The Actress

Bars and pubs, Pubs East Dulwich
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The Actress

The Uplands, by all accounts a downtrodden Dulwich drinker, has been turned into by an altogether more impressive endeavour opened by the same folk behind The Bishop (do you see what they’ve done with the name there?).

With its sunny colour scheme, venetian blinds, white tongue-and-groove roof panelling and ceiling fans, it feels a bit like being in a southern US state, only without the rednecks.

A pointillist mural of a rather attractive lady, created by an Australian artist using spray-cans, adorns the back wall. Low-backed booths line the bar area, there’s stylish lighting throughout and a deep outside terrace has room for plenty of alfresco action.

Like The Bishop, The Actress is big on boutique beer: Meantime Pale Ale and Sharp’s Red Ale on draught, a handful of cask hand pumps and seven different ciders. A solid selection of wine too, including the house choice on draught.

But the ‘pizza-resistance’ is the wood-fired oven adjacent to an open plan kitchen; and opposite it, a marble-topped island bar.

Wood-fired pizza is the main dining draw, but it’s a nicer slice than your normal suburban pub efforts. In fact, with a light and lean crust and esoteric toppings, it’s more like fancy flatbread.

Nearly all the ingredients are sourced from England (chorizo being an exception) – the one topped with rosemary potatoes, roast garlic and Stilton was a winner, but not if you’re on a date.

There’s a dessert pizza too topped with chocolate, banana and dulce de leche. Special mention must be made of the delicious New York-style corn-on-the-cob rolled in parmesan, paprika and lime.


Venue name: The Actress
Address: 90 Crystal Palace Rd
SE22 9EY
Opening hours: Open noon-midnight daily
Transport: Tube: East Dulwich rail
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Average User Rating

3.7 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:7
  • 4 star:8
  • 3 star:1
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:4
2 people listening

Fantastic food and great service on a second visit. Sadly the pizza sucks hence minus a star. 

I ordered the beetroot, coconut and potato soup with chili flakes and sweet potato croutons for a starter. Man, it's awesome. Creamy and complex flavours, and a good size portion as well. Next I got the pesto, butterbean and pumpkin salad with pomegranate, lemon, rocket and chia. Again, fabulous flavours with big chunks of pumpkin. A bit heavy on the oil but still had me cleaning my plate. 

The service was also great. Our server, Lauren, was friendly and checked in on how our food, asked about refreshing our drinks, etc. Such rare good service in London. 

The only downer was the pizza :( The shrimp basil pizza sounds amazing and it looked decent- thin crust, lots of shrimp atop and pesto squiggles. But man, it was flavourless. I gave it away to some drunk teens down the street haha. They were quite happy!

Previous review:

Lovely food! I got the butternut squash and lentil salad to start and the mint flavour burst through. Also, large chunks of butternut, a welcome differentiation from the usual measly chunks given at restaurants. Roasted nicely.

I also got the butternut squash pizza- nice and thin crust and I loved how the pizza wasn't oily. Nice chunks of butternut as well although I could have done with a few more walnut bits.

Very few places in East Dulwich offer sport on tap with your Sunday grub and pint. So for this reason it wins over all the others for me. I'd like to see more choice of ales on tap. I hope they consider this in the future and then I'll be even happier going there to sup & watch my team(s).

Excellent food, lovely vibe and family friendly. Even shows the football and has lots of booze from which to choose!

Great relaxed atmosphere accommodating friendly staff and a fantastic venue to view your favourite sports or a catch up with friends and enjoy great food and a beverage or two


Tucked away from the main roads, so can sit outside without having to worry about heavy congestion or traffic. Good range of beers on tap, was fairly quiet when we visited compared to some of the other pub in the area.  

Good pizzas, especially the chilli beef one, and a range of other dishes to accompany a good, well tended beer-range. Child-friendly till 7pm, it serves a mix of local needs well. Just make less noise when you leave please as I live across the road.

Staff Writertastemaker

This pub is a fine compromise if you're in a group of people who want to watch sport and some that dont. When I've visited the food quality has massively varied from delicious to cold and late (as below) so I wouldn't visit if you're having a hanger day!

Perfectly nice pub when no sport playing but that seems rare!

The Actress is a great pub, family friendly on the weekends, but it is a sports pub too, which means that it gets busy during big matches. If you're into sports but like your pubs interesting, then The Actress is perfect. It's got charm and the pizzas - made on site in their pizza oven - are really really good. They have a nice selection of beers and the staff are generally pretty welcoming. The main attraction though is the table football, which is brilliant and worth a visit alone.

What an awful pub, so dark that I couldn't see the menu even if I wanted food. Beer was ok until the football came on, good and loud which would have been ok if they had turned the music down or better turned it off, when I pointed out that one could not hear either properly as they were competing with each other I was told that some people want to hear the football and some the music, no shit Sherlock! but as it was nobody could hear anything just noise and at four pound there are lots of other pubs to chose from in East Dulwich.

I've had three enjoyable Sunday afternoons/evenings at The Actress. It's got a good mix of decent food, beer and a lively atmosphere but with a relaxed vibe. We've only been on Sundays, but it's perfect for what you want before going back to work. Staff are generally pretty friendly. The first time we went there they had run out of food, which was disappointing, but then maybe they had a bit of a disaster that day. Overall, we keep going back, and we don't even live in Dulwich so that must say something.

cold pizzas served on dodgy aluminium plates which scratch as you cut your pizza. definitely a waste of money and evening

Loving my Local.... nice night out or to watch a game.. even if the all pub support England and Me France everyone are just so nice.... no fight no problem