Party Earth Review Despite bearing the name of a South American bird, The Toucan is a treasured Soho dive that serves as a testament to all things Guinness. Entering the venue is like stepping into a cozy, cave-like shrine, with walls... ... read full review
19 Carlisle Street
London W1D 3BY
Central, Northern Lines: Tottenham Court Road
020 7437 4123
M–F 11am–11pm, Sa 1–11pm, Su 4–10:30pm
Covent Garden / Soho, London –
Despite bearing the name of a South American bird, The Toucan is a treasured Soho dive that serves as a testament to all things Guinness.
Entering the venue is like stepping into a cozy, cave-like shrine, with walls plastered with old-timey adverts that anyone who’s ever visited Dublin’s Guinness museum will surely recognize.
Designed to resemble pints of Guinness, the bar stools seem forever occupied by a mix of unpretentious local office workers, tourists, and Irish regulars thirsting for home.
The pub is obsessive about the integrity of its favored brew, and is frequently voted as home to the best Guinness in London. But even if every other drink is secondary, there’s still a small range of additional beers and ciders on the tap and a list of creative cocktails for the more adventurous.
All made with Guinness, of course.
Both lunch and dinner hours see a healthy crowd gathering for budget-friendly sandwiches and pies, with creative types usually spilling down the rickety staircase to chat around low tables as a lone TV casts a dim glow over the smaller second bar.
Though the venue is hardly a place to spot celebs, Jimi Hendrix made his unofficial London debut down here with an impromptu performance way back in 1966.
There’s little mention of that, though. The Toucan crowd is just here to sip and chat and the bartenders are too busy waiting for their pours to properly settle.
Casual Soho office mates, seasoned Irish expats, savvy tourists, creative types, and anyone who’s a devout fan of ye holy Guinness, mid-20s to late 30s.
Lively conversation is king, though The Toucan is known to host live music on (very) varied weekend nights.
Menu heavy on the Irish classics including stew, jacket potatoes, sandwiches, rock oysters, and pies.
Grub £5–£7. Beer £4–£6, wine £5/glass or £15–£20/bottle, cocktails £5–£9.50.
Casual: t-shirts, jeans, traditional office attire, lots of plaid, summer dresses, floral prints, fitted sweaters.
Anytime to test the old theory that a "Guinness Is Good for You!"
Pillars of Hercules (7 Greek Street), while named after a Greek demigod, is a pure English pub perfect for a quiet pint without the bells and whistles or musclemen seeking to slay the nine-headed Hydra.