs became popular business opportunities in the UK.

Years later, Tap East now boasts an impressive selection of self-brewed beers, which have been acclaimed by critics and customers for years. Six kinds of draught beer form the basis of their offerings: IPA, Session IPA, Bitter This, Bitter That, East End Mild, Sidney Stout, and No. 6 Blonde.

Apart from the draught beer, this outstanding brewpub sells wine, cocktails, and over a hundred international brands of canned and bottled beer, making for an endless drink menu.

Tap East always opens at noon and closes at 10 pm. Except for Sundays, when it closes at 7 pm, and Mondays, at 9 pm.

Address: 7, International Square, London E20 1EE