Quirky Bars In Reading To Visit On Your Day Off | 2022 Guide

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Dreaming of kicking back and relaxing, with a fresh pint in your hand? If so, we feel you. There’s nothing more rewarding than slugging away in the library all day and knowing you’re treating yourself afterwards. Whether that’s to a delicious meal at your fave restaurant, or a night on the town with your pals, it’s all just sooooo dreamy.  

Studying in Reading? You’re in luck! This popular student city is home to some of the UK’s most beloved bars and clubs. Each has unique amenities, meaning you can have whatever type of night you fancy. Do you picture yourself up on tables, dancing the hours away? Or, would you prefer a much more intimate setting with a cocktail list longer than your arm? Whichever your preference, Reading can cater for your needs. 

So, what’s stopping you? Get booking one of these bars in Reading for your next wild night out. You won’t regret it!

1. Walkabout

Walkabout sports live action

@walkaboutreading – Instagram

Finding somewhere to watch live sports can be super difficult, especially when it’s screened on a range of channels. If you’re struggling, then Walkabout might just be the place for you. It’s known as the ‘home’ for alllllll the sporting action in Reading. No matter what you’re into, or whether they’re clashing on the same day – they show it ALL. 

When it comes to drinking selections, Walkabout offers your typical drink menu. From bottled beer and cider to an extensive cocktail menu, there’s something to suit everyone’s tastes here. 

Serving some of the juiciest burgers you’ll ever taste in your lifetime, you’ll never have to compromise on food choices here. They even offer a classic Wing selection and a range of dishes such as Hunters Chips, BBQ Jackfruit Nachos (VG) and No Chicken Nuggets (VG). Seriously, what’s not to love?

2. Gun Street Garden 

people in the VIP section celebrating

@gunstreetgarden – Instagram

On the opposite end of the scale, Gun Street Garden is one of Reading’s top bars and nightclubs. Ideally located in the town centre, you’ll never have to walk far if you’re staying in our student accommodation in Reading

Expect all-around good vibes here, with awesome music blasting through the sound system and lots of dancing. 

There are a bunch of VIP packages for you to choose from if you fancy celebrating in style. So, make sure to head here if you fancy a fun venue with lots of dancing. 

3. Milk Bar

bars in reading you need to visit

@milkreading – Instagram

Being Reading’s only independent cocktail bar, you’re guaranteed a night unlike any other at Milk if you enjoy sipping tasty drinks throughout the night. 

This quirky bar boasts hundreds of different types of Rum, it comes as no surprise that they’re one of the best cocktail bars around. 

IF we told you their cocktail menu was a full 28 pages long…would you be in awe? ‘Cos that’s the full truth and nothing but the truth. Twenty-EIGHT pages. Read it to believe it

Follow their Insta if you want to see the extent of their alcohol ranges – prepare for your jaw to drop! 

4. The Purple Turtle

purple turtle bar and cocktail service in Reading

@purpleturtlereading – Instagram

The Purple Turtle is your haven for good vibes, brilliant drinks selection and popular events to book. It’s one of the best bars in Reading town centre and the bar staff offer an unmissable service. 

Whether you fancy after-work drinks or prefer to head here for the live sports, this late-night bar caters for all and is open till all hours in the morning.

Their outdoor seating is where it’s at though. For some reason, everyone seems to love heading to the smoking area, whether they smoke or not, just to chat and make some new pals. They even have a mock-up 70’s sitting area outside. Like, how cool?!

5. The Botanist

delicious floral cocktails from the Botanist in reading

@thebotanistUK – Instagram

Situated around the UK, The Botanist is one of the most aesthetically pleasing bars in Reading to visit. With its naturalistic influence and earthy tones, you’re bound to fall in love once you step through the entrance.

It offers a range of delicious food, from their iconic Hanging Kebabs, all the way to their Baked Camembert to share! There’s so much to choose from, so expect to be leaving on a full stomach. 

In terms of their drink selection, prepare to be in awe of their dreamy floral cocktails. Inspired by the flowers of the world, there are plenty of cocktails to choose from to satisfy your tastebuds!

6. Lola Lo

girls having fun in lola lo reading

Lola Lo is Reading’s very own cocktail bar and club, with a Pacific Island theme, with bamboo shacks and Easter Island-style heads. Visit here if you’re on the hunt for a brilliant night to make memories that last a lifetime.

Their cocktail masterclass is a huge hit with all the students, allowing you to learn the skills to craft your cocktail. Once you’ve made your way through the masterclass, you can use these newfound skills to impress your friends and family at big events – we love it!

7. Oakford Social Club

oakford bar in reading

@theoakfordsocial – Instagram

Nestled right next to the train station, Oakford Social Club is one of the top pubs and cocktail bars in Reading city centre! It’s the perfect place if you’re after live music and a magnificent drinks offering. 

Open every single day, we wouldn’t be surprised if you spend most of your free time relaxing here with your friends. It’s social and ideal for whatever night you fancy. 

It’s decked out with wooden furniture, long length tables which are perfect for big groups, and even a stage for you to watch any live gigs or emerging artists play.

8. Coconut Bar and Kitchen

delicious food to try from a bar in Reading

@coconutbarkitchen – Instagram

Last, but certainly not least, Coconut Bar and Kitchen is a must-visit if you’re studying in Reading for university.

They’re home to some super talented Mixologists, making it a great place to taste some delicious cocktails. Whatever you fancy, they (almost certainly) will be able to make it for you – what’s not to love?

How does an Asian inspired Bottomless Brunch sound to you? ‘Cos our mouths are drooling! Select two dishes from the brunch menu and get unlimited Prosecco or a range of selected cocktails…Mmmmm! From Sun-Fri, why not treat yourself to getting through the week? You deserve it!

Is Reading A Good Place To Go Out?

In summary, yes! Reading is packed full of brilliant and unique bars, clubs and pubs for you to explore when you go out. It’s all concentrated in the city centre, meaning you don’t have to walk far to get to the next place. However, we do recommend booking to go out on weekends though, as it can get pretty busy – don’t say we didn’t warn you!

And that’s a wrap! We hope you’ve loved our selection of quirky bars in Reading to visit when you have some free time. Whether you’re a party animal until the ‘AM or prefer watching the sports with a cheeky pint in your hand, there’s something for everyone here and we know you’re going to love it. If you’re interested in keeping busy whilst here for uni, why not check out our guide on things to do in Reading? You might just discover something you’ve never heard of before.