We have Smokers, those Smoking E-Cigs or Vaping, Ex Smokers with no aid and those who have never touched any Tobacco related products. So lets talk Hookah aka ‘Shisha’…

‘Think First Thursday’s’

We would like to suggest two Shisha Café recommendations. Shisha is a growing trend and we advise visiting multiple Cafes; each venue operates with different standards. We have visited many Shisha Venues in the past year. We have visited cafés in Dagenham, Edgware Road, Clapham, Reading, Brighton and Margate. Every café is different in service standards, food quality, Shisha Menus and their other offerings. If you search the internet you will find many more Cafés across the country.

Two venues Universal Levels recommend to visit if you want to smoke Shisha in London

  • Both venues have a food menu and operate a no alcohol policy.

1: Basrah Lounge, W3 0SL

  • Located on an industrial estate in Park Royal.
  • The Shisha quality here is good. You will receive well prepared and quality Shisha.
  • Basrah Lounge is extremely large. This venue is our choice for special occasions, larger social gatherings or simply to have more space. We have always been seated.
  • Very inviting on arrival. The décor is close to authentic and the ambience is exotic.
  • Warmer than some Shisha Cafes.
  • You will have to pay up front when your order.


2: Mevali Shisha Bar, SE10 9BJ

  • Located at the back of a restaurant in the heart of Greenwich.
  • We highly recommend Mevali Shisha Bar for Shisha. The taste and quality will send you into supreme tranquillity.
  • Small Smoking Area, less than 20 tables to smoke at. You may not get a table. You may have to wait for  table. You may possibly be asked to share a table with others. Depending on your social tolerance you can make your choice.
  • Booths are cosy and you can feel at ease; feeling of privacy.
  • Outdoors is heated appropriately and it is acceptably warm.
  • One of the rare places you can pay for your Shisha and food at the end of your visit.




Visiting a Shisha Café? Universal Level’s Hints & Tips

  • Most Shisha Venues operate a no alcohol policy. This is due to the customs and practices associated with the origins of this smoking activity. Seating is usually located in a garden or terrace area; complying with smoking rules and regulations.
  • Call ahead of your visit. Check to see if they are offering Shisha, if they are serving food, what time they will be closing and if you can pre book a table.
  • If you want to eat and smoke after, make this request the moment your are seated or when you order. Otherwise you may receive your Food and Shisha at the same time.
  • Shisha Menus have different pricing structures. You will usually have different types of tobacco or additions to add to your smoking experience. Some Cafes request payment at the time of ordering, this is a normal practice in many venues of this type. Request a receipt if you need a breakdown of your order; we recommend this.
  • When choosing a flavour look for what you like. If you don’t like coconut then don’t smoke a pipe flavoured of coconuts. The staff will happily help you make your choice.
  • If you see terms as Starbuzz, Ice Pipe, Fruit head, and more. These are add-ons. You can enhance the taste of your pipe by adding extras. For example Starbuzz is a different type of tobacco; one which is said to be more premium. Don’t be afraid to ask the staff about flavour choices, extras or anything else Shisha related.
  • When your Shisha Pipe is presented to you. Don’t touch the vase, only touch the hose. The staff will attend to it. If you need something ask the staff. Shisha Pipes are a fire hazard as there is hot coal burning tobacco at the top of the pipe. It is best to ask those in charge if you have a problem.
  • You will receive mouth pieces/tips. Add these to the end of the hose and smoke using them. It is in the purpose of hygiene.
  • The staff will begin to smoke your Shisha, this we call ‘Breaking your pipe’. This is done as the coal heats the tobacco. This is when you break in the taste of the flavour. If you know how to do this you can request to start it yourself.
  • Do not inhale, you will cough so have a drink to hand. It is not a smoke competition. Yes the bigger clouds look great but start slowly if you are smoking Shisha for the first time.
  • If your smoking experience becomes harsh we advise you to call a member of staff. You may need your coal changed, smoke may need to leave the pipe or the tobacco may be burnt. Usually burnt means your pipe is finished. Staff will assist you.
  • Smoke on your own or between friends. We recommend to share with friends but it is not uncommon to see solo smokers. Enjoy some time to relax over Shisha.


Universal Levels want to cater to a diverse audience. Every Week Think First Thursdays brings you different content. Just before the weekend read our Article for an hint of where to go.
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