Shisha is more popular than ever in London – but there’s a wide range of places to enjoy a smoke, with prices for a pipe ranging from £12 to a whopping £170. So check out our guide to 10 of the best shisha joints in town.
During lazy summer evenings, Massis offers the right mix of traditional Lebanese dishes and good, reliable shisha, reasonably priced at £20. The Paddington restaurant, well known for its generous portion sizes, has a cozy outside area where shisha is offered during summer. The menu is quite rich in choice, and extremely friendly to vegetarians. Enjoy Halloumi Couscous served with roasted vegetables (£9.50), Falafil Massis (falafel crust with vegetables and pickles – £6.25), or Aubergine stew (£14).
If Latin diva Gloria Estefan enjoyed her time here, then maybe you will too. Al Sultan is a Lebanese restaurant in the heart of Mayfair that was founded in 1986. Recently refurbished, the interiors shimmer with multiple shades of gold fit for a sultan, while the outside is a haven for smokers and shisha lovers. The restaurant says that all its meat is halal, and better yet for many, marinated for a minimum of 24 hours.
What do sushi and shisha have in common (apart from the ‘shhhh’)…? Well, you can find both at Syon Lounge in the Hilton London Syon Park hotel, billed as where ‘the Middle East meets the Far East’.
If the (perhaps unusual) combination of sushi and shisha isn’t enough to ignite your senses, the majestic surroundings of Syon House park might just do it. The estate is the home of the Duke of Northumberland, and the last privately owned country estate in London.
The Baku Bistro street café is in a convenient central London location for a quick shisha fix. Shisha is offered daily from 11am until 11pm on the café’s terrace. At peak times, a time slot of 1.5 hours is assigned per shisha, after which you are kindly asked to pay and leave. The food menu is fairly humble, with a standard selection of mezza, sandwiches and salads. Contrary to what the name of this café would suggest – Baku being the capital of Azerbaijan – the cuisine is quite international.
If you fancy living the tales and splendour of One Thousand and One Nights, head to the Mamounia Lounge in Knightsbridge, just a few steps away from Harrods.
The restaurant and club promises an indulgent Middle Eastern experience through its exotic menu, entertainment shows with DJ nights and belly dancers, and extensive shisha list.
Mamounia Lounge, which runs restaurants in Knightsbridge and Mayfair, was one of the very first restaurants in London to provide their customers with a shisha experience. The place also offers electronic shishas which can be enjoyed indoors.
When it comes to food, Mamounia Lounge is just as adventurous, offering modern twists on Lebanese and Moroccan classics.
And if you think such twists are innovative, have a look at their shisha menu, which includes the use of different types of fresh fruits and even strawberry milk to produce the right shisha for every mood. But beware, your money could go up in smoke: Shisha prices start from £40, and can go as high as £170. So be careful what you wish for.
Al Hamra restaurant is named after a palace in Granada, Southern Spain, and serves up some of our favourite flavours from the Arab world.
The restaurant is located in Shepherd Market, affectionately known as the village of Mayfair. It was established in 1984 and is now recognised as one of the foremost Lebanese restaurants offering authentic cuisine in an old-school setting. And for the smokers, Al Hamra also has an outdoor area which serves great selection of shisha.
The restaurant is busy with both Londoners and visitors from the Middle East, so booking a table is recommended, especially in the summer months.
7. The Palm Tree Lounge
As part of the Palm Tree restaurant, the Palm Tree Shisha Lounge offers a variety of shisha flavours as well as heated seats to guarantee a pleasant experience year-round.
The Palm Tree Lounge is located on Romford Road in East London, and the restaurant next door offers a wide choice of reasonably priced Indian, Chinese, and Thai food. The Lounge is also known for a rich menu of mocktails. Shisha prices start at £12.
8. Beirut Nights
Located on Park Royal in North London, Beirut Nights is a Lebanese restaurant famous for great food as well as its quality shisha. The restaurant has a heated terrace, ideal for perfect nights with family and friends. The restaurant claims to be a favourite among some Arsenal football players, and some lucky guests have spotted the superstars chilling here.
Beirut Nights offers a shisha at £15 with a range of Alfakher, Starbuzz and Fantasia flavours.
9. The Banc
The Banc in Tottenham is burger and steak restaurant, but it has a hidden-gem shisha lounge. The two-storey restaurant was once a bank but it has been converted to a beautiful venue that serves great food and shisha.
The Banc was opened in 2011 and since has become a favourite destination in North London. It is an ideal place to chill out with friends. The vibrant restaurant boasts an impressive five star rating from readers of Time Out London.
10. Dar Marrakesh
For a taste of Morocco in the centre of London, Dar Marrakesh is a special restaurant and shisha lounge offering authentic Moroccan cuisine with a modern twist.
The venue has recently adopted a new concept of indoor electric shisha, which could be ideal during the cold season. It hosts regular live entertainment including belly dancing every Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
The shisha lounge has a Moroccan-inspired setting and offers a huge selection of shisha flavours starting from £14.