I really like this place. Here are the reasons why:
1. The door staff are legends- just really nice people, even when dealing with wasters. I don't know why but that stands out to me.
2. It's unpretentious (unlike some of its hipster neighbours). They play whatever music they fancy on any given day. You could be experiencing old school hip hop or funk or dance. Whatever it is, it's generally good.
3. There's a secret back room dance floor. This is imperative when combined with cocktails.
4. Everyone is just having a f*cking good time in there.
Small downsides, I'd love for it to stay open later (I think it closes at 1.30ish), I wanted to stay until at least 4am.... (I know, party animal). Also in the dance floor area it's hotter than a sauna- jeans are a no go....
Terrible service!!! They managed to deliver half of our food to another table then I had to wait 20 minutes for my food while everybody else was eating. To make matters worst they then brought me out the wrong thing when it finally came. Ended up just cancelling my order and going hungry, avoid like the plague
For me, this place has always served as a night club. I never eaten there, never expected any cocktails or anything of that sort. So judging this place as a weekend night out bar, it's great! It's got several rooms - one large one for dancing provided with easy mix of 90's hits, complete vintage (including The Beatles) and indie, there are two more rooms with separate bars and numerous tables and a garden, which tends to be the busiest as the only smoker's corner.
The audience is mixture of everything - office people, hipsters, causally looking people, and surprisingly enough I always meet some tourists there.
After some fairly bad experiences, I recently went back to see a gig in the most boiling hot room ever, bar staff that seem more interested in talking to each other or staring off into space than serving you... it has regret written all over it. Sad to say that even if some lesser known bands that I would love to see live come here, I'd actually skip it and stay home and listen to my itunes, it would be a less of an assault on the senses than having to deal with the clientèle and staff here.
Did I mention I watched a guy set his beer in the urinal trough while he peed then picked it back up and kept drinking while there was pee dripping off the bottom?
Well there you go.
Good 5 lb lunch deal and decent food. Split the tuna melt and mozzarella, basil, tomatoes sandwiches with a friend. Beware the tuna melt is a tuna steak.
Nice outdoor seating and perfectly good nachos and margarita. We were here early so no crowd but Im sure this place fills up as its a nice spot with an easy and affordable menu. The bartender shook an excellent traditional margarita
I was here for a launch party, and I'm not 100% sure that I would go back.
The layout totally baffled me, and the bar list was very limited. It's quite well decorated, gives you a very cool, hipster feel, but this isn't really up my street.
The seating area outside would be lush for summer, and the bouncers were very pleasant.
Yes, oh yes, I loved this place!
It was perfect. It didn't look like much of anything from the outside. Just a few hipsters smoking and chatting each other up. But once we journeyed inside, there was a whole world of cool waiting to be discovered and by cool, I mean, a mecca of adorable guys and beautiful chickies!! So this is where they all congregate!
We decided to eat a little something to help balance out the cocktailin' we had been doing and for me that something was the burger. Definitely not a "kill me now, I've officially had the best burger ever created by a human being on this planet" good, but it was decent enough and did the trick. My cohort ordered some shrimp dish and it looked good too.
But really, if you want to check out some hip eye candy, this is the place to do it. I don't think I've ever seen so many hot people in one room before! What are you waiting for!
Once the beer was gone, my uni friends and I had one (and only one) sober game we loved to play: we would pull out our high school yearbooks and try to pick out who we thought the "coolest" people were in each other's class, you know, the Prom Kings and Queens, the star athletes, you get the idea (you also get the impression that my college years were almost as lame as Saved By The Bell's, so I'll get on with it ...)
That's what moving to London was like for me. I couldn't decipher cool from the end of a cheeky ciggy and many times I was just frantically picking my destinations from a 1x1 Yelp photo, only to find out that the best looking pictures were often the worst establishments. I had heard about the "coolness" of Hoxton Square and because I have a knack for popping inflated egos, I went in with honest hopes of being able to announce from the rooftops that this establishment was overrated.
Not in this case.
Despite a less-than-amazing outside, the moment I walked into Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen, I wanted to be there. Often. To be a regular. To have a booth permanently reserved for me. Hell, I would have moved in if our hottie server was included.
