Cuisine Crawl 9 MINS READ

A Comprehensive Guide To The Best Pubs In London

A Comprehensive Guide To The Best Pubs In London

Cuisine Crawl 9 MINS READ
The best pubs in London, UK.

Here’s a well-rounded guide to the best pubs in London — from modern pubs with breezy beer gardens to century-old spots — where you can drink everything from Guinness to award-winning IPAs. London’s legendary pub scene is something worth experiencing at least once. There are no bad options, so look below for more!

The 15 Best Pubs in London

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Ye Olde Mitre

Best pubs in London - Ye Olde Mitre, in London, UK.
📌 Address1 Ely Ct, Ely Pl, London. Find on map
🤤 What to ExpectA wide selection of real ales on tap, delicious homemade bar snacks, and welcoming bartenders

Ye Olde Mitre is a traditional pub in a tiny alleyway off Hatton Garden Ely Court, northwest London. Built in 1546 for the servants of the Bishops of Ely, the pub is famous for serving multi-award-winning beers (often considered some of the best in London) and seven real ales on tap.

You can also order pork pies, toasties, and other bar snacks to pair with your pint.

Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese

Best pubs in London - Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese, in London, UK.
📌 Address145 Fleet St, London. Find on map
🤤 What to ExpectA favorite haunt of literary figures, Charles Dickens, G. K. Chesterton, and Mark Twain are among its patrons

Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese is one of London’s few remaining 17th-century chophouses. Located on Fleet Street in central London, this legendary pub was rebuilt in 1667 after the Great Fire of London destroyed the original. It has welcomed prominent guests like Mark Twain, W.B. Yeats, and Charles Dickens.

Nab a table at one of the pub’s several rooms, and get yourself a pint (all beers here are brewed by Samuel Smith’s at the Old Brewery in Yorkshire, solely from authentic natural ingredients). There’s also a selection of wines, ciders, and cocktails.

The French House

Best pubs in London - The French House, in London, UK.
📌 Address49 Dean St, London. Find on map
🤤 What to ExpectBrush shoulders with London’s elite. This legendary pub is a favorite of actors, writers, artists, and even royalty

Famous among actors, writers, and artists, The French House is one of the most disputed pubs in the West End of London. Previously called the York Minster, the pub was a meeting place for the French Resistance in the English capital during the Second World War.

With its dark and atmospheric interiors, The French House is not your typical pub. It refuses to serve pints and other pub classics and focuses on 30 types of champagne, traditional French cider, and superb wines.

The French House has an ever-changing menu with creative dishes made with high-class ingredients like oysters, scallops, artichokes, and truffles.

John Snow

Best pubs in London - John Snow Pub, London, UK.
📌 Address39 Broadwick St, Carnaby. Find on map
🤤 What to ExpectThis pub played a pivotal role in Dr. John Snow’s research, leading him to identify cholera as a waterborne disease

Named after Dr John Snow, the doctor who investigated London’s cholera outbreak, this Victorian pub is a real gem. Its intimate interiors with mahogany partitions and dim lighting create a perfect setting for sampling Yorkshire ales and classic pub grub (liver, onions, kidney pudding, and steak pie).

The Holy Tavern

Best pubs in London - Beer on tap in a pub.
📌 Address55 Britton St, London. Find on map
🤤 What to ExpectThe Holy Tavern serves its brews straight from the cask, offering a tranquil atmosphere for intimate conversations

The Holy Tavern is located within the grounds of one of London’s oldest hostelries -The Clerkenwell Priory. Formerly known as The Jerusalem Tavern, this fine pub preserves much of its interior wooden paneling, adding charm to the place.

Choose from 4 changing beers (these usually include Anspach & Hobday, Southwark, and St Peter’s), which can be perfectly paired with the pub’s famous sausage rolls.

The Bow Bells

Best pubs in London -  The Bow Bells
Photo Credit: The Bow Bells
📌 Address116 Bow Rd, Bow, London. Find on map
🤤 What to ExpectFamed for its echoing Bow Bells, this pub has been serving fresh-made fare featuring traditional British staples and international cuisine

The Bow Bells is the perfect spot for an East End boozer. Set within a bright orange building, this family-owned pub has been serving Londoners and visitors since the 1800s. Here, you’ll find usual craft beers on tap and stone-baked pizza for nibbling. There’s a working pool table inside, too.

