We’ve rounded up some of the best bars in Covent Garden to help you plan a killer night out.
From hidden 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 at one of these brilliant bars.
1. Blame Gloria
Introducing the all-new, 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. Find it at 20 Bedford Street, WC2E 9HP.
2. Eve Bar
Hidden beneath Covent Garden is London’s very own Garden of Eden. This bar 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 Heaven on Earth. Find it at 34 Southampton Street, WC2E 7HF.
This intimate hidden 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. Find it at Wellington Street, WC2E 7DN.
Try not to get lost in the maze of Covent Garden’s Porterhouse; one of London’s largest bars, split over three main levels with dozens of mezzanine levels in between. It’s a truly Irish pub that serves more beers than you could possibly even begin to count (including the finest stout in the world – true story).
5. The Den
Within 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. 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 more details. 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. Find The 10 Cases 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 – and make sure you use this awesome discount to get yourself some cheaper cocktails. Find it at 35 Earlham Street, WC2H 9LD.
9. Covent Garden Cocktail Club
Part of the London Cocktail Club collective, 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. 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. Find Mr Fogg’s Tavern at 58 St Martin’s Lane, WC2N 4EA. (See also: Mr Fogg’s brand new 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. Find it at 42 Maiden Lane, WC2E 7LJ. (See also: best coffee shops in Covent Garden.)
Foundation like to call themselves the ‘Underground Playground’ and you won’t understand why until you’ve been. They have all the ingredients you need for a big night out, including a daily Happy Hour with 50% off cocktails, wine, beer and pizzas from 4-8pm. Take advantage of the happiest of hours at 5 Langley Street, WC2H 9JA.
13. Beaufort Bar
Had enough of mojitos and Tom Collins’? Head to Beaufort Bar at the Savoy 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. Find it at the Savoy, Strand, WC2R 0EZ.
14. Cocktail Baby
If you thought you were just heading to Joe’s Southern Table & Bar for some fried chicken, you really need to reconsider your options. Hidden underneath the restaurant you’ll find Cocktail Baby – a disco bar with great drinks and a wicked Happy Hour from Thursday to Saturday, 5-8pm. Find it at 34 King Street, WC2E 8JD.
Another Covent Garden coffee shop-cum-cocktail bar, Boki focuses on top quality ingredients and beautiful design. Come here for a more relaxed evening drink, and don’t leave without trying their Espresso Martinis! Find it at 20 Earlham Street, WC2H 9LG.
16. 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! Find it at 22 Wellington St, WC2E 7DD.
17. Radio Rooftop
Sitting pretty at the top of the ME London hotel, Radio Rooftop bar is a fancy and fabulous place to enjoy a few cocktails and take in the stunning, panoramic views over the city. Find it at 336-337 Strand, WC2R 1HA.
For oodles of class and some Instagrammable neon, head to Mabel’s. They have a very Happy Hour between 4-8pm every day, with 2 beers for £8, 2 cocktails for £10, a bottle of wine for £12 or a bottle of Prosecco for £20 (and they’re even happier on Thursdays, when the hours are extended until 10pm). Find it at 29-30 Maiden Lane, WC2E 7JS.
19. Salvador and Amanda
For crazy sangria-fuelled Flamenco nights, head to Salvador and Amanda – 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. 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. There’s also a rotating “gallery” displayed on the walls. Find it at 198 Shaftesbury Avenue, WC2H 8JL.
21. 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. Find it at 14 Garrick Street, WC2E 9BJ.
Roadhouse is a classic American-style bar with a raucous atmosphere that roars into the early hours. Expect live music, DJs, lip sync battles, karaoke and lots of dancing on tables. Their Happy Hours are from 5.30-10pm Monday to Thursday, 5.30-7.30pm on Fridays and Saturdays and ALL NIGHT on Sundays. It’s just like partying in the USA but, you know, not. Find it at Jubilee Market, The Piazza, WC2E 8BE.
23. The American Bar
The American Bar at the Savoy will throw you right back to the 1920s, and you might feel obliged to dress all Gatsby-esque in order to step foot through the doors (when, in actual fact, the dress code merely reads “smart casual”). It’s expensive, yes, but there’s a price to pay for 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 in the atmosphere. (Just don’t act too shocked when you’re charged £40 for two drinks.) Find it at the Savoy, Strand, WC2R 0EU.
24. Tropicana Beach Club
More like a tropical lagoon than a London bar, Tropicana Beach Club is sure to show you a good time. Sip cocktails in a cabana or bend your back under the surf board limbo. The drinks are just as colourful and exotic as you’d expect, and the dance floor is disguised as an inviting pool surrounded by palm trees. Find it on Parker Street, WC2B 5PW.