Opium is Soho's secret cocktail bar and dim sum parlour. Located in the heart of China town and hidden behind a nondescript green door, this place is decked out with oriental-style decor and mismatched antique furnishings. Both the drinks and food menu reflects seasonally changing ingredients, with an eclectic dim sum selection including lobster and mushroom with truffle.
Best Bars in the West End
The West End is one of the busiest and most vibrant districts in the world. The variety of shopping, eating, drinking and clubbing options (along with its world famous theatres) have been amongst the best and most diverse in the world for decades and new exciting sites continue to open throughout the year. So, amongst all of the possibilities, where are the best places for tipple? Here are a few West End bars we think deserve a visit.
Ping Pong isn't just a West End restaurant to feast on on the very best in dim sum and premium Chinese plates. They also boast a wonderful array of drinks, including some truly great cocktails – making it the perfect place to dine and drink.
Thirst Bar, modestly tucked away in the less hectic Tottenham Court Road side of the West End, is a fun and independently owned cocktail bar in the heart of Soho. In its 10th year, the late night cocktail bar is split over two floors with a cocktail bar on each. Al fresco drinking on the ground floor and a snug VIP booth area provides the drinker with a number of varying environments to choose from.
International food, killer drinks and a welcoming atmosphere makes Zebrano's a great shout for those heading out for cocktails in the West End. Happy hour deals and food that comes from all corners of the globe are sweet perks, and there's some singing and dancing to be had in the club area later.
Smartly placed between St Chrisopher's Place and Marylebone High Street, Levant offers a sensuous taste of Lebanese dining. Mix and match between a neatly formed mezze menu washed down with innovative cocktails; there's belly-dancers for afterwards and lively DJ sets come the weekend.
Ruby Blue brings a luxurious drinking, dining and dancing experience to a spot that overlooks Leicester Square. Offering everything from hearty comfort plates to some of the best happy hour discounts in central London, there's something to satisfy all tastes here. Swing by for up to 50% off drinks between 5 and 8pm, catch up over an early-evening meal or party deep into the night at this versatile (and wallet-friendly) venue.
The Long Acre serves a delicious menu of classics and sharing boards, with a broad range of classic, Champagne and signature cocktails to wash it all down with. It's open until 3am so there's every reason to stay and let the night escalate.
For those wanting a friendly cocktail bar to relax in after a long day spent admiring the West End sights or the shops, then head to Be At On Covent Garden. With delicious cocktails and a cool bar to discuss the days events in, you'll be up for staying longer than you expected (probably all night) with the buzzing atmosphere egging you on. For those pre-Theatre drinks, nothing beats a classic mojito to get your juices flowing for the show.
Not only is Cabana the place to go for a delicious array of Brazil's most famous cocktails (including Frozen Caipirinhas), they also serve up a variety of delicious Brazilian street food dishes, such as their delicious marinated skewers cooked on their custom-made grill.
Propping up the cool style of an old Americana saloon bar, Cartizze adds a bit of contemporary edge to its watering hole physique where you'll find classic leanings against a stylish demeanor. Take a seat at the opulent bar and watch as world class bartenders knock up some of the best cocktails in the biz.
Looking out onto New Street Square with all its gracious greenery, The Refinery New Street Square boasts one of the best outdoor spaces of any bar in the West End. Plonk yourself down at a table and get ready for some outdoor sessioning! Work your way through the extensive (yet affordable) selection of cocktails and beers with your boozing buddies.
A food hall with plenty of great drinks to go with it? Get your street food kicks at Market Hall West End as the booming and neon-lit space hosts a whole gang of restaurants and bar offerings under one roof.
Despite the plethora of West End Bars to chose from, Blame Gloria stands out as one of the best. If you are in the Covent Garden / West End Area, want a lively drinking vibe all week long, want to be served by attentive and always unpretentious bartenders, love a blend of exciting music and expertly made cocktails, Blame Gloria may just be the place for you.
When it comes to quirky bars in the West End, Swingers is a location with that lil' something something extra. Notorious for its unique crazy golf course, head on over for cocktails and competitive antics in the heart of the city.
Located in the heart of central London, this sexy number is all about the music. Make your way through a distinctive decor, filled with rich mahogany, a cigar terrace and even a shellfish bar, where you'll find live jazz, powerful soul and R&B tunes.
Get familiar with the sights and sounds of Latin America at one of the coolest bars in the West End. Not only a wonderland of happy hours and South American fare, Barrio Soho promise a plethora of liquor strong cocktails that will keep you going until the early hours of the morning.
Perched in St James', Quaglino's is a space of truly decadent drinking and dining dressed in opulent interiors, sweeping staircases and bartenders with showmanship. This restaurant bar knows no boundaries when it comes to indulgent and luxuriant partying at its best. Think theatrical, think exquisite mixology and think late licence come the weekends.
Three industry heavyweights have joined forces to unveil 68 & Boston, a wine and cocktail bar found at the heart of Greek Street's burgeoning late-night scene. With a focus on quality wines plucked from across the globe, the focus here is encouraging people to be bold and choose a grape variety they haven't had before.
Find your way over to Wardour Street where a pretty damn special basement bar is waiting for you. No less than 80 bottles of 100% agave tequila line the shelves, a lively crowd chatter away on quirky swinging basket chairs while others get to the serious business of a friendly game of foosball. Popping in at the weekend? DJs take the floor until midnight on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
Glowing dim and red, Simmons Fitzrovia tempts thirsty passers by into its only slightly seedy depths to feed them tantalising tinctures. A skull shaped disco ball rotates overhead, and a heated outdoor lounging area invites comfort at all times. All in all the experience is quirky, slick and memorable; the sort of place you'd mention to friends weeks after as 'this great little place' before launching into unrepeatable stories.