Bar Américain at Brasserie Zédel

Bars and pubs, Cocktail bars Soho
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 4 out of 5 stars
(18user reviews)
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 (© Rob Greig)
© Rob Greig
 (© Rob Greig)
© Rob Greig
 (© Rob Greig)
© Rob Greig
 (© Rob Greig)
© Rob Greig
 (© Rob Greig)
© Rob Greig
 (© Rob Greig)
© Rob Greig
 (© Rob Greig)
© Rob Greig

The greatest thing about the scene here is that there is no scene. This basement bar, part of the Brasserie Zédel complex, is equally wonderful whether you’re treating it as a way-station en route to dinner, a nightcap-dispensary before heading home, or an evening’s entertainment all in itself (with terrific bar snacks). It’s also one of the loveliest bars in London, with an art deco look that’s changed little in decades of its existence (under various names). And just as lovely (and unchanging) is its approach to building a cocktail list: short, classic, no need to blind with science. The Martinez (vermouth, gin, maraschino, curaçao and orange bitters) is as good as we’ve had in London; and everything except champagne cocktails comes in at under £12. When people ask for a bar recommendation around Piccadilly Circus, we always raise the Américain flag.

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Bar Américain at Brasserie Zédel says
Located within Brasserie Zédel, the American Bar is a classic cocktail bar, opening nightly seven days a week. A light snack menu is available.
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By: Richard Ehrlich


Venue name: Bar Américain at Brasserie Zédel
Address: Brasserie Zédel
Cross street: 20 Sherwood Street
Opening hours: Open 4.30pm-midnight Mon-Wed; 4.30pm-1am Thur-Sat; 4.30pm-11pm Sun
Transport: Tube: Piccadilly Circus tube
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Average User Rating

3.9 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:6
  • 4 star:8
  • 3 star:1
  • 2 star:2
  • 1 star:1
2 people listening

This is a bar hidden beneath Piccadilly Circus. It is through a quite unassuming entrance in Sherwood Street. There is a café with some tables outside called Zedel, if you go through this café, down two flights of stairs, you will come to a surprising bright French looking foyer with a cloakroom, French restaurant and Bar Americain.

It is a beautiful, low lit, late art deco decorated room. It has lots of dark wood and individually lit tables. The cock tails are very good and the service excellent. They have a good wine list and also a nice selection served by the glass.

The price is around what you would expect for somewhere as attractive so central.

Its the perfect place to meet if you are eating in Brasserie Zedel as the waiters will come to fetch you and your drinks when your table is ready.

A beautiful quiet cocktail bar in a very central position.

Vera S

I've already raved about the Brasserie, their events, their food... but not the bar yet!

I love Brasserie Zedel in its entirety with all my heart, and Bar Americain is no exception. Staff duly dressed in suits, with the maitre d' wearing a white suit jacket, everything is as it should be in an American bar... in Paris. A good selection of cocktails make up the menu, from classics to inventions. A solid old fashioned gives you that much needed kick with a full flavour and tasteful serving. The French aperitif is a sweet, fizzy delight of fruity juices and liqueurs, with a sweet cocktail cherry on the bottom for surprise. Deliciously blended drinks served in art deco glasses certainly are the key to this place. And, with tastefully offered popcorn to accompany your drinks, you could wish for nothing more.

There are also 'les snacks' on the menu, such as olives and nuts, which should keep you going until you find yourself in the Brasserie, eating your way through your 9th oyster, wondering where it all went wrong...

Bar American, although a little pricey with cocktails at £12 plus service charge, is none the less a classy place to sip drinks, and be whisked away into a world of French jazz and dancing the night away. Highly recommend if you're feeling a bit fancier than usual - and the friendly staff, awesome decor and Brasserie Zedel in general make it absolutely worth it.


What a secret find of a bar this place is. I was introduced to this bar just recently and was astounded that I hadn't discovered this place earlier. Also it’s right in the heart of Piccadilly. Ok I'm probably a little biased, I love all things Art Deco and anything reminiscent of the swinging era is always a big hit with me. From the outside it just looks like any other small café (Brasserie Zedel) however once inside you'll discover all hidden floors and bars beneath. This place is full of character from the classic posters on the walls, the Art Deco signage, decadent and grandiose interiors. There are regular cabaret and burlesque acts running in other bars/rooms but if that's not for you and you may be lucky to grab a seat in the Americain bar. This is a classic speakeasy place, staff are incredibly polite and although this is fairly pricey I guess you shouldn't expect less, complimentary popcorn and a tasty selection of cocktails to choose from. This is quieter with jazzy lounge music in the background and makes a pleasant change from the noisy touristy bars nearby

Alana R

Speakeasys are on the rise and what's better than one right in the middle of town. Hidden below Brasserie Zedel, Bar Americain is one of three art deco style spaces below. Delicious and different cocktails, the bartenders know what they're doing. Great for a first date as you can listen to the easy jazz in the background during the silences. Or if it's going well, go next door to something and listen to the live show that night.