I could literally feel the wave of cool brush by me each time the door opened and closed, and I had to mentally remind myself that mouth-open gawking is only acceptable in Disney movies, and even then a bit questionable.
It was cool without trying, which made it ever so much more cool. The music, the people, the ambiance, the layout; the conditions were perfect. However, I did notice some scenester-esque clientele that could potentially ruin every that is great about this place. That's the trouble with cool, it's only "cool" until it is.
Urgh! This place is vile; sticky floors, carpet that has the stench of sick and unfriendly door staff. I have been here many times and it use to really shine as the 'it' place to be. Unfortunately it gets stuffed up with skinny jean wearing, wonky hair strutting creeps from out of London trying to get down with the cool kids. The only thing going for it, is that it serves Sailor Jerry's Spiced rum, although I have to sell my grandma to afford it!
Okay so I am really ripping into this place but I feel like someone should play devils advocate. There are so many other great places to drink in Shoreditch it seems a shame to waste your time here; this one has just past it's hey day and is suffering from a slight case of 'mutton dressed as lamb'. They do have some great bands playing here on the odd occasion and the back room where this happens is by far the best part of the place but that's about it. Even meeting Elijah Wood and shaking his hand here has not made me love it any more.
The group owns several places dotted around London and this is by far the weakest effort they have put to the punters. But don't take my word for it, visit it late at night to sample the delights that lurk in the toilet of Hoxton.
Blah blah hipsters blah blah blah.
Okay, moving on. As a concert venue, as a place to WATCH A BAND YOU LOVE PERFORM LIVE, it's pretty fantastic. The space is small (but the stage is high) so even if you're packed in there with hundreds of others and can't make out right from left, at least you'll be able to see said band.
Unfortunately, I live clear on the other side of town, so I had to leave early before the band I was there to see had even finished playing. Serious bummertime. I like that the concert doesn't start early, but I don't like waiting around when I know I'll have to leave before the end of the gig to catch the last train home. That's one of my pet peeves about London. The damn last train home.
If a band I happen to love plays Hoxton Sq, I'll be glad to go. And maybe I'll take a taxi next time.
Another one of the few few few one stars I hand out...why? Well, sit back and let me tell you my service story from HELL at the Hoxton Square bar and Kitch...
I'm out with friends, we're drinking, chilling, and it's my friend's round. She goes up, gets two beers for the others and me an amaretto sour (yum...not too strong but like candy...normally).
So, we're chilling, laughing I'm not really looking at my drink until I FINISH it and see there's something in the bottom of the glass...something white.
No, it's not what you're thinking....dirty minds...but it was just as bad. Under my ice, there was a napkin. A.NAPKIN. I drank my entire drank with a NAPKIN stuck UNDER my ice. Clearly, it was in there BEFORE the drink was made.
I was sick, I was mortified and I was in shock. So, I took the drink back up to the bartender and told him what had happened. He snickered and said my friends must have put it in there. yes....UNDER THE ICE. I gave him the side eye and asked him how they could have done that Houdini like trick. Bartender McDouchey rolled his eyes and walked away. So, not only did I have a napkin in my glass, possible USED ice, but I got disrespected like woah when clearly someone wasn't doing their job. I could have gotten Swine Flu. or worse.
Hate this bar, hate going, hate.it.
I love the Hoxton and have been drinking - coffee, cocktails, take your pick - there for years. Situated in a sprawling space right on Hoxton Square, this uber cool cafe/bar also hosts regular gigs by both the prominent and the aspiring and attracts an interestingly mixed, if decidedly fashiony crowd.
Sure, if you sat outside for long enough you'd probably spot many a celebrity - A, B, Z list, the Hoxton really doesn't discriminate - and the prices are higher than Shoreditch's many dive bars, but to hold that against this roomy bar is perhaps to miss the point.
I happily frequented the Hoxton as a student, sitting for hours during the day with one espresso and taking advantage of its free Internet. If you drink like a fish your bar tab might break the bank but if you're simply after a few cocktails with an alternative and often glamorous crowd then you should definitely pay the Hoxton a visit.
