From secret cocktail bars and underground speakeasies, to wild and weird themed affairs, Covent Garden has everything for either a big night out or an intimate date night. So, start your evening at a lovely Covent Garden restaurant and end up with a nightcap (or shots if you’re in the kind of mood) at one of these brilliant Covent Garden bars:
1. Blame Gloria
Introducing the all-singing, all-dancing, all-vintage nightspot in Covent Garden: Blame Gloria. Inspired by ‘an opulent nana with a groupie past’, the Bedford Street basement cocktail bar aims to offer an eclectic, loose and outrageous vibe. Expect fabrics inspired by Jimi Hendrix outfits and Peter Blake, boho, and Bowie influences; all generating more groovy ‘gram opportunities than you can shake a stiletto at. We’ll cheers to that…
You’ll find it at 20 Bedford Street, WC2E 9HP.
2. Eve Bar
Hidden beneath Covent Garden is London’s very own Garden of Eden. This next addition to this Covent Garden bars roundup is full of temptation, indulgence and hedonism. With a huge list of inventive and beautifully presented cocktails, as well as some seriously stunning interiors, Eve is pretty close to being *ahem* Heaven on Earth.
You’ll find it at 34 Southampton Street, WC2E 7HF.
This intimate and quirky bar is located beneath Aldwych in an underground space that used to be a public toilet, and you can expect live entertainment in the form of cabaret, blues and burlesque shows. CellarDoor even transforms into a secret cinema every Sunday afternoon, featuring a cult movie and a classic silent comedy with a beautiful live pianist.
You’ll find it at Wellington Street, WC2E 7DN.
4. The Porterhouse
Try not to get lost in the maze of Covent Garden’s Porterhouse; one of London’s largest pubs, which is split over three main levels with dozens of mezzanine levels in between. It’s a truly Irish joint that serves more beers than you could possibly even begin to count (including the finest stout in the world – true story). They also play regular sports here too.
You’ll find it at 21-22 Maiden Lane, London, WC2E 7NA
5. The Den
Within the glamorous St. Martins Lane Hotel, you’ll find The Den – a lovely place for afternoon tea during the day and a lively place for a G&T during the evening. Make yourself at home on the cosy leather sofas, or step out onto the terrace for a rum cocktail – it’s filled with palm trees, cacti and all the tropical vibes.
You’ll find it at 45 St Martin’s Lane, WC2N 4HX.
6. Blind Spot
Another one of St Martins Lane Hotel’s many secrets, Blind Spot is hidden behind the façade of a boutique tea counter. Open the golden hand-shaped handle and step into this gorgeous late-night speakeasy with cocktails inspired by the British Empire and its ancient tea trade. The bar also hosts regular gigs and events, including jazz and swing nights. Check the website for further details.
You’ll find it at 45 St Martin’s Lane, WC2N 4HX.
7. The 10 Cases
This cosy London wine bar is so-called because they only ever get 10 cases of the wines on their shortlist. This is to make sure they’re always trying new things, and not sticking to the same old bottles. There are also only 10 tables! It really is… 10 out of 10. Hahaha. Haha. Ha.
You’ll find it at 16 Endell Street, WC2H 9BD.
8. The Escapologist
Once the headquarters of a Victoria Secret Society, The Escapologist still parties like it’s 1899. So get some friends together for pizza, drinks and some serious skulduggerous behaviour.
You’ll find it at 35 Earlham Street, WC2H 9LD.
9. Covent Garden Social Club
Part of the Covent Garden Social Club, this bar is an unpretentious members’ club with great cocktails and fantastic music.
Found in a dingy basement, this laid-back speakeasy is modelled on a mix of British Gentlemen’s Club and prohibition-era New York. It’s free to become a member, but you must sign-up at least 24 hours before you wish to visit. Each member can bring a maximum of three guests per visit. There’s also a theatre bar in-house here too.
You’ll find it at 6-7 Great Newport Street, WC2H 7JB.
10. Mr Fogg’s Tavern
Themed around Phileas Fogg and his adventures around the world, this quirky tavern is filled with various knick-knacks from around the globe. Marvel at the memorabilia, join in with a cockney sing-a-long and get yourself a beer from the extensive drinks list.
You’ll find it at 58 St Martin’s Lane, WC2N 4EA. (See also: Mr Fogg’s House of Botanicals.)
11. Covent Garden Grind
We bet you’re no stranger to the Grind; neither the daily slog, nor the London-based mini-chain. Covent Garden’s branch is particularly beautiful, with a neon sign replicating Bowie’s handwritten lyrics to ‘Heroes’, as well as plenty of greenery. By day, they fuel Londoners with their very own coffee and, by night, they serve their famous Espresso Martinis.
You’ll find it at 42 Maiden Lane, WC2E 7LJ. (See also: Best coffee shops in Covent Garden.)
12. Lady of the Grapes
As you can probably tell from the name, this rustic and cosy addition to this Covent Garden bars roundup is all about the vino, so if it’s lashings of wine on a cold Autumn day which takes your fancy – then this is the place to be!
Decked out in countless shelves of bottles and serving up some mean charcuterie boards too, the Lady of the Grapes makes the perfect date spot if you’re ever in the area. The focus here is on organic and natural wines made by female producers, and they sell by the glass, carafe and bottle too. The staff will be happy to help you find exactly the right vino for you, and you can also buy a bottle and take it home with you if you’d rather drink at home.
