A cornerstone of society, the pub has played a vital role in British history for many centuries. While classic pubs continue to be celebrated (in the UK and beyond), countless establishments have disappeared from our villages, towns, cities, and high streets. Now, more than ever, these institutions rely on our support, most notably due to the extraordinary strain caused by the ongoing effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Hundreds of excellent examples continue to operate, however, and they’re in need of as much support as possible. As businesses continue to re-open with lockdown restrictions easing, we pick the 100 best pubs in London.

(NB. With the effects of COVID-19 continuing to impact businesses, it’s advisable to call or check each pub’s website and social media for updated opening hours before visiting.)

Table of Contents

Best Pubs in Central London

The Harp, Covent Garden

The Harp Covent Garden Exterior, best pubs in central London
Photo: Fuller’s

Unlike so many central London pubs, The Harp doesn’t focus on food. Instead, the key emphasis is the very nature of the traditional British pub: drinking. A relatively small venue near Charing Cross station, The Harp boasts gorgeous stained glass windows as well as 10 hand-pumps along with guest brews, ciders, and perries from around the country. The first London pub to win the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) National Pub of the Year competition in 2010, The Harp has also won the West London CAMRA Award every year they’ve been eligible to enter since 2006, and for good reason.

The Harp can be found at 47 Chandos Place, London, WC2N 4HS.

The French House, Soho

The French House best pubs in central London

A Soho institution, opened in 1891, The French House has become particularly renowned for its food offering in recent years. Originally opened by Margot and Fergus Henderson in 1992, the dining room is now run by chef Neil Borthwick, who serves a regularly changing fine dining. Downstairs, the pubs is unashamedly classic, with no TV, music, or mobile phones allowed in the bar. Moreover, beer is served in half-pint measures, and a good number of wines are served by the glass.

The French House can be found at 49 Dean Street, London, W1D 5BG.

The Coach & Horses, Soho

Coach and Horses Soho, best pubs in central London | Photo: Ewan Munro / Flickr
Photo: Ewan Munro / Flickr

One of a few Coach & Horses pubs in central London, this Soho pub is known for once having “London’s rudest landlord,” Norman Balon. Today, the Fuller’s owned pub is much friendlier. With wood panelling and a loud carpet, the pub is also home to a piano, around which sing-alongs are hosted. As for refreshments, a standard range of Fuller’s beers are poured.

The Coach & Horses can be found at 29 Greek Street, London, W1D 5DH.

Bradley’s Spanish Bar, Fitzrovia

Bradley's Spanish Bar, best pubs in central London | Photo: Ewan Munro / Flickr
Photo: Ewan Munro / Flickr

Just off Oxford Street, near Tottenham Court Road tube station, Bradley’s Spanish Bar has occupied its small site since the 1960s. Split over two floors, the pub has a cosy basement with an original vinyl jukebox, while Spanish drinks are showcased, including beers such as Estrella, Alhambra, and Barcelona Pale Ale.

Bradley’s Spanish Bar can be found at 42-44 Hanway Street, London, W1T 1UT.

Ye Olde Mitre, Hatton Garden

Ye Olde Mitre, best pubs in Central London | Photo: Viv Lynch / Flickr
Photo: Viv Lynch / Flickr

A Grade II-listed pub off Hatton Garden, Ye Olde Mitre is a small, homely pub with 1930s décor. In addition to dating back to the 1770s (though a pub has been here since the 1500s), Ye Olde Mitre has featured in a number of films, including Snatch. Owned by Fuller’s, the pub has a reasonable beer selection and serves an assortment of bar snacks and toasted sandwiches.

Ye Olde Mitre can be found at 1 Ely Court, Ely Pl, London, EC1N 6SJ.

The Porterhouse, Covent Garden

The Porterhouse, best pubs in central London | Photo: Tony Austin / Flickr
Photo: Tony Austin / Flickr

One of the largest bars in London, The Porterhouse – from The Porterhouse Brewing Co. – is set over three main levels, with mezzanine levels in between. The Irish brewery’s Covent Garden pub has a particularly strong drinks selection, including all of their own beers, a good selection of draught and bottle beers, plus a strong cocktail list. The brewery’s remarkable oyster stout is an absolute must try, brewed with fresh oysters shucked into the conditioning tank.

The Porterhouse can be found at 21-22 Maiden Lane, London, WC2E 7NA.

The Blue Posts, Soho

Blue Posts, best pubs in central London | Photo: Ewan Munro / Flickr
Photo: Ewan Munro / Flickr

Dating back to the mid 1700s, The Blue Posts is an original Georgian pub, now owned by the team behind restaurants such as The Barbary and The Palomar. With a destination restaurant, Evelyn’s Table, in the cellar and an upstairs wine bar, The Mulwray, the pub is a Grade II-listed free house, specialising in British craft beers. Rotating taps of independently brewed cask ales are available alongside lagers and ciders, plus a selection of bar snacks of note.

The Blue Posts can be found at 28 Rupert Street, London, W1D 6DJ.

The Dovetail, Clerkenwell

The Dovetail, best pubs in central London | Photo: Ewan Munro / Flickr
Photo: Ewan Munro / Flickr

Sister to the Dove on Broadway Market (one of our favourite pubs in east London), The Dovetail has been operating from a small site near Farringdon station since 1999. Here, Belgian beers have a prominent focus, with plenty on draught, joining an excellent range of bottled beers, including 19 Trappists. A Belgian beer lover’s paradise.

The Dovetail can be found at Passage Cafe, 9-10 Jerusalem Passage, London, EC1V 4JP.

The Lyric, Soho

The Lyric Soho, best pubs in central London | Photo: Ewan Munro / Flickr
Photo: Ewan Munro / Flickr

A gorgeous Victorian pub towards the Piccadilly end of Soho, The Lyric is a million miles from the chain pubs of nearby Leicester Square. Inside, the space is welcoming, with classic wood panels, open fires, and Victorian prints. As for the drinks selection, a very good beer offering is served from a total of 18 taps, including classic and unusual draught and cask beers, plus a collection of bottled beers and ciders.

The Lyric can be found at 37 Great Windmill Street, London, W1D 7LT.

The Newman Arms, Fitzrovia

The Newman Arms, best pubs in central London | Photo: Kake / Flickr
Photo: Kake / Flickr

The model for the “Proles” pub in George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four (also featured in Keep The Aspidistra Flying), The Newman Arms played a role in London’s 20th century literary scene. Dating back to 1730, the pub was taken over by Truman’s Brewery in 2018 – the brewery’s first pub opening since being re-founded in 2010, now operating from a site in Hackney Wick. A perfect place to sample the east London brewery’s ales, The Newman Arms also has a food menu specialising in pies.

The Newman Arms can be found at 23 Rathbone Street, London, W1T 1NG.

Princess Louise, Holborn

Princess Louise best pubs in central London | Photo: Kotomi_ / Flickr
Photo: Kotomi_ / Flickr

Of all the Sam Smith’s pubs in central London, Princess Louise is arguably the most impressive in terms of interiors. Harking back to the golden age of the public house, it looks as though it should be in Hackney or Tower Hamlets rather than on High Holborn. From the etched screens, to the marble pillars and intricate tiling it’s all very opulent. Even the urinals are fancy. The standard range of Sam Smith’s drinks are offered and, as usual, they’re priced competitively.

