With more than 15 million people calling Lagos, Nigeria, their home, and a constant influx of visitors flocking in for business and pleasure, the country’s most populous city is also easily its most adventurous. With a new bar and restaurant seemingly springing up every other week, Lagosians and their guests are often spoiled for choice when it comes to the best places to share a refreshing cocktail or ten. Better yet, there’s a vibe for everyone. Whether it’s a relaxing drink by the lagoon, a buzzing rooftop terrace with spectacular views, or live music, Lagos has got you covered. Sip the night away in one or all of these wonderful bars in this delightfully chaotic city.
The New Afrika Shrine
Best for: An iconic, uniquely Lagos institution
Location: NERDC Rd, Agidingbi 101233, Ikeja
Price: Local Palm Wine from 1000 N / 2 USD
The unashamedly boisterous energy of New Afrika Shrine makes it Lagos’ most spirited bar. It was established to preserve the legacy of Afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti, founded by his son and daughter to replace the original Afrika Shrine that Fela himself opened in 1970 before it burned down seven years later. Today, the New Afrika Shrine is as thriving as ever, and without a shred of pretence. It even received a visit from Emmanuel Macron in 2018. If you happen to visit when Fela’s sons Femi or Seun are in town – both brilliant sax players and band leaders in their own right – prepare for an all-out Afrobeat party, with a multitude of dancers moving to the beat of some of Nigeria’s best musicians. There’s no fancy cocktails here, and you’ll find the only imported items are the cheap lagers. There’s no need for Long Islands or Mai Tais, however, when the locally made palm wine already takes you to the stars (not to mention the pungent clouds of second-hand smoke). If you’re visiting Lagos, you’d be seriously remiss not to hit up the New Afrika Shrine.
Best for: An unpretentious, casual vibe
Location: 256 Etim Inyang Crescent, Victoria Island 106104, Lagos
Price: Beers starting at 1800 N / 4 USD
Bature Brewery prides itself on using local ingredients to create some of Lagos’ most delicious craft beers, but that’s not all this relatively new hotspot has become known for. Tucked away in the centre of Etim Inyang Crescent, an area awash with nightlife-chasing expats, the brewery comes alive almost every evening with a fine selection of beers, cocktails and wines at your disposal. On Tuesday nights, Lagos’ millennial crowd flocks here to enjoy some Mexican food spilling over from the neighbouring El Padrino restaurant, and on Fridays, Bature boasts an ever-changing lineup of live music with local artists taking to the stage. It’s one of the city’s more casual spots, and if you’re new in town, you’ll find it’s easier to get chatting to a new friend here than at other venues.
Best for: A star-studded night out
Location: 5 Cowries Terminal, LASWA Yard, Falomo Ikoyi, 110233, Lagos
Price: Cocktails starting at 6500 N / 15 USD
Offering a glimpse of the party style of Lagos’ upper echelons, W Bar borrows elements from many internationally acclaimed restaurants, bars, and clubs, blending them together to create one of the city’s hottest bars. Located right next to the peaceful waters of Lagos Lagoon, guests can enjoy fresh seafood, Italian dishes and classic cocktails as the sun sets (doors open at 6pm), and let their hair down for a dance once it’s dark. Besides the nightclub, W Bar is your best bet for celebrity sightings, and if you’re lucky enough, you might catch a performance from one of your favourite artists or DJs, backed by an impressive light show.
Moist Beach Club
Best for: An upscale beach experience
Location: Iru local government, Ligali Ayorinde Street, Victoria Island 100011, Lagos
Price: Cocktails starting at 4500 N / 10 USD
Known to locals simply as Moist, this open-air beach club and lounge is considered one of the best bars in Lagos thanks to its majestic views of the Atlantic Ocean. It’s a picture-perfect destination that boasts a swimming pool, beach access, and a poolside bar supplying a plethora of different cocktails. Serenity is often assured during the day, and by night, the cool breeze whisks you away to the sounds of local and international DJs.