The Old Bank Pub

Best pubs in London - The Old Bank
Photo Credit: The Old Bank Pub
📌 Address194 Fleet St, London. Find on map
🤤 What to ExpectIt boasts stunning interiors, authentic pub grub, and fantastic Hertfordshire-brewed beers

Welcome to the picturesque The Old Bank of England Pub”. Housed in the old Law Courts’ branch of the Bank of England, which operated from 1888 to 1975, this iconic spot serves honest pub grub and stellar Hertfordshire-brewed beers.

Curious fact: the building is sandwiched between the barber shop owned by Sweeney Todd and the pie shop owned by his mistress Mrs. Lovett.

The Devonshire Arms

Best pubs in London - The Devonshire Arms
Photo Credit: The Devonshire Arms
📌 Address37 Marloes Rd, Greater, London. Find on map
🤤 What to ExpectExpect classic British flavors with a creative twist and a sumptuous range of cask ales, craft beers, fine wines, and artisan spirits

The Devonshire has been an icon in West London since 1851 and is one of the best pubs in London. Situated in the heart of Kensington, one of the city’s most elegant neighborhoods, this pub welcomes guests with its high ceilings, dreamy chandeliers, gleaming wooden floors, and exposed brickwork.

Beautifully restored, The Devonshire offers an array of tipples, including premium draught lagers, ciders, wines, and the finest artisan spirits. They also stock a unique selection of cask ales & bold craft beers, and limited-edition beers served on tap.

For eating, try The Devonshire’s scrumptious Sunday roast. Also, their great beer garden with tables outside makes for a handy little suntrap if it’s a nice day.

The Marksman

Best pubs in London - The Marksman
Photo Credit: The Marksman
📌 Address254 Hackney Rd, London. Find on map
🤤 What to ExpectAn award-winning Hackney local, it offers a hearty selection of draught lagers, London ales, and spirits

Located just a stone’s throw from Hackney City Farm and Broadway Market, The Marksman was the first pub in London to be named the Michelin Pub of the Year.

Visit this stylish pub to sample high-class local beers, ales, fine wines, and artfully made cocktails (try their Negroni Sbagliato). To eat, The Marksman serves inventive dishes like Spenwood fritters with pickled Walnuts & watercress and grilled ox tongue with beetroot, cobnuts & horseradish.

Southampton Arms

Best pubs in London - Southampton Arms Ale and Cider House, in London, UK.
📌 Address139 Highgate Rd, London. Find on map
🤤 What to ExpectAlong with an ever-changing selection of ale, this pub happens to be the only one dedicated to independent ales and ciders

The Southampton Arms Ale and Cider House is one of the finest pubs in North London. They have a unique menu showcasing açes and cider sourced exclusively from small independent breweries from the United Kingdom.

Serving comforting bar snacks like Scotch eggs and sausage rolls and featuring a cozy fireplace, Southampton Arms is the ideal spot for a drizzly day.

Prospect of Whitby

Best pubs in London - Prospect of Whitby, in London, UK.
📌 Address57 Wapping Wall, London. Find on map
🤤 What to ExpectThis historic watering hole boasts an original flagstone floor, a rare pewter-topped bar, and a 400-year-old stone floor

Dating back to 1520, the Prospect of Whitby is one of the oldest pubs in London, time-worn between the Docklands buildings. The pub, which preserves its original flagstone floor, was once a notorious meeting point for smugglers, thieves, and pirates!

Inside, guests are greeted with a picturesque ambiance (think of rickety stairs, stone-flagged floors, rum flagons, sailing ropes, and skulls-and-crossbones), an attractive main bar serving excellent cask ales, and traditional pub food.

Most areas of the pub, including the beer garden, have show-stopping views over the River Thames.

The Five Points Brewing Company

Best pubs in London - The Five Points Brewing Company, in London, UK.
📌 Address61 Mare St, London. Find on map
🤤 What to ExpectThis spot features From The Ashes as their resident kitchen, offering a menu full of smoked meats and barbecue dishes

Beer lovers can’t pass up the chance to visit The Five Points Brewing Company. Perched in the heart of Hackney, East London, this independent brewery is home to a pub where you can sample a range of award-winning beers that are unfiltered and unpasteurized for a finer flavor and aroma.

Feeling hungry? Then pair your choice of craft beer with Five Point’s artisanal pizza, and you’re good to go!

