Best pubs in London
From gastropubs to capital boozers, Time Out recommends great pubs in north London
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 north London, check out our critics' picks.
Pubs in north London
A couple of drinks in here and it’s hard to believe you’re on a high street in Stokey and not by the Liffey. This might be the best Irish pub outside Ireland, let alone in London.
Read Auld Shillelagh review
- 105 Stoke Newington Church Street, N16 0UD
It’s far from fashionable, but, hidden away in a backstreet behind Euston Station, the Bree Louise is a magnet for those who appreciate ale. The selection is outstanding, and most of it sits in barrels behind the bar.
Read Bree Louise review
- 69 Cobourg Street, NW1 2HH
Upstart Scottish microbrewery Brewdog is behind this new craft beer pub in Camden; as well as the full range of its own products, there are many challenging and exciting beers from around the world.
Read Brewdog review
- 113 Bayham Street, NW1 0AG
The Tap has ushered in a new age of railway station drinking: its tremendous selection of microbrewed craft beers ensures that it’s not just thirsty travellers or time-killers who stop in for a drink.
Read Euston Tap review
- West Lodge, 190 Euston Rd, NW1 2EF
A proper pub with a focus on drinking rather than dining, the Island Queen floats an impressive range of draught beers and ales as well as 20 wines by the glass.
Read Island Queen review
- 87 Noel Road, N1 8HD
This place comes into its own in winter: we suggest parking yourself in front of the fireplace in an armchair with a real ale and the sort of food – sausage rolls, roast pheasant, British cheeses – it’s designed to wash down.
Read Lord Cycle
- 340-342 Essex Road, N1 3PB
London is the home of the pub theatre but even the best of them can be uncomfortable lodges above inhospitable boozers. Happily, the King's Head has history both as a pub and a theatre: it's mentioned, in a previous incarnation, by Samuel Pepys. And it started pub-theatre in 1970, when it became the first tavern with a stage since, it claims, the time of the Bard.
Read King's Head
- 115 Upper St, N1 1QN
A cosy ‘local’s local’ where the cold night air is barred at the door by thick velvet curtains. Handy to hide behind, perhaps, if you don’t like the vintage sales and comedy nights, but be sure to come out for the beer festivals where guest ales are served straight from the keg.
Read Pineapple review
- 51 Leverton Street, NW5 2NX
There are two stops for time travellers at this Victorian local which still boasts its 1950s refit, best illustrated by its panelled bar. Vintage film posters, some transport-related memorabilia and a cosy fireplace with armchairs complete a welcoming room; oodles of different beers make it worth a visit from further afield than Dalston.
Read Railway Tavern review
- 2 St Jude Street, N16 8JT
As statements of intent go they don’t come much bigger than this grand nineteenthcentury gin palace. The statement being: we are Victorians and we are going to get very drunk. The ornate plasterwork, stained glass and numerous nooks and crannies still astonish.
Read Salisbury Hotel review
- 1 Grand Parade, Green Lanes, N4 1JX
This small cash-only pub stocks ale and cider exclusively from independent UK breweries (18 in all), alongside what it describes as ‘a fridge full of lovely meat’ (roast pork with crackling, say, or own-made pork pies). At once hip and down to earth (no booking, not much of a website), it’s one of the best places in London to sample innovative British brews.
Read Southampton Arms
- 139 Highgate Road, NW5 1LE
Peer through the door of this modest single-room boozer and you’ll immediately grasp its raison d’être: beer. There’s a line of handpumps along the snug central bar counter, with a mild always among the enticing options. Opened as a pub in 1836, the Wenlock Arms miraculously survived the Blitz in an area that was very heavily bombed, although its current shabby decor makes it look and feel like a ’70s-vintage taproom. There was some brilliant news recently regarding its long battle against the developers – Hackney Borough Council has extended the Hoxton conservation area, thereby making its demolition unlawful and hopefully safeguarding its future as a true community pub. Or ‘local’, as they used to be known.
Read Wenlock Arms review
- 26 Wenlock Road, N1 7TA