Covent Garden and the West End is a buzzing, picturesque area of London that is filled with Londoners and tourists alike who come here for shopping, Theatreland, restaurants, street performers, and tourist attractions. It’s no wonder Covent Garden is one of the most popular destinations for those going out in central London. However it is this popularity that means you need to know exactly where you're going to go before you arrive. Hence this top 10 guide to the best bars in Covent Garden. London's West End is full to the brim with top cocktail bars, rooftop bars, wine bars, basement bars, DJ bars, dancing bars, happy hour bars, and Covent Garden, Seven Dials, and areas of Aldwych, Holborn, Cambridge Circus, Leicester Square and The Strand have some of the best bars in London.
Image courtesy of Flickr user aurélien.
Mr Fogg's Tavern
West End / Bar / Cuisine: Bar
Just far enough from Covent Garden to dodge the hordes of tourists, Mr. Fogg's is both a rollicking Victorian drinking den and a hidden cocktail bar. Downstairs, The Tavern is an old-fashioned pub with gin cocktails, real ales and a raucous atmosphere, perfect for a small group of friends. Upstairs you'll find the Gin Parlour and Aunt Gertrude?s Salon, a more refined, theatrical affair, and a much better choice to impress your date. Reservations are recommended upstairs, with a two hour limit on tables.
West End / Bar / Cuisine: Bar
Hidden on Covent Garden's bustling streets is Blind Spot, tucked away behind an ornate tea counter at the bar of the ground floor at the St Martin's Lane Hotel. With an outstanding menu of tea-infused cocktails created by the bar's expert mixologists in a seductive 1920's speakeasy style setting, the bar is unlike any other in the area. Try the delicious Asian-inspired bar snacks and let yourself be serenaded by the hotel's resident jazz trio.
BYOC (Bring Your Own Cocktails)
West End / Bar /
This cocktail bar is hidden below Covent Garden, behind a discreet door. It is tiny, but doesn't need to be too big as it has no need for alcohol stocks. Instead, guests are encouraged to bring their fave tipple with them and leave it to the skilled bartender to create a bespoke cocktail using the encyclopedia of syrups, juices, spices, herbs, salts, fruits, cordials and bitters on a vintage silver trolley. Exposed brickwork, an original fireplace, a gramophone and 1920s vintage signs make this secret underground hide-away a unique, interactive experience for cocktail fiends across London.
West End / Bar / Cuisine: Bar
Perfect for pre or apres theatre drinks, this underground cocktail bar is set in the heart of London's West End and is easy to walk past but much harder NOT to return to. Descending a narrow winding staircase, you enter a dimly-lit, small, intimate cocoon with friendly bar staff and a variety of eye-catching artwork. Famed for its impressive and sumptuous cocktail menu and cool crowd of regulars, Freud is somewhere worth fighting for a seat.
London Cocktail Club Covent Garden
West End / Bar / Restaurant / Club / Cuisine: Bar
This cocktail bar is one for ladies will love. With award-winning bartender, JJ Goodman, at the helm, the boys behind the bar are highly capable in matters of flairing, banter, and looking easy on the eye. British bartending at its best with a decent pre-theatre cocktail happy hour until 7pm (although Mondays are always discounted). Sink into a Chesterfield sofas and let the London Cocktail Club offer you an experience you won't forget. Thursday night aren't rumoured to be the liveliest.
West End / Bar / Club /
Cellar Door is an extravagant and quite fabulous bar hidden in the depths of a former public toilet in Aldwych. Yes, you read that right! This site is quite a small space, but the selection of cocktails and champagne is great. Usually they have DJ nights and interesting performances. The atmosphere is definitely unusual and full of surprises. The Cellar Door is perfect for starting the night with friends, and also maybe for a more 'romantic' rendezvous. The bar is unquestionably an excellent find. It is advisable to book a table if you are planning to stay for longer than one drink.
Tropicana Beach Club
Holborn / Club / Cuisine: Meat
Drop by the vibrant Tropicana Beach Club in Covent Garden, where the drinks may not be free, but there?s plenty of fun and sunshine for everyone. This late-night London bar offers a huge array of tropical-themed drinks and one-of-a-kind sharing cocktails, including a palm tree loaded with cocktail-filled coconuts. As well as the exotic Instagram-worthy decorations, you?ll find drool-inducing food, lively entertainment and a well-priced happy hour, which makes this party paradise the perfect spot for any drinking occasion.
West End / Bar / Restaurant / Cuisine: Pub
This Covent Garden bar and restaurant is loved by thirsty Londoners all year long. A front courtyard attracts hordes of after-workers in the summer who also make the most of its three spacious interior levels in the winter. Part of Ireland's largest independent brewery, The Porterhouse has an undeniably Irish flare with hundreds of beers on tap and almost as many whiskeys.
Pisco Bar at LIMA Floral
West End / Bar / Cuisine: Peruvian
This specialised bar offers a range of Peruvian inspired cocktails and a menu of small plates known as piqueos, best described as Peruvian tapas. The basement bar provides the great setting in which to relax and enjoy a taste of Peru's drinking culture whilst escaping the bustling streets of Covent Garden. The cocktail list has been influenced by classic Peruvian flavours with the liquor pisco featuring heavily. The national cocktail of Peru, the pisco sour, a smooth, refreshing short drink bursting with citrus flavours, is not to be missed.
West End / Bar / Restaurant / Cuisine: French
Some say cosy, others say cramped. Either way there's no denying Le Beaujolais is very small and very French. Elegant, intimate and understated it's the polar opposite of the soulless tourist-land it inhabits. Covent Garden's most guarded secret, regulars won't welcome Fluid telling you to rush there, rapidement!
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