I'd love to be able to comment on the food and drinks, but I never got that far. I went in somewhat early, around 6 pm to grab a quick bite and a beer. I was by myself, since I was in town for business. After 25 minutes, I left. I'm normally not that patient, but based on the snotty attitude I encountered, I wanted to see how long it would take to get served. To my surprise, the answer was NEVER.
And, that was after one of the staff filled their cute little wooden boxes with silverware. She didn't say hi or acknowledge me in anyway.
I can only assume that since this is in the "trendy" Shoreditch area, I wasn't cool enough. I'm not sure I've ever been treated so rudely. All I can say, is if I owned this place and saw my staff behaving that way, they be looking for a job.
If only Steve Irwin were still alive, certainly this is where he would head to capture the hipster in his natural habitat. 'Crikey!' he would say, 'look at this one, isn't she a beauty?' (The answer, of course, would be 'no').
Then one of the patrons would kill him with a piercing disdainful stare.
Sweeping the clientele aside, there isn't a better place in the area to go see a show. The live music space is unmatched and the bands/DJs they bring in are on the cusp of something big....which, ironically, will make them fall out of favour with the HSB&K crowd. Ah, the circle of life.
Also, beer is expensive here. I guess you have to spend that trust fund somehow. Crikey!
Lots of exposed concrete give this pub a rather utilitarian feel, but their full bar and intimate space would make it a great place for a late night hang out. Sadly, I was only here for a coffee and a beer with a friend.
Tables up front, tables out front and a comfortable booth in the back made for an enjoyable afternoon meeting.
Bonus: they have a few power outlets and free wifi.
I liked it. If I'm in this part of town and ready for a live band, I'll stop by.
At 1am on a Saturday night this place is rank. It's essentially the East End's answer to the horror clubs of Picadilly circus.. you know... like Tiger Tiger (if you say Tiger three times the ghost of Jodie Marsh appears).
Maybe at 3pm on Monday it's tolerable but on weeknights when you're forking out mucho quido for a beer, surrounded by ugly face men on the prowl for victims and the DJ is murdering some good songs in the name of 'mash-ups' then it is far from tolerable. Who has the cheek to open a yuckster place like this in lovely Hoxton and even go so far as employing bog trolls? No doubt some cynical money-making misanthrope. Shame on them.
Nice comfy chairs and artwork nearly bless this place with two stars but the degeneracy of the clientele keep at one. Go back to SW1 you plebs!
I realise that not everyone will be as familiar with Girl's Aloud's back catalogue as myself but they have a song called 'Hoxton Hero' which kind of sums up the types that lurk around in Hoxton just to be a part of the 'scene'. From that reference you can clearly tell that I am not one of these people which is why I instantly feel uncool here. I never know the music, I never get the fashion, I'm always a bit too middle of the road for this kind of place.
Having said that, I always find the staff very friendly (maybe they're just mocking me and I don't know it) and they have a good selection of drinks.The interior is minimalist but the seats are fairly comfortable and the general vibe pretty relaxed. For me though, there is nothing so hugely special about this place that it merits the enormous queue's outside that form at the weekends. As far as I can see it's just another bar in Hoxton with overpriced drinks.
Hoxton Bar & Kitchen is a nice bar directly on hoxton square. It's open till late and there is a dance floor in a separate room. No entrance fee and usually no problems t the door - a relaxed alternative to the many clubs in this area.
The restaurant is nice, too. Good burgers and a very good Texan Chili con carne.
During the day, it is a nice place to have breakfast or lunch, particularly when you find a place outside, with all the hoxton square buzz around you.
I went to this place on Halloween great laugh the staff had some of the best costumes I've seen the bar was done up with cobwebs and things hanging from the
ceilings and walls they really done a good job.
The beers good here didn't try the cocktales but they did a special on shots which was great , they also have a heated smoking area and a down stairs where they have live bands .
All in all a great night out.
I've been here on a wednesday afternoon when it's completely dead and now a sunday on a bank holiday when it's fairly packed at 8:30.
