Bars and pubs Dalston
3 out of 5 stars
3 out of 5 stars
(31user reviews)

¡Viva la Dalston revolución! The latest East End venue to have been hipsterised calls itself Viva Tapas & Bebidas. The small, bare-brick premises are decorated with vintage furniture and kitsch bric-a-brac. Drinking happens under the watchful eyes of the virgin of Guadeloupe – depicted on a giant mural, flickering from glass candles on the tables, even tattooed on one of the bartender’s arms. The cocktail menu focuses mostly on tequila- and rum-based Mexican classic bebidas.

But, ay caramba! A Cointreau margarita was served in a tumbler instead of the traditional margarita glass. While this could be excused as a hip gimmick – we’re in Dalston after all – a handful of ice cubes clonking around in the drink, and an excess of salt in the actual drink, suggest more sloppiness than hipness. Better was a bourbon sour: tangy, bursting with lime flavour and frothy from the use of egg white.

No Mexican cocktail would be complete without a portion of tortilla chips, so we ordered ours with guacamole: roughly mashed, garlicky, with sour lemon notes – exactly what a good guacamole should be like.

Taquitos (small soft tacos) come filled with melted cheese and succulently moist and garlicky pork, or with chicken mole, or garlic mushrooms. Dipped into the accompanying spicy jalapeño sauce, these cheesy pockets go well with the drinks. However, we were disappointed to be served plain white corn tacos instead of the blue corn version promised on the menu. For something less mainstream, try moqueca, a Brazilian stew made with prawns, plantain and coconut milk. It’s served in a miniature saucepan, with soft tacos as dipping material.

Viva brings some Mexican flair to a predominantly Turkish stretch of Stoke Newington Road. If only there was also a mustachioed mariachi band to rival the bearded hipsters.

More Less
Viva says
Have you ever imagined chicken with cinnamon and cacao? Or tiger prawns in coconut milk? Does it sound weird? It's fantastically weird and wonderful! These are the favourite dishes of many Mexicans and Brazilians!
More Less


Venue name: Viva
Address: 2 Stoke Newington Rd
N16 7XN
Opening hours: Open 6-11pm Mon-Thur; 4pm-midnight Fri, Sat; 6-10pm Sun.
Transport: Tube: Dalston Kingsland overground
Price: Meal for two with drinks and service:around £30.
Do you own this business?
Static map showing venue location

Average User Rating

3.3 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:13
  • 4 star:5
  • 3 star:1
  • 2 star:1
  • 1 star:11
1 person listening

Loved this place- went for a friends birthday and just stumbled upon Viva. We ordered 5 dishes between three of us and woofed everything down. The nachos, we all agreed were the best we'd ever had and the various quesadillas were lovely as well. I can rave about their gin cocktails too! Nice and cheap, super friendly staff (even treated us to complimentary birthday tequila shots- with cinnamon and orange!). Would definitely eat there again.


Small Latino bar in Dalston serving decently priced cocktails and light food (think tacos, quesadillas). You can also find here a good selection of Mexican beers, including one of my favourite – Modello. The stuff is exceptionally nice for this part of town and always try to engage you in a conversation. Check their events, I have first visited during an inspiring travel book launch talk and look forward to the next.

I love exploring new places and when my friend decided to meet up in Viva I was looking forward to checking it and its menu. The place is very intimate and cosy. They have lovely garden at the back- really nice during the summer. The staff is brilliant and patient - I asked many questions and they didn't kick me out! :) 


Great location for an intimate date or catch up with a small group. Perfect location for early evening drinks before a night out in dalston, There is a long list of imaginative cocktails and a good smoking area out the back.

Yesterday I have been to Viva after a while and I have to say that it's still an amazing place!We had one margarita and one secret garden and they were delicious, food was really good and we didn't have to wait much for it. it was packed but the waitress found a table very quickly for us and everybody was very helpful and nice. Highly recommended for romantic dates but also for dinners with friends, the atmosphere is really warm and unique.

Had a very pleasant evening at vivas this last week. The staff were incredibly friendly and the bartenders took the time to recommend and turn out some amazing cocktails for me and my friends. Great food, great vibe. 

