The best bars in Covent Garden
For a relaxing tipple and a bite to eat, 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 that all doesn’t scream ‘party’ to you, try taking a trip to the toilets, kitted out with disco balls and dance anthems.
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.
Venue says Accessed through the meat locker… a secret world full of quirky cocktails, metre-long pizzas and live entertainment!
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 every day from 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 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.
A smart hotel bar on the foot of The Strand, The Lobby Bar is a shiny, light-filled space with classy cocktails and a classy clientele. The recent addition of a trolley bar from which old fashioned are served is a bit of a show-stopper. Expect similar innovations on a thrilling drinks list (but at a price).
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.
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.
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