The World’s End

Best pubs in London - The World's End Pub, in London, UK.
📌 Address174 Camden High St, London. Find on map
🤤 What to ExpectSteeped in history and a buzzing atmosphere, this legendary pub boasts not just two bars but a cool mezzanine balcony seating

Just a two-minute walk from Finsbury Park station, The World’s End is an icon in the area of Camden. Visit this legendary pub to try the Staropramen Lager, delivered directly from the Czech Republic and served from a specialist tank, and feast on one of their stone-baked pizzas (Rock the Parma is a must-try).

The World’s End also hosts live music concerts (mainly rock bands) and has welcomed bands like The Cranberries and Radiohead over the past years.

The Royal Oak

Best pubs in London - The Royal Oak, in London, UK.
📌 Address73 Columbia Rd, London. Find on map
🤤 What to ExpectWith its original work-a-day interior and epic Sunday lunches, this pub serves the best pints and classics in the area

The Royal Oak is a gem located in the middle of Columbia Road’s flower market. After browsing the market’s colorful stalls on a Sunday afternoon, stop by this lively pub and sample one (or more) of their legendary beers.

Aside from refreshing pints, this fabulous East London boozer has an impressive menu filled with pub snacks.

The Market Porter

Best pubs in London - The Market Porter pub, in London, UK.
📌 Address9 Stoney St, London. Find on map
🤤 What to ExpectOverlooking Borough Market, it offers the perfect spot to soak up the atmosphere while indulging in some of London’s best pub food

Located near Borough Market, The Market Porter is one of the oldest Victorian pubs in London. We recommend you visit this century-old pub on a Sunday to try their iconic roast, accompanied by craft beers and award-winning ales on tap.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are some of the best pubs in London?

Ye Olde Mitre, Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese, The French House, John Snow, and The Holy Tavern are some of the best pubs in London.

What are the best pubs in London with a good selection of beers?

  • The Euston Tap: A haven for real ale enthusiasts, with a constantly rotating selection of beers from across the UK.
  • BrewDog Soho: A modern craft beer bar with a wide range of IPAs and other innovative brews.
  • The Kernel Brewery & Grill: A brewpub with a focus on fresh, seasonal beers and delicious pub food.
  • The Craft Beer Co: A chain of bars with a vast selection of bottled and draught beers from around the world.

What are the best pubs in London with a good atmosphere?

  • The Coach & Horses: A lively pub in Soho with a great buzz, popular with locals and tourists alike.
  • The Hawley Arms: A gastropub in Camden with a quirky and eclectic vibe, often hosting live music and comedy nights.
  • The Dove: A traditional pub in Hammersmith with a friendly atmosphere and a beautiful riverside location.

What are the best pubs in London with good food?

  • Anchor Bankside: A gastropub with stunning views of the Thames and a menu of seasonal British cuisine.
  • Guinea Grill: A Mayfair institution serving classic British fare in an elegant setting.
  • The Harwood Arms: A Michelin-starred pub in Fulham offering a sophisticated take on pub classics.
  • The Bull & Last: A gastro pub in Highgate with a modern European menu and a lovely beer garden.

Which are the oldest pubs in London?

  • The Seven Stars (1602): Located near the Royal Courts of Justice, this pub boasts a rich history and is known for its atmospheric setting.
  • The Guinea (built on site of a 1423 Inn): While the current building dates back to the 1720s, there’s been an inn on this spot since the 15th century, making it a strong contender.
  • The Spaniard’s Inn (possibly 15th century): The exact date of origin is debated, but this Hampstead pub has a long and storied past.
  • Ye Olde Mitre (1547): Tucked away in a small alley, this pub has a traditional feel and claims a founding date in the mid-16th century.

What kind of pub experiences are there in London?

  • Traditional Pub: Look for pubs with a historic atmosphere, wooden interiors, and real ales on tap.
  • Gastropub: These pubs offer a more upscale dining experience alongside a good selection of drinks.
  • Live Music Pub: Many pubs, from folk to rock, host live music nights.
  • Family-Friendly Pub: Some pubs have dedicated play areas or gardens, making them ideal for families.

Which streets have the best pubs in London?

Bond Street, Tottenham Court Road, and Oxford Street are some of the streets known to harbor the best pubs in London.

Ritesh Raj

COO at CuddlyNest

Editorial Policy

Last update: 13 May 2024

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