A Friday night at Viva Tapas- worst decision of the week! It all started Ok when we were happy that we got a sit in the "garden area" and we have placed the order although the menu is not particularly adventurous. The non alcoholic Frida's garden drink was pleasant. After about one hour into our evening we have realised, that there was no one coming to us and giving us an update on where our food may be. We have, however had time to observe pretty much every other table complaining and cancelling their orders. When, after about an hour and a half we have received our first dish- nachos ( tapas - small dishes to share served at the same time or short intervals) arrived- we shared this from the same plate, which is OK for nachos I guess, although a grown up way of being offered a side plate would be nice. We then had to wait another twenty minutes for our second dish. The second dish was the chorizo. When the girl has brought out the chorizo, we have asked if there was a long wait for our other dishes and the answer followed as follows: "I promise you, the food is coming". Another twenty minutes later- the Moqueca arrived, When this had arrived, we realised, there was no particular thought in the order in which the food came out and after a particular liquid Moqueca dish it was odd to eat our two portions of quesadillas- one with onions and the other- with chicken. We have also decided that as we had waited for absolute freaking ages and nothing was really pleasant any more, we would cancel the rest of the order. We were told that the rest of the order was ready and that we were welcome to eat it and it will be taken off our bills as an apology. We were even offered some free drinks, which we politely declined as we thought it was acceptable to take off part of our bill and this would have been a sufficient acceptance of an apology for inconvenience caused. All would have been fine, only when we got a receipt, it was for a full amount. We have decided to pay it but I did what to mention that this was not quite fair. When I have explained to the waitress that her colleague has taken the quesadillas off the bill I was asked if we actually ate them- well we did, but not finished as they were OKish and extremely boring. I was then told that if I ate them I had to pay. I was then shouted at when I have tried to explain what had actually happened. I have decided to speak to the person who actually made us an offer to finish the meal, with two dishes on the house- and as I was explaining, the receipt was literally ripped out of my hand by this clearly unstable woman and she started screaming over me to her colleague, god knows what as by this point this was it and I had no desire to stay there for any second longer and we have walked away.

They certainly have no idea about the simple service or basic etiquette, how to run business, simple politeness or respect to the customer. It was a huge disappointment.

Love this gorgeous little bar! Beautiful fresh food, friendly staff and amazing cocktails. I have been loads of times and the service is always brilliant, staff are always attentive and even make cocktails that aren't on the menu. The atmosphere is cosy and inviting with a cute garden out the back, where you can sit in winter or summer! Not sure where all of these bad reviews are coming from....100% with a visit!

Love this gorgeous little bar! Beautiful fresh food, friendly staff and amazing cocktails. I have been loads of times and the service is always brilliant, staff are always attentive and even make cocktails that aren't on the menu. The atmosphere is cosy and inviting with a cute garden out the back, where you can sit in winter or summer! Not sure where all of these bad reviews are coming from....100% with a visit!

Viva is absolutely an amazing cocktail bar. The atmosphere is great, warm, stylish, the staff is friendly and helped us to choose between all the selection of cocktails. The margarita is the best in dalston and maybe in London, tapas are tasty and made of fresh ingredients, as the nice manager told us. The service was fast and very well organized, I am gonna go back Again and again, my experience there has been positive and I recommend Viva to people who are looking for something unique in the heart of Dalston.

too tiny too crowdy bad service not even worth to get only one star.....what shall i say? food cancer like waiter phoneys bartender thinks he is some kind of magician......oohh and the garden...most of the plants are not taken care of and i have seen they bought more...why i am asking to let them die?

Where do I start? You know what since they couldn't be bothered with ANYTHING I can't be bothered either. Avoid.

I've already been twice but will never go back again. First time the waiter forgot our orders and I had to go to the bar to ask for it twice since they were ingnoring us...I still thought it could have been back luck so after a while I decided to try again. Awful. Again they ignored us, they were late and the special nachos were really bad...specially that guacamole...never tried anything so bad! The waiter came and asked us if we had finish when we were still's very pricey for what it is and the service is really bad. It's not all about the looks Dalston....

had a very bad diarrhea after i ate the moqueca. i was already suspicious when the I saw the prawns swiming in their blue colour....must have been the hunger why i ate them.also my friend ordered the pork tacitos.. she told me that the pork was still cold....a great place for south american food???? no way just another place to spend too much money for nothing.

Fantastic Place! Cosy, warm, just like if you were in south america!!! The food is so damn delicious, i'm addicted to the brazilian prawns and their pulled pork tacos, I don't go to any other mexican restaurant anymore, i'm lucky to live nearby Viva. My friends love and the waitress is like a friend and not just a waitress, It gets very busy on weekends, but the music is great and there is no where like this bar in the area.

DO NOT GO HERE - I was so looking forward to trying this place out but oh wow the service was SO BAD I have never experienced anything like it. No drinks order for 20 minutes, tried to grab attention but the servers were more interested in chatting. I ordered at the bar and they got the order wrong but I was blamed but it went to the next table so what was the fuss? I could hear them talking about us in Spanish which was very uncomfortable and RUDE. Finally a waitress came over and asked if we were going to order more food I told her we were waiting for a friend before ordering mains she proceeded to take our menus and I told her again we would be ordering she said that she is taking them anyway...?!!? We then left feeling very uncomfortable and dissatisfied.. The little snack didn't even make up for it 3.99 for bagged tortilla chips and a horrible minty puree salsa no thanks the guac was rank too. Would never go again!

The staff seemed pleasant, cocktails were great but really disappointed by the poor selection and quality of the tapas.