Princess Louise can be found at 208 High Holborn, London, WC1V 7EP.

The Cross Keys, Covent Garden

The Cross Keys Covent Garden, best pubs in central London | Photo: Elliott Brown / Flickr
Photo: Elliott Brown / Flickr

Given its location in one of the city’s biggest tourist hot spots, The Cross Keys has a charming local pub atmosphere. Easily noticeable with its front covered in foliage, the inside is filled with bric a brac, displaying everything from oil paintings to brass instruments, to a napkin signed by Elvis Presley. The drinks selection is fine, the staff are friendly, and the food is basic and inexpensive, with generous sized portions. Perfect for a post/pre-dinner drink.

The Cross Keys can be found at 31 Endell Street, London, WC2H 9BA.

The Dog and Duck, Soho

Although licensed from 1734, The Dog and Duck’s current building was built in the late 1800s. With an ornate Victorian interior, the pub was regularly frequented by George Orwell during the 1940s, and the upstairs dining room has been named in his honour. Owned by Nicholson’s, the central London pub boasts a decent selection of beers and ciders, plus an unpretentious food menu rooted in pub classics.

The Dog & Duck can be found at 18 Bateman Street, London, W1D 3AJ.

The Champion, Fitzrovia

Matthias Baas
CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

A Samuel Smith’s pub in Fitzrovia, The Champion was built during the mid 1800s and is festooned with the Victorian accents expected from the Yorkshire brewery’s venues. While the drinks selection is limited to the brewery’s own, drinks are relatively inexpensive (especially for central London). The Samuel Smith’s stout is a must try, as are the brewery’s fruit beers, for something a little different.

The Champion can be found at 12-13 Wells Street, London, W1T 3PA.

The Ship & Shovell, Charing Cross

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Part of the Hall & Woodhouse Family, The Ship & Shovell is the only London pub in two halves. With entrances on either side of Craven Passage, the two buildings are only connected by a tunnel which contains the kitchen and cellar. A charming traditional pub in the heart of central London, The Ship & Shovell serves a good drinks selection, with a particular focus on well-kept Badger Beers brewed in Dorset

The Ship & Shovell can be found at 1-3, Craven Passage, London, WC2N 5PH.

The Lamb, Bloomsbury

The Lamb Conduit Street best pubs in Central London

On the cusp of North London and the West End, The Lamb has been operating for almost 300 years. Now owned by Young’s, the pub has a particular focus on cask and craft beers, while the food offering is fairly typical of classic British pubs. Although the pub has been refitted, classic features include a polyphone, Hogarth paintings, and etched glass screening above the bar. The no TV policy is also refreshing, adding to the pub’s antiquated charm.

The Lamb can be found at 94 Lamb’s Conduit Street, London, WC1N 3LZ.

The Lyceum Tavern, Strand

Another one of Sam Smith’s central London pubs, The Lyceum Tavern occupies a site next to The Lyceum Theatre. As is typical of the brewery’s pubs, the interior is charmingly antiquated, the drinks selection is limited to the Yorkshire brewery’s own range of drinks, and the prices are very competitive considering the location.

The Lyceum Tavern can be found at 354 Strand, London, WC2R 0HS.

The Old Coffee House, Soho

Ewan Munro from London, UKCC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Old Coffee House does begrudgingly serve coffee, but the venue is actually a classic Soho pub. Allegedly the birthplace to the mod movement, the Beak Street pub (just off Carnaby Street) dates back to 1772. Inside, the space is a bit stuck in the past, yet that’s part of its charm, while the drinks offering includes pub standards alongside a range of beers from  Brodie’s Brewery in Leyton.

The Old Coffee House can be found at 49 Beak Street, London, W1F 9SF.

John Snow, Soho

John Snow best pubs in central London | Photo: Esther Simpson / Flickr
Photo: Esther Simpson / Flickr

Rather than being named in tribute to the Game of Thrones character, or the face of Channel 4 News, John Snow on the corner of Broadwick Street and Lexington Street is named after Dr John Snow, the man who showed the world cholera was carried and spread by water. A replica of the water pump responsible for a huge epidemic now lives outside the pub, while inside the Samuel Smith’s venue is bedecked with typical wood panelling, carrying the brewery’s range of drinks. Ideal for a drink before or after dinner at the original BAO.

John Snow can be found at 39 Broadwick Street, London, W1F 9QJ.

The Seven Stars, Holborn

One of the very few buildings to survive the Great Fire of London, The Seven Stars dates back to the early 17th Century and is claimed by some to be the oldest surviving pub in London. Just behind the Royal Courts of Justice, the small central London venue is a classic London pub, with a decorative Victorian bar-back and a resident cat, serving a fair selection of cask ales and a competent food menu.

The Seven Stars can be found at 53 Carey Street, London, WC2A 2JB.

Best Pubs in North London

The Compton Arms, Islington

Compton Arms © Vicki Couchman vickicouchman.com
© Vicki Couchman vickicouchman.com

One of three Canonbury pubs chosen as inspiration for George Orwell’s The Moon Under Water, The Compton Arms is a 16th century free house. According to the website, The Compton Arms is “a contemporary country pub, hidden in north London”. Recently, the site has also become renowned for its food offering from Four Legs – a pop-up from chefs Jamie Allan, formerly of Hill & Szrok, and Ed Mcllory, formerly of Bao Fitzrovia. Their burger, in particular,  is considered one of London’s finest, comprising a robust Dexter beef patty stuffed inside a glossy brioche bun with American cheese, ‘special sauce’, finely diced onions and homemade pickles.

The Compton Arms can be found at 4 Compton Avenue, London, N1 2XD.

The Southampton Arms, Kentish Town

Photo: Ewan Munro from London, UKCC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Southampton Arms’ website reads as though written by Basil Fawlty, but don’t let that put you off. With 18 hand pumps and two keg taps, the North London pub only sells beers and ciders from small independent UK breweries. Walking up Highgate Road, look for the ‘Ale Cider Meat’ sign, which hangs from the building. While the beer selection is nothing short of exceptional, The Southampton Arms still feels very much like a local pub, with an impressive food offering also served, including sausage rolls, pork pies, Scotch eggs, and roast pork baps with crackling, apple sauce, and mustard.

The Southampton Arms can be found at 139 Highgate Road, London, NW5 1LE.

The Drapers Arms, Islington

Drapers Arms best pubs in North London Ewan Munro from London, UK, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Ewan Munro from London, UKCC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

A neighbourhood North London pub, The Drapers Arms is particularly cherished for its food offering. Past the emerald green bar, the pub has a slightly more formal dining room towards the back of the venue, with a daily changing menu championing dishes which strike the middle ground between rustic pub fare and thoughtful, modern technique – surprisingly never pretentious. The pub also has a sizeable wine list of note, curated by owner Nick Gibson.

The Drapers Arms can be found at 44 Barnsbury Street, London, N1 1ER.