Best for: A raucous evening on the Lagos mainland
Location: Ikeja City Mall, Obafemi Awolowo Way, Ikeja
Price: Cocktails starting at 3500 N / 8 USD
Located at the top of Ikeja City Mall, the mainland’s most visited mall, Rhapsody’s makes up for its mundane car park views with impeccable service and mouthwatering cocktails. Evenings here are anything but calm, and as the mall shuts down for the day, this nightlife magnet comes alive with pulsating music from Nigeria’s biggest artists. The food is equally as good, and the energy at Rhapsody’s is pretty much unmatched on the mainland.
RSVP (The Poolside)
Best for: Drinks after work
Location: 9 Eletu Ogabi Street, Victoria Island 101001, Lagos
Price: Cocktails starting at 4000 N / 9 USD
RSVP brings together Manhattan decor and an undeniable Lagos vibe for a classy dining experience. While the restaurant offers some of Lagos’ priciest meals, the Poolside Bar, located right behind, is a casual yet equally gorgeous outdoor bar that offers fairly priced cocktails and a slinky ambience. It’s become a preferred spot for after-work drinks as it’s situated in Victoria Island, one of Lagos’ key business and financial districts. Noted for never dipping in quality, even after seven years, The Poolside at RSVP usually ranks high on the service metre and is rightfully considered one of the best bars in Lagos.
Best for: Endless cocktail options
Location: The Lennox Mall, Admiralty Way, Lekki Phase I 106104, Lagos
Price: Cocktails from 4000 N / 9 USD
A rooftop restaurant and lounge, Atmosphere Rooftop offers one of the most diverse cocktail lists in the entire country. The diligent bartenders are experts at their craft, while the stylish and casual setting is Instagram catnip. Atmosphere Rooftop has a choose-your-poison-style approach for each night, delivering a wide array of experiences for guests. You can watch a sports game on the large screen, have an intimate dinner in the sealed lounge, or dance the night away under the stars.
The View Rooftop
Best for: Unrivalled rooftop views
Location: Road Water, Okunde Bluewater Zone Off Remi Olowude, Corporation Road, Lekki
Price: Cocktails from 4000 N / 9 USD
If the stunning rooftop views weren’t enough, The View also enjoys the calming sounds of the waves lapping at the Atlantic coast. It’s located at the top of TwinWaters Entertainment Centre, which also houses two fine dining restaurants, a gaming arcade, and a bowling alley. The View Rooftop is one of the best bars in Lagos for its comfortable seating, delicious cocktails, and fresh open air.
Lagoon Restaurant — Seaside Terrace
Best for: Humongous cocktails by the water
Location: 1c Ozumba Mbadiwe Ave, Victoria Island 106104, Lagos
Price: Cocktails from 4400 N / 10 USD
Yes, the menu is unabashedly diverse, and its waterside location is enviable, but what makes Lagoon a truly remarkable destination is the seriously jumbo-sized glasses they serve their cocktails in, often proving to be a lot more than one can handle. Their cocktail menu is eclectic and entertaining too – drinks like “comfortable fuzzy screw up against the wall with a kiss” immediately stand out. There’s a lot to eat at Lagoon’s seaside terrace, but if nothing takes your fancy, there’s a Japanese restaurant, a Brazilian restaurant, a rooftop lounge and bar, and Zorya (one of Lagos’ hottest nightclubs) all in the same compound.
Best for: Views of the Lagoon
Location: Plot 1 Block 12, Admiralty Road, Lekki Phase 1, Lekki, 101253, Lagos
Price: Cocktails from 4000 N / 9 USD
A floating bar, coupled with live music and comedy shows, makes Sailor’s Lounge one of Lagos’ best waterside spots. Located in Lekki Phase 1, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a quiet night at this restaurant and bar. The customer service is top-notch – one of those rare places where the staff are clearly and genuinely enjoying themselves – a feeling surely aided by the refreshing breeze of the Lagoon. A classic drink recommendation is the Drunken Sailor Cocktail, a bittersweet concoction that will have you longing for the high seas.