You’ll find it at 16 Maiden Lane, London, WC2E 7NJ.
13. Beaufort Bar
Had enough of mojitos and Tom Collins’? Head to the Beaufort Bar at the Savoy – oh darling –for a list of cocktails that are entirely unique to the bar. The drinks pay tribute to some of the Savoy’s most famous characters and guests, and are each served in era-specific vintage glassware. The menu itself will take you on a journey through the Savoy’s wonderful history, with references to its most fabulous stories and guests, such as rooftop tap-dancing and secret wartime bars.
You’ll find it at the Savoy, Strand, WC2R 0EZ.
14. Phoenix Arts Club
Billing itself as the ‘the world’s most famous theatrical cabaret and private members club’, the Phoenix Arts Club is a legendary spot which is often heaving with celebs. Aside from the excellent cabaret that goes on here, there are almost daily happy hours with seven quid espresso martinis – oh darling – and tasty pizzas and light bites to boot to.
The entrance to the venue was also featured in Harry Potter, and the interior is decked out in signed posters, paintings and pictures from countless decades of theatre productions. Oh I say!
You’ll find it at 1 Phoenix Street, London, WC2H 8BU.
15. Champagne + Fromage
Oui nous savons, what a combination! Join Champagne + Fromage in their magnifique French bistro for an evening of cheese and charcuterie, all washed down with a classy glass of champers. You can expect lots of camembert, comté and roquefort, plus meats, tartines and other delicious French stuff. Bon appétit!
You’ll find it at 22 Wellington Street, WC2E 7DD.
16. Radio Rooftop
Another fantastic addition to this Covent Gardens bars roundup here. Sitting pretty at the top of the ME London hotel, the Radio Rooftop bar is a fancy and fabulous place to enjoy a few cocktails and take in the stunning, panoramic views over the city. Hint – it’s on a rooftop (duh)!
You’ll find it at 336-337 Strand, WC2R 1HA.
17. Salvador and Amanda
For crazy sangria-fuelled Flamenco nights, head to Salvador & Amanda – one of the best Covent Garden bars. You’ll start your evening with a paella and finish it with a fiesta. Their Happy Hours are 5-9pm Monday to Friday, 12-7pm on Saturdays and ALL DAY on Sundays. They’ve also got a pretty epic bottomless brunch too – you can nab your tickets here.
You’ll find it at 8 Great Newport Street, WC2H 7JA.
Another hidden basement bar with an epic cocktail list, Freud has been around for decades and not a lot has changed since the 80s. Head down to the minimalist, industrial-style cellar to try the Holy Freud Lemonade with vodka, lychee, lemonade and elderberry, or get your lips around one of their brilliant mojitos. All cocktails here are pretty much a tenner – there’s also a rotating ‘gallery’ displayed on the walls.
You’ll find it at 198 Shaftesbury Avenue, WC2H 8JL.
19. The Lost Alpaca
Floral by LIMA has a downstairs bar, making it The Lost Alpaca by Floral by LIMA, which is frankly just confusing. The space has recently had a bit of a makeover and it now has a new cocktail menu showing off Latin America’s best. From Mexico’s mezcal and tequila to Brazil’s cachaça, The Lost Alpaca has totally nailed the theme – particularly when you consider the Peruvian bar snacks on offer and the bar’s easy-going vibe.
You’ll find it at 14 Garrick Street, WC2E 9BJ.
20. The American Bar
The longest surviving cocktail bar in London, The American Bar at The Savoy is one of those places that will throw you right back to the 1920s, and you’ll feel like you should be dressed all Gatsby-esque in order to step foot through the doors.
In actual fact the dress code merely reads ‘smart casual’ so, as long as you’re not wearing trainers, you can probably get away with it. Yes it’s pricey, but you’ll be drinking in one of the most iconic cocktail bars in the world. It boasts an impressive alumni of ‘famous’ bartenders, many of which have created world-class cocktails that are still enjoyed today. So sit amongst the Art Deco interior, listen to the pianist playing in his gleaming white suit, and soak up the atmosphere. Cheers!
You’ll find it at The Savoy, The Strand, WC2R 0EZ.
21. The Alchemist
Based just off the picturesque street of St. Martin’s Lane lies The Alchemist – a creative cocktail bar-come-restaurant which has a certain panache for theatrical. There are some great cocktails rustled up here, and DJs spin the tunes until the wee hours at the weekend.
You’ll find it at 63-66 St Martin’s Lane, London WC2N 4JS.
Rounding off this list of the best Covent Garden bars is technically not a bar – it’s a restaurant – but SUSHISAMBA ain’t a bad place to go for a drink or two if you’re in the area. Decked out in a beautiful ceiling installation featuring South American and Japanese plants and a bespoke light installation, it’s certainly pretty, and an extensive selection of sake, Japanese whiskies and signature cocktails too.
Try the ‘Tom Yam’, a fiery creation made with vodka, coriander, ginger, lime and chilli, or the ‘Lychee Cooler’ with vodka, lychee, coconut milk, vanilla and elderflower.
You’ll find SUSHISAMBA at 35 The Market, WC2E 8RF.
So there you have it – a roundup of the best Covent Garden bars. So get ready to get your drink on and we’ll see you there!
Also published on Medium.