La Bodega Negra (café)

Restaurants, Mexican Soho
4 out of 5 stars
4 out of 5 stars
(5user reviews)
La Bodega Negra (café)

If the dramatic basement restaurant is the X-rated section of La Bodega Negra, then the street-level café is strictly PG. It’s bright and airy, casual and colourful – a great place to hang out. Staff are amiable and efficient, and the food consistently good, from a snack-sized chicken quesadilla (£5) to a trio of fresh, zingy camaron (shrimp) tacos (£7) with just the right level of heat. Salads are worth a look too: the ‘green goddess’ (baby gem, avocado, cherry tomatoes, radish and pecans) a particular favourite, even if its £7 price tag is a little steep during the day. If value is your thing, then pop in at lunch, when, in addition to the à la carte, there’s a short set menu offering two courses (think corn chips and guac plus a burrito, or quesadilla followed by tacos) for £9.50. As under-a-tenner lunches in Soho go, it’s right up there with the best.

La Bodega Negra also have a restaurant round the other side (entrance on Old Compton St).

By: Tania Ballantine

Posted:

Venue name: La Bodega Negra (café)
Contact:
Address: 16 Moor St
London
W1D 5NH
Opening hours: Mon-Wed 12pm-Midnight; Thurs-Sat Middy-1am; Sun Midday-11pm
Transport: Tube: Tottenham Court Rd/Leicester Square
Price: Dinner for two with drinks and service: around £70
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Static map showing venue location

Average User Rating

3.8 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:0
  • 4 star:3
  • 3 star:1
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|5
1 person listening
tastemaker

My friend and I initially wanted to have dinner at the restaurant but they were semi-closed for a private event so the wait was rather long for their other tables. However, upon the hostess' suggestion, we went to their café on the parallel street. They serve similar food (more street food) and drinks and it was really easy for us to get a table. We were seated by the window, which was lovely, and on a table that curved around - ideal for a date situation but great even with friends! 


Between the two of us, we shared the following dishes:


1. Guacamole de la Bodegra - This was an essential starter for us; basically a basket of tortilla chips served with homemade salsa and guacamole. I enjoyed this because the tortilla chips weren't pre-salted so they could be enjoyed on their own too and the dips were homemade. I liked that they were both a little chunky, which gave it a nice texture on the chips.


2. Chicken Tinga Toastada - We both enjoyed this as there was plenty of shredded chicken in the dish and it had so much flavour! 


3. Marinated Chicken Fajitas - A classic Mexican dish and something that's great to share. The chicken was served on a hot plate along with some roasted peppers, onions, and other vegetables. It came with a side plate of wraps, guacamole, salsa, cheese, and sour cream to add to our liking. I liked that it was a build-it-yourself concept so it could be adapted to our preferences and because it made it all the more fun to eat! 


4. Apple & Ginger Fizz - I'm not normally one to drink a non-alcoholic/virgin drink but we were both still hungover from the night before so I went for a simple blend of apple juice, ginger beer, and vanilla syrup. This was quite refreshing because of its simplicity and the fizziness from the soda. It wasn't too sweet and I liked the addition of fresh mint as a garnish. 


It got more crowded as we progressed through dinner but it was still hard to grab our waiter's attention, as I think they were slightly understaffed. There were only two waiters (that I could see) taking orders, another waiter only serving food, and a host that seated customers. Other than that, the food came out really quickly, which we appreciated! 

tastemaker

Food and drinks are all enjoyable, no 'wow' dishes and certainly not a 'must visit' restaurant in London. Therefore I'd describe this place as a reliable option when you can't get in anywhere else. You will leave feeling satisfied! The restaurant (through the sex shop entrance) is worth a visit for the atmosphere alone!

Tastemaker

Think we actually wanted the other La Bodega Negra. If you want food, go to the other La Bodega Negra through the sex shop. If you're after drinks, this is an okay place. You'll pay £10 and up for a double spirits with mixer but it's really the cocktails and Mexican beers you want to try. Food-wise the ceviche is quite fishy with not much lemon to detect, the tacos could do with more flavour. The staff don't seem to be to used to people ordering food - they kept trying to take our menus away before we'd ordered. The queso fundido (hot cheese dip) with corn chips was probably the highlight of my night here.

tastemaker

This place is fantastic for a drink and nibbles in the Soho area. You can sit around the lovely square bar in the middle of the restaurant. We ordered nachos with guacamole and chips with chipotle mayo. Food was delicious and service was quick and friendly. It gets really packed in here so you might need to wait a little while for a seat at the bar, but it is worth it. The music is great and atmosphere is always buzzing. A firm favourite in the Soho area.

Highly recommend.