• Bars and pubs
3 Love It
© Rob Greig
Covent Garden

Irish by professed nationality but global by nature, this gleaming Covent Garden hostelry (set over 12 levels with a busy terrace) does a fine line in international beers and hearty fare. Underpinning it all are draught stouts and ales; in the case of Wrasslers 4X stout, made to a century-old recipe. Along with the semi-titular Porterhouse Red, you'll find An Brain Blásta (at 7%, it lives up to its name), the gentler TSB and a pungent Oyster Stout.

The bottled list is a tippler’s travelogue: Corsican Columba, Cypriot Keo, Moroccan Casablanca. A hearty helping of Porterhouse Frying Pan, with smoked bacon, potatoes, chorizo and red piquillo, should soak up whatever you choose. There are also wines and cocktails, but that’d be missing the point.


Venue name: Porterhouse
Address: 21-22 Maiden Lane
Opening hours: Open noon-11pm Mon-Thur; noon-11.30pm Fri; noon-midnight Sat; noon-10.30pm Sun. Food served noon-9pm Mon-Sat; noon-7pm Sun
Transport: Covent Garden tube or Charing Cross tube/rail

Average User Rating

2.1 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:3
  • 4 star:0
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:8
2 people listening
Staff Writer

One of the most popular bars in Covent Garden and a favourite of mine. 

I think this place technically has about 12-13 different levels but that's only because all the little nooks and crannies are set at slightly different heights all throughout the pub. Personally, I love it because it is a bit different and you can always find somewhere to sit if you have a keen eye for cubby holes and small spaces.

Drinks are what you'd expect for the area in terms of price but to be honest if you're going to the Porterhouse for a quiet cocktail, you're doing things wrong. It's a lively pub, there's always some kind of sport on the TV and it's very popular with post work drinkers.

I always make time to head over there when I'm in Covent Garden, if you've not been, definitely check it out!

Simona F

AVOID AT ALL COSTS! Just had my work Xmas drinks there and had an awful experience from start to end. Tried to reserve an area a few days and go and was told 'we don't take bookings in the Xmas period'. By then I should have known and picked another place but no...decided to give it a go anyway. We arrived early and picked a quiet area next to one of the bars, asked whether they were going to be serving drinks from that bar and got told 'maybe, we'll see'. During the course of the evening the bar staff was either rude or incompetent and sometime both...we got served several gin and tonics without ice and one time without tonic...by 7pm the place was pretty packed and we decided to leave. At that time I discovered that my brand new £300 karen millen coat had disappeared. Apart from one lady who took my number in case the coat turns up, the staff couldn't care less...

The Porterhouse is a typical tourist trap in a very touristy area, where they get away with bad service and with a shady clientele who sits there waiting for valuables to be left unattended.

Rob O'Gorman

GIVE IT A GO! I am surprised there are so many negative reviews on this site. The place is busy and it is very successful. It is different to anywhere else in London and the team should be thanked for providing such a wonderful environment with the widest range of beers I have ever seen. I agree sometimes you may have to wait 5 minutes to get severed but that is because this place is very popular, however the wait is worthwhile. The range of beers is amazing (draught and bottled) and you could spend all week drinking your way through the drinks menu. The service I received was fine and has been fine on the numerous times I have visited. The inside is fantastic and like a rabbit warren with lots of room and lots of nooks and crannies for groups of people or couples to sit spread over 12 levels. There is also live music of a good standard in the basement on a Saturday nights and maybe other nights. I have not eaten here, but I would say it is more of a drinking and partying pub of an evening, however earlier in the day it is a very relaxing pub to sit it and work your way through a host of amazing beers and ales while chatting with friends. Don’t be put off by the negative reviews and go and judge for yourself. Try a daytime and a night time visit to see both sides of the charm of this wonderful pub.


Went to Porterhouse yesterday lunchtime. We loved the interior and cleanliness of bars. Service was very good without being over the top. Food, which was obviously fresh, was very good. Excellent value for money. TSB was one of the best beers that I have ever tasted. Will definitely use again.


what a shame, such a nice venue with great potentcial, however under it's current managment, it is doomed, while the satff are much to be desired on all the corner points of being excellent bar staff, this is just a reflection of the lack of management and hospitality, it is quite simply an embaressing example of commercial v's true pub experince, resulting in a depressing resolve of money matters more than the pub goers experince.. change your ethos, or close down.


Went there yesterday and had roast dinner, it was dreadful.The potatoes were really horrible and inedible, and the Irish roast beef was extremely tough and we could not chew it..We both felt extremely disappointed, cost £30.65p because we had soup first, of which the bread was the end bit of the loaf! Not a slice! Phoned today and spoke to the manageress, who does not care because they have so many customers, it does not matter.Dreadful uncaring attitude and awful food.I would strongly advise people to not have the roast dinner.It was a waste of money. I will not go back.

P carver

As the comments below suggest, a serious training session in customer service is required. The guys behind the bar only seem interested in serving anything in a skirt and we ended up walking out after being told to hurry up hurry up in placing our order, whilst the barman smacked his hand on the bartop soaking us in beer.... I dragged all my friends accros London to see this Bar as I enjoyed my previous visits, however, they have lost my custom along with many others looking at the reviews below.... Sort it out guys.


I’ve just went yesterday to the Porterhouse to show some friends visiting London a place once I liked. My mistake, first I was waiting 15 minutes to be served at the bar, the waiter seemed to ignore me serving first people that were arriving after me. And last, when we were served 7 half pints of cider one of the glasses was chipped. When I told the waiter, he, with lots of attitude, took the half pint of cider and poured the cider to another glass. I told him that I was not going to accept that cider, he said that the cider was perfectly good and that there wasn’t any problem with that cider. I responded that the chipped glass could be inside the cider, he then with lots of attitude threw the cider to the sink, splashing one of my friends, and replaced the cider. Judge for yourself. Me, personally, I won’t be coming back.


Usually love this place and have been millions of time but after this weekend NEVER AGAIN. served flat beer and asked for a fresh one and was told it was meant to be flat...which it hasn't been the last ten twenty times I have had the same beer in the same place! on top of this when asking what bottled beer the bar tender would recommend i was told 'how was he supposed to know what i liked' which considering the range of beers they have (and that they pride themselves on!) seems pretty rude. thoroughly disappointed and shocked by the staff's attitude and annoyed that I no longer want to go back to what was once one of my favourite pubs


I loved it! Friendly stuf, great food, big choice of beers, will go back soon!


PORTERHOUSE COVENT GARDEN! waited 20 mins to get served. asked rowan the server why he was serving everyone else before me and my friend. he abruptly replied , he is moving down the bar??? the guy he tried to serve before me advised him we had been waiting and to serve me first.. he replied he didnt care?? absolutely flabbergasted!!!! was enough to make me never ever SPEND MONEY in this place again. if the owners/management read this... they need to sack that guy.

James H - December 17 2012
0 of 1 found helpful

Looking through TIME OUT'S pages for a Covent Garden pub, Porterhouse gets the kind of negative reviews that automatically cancel it off my list. Hope the bar staff are able to find jobs once they put "Porterhouse" on their CVs. Word gets around; service like that belongs in old Iron Curtain countries.