With its prime location right off Soho Square, its customers sipping a pavement pint on sunny afternoons, the intimate two-floor Toucan could easily be mistaken for a Guinness museum: publicity posters for the black stuff cover the walls, overlooked by a trio of toucans.
At the bar, two varieties of the stout (one Extra Cold), Magners and Grolsch are served, along with Jameson’s on the optics and rarer whiskeys (Knappogue Castle, Clontarf Reserve). These days there are even spicy olives on the bar.
In the equally small (and darker) basement, where Jimi Hendrix once played, food is served: Irish stew, Rossmore County Cork oysters (£5 for six) and anything requiring ketchup. The Toucan tapas selection includes baked beans, so it’s far from pretentious.
There are also Guinness cocktails, a top-of-the-range Black Velvet of Guinness and champagne, or the poor man’s variety with cider instead.
19 Carlisle Street
|Opening hours:||Open 11am-11pm Mon-Fri; noon-11pm Sat. Food served 11am-3.30pm Mon-Sat|
|Transport:||Leicester Square or Tottenham Court Road tube|
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