Where To Drink Spritz In London

By Londonist Staff Last edited 60 months ago

Last Updated 28 June 2019

Where To Drink Spritz In London

Do you know your spritz? Only a few years ago London was none the wiser, but then this orange-hued aperitif started appearing in bars, restaurants and pubs all over the capital. Light, zingy and refreshing, it is a perfect summertime sip. It's slurped non-stop in Venice, and while it may never be as popular as beer in ol' Blighty, it's certainly worth trying.

The best spritz in London: Ombra Bar in Hackney
We tried Aperol Spritz at Ombra bar in Hackney.

What is Spritz? More than being a refreshing and tasty drink, Spritz has a long story to tell: the word comes from Germany and means splash/sparkling. The drink itself dates back to the Habsburg domination in the Republic of Venice during the 19th century, when Habsburgian soldiers and merchants used to ask for a 'spritz' of water in their wine, in order to make it lighter. Originating in North Italy, the concoction has now spread around the world.

How is Spritz made? The original Aperol Spritz is made with 2/3 Prosecco, 1/3 Aperol and a splosh of soda water. Last but not least, don't forget to add a slice of orange and a green olive. Campari is also widely used in place of Aperol, and now many barmen are even making their own versions.

Where can I find Spritz? Here is a round-up of bars, pubs and restaurants serving the popular orange drink. Most of the places listed were suggested to us by readers and we've personally tried most of them (all in the name of research, of course). Keep in mind that Spritz has seen a real boom in recent years, so this list is by no means definitive. Here are some of our recommendations, divided by area.

Augustus Harris is a bar where you can drink Spritz in London
Aperol Spritz at Augustus Harris

Spritz in central London

Augustus Harris, 33 Catherine Street, WC2B 5JT
With a name mixing Latin and English, this central restaurant has a menu inspired by typical Venetian bàcari (tiny local eateries). Expect typical Venetian food to be digested with either Aperol or Campari Spritz.

Boopshi's Schnitzel & Spritz, 31 Windmill Street, W1T 2JN
The Austrian restaurant with a homely atmosphere specialises in serving traditional schnitzel and... Spritz. Their Spritzers are numbered from one to eight including ones with added sherbet, morello cherry and cucumber. If those three flavours don't appeal, no doubt one of the other five will.

Caffé Caldesi, 118 Marylebone Lane, W1U 2QF
This rustic, home-style Italian restaurant run by Giancarlo and Katie Caldesi offers a dedicated bar/cafe downstairs with typical Italian aperitifs, plus a sit-down restaurant upstairs. Both spaces are Italian through-and-through and the classic Aperol Spritz can be enjoyed in either.

Head to Polpo for one of the best Spritz cocktails in London

Polpo, Soho, Covent Garden, Smithfield, Chelsea and Notting Hill
Russell Norman’s trendy set of Venetian-inspired small plate restaurants present humble but hearty Italian dishes made for sharing, and typical Venetian drinks. There are branches throughout central London: we suggest you try the basement Aperol Bar, part of the Covent Garden branch, and the Negroni Bar, which is part of the Smithfield branch. Polpo was also included in our round-up of London's best Italian restaurants.

Princi, 135 Wardour Street, W1F 0UT
This London outpost of a popular Milanese bakery chain offers a wide variety of Italian food, from breakfast to dinner. Choose between the self-service area or the restaurant section, although the latter offers you the chance to try the Princi Aperol Spritz plus a small range of other Italian-inspired cocktails (including the moreish Rhubarb Negroni).

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TOZI, 8 Gillingham Street, SW1V 1HJ
This vibrant restaurant and bar based in Victoria specialises in Venetian cicchetti and classic Italian cocktails. The restaurant was set up by Italian chefs and offers the dining ethos of the Veneto region. They serve Aperol Spritz as well as the TOZI Spritz — a twist on the classic which features vermouth, fresh rosemary, Prosecco and a dash of ginger ale.

Bar Italia, 21 Frith Street, Soho, W1D 4RN
This Soho stalwart is, if not personally known, instantly recognised by most Londoners. Its neon green signage outside serves as a beacon of hope to late-night Londoners, relieved to find the counter-style Italian bar reliably open every night until 5am (it opens again at 7am). Inside you'll find hot drinks, Italian desserts and... Aperol Spritz.

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Spritz in north London

Vivo, 57-58 Upper Street, Islington, N1 0NY
This Italian bakery-and-cafe-in-one boasts a Tuscan-style roof terrace with its own Spritz menu. Alongside the traditional varieties, they also serve the in-house Vivo Spritz that comes with elderflower liqueur from Florence along with Prosecco, fresh mint and lime.

Wine Rack, 206 Haverstock Hill, Belsize Park, NW3 2AG
Part off-license, part drinking hole, Wine Rack is a no-frills chain where staff will mix up your chosen booze, purchased in-house at store prices. It makes for a remarkably affordable Spritz experience, but at busy times you can expect big queues.  

Sky high spritzing at Frank's Bar in Peckham, London
Spritz at Frank's

Spritz in south London

Frank’s Cafe, 10th Floor, Peckham Multi-Story Carpark 95A Rye Lane, SE15 4ST
Perched atop the multi-story car park in Peckham, Frank’s has been drawing big crowds for the past few years. The view of London at this summer-only space is one of the best in the south, which is why we've also named it one of the best rooftop bars in London.

