Cabaret, live music, sweet wine spots and some of the city's best cocktails – Covent Garden has it all. The area's drinking scene is diverse, so check out our picks of the best places for after-hours boozin’ in the the middle of Covent Garden.
Whether it’s devilish cocktails at CellarDoor – named after burlesque stars and not for the faint-hearted – or a more wholesome, tea-infused tipples at bar-meets-tea shop Teatulia, you’ll find plenty of variety in your glass when you hit up this selection of stellar bars in the centre of London. Not to mention newer haunts, like plant-heavy Sushisamba – where the botanicals aren’t just inside your glass.
RECOMMENDED: Find more fun nearby in our Covent Garden area guide
The best bars in Covent Garden
For a relaxing tipple and a bite to eat, The 10 Cases delivers the goods (incidentally, the bar also delivers bottles of wine through its very own app, Drop). It’s got a Continental bistro vibe, and serves tempting, predominantly Old World wines by the glass and with small plates galore.
This former public loo is convenient in a whole new way, now a cocktail bar dishing up a daily happy hour. It’s popular thanks to its over-the-top look, with lurid neon and flowery booths. If all that doesn’t scream ‘party’ to you, try taking a trip to the toilets, kitted out with disco balls and dance anthems.
Venue says Gloria is always down for any party, and you can join her for 2-4-1 on cocktails Sunday-Friday from 4-7pm!
Buckle up for an experience you won’t forget in a hurry. Bunga Bunga is a wild ride of a bar, which doubles as an immersive experience where you’re thrown into a mafia world complete with cabaret. All the prosecco you’ll get through is matched with metres of pizza.
A gaudy neon arrow points the way to this tiny basement, where cabaret, lounge singers and drag acts ensure things go with a swing. Drinks are named after the super stars of burlesque, so sip the night away with a Dita Von Teese.
A fairly cosy wine bar in equally cosy Neal’s Yard, CdVS takes its cue from its older sister bar in Paris. So have a sophisticated time on the wine, with plenty of interesting options available by the glass and great paired with a plate of cheese.
So the theme is a little naff at The Escapologist, which takes its name from some Victorian scoundrel or other. But the 20-strong cocktail menu makes it well worth a visit, especially during happy hour when punchy drinks come at two for the price of one.
Venue says Two-for-one on cocktails, Peroni Rossa, glasses of house wine and prosecco Sunday - Friday 5-7pm.
Just a leap from the piazza on the way down to The Strand, Eve Bar has an ominous dark entrance and a witchy-looking, biblical theme. Temptation comes in the form of experimental bar snacks and cocktails with all the dry ice in the world. Some of these drinks are delectable, even if they don’t all meet the mark. And service is super-friendly – just what you need in this crowded part of town.
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. It’s still standing the test of time, unlike many of its eighties’ peers.
Like at all Hawksmoor venues, the bar at the Seven Dials branch is just as much a destination as the restaurant and grill. Pop in for a strong tipple before a steak dinner or make a night of it at the bar by picking from a selection of ‘disco drinks’ on the menu, in among the room’s Victorian cast-iron pillars.
When someone says ‘wine bar’, this Covent Garden spot is exactly what you’ll picture – rustic, cosy, and filled with bottles. The focus is on organic wine by female producers, and includes drops by the glass – although carafes are where you’ll find the best bargains. Food-wise, the emphasis is definitely on cheese.
One thing is for sure at LCC: you’re in for a good time. The bar staff bring the atmosphere as well as quality cocktails at serious speed. Party tunes are paired with party drinks, with garnishes as hefty as the delicious booze.
It’s more than just pretty Peruvian drinks in the bar beneath Covent Garden restaurant Lima – the watering hole has had an update and now explores the whole of South America on its cocktail menu. Pisco, mezcal, Caribbean rum and Brazilian beer all feature, and some of the drinks are seriously inventive. Grab a booth with a group for after-dinner drinks or come with an appetite and order up the crispy fried chicken.
You get two bars for the price of one at Mr Fogg’s; a downstairs pub with a traditional tavern vibe (complete with pints and pies) and an upstairs parlour where gin is the word. Sip from one of the biggest gin collections in the capital or peruse a list of delectable cocktails made from Mother’s Ruin.
If a G&T won’t cut it, how about an elaborate mix of gin and beer served in an elephant’s tusk? That’s a drink on offer at Mr Fogg’s Society of Exploration. On a side street just off the Strand, it claims to be a whistlestop tour around the world through booze. The menu is split as such – the Sahara desert, the Amazon rainforest, the North Pole – with drinks inspired by each location.
Kitsch, messy and a late-night legend, this basement bar attracts a regular crowd of debauched luvvies and miscreants. The club is members only, but the trick to enjoying its way-past-midnight hospitality is to arrive before 8pm and stay put.
Venue says Netflix of private members clubs (£10/m). Pre-/post-theatre dining, performances and late-night bar! Non-members welcome with a reservation.
Looking for views with your booze? Join the crowds all year round at this popular rooftop bar. The food and drink will cost you (cocktails are £15 a pop) and the vibe is a bit displaced Ibiza lounge, but the panoramic views from ten floors up along the Strand just about make up for all that – especially if you’re looking for fuel for your social feeds.
Venue says Winter is Coming! This season Radio’s terraces have been transformed into Alpine-style winter hideaways in partnership with Grey Goose Vodka
The popular meat-free, booze-free, gluten-free and refined-sugar free café (try saying that five times fast) has set up a flagship in Seven Dials. Head down for an alcohol-free cocktail or three, and wake up cleansed of your sins.
Sushi purists will struggle with this Japanese-Peruvian-Brazilian fusion restaurant, but the fabulous decor and the expansive cocktail menu (as well as the prices) are just as impressive as its infamous City counterpart. Best of all, you can drop in to the bar for just a drink – and in among that foliage is the perfect setting to do so.
Venue says Our new seasonal, chef-curated pre-theater Samba-Fixe menu is a great way to experience our unique cuisine and culture.
Sandwiched between Seven Dials’ boutiques is Teatulia, a fancy single-origin tea shop that doubles as a bar and sources leaves from its garden in Bangladesh. Enjoy cocktails in among shelves of loose-leaf teas in pretty pots and the wonderful scents that accompany them. Cocktails incorporate tea in the mix, from a Chai Hot-Butter Rum to alcohol-free cocktails like the Green Tea Ginger Cooler.