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“Great wine list; average bar food” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of El Vino Blackfriars

El Vino Blackfriars
Ranked #8,434 of 22,202 Restaurants in London
Cuisines: Wine Bar, British
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Groups, Business meetings
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Drinks, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Buffet, Free Wifi, Outdoor Seating, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Television, Waitstaff
Neighbourhood: City of London
Description: Our Blackfriars wine bar and shop is situated just a few paces from the Underground station. With two floors and a large outside area, it is the perfect place to unwind and explore the many interesting wines on our list.
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
192 reviews
103 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
“Great wine list; average bar food”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 July 2013

Had a little time between meetings so decided to lunch here having enjoyed the El Vino on Fleet Street previously.

Very extensive wine list and a busy wine bar clearly with a regular clientele - good selection of more unusual drinks; another patron was enjoying a glass of malmsey - of which there were a number available by the glass. Very large bottles of champagne were also in evidence, so perhaps the city is making a comeback.

The bar lunch menu is limited, with Tapas much in evidence. The steak & onion baguette was tasty with a good quantity of beef, but the baguette was a bit chewy and could have done with being crisper.

  • Visited July 2013
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank dfscot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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57 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
82 reviews
39 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
“Fantastic wine but tired decor”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 July 2013

Close by Blackfriars Bridge and Tube station (recently refurbished) El Vino has a great wine list, with offers over a wide price range. Hence, you can find very reasonably priced "session" wines to drink with a bunch of mates, or a really nice vintage to savour with someone special. Knowledgeable staff will help you find just the right one. Part of a small chain, many of El Vino's wines are bottled especially for them, so won't be found elsewhere. Bar plate, tapas or restaurant service food is available, but it's wholesome food rather than gourmet. If you like a wine and want to take some home, most bars will want to charge their on-sale price. El Vino operates a proper off-sale option, so taking a favourite home needn't be expensive. You can even order by the case. A small private dining room is available downstairs, but sizeable private parties can also be accommodated. Periodically wine tastings are arranged to help you learn more about what you're drinking. An outside area is available in good weather. The high ceiling and windows make the main bar light and airy and I like the place a lot, and use it often. However, I can't give it more than 3 stars as there are two "let downs". The place is desperately in need of smartening up. It looks as if it hasn't been decorated since the 1950s. Whilst that may be reminiscent of your crumbling public school, it's very much "last century". Finally the ancient tiny toilets downstairs, whilst clean, are in need of a complete "rip out and replace".

  • Visited June 2013
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Surbcru
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Harpenden, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
70 reviews
42 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 156 helpful votes
“An institution, for all its faults”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 June 2013

El Vinos is a bit of an institution. It is very close to Blackfriars and well placed for the City. On the plus side it has a first class wine list, can be a great place to sit outside while waiting to meet someone, or waiting for a train, on a sunny day (apparently we do occasionally get those). and is often nearly empty at lunchtime. On the downside while the food has improved recently it is still particularly uninspired . They should look at the Hare and tortoise just up the road from them to see how to serve good hot food fast at a sensible price. That all being said I am delighted it is still going, the quality of the wine list alone merits its survival, and if you want a quiet place to meet, think, drink at a lunchtime, or want good place to meet in that part of town it works well.

  • Visited July 2012
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank tjtl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kent
Level Contributor
107 reviews
69 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
“On the way back - and good now”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 June 2013

I used to visit El Vino, especially this one, 1998-2004. When I returned a few years ago, I was disappointed that it seemed to have lost its way. What a difference today. Attentive staff who were knowledgeable (once again) about the wine list and food that was much much better. It is a good place to meet as it sits so close to tube lines,Blackfriars train station and the City itself. I think we may have been spoiled by being served by the the top person but it worked for me. Having vowed to stay away, I can now say that it is worth returning.

  • Visited June 2013
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank PaulNCKent
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
nottingham
Level Contributor
38 reviews
30 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Good food, good wine, excellent service”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 March 2013

Not many people in on a Tuesday night, but the place had a welcoming atmosphere.. It's a bit 'trad' , but it's all the better for that . The food was very good ( we went for the tapas plates) the wine list is extensive and includes some very decent choices at £16 or so a bottle as well as the £400+ bottles. The service was excellent, friendly and helpful. All good. Also it's very handy for the Black Friar pub for a beer before, and close to the tube at Blackfriars.

  • Visited March 2013
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank zim999
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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