16 of the best low-key bars around the world

IMDb/CBSSometimes you want a quiet bar to hang out.
  • There are plenty of low-key bars to choose from across the globe.
  • Candelaria is a Mexican joint in Paris, France, that boasts a hidden bar.
  • Cassidy’s in Dublin, Ireland, is a local spot with a hipster-meets-nerdy vibe.

Whether you’re searching for a mellow place to take a date or need someplace quiet to catch up with friends over drinks, there are venues across the globe where you can grab a beer or cocktail without the rowdy crowds.

To round up laid-back spots in cities from Toronto, Canada, to Cape Town, South Africa, INSIDER consulted user reviews on Yelp and TripAdvisor.

Here are 16 low-key bars around the world.

Knowhere Special is an intimate cocktail bar in London, England.

Located in the Kentish Town section of northwest London, Knowhere Special is an intimate, subterranean bar with a punny name. Yelp user Caren H. described this quirky drinking hole as “Low key, neighborhoody, a cocktail bar with character but without the scene. A must go if you are in the hood.”

Even more impressive is the fact that Knowhere Special’s seasonal craft libations are accompanied by small plates of food tailored to each drink.

New York City’s Raines Law Room is a speakeasy-style bar named for legislation that taxed liquor.

The Raines Law Room in New York City takes its name from a law passed in 1896 that was designed to reduce alcohol consumption through an imposed liquor tax. In addition to the Manhattan bar’s original location on West 17th Street, there’s also an outpost at a boutique hotel near Grand Central Station. Although people on Yelp said there are only a handful of snack options, the stellar cocktails make up for the limited food menu.

According to Yelp user Hong L., “It’s a nice low key speakeasy that has shared tables and chairs. Love the decor and the environment to grab drinks and catch up with friends.”

Vagabund Brauerei is a craft beer haven in Berlin, Germany.

Facebook/ Vagabund BrauereiVagabund Brauerei.

If you’re in Berlin and want a break from Pilsners and lagers, Vagabund is the bar for you. Founded by American homebrewers, this brewery and taproom serves a range of craft beers.

“This is my favourite kind of bar,” wrote Yelp userKathleen D. “Out of the city center, in a quiet area.”

In Dublin, Ireland, Cassidy’s is a local spot with a hipster-meets-nerdy vibe.

At Cassidy’s in Dublin, board games and local beer are part of the appeal. On Yelp, people described the vibe as “hipster” and “nerdy” in equal measure. The bar’s charmingly eclectic decor – think fairy lights and graffitied walls  - enhances the chill ambiance.

“Casual, fabulous music, remiss of tourism and a ton of local draft beers,” wrote Yelp user Abby K.

Alchemia is a low-key pub and music venue in Krakow, Poland.

Alchemia, a pub and music venue in Krakow’s Jewish Quarter, is popular for its low-key, candlelit atmosphere and its menu, which spans from fish and chips to falafel and hummus.

“Go for the drinks and the vibe,” wrote Yelp userAnna M. “Nice, chill, low lighting place.”

For Mexican eats and a hidden bar in Paris, France, head to Candelaria.

Mexican food may not be the first cuisine that comes to mind when you think of Paris, but Candelaria is a solid place to find tacos and frozen margaritas in the City of Lights. This hole-in-the-wall spot also boasts a hidden, more upscale bar tucked away in the back of the restaurant.

“Secret bar, speakeasy candlelight vibes, and lots of fancy cocktails,” summarized Yelp userLing S.

For craft beer in Hong Kong, check out Kowloon Taproom.

Facebook/ KowloonTaproomKowloon Taproom.

Situated in the Tsim Sha Tsui shopping district, Kowloon Taproom offers an impressive selection of craft beers, which are rarer to find in Hong Kong than other places.

“Surrounded by restaurants, this taproom is unassuming and low key,” wrote Yelp user Bryce B. “Plenty of local Hong Kong brewed beers on tap and in the bottle, most of which are good to great.”

Her Father’s Cider Bar & Kitchen in Toronto, Canada, is a good alternative to a traditional gastropub.

Facebook/ Her Father’s Cider Bar + KitchenHer Father’s Cider Bar + Kitchen.

