How To Spend A Night In Chinatown London
London has so much to offer and seemingly never stops, but one of the only true late-night London destinations is Chinatown London. Here you can eat, drink, dance and sing your night away from dusk till dawn.
Busy restaurants sit alongside some of London’s best cocktail bars, often hidden above and below the bustling streets, with top Karaoke joints and dance floors open until the early hours.
Whatever you’re celebrating, we’ve pulled together a selection of the best Chinatown London spots to while away those late night hours.
6pm – After work drinks
Whether it’s that Friday feeling or the mid-week blues, The Blue Posts makes for the perfect after-work drinking hole. Work your way through a line-up of independently brewed cask ales, and if you get peckish, choose from a seriously impressive selection of bar snacks. We highly recommend the cheese board or fried calamari!
7pm – Pre-dinner mahjong
You only have to pop next door to 1930s Taipei inspired tea house, XU, for a spot of pre-dinner entertainment. It’s home to two permanent mahjong rooms, available to hire for two hour slots (don’t worry – a short guide and cheat sheet is provided if you’ve never played before!). Make sure you sample the Winter cocktail menu, as well as XU’s famous Shou Pa Chicken.
8pm – Dinner
Chinatown London is bursting with interesting and delicious dinner options. From mind-blowingly delicious laksa at C&R Café to Korean BBQ at Olle, as well as a collection of traditional Cantonese eateries and the belly-warming Sichuan menus at JinLi and Shu Xiangge. You really are spoiled for choice! Once you’ve treated yourself to dinner it’s time to find something sweet.
9pm – Dessert
Dinner is never truly complete without pudding, so be sure to save room for a walk along Newport Court. Also known by some as ‘Dessert Alley’, and for good reason! Embrace your inner child as you peruse the offering, which includes Filipino Mamason’s Dirty Ice Cream and age-old matcha mastery at Tsujiri. Be sure to visit newly opened Taiyakiya for highly Instagrammable Japanese fish-shaped taiyaki goodies and customisable soft-serve ice cream.
10pm – Karaoke
No trip to Chinatown London is complete without a Karaoke experience, and it’s the perfect time of year to practice for those Christmas carols. Head along Gerrard Street to Plum Valley and set up shop in one of their four private karaoke rooms. If you’re not normally the most confident of singers, a Lychee Martini should help to loosen your vocal chords!
11pm – Vietnamese cocktails and bar snacks
After belting out some all-time classics you’ll be keen for a refreshing drink or two. Pull up a stool at Art-Deco bar Viet Lounge, and reveal in your new-found karaoke fame as you watch head bartender Alex Loois shake up signature cocktails with his homemade Asian syrups.
12pm – DJ
If your dancing feet are itching for an outing, dance till late at ICHIBUNS‘ mood-lit ICHIBAR, where a programme of house DJs runs every weekend. Open until 1am, they serve up an extensive list of Japanese whisky, gin, craft ale, and sake alongside an innovative new cocktail menu.
1am – ‘A Journey Through China’ at Opium Cocktail Bar
Continue your cocktail crawl by venturing behind Opium’s jade-green door, where you’ll find a decadent multi-story drinking den. The new ‘A Journey Through China’ cocktail menu is well worth sampling – it features 10 different cocktails, each named after and taking inspiration from a Chinese city. Each one is less a drink, more a theatrical experience – another one for your Instagram!
2am – Late night feasting
Every good night ends with a trip to your local takeaway! But forget kebabs or chicken nuggets – it’s time for late night dumplings, and Dumplings’ Legend is the only place to go. Open till 2.30am on a weekend, it offers an extensive menu of steamed delights, including its signature dumpling dish, ‘Xiao Long Bao’.
3am – Takeaway time
The final pit stop for hungry night owls in Chinatown London is late night favourite Hung’s. Open until 4am, it’s the perfect place to treat yourself to a satisfying (and sobering!) bowl of beef brisket noodles or Cantonese BBQ meat. If you fancy something classic, try the congee, a hugely popular Chinese breakfast dish.
After an action-packed night out, make your way home using the 24-hour weekend night tube on the Piccadilly line, which has two stops minutes from the heart of Chinatown London: Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square.
If you make a night of it in Chinatown London, tag us in your Instagram photos using @chinatownlondon – we love to see and share your favourite spots!
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