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Best Bars in Soho: Cool + Quirky Soho Bars for Cocktails, Wine and Cheeky Nights Out

Best Bars in Soho: Cool + Quirky Soho Bars for Cocktails, Wine and Cheeky Nights Out

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Soho is one of London’s coolest drinking spots. It’s got it all – hush hush speakeasies serving decadent cocktails, bars in abandoned underground stations, there’s even a rooftop bar thrown in for good measure. Looking for the best bars in Soho? Don’t miss these brilliant drinking dens.

It’s no secret that Soho’s bars are banging. What was once one of London’s seediest spots has blossomed into one of it’s coolest areas for nightlife – and with that comes a healthy dose of great bars.

Now, Soho isn’t just about drinking – there are loads of things to do in this bustling area to keep you entertained… but Soho does do drinking ever so well.

Dudes, I’ve been drinking in Soho for a long time, but I almost bust my liver revisiting my favourite spots just to make sure that I was only recommending Soho’s absolute best bars.

Here are the ones that you shouldn’t miss.

The Best Bars in Soho

Disrepute

Disrepute

If you only make time to visit one bar in Soho, make it Disrepute.

I should play coy and pretend that I don’t have favourites, but that just isn’t true. Disrepute is one of (if not the) best bars in Soho. Fact.

If there was ever a cocktail bar that embodied the phrase “retro chic”, it’s Disrepute. Think 1930s railway-carriage meets underground speakeasy with a touch of extra class and you are probably on the right track.

Yeah, it looks great. But what about the cocktails? In one word: excellent.

Choosing a cocktail is an experience in itself, as rather than your regular run-of-the-mill menu, there’s a little story to accompany each drink. Choosing based on which one captures your imagination is encouraged, although ingredients are listed on the back.

Although Disrepute is a relative newcomer, it’s built on the site of infamous Pinstripe Club – which served backdrop for an illicit affair between a certain politician and a young model, which eventually caused the downfall of a government.

Things aren’t likely to be quite so dramatic on your visit, thank God.

Technically, Disrepute is a member’s only club – but the public are allowed in. Book ahead to be sure. This is one Soho bar that you don’t want to miss.

Read More: Disrepute Soho Review

100 Wardour Street 

100 Wardour Street

Smack bang in the middle of Soho, 100 Wardour Street is the buzzy bar that took over the space previously occupied by London’s iconic Marquee Club. These days it’s one of the area’s not-so-secret go-tos for cocktails and live music in a spacious setting. 

Upstairs is all about laid-back lounge vibes, with an extensive cocktail and bar snack menu – venture downstairs to discover a restaurant and club with live music five nights a week. 

Drinks-wise, it’s all about innovative cocktails that keep your taste buds on their toes: the Spice up Your Life proved itself to be a heady combo of reposado tequila, passion fruit, chilli, sugar and mint with all the tropical vibes of a Caribbean beach but with a nice kick from the chilli.

The elegant Midnight Sky cognac, rum, bourbon and Fernet Branca was a similar success and gone oh too soon.

La Bodega Negra

La Bodega Negra

London might not have the sunshine, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a good old Mexican fiesta at La Bodega Negra, albeit with devilish Soho overtones.

Technically it calls itself a restaurant, and they do great food. However, the dimly lit atmosphere punctuated by suggestive neon signs is much more nightclub-esque than refined dinner.

The food is delicious though. There are classics like tacos, while more unique Mexican dishes are also scrumptious.

Likewise, the drinks menu is impressive with plenty of great cocktails — but you’ve got to try the delicious tequila and mezcal (kind of like tequila, but tastes less like bad decisions).

American Bar at Brasserie Zedel

Although it’s called the American Bar, this chic little hideout has the style of a Parisian brasserie and the soul of a classic Soho haunt. What’s not to love?

Plus, while the art deco interior is elegant and stylish, the atmosphere is welcoming and unpretentious. It’s opulent, without being gaudy.

