Tap East

Bars and pubs Stratford
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Tap East

At last: a bit of competition for the Queen Vic. For years, that nuclear sub has quenched the thirst of generations of ‘EastEnders’ almost unchallenged in its fictional district of E20.

Fictional, that is, until someone decided to plonk a stadium, swimming pool and shopping mall in the lower Lea Valley, thus requiring a new postcode. This mall is, of course, Westfield Stratford City, E20.

To their credit, its planners could have just given the green light to another Slug and Lettuce, but instead the people behind the The Rake pub and Utobeer stall in Borough Market have opened a brewpub here with a huge beer selection (there are plenty of chains too, if that’s your thing).

And we’re pleased to report that Phil Mitchell probably won’t be happy – it’s a worthy rival.

A new-build pub in a shopping centre will always seem like a relatively sterile proposition compared to a historic hostelry, lacking as it naturally does the reassuring imprint of those countless fags smoked, pies munched and pints supped.

Tap East is not immune to this, but the evident commitment to exciting beer provides incentive to visit retail nirvana. (More comfy seating would perhaps be welcome too.)

The advantages – for the owners at least – of opening a bar like Tap East in a shopping centre are clear. You get a shiny new space, untainted by previous owners, and plenty of room to set up brewing equipment. There are no obligations to buy through a big pub landlord conglomerate, and there’s guaranteed footfall outside.

On the evening we stopped by, six cask ales included Tap East’s own deep, malty 6.6 per cent Extra Stout (made in the open microbrewery at the back), as well as the Bristol brewery Arbor’s hop-charged Green Bullet IPA; nine kegs dispensed, among others, Brooklyn’s Vienna-style lager, Lovibonds’s 69 IPA and Hofbrau’s Oktoberfest.

These are available in the newly legal third-of-a-pint measures (which makes sense, as many are a fair whack stronger than your average British beers).

Fridges hold a fine sample of the cream of new US microbreweries – Flying Dog, Ballast Point etc – as well as a truly vast collection from Britain and around the world. There are far too many to do it justice here, but the range would certainly stand up to repeat samplings. There’s food, too – largely of the beer-soaking-up sandwich sort.

Tap East is nothing like most people’s idea of a local boozer, but it definitely merits a visit from beer lovers – even if you have to walk past every store in Europe’s biggest shopping mall to get there.


Venue name: Tap East
Address: 7 International Square
E20 1EE
Cross street: Westfield Stratford City
Opening hours: Open 11am-11pm Mon-Sat; noon-10pm Sun
Transport: Tube: Stratford tube/rail/DLR/Overground
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Average User Rating

3.9 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:6
  • 4 star:6
  • 3 star:1
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  • 1 star:1
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Located in Westfield Stratford City, Tap East is a very small corner pub with a good selection of artisanal beers on tap. However, I didn't really find the location appealing as there are just few seats, it gets busy during after-work hours and is only open until 11.00 pm on Fridays. Surely the big pro is the wide selection of beers, but when it comes to other drinks the service is lengthy and the drinks are expensive. I would have preferred a bigger space with more seats and a clean toilet. 

One toilet (DISABLED )for all customers !!! At 5'o 'clock lots of drunks !!! Last chance saloon if you ask me !!!


For far too long, Tap East was the best bet in Stratford for a good selection of craft beer on tap. Its location in the behemoth Westfield Shopping Centre in E20 has made it a slightly awkward site for a quick beer- it’s perfect if you have been dragged out on a shopping trip, but making a special stopover to Westfield for a beer is slightly unappealing. And the opening hours extend to only 11:00pm on a Friday and Saturday, so it’s not ideal for a longer drinking session.

Despite this, Tap East does get in some very good beer from local and International breweries. It boasts 16 taps and a selection of over 100 bottles in the fridges. In addition to this, they have their own microbrewery in situ, often offering their in-house range on cask. The beers on offer are always rotating and you’ll find a good range of styles represented.

It’s a cosy little corner of a bar, offering some outdoor seating as well. The staff are usually quite knowledgeable of their range and there’s a small menu of nibbles available. It’s usually quite busy, but you won’t have to wait too long to get a seat. Despite the downside of its position in Westfield, Tap East is still worth a visit to see what’s on offer. I have found some rare iterations here and their own beer is also solid.

Same staff for a while, they manage to create a nice atmosphere despite being in Westfield. Best beers of course.

If you like beer this is the place for you! No crap on tap, just an ever changing selection of new and interesting brews!

Thoroughly enjoyed the first pint from the microbrewery last Sunday after a spot of ice skating with my three year old. The second pint wasn't to my taste however, but overall a great little spot to escape to from your wife when out shopping in Westfield.

Enjoyed Tap East during the first week of the Olympic Games! A nice and friendly diverson from the mania. Enjoyed the local ales!

This place is brilliant. As a fan of the rake, this is my new favourite bar in London. Great stuff. Chimay on tap!

We were disappointed with Tap East despite the great beer list. We expected the location to be unwelcoming but we didn't expect to get such poor service or that they wouldn't have anything to eat except pork pies.

Amazing place, amazing beers, friendly staff, really can't fault the place...

Oh I just love the range of beers available, keeps me trying new things every time. The boys are a lovely bunch and the "beer-soaking-up" sandwiches go down a treat! I'll be back for sure :) x

Love it here. Their microbrewery beers are great. Also a discount for bottles taken away. If you go to Stratford International by train or DLR its right next door.

Love this place. New Tap East beers on the bar too, loving the J.E.B.