Good news: we’ve found your new favourite restaurant.
It’s been hiding underneath Soho for a little while, but unfortunately the directions to get you there are a little complicated.
First head to a colourful street-level café and taqueria called “La Bodega Negra” on Moor Street in Soho.
Ignore that, and tiptoe around the corner to Old Compton Street instead.
There you’ll find the illuminated entrance to a seedy-looking sex shop: an entrance so raw, authentic and unforgiving as to give you no reassurance whatsoever that it’s not exactly what it appears to be.
Having ventured inside you’ll find a man standing in front of a glass cabinet of erotic paraphernalia.
As mentioned earlier, this is complicated.
If he’s holding a clipboard and standing opposite a cloak room kiosk, then you’re in the right place.
If he’s not, then you should probably leave. Quickly.
Assuming that you have a reservation*, you’ll be invited to descend the staircase at the back of the shop, into an aromatic, candlelit cavern serving tequila-based cocktails and a menu that includes crispy squid tostadas; soft shell crab and chipotle tacos; scallop and hibiscus ceviche; slow-roasted lamb barbecoa and crispy pork belly.
You’ll spot barkeeps rattling together one of their ten house margaritas, or drinks like the Potion 10 (with olive oil-infused pisco, Noilly Prat, Lillet and olive brine). And on Wednesdays,
they wear pink the house band take over, playing vintage mambo, guaracha and cubano while you swill one of 40+ tequilas.
In short, it’s a buzzing, hacienda-style, subterranean den enveloped by battered concrete walls; old tequila barrels; one large, deconstructed piano tipped on its side; and – most surprisingly of all – other diners, all of whom have somehow managed to fall down the same rabbit hole as you…
*Reservations are required. Ensure that you book into the main “downstairs” restaurant.
NOTE: La Bodega Negra is open daily, 5.30pm-midnight (1am Fri/Sat, 11pm Sun). Find out more and make a booking HERE.
La Bodega Negra | 9 Old Compton Street, W1D 5JF | Last Updated: 12th April 2019
Looking for more great restaurants in Soho..?