The Faltering Fullback, Stroud Green

Best pubs in North London Faltering Fullback | Photo: Ewan Munro from London, UK, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Ewan Munro from London, UK, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Just behind Finsbury Park, The Faltering Fullback is an Irish pub with a prominent focus on sport. Inside the ivy-draped pub, the main room has a horseshoe bar and is festooned with sporting regalia, which hangs from the ceiling. While the drinks selection is fair – and reasonably priced – and fine Thai food is served daily, the multi-level garden is the North London pub’s main draw, with most seats heated and covered.

The Faltering Fullback can be found at 19 Perth Road, London, N4 3HB.

The Auld Shillelagh, Stoke Newington

Best pubs in north London Auld Shillelagh Stoke Newington | Ewan Munro from London, UK, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Ewan Munro from London, UK, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Dubbed “most authentic Irish pub in the world outside Ireland”, by the Irish Times, The Auld Shillelagh has been operating since the early 1990s. Widely agreed to serve some of the best Guinness in North London, the skinny Church Street pub also showcases live sport and is complete with a surprisingly spacious beer garden.

The Auld Shillelagh can be found at 105 Stoke Newington Church Street, London, N16 0UD.

The Bull & Last, Highgate

Best pubs in North London Bull & Last - Photo © Julian Osley (cc-by-sa:2.0)
Photo © Julian Osley (cc-by-sa/2.0)

Once the final stop for 18th century coaches heading north on the Highgate Road, out of London, The Bull & Last has finally re-opened after a long period of closure. Sympathetically refurbished, the pub is now brighter and significantly fresher, with a strong focus on food that allows the pub to stand out as a dining destination, described as classic British cuisine with a continental twist.

The Bull & Last can be found at 168 Highgate Road, London, NW5 1QS.

The Dublin Castle, Camden

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One of the area’s most culturally significant live music venues, The Dublin Castle hosted early gigs from the likes of Madness, Blur, Amy Winehouse, and The Libertines. Close to Camden Town tube, the venue serves a fair selection of beers, ciders and wines, but the music culture is the main draw, as well as the unpretentious local pub charm, which is (rightly) inescapable at this North London institution.

The Dublin Castle can be found at 94 Parkway, London NW1 7AN.

The Duke of Hamilton, Hampstead

Best pubs in North London Duke_of_Hamilton,_Hampstead,_NW3_(5920907501) Ewan Munro from London, UK, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Ewan Munro from London, UKCC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

After a community group launched a successful campaign in 2015 to make The Duke of Hamilton an ‘Asset of Community Value’, the landlord barred 800 members – clearly not keen on the idea. Today, those locals are welcome, with the North London pub having re-launched at the start of last year, under new management. Once famed as a favourite among actors such as Richard Burton, Peter O’Toole, and Oliver Reed, the pub was first opened in 1721. Some original features have been retained, namely the central bar, with a good selection of beers served alongside the food menu which champions elevated takes on pub classics. The Duke of Hamilton is also home to The Hampstead Jazz Club, located in the pub’s cellar.

The Duke of Hamilton can be found at 23-25 New End, London, NW3 1JD.

The Jolly Butchers, Stoke Newington

Best pubs in North London Jolly Butchers N16 geograph-4568340-by-Chris-Whippet
cc-by-sa/2.0 – © Chris Whippet – geograph.org.uk/p/4568340

With a prominent focus on serving a large, regularly changing selection of craft beers, real ales and ciders, The Jolly Butchers has been sensitively restored. On the corner of Stoke Newington High Street and Graham Street, the large room is adorned with a bar that stretches along one side of the pub, with an open kitchen, church pew seating, and a thin counter facing the window, perfect for watching the world go by. In addition to its broad selection of beers served on draught, an interesting range of bottled beers are also available. Moreover, The Jolly Butchers’ Sunday roasts are particularly noteworthy.

The Jolly Butchers can be found at 204 Stoke Newington High Street, London, N16 7HU.

The Pineapple, Kentish Town

The Pineapple pub | Images George Rex from London, England, CC BY-SA 2.0 Images George Rex from London, England, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
Images George Rex from London, England, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Threatened with closure at the turn of the century, The Pineapple is now Grade-II listed, following a community campaign to save the local North London pub built in the 1860s. More recently, Keir Starmer has even gone as far as calling The Pineapple the “best pub in Britain”. Alongside a constantly changing selection of craft ales, the pub kitchen serves good Thai food, and a compact beer garden is also on hand.

The Pineapple can be found at 51 Leverton Street, London, NW5 2NX.

The Windsor Castle, East Finchley

Best pubs in North London The Windsor Castle | Photo: Official Boozers local pubs
Photo: Official Boozers

A small residential pub with a focus on the local community, The Windsor Castle’s size makes it easier for the space to accomplish a lively atmosphere where other, larger venues would struggle. Given the local community spirit, drinks are reasonably priced, and regular poker and darts nights are hosted.

The Windsor Castle can be found at The Walks, London, N2 8DL.

The Holly Bush, Hampstead

Best pubs in North London Hollybush Hampstead | Photo © Mark Percy (cc-by-sa/2.0)
Photo © Mark Percy (cc-by-sa/2.0)

Originally built in the 1790s, The Holly Bush began life as a house before being used as an Assembly Rooms, and then a pub as of 1928. A short walk from Hampstead Heath, the Fuller’s pub has a gorgeous exterior, with a handful of outdoor seats perfect for summer evening visits. Inside, real ale drinkers are considered, with 10 tap options and five cask ales on rotation. As for the food, the North London pub takes its menu seriously. Think courgette bread and butter pudding; butter-poached Cornish lemon sole; and sticky toffee pudding with Laverstoke buffalo milk vanilla ice cream.

The Holly Bush can be found at 22 Holly Mount, NW3 6SG.

The Salisbury, Harringay

Best pubs in North London The Salisbury Hotel | N19±, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
N19±CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

First opened in 1899, The Salisbury’s striking facade is classified as French Renaissance style. Inside, art nouveau motifs adorn the huge space, which has been used for filming, featuring in films such as Chaplin, The Long Good Friday, and Spider. To drink, the pub offers a good range of spirits and regularly-changing beers, with prominent focus on representing local breweries.

The Salisbury can be found at 1 Grand Parade, Green Lanes, London N4 1JX.

The Hemingford Arms, Caledonian Road

A backstreet North London pub, The Hemingford Arms is fronted with a beautiful, year-round floral display, while the inside is festooned with quirky curios. As for the drinks offering, the selection is fairly standard, though a selection of cask ales are offered, while Thai food is also served by Thai 2gether Catering.

The Hemingford Arms can be found at 158 Hemingford Road, London, N1 1DF.

The Wenlock Arms, Hoxton

Best pubs in North London The Wenlock Arms| Photo: Glyn Baker / Wenlock Arms
Photo: Glyn Baker / Wenlock Arms

While The Wenlock Arms is technically an East-End pub, it’s been named North London Pub of the Year by the local CAMRA brand on multiple occasions, considering its N1 postcode. One owned by the nearby Wenlock Brewery, the pub has been open since 1787, particularly renowned for its drinks offering, with a constantly changing selection of 10 cask ales, 20 keg lines, and seven real ciders.

The Wenlock Arms can be found at 26 Wenlock Road, London, N1 7TA.

