The adjacent districts of Soho (including Leicester Square) and Covent Garden aren’t often missed by tourists in London. Separated by Charing Cross Road, the area has become a magnet for young visitors to the capital, drawn-in by its mix of shopping, restaurants, lively street-culture, nightlife and, in particular — its numerous iconic theatres.
Watching live shows is one thing — but how about watching live sport? Indeed with so much else going on in Soho & Covent Garden, it’s difficult to pin-point which of its many bars are most suitable for watching games.
Fear not. Whether you’re on holiday in London, or simply passing through, we’ve hand-picked five of the best sports bars within the Soho, Leicester Square & Covent Garden area.
The Porterhouse is a large multi-level pub in Covent Garden, with gleaming copper pipes, imported draught beers and late-night basement music club. It’s one of the largest bars in London.
True to it’s Irish roots, The Porterhouse proudly hand crafts the beer in Dublin and loads it onto a ship for its arrival in England’s capital. What’s more it also offers a Cocktail Bar and a Dingle Whiskey Bar (it’s that big).
The basement is used to host live music, and shows all major sporting events on big screens and TVs — including Rugby, Football and GAA. Highly recommended for groups seeking an atmosphere on match days.
The Maple Leaf isn’t your traditional English boozer. On the contrary, it’s a Canadian-themed pub, serving bottled beers, specialising in showing global sports on the big screen. Hockey jerseys & sticks, a moose head, a Mountie’s uniform — and of course the Maple Leaf flag — are dotted around the bar.
A number of North American beers — including Canadian brews Moose head, Sleeman’s, Molson Canadian and Molson Canadian Ice — as well as wine and spirits, are available at Covent Garden’s Maple Leaf.
While sipping your favourite brews from across the Atlantic, you can catch North American sports — including NFL and NHL matches — as well as British and European events, of course.
Looking for a traditional British pub to watch the game? Desperate to take a break from shopping on Regent Street to enjoy some live sport and a pint?
The Leicester Arms is a Victorian lounge in Piccadilly that’s been a licensed premise since 1898. It’s decorated with wood panels and brass, and includes a pub dining area upstairs that serves all the usual classics (fish & chips, Sunday Roasts, etc). It’s equipped with 5 screens (including a big screen upstairs), meaning you’ll never have to miss your favourite sporting event in the midst of all your other planned activities.
Take your pick from a wide selections of crafts beers, ales and ciders. Sit down, relax, watch the game… and grab some pub food to re-fuel before you re-enter the hustle & bustle of the city!
O’Neills is a chain pub that’s only a stroll through Chinatown away from Leicester Square station. Their bar in Wardour Street offers big-screen sport, Irish-influenced food and live music.
If your tipple is a good old-fashioned Guinness rather than bottled brews and craft beers, then O’Neills is your place in Soho! It’s also ideal for those looking for a bite to eat (try the sharing platter) before watching a game on the big screen.
Football and International Rugby matches are very popular at this bar. If you watch a late game, then expect the party vibe to kick-in afterwards as O’Neills comes alive for the night. You may not leave until the early hours of the morning…
The Comedy is a classic British, Victorian pub located on the same road as the city’s busiest comedy venue — Soho’s The Comedy Store.
As its name suggests, The Comedy hosts live stand-up comedy, which takes place every Friday and Saturday in the upstairs room. But make no mistake — this pub also specialises in another form of live entertainment…
You guessed it — live sport.
The bar is fitted with over 15 fully HD plasma screen TV’s and projector screens with access to all major sport channels including Sky sports, BT Sport and ESPN. Unlike other bars in the Piccadilly area, The Comedy offers a sports table service, where your group can remain seated to avoid missing any of the action. Perfect.