Affordable drinks before a West End show

Let's drink!

Search hard, friends - for there are budget beverages to be had in tourist land, you just need to know where to find them. And we know. Because we're experts. And alcoholics. But in a fun way. Like the fat one off of Four Weddings.


We've searched out the best early drink deals in the area... How does a cocktail for £4 suit you? £10-off deals? Half price champers? Shots for £2.75?

Yes, it suits you very well.

Barrio Soho
6 Poland Street W1F 8PS
Region: Soho
Nearest Station: Oxford Circus (0.2 miles)

AIL Says: This fun Mexican-themed bar gets extremely lively every single night of the week. The happy hour (which they've called 'amigo hour' here) is on till 8pm as well as all day Sundays and Mondays. Two cocktails are priced at £12, and the signature drinks are served in massive Mexican luchador masks.

  • OUR REVIEW 8/10
  • USERS 3/10
London Cocktail Club
224A Shaftesbury Avenue WC2H 8EB
Region: Charing Cross
Nearest Station: Holborn (0.2 miles)

AIL Says: At the London Cocktail Club the mixologists really know their stuff. If you don't fancy any of the drinks on the menu they'll ask you what your favourite spirit is and prepare something to your liking. They also do a fine line in food-infused drinks such as bacon and egg martinis. Get down there early for the happy hour when they offer two cocktails for £12.

    Ape & Bird
    142 Shaftesbury Avenue WC2H 8HJ
    Region: Charing Cross
    Nearest Station: Covent Garden (0.1 miles)

    AIL Says: Part of the Polpo stable, the Ape & Bird gastropub has a daily happy hour between 4 and 6pm. It's Italian-influenced the drinks follow suit, with negronis and spritzes for just a fiver (usually £7). It's located on Shaftesbury Avenue, perfect for a pre-theatre cocktail or three.

    • OTHER
    Joe's Southern Kitchen and Bar
    34 King Street WC2E 8JD
    Region: Covent Garden
    Nearest Station: Covent Garden

    AIL Says: This southern-inspired diner has a happy hour every day of the week, with some selected cocktails costing a bargain £4. Choose from watermelon martinis with agave syrup, mojitos, or the cheekily named 'son of a peach' made with Stoli, peach liquor and fruit juices.

    The Rum Kitchen
    Kingly Street W1B 5PW
    Region: Soho
    Nearest Station: Oxford Circus (0.2 miles)

    AIL Says: Naturally the speciality of this Soho beach shack-themed bar and restaurant is rum. Priced at only £4, there are Mai Tais, daiquiris, and lesser known cocktails like their signature Rattleskull Punch with Wray and Nephew, muscovado sugar, bitters and juices.

    • OUR REVIEW 7/10
    53 Greek Street W1D 3DR
    Region: Soho
    Nearest Station: Tottenham Court Road (0.1 miles)

    AIL Says: This Soho bar stays open till 3am so you can head there pre and post-show, although their target audience probably aren't people who've spent an evening watching King Lear at the Criterion. Not that we're being patronising, but Thirst is a sweaty, boozy, raucous club slash bar. Head down there before 10pm for absurdly priced shots at £2.75 each. Yep, boozy and raucous!

      Mele e Pere
      46 Brewer Street W1F 9TF
      Region: Soho
      Nearest Station: Piccadilly Circus (0.1 miles)

      AIL Says: To kick off your theatrical evening with class, pop down to Mele & Pere on Brewer Street for a couple of glasses of vermouth (starting from £5) plus a plate of olives stuffed with spicy N'duja. This trattoria boasts the biggest selection of vermouth of anywhere else in the capital.

      • ITALIAN
      Dirty Martini
      11-12 Russell Street WC2B 5HZ
      Region: Holborn
      Nearest Station: Covent Garden (0.1 miles)

      AIL Says: It may have all the trappings of a tourist chain, but who doesn't love a good bargain? The folks behind Dry Martini in Covent Garden are capitalising on this by serving a wide range of martinis, from the fruity to the classic dry gin with a twist. During happy hour they knock £10 off champagne and martinis are half price, making them only £4.50.

        80-82 Wardour Street W1F 0TG
        Region: Soho
        Nearest Station: Tottenham Court Road (0.2 miles)

        AIL Says: Cocktails at Wahaca's Azulito Bar on Wardour Street start from under £6. As this is a Mexican restaurant there are plent of margaritas on the drinks list. We particularly like the fact that they come with a double shot of vodka for only £6.95.


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