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Written by Luke Bull - 09 October 2023

The 8 best bars in Covent Garden

Starting out as a fruit and vegetable market in the middle of the city, Covent Garden has grown in stature and size, and figures as one of London’s entertainment and shopping focal points. From the opera house's neoclassical columns to the indoor market's green steel rafters, Covent Garden is a veritable feast for the eyes.

Whilst the bar scene has traditionally leant towards chain venues and tourist pubs, recent years have actually seen an influx of high-quality bars in the area. Escaping from the throngs of American tourists, you can now hole up a surprising array of live music venues, dimly lit dive bars and even a few rooftop spots. Here are some of the very best bars in Covent Garden.

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1. Escape to this much-loved Covent Garden bar: The Escapologist

Covent Garden, London

Tucked away on Covent Garden’s Earlham Street is The Escapologist.

Housed in one of the Victorian era’s most secretive of societies, the self-described “part modern-day Victorian member’s club, part Masonic lodge” is outfitted with just enough interiors to match that vibe. You’re welcomed by a mish-mash of colour-blocked walls, gaudy wallpaper, dramatic red lighting, mirrored ceilings and plush red velvet booths to sink into for any pre-and post-cocktail conversations.

Speaking of cocktails, The Escapologist are whipping up cocktails of all kinds: from specialist, tiki, gin and vodka to seasonal and non-alcoholic ones. Might we suggest the aptly-named Hot AF (tequila, triple Sec, jalapeno, pineapple, lime, tabasco) or the nostalgic Ab Fab (watermelon vodka, strawberry juice and watermelon).

Open 7 days a week, this Covent Garden bar is available for private hire for events hosting up to 220 guests.

Gura Gura covent garden bar
Gura Gura covent garden bar

2. A back-street bar with great Asian food: Gura Gura

Covent Garden, London

It may seem an impossibility to find a less-known gem in the tumult of Covent Garden, but there a few spots that you can still escape the crowds at.

Gura Gura is a two floor sushi joint and cocktail bar that takes an unapologetically pan-Asian approach to cooking. Whilst sceptics may turn their nose up at an entire continent's cuisine, Gura Gura gives it a pretty good shot, if wisely staying to the eastern subcontinent. Upstairs you'll find colourful platters of sushi, sashimi, dim-sum and more, all complimented by bright decor and enough glass Koi carp to please Hokusai.

The bar is what we're after here, though. Downstairs you can expect an impressively wide variation of stone cold classics alongside original creations. It gets wonderfully weird with the Avocado Maki Negroni and inspired Unami #3 (which sounds distinctly like an unreleased Aphex Twin track, if you ask us). If you're feeling less adventurous, stick to the Japanese Old Fashioned, which has enough flavour to make things interesting without messing up the classic drink.

Sushisamba London dinner with a view 2

3. Visit this bar for Covent Garden’s best views: SUSHISAMBA

Covent Garden, London

Bringing together fusion food and signature cocktails is SUSHISAMBA’s Covent Garden branch.

Each location owns its own aesthetic, and their Covent Garden branch would best be described as botanical-paradise-meets-greenhouse. Think earthy tones, rich pops of colour, hanging plants over the bar, trees by seats and a leafy glass roof.

For drinks, this Covent Garden bar offers up a choice of fine wines, mocktails and as expected, cocktails. The Fogoso (tequila, peach liqueur, chillies, cucumber and yuzu) and Wakaba (gin, matcha green tea syrup, pink grapefruit juice and lychee liqueur) are our top picks.

Here’s the best bit - walk out onto the terrace for some of the best views of Covent Garden and The Piazza.

With space for 300 standing guests or 115 seated, you can also hire the entire venue.

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4. A Covent Garden bar that’ll leave you speechless: Circus

Covent Garden, London

Circus performances and cocktails just a few doors up from a Tesco Express. Now, there’s something you don’t read every day. Nestled on Seven Dials’ Endell Street is Circus, the bar and pan-Asian restaurant.

It seems like every day a new bar pops up promising to serve up unforgettable experiences but Circus does actually deliver on that promise.

Aerialists, contortionists and firebreathers take centre stage while you dine and drink under a haze of purple, pink and blue spotlights. Keeping the experience going, Circus offers up a choice of drinks like Euphoria, Dusk til Dawn and Hanging on Clouds.

Full venue hire is available for events with up to 250 guests along with catering, AV equipment, security and a DJ.

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5. A trippy Covent Garden bar: Blame Gloria

Covent Garden, London

Trippy chic. That’s certainly one way to describe the popular Covent Garden bar.

