Royal Oak

Bars and pubs , Gastropubs Bethnal Green
  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • 3 out of 5 stars
(10 user reviews)
21 Love It
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To misquote the late Brian Moore, this is a pub of two halves. Upstairs is a cultured, calm and almost sedate dining room, within which nouveau Eastenders tuck into expensive but impressive Modern European cooking.

Downstairs in the good-looking pub, built around a handsome central bar, the scene is more boisterous, as easily distracted staff deliver pricey wines and ales to an assortment of vintage-clad creatives who keep the hum of conversation going throughout the night.

It’s at its best earlier in the week: Fridays and Saturdays can be uncomfortably frantic, and the flower market on the doorstep means Sundays can be a crush.

Keen-eyed sitcom enthusiasts may recognise the Royal Oak from its starring role in Goodnight Sweetheart, although the current owners seem strangely reluctant to advertise the source of the pub’s 15 minutes.

Venue name: Royal Oak
Address: 73 Columbia Road
E2 7RG
Opening hours: Open 5-11pm Mon-Fri; noon-11pm Sat; 11am-10.30pm Sun. Food served Bar 6-10pm Mon-Fri; noon-4pm, 6-10pm Sat; 11am-4pm, 6-9pm Sun Restaurant 7-9pm Tue-Sat; noon-4pm Sun
Transport: Tube: Hoxton rail or bus 26, 48, 55
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Average User Rating

3.4 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:3
  • 4 star:4
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:3
1 person listening
Chlo Fo

If you're looking for a proper English pub with an East London twist, then look no further. This place is full of hustle and bustle and has a wonderful atmosphere. You'll pretty much always struggle to find a seat, but prop yourself at the bar, grab a beer and order some of the delicious bar snacks, the scotch eggs are a particular winner.


One of my fave pubs in London! ...An instant cosy crowd pleaser and great date spot! Definitely worth a trip down for a spot of their Sunday roast at the weekend and combined with a wander around Columbia road flower market makes for a cute little day out!

Eloise H

Can't believe this pub doesn't have a picture or an introduction. This is the best pub in London! Get involved.

Flo M

One of life's happy accidents, walking in to the Royal Oak. It was an instant favorite!

James Manning

A rare example of an old East End pub which has managed to gentrify without completely buggering up what made it good in the first place. I haven't eaten upstairs – I had no idea there was a dining room up there – but the bar on the ground floor is a lovely place. Check it out for a pint on a school night: it's rammed on Sundays because of the flower market. It's a beautiful old place and especially cosy in winter (the garden isn't much to speak of.) Pints and bar food aren't cheap but they're unpretentious and good quality.

Diogo Amaro

HORRIBLE. I have never been to such an expensive pub with such a bad service. The food was decent, but definitely not worth the price. The dishes were small and the service was far below British standards.

paul kelly

Bitterly upset with the Sunday roast on Mothers day. The smallness of portion was pathetic ; I had a paucity of veg and a slither of meat. This place used to have the best roast in London. Not any more. The price has gone up and the quality and quantity has gone down. Have they a new chef ? Have they new owners? I don't know. But I do know i shan't be eating here again. A real shame.


Fantastic food, great atmosphere, friendly efficient staff. Would recommend this to anyone. We had a shoulder of lamb to share between 4 of us - delicious! Compliments to the chef.


Beer is OK but the staff and managers are despicable...ATTITUDE PROBLEMS!!


Had a great evening there and food was surprisingly good. Service seemed OK to me - pretty relaxed - they leave you to it - but as a local, I guess they are not trying to offer a restaurant service.