Gordon's Wine Bar
The city’s most storied wine bar has been operating as such since 1890, and today you can relish a glass of one of 80 wines (a blackboard shows daily specials) within the subterranean medieval vaults that literally drip with ambience. And yes, it’s truly medieval: the building dates to the 14th century, when it was a port and sherry warehouse for cargo coming off the nearby Thames. The cavernous interiors—with tall candles melting over empty wine bottles, higgledy-piggledy wooden chairs and barrels, and the house ginger tomcat—teem with loyal customers enjoying affordable vintages and plates of gooey cheeses. Don’t let the constant crowds prevent you from experiencing this slice of bygone London life.
Insider Tip: Wait out the post-work drinkers (after 8 p.m.), and you may well score a table.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.