Step into the world of Blame Gloria and set your sights on the turquoise foil fringe curtains, oversized floral patterns atop exposed brick walls, the matching booths and the pink fluorescent lights.

Take your pick of the fruity, sour and sweet cocktails on offer. Perhaps a Pink Panther (rum, whiskey, pineapple, pomegranate and blood orange syrup) or Luna Springs (gin, limoncello, fresh lemon juice, peach syrup, soda), or if cocktails aren’t your thing, then wine, beer or shots.

For private parties and events, full venue hire is available for you and up to 224 guests.

You’ll find them on Bedford Street.

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6. A not-so-secret Covent Garden bar: Cache Cache

Covent Garden, London

A secret bar, hidden in plain sight in one of the busiest areas in London. Once inside, the intimate low lighting is offset by the strips of red, blue, orange and green flourescent lights. Even though it sounds like something out of a film, Cache Cache is very much a real bar.

While you marvel at your new-found hidden gem, take a look at the drinks menu. From the tea-infused Princess Cache, hot Spicy Margarita to the interestingly-named Public Enemy No 1, there’s enough tipple for (almost) every mood and taste.

To make things even more exclusive, party in style and secret with full venue hire for up to 60 seated guests and 100 standing.

Lost alpaca covent garden bar
Lost alpaca covent garden bar

7. A Latin American-inspired bar on Floral Street: The Lost Alpaca

Covent Garden, London

Adopting a pan-continental approach to Latin-American mixology, the fittingly named Lost Alpaca brings together a bewildering collection of tastes and spirits. The Lima Negroni is a good entrance drink to their vibe: Vida mezcal joins Campari and Cynar (a bitter Italian aperitif), to give a genuinely different take on everyone’s current favourite cocktail.

The roomy bar space can be hired out to comfortably fit 45, with regional wines, beers and whiskies joining the cocktails and making sure every guest can find something they’ll like at this Covent Garden Bar.

8. A Spanish tapas bar in Covent Garden: Opera Tavern

Covent Garden, London

Despite sounding like a dingy pub, The Opera Tavern (run by the Salt Yard Group) is actually a more light and Mediterranean affair. Mixing a casual bar experience with Spanish and Italian tapas, Opera Tavern is a refreshingly different take on the Covent Garden bar.

The drinks menu embraces most classic cocktails, and the Italian gins are definitely worth a dabble. Really though, it's the excellently chosen wine list that you'll want to focus on; Red, white and Rose have been helpfully classified according to their body, and the staff will be on hand to recommend pairings to match your food.

More bars in Covent Garden, London

Thinking of hiring a bar for your next event? Great idea. Covent Garden is known for its amazing bars. From busy tiki bars and cocktail bars with world-class mixologists, to quiet and cosy garden bars, we've got every type of bar in Covent Garden for you to browse and book. Why not take the team for a corporate day out at an activity bar or have a birthday bash at your own exclusive bar? Have a look at these top Covent Garden bar venues and get some ideas for where to have your next event. Alternatively, tell us exactly what you need and we'll make sure the very best Covent Garden venues respond to your enquiry.

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How to hire a bar in Covent Garden

We know that finding a venue the old-fashioned way (where you trawl the internet, contact 10 venues or set your heart on one, only to find that they're out of your price range and not even available on your dates) is a pain, and there are a few pitfalls between you and booking your perfect bar. Getting the venue finding process down to a professional art is what we’ve made our mission ever since we took on the events industry. We often get asked the same questions, so here's what we recommend to quickly and easily hire a space in Covent Garden.

Frequently asked questions

For bars in Covent Garden, you're spoilt for choice. Here are a few extra special ones that we vouch for:

Big Easy – With two floors, two bars, live music, and great food, big celebrations are certainly easy at this Covent Garden bar.

Bunga Bunga Covent Garden – Drink (and dine) in style at Bunga Bunga. Stop by for the drinks, and stay for the variety shows.

There really is no one answer to this question: so many variables come into play when understanding the cost of exclusive hire of a bar or a private space in a bar. How many guests are you planning for? Is the venue for the day, an afternoon, or the night? The good news is that you can find a venue for pretty much any budget (okay, almost any budget). Instead of letting the venue dictate the price, our advice is to be proactive and set a budget that you feel comfortable with – this way the right venues can reach out to you through HeadBox.

There are lots of ways to book a Covent Garden bar. You can do the old-fashioned thing and pick up the phone, or email the venue directly. Unfortunately, lots of venues are busy and may not get back to you in time. That's where we come in. Give us your enquiry and we'll reach out to the best bars in Covent Garden and let you enjoy your free time. Easy.

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