7 London Restaurants That Also Have Brilliant Bars
The ultimate lazy person’s guide to a great dinner and drinks one-two punch.
Laziness is a fabulous quality. Don’t let the girl bosses and gym bros tell you otherwise—doing less for more is just a smart way of being alive. With that in mind, we bring you 7 Restaurants That Also Have Great Bars So You Don’t Even Have To Walk Somewhere To Get A Negroni After Your Meal. Okay, we admit, the title’s a bit long but you get the idea. From a handmade pasta restaurant with a great little gin bar hiding underneath to one of London’s best Mexican restaurants with its own mezcaleria, here are the places you can eat, drink, move seats, drink more, and be very merry with minimal faff.
Flour & Grape
We like to refer to Flour & Grape’s roasted pork shoulder tortelloni as magic meat parcels and guest what, we haven’t even had a drink yet. As well as great handmade pasta for around the £12 mark, this casual Italian spot in Bermondsey is also home to specialist gin bar, Two One Four. Finish your tiramisu gelato then head downstairs for a Campari G&T in a bar that has a sort of lovely fashionable lumberjack look—yes, we’ve decided that’s a thing. Swing by before dinner if you want to make use of the 5-6pm £5 G&T happy hour.
Getting a reservation at Kol involves effort, scheduling, and the kind of heartfelt commitment we haven’t experienced since we first saw the Hanson brothers. An upmarket tasting menu restaurant in Marylebone, Kol creates fever dream Mexican dishes using British ingredients and presumably, gold dust. A truly memorable fine dining experience, it’s the kind of place you never want to leave which makes The Mezcaleria downstairs very helpful. It's open from 5pm-1am Wednesday to Sunday, and there’s a huge list of agave spirits. The mezcal negroni matches the relaxed terracotta space perfectly.
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photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch
Maison François is the restaurant we want to live in when we grow up. An all-day French brasserie in St. James’s, this restaurant is so chic that we always get a little bit worried we’re going to drop comté on the white leather banquette seating before the dessert trolley rolls pass and we merrily forget our own names. Once you’ve finished a dinner of oysters, poisson du jour, and a truly majestic amount of garlic, head downstairs to the moody bar à vin, Frank’s. The service is exceptional and if you’re doing life right, order another round of comté gougères alongside your bottle of Jura red.
When we walk across the hallway from our bedroom we find our flatmate’s graveyard of dirty socks. When you walk across the hallway from Brasserie Zédel, you’ll find one of London’s best old-school bars in the form of Bar Américain. At this huge sprawling basement brasserie in Soho with its own ‘20s American bar sidekick, we’d recommend making a booking for your dinner of steak frites but for the sake of avoiding admin, rest assured that the bar is walk-in only. Order something with absinthe, sit back, and feel incredibly smug that you’ve achieved Gatsby-levels of glamour without having to step out into the rain.
Beginning a meal with a pisco cocktail and ending a meal with a pisco cocktail just means that you’re a consistent person. At this colourful Covent Garden restaurant you can do exactly that with a pisco-infused meal of salmon ceviche, yuca fries, and roasted lamb rump before heading downstairs to a bar called—we kid you not—The Lost Alpaca. A cool and casual basement situation, the bar has a two-for-one offer on selected cocktails every Tuesday to Thursday and you can expect plenty of tequila on the menu. Look out for the Lima Live Latin music nights too.
Cavita is a cocoon of a restaurant where the world blurs to nice ceramics, pale coral walls, and mooli ceviche. On Marylebone’s Wigmore Street, it’s a prime location for a third date, especially once you take into account that one spiced watermelon margarita can become many thanks to the downstairs bar, Mayahuel. As you might have already guessed, there’s a lot of high-quality mezcal available and the red velvet curtains add a proper touch of class.
Sushi, cocktails, cherry blossoms. That’s what you can expect from this feelgood one-two punch on Fitzrovia’s Charlotte Street. Upstairs, you’ve got a Japanese restaurant with a slick wooden counter, decent nigiri, and what we proudly call ‘wicked banter’ from the chefs. Downstairs, you’ve got Shochu Lounge, a dimly-lit cocktail bar with a short menu of classic cocktails with a Japanese twist. Oh, and a whole lot of cherry blossoms hanging from the ceiling which gives you something to ooh and ah over during your third post-dinner shiso oil martini.