The authors of this blog may be a little biased toward Sandinista!, as it’s where we met and had our very first date. With that disclosure out of the way, Sandinista! is a lively cantina with excellent tapas and a very decent beer selection to wash it all down.
Though they seem to focus primarily on cocktails, their bottled beers include Odell’s IPA, Quilmes, Negra Modelo and Brooklyn Lager. (Any bar that stocks Brooklyn is going to get high marks from us!) On our visit they were also offering a special craft ale called Sandino, a 10th-anniversary collaboration with Ilkley Brewery, but we imagine supplies are limited. Their electric taps pour one Ilkley MJ beer, along with Guinness and Amstel.
Prices are pretty middle-of-the-road, with beers from £3.30-£5.50 and cocktails at £6-£7.
The décor and music selection invokes a Latin-America-meets-British-indie feel, and given that the bar is named after a Clash album, this is quite fitting. The atmosphere varies wildly based on time of day and day of the week. They’re clearly going for a club feel, and often have live music or a DJ to get people dancing. It’s always noisy, and on weekend nights it can get insanely crowded. Go early if you’re looking to enjoy a meal with relaxed conversation. Later on it will be a perfect place to dance the night away, but not so much for a quiet drink.