They've changed the restaurant menu since I've last been. Now its weird trendy tex mex with lucha libra mexican wrestling masks on the menus...that double as placemats...reminiscent of denny's...
To be fair I enjoyed it's peaceful grandeur when it was empty on the wednesday afternoon. I might come back here to have casual drinks and maybe some snacks to catch up with a friend but probably not for dinner or a night out.
Hoxton Square Bar and Kitchen doesn't have to try too hard does it? It sits on a piece of prime square footage - it doesn't need to call us - we come to it.
I have been here a couple of times when there has been live music on, and it has been absolutely packed. The bar was rammed when I came last night too. To be honest, it was a little too busy and mad for my liking. Anyway, I was hungry, so we went into the food section, which was much more calm.
I had never eaten here before, so I was a bit disappointed to see that the menu was a bit formulaic and bland looking. I swear, if I see sodding potato skins on a menu again I will scream! But when our food came it was actually pretty good. Seeing that they don't have to try with the food either - even the coolest and skinniest of Hoxtonites still get hungry tummies and will need feeding - I actually liked it. Still, someone tells me how a quesidilla is meant to have mashed potato in? Mine did. We split a full bodied bottle of red, and had a great time having a late supper.
I know that you are meant to come here to drink and pose, but sometimes sitting and eating is even more fun.
Girlfriend and I hung out here for New Year's Eve. WICKED GOOD PARTY. Great DJ's and an awesome cover band. The bars were well stocked (they had Anchor Liberty Ale... being from San Francisco I just had to get one after a few decent gin&tonics and shots of tequila) and the bartenders were on-point and nice.
If you're looking for a cool venue or fun place to dance, I'd definitely recommend this gem.
Was here last year, and lived on the street right behind here. This place was super chill and had a nice selection of drinks. The music isn't really my fave to dance to, but still upbeat and fun.
The crowd is the usual Shoreditch artsy type and young professionals, so it was a lot of fun!
I've been here twice. Once was on a sunny afternoon to use the loo as I was boozing in Hoxton Square.
The other was to hang out on a Saturday night.
I was not at all impressed.
When I first arrived, I was greeted by a clipboard Nazi who wanted to know how many people were in my group. It was just myself as I was meeting people there. As she let me in, I expected the place to be jam packed. It was only half full. FAIL.
The main bar was inundated with punters trying to get a drink, so I went to the bar in the "kitchen". This is the best place to get service as it was pretty quick.
After procuring my drink, we hung out a bit in the lounge and people watched. For some reason, on Saturday's this place has a very Mayfair crowd (read: douchey). So there were popped collars a plenty along with a gaggle of girls in jennings (shutter).
Moving to the dance floor, we realized that things didn't get much better. The main dance floor is super hot. There also were loads of people jumping up on the stage to dance. Too many of these people were Jersey Shore rejects. While it made for fun people watching, it was all a bit obnoxious.
The music also wasn't that great. I don't mind a throwback every now and then but when they played anything recent it was super indy, obscure and un-danceable.
After an hour and a half, I had to leave. Can't say that I'll ever return.
After checking into the Hoxton Hotel I was in anticipation to meet our childhood friend to catch up after a few years. We've met in London back during my Europe travel years, thereafter in Sardegna, back in SFO and Oakland, and last week in full circle.
We spent a few moments catching up by the Hoxton's lobby bar and decided we need to eat!
We found ourselves in midst of Shoreditch's party scene. We enjoyed and shared our plates of ribs, rib-eye steak and lots of fries. I enjoyed the transitory phase where the crowd was still international yet the venue and ambiance reminded me that I was homebound. This place is just like another hip SOMA or Potrero Hill joint. The crowd was the artsy, techno, hip, loft-living type of people. My childhood friend is a business-finance girl so she was kind of not belonging.
After many weeks in Germany and Istanbul, I was also not feeling that I belonged.
But, it was a good venue. Excuse our predisposition, after all, we are daughters of expat fathers - diplomats of Italian consulate, we're kind of hi-maintenance.
At least I was, when I was on vacation.
This is one of my favourite hang out places in London, I'm not a big fan of the so called "exclusive" clubs like cafe de paris, I found that hoxton bar & kitchen has a good crowd.
