The Black Heart
- Nearest Public Transport:
Mon-Thu 11:30 - 0:00
Fri 11:30 - 1:00
Sat 12:00 - 1:00
Sun 12:30 - 22:30
- Price Range:
- Good for Groups:
- Outdoor Seating:
- Juke Box
- Best Nights:
- Full Bar
- Outdoor Area/ Patio Only
- Coat Check:
- Noise Level:
- Good For Dancing:
- Has TV:
- Wheelchair Accessible:
Recommended Reviews for The Black Heart
25 reviews in English
Review from Grant T.
I've been to The Black Heart twice now. Both times for food. First for Kimchi Cult and second for Tongue'n'cheek. It's always a bit of a shock walking in as the music playing is music reminiscent of my childhood. It's not necessarily the music I listened to, but it's the music my sister listened to, so I'm quite familiar with it.
Both times I've come, I've had some beer, and both times I've been quite impressed with the beer I've had. The cask ales aren't the ones that you find at many of your chain pubs, and it's a nice selection that seems to have a lot of thought put into it.
One thing about coming to Britain is that there seems to be a certain feeling and atmosphere when walking into a pub. It has a certain Britishness about it. I don't hate that feeling, but it's nice to find a pub that has a different vibe and a different clientele than your standard British pubs. It's also incredibly close to the Camden Town station, so that's awesome too.
I like it. I really do. It's won me over with its clear non-Britishness and the nostalgic thoughts I have when I'm inside. And the beer. Good beer can always win me over.
Review from Alex S.
The Black Heart is one of those London "dive bars" that is trying a little too hard to be grungy or rock and roll.
Everything here is intense. The name is intense. The location, down a back alley with a giant black heart hanging above the door, is intense. The music on the speakers is intense. The insane over-the-top intense poster and pictures that line the walls of skulls and neon crosses are... intense. It's an intense kind of place.
It's not a bad pub though if you want a little bit of everything happening. The staff works quickly to get you a drink - beer mostly, and their selection is nice. A lot of local stuff to chose from.
No food, but sometimes they do pop-ups with different places so you can get your meal on that way. I went to one with Kimchee Cult and it was a little annoying to order my beer at the bar and then have to go all the way around the room to order my food at the window and have to pay twice. Think they could have streamlined that, but ah well.
Black Heart isn't just a bad though, it's also a place for bands. There's a stage on the second floor for music. I saw a band I really like who was touring through London rock out here. It's never going to be that venue that brings in big names but it's a small intimate room with a bar in the back so you don't have to go downstairs for more beer. That was a good touch. And the sound is quality, damn loud (obviously) but in that way you want when seeing a rock band close up. I'd see more music here.
On their website, Black Heart calls thsemselves "a Music Pub with an edge." Sure, if the edge is a really, really, really intense one.
Review from Yinnie C.
The tables are sticky, the tables are wobbly but you don't care once you've had kimchi cult. Read about my sexy burger adventure on the kimchi cult review page.
Alas, Black heart was not as pirate sexy as I thought it would be, there were no Jack sparrow's hanging about. (wait, that was the black pearl....Fail whale!)
The tables were sticky, the tables were wobbly and there was a massive floral arrangement like the type you get at funerals saying BLACK HEART. So morbid, as was the soap in the loos. It wasn't as much soap, it was a massive bag of grimy antibac gel. kinda icky. but it does fit with the morbid theme. Tip: take your own nice smelling anti bac.
The cocktails are pretty yummy but they take AGES to make, or at least the girl serving did. I was PARCHED by the time I received it.
But Kimchi cult is an indefinite pop up there for the timebeing so I'll definitely be back, regardless of everything because I LOVE KIMCHI BURGERS.
Review from Valerie S.
I don't often go to Camden, which I would like to be the first to admit is a bit silly. After all, Camden feels distinctly like home, yet clearly English, which is probably why it resonates with all of me, including the American citizenship and the Anglophile heart. That all said, as part of an impromptu let's-do-Camden-tonight, the Black Heart was absolutely my favorite spot along the way, despite all of it's quirks, er, character.
It's a rock n' roll bar, playing classic rock. Now classic rock is not my favorite, and that says something that I was able to go in, have a few drinks, shoot some pool, rock out a bit, and still love the place. It's filled with unusual people, or maybe just the standard people you're likely to find out and about around 2am in Camden, but it just adds to the experience.