Was a bit worried about the service after reading these reviews but the staff were without exception sweet, efficient, helpful, and thoroughly deserved their tips. The food was perfect for what we wanted (four taquitos and some sweet chorizo & bread filled two of us up for £14ish), great beers and cocktails too, and a geniunely nice atmosphere.

dont understand why there are so many bad reviews. this place is great! the food is amazing,drinks obviously too and come on the prizes are really not high too. it might not be a posh restaurant but the vibe is sweet and it is exactly the right place to have some tapas and a cocktail.

Cocktails might be OK (if not the best) but staff were shockingly rude, overwhelmed and disorganised. Not recommended.

Went for a friend's birthday last night. Great authentic South American street food, great cocktails, great atmosphere. Highly recommend a visit.

Really delicious fresh food. Staff are laid back which makes for a comfortable experience. Warm atmosphere.

Great environment and very friendly staff. We are not very cocktail drinkers but the staff at the bar (argentinian friendly guy) gave us a good advise so we ordered a amaretto sour and a bloody mary. they were delicious. after we decided to stay for a wile and have a look at the menu. we choose pork quesadilla and a unforgettable spicy chorizo. then another 2 cocktails from the same bartender. this time strawberry mojito and el diablo. finally we changed our plans and we stayed for an hour speaking. the candles and the good music selection helped aswell for a great nicght. we`ll come back.

We were really excited to try the food only to wait an hour for our starter and then to be told the kitchen had now closed. The owner seemed shocked that we should complain about this and was completely sarcastic and rude. He then tried to change us for the starter we never received. The table behind were also complaining about the food. We ordered two margaritas which I normally love but were unable to enjoy it as it tasted purely of salt. All in all a really bad experience.

Dreadful service. Which was a shame given we really enjoyed the food and drink. But 2 of our party of over 15 were waiting for their drinks for almost 2 hours. Personally I only waited an hour (after being told we couldn't order at the bar) but the response we got when we complained was appalling. When we asked for the bill they couldn't have been more attentive, and even charged us for drinks we never received in the end. When I asked to speak to the manager I was told he was coming, but they never appeared. If I treated the public like this at my job, I would be fired. No question. It's a real shame as the space is great as are the drinks and food. However I will never recommend this place to anyone as they ruined my friend's birthday meal. Such a shame when they could have potentially made a lot of money from our group had they actually done their job properly.

Food was ok, service was awful. there was at least 20 mins between getting each dish which is pretty bad considering there were ten of us so by the time we all got our food half of us had finished. They also got our drink order wrong which was surprising seen as it was for 8 el diablos and 2 desperados... not exactly difficult to remember. They then proceeded to add the wrong drinks on to our bill and argued with me about it in the end. At this point i told them to remove the service charge which was met with more hostility, its safe to say i will never be going back there. They need a completely new staff overhaul, i work in the service industry and if i had done a quarter of what happened last night i would have been fired.

food was amazing. service was poor and they spoke constantly in another language in front of me which made me feel a little unwelcome as i didn't understand them. drinks were good though. waiter asked for tips which i thought was odd and rude, but i tipped anyway. all in all atmosphere great, food really great and very reasonable priced. drinks tasty, service needs work.

Mariano - not sure the fact is busy is a good reason to give it one star. Best mexican food I've had anywhere in Europe, perfect Pisco Sour and it's really good value. They don't add a service charge which is a nice touch. Don't normally like nachos but here they are great. Staff are friendly and laid back - all round a great place to grab some authentic mexican cuisine.

As you can read on the review, it's all about the drinks and food, which is great! but what's the point of going here is you have absolutely nowhere to sit or even stand to enjoy it? It's not a bar, because the bar to stand to have a drink is 2 meters long, the rest of the bar is full with tables and nothing else! Just to add, the waiters and barman seemed to be overwhelmed, without time to even stop and ask what did you need, and a dirty look to ask if they can take your ourder. Great bar to go if you like standing out and have nerves of steel to deal with the staff.

This place is amazing, we loved how cosy and warm it was, its always completely full every time we pass by. The cocktails are strong and the food is well made, the girls in the kitchen seem very into what they do, they gave us a breakdown on ingredients and locally sourced produce. A proper cocktail bar! A non pretentious little dime!

I was just passing by, it looked like such a cosy corner, instead of the cold Florist that there used to be before, fairy lights were so welcoming, so were the staff. Me and my partner decided to go in and have some Mexican food, but then realized it was not only Mexican, but Latin American, with small eats from Spain, Brazil and Mexico with a twist. The menu looked affordable, and for the biggest surprise, most of the dishes were gluten free and organic! Now, that's hard to find in the area! Well we've started with nachos, these were delicious, you could taste the freshness of the ingredients, after we had some tacos, blue and white, with succulent meat inside and the best salsa we've ever tasted. The Moqueca is a must, for the drinks we both had Pacifico Beer our favorite. We will definetely be back, it's a great addiction to this area, and not so pretensions as the bars around it.

Snap up exclusive discounts in London

Time Out's handpicked deals — hurry, they won't be around for long...