The Spaniard’s Inn, Hampstead

Believed to have been built in 1858, The Spaniard’s Inn boasts plenty of history. With his father said to have been its landlord, Dick Turpin is thought to have once been a regular, as well as Charles Dickens (who mentioned the pub in The Pickwick Papers), Bram Stoker (who allegedly borrowed one of the pub’s ghost stories for Dracula), and John Keats, who’s said to have written Ode to a Nightingale in the beer garden. Roughly equidistant between Hampstead, Golders Green, and Highgate stations, it’s not the easiest pub to reach on the tube, but is ideal for a pit stop while visiting Hampstead Heath and Kenwood House (or, of course, if you live nearby). The food menu adheres to a parade of pub classics, but with the odd contemporary flourish, while a decent selection of real ales are also offered.

The Spaniard’s Inn can be found at Spaniards Road, London, NW3 7JJ.

The Black Horse, Barnet

The_Black_Horse_pub,_Chipping_Barnet Philafrenzy, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
PhilafrenzyCC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

A family and dog-friendly pub on the corner of Wood Street, The Black Horse is also home to the Barnet Brewery. From a site on the pub’s premises, the microbrewery produces a selection of real ales each week, brewed with the original tanks from the Federation Brewery in Newcastle Upon Tyne, sourced from the Iceni Brewery in Norfolk. Some of Barnet Brewery’s beers are available from the bar’s eight hand-pumps alongside other regional and national beers. The North London pub has a prominent food focus, renowned for its Sunday roast, and also boasts a decent beer garden with a covered patio area.

The Black Horse can be found at 80 Wood Street, Barnet, EN5 4BW.

Royal Oak, Upper Holloway

The Royal Oak Archway | Photo: Official Boozers | local pubs
Photo: Official Boozers

Having moved 250 metres up the road from the original site, the Royal Oak is a large and typically atmospheric local pub. Think Smooth Flow over traditional ales, but drinks are surprisingly reasonably priced compared to other neighbouring pubs. They’ve also got two dart boards and a jukebox.

Royal Oak can be found at 250 St Johns Way, London, N19 3RJ.

The Floirin, Archway

local pubs The Floirin | Photo: Official Boozers
Photo: Official Boozers

An Irish pub near Upper Holloway Overground, The Floirin is a classical corner pub built around 1880. Inside, the square room has a pool table at its centre – ultimately an ode to old fashioned pubs with velour seats and fruit machines. Real ales aren’t available, but a typical line-up of draught beers are offered. Nearby Archway Kebab is also well worth a visit for a post-pint falafel wrap.

The Floirin can be found at 563 Holloway Road, London, N19 4DQ.

The Beehive, Tottenham



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Just off Tottenham High Road, The Beehive was awarded CAMRA North London pub of the season Winter 2014/15, soon after re-opening under new management. Built in 1927, the “Brewer’s Tudor” style pub retains many of its original fixtures, as well as offering a games room with a pool table, darts board, and board games. With the local area home to a selection of world-class breweries, local beers and real ales are championed here, from the likes of Beavertown, Redemption, Five Points, and One Mile End. The pub is also well-known for its decked, partially covered terrace with screens and an outdoor bar on Spurs match days.

The Beehive can be found at Stoneleigh Road, London, N17 9BQ.

Best pubs in East London

The Royal Oak, Bethnal Green

Royal Oak interior best pubs in East London

Dating back to the early 1920s, with its parquet flooring and wood panelling, a visit to The Royal Oak feels like stepping back in time – much like Nicholas Lyndhurst in Goodnight Sweetheart, much of which was set in this classic East London pub. A homely pub with a horseshoe bar, a good range of ales and accomplished food, The Royal Oak provides a perfect pit stop to follow a trip to the flower market (or visit during the week when things are a bit less hectic).

The Royal Oak can be found at 73 Columbia Road, London, E2 7RG.

Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese, City

Images George Rex from London, EnglandCC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Accessible via a side street off the main road, Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese is a Fleet Street icon, rebuilt in 1667 after the Great Fire, the Samuel Smiths pub has a rich history, favoured by the likes of Mark Twain and Charles Dickens. It’s also worth noting that the chain steers away from large corporation spirits and soft drinks. Instead, everything served here is produced by the North Yorkshire brewery, from the competitively priced beers through to crisps, peanuts, and pork scratchings. Swearing is also banned.

Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese can be found at 145 Fleet Street, London, EC4A 2BU.

The Prospect of Whitby, Wapping

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Said to be the oldest riverside pub in London, The Prospect of Whitby dates back to 1520. With a rich history – notoriously frequented by pirates, smugglers, and thieves – the pub’s original flagstone floor and rare pewter-topped bar remain, while sweeping views of the Thames are offered from most seats in the East London pub (as well as from the beer garden and balcony). Now owned by Greene King, the food and drink offering is fine, if not revolutionary, but the view and history make The Prospect of Whitby a must-visit.

The Prospect of Whitby can be found at 57 Wapping Wall, London, E1W 3SH.

The Grapes, Limehouse

Photo © canalandriversidepubs.co.uk (cc-by-sa/2.0)

Dating back to the 16th century, Sir Ian McKellen’s pub has a rich history, perhaps most famous as a favourite of Charles Dickens, whose novel ‘Our Mutual Friend’ references the East London venue. With draped ivy, etched glass, wood panelling, and a dark colour pallet, much of The Grapes’ ‘olde worlde’ character has been retained, while sweeping view of the Thames are also offered alongside a fair range of classic ales and a food menu specialising in British pub grub.

The Grapes can be found at 76 Narrow Street, London, E14 8BP.

The Pembury Tavern Best Pubs in East London

The Pembury Tavern, Hackney

Just across the road from The Five Points Brewing Company (on the landmark ‘five points’ junction), The Pembury Tavern was taken over by the brewery and relaunched in 2018. With a fresh look, the historic East London pub now serves a ‘New York Neapolitan pizza’ menu alongside a selection of soft drinks, wines, and 22 (!) lines of beer across cask and keg, including beers from independent breweries across London and the UK, plus Five Points’ entire range (including their superlative Railway Porter).

The Pembury Tavern can be found at 90 Amhurst Road, London, E8 1JH.

The People’s Park Tavern, Hackney

Photo © Chris Whippet (cc-by-sa/2.0)

On the north-eastern tip of Victoria Park, The People’s Park Tavern is “a pub for the people, inspired by the people”. As well as having one of the biggest and best beer gardens in East London, the pub offers bottomless bunch, food from a BBQ kitchen, drinks from a pop-up cocktail bar, and a strong events programme. The venue is also home to an on-site microbrewery – Laine Brew Co. – which offers a good range of classic and contemporary styles, poured alongside a fair selection of standard issue beers.

The People’s Park Tavern can be found at 360 Victoria Park Road, London, E9 7BT.

The Pride of Spitalfields, Spitalfields

Brick Lane has been so heavily regenerated over the past 20 years, besides various institutions (namely those serving food and drink) the street is almost unrecognisable. Down a cobbled side street, The Pride of Spitalfields is a 19th century pub offering a glimmer into the old East-End that’s largely lost. With net curtains, a loud carpet and wood-burning stove, the tiny pub is cosy and particularly charming, named CAMRA East London Pub of the Year in 2013, serving a fair selection of well-maintained beers.