Staff Writer

Beautiful Art Deco interior and gorgeous Cocktails! you will be surprised to find this bar underneath buzzing Picadilly Circus offering a relaxing venue to chill and enjoy a drink in good company!

Nicky G

Beautiful decor and (surprisingly) more affordable than you might think. A nice place to drop in for an aperitif or nightcap with a side of luxury, it sets a very nice tone for the rest of your evening.


Great spot for pre or post dinner martini, service always attentive and friendly in my experience and the classy retro decor makes it feel swanky - a perfect start or finish to a special night out, or just for when you are feeling nostalgic about the Atlantic

Staff Writertastemaker

I think this is a near perfect bar. 

Quiet, relaxing, fancy (with a  little of the Faulty Towers/Titanic) about it. The drinks are perfectly made and there is a wide selection of old fashioned favorites to choose from, the barstaff know their stuff so if your tipple isn't on the menu they'll probably make it for you too, which i always think is a real class move.

It's the kind of place you can take your friends, mum or nan. Old London at its best!


The cocktails were amazing I must admit. But it took way too long for us to get any sort of service. We were seated by the host and then spent almost 30 minutes trying to grab the attention of one of the waiters. Hopefully they were just having a bad day. Might have to give the place another chance.


Write a review...Love the 30s era feel of the room. There was a bit of queue to get in but the staff were pretty adept of getting people to the bar and then subsequently to a table in a reasonable amount of time. Drinks were pretty delicious and like people said, pretty straightforward. Definitely recommend in the Piccadilly Circus area and want to get away from the garish lights :)

Laura B

Hidden underneath Brasserie Zedel, this is the perfect spot for a nightcap. Feels like being transported to another era. Is fabulous and decadent. We arrived late on a Thursday and it was packed, hot and really loud. Would be better when quieter. Spoiled the experience a little but I guess it's good it's popular! Hope it stays around in one guide or another for many more years. 

Tim A
Staff Writer

Two words - 'Old Fashioned'. Best version of this cocktail in London. This would be Don Draper's favourite place to hang out in Old London Town.

Diana P

The wow factor of taking friends here, walking through the little upstairs french bistro and the descending into Art Deco heaven

Ros A

Bar Americain is only for Londoners in the know. Why? Because you don't know it exists! Hidden underneath Brasserie Zedel (a good french restaurant, right by Piccadilly Circus), you'll need to walk through the bar and head down 2 flights of stairs to find this treat. Piccadilly Circus has a severe lack of decent bars, so I treasure this one and come quite often with family, friends and for work related drinks.

I reiterate the reviews below which say this is like stepping back in time, but in a good way. I love the decor in this place- it's classic, kind of speakeasy, and glamourous. It's normally quite busy in here but I've always been able to get a table. Cocktails are superb, and it's table service, which makes it feel a bit more special. I brought my family here for a pre-dinner cocktail- they were all very impressed.  NB- Dinner across the hall at Zedel is good, and reasonable too.

Samantha H

Nice cocktails but pretentious staff.  Seem a bit put out when you ask for a drink. Such a shame as it has so much potential!  Maybe they will take note of reviews....


Eaten lunch at Zedel a couple of times, service is quick, food is very good, the setting is tremendous and the prices cheap. Very good value for money.

Joolian P

Great looking bar with real promise but very quiet when we visited after dinner last Wednesday - waitress was mainly concerned to tell us that we had to leave by midnight.

B James
0 of 1 found helpful

I just want to make people aware that whilst enjoying a drink at the Bar Americain last night the waitress accidently spilt a rather sticky raspberry cocktail all over me. Drenched with sticky cocktail, I asked to speak to the manager who duely advised that he was sorry and it was an accident and that it is company policy that we only offer to pay for the dry cleaning upon receipt of a bill. He did say that he will not charge our group for the drink, which incidently was not my drink but a friends. He refused to even offer to buy me a drink and any other on the spot compensation. All this whilst charging a ridiculus 12.5% service charge. We obviously left and will never return. Shocking service if you as me.

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