Cross Keys

  • Bars and pubs
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26 Love It
© Jael Marschner
Covent Garden

Central London pubs with a local vibe are the rarest of things, which is hardly surprising when you consider price tags on Zone 1 property often sport more zeros than the binary version of ‘War and Peace’. But The Cross Keys is precisely that – with its canopy of copper implements, garish carpet and walls covered in vintage beeraphernalia, it feels like it hasn’t changed for 30 years. It’s a look which, these days, is uncommon enough to be endearing and, when paired with a line-up of mass-produced lager and real ale, evokes memories of a bygone era of boozing.

Best of all, though, despite the local competition, the Cross Keys makes zero effort to appeal to tourists. Sort of ironic really, as standing outside in the failing sunlight, sipping a pint, taking deep lungfuls of the aroma wafting down from the nearby chippie, is one of the most perfectly English experiences you’ll get in the West End.

Venue name: Cross Keys
Address: 31 Endell Street
Opening hours: Open 11am-11pm Mon-Sat; noon-10.30pm Sun. Food served noon-2.30pm Mon-Fri; noon-3pm Sat, Sun
Transport: Tube: Covent Garden tube
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Average User Rating

2.4 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:2
  • 4 star:1
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:5
3 people listening
Sophie J

I would never go here. My sister kissed her girlfriend once and the manager came over and asked them to leave saying they were offending people. I don't know how that guy still has a job as this clearly isn't the first time it's happened. 

Melissa B

You get what you pay for - Simplicity. None of the frills and all of the goodness of beer with good old English manners from the bar staff.

Disgusted Londoner

We went there after our staff xmas party. The guy behind the bar is frankly shocking. We were outside and i was standing with one of the guys from work. The guy from behind the bar came out to collect glasses and instead of asking the guy i was with to move out of the way he actually pushed him out the way. This resulted in a scuffle and he didn't hold back on spewing foul, offensive comments. One of which was 'when you have worked out what to say in ENGLISH come and tell me yeah'. We were a party made up of a diverse range of people, English people included. I was frankly disgusted. Judging from some comments here we should not have been surprised. He then came back out and I then found him literally trying to strangle the guy who i had been with earlier with his own scarf. London is a multicultural hub and i was appalled to hear comments like his from someone working in central london. Will never return or recommend.


Andy and partner ; if you do read this . I have contacted Brodies Brewery and they are taking my complaint further . Debbi


Homophobic bar manager. Told to drink up and go for sitting holding hands. Bar manager said "your sort should be in a sauna" and "this is a family place" and "don't bother complaining because it wont work" avoid this place like plague.

Al Blaney

Proper pub*. Welcoming but not over-friendly. Authentic atmosphere. Beer looked after properly. Food value for money. Real honest Britain. (*None of this new-age rubbish where the tourist pound is more important.)


Really nice pub, staff are friendly great atmosphere load of interesting things on the walls and clean toilets!!!