If there’s one thing Soho isn’t lacking, it’s cocktail bars. But how to choose the best ones?
Our comprehensive list helps you avoid tourist traps serving watered-down Cosmos, and leads you straight to the best cocktails bars in Soho.
As you stumble out onto Dean Street in the wee hours of the morning, you’ll have ingested some of the finest cocktails that Soho has to offer – and maybe even have room for a nightcap.
Whether you’re looking to sip Cantonese spirits in Chinatown, taste London’s finest negroni on Old Compton Street, or head to a secret venue concealed behind a bookcase in Greek Street, come join the tour of Soho’s best cocktail bars.
(Not enough for you? Try The Best Cocktail Bars in London)
Best Soho Cocktail Bars
Arguably the best negronis in London. This espresso and cocktail bar is the epitome of old school Italian charm. Tuck into a platter of charcuterie, or antipasto as they say in Italy, as you sip on your drinks. Walk-ins are welcome, but you might want to book ahead as this tiny venue is in high demand.
7 Old Compton St, London, W1D 5JE; Bar Termini
Two bars for the price of one. This elegant, art deco venue has something for everyone. Settle in to leather sofas at the downstairs bar for a slower, more relaxed evening with live music, a huge cocktail menu and impressive whisky list. Head upstairs for a buzzier atmosphere.
12 Old Compton St, London W1D 4TQ; Swift
A new player in the Soho cocktail game, Louche is here to provide a good time. With live music, DJs, and even burlesque dancers, head to the drinking den for high-quality bespoke cocktails and all-around debauchery. And – a rare sight amongst Soho’s sophisticated cocktail venues – it’s got a dance floor. Hooray!
5 Greek St, London, W1D 4DD; Louche Soho
This behemoth of a venue in Chinatown has not one, but three bars. Inspired by 1920s Shanghai, Opium is a cocktail bar and dim sum parlour that’s not to be missed. Each bar has its own carefully curated menu and décor – whether that’s the intimate Peony bar, hidden behind a pair of red velvet curtains, or the more lounge-like Academy.
15-16 Gerrard St, London, W1D 6JE; Opium
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If there’s one thing people love, it’s a speakeasy bar with a secret entrance. Hidden behind an old bookcase in the famous Milroy’s whisky shop, this is one for the serious cocktail afficionados. The drinks are strong, experimental, yet classically-inspired.
3 Greek St, London, W1D 4NX; The Vault
Dean Street Town House
Part of the Soho House group, but not just for members, rub shoulders with the glitterati of Soho and get a taste of the sweet life. It’s also a restaurant and hotel, but grab a seat at the bar to see the cocktail masters at work.
69-71 Dean St, London, W1D 3SE; Dean Street Townhouse
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For grittier vibes, head to this basement bar just off Shaftesbury Avenue. Think exposed concrete, cool art and only one bathroom. Debatably not quite Soho, this one is too good not to include. Cocktails are affordable, with some coming at £7 a pop (they taste good too), and DJs spin vinyls into the wee hours of the morning.
198 Shaftesbury Ave, London, WC2H 8JL; Freud Bar
The London Gin Club
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Gin lovers – you’ll be spoiled for choice here. Choose from the Gin Club’s carefully curated list of over 100 gins. This cosy wood-panelled venue on Great Chapel Street is the perfect spot to spend a few hours whispering sweet nothings into the ear of your beloved. And true enthusiasts of botanical spirits can take a gin masterclass and tasting experience, as experts will guide you on a sensory journey of the spirit’s history.
22 Great Chapel St, London, W1F 8FR; London Gin Club