Fancy a trip to South America this Wednesday evening? Brasil, Costa Rica, Chile? No? That’s alright, it’s just as easy to go a different night of the week. It’s not easy for a girl to get a natural tan this far from the equator! And as spring fast approaches, your friends are probably in full spring vacation mode, just drying to break out the trunks, kinis, and margaritas.

But for those who are too busy to hop on a plane just yet, let me introduce you to London’s best, in-house alternative: Viajante87. The Latin American-themed cocktail bar that lives just off the Central line, underneath the Notting Hill Gate tube stop. Convenient? I think so too.


Seemingly exclusive from the start, as the entrance is all but hidden by the Picturehouse Cinema next-door. But once you locate the doorway, descend the velvety-green stairs, and enter the main space, you’ll see why it’s too exotic to sit smack on the high street.

The interior space of Viajante, which translates as ‘traveller,’ would be best described as an exclusive, first-class airport lounge. Turquoise velvet booths line the seating area while palm fronds tickle the tops of heads. It’s a hearty attempt at a rainforest within the confines of London, but sadly, a film crew has damaged the rigging that would otherwise emit false sunlight, and my date is left sipping his martini by the light of the well-lit bar. I blame Made in Chelsea.

Viajante87 Cocktail Bar


Although the bar began as an agaveria, they have since expanded their cocktail menu beyond just mezcal. The drinks are divided into four categories: ‘Be Curious,’ ‘Be Courageous,’ ‘Be Present,’ and ‘Be Involved.’ So if you’re feeling particularly brave (desiccated grasshoppers on the rocks) or just determined to impress your date (larger than normal ‘ant bums’ take the cherry on top) I’d recommend steering for the ‘Courageous’ section. Each section however, contains highly creative cocktails, each a twist on a classic.

For the James Bonds among us, the ‘Glacier Martini’ (Be Involved) is an excellent first drink. The glass is frozen to minus 18 degrees, filled with a bottled gin-based mixture, and accompanied by a charred olive ‘a la minuit.’ Consume these two separately unless you have a particular taste for lukewarm martinis. It’s poured; not shaken, and certainly not stirred.

The ‘Negroni Morada,’ meanwhile, is for the curious but not highly invested cocktail consumers. While the alcohol itself constitutes a traditional white negroni, the addition of taro and sparkling sugar rim carry the traditionally-Italian aperitivo into a new and exciting realm of purple-potato possibilities.

Negroni Morada

And should you happen to have a certain palette for snacking on insects alongside your booze, you’re in luck, as rare insects are in abundance. For us, it was a small bowl of complimentary ants, known for their strict Limao Cravo (a Mexican lemon) diet, and some chapulines atop my nightcap, the ‘Leche de Vichos’ (solely for the courageous). Try this and you too might end your night as a newly converted insect gourmand.

Although the cocktail menu is confined to just the continent of South America, the bar-bites menu is a blend of Mexican and Japanese cultures. From the mind of Los Mochis just down the street, Viajante offers select menu items such as ‘Falafelitos,’ which are deep fried, and in a heavy, crunchy coating of seeds, served with a bright aioli, which is perfect for smearing on everything else.

The ‘Pato Teriyaki Crispy Rice,’ is also quite substantial between the heavily-crisped, subtly sweet rice, and duck meat on top. The tuna tartare tacos were instead quite light, with soy paper shells, and perfectly accompanied by the notes of mint and lemon in their fernet-cola cocktail, known as the ‘90210.’

Glacier Martini


If you close your eyes, and sip an Elote Old Fashioned, the coconut infused rum will immediately place you on the sandy beaches of Rio. That almost makes the cost worth it.

Although the drinks are not as expensive as those from a resort’s swim-up bar, at £15 - 20 pounds a pop, it means you’ll really have to start budgeting if you ever want to take that vacation. Bar bites average at £16 per small plate, but three-four shared plates will be more than enough for two.

Cost aside, whether you’re looking for a unique, Latin experience, or just want one fun drink, this is the way to go. You might even develop a taste for bugs!


A seemingly great first date spot. At least two couples traded the more casual pub setting for an upscale, get to know you, last Wednesday evening.

Once per month, Viajante hosts a ‘Culture Exchange’ event in the space as part of their chef takeover series celebrating “culinary and drink traditions in Latin America.” Their next event is March 12th, 2024, and will feature the mixology of Diengo Chou and Selvatica Social Club across a 4-course dinner and bespoke cocktail pairings.

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Viajante87, 87 Notting Hill Gate, W11 3JZ