The bar is quick with service and the servers are pretty friendly, given the crowd that gathers. It's not the kind of place to have a deep conversation, but it is the place to get a little bit rowdy and enjoy good music and good company. I'd love to go back in and look around a bit more, as other reviewers have mentioned how cool the decor is.
Review from Andrew M.
It creeps me out a little that the website for the Black Heart is http://www.ourblackheart…. Was http://www.theblackheart… taken? Or do the owners really have pure evil at their core?
Whatever the reason, one can't fault them for picking a theme and going full on with it. The Black Heart is a black metal pub with a small venue on the upper floor. It's the type of place that you would expect to be the hangout for a biker gang in a movie with dark walls, slightly dim lighting, and a pool table in the corner. The clientele are similarly dressed with black being the colour of choice and I think I lost track of how many white guys walked by with the trademark black beanie on despite the warm temperature inside.
The bar takes up most of the central space and is woefully understaffed with the average wait time for a beer somewhere around 15 minutes. While the beer list on the wall looks impressive, be warned that they don't have a good portion at any given time so always get up there with a back up in mind or you may face another wait before you can get served. Prices are also a bit much at £5 for some of the nicer bottles (330ml still) and pints around £3-4. Card minimum is £10 so keep some cash on you unless you are buying a round.
But none of this is why we were here. We came for Kimchi Cult and damn I'm glad we did. Kimchi Cult was born as a street trader slinging juicy burgers to the hungry masses. Naturally, as the name suggests, their signature burger, the Kimchi Cult Special, is topped with a generous serving of kimchi made by the man in charge. I first ran across them a few years ago at a Korean festival and I've been an avid fan ever since. Given the winter weather makes for poor street stall trade, they are running a six week pop-up at the Black Heart. I won't go into too much detail on them (see the Kimchi Cult reviews for that), but I will note that because they have a larger kitchen (which isn't saying much) this time, they are also offering up some loaded fries. The kimchi fries are doused in a kimchi hot sauce and packs some serious heat. The bulgogi fries are topped with a massive serving of delicious bulgogi (some of the best I've had in London). Both are huge portions that will definitely fill you up...unless you are Rob H...in which case even the ribs from the Flintstones aren't enough.
Back to the Black Heart, it's an alright pub for Camden but unless you are into the metal scene I'd probably give it a miss. The beer is better (and a little cheaper) just down the street at BrewDog and you have more interesting places to people watch further up the locks. And I'm still slightly annoyed that after going through the effort of making a reservation for 8, they forgot about it completely and stuffed us on some tables in the middle of the busiest walkway in the pub. Not cool.
Review from Qype User (geebee…)
Review from Olivia E.
Alternative bar/pub with a wanna be "dia de los muertos" feel to it.
It's cool to hang out and enjoy some drinks. They have an upstairs venue as well and sometimes there are live bands playing or they're showing movies. If the weather is nice, the folding windows open and they have pizzas named after the 7 sins...uuuuu, I need to try one!
The staff was quick, we got our drinks in a jippy -even though the bar was busy- and the door dudes were ok but a bit arsy.
Nothing out of the ordinary in Camden.
Review from Laura N.
The Black Heart beats for the Camden locals - and it's tough not to love it for that alone.
While other Camden establishments aim to bring in the camera-flashing tourists, the strung-out punks, the overly emotional musicians, the angry goths, or really, just anyone to make it seem like 'this bar embodies Camden', the Black Heart just does its thing, (watched over by hi-fi biblical shrines, no less), tucked away on a back street near the tube. It's the *other way* on Camden High Street, which eliminates about 90% of Camden's usual traffic.
Yes they do beer, yes they do movies, yes they do pizza, but the reason you'll go to The Black Heart is because they're in Camden, but they don't painfully hype up the "HEY! CAAAMMMMDEN! YOU'RE IN CAMMMDEN!" thing. It's refreshing. As is the aforementioned beer.
Review from Ashley V.
An Amurrrrican bar in Camden.
Tattoos and rock n roll music and religious latino inspired paraphernalia strewn about (like From Dusk Till Dawn with less blood and mexicans)
Plus there was a jukebox on the wall that let you browse the albums but it wasn't actually connected so it was just a tease.
OH and a bartender short changed me. Yes it was only 10p but it's the principal of the thing. The other bartenders gave me correct change.
Ok ok I sound a bit harsh but I just wasn't feeling it that night. I think I was just tired and wanted to sit but there was no place to do that with our big group. Already packed on a thursday night at 9.