Then there’s the amazing cocktail list, filled with choices like the scrumptious le donnet to ease you into the evening. As if that wasn’t enough to tempt you, the bartenders can even craft you up something unique.

Heritage Restaurant & Cocktail Bar

For a touch of the Alps in Soho, head to Heritage Restaurant & Cocktail Bar. 

Not only does the interior of the bar feel like you’ve stepped straight into a chic Swiss chalet, but the drinks have been carefully crafted to immerse you in the theme. 

A balance of sweet, sour, and bitter notes, along with herbal elements, transform your drinking experience into one of pure escapism.

Cocktails include a gin-based Bubble Supernova and The Moon Juice, a rum-based cocktail that represents the feeling of staring up into the sky from your ski resort and seeing the moon shining bright. Told you… pure escapism.

Carefully-curated art also adorns the walls of Heritage, which reflects the atmosphere of a resort perfectly and brings a fun splash of an apres-ski party. A limited edition Keith Haring piece and Lucy Danielle’s colourful snowboard creations are particularly funky additions to the otherwise sleek and minimalistic bar.

Trisha’s Bar – New Evaristo Club

It seems every weekend there are several new bars around Soho, while others shut their doors for good. Things come and go.

Not the New Evaristo Club, also known as Trisha’s Bar. It’s a true Soho stalwart – 75 years and counting. Most of them have had Trisha at the helm, and she’s quite the Soho icon in her own right.

The secret to this club’s longevity? I suspect the friendliness factor has got something to do with it – it’s one of the most approachable “member’s only” clubs in London.

It may not be the fanciest bar out there, and the drinks mightn’t be the best in Soho, but sometimes all you really want is a big smile and to be greeted like a local.

Antidote

There are a number of wine bars in Soho but I particularly love the simple approach of Antidote.

Far from stuffy or pretentious, it serves an interesting list of wines from its breezy and friendly cafe/bar. It also does fresh and simple French-inspired meals.

As for the wine, there’s an emphasis on organic, biodynamic wine as well as promoting newer producers who are shaking up the industry. This makes it a great place to go and discover something new.

There’s even a wine shop so you can leave with a few bottles for later if you find a new favourite!

Why not pop to Bob Bob Ricard for dinner? Read my full review.

The Vault Beneath Milroy’s

Step through the bookcase and find yourself in a hidden, underground bar that is so good you’ll want to keep the secret.

Exposed brick and wooden bunkers give the Vault a gritty industrial edge, while friendly service adds some much-appreciated warmth.

There’s a great cocktail list with some inventive names, but the whiskey selection is where the Vault really shines. It’s under a scotch store, after all, so it’s only fitting really.

You certainly don’t need to be a whiskey snob to enjoy it, though, as it’s perfect if you’re just looking for a nice bar in Soho.

Read Next: Cool Gin Drinking Spots in London

The Blind Pig

In true speakeasy fashion, The Blind Pig isn’t easy to find, but once you do, you’ll be treated to one of the best places to drink in Soho.

While the decor is luxurious with leather and deep hardwood, the cocktail menu is positively adorable. Most of the cocktails are inspired by classic children’s books, like the Winnie the Pooh inspired ‘Hunny Pot’.

It’s not cheap but it’s not outrageous, and it’s the kind of place where you can sit and sip your cocktail slowly, taking in the vibes.

It’s best to call and make a booking beforehand, although the staff do their very best to find room for walk-ins.

Read More: Drinking at The Blind Pig – The Full Review

Bar Termini

Bar Termini

Mixology legend Tony Conigliaro is the powerhouse behind the popular Soho cocktail bar Bar Termini.

This quirky and approachable venue deserves its place amongst the coolest of the cool bars in Soho. Seating just 25, the bar/cafe takes its coffee and cocktails equally seriously.

Like the capacity, the number of choices on the menu is modest, but that allows Bar Termini to focus on exceptional quality drinks – of both the hot and cold variety. There’s also a small selection of sharing platters.

Bookings are recommended, as it doesn’t take long for all the seats to vanish.