The Pride of Spitalfields can be found at 3 Heneage Street, London, E1 5LJ.

The Duke of Richmond, Hackney

Chef Tom Oldroyd’s East London pub, The Duke of Richmond, takes its food very seriously. While a very good drinks selection is served, available to be enjoyed with a packet of Monster Munch or Chipsticks, like in a classic local pub, the food menu is particularly special. Changing with the seasons, an a la carte menu showcases some very accomplished cooking, while the Sunday roasts are unsurprisingly fawned over.

The Duke of Richmond can be found at 316 Queensbridge Road, London, E8 3NH.

The Bow Bells, Bow

Photo © Chris Whippet (cc-by-sa/2.0)

Between Bow Road tube station and the Bow flyover, it’s almost impossible to miss The Bow Bells. Painted in bright orange, the East London pub’s exterior is louder than its namesake, though the inside is a little more sedate. Another old-fashioned East-End pub, The Bow Bells has been here since 1860s, though the interiors have since been updated. As well as being a popular destination to watch sports (with Sky Sports and BT Sports events shown), The Bow Bells is now one of the closest pubs to West Ham’s new home ground, and is thus popular with fans. Four real ales are served from the bar, while a selection of craft beers and classics are also offered.

The Bow Bells can be found at 116 Bow Road, London, E3 3AA.

The Spread Eagle, Homerton

The Spread Eagle Best Pubs in East London

London’s first 100 per cent vegan pub, The Spread Eagle opened in 2018, launched as a rebirth of one of East London’s oldest pubs. With all food, drinks, fixtures and fittings sourced sustainably and plant-based, the pub boasts a central bar and traditional seating alongside a heated terrace. While the drinks offering is impressive, the vegan food is the main draw here. An entirely vegan festive menu will also be served throughout December.

The Spread Eagle can be found at 224 Homerton High Street, London, E9 6AS.

The Jerusalem Tavern, Farringdon

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While the building dates back to the 1700s, The Jerusalem Tavern – in its current incarnation – has only been open since the 1990s. Not that you’d know, given the pub’s charming rustic interiors. The London outpost of Suffolk’s St Peter’s Brewery has a great beer selection, serving the brewery’s full range. Their cream stout, in particular, is a must try.

The Jerusalem Tavern can be found at 55 Britton Street, London, EC1M 5UQ.

The Jugged Hare, Barbican

The Jugged Hare best pubs in East London

On the site of an old brewery near the Barbican Centre, The Jugged Hare has a prominent focus on good food. Game is particularly emphasised in both the food menu and the pub’s décor. Named after a recipe dating back to the 18th century, expect a parade of seasonal dishes which may include the likes of crumbed pheasant, squirrel croquettes, and the pub’s namesake. Sunday roasts are also worth sampling here, as are the bar snacks – best washed down with a pint of Jugged Hare Pale Ale.

The Jugged Hare can be found at 49 Chiswell Street, London, EC1Y 4SA.

The Dove, Hackney

The Dove | Photo: Julian-Osley
Photo © Julian Osley (cc-by-sa/2.0)

Particularly popular amongst Belgian beer enthusiasts, The Dove serves a huge selection of beers, with a strong focus on Trappists on draught and bottled. As for the food, the menu champions Thai food alongside vegan options such as ‘tofish’ and chips. An ideal pub for a quiet midweek drink or at the weekend while visiting Broadway Market, when the pub is far livelier.

The Dove can be found at 24-28 Broadway Market, London, E8 4QJ.

The Princess of Shoreditch, Shoreditch

Princess of Shoreditch Best Pubs in East London
Princess of Shoreditch

Having been welcoming customers for almost 300 years, The Princess of Shoreditch used the first national lockdown for a long overdue refurbishment. Eventually re-opened in September, the East London pub has welcomed the new era with chef Ruth Hansom taking over the kitchen. With the refurbishment overseen by Tibbatts Abel, the ground-floor area is a space for casual dining and drinking, while the 28-cover upstairs dining room showcases Ruth Hansom’s modern British cooking, with the seasonal menu championing British ingredients all locally sourced and ethically produced.

The Princess of Shoreditch can be found at 76-78 Paul Street, London, EC2A 4NE.

Marksman Public House, Hackney

The Marksman best pubs in East London
The Marksman

A refined Hackney pub, The Marksman’s interiors are both stylish and comfortable, while the drinks selection is impressive. The food is the main draw here, however, with the pub having been named Michelin Pub of the Year in 2017 (the first London pub to earn the title). Famed for its contemporary British menu, former St JOHN chefs Tom Harris and Jon Rotheram have become particularly renowned for dishes such as beef and barley buns with horseradish cream. Sunday roasts are a must-try, too.

Marksman Public House can be found at 254 Hackney Road, London, E2 7SJ.

The Sun Tavern, Bethnal Green

The Sun Tavern best pubs in East London

“Founded in 1851 on Bethnal Green Road and reborn through renovation and restoration in 2014,” The Sun Tavern is owned by the group behind Discount Suit Company. Here, classically-inspired cocktails are served, while the bar also boasts London’s largest selection of Irish whiskey and Poitín. Food is also offered, and local breweries are championed, with a good selection of taps serving the likes of The Sun Tavern’s own pale ale, brewed by Portobello Road Brewery.

The Sun Tavern can be found at 441 Bethnal Green Road, London, E2 0AN.

William The Fourth, Leyton

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Towards the Walthamstow end of High Road Leyton, William The Fourth is a large Victorian corner pub, with many of the original features having remained following a recent refurbishment. A good range of beers and local ales are served, also available to be enjoyed in the pub’s beer garden, while Vietnamese street food is served by HANOI KITCHEN.

William The Fourth can be found at 816 High Rd, Leyton, London E10 6AE.

The Blackfriar, Blackfriars

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Built on the site of a former medieval Dominican friary during the 19th century, The Blackfriar’s architecture is particularly distinctive. Saved from demolition in the 1960s, following a campaign spearheaded by poet Sir John Betjeman, the pub is festooned with stained glass, sculptures, mosaics, and wooden reliefs, while low lighting adds to the venue’s character. A good selection of ales are served, while the breakfast, lunch and dinner menus have a prominent focus on British pub classics.

The Blackfriar can be found at 174 Queen Victoria Street, London, EC4V 4EG.

The Culpeper, Spitalfields

The Culpeper | <span>Photo by<figcaption><span>Photo by <a href=
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Built in 1850, The Culpeper took over The Princess Alice in 2014. Now set over three floors, the East London venue is home to a ground-floor pub, first-floor restaurant, accommodation, and a rooftop greenhouse, which grows some of the produce used in the kitchen. While the gorgeous pub space is fairly casual, the upstairs dining room is a little more refined. In addition to the accomplished food menu, beers range from continental draught lagers through locally brewed and bottled beers, plus cocktails made using herbs grown onsite.

The Culpeper can be found at 40 Commercial Street, London, E1 6LP.

Salmon & Ball, Bethnal Green

Salmon and Ball local pubs | Photo: Kazimierz Mendlik : CC BY-SA https-::creativecommons.org:licenses:by-sa:3.0 best pubs in East London
Kazimierz MendlikCC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

A busy local pub, the Salmon & Ball is particularly popular with both men and with West Ham fans. A grade-II listed building dating back to the mid-19th Century, it’s a classic east-end corner pub with a good location. In 1840, the pub was also one of the first places in east London to receive a licence to play music. Loud music remains a prominent feature at this community hub, with the bar sat in the middle of the pub.