Despite the comments made by other people about this place being full of "hipsters" and "pretentious", my experience has been totally different. Lately I've met really down to earth French, Italian, Irish people to name a few. It's got a really cool vibe for saturday nights there's a dance room with good music, a quiet patio area to talk, and plenty of places to sit down, (as well as a restaurant with decent food).
The service could be tad better, the bartenders don't shift orders as fast as the west end clubs, and are really slow. I remember walking up to a bar with only 5-6 other people waiting before me, thinking I should get served pretty quick. Then I had to wait 20 minutes to get my drink.
p.s. I tend to go Saturday nights only, not sure how it's like on other days.
I've never understood the big fuss about Hoxton Square. When I was animatedly told about the place soon after moving to the area, I couldn't wait to check it out. I was, of course, bitterly disappointed, particularly with the square itself. In fact the only half decent places I have found nearby have been just off the main square (in fact some very good places can be found close by).
The Bar and Kitchen, enthusiastically named after the location, is one of the places I have been on a couple of occasions. Once in a post work battery (hen not bunny) drinking experience which was not particularly pleasant and once on a more chilled evening when the room to move allowed me to notice the expensive drinks and lack of bar snacks.
To be fair, there is nothing particularly offensive about this barI just can't think of anything to recommend it. Maybe the food is alright? I haven't tried that aspect.
A club sandwich with some chips, sitting outside, 12pm on a sunny Sunday is the only way I have experienced this place. I have never been at night and don't think I've even ventured into the toilets so can't comment on what Jekyll and Hyde transformation must occur on a Saturday night.
When the queue for the Breakfast club is reaching Curtain road this places does the job nicely.
This place is both a restaurant and a bar. From the outside it looks like two venues in one, the restaurant is clearly on the right and bar on the left. As you walk in to the bar you walk down a wide set of stairs to a very long thick wooden bar. You will see at the end of the room is a big glass window letting light into a somewhat dark place. Walking through the centre of the room through almost a large square tunnel you fin parallel to the bar the restaurant. Both have outdoor seating areas.
The queue to the bar on a Thursday, Friday and Saturday is crazy! A very popular large venue with loud music ranging from 70's to today's tunes. The restaurant is also extremely popular with really tasty food. Last week we had fish cakes and nachos (a bit of a random combination!) to share with drinks. But in the past I have thoroughly enjoyed their burgers and friends always enjoy the huge meals of beef or pork depending what is on the menu! Accompanied by fresh vegetables. A fun night out as you can slip into the busy bar after a tasty light bite or main meal
Hoxton Bar and Grill isn't really a day time venture I feel, the drinks are pricey all the time the only cheap thing is the beers, Red stripe on tap so you can't go really go wrong with that!
This bar is home to a few legendary club nights, this is where FAMILY, BOOMBOX and PONYSLIP all began. Boy George would seem plain in this venue, all styles, cultures and crazes are welcome here! Apart fom a big queue for those getting there a bit after 11pm, this place is a quality night out...on the Sunday might I add.
A very spacious but usually packed venue, boasting an event room with raised main stage, DJ booth and three bars dotted about the venue. Expect to see lots of the up and coming, famous or rookie fashion designers Jean Pierre Braganza and Giles Deacon i've seen. music and media crowds in here, quite youthful and hedonistic but all in all a good night out...on a Sunday I might add.
The Hoxton Bar & Kitchen used to be the chosen venue of the ever acclaimed avant-garde Sunday night event 'BoomBox'. Frequented by the fashion cream of the crop this night was the perfect place to be seen, let loose, wear outrageous make up, and show your best fashionable clothes. Unfortunately after about half a year of acclaim and good reviews, BoomBox's fame died and it was eventually canceled.
The Hoxton Bar & Kitchen still survives, although perhaps with slightly less glamour. In its defence, I have had some had some pretty good nights here excluding Sundays and think that this a great music venue for bands. The back room often hosts some pretty good gigs for a fiver and does not tend to get too busy. The front room also has some comfortable sofas and can be fun with a group of friends. I would recommend to use this place as a night bar rather than a restaurant or café, since I have rarely heard good things about the food or coffee.
