Best pubs in London

From gastropubs to capital boozers, Time Out recommends 50 great pubs in London

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Fancy a pint? Glass of wine? Gin and tonic? Of course you do, and living in London you're not short of places to find them. If you're looking for a great pub in London check out our critics' top 50 picks.


Pubs in Soho

Dog & Duck

A reliable Soho standard for decades, with pleasingly unmolested decor and interesting, well-kept beer. It’s a survivor of the literary Soho of old.
Read Dog & Duck review

  1. 18 Bateman Street, W1D 3AJ
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French House

As Gallic as a damp baguette, this famous Dean Street wine shop, from where General de Gaulle hosted the Free French fight against Hitler/a four-year lunch, is long on beer in halves and les vins Français but, nonetheless, the best pub in Soho.
Read French House review

  1. 49 Dean Street, W1D 5BG
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Pubs in Covent Garden

Harp

Last year’s Camra Pub of the Year isn’t much on paper – a bar and a corridor with a back alley for smokers. But get inside in the late morning before it fills and wander through the incredible selection of beer and ciders, served by friendly, knowledgeable staff, and you’ll soon see why it made our list.
Read Harp review

  1. 47 Chandos Place, WC2N 4HS
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Pubs in Fitzrovia

Bradley's Spanish Bar

Bradley’s may call itself a bar, but it’s indisputably one of the West End’s few great pubs, and home to London’s most appealing jukebox, a vinyl-driven, genre-spanning monster. The Spanish lager is pricy, but Londoners still love this place and spill on to the road outside in summer months, inevitably angering cab drivers.
Read Bradley's Spanish Bar review

  1. 42-44 Hanway Street, W1T 1UT
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Newman Arms

There's been a business located at this gateway to a cobbled alleyway since 1730 – see the red sign outside and etched writing over the bar – but as a pub it had its heyday in the mid 20th century, when George Orwell was a regular and Michael Powell filmed here. Both men get a decorative look-in, the pub's 101 minutes of movie fame marked by an Italian poster (1960's L'Occhio che uccide, aka Peeping Tom).
Read Newman Arms review

  1. 23 Rathbone Street, W1T 1NG
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Pubs in Clerkenwell

Craft Beer Company

One of the most exciting beer selections in the city sees 37 of them on draught and a doorstopper of a list that includes rarely seen brews from the world over.
Read Craft Beer Company review

  1. 82 Leather Lane, EC1N 7TR
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Fox & Anchor

This Smithfield boozer proves renovation can be sympathetic. No purple banquettes or flock wallpaper, just gleaming tankards, dark wood and outrageously good pub grub. Six stylish bedrooms too, if you’re overcome by pies.
Read Fox & Anchor review

  1. 115 Charterhouse Street, EC1M 6AA
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Jerusalem Tavern

Appropriately enough, the St Peter’s Brewery’s only London pub is a place of pilgrimage for those in search of its full range of award-winning beers. Fill your belly, warm your soul and toast your bum in front of a coal fire.
Read Jerusalem Tavern review

  1. 55 Britton Street, EC1M 5UQ
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Rugby Tavern

In its favour: a Shepherd Neame pub with well-kept ale and the welcome of a proper local in the back streets of Bloomsbury. The downside: it’s closed at weekends.
Read Rugby Tavern review

  1. 19 Great James St, WC1N 3ES
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The Yorkshire Grey

If George Orwell drank at every pub that claims him, he wouldn’t have made it to Wigan Pier, let alone Catalonia. But as the Grey is just around the corner from the BBC, we can assume he did take advantage of what is the best fireside snug in Fitzrovia.
Read The Yorkshire Grey review

  1. 29-33 , Grays Inn Rd, WC1X 8PN
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Ye Olde Mitre Tavern

This spooky ancient tavern is where Dan Brown would buy a beer if he was in town. Shadowy alleys lead into a medieval courtyard where a sign reveals Ye Olde Mitre was built by Bishop Goodrich in 1546.
Read Ye Olde Mitre Tavern review

  1. 1 Ely Court, (Ely Place side of 8 Hatton Garden), EC1N 6SJ
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Pubs in the City

Jamaica Wine House

A secretive drinking den in an alley that manages to evoke memories of countless handshakes, tip-offs and clandestine collusions.
Read Jamaica Wine House review

  1. St Michael's Alley, (Cornhill), EC3V 9DS
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Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese

This Fleet Street landmark was rebuilt back in 1667 ('in the reign of King Charles II'), and its seventeenth-century history is in large part responsible for its twenty-first-century appeal. The royals to have been served thereafter are painstakingly listed outside in a higgledy-piggledy passageway, drawing in dozens of tourists a day to the pub's baffling labyrinth of rooms.
Read Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese review

  1. 145 Fleet Street, EC4A 2BU
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Pubs in Holborn and Bloomsbury

Princess Louise

This princess is actually the queen of Yorkshire brewer Samuel Smith’s collection of central London pubs. With half-a-dozen ornately-carved, sumptuously-tiled bar areas under one high stucco ceiling, it’s a sensational building, selling, of course, Smith’s array of sanely priced pints.
Read Princess Louise review

  1. 208-209 High Holborn, WC1V 7BW
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The Queen's Head

A super little neighbourhood pub in Bloomsbury with an inspired beer selection, cheese and meat boards, and thoughtful design touches. There’s live music, comedy and a regular quiz.
Read The Queen's Head review

  1. 15 Denman Street London, W1D 7HN
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Users say

2 comments
James
James

David - I think the writer's geographical knowledge is lacking. The Rugby Tavern is in either Holborn or Bloomsbury depending on how you look at it, but definitely not Clerkenwell. The same goes for the Yorkshire Grey. IMO Clerkenwell ends at Grey's Inn Road - i.e. where EC1 becomes WC1. Sorry to nitpick, but as a local these mistakes irk me.

David
David

Don't know anything about this pub, but it's stretching a point to say it's in Bloomsbury / Holborn - this one is a stone's throw from Piccadilly Circus. I suspect the pub you are recommending is the Queen's Head in Acton St, which is at the northern side of Bloomsbury, not far from King's Cross.

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