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Covent Garden bars

Find the best classic cocktails and foamy pints with our guide to Covent Garden bars

David Axelbank / Time Out

Cabaret, live music and some of the city's best cocktails - Covent Garden has it all. Try the raunchy fun of cabaret bar Cellar Door, or hang out at relaxed wine bar Bedford & Strand. The area's drinking scene is diverse, so check out more of our picks of the best places for after-hours drinks in the area. Think we've missed a great bar in Covent Garden? Use the comments box below or tweet your suggestions. And don't forget to read our guide to Covent Garden pubs.

Hawksmoor Seven Dials

The original Hawksmoor, in Spitalfields, was a simple bar and grill with high aspirations. Cocktail supremo Nick Strangeway was hired by Hawksmoor's owners - no slouches in the drinks expertise themselves - to create a distinctively different cocktail bar...

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Covent Garden

Brasserie Max

Beneath a row of flags topping the stern, stylish Covent Garden Hotel, this bar-restaurant offers guests and chatterers a lovely environment in which to sip drinks and munch on snacks - but at a price.

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Covent Garden

Cellar Door

Critics' choice

A gaudy neon arrow points the way to this tiny basement, where cabaret, lounge singers and drag acts ensure things go with a swing.

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Covent Garden

Bedford & Strand

In an area otherwise dominated by tourist traps, Bedford & Strand is popular with local workers, who stream to the basement bar for after-hours drinks.

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Charing Cross

Phoenix Artist Club

Kitsch, messy and a late-night legend, this basement bar attracts a regular crowd of debauched luvvies and miscreants. Play spot-the-soap-extra as you order a pint of Red Stripe, Kirin Ichiban, Heineken or Wells Bombardier at the bar, which is surrounded by signed black-and-white publicity shots of not-quite-familiar faces. The club is members only, but the trick to enjoying its way-past-midnight hospitality is to arrive before 8pm and stay put.

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Covent Garden

Circus

Behind a very discreet entrance on Endell Street, almost opposite The Hospital members' club, jazz joint Octave played its last 7th augmented flat 9th chord in July last year, and Circus has now moved in.

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Covent Garden

Detroit

Paying homage to the near-bankrupt American city in name alone, this long-established urban cocktail mecca near Seven Dials is part Prague metro in appearance and part cool dive, although it's not for the claustrophobic...

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Freud

Back in the late 1980s, this was the place to be. A hidden cellar with a faintly industrial feel, it carried with it a certain easygoing democracy, a welcome change from style-trial nightclubs and members-only enterprises such as the Groucho.

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Covent Garden

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