I went to the Bar and Kitchen last summer with two friends, one of whom was meeting people inside. We got there pretty late and the doorman told us it was too late to get in, which prompted a slightly ridiculous 'cool test' which, happily, we passed.
It was late and the crowd had mostly dispersed. As our friend went to went to find the people, we got a drink and sat outside in the little courtyard in the front and did some people watching. Then we headed back inside for a bit.
I didn't get a particularly full of experience of the place but it was certainly fun to see.
Hoxton Bar and Kitchen is typical of the venues that have sprung up all over this part of town. It has all the hallmarks of a chain joint, except it isn't. It attracts a moneyed clientele, despite the fact that the restaurant pricings are surprisingly reasonable (and the tex-mex dishes are pretty good).
It doubles as a live venue, and bands play regularly. Clubs are also beginning to be held here. It desperately needs a peronality-lift, and that's probably the way to do it.
Hoxton has become one of the trendiest places in London, and the Square is right at its heart. It's surrounded by art galleries (notably White Cube), cafes and bars, and just round the corner from the clubs and Vietnamese restaurants on the lower part of Kingsland Road.
The square itself is pleasant enough: a patch of grass hemmed in with railings, with a few nice trees. Sometimes you'll find an art installation there. On opening nights at the White Cube you might find a famous artist sipping a drink on the grass.
Cool spot that serves all your hipster needs. Bar? Check. Restaurant? Check. Music venue? Check.
The bar area is big, and has outside seating on Hoxton Square, lots of tables-for-four and low sofas inside, and some areas with stools and benches. The vibe is dark, funky, and just a little scuzzy-hip.
At the back is a room for DJs and bands that holds about 200 people. It's got its own bar so you don't have to leave the room if you're enjoying the show.
Past that room is a restaurant serving the familiar steaks, burgers, salads, etc.
Open until at least midnight every night, 2am on the weekends.
Their website's very good. Check it out for maps to get there, listings of who's playing, full menu with prices, and pictures.
I just wanted to point out that Timinator's term scuzzy-hip is not only a brilliant way to describe the scene here but aptly describes so much of the Hoxton, Shoreditch, Old Street ambience.
Last time I was at this bar and grill, some AC/DC was blairing - followed by some Purple Rain-era Prince nice. I did feel a bit old though with all the twentysomething scuzz hipsters bandying about.
I love HSBK for so many reasons! First, the big breakfast is fantastic and the pancakes are good too. They make decent cocoas and coffee, as well as cocktails.
Lunches are tasty too, from salads to burgers, I've had quite a few things on the menu and never had something I didnt like.
The place is large and separated by the cafe side and the larger bar side, though food is available on both and it's more about what kind of atmosphere you want.
The other huge perk is there are comfy couches, quite a few tables and lots of folks working on laptops since HSBK also has free wifi. LOVE! They also have just enough wall outlets so that you can power up if you're there for a long time, as I have been in the past.
In the evenings, it's a great place to meet friends for drinks and live music.
It offers a lit bit of everything -- all day long.
My enjoyment of this venue very much depends on its busyness - when chock full of uber trendy art student types it gets as unbearable to hang around in as Proud Galleries, seemingly stuffed to over capacity with constant pushing and shoving required to move even an inch. Bah!
It's a cool venue to play though, especially on nights such as the one I've just described, but I still have the overwhelming urge to run off home immediately afterwards to avoid of getting stuck in a sticky, sweaty cage of human flesh. They let far too many people in to the gigs!
I visited this venue for the first time recently to watch The Pipettes and their support acts play. I really liked to gig space and relaxed atmosphere, not to mention space to sit down inside if you wanted to.
The bar itself is a great open space with intimate corners and a large social bar area. Yes everyone does feel a little bit 'cool' here, but on a Tuesday night, which was when I went, it felt really chilled out.
I didn't eat here so can't comment on the food, but I've heard good things about the brunch.
The bar itself is tucked behind the main street and there are some quite dark streets leading to it so I'm not sure I'd be happy leaving on my own to get the tube.
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