*Closed for the summer with plans to re-open in a new Soho location in late September*
Soho is lousy with hip watering holes, but this dimly-lit basement bar is one of the neighbourhood’s coolest spaces. Coal Vaults keeps it casual and intimate with exposed brick walls and beautiful semi-private caves.
The cocktails made with house-infused spirits are designed to be paired with the small-plates menu — so let your belly be your guide. For tender meatiness, try the pulled rabbit with smoked black beans, corn and pineapple relish — which pairs with the Maricastana (a boozy tequila cocktail with mole bitters and a charred orange slice). For a lighter combo, try the charred quail with harissa, pomegranate, rose and saffron, which pairs with an Alber Elbaz (a mix of pomegranate, Aperol, chilli, molasses and topped with prosecco — lovely bubbly).
The bar owners built this thing themselves, and that love shines throughout this incredibly atmospheric space.
Best Bars tip: Food and cocktails are 50% off on Mondays … you can’t find a deal better than that.
— Sasha Filimonov, @SashaSips