Bar Elba, Mercury House Rooftop, 109-117 Waterloo Road, SE1 8UL
Cocktails and cheerful bar grub can be found at this rooftop bar opposite Waterloo station. Heaters in winter and decent happy hours are sure to keep you warm whatever time of year you're getting stuck into your Spritz. Just be ready for a walk up a few flights of stairs first.

Peckham Springs, 22A Blenheim Grove, SE15 4QN
An outdoor bar-slash-food-market, Peckham Springs is tucked away by the arches of Peckham Rye station. But once you've found it, independent food traders and decently-priced cocktails await. The daily Happy Hour between 6-7pm means your second Spritz will cost you just £2.

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Spritz in east London

Ombra, 1 Vyner Street, E2 9DG
Try this Venetian bar close to London Fields — we bet your mouth will start watering when you see the fresh dishes — including pasta, polenta and deep fried fish — whizzing past your table. They serve Aperol, Campari and even Cynar Spritz (using a liquor made from herbs and artichokes). Also enjoy their Venetian cicchetti (nibbles) during Aperitivo time, from Thursday to Sunday.

Lardo, 197-205 Richmond Road, E8 3NJ
When we visited London Fields restaurant Lardo way back when, we discovered that it's an Italian with a twist. Their large selection of British charcuterie is a perfect accompaniment for the Italians' beloved Aperitivo. They serve a fine selection, including the classics, plus a grapefruit-flavoured Stella Spritz.

The Shakespeare, 2 Goswell Road, EC1M 7AA
Despite its name, this is a proper Italian pub just a few steps from Barbican tube station: their menu mixes typical Italian food with English dishes.

Try some of the best Spritz in London at Locanda Otteomezzo
Pizza and spritz, at Locanda Otteomezzo

Spritz in west London

Locanda Ottoemezzo, 2-4 Thackeray Street, W8 5ET
This red-decor restaurant based close to High Street Kensington station offers Aperol Spritz in the café adjacent to the main restaurant.

Chairs and Coffee, 512 Fulham Road, SW6 5NJ
This tiny little cafe with chairs hanging from its ceiling is located close to Fulham Broadway station. It serves breakfasts and quick lunches during the week, or lazy brunches across the weekend. Socialising is taken seriously with laptops banned at weekends.

Gustoso Ristorante & Enoteca, 35 Willow Place, SW1P 1JH
This Italian gourmet restaurant based in Pimlico is the 'brother' of Osteria Dell' Angolo in Westminster, as they share the same owner. Gustoso includes an Aperol Spritz on its drink menu.

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Homeslice, 2 Television Centre, 101 Wood Lane, White City, W12 7FR
These pizza pros are already well-known around central London for their generous and inventively-topped pizza slices, with outlets in Marylebone, Covent Garden, Soho and Shoreditch. But west Londoners can now stuff their face with dough and Spritz too thanks to this new venue on the former site of BBC's Television Centre in White City.

Rocca, 73 Old Brompton Road, Chelsea, SW7 3JS
This Chelsea-based Italian restaurant offers fresh, homemade food from a bunch of local suppliers. All bread, pasta and pizza bases are made in-house every day and that all-important Aperol and Campari Spritz is on the menu. There's a second venue in Dulwich Village too.

Hotel Xenia, 160 Cromwell Road, Kensington, SW5 0TL
Every day from 12pm-6pm at this boutique hotel, it's Aperitivo Time. £12 gets you a drink of your choice (choose from a range of Aperol and Campari spritzes and tonics, or a negroni/negroni negroni sbagliato. For no extra cash, you get to dig into olives, wilted broccoli, hunks of parmesan and mini lasagnes. A bargain for this part of town — and essentially a free lunch or dinner.

Cocktail bar chain Be At One serves up Aperol Spritz in London
Be At One

Chains that serve up Spritz

Be at One
Founded by three London bartenders back in the 1990s, this giant cocktail bar chain offers a mighty wide variety of cocktails on its dedicated menu. Of course, Aperol Spritz finds a spot alongside all the other classics.

The Italian chain has restaurants all over London — even at the main airports. You can either buy food to take away or sit down and enjoy your meal, perhaps while drinking a Spritz? They serve Aperol Spritz and their own variation, the Sicilian Spritz, which blends gin, limoncello and sparkling lemon juice, topped with Prosecco.

Jamie's Italian
Jamie Oliver's chain has spread out very quickly all over London and although menus vary from restaurant to restaurant, Aperol Spritz is a regular feature in most branches.

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Other recommendations from our readers:

Osteria San Lorenzo, 22 Beauchamp Place, Knightsbridge, SW3 1NH

The Galvanisers Union, 2 Devas Street, E3 3LL

The Ivy, 1-5 West Street, WC2H 9NQ

Risorante Olivelli, Bloomsbury, Mayfair, Waterloo and Dulwich

Capricci, 72 Holland Street, Bankside, SE1 9NX

San Carlo Cicchetti, Covent Garden and Piccadilly

Bernardi's, 62 Seymour Street, W1H 5BN

Got any top tips about where to find Spritz in London? Leave a comment below.

This article is part of our Best of London Food and Drink series. Visit the page for more recommendations of where to enjoy the capital's top food and drink, categorised by cuisine, food type and more.