London, like no other city, manages to skilfully combine two areas: history and beer. The best combination of these is found in London’s public houses , or pubs for short. A long time ago, prostitutes, bare knuckle boxers and schnapps writers were drawn to the pubs in London. Today, instead of melancholic artists with oil lamps, British hipsters tend to find hipsters with iPads. But you are there for the same reasons: because of the cozy atmosphere and the delicious beer.
Much has also happened in the past few years when it comes to food. Many pubs have been upgraded to gastronomy and serve very good English food.
The 13 best pubs in London
Here you will find our tips for the most traditional and best pubs in London . There you can best enjoy one or more pints:
1. Ye Olde Mitre Tavern
The Ye Olde Miter Tavern is little hidden, but it’s definitely worth the search. Once you’ve found your way into the narrow alley and strolled through the doors, you have the feeling of having traveled with a time machine. No wonder, because pints have been going over the counter here for over 400 years. A really nice pub full of charm and character, which also served as a backdrop for cult films such as Snatch. Be sure to try the real ales and the sandwiches!
Address: 1 Ely Pl, London EC1N 6SJ
2. Lamb & Flag
Charles Dickens is said to have drunk his pint in this pub. 200 years ago, the Lamb & Flag was still called the “blood bucket” due to the regular bare knuckle boxing matches. Today there are no teeth on the floor in the Tudor building near Leicester Square. Even if there is always something going on here, things are harmonious – at least mostly. The pub’s kitchen is also known for its excellent cuisine. The Pie’s are said to be the best in the area!
Address: 33 Rose St, London WC2E 9EB
3. Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese
The Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese is said to be the oldest pub in London. It was built after the great fire of London in 1667 as a replacement for a pub that stood there from 1538. The various passageways and rooms that made up the special flair of the pub have remained. By the way, the sign on the door that says “Gentlemen only served in this bar” is no longer valid – by now everyone can of course enjoy the delicious drinks and dishes!
Address: 145 Fleet St, London EC4A 2BU
4. The George Inn
The George Inn is one of the classics among pubs in London and is the last with a gallery. You can also drink your drink on the second floor, as Shakespeare is said to have done here. If the weather plays along, the cozy courtyard is also a real alternative. Sit out here and enjoy a warm summer evening – the perfect end to a long day of sightseeing! Incidentally, London Bridge is very close. If you are close to sightseeing there, The George Inn is a nice resting place!
Address: 75-77 Borough High St,London SE1 1NH
5. Spaniards Inn
On the outskirts of Hampstead Heath is the iconic Spaniards Inn, with many legends surrounding it. For example, the famous English mugger Richard “Dick” Turpin is said to have learned his craft here, and Charles Dickens immortalized the pub in his novel “The Pickwickier”. Today you can make yourself comfortable by the fireplace in bad weather and spend a relaxing and convivial evening thanks to the huge selection of draft beers, craft beers and wines.
Address: Spaniards Rd, Hampstead, London NW3 7JJ
6. The Coach & Horses
The Coach & Horses is not one of the pubs in London, but sees itself as an advocate of the old pub tradition. Owner-run pubs now have a hard time in the center against the big chains. This is how this pub comes to be a bulwark against the mainstream and with its slogan “A real pub, real London, real people, right conversation” makes a powerful front against uniformity. The pub also boasts of being the first meatless pub in London. Of course, we tested this directly and have to admit that the vegan fish & chips from the Coach & Horse on Greek Street are delicious!
Address: 29 Greek Street, Soho, W1D 5dDH
7. The Churchill Arms
Well, The Churchill Arms’s advertising strategy has definitely worked, I would say. With its colorful facade and exuberant seasonal flowers, the pub has become one of the most photographed spots in London. But it is also simply an eye-catcher. By the way, it’s no less delightful inside, especially because the atmosphere in the Churchill Arms in Kensington is always great. Anyone who can no longer see the typical pub food will be happy about the offer. In addition to the large selection of beers, the menu also includes Chinese noodles and spring rolls!
Address: 119 Kensington Church St, Kensington, W8 7LN
8. The Grapes
Only one little thing in the pub points to the famous owner of The Grapes: In the corner is a Gandalf figure from “Lord of the Rings”. The actor Sir Ian McKellen has owned the pub since 2011 – which means that you meet tourists more than locals. When the weather is nice, you should not miss a trip to the small balcony at the back of the pub: here the Thames is literally at your feet!
Address: 76 Narrow St, London E14 8BP
9. The Harp
The Harp in Covent Garden is one of the most popular pubs in London. Large crowds of people regularly form in front of the flower-adorned facade made of leaded glass windows – and rightly so. Because the range of cider and beer is enormous, and the classic pub dishes are extremely tasty. Be sure to try the hot dogs!
Address: 47 Chandos Pl, London WC2N 4HS
10. Wheatsheaf Borough Market
Frankly, there is nothing I like more than having a cool beer in the back yard of this pub after visiting Borough Market. The Wheatsheaf Borough Market is one of my absolute favorites. During the week the atmosphere is unbeatable and from experience I can say that the service is super friendly! By the way, the best time to visit the pub is around 5:30 p.m. when the Londoners come here for after-work beer.
Address: 6 Stoney St, London SE1 9AA
11. The Dove
When the weather is good, The Dove is one of my favorite places to go. From the terrace you have a wonderful view of the Thames! If you are traveling in the area, you can take a break in the pub. One or the other celebrity is also a regular customer there. We haven’t recognized anyone yet, but the VIP wall of the restaurant is impressive!
Address: 19 Upper Mall, Hammersmith W6 9TA
12. The Mayflower
The rather rustic, yet super cozy The Mayflower was built in 1550 and is the oldest pub directly on the Thames. Seamen and pirates once came and went here. A nice, if somewhat more expensive restaurant is located in the upper area. Here you can enjoy an impressive view of the Thames!
Address: 117 Rotherhithe St, London SE16 4NF
13. The French House
The best for last: The French House in Soho . Once home to the bohemian, refuge for artists, authors, strollers, muses and ex-boxers. Meeting point for politicians in exile, for marginalized social figures, for failed and intellectuals. Together they drank, smoked, laughed, mobbed with Ricard in the London pub with Ricard. The great times of the French House are over, but the spirit of the creative subculture of yesteryear is still sitting in the corner watching over its home! The French House still has a reputation like Donnerhall and is one of the most renowned in the city.
Address: 49 Dean Street, Soho W1D 5BG