Salmon & Ball can be found at 502 Bethnal Green Road, London, E2 0EA.

Best Pubs in South London

The Riverside, Vauxhall

Riverside Vauxhall roast

An oasis hidden away in the St George Wharf complex on the banks of the river Thames, The Riverside boasts amazing views up and down the river and over London’s skyline. There are surprisingly few watering holes on the south side of the river near central London and on a sunny day you will get a tan until sunset. You can also still see central London, if the idea of South London scares you. South London Lite, if you will.

The Riverside can be found at Riverside Walk, London, SW8 2JE.

The Sun, Clapham Old Town

Tucked away in Clapham Old Town, just far enough from the bustle of the high street, savour a pint of real ale at The Sun after a picnic on the common or refuel with a plate of freshly cooked pub food after walking the dog. Fashion designer Vivienne Westwood lives near-by, so put on your best attire.

The Sun can be found at 47 Old Town, London, SW4 0JL.

The Prince of Wales, Kennington

Situated on Cleaver Square, The Prince of Wales is a beautifully-preserved Georgian gem, close to Kennington tube station, the Oval, and the Imperial War Museum. The pub is reputed to have been the favourite watering hole of the Richardson gang, arch rivals to the Krays, during the 1960s. Now actors, judges and politicians can often be found enjoying a quiet pint. It is always a favourite for those going to the Oval to watch cricket.

The Prince of Wales can be found at Cleaver Square, London, SE11 4EA.

The Rosendale, West Dulwich

Originally a Victorian coaching inn, The Rosendale is a magnificent public house with a handsome bar and elegant dining room serving simple, seasonal, and sustainable food. Located in leafy West Dulwich, the pub has extensive gardens featuring a climbing frame for children and table tennis, table football and boules for adults. You will need a pint after all of that.

The Rosendale can be found at 65 Rosendale Road, London, SE21 8EZ.

The Prince Albert, Battersea

Just across the road from Battersea Park, The Prince Albert has a vast selection of guest ales, such as locally brewed Wandle Ale. A warm welcome, real fires, hearty fresh food and even bowls for any visiting dogs. So even if you don’t want a drink, your furry friend probably will.

The Prince Albert can be found at 85 Albert Bridge Rd, London SW11 4PF

The Falcon, Clapham

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The distinctive yellow hue of The Falcon’s exterior is a hint of the jovial nature of this Clapham local and also probably the biggest causes of migraines in South London. Enjoy your favourite tipple over a plate of freshly prepared pub food and a heated game of Scrabble (other board games are available, they have a monster collection), or settle into their snug. The pub garden and outdoor bar is perfect for BBQs in the summer, migraine permitting.

The Falcon can be found at 33 Bedford Road, London, SW4 7SQ.

The Ship, Wandsworth

On the banks of the Thames by Wandsworth Bridge, it would appear at first glance that this is not the most appealing location for one of South West London’s most famous pubs. The Ship has been supplying fine ales, wines and food to its surrounding residents since 1786 when it was founded as a Thameside Waterman’s Inn. Popular with the Made in Chelsea type crowd and especially busy on a Sunday, you could even meet Spencer in there, you lucky people.

The Ship can be found at 41 Jews Row, London, SW18 1TB.

Balham Bowls Club, Balham

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Balham Bowls Club was, as the name suggests, originally a Bowls club house. Now reclaimed, the pub has long been favourite of the good people of Balham. The Sunday Roasts are so popular that reserving a table is always a good idea. On the bar a selection of ales is always on rotation and if wine is your tipple, the list is extensive and varied.

Balham Bowls Club can be found at 7-9 Ramsden Rd, London SW12 8QX.

Market House, Brixton

Market House is a watering hole situated at the top of Coldharbour Lane serving cocktails to a busy and energetic crowd. The pub has more of a club vibe later and is busy. Note you need to pay on the door later in the evening. DJ’s spinning a variety of tunes and serving even more cocktails, which means a fairly long wait for a drink. Take a hip flask.

Market House can be found at 443 Coldharbour Lane, SW9 8LN.

The Shipwright Arms, London Bridge

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The Shipwrights Arms isn’t a natural selection for a list compiling the best pubs in south London, but that’s part of the appeal. A traditional British pub, this South London venue has a distinct local feel considering its location, so close to London Bridge station. The food and drink offering isn’t the best in London, or even in the immediate area, but the pub’s character and interiors are charming, with up to six reasonably priced real ales served alongside a range of keg standards poured at the central island bar.

The Shipwright Arms can be found at 88 Tooley Street, London, SE1 2TF.

The Ivy House, Nunhead

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Originally known as the Newlands Tavern, The Ivy House was saved from development when local residents clubbed together and set the South London pub up as a co-op. As well as being London’s first co-operatively owned pub, it’s also the first pub in the UK to be listed as an ‘Asset of Community Value’. The huge pub also boasts a beer garden, and has – once again – become renowned for its live music events in recent years, originally a major venue during the mid-1970s pub rock boom, with acts having included the likes of Ian Dury, Elvis Costello, and Joe Strummer. Today, a good beer selection champions local brewers, while food includes pizzas and Sunday roasts of note.

The Ivy House can be found at 40 Stuart Road, London, SE15 3BE.

The Amersham Arms, New Cross

Amersham Arms best pubs in South London

With Goldsmiths College nearby it’s not surprising that some pubs in the area aim to attract a younger crowd. The Amersham Arms is such a place, with an interior that would best be described as shabby chic. It’s a very decent pub though, with a wood-panelled bar area out front and a room out back for live music and events. Pretend you’re an art student for a day, even if you are actually a trainee accountant.

The Amersham Arms can be found at 388 New Cross Road, London SE14 6TY.

The Gipsy Moth, Greenwich

Gipsy Moth best pubs in South London

In Greenwich you’ll just want to drink in the historic atmosphere – and you’ll want to drink in this grade I listed pub. You can’t go wrong with The Gipsy Moth, which also has an all-weather beer garden. It’s a magnificent slice of history with comfy interiors which make it a retreat away from the bustle of nearby tourist spots such as the Cutty Sark and Royal Observatory. The people of Greenwich invented time, but sadly no way to stop time at the bar.

The Gipsy Moth can be found at 60 Greenwich Church Street, London, SE10 9BL.

The Gowlett Arms, Peckham

Gowlett best pubs in South London

The Gowlett still looks like a proper boozer, albeit an antique wood-panelled, minimalist one – which is something of an achievement round here. This place sells some of the best pizza for miles around. Like everywhere in Peckham it’s full of the trendy people with handsome beards. Don’t wear a fake one, they will see straight through it, literally.

The Gowlett can be found at 62 Gowlett Road, London, SE15 4HY.

The Trinity Arms, Brixton

Trinity Arms

Popular with locals and gig-goers alike, The Trinity prides itself on its great beer and cosy atmosphere. Built in 1850, it is named after the Trinity Asylum in Acre Lane which was founded for poor women who professed belief in the Holy Trinity by Thomas Bailey. It has a nice outdoor area, and some tables have their own charcoal fires in the winter, just don’t have one too many and fall in.