If we had a little spot of our own I would have been happy chatting and hanging out all night though.
Oh and there's an upstairs area for live music. The girlfriends/groupies of the band playing at the time were trying to get us to go upstairs with them.
Review from Leon C.
- 714 friends
Secretive, dark, with a vibe that makes you want to stay; I am quite taken by The Black Heart. Now I am not talking about the sister ship to Jack Sparrows Black Pearl, I am talking about Camden's newest bar on the block. Once you enter try to look past the rather confusing shrines and artwork of Jesus; no not some famous chump named after the son of God, the real Jesus of Nazareth, and enjoy the relaxed beginnings of a bar that could become a Camden legend over time.
There is a good offering on ale, beer and cider, with a healthy back bar that will appease most drinkers of spirits. You can even purchase food, pizza to be exact. These offerings are named after the seven deadly sins, but there isn't really anything deadly about them. Individual, thin crust pizzas costing around £4 are enough to tide you over till you grab a proper meal, but not much else. All the same, I enjoyed my gluttony pizza and revelled in the excitement of working my way through two banana bread beers.
For a drink away from the hustle and bustle of Camden High Street, come to The Black Heart, find a few of your favourite songs on the juke box, decide which of the two floors you want to sit on, and relax.
Review from Linzi M.
Camden is no town of saints, no Sunday school parish of virtue and faith. It's dirty, it's dark, and The Black Heart beats for sinners to come to play.
Lurking down a side street, I knew I'd love this place before I even stepped in the door. I'd lived and loved Camden for a long time, but no pub there ever really called to me. With a large black heart on the wall outside, you might almost miss this place in the darkness, but the lit up neon menu draws you in.
The Black Heart is hip and very cool, its theme the blending of good versus evil. Walls are lined with religious imagery, paintings of Jesus and a shrine. On the menu, the house pizzas are named after the 7 deadly sins. Which sin are you? After you leave The Black Heart, you may have notched up a few more.
Speaking of pizzas, order one. Trust me, they are small enough for a snack but delicious enough to satisfy. I love that the staff here are friendly and fun, they play a great blend of music from rock 'n' roll, to blues, to retro hits.
If you're looking for a laid back place to hang out, you can prop up the bar on a weekday night. But I imagine that at the weekend, this Camden heart of darkness wakes up for trouble.
Review from Lizzie G.
- 1866 friends
Did you know they show movies upstairs? Nope, neither did I until Eamon B organised an event here.
Hidden off the high street this little pub is as close to a "local" as you're going to get in the area. Friendly staff even made me a cuppa to warm me up after my cycle there. I really can't fault the place! I also know its a favourite spot of Miguel's and the bar man even knew his name. It's things like that, which make a pub not just good but great.
I shall be back here. When I next need a pre-gig drink or someone asks that question, "Is there actually anywhere good around here?" I'll point in the direction of The Black Heart.
Review from Eamon B.
- 113 friends
This is definitely my favorite place to grab a beer in Camden. It's off a side street, and thus slightly buffered from the normal Camden insanity.
The vibe is relaxed but slightly sinister, despite the many pictures of Jesus on the wall. They have their own IPA on tap which just may be my favorite beer brewed in London. Finally, they have an upstairs room where they regularly screen films. I went for 'Withnail and I' and had a hell of a time.
Definitely hit this place up if you're out in Camden.
Review from Michael F.
- 12 friends
The off the beaten path location and gothic theme may give this place a little street cred. The beer selection may also for them some cred. But the wanker manager of this place ruins anything redeeming about this drab bar.
Do yourself a favor and go somewhere with a friendly staff.
Review from Thomas A.
You know my criteria for a good bar: Hidden in an alleyway and filled with... oh right, it's not that kind of bar... but it is filled with chill people that aren't up their own asses (for the most part) trying to look like Amy Winehouse; which for camden, is sometimes a feat.
Prices were good, service was great, and it looks like it'd be a great place in the summer if they open up the front panels. We were there late on a friday night and it wasn't super packed, which was nice. And after reading Leon's review that there's banana bread beer (you know how I feel about both banana bread and beer), I'll be making a trip back in 3...2....
Review from Miguel G.
- 110 friends
Should I be sad or happy that the pizza here only gets three stars? If it was better I'd probably end up in this place way too often, so I think I'm ok with it.
It's a thin crust pizza and for the 3.5 quid you get a decent amount of food. The pizza is rectangular and cut on the diagonal so you essentially have two big slices.
