The Bear

Bars and pubs Camberwell
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 out of 5 stars
(6 user reviews)
36 Love It
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 (© Andy Parsons)
1/5
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2/5
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3/5
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4/5
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5/5
© Andy Parsons

A Camberwell boozer-turned-craft-beer-pub.

Some statistics about the refurb of this long-standing SE5 boozer: 80 percent of male punters had facial foliage that could conceal a small rodent. Of 18 beers on tap, 100 percent would make your dad ask: ‘Did they forget the normal drinks?’ But it’s also 90 percent great. 

In all, there are 20 taps (two ciders and 18 beers), although the selection offers no huge surprises, focusing on the usual roll-call of craft breweries (BrewDog, Beavertown, Lagunitas, Siren, etc). As for the shabby-chic decor, let’s just say that the lightbulbs look like someone’s attempted a cat’s cradle with the filaments. The walls, meanwhile, are a mix of crimson-painted Victoriana wallpaper and tar-splotched wood panelling.

The crowd’s a twirtysomething-heavy mix of up-for-it drinkers and Camberwellians out for a relaxed night in their local. On my Sunday visit the area around the bar was filled with lively punters standing en masse despite a plethora of free tables. 

All in all, a very good pub. It’s not the area’s best craft beer pub – that title stays with the brilliant Stormbird nearby – but it does remain open until 2am on Fridays and Saturdays. Which means that, if nothing else, it’s quite probably Camberwell’s most fun late-night hang-out.

Venue name: The Bear
Contact:
Address: 296A Camberwell New Road
London
SE5 0RP
Opening hours: Open 4-10.30pm Mon; noon-11pm Tue-Thur; noon-midnight Fri, Sat; noon-10pm Sun. Food served noon-3pm, 7-10pm Tue, Sat; noon-3pm, 6-10pm Wed-Fri; noon-4pm Sun
Transport: Tube: Oval tube
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Average User Rating

4.5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:5
  • 4 star:0
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:1
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|6
1 person listening
Amy R

I LOVE this place, fantastic staff, great food. It's pricey but the quality is really good and the ambience is relaxed like a proper pub should be.

M F

The staff are an incredible mix of fun, helpful, your mate but unobtrusive all at the same time. Ellie, is a huge asset to the team. I'm so happy to have this hidden gem at the end of my road. Great location, food, staff and decor. The Bear should 100% win!

Jennifer W

The newly-revamped Bear is fantastic. Exceptional food (the fried chicken in particular is great) and fab live music on a Thursday night. Plus the staff are friendly and helpful.

Max B

The best selection of craft beers in the area, great food, classy interior and very friendly/knowledgeable staff. Despite stiff competition, the best pub in the area in my opinion!

James

The review describes the pub as being on "the least appealing arm of Camberwell's beleagured crossroads"? I can't work out whether that's more unfair on Camberwell or on Camberwell New Road, nor can I work out what twisted criteria it's based on. Not enough chippies? Fewer grocery stores? Too many bus depots? Who knows? Anyway, the Bear is a pretty bog-standard new-style pub with lots of crap on the walls straight out of the 'kitsch rubbish for your pub refurbishment' catelogue that is wholly unconvincing. The food is quite good, the menu seems to change fairly regularly and if you're after a pub dinner around Camberwell it's a good shout, although the prices - for what you're getting - are 30 to 40 per cent above what they should be and there are restaurants about the area offering better food for cheaper prices. Beer's expensive too - £4.05 for a pint of Pilsner last time I was in. Clientele mostly well-heeled young professionals and students though, so the prices aren't necessarily surprising.

gemma

This place is brilliant- can't believe it has not got more stars- Food is best gastro pub food in Camberwell. Chefs are really skilled and know what they are doing. Never been let down by the food once. Still remember my first dish there from 4 and half years ago it is that good!!