Swift

Bar Swift

Swift takes its inspiration from the relaxed bars on the continent – offering a comfortable and chic spot for you to sip on excellent cocktails throughout the night.

There are two floors – the light and airy ground floor and the slightly more formal downstairs speakeasy.

Whichever you opt to drink in, the bar has a friendly, approachable vibe that’s as much local pub as a high-class cocktail bar. Just with really, really good drinks and a rather beautiful interior.

So whether you stop by for a quick tipple or settle in to sample the drinks and (mouthwatering) food menu, Swift is a great choice for a nice bar in Soho.

Read More: Swift Soho: Two Bars, One Cocktail Lover’s Dream

Basement Sate

Music, dessert and cocktails – it’s a match made in heaven. To be honest, I’m surprised it took as long as it did for Sate to hit the scene in Soho.

Sate is not a cocktail bar that serves a few desserts. Half its quirky menu is devoted to the sweeter things in life, from classic carrot cakes to decadent chocolate cigars (not smokeable, unfortunately!)

Each has a recommended cocktail pairing, while there are also a few savoury dishes if you want to skip the sugar overload.

Sate is the brainchild of two friends, and the atmosphere is welcoming. A great place to satiate that sweet tooth!

Experimental Cocktail Club

Experimental Cocktail Club

I’d recommend giving yourself a minimum of ten minutes to find this place; it’s very tucked away in the midst of Chinatown.

The Experimental Cocktail Club is worth any confusion you might run into finding it. This three-floored bar is bigger than it first appears, yet still manages to have a cosy Speakeasy vibe.

The real standout – as you might expect from the name – are the amazing cocktails. Give the bartenders carte blanche or pick something from the menu, such as a Negroni made from genuine 1970s Campari.

Reservations are only by email so if you definitely want a table, make sure to plan in advance. If you’re looking for Soho bars open late, this is a good choice, as it tends to stay open late, even on weekdays.

Read More: Experimental Cocktail Club Chinatown Review

Jack Solomon’s

Jack Solomon's

There’s no shortage of quirky Soho bars with a backstory, but Jack Solomon’s is one of the best.

The bar is named after Soho’s most famous boxing promoter, who arranged plenty of bouts beginning in 1930. He also ran his own boxing gym, but his first gym was destroyed during World War II.

As a result, he moved premises to 41 Great Windmill Street. What used to house up-and-coming boxers now houses Londoners more keen for a delicious cocktail than slogging it out in the ring.

It’s a great story and the bar does it justice, too. There’s a great cocktail list and the decor is stylish retro – don’t miss out on experiencing this cool bar in Soho.

Read Next: Cool Soho Pubs for a Cheeky Pint

Aqua Spirit

It seems cocktails taste better at altitude – or maybe it’s just the amazing views. Whatever it is, everyone loves a good rooftop bar in Soho, and you won’t be disappointed at Aqua Spirit.

It’s the Soho offering of an exclusive worldwide chain, so it’s certainly a sleek operation with beautiful views and an impeccable cocktail list that’s heavily inspired by Japanese flavours.

There’s also an inside bar, that’s a little moodier and perfect for escaping those chilly nights, yet still catching glimpses of the gorgeous London skyline.

It’s a luxurious option with a price tag to match – but the views certainly don’t come cheap.

Arts Theatre Club

There are plenty of prohibition-themed bars near Soho, but few have the chops to back it up like the Arts Theatre Club.

Infamously, the venue was once owned by the Kray twins, a pair of London gangsters who were eventually locked away for life for crimes including arson, racketeering and murder.

Despite their very, very dodgy dealings, they still rubbed shoulders with plenty of stars such as Judy Garland and Frank Sinatra. Sometimes at the Arts Theatre Club.

Today it’s a private member’s club (£100 per year) that’s more glamour than gore – the flowery teapots certainly seem at odds with the wicked reputation. Nonetheless, it’s a vibrant and intriguing place to enjoy a delicious cocktail.

Iceberg Lounge

Park Row’s Iceberg Lounge is a Gotham City inspired jaunt tucked away in Soho, serving up luxe signature cocktails and champagne.