There are 7 pizzas to choose from, each named after one of the deadly sins. First time around I went with the Greed pizza, which was a bit of a schitzophrenic mess of toppings. If I remember correctly it had achovies, capers, pepperoni, mushrooms, olives, jalapenos, ham and pineapple. All in all a bit too much, I guess that's what you get when you act on your greed. Kept it simple second go around and ordered the Envy with ham and pineapple.
Probably won't eat the pizza again unless I'm already here for the beer as it's not much more of a walk to Al Parco.
Review from Dan H.
Rock and indeed Roll, as i always end up rolling out pissed, this place is my new pre gig pub, has a wide selection of beers and a wide selection of spirits to, the Jukebox is a winner, something on there for everyone, One minute your chilling out to Bob Marley the next nodding along to some Sludge Doom metal. They also do food, Pizza's are very nice a reasonably priced, so if you like your music and beer, go here.
Review from Tisha B.
- 190 friends
I like the Black Heart mostly because its the one bar that I know in Camden that's hidden away from the hustle and bustle. I love the Black Heart for its cool atmosphere. Its quite gothic in its decorations. But they do have this huge colorful shrine to Mary which is absurd. It just goes to show that they don't take themselves too seriously.
The prices on drinks are pretty standard with our average pint costing about £3. They do have this really great rose beer on tap. But at £5 a pint, you may want to reconsider drinking it all night.
On the weekends, they play the most random mix of music that you'll ever here. They'll switch between Daft Punk to Kings of Leon to 90s hip hop. Given the decidedly goth kid vibe of the place, its a bit strange but fun nonetheless.
Review from Qype User (Hampst…)
- 16 friends
- Qype User Hampst…
First, the good points about The Black Heart... the staff. The staff here are really friendly and attentive - quick to serve. The place also has a nice layout, decent selection of beers on tap and they can make cocktails. Great for a couple of drinks and if the weather is nice, the folding door/windows are opened up bringing a bit of fresh air in (and also makes it easier to pop out for a fag). They have personal pizzas, haven't had one of these but they seem to be popular.
The bad point and this goes for so many bars/pubs in London - the music. Old "classic" / safe tunes. Why oh why for an area that is supposed to be cutting edge and hip do all the bars including The Black Heart not play up to date rock/indie music. the tunes here are all "safe" (ie Rolling Stones, a message to you Rudy - if I hear this one more time....).
come on Black Heart, you have the opportunity to get it right and play new tunes for us looking for a good bar that's a bit more edgy!
Review from Paul L.
Review from Alexandra W.
- 2 friends
Probably my favourite pub in Camden, for a number of reasons but mainly the excellent selection of drinks and it's location. Away from the high street you're spared the expensive tourist prices and most of the people that put me off going to some of the more well known pubs in Camden. The pool table is a definite plus too.
The staff are friendly and I never have much trouble getting served, even on a Friday or Saturday night when the place is usually packed. On these busier nights finding a seat can sometimes be hard, but once most people clear out to go to clubs it's much easier, also they have bar stools which are a good alternative if there's only two or three of you.
All in all an excellent pub for both a quiet drink during the week and a big night at the weekend.
Review from Qype User (Marekt…)
Review from Qype User (Jessic…)
- 10 friends
- Qype User Jessic…
i'm surprised no one has reviewed the black heart yet!! Down a side alley just before you get to camden tube. Went here for a mates Birthday. The trendy decor has a dark mexican day of the dead feel to it, making this bar/ pub a cool place to 'hang out' in. Friendly door men and bar staff. I recommend you pop into this real hidden gem
Review from Lucy A.
- 0 friends
Love this pub. Tourist free as down a side street. Super dark deco, freindly staff on door and bar. Not the quickest to serve but hey, this ain't some Weatherspoon's where they are trying to plough through masses of shouting people. Don't know if they do food but recommend you come here for drinking only (plus a little dance if there's room!!) One bad point, cider is way too expensive here and they do the poncey Swedish stuff in bottles for £5 each. They are 3 for £5 at Sainsbury's round the corner.
Review from Alex F.
- 1 friend
Nice ambiance and beer isn't bad, but I had a pretty bad experience at this forgettable pub. The manager intentionally overcharged me. When I realised about 1 minute later he refused to return my money. I could forgive him for this as the pub was hardly full, but he was extremely rude to me when I asked for the correct change. Poor customer service is never a way to help your business.