For those who prefer cider to beer, Her Father’s Cider Bar & Kitchen in Toronto is a good alternative to a traditional gastropub. If you can’t decide which cider to order from Her Father’s extensive menu, you can opt for a flight to sample multiple varieties.

“Went with friends last weekend and were super happy with the vibe – very chill, not too loud, good music – great for catching up,” Yelp userLindsay K. said.

Ginza S in Tokyo, Japan, is a cocktail bar that specialises in whiskey.

Chris Ricco / ShutterstockWhiskey, not from the bar mentioned.

Specializing in whiskey, Ginza S is a quiet cocktail bar situated in the eponymous Tokyo shopping district.

“Low key, intimate, and upscale hidden whiskey bar in the heart of Ginza for the locals,” described Yelp userFanny W.

Ma Che Siete Venuti a Fa’ is a beer bar in Rome, Italy, named for a football chant.

Ma Cha Siete Venuti A Fa’Ma Cha Siete Venuti A Fa.’

Beer lovers in the Eternal City frequent Ma Che Siete Venuti a Fa’ – which takes its name from a football chant meaning “What did you come here for?” – for a mix of brews from Italy, Europe, and the US. Many people on Yelp characterise it as a “must visit” bar.

“Low key but friendly. Surprised to see beer culture out here, but they do it justice,” Yelp user Eric T. wrote.

Gazzetta Wine Bar is an elegant yet funky spot in Tel Aviv, Israel.

On TripAdvisor, people describe Tel Aviv’s Gazzetta Wine Bar as elegant yet funky. This bar is known for its boutique Israeli wine as well as dishes like cherry tomato salad and mushroom focaccia.

“A wine bar with a magical atmosphere, a place where you just want to stay more and more,” summarized TripAdvisor user Romi D.

Authentic tapas await at La Bodegueta, a local bar in Barcelona, Spain.

La BodeguetaLa Bodegueta.

No trip to Barcelona would be complete without trying some authentic tapas. La Bodegueta is a neighbourhood bar on La Rambla (a major pedestrian boulevard) that specialises in the Spanish appetizers.

According to Yelp userSu J. “It’s not a fancy place and you won’t have tourists lining up outside, but you will find many locals and regulars here which is always a good sign.”

For an unpretentious bar in Copenhagen, Denmark, try Duck and Cover.

Duck and Cover is an unpretentious, cosy cocktail bar located in Copenhagen’s hip Vesterbro neighbourhood. Its creative libations and knowledgeable bartenders attract locals and visitors alike.

As Yelp userAntesa J. described, “It’s not crowded, it’s not loud, the cocktails are delicious, the service is good, the people aren’t pretentious … basically it’s a cocktail bar without all the things I hate about cocktail bars.”

Prudence is a laid-back bar with a beer garden in Melbourne, Australia.

Melbourne is famous for its foodie scene, but for a more laid-back experience, Prudence fits the bill. A beer garden and the option to order in food from nearby restaurants make this bar a popular neighbourhood joint.

“Bless you, Prudence, for your low-key vibe, old rock records, and gorgeous bar staff – you have made this San Francisco transplant feel right at home,”Yelp userLulu W. wrote.

Shout Brasas & Drinks in Buenos Aires, Argentina is a low-key spot for wine and cocktails before the late-night crowds arrive.

Facebook/ SHOUT Brasas & DrinksShout Brasas & Drinks.

Argentina is known for its wine, and there’s plenty of vino at Shout Brasas & Drinks in Buenos Aires. You’ll also find unique cocktails and a full food menu (think lamb empanadas and focaccia bread topped with cheese).

Yelp userC.J. wrote, “Went on a Monday night, and it was very low key. Place started hopping around 10, but I think that is the BA way!”

The Gin Bar in Cape Town, South Africa, has a relaxed vibe.

If gin cocktails are your jam,The Gin Bar in Cape Town (which is hidden behind a chocolate shop) serves a bevy of drinks made from the juniper liquor. A light-strewn courtyard adds to the relaxed vibe.

TripAdvisor userCarl W. described it as “A great little bar hidden away in the heart of Cape Town.”

Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more.

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.