Appreciate the excellent Penguin-theming whilst quaffing the likes of Love Me, Love My Umbrella, a tantalising concoction of Grey Goose, sacred dry vermouth, St Germain, lemon juice, strawberry syrup, and soda. 

You can indulge even further with a devilish selection of oysters and caviar – or opt to make your way through a seafood sharing platter as you down drinks.

Throughout the week, expect a dazzling array of performers to take to the stage. Singers and cabaret acts mainly, although you may spot a few familiar faces if you keep your eyes peeled.

Soho Residence

After the iconic Roundhouse had a complete facelift in 2019, Soho Residence emerged quickly as one of the best bars in Soho. Spread over three floors, there’s a room to match whatever mood you’re in.

The downstairs botanical bar is undeniably the most impressive spot and if you head there before 8pm on weekdays or before 6pm on weekends, you can save up to 50% on drinks (a cocktail for 6 quid is practically unheard of in the capital). 

The dedicated cocktail lounge is a swanky, velvet-accented room – balancing elegance with coolness perfectly. Nab a seat by the window and people-watch while you sip on a signature mojito or a Manhattan. 

If you’re feeling like you fancy a boogie, you can always head upstairs to the festival club to continue the party.

Barrio Soho

Barrio has a couple of locations dotted throughout the capital, but no matter which one you visit, you’re guaranteed an evening of pure fun.

The interior is ridiculously bright: pink and yellow accents, garish floral walls, and drawings of Latin American icons gazing at you as you drink. But, it’s done in a way that adds to the bar’s experience, rather than totally overpowering it.

Cocktail-wise, expect cheeky takes on classics – the Raspberry Beret, a combo of raspberry vodka, vanilla, and passion fruit, is particularly delicious. Or you can choose from plenty of classic beers, wine, and fizz.

The Pink Chihuahua 

Soho’s El Camion Mexican restaurant holds a feisty little secret… The Pink Chihuahua

After you have scoffed tacos until your heart’s content, head downstairs where an intimate Mexican dive bar serves up mind-blowing margaritas made with their very own Pink Chihuahua tequila.

With neon graffiti and sugar skulls plastered across the walls, it’s a total cliche. But the drinks are delicious (and decently priced) and the vibes are extremely fun.

Cahoots

Cahoots

Hmm. Cahoots.

I deliberated about whether to include Cahoots on the list of best bars in Soho as I personally don’t rate it that much… but even I can’t deny that visiting is an experience and a half.

Cahoots operates on one simple (and ever-present) premise – a chance to go back in time to a swinging retro bar in the 1940s. The bar is inside a former underground station turned air raid shelter that was used to hide Londoners away during the Blitz.

Themed to the max, everything is done (overdone?) to bring you to the world of Blitz-time Britain. It’s almost more theatre than bar.

In fact, you’ll probably enjoy your trip to Cahoots more if you think of it as a theatre rather than a bar. Like a theatre, you have to book your table way in advance, get there bang on time, wait around for ages to be served and only come out with a mediocre drink at the end of it. Unfortunately, you don’t get a thrilling show to distract you either.

Cocktails are served in all kinds of vessels – don’t be surprised if yours turns up in a bottle, or even an old statue – you have to be resourceful while the country is at war! Or it’s just yet another play on an overdone gimmick.

Read More: Cahoots – An Overhyped and Underwhelming Experience at Soho’s 1940s Themed Cocktail Bar

Practical Tips for Visiting The Best Bars in Soho

  • Many bars describe themselves as members only however most allow walk-ins from the public. If you’re a local, membership can be cost-effective – so you might want to check it out.
  • You might be surprised at how early a lot of the bars around Soho start to close up – 1am is common, especially through the week. That said, some are known to party on if you’re not ready for bed.
  • Many bars will add on a service charge of about 12.5% to your bill – keep an eye out in the fine print. Tipping beyond that is not expected, although always gratefully received.
  • Check out the dress code before you go. Many of the fancier bars have stricter dress codes.

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