The Trinity Arms can be found at 45 Trinity Gardens, London, SW9 8DR.

The Mayflower, Rotherhithe

Close to the site where the Pilgrim Fathers set sail in 1620, The Mayflower claims to be the oldest pub on the River Thames. On a cobbled backstreet, the pub has become a South London institution, particularly cosy with its low ceilings, open fire and candlelit tables. A good selection of real ales are served alongside a menu rooted in comfort food, though the outside (heated) jetty is the main draw, hanging over the Thames, equipped with tables. Just don’t drop your phone, keys, or face mask.

The Mayflower can be found at 117 Rotherhithe Street, London, SE16 4NF.

The Kings Arms, Waterloo

Kings Arms best pubs in South London

The Kings Arms, located in the architecturally wonderful backstreets of Waterloo, is a quintessential real ale pub in one of the most historic streets in London. They have nine real ale pumps and serve Thai food. The pub is situated on the quaint and charming Roupell Street, tucked away nicely from the main drags of Waterloo Road.

The Kings Arms can be found at 25 Roupell Street, London, SE1 8TB.

The Camberwell Arms, Camberwell

The Camberwell Arms is a place to be seen in Camberwell, an area going through a renaissance at the moment. Hearty English grub, great food and drinks are served here. There’s a long bar around which you can eat supper, though the dining area with its solid wood tables and roaring log fire are just as decadent.

The Camberwell Arms can be found at 65, Camberwell Church Street, London, SE5 8TR.

The Duke of Edinburgh, Brixton

Duke of Edinburgh best pubs in South London

The Duke of Edinburgh is tucked away between Brixton and Clapham North. It boasts one of the biggest beer gardens in South London, with plenty of seating and a large bar and BBQ pit. Inside, there are plenty of comfy sofas, a pool table, Sky Sports and of course a fine range of ale and cask beer on rotation. Good place to watch England lose every game on their outside screens.

The Duke of Edinburgh can be found at 204 Ferndale Road, London, SW9 8AG.

The Canton Arms, Stockwell

Canton Arms best pubs in South London

The Canton Arms boozer and gastro pub is very handy for the tube. Think of it as an oasis in the desert between Kennington and Brixton/Clapham. The Canton has a great atmosphere and even better food, so do yourself a favour and jump off tube one stop before Brixton, you are in for a treat. You will not be disappointed.

The Canton Arms can be found at 177 South Lambeth Road, London, SW8 1XP.

Best pubs in West London

The Old Ship, Hammersmith

The Old Ship Best pubs in West London

A picturesque riverside pub, The Old Ship has become somewhat of a West London waterside landmark, established in 1722. Resembling a Roman villa, the pub also has a riverside terrace, which offers sweeping views of the Thames, and is a particularly popular spot for watching the boat race. A comfortable pub, expect a standard Young’s drinks offering, while the food menu utilises seasonal and local produce in its traditional and modern pub food classics.

The Old Ship can be found at 25 Upper Mall, London, W6 9TD.

The Antelope, Surbiton

Antelope Surbiton best pubs in West London

Formerly home to Big Smoke Brew Co.’s brewery –  before moving 20 miles down the road to a new, larger premises – The Antelope is also home to a self-contained new dining space, The Brewhouse. As well as offering Big Smoke’s full range, various real ciders and small batch spirits are poured, served alongside a food menu rich with meats smoke in-house, channelling a distinct North American feel. Big Smoke’s beers are a must try here: especially their Underworld Milk Stout with nuances of malted biscuits, milk chocolate, and vanilla.

The Antelope can be found at 87 Maple Road, Surbiton, KT6 4AW.

The Cow Pub & Dining Rooms, Westbourne Park



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A cosy venue on Westbourne Park Road, The Cow recently celebrated its 25th anniversary. One of the first gastropubs of note, the West London pub continues to champion excellent food, with a particular focus on seafood. A pint of Guinness with six oysters is one of the pub’s most popular orders, and for good reason.

The Cow Pub & Dining Rooms can be found at 89 Westbourne Park Road, London, W2 5QH.

The Churchill Arms, Kensington

Best pubs in West London Churchill Arms | Photo by Vincent Creton on Unsplash
Photo by Vincent Creton on Unsplash

Arguably the prettiest pub in West London, The Churchill Arms is particularly famed for its extravagant floral displays, said to cost over £26,000 a year to maintain. The pub’s festive budget also stretches to around 90 Christmas trees and almost 12,000 lights. Inside, the pub’s décor is equally extra, festooned with Second World War regalia. As well as serving a decent selection of real ales, the Fuller’s pub also claims to have been the first London pub with a Thai restaurant.

The Churchill Arms can be found at 119 Kensington Church Street, London, W8 7LN.

The Harwood Arms, Fulham

best pubs in west London The Harwood Arms | Photo: Stefan Johnson
The Harwood Arms | Photo: Stefan Johnson

London’s only Michelin-starred pub, The Harwood Arms re-opened with a slight refurbishment and a new menu from head chef Sally Abe, following the first national lockdown. Renowned for its focus on British food and game, the pub was awarded a Michelin star in 2010, though the atmosphere is surprisingly relaxed. Beer is well kept and best enjoyed alongside top-tier bar snacks. As for the food, the new menu includes the likes of oyster and English sparkling soup with seaweed, lemon, and an oyster beignet; Berkshire pork chop with crackling, pease pudding, and sauce charcuterie; and a raspberry marshmallow teacake. The West London pub was also the first Michelin-starred restaurant in the UK to use vegan meat from THIS™ on its menu – in the form of a vegetarian Scotch egg using plant-based bacon.

The Harwood Arms can be found at Walham Grove, London, SW6 1QP.

The Scarsdale Tavern, Kensington

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On a quaint residential street, The Scarsdale Tavern provides somewhat of a retreat from the busyness of Kensington High Street. Being a Fuller’s pub, expect the standard range of well-conditioned ales from the West London brewery, such as London Pride or Seafarers, and a food menu that champions elevated takes on pub classics.

The Scarsdale Tavern can be found at 23A Edwardes Square, London, W8 6HE.

The Dove, Hammersmith

With a terrace capturing expansive views of the Thames, a pub has operated from this site since the 17th century. As well as boasting Charles II as a former regular, James Thompson is also said to have composed ‘Rule Britannia’ at The Dove. Owned by Fuller’s since 1796, expect a range of the brewery’s well-condition ales, brewed just down the road, as well as a food menu celebrating pub classics with modern flourishes.

The Dove can be found at 19 Upper Mall, London, W6 9TA.

The Hansom Cab, Kensington

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Owned by Pubs of Distinction, the pub occupies a grade II listed building, built in 1827. A comfortable, friendly pub, The Hansom Cab focuses on craft beers, often from local breweries, as well as a food offering which includes stone-baked pizzas from Knead Pizza, ‘desi craft burgers’ from Burger Singh, and Son of a Chippy’s fish and chips and homemade pies.

The Hansom Cab can be found at 84-86 Earls Court Road, London, W8 6EG.

The City Barge, Chiswick

Dating back to the 14th century, The City Barge was famously featured in a scene from The Beatles’ Help! Another riverside pub, the venue is named after an old barge once moored between the building and Oliver’s Island, used as a toll collection vessel. Following a 2014 refurbishment, some of the original fixtures have been preserved, including Victorian panelling and open fires, while the bar offers seven rotating hand pull ales and an extensive wine list. Food is at the ‘gastro’ end of the spectrum, with some elevated takes on pub classics also served.

The City Barge can be found at 27 Strand-on-the-Green, London, W4 3PH.

The Cleveland Arms, Bayswater

A neighbourhood pub near Paddington station, The Cleveland Arms has been operating since the mid 1800s. Taken over and lovingly restored during 2014, the pub now strikes an intrinsic balance between stylish and homely, honouring the Grade II listed building’s character. With a pub at the front of the building, the dining room at the back pushes the West London pub towards the ‘gastropub’ end of the scale, though with significantly less affectation than many pubs to adopt the ‘G’ word. In the kitchen, chef Elisabeth Passédat serves a weekly-changing menu, using sustainable and seasonal ingredients to produce “traditional British and European food, with a twist.”

The Cleveland Arms can be found at 28 Chilworth Street, London, W2 6DT.

The George & Dragon, Acton

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The oldest pub in Acton, The George and Dragon dates back to 1759, but the building is believed to have been used as a pub of some description since Medieval times. Rich, dark wood panelling and the stone fireplace remind customers of the high street pub’s history, while the venue is also home to a microbrewery: Dragonfly Brewery. Elsewhere, craft beers are well represented here, with a changing selection championing the likes of Beavertown, Siren, Tiny Rebel, Magic Rock, Thornbridge, Clouded Minds, Wiper & True, Wild Beer, and more.

The George & Dragon can be found at 183 High Street, Acton, London, W3 9DJ.

The Earl of Lonsdale, Notting Hill

Earl of Lonsdale Photo by Damiano Baschiera  best pubs in West London
Photo by Damiano Baschiera on Unsplash

On the corner of Westbourne Grove and Portobello Road (towards the Notting Hill Gate end), The Earl of Lonsdale is a comfortable Samuel Smiths pub, restored using the venue’s original Victorian plans. As a result, the West London pub is all dark wood and etched glass, with wooden screens partitioning the main bar into five distinct areas, in addition to the open plan back room and a spacious beer garden. An old fashioned pub with a focus on socialising (in so far as mobile phones and tablets are forbidden), it’s also worth noting that the chain also steers away from large corporation spirits and soft drinks. Instead, everything served here is produced by the North Yorkshire brewery, from the competitively priced beers through to crisps, peanuts, and pork scratchings.

The Earl of Lonsdale can be found at 277-281 Westbourne Grove, London, W11 2QA.

The White Cross, Richmond

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Another riverside pub, The White Cross is so close to the Thames, part of the beer garden floods during high tide. Built on the site of a Franciscan friary, the charming West London pub has plenty of outdoor seating, large bay windows looking out onto the river, a fireplace, and various nooks which contribute to lending a cosy atmosphere during the colder months. As well as offering a range of Young’s beers, the food menu also champions “high quality, freshly made food with the best British seasonal ingredients.”

The White Cross can be found at Riverside, Richmond, TW9 1TH.

The Blue Anchor, Hammersmith

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Another popular spot for watching the boat race, The Blue Anchor is a traditional riverside pub. Originally called the Blew Anchor and Washhouses, the pub has been licensed since 1722, with olde worlde wood panelling adorning the downstairs pub, while an upstairs ‘River Room’ has been refurbished quite recently, offering sweeping views of the Thames. As well as offering a warm, sociable atmosphere, four real ales are always served on tap, alongside a range of premium lagers and ciders, while the food menu features well-made takes on classic pub grub.

The Blue Anchor can be found at 13 Lower Mall, London, W6 9DJ.

The Prince Alfred, Maida Vale

Prince Alfred Maida Vale best pubs in West London

Just around the corner from Lord’s Cricket Ground and minutes from the picturesque canals of Little Venice, The Prince Alfred has served locals since 1856. With mahogany and etched glass features, the pub’s original ‘snob screens’ have been retained, partitioning different areas of the bar – although not ideal if you’re taller than the average Hobbit. As a Young’s pub, expect a range of three or four ales on draught, while the pub’s Formosa Dining Room is also worth a mention.

The Prince Alfred can be found at 5A Formosa Street, London, W9 1EE.

The Duke of Kendal, St George’s Fields

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Just north of Hyde Park, near Marble Arch station, Connaught Village is home to The Duke of Kendal. A residential corner pub, the venue is particularly charming with its friendly, comfortable atmosphere. Split into a main bar and dining room, the bar serves two regulars and one changing cask ale, while the food menu is accessible and reasonably priced (especially considering the postcode). The main draw, however, are the music nights, with sing-alongs taking place around the main room’s old piano

The Duke of Kendal can be found at 38 Connaught Street, London, W2 2AF.

The Eight Bells, Fulham

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Fulham’s oldest surviving tavern, Eight Bells occupies a Grade-II listed building, dating from the 18th century. Close to Putney Bridge station, the West London pub serves a selection of regular and changing cask ales alongside home-cooked food. Within spitting distance of Craven Cottage, the pub is particularly lively on Fulham match days, having become somewhat of a hub for away fans.

The Eight Bells can be found at 89 Fulham High Street, London, SW6 3JS.

Bull’s Head, Chiswick

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Rumour has it that the Bull’s Head was used by Oliver Cromwell as a secret HQ during the civil war, before escaping to the consequently named Oliver’s Island, via a tunnel. But don’t hold that against them. A riverside pub, Bull’s Head dates back to 1777, but has recently undergone a fresh refurbishment, turning office space facing the river into another dining room, alongside hoping to create a cosy home-from-home setting. The outside wall has also been reinforced, in attempt to prevent water from seeping through the wall at high tide. Owned by the Chef & Brewer Collection, expect a range of regular Greene King beers alongside some rotating cask ales, while the extensive food menu is split into sub-sections, with something for everyone.

Bulls Head can be found at 15 Strand-On-The-Green, London, W4 3PQ.

The Sussex Arms, Twickenham

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Another Big Smoke Brew Co. pub, The Sussex Arms is a year-round real ale festival. A stone’s throw away from Twickenham Green the pub has log fires for the winter and an ample beer garden for the summer months. As for the drinks, three regular beers are served alongside a large selection of rotating real ales and ciders, equating to around 15 in total. The pub’s food menu also offers a selection of traditional takes on pub classics.

The Sussex Arms can be found at 15 Staines Road, Twickenham, TW2 5BG.

The Black Dog Beer House, Brentford



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Occupying the former Albany Arms site, The Black Dog Beer House opened towards the end of 2018. Having formerly worked on revitalising The Sussex Arms in Twickenham and The Antelope in Surbiton, the directors behind this new Brentford pub have set out on their own. As well as being home to a new microbrewery, Fearless Nomad, The Black Dog also places an emphasis on craft beers, with 14 keg options, eight real ales, and five real ciders.

The Black Dog Beer House can be found at 17 Albany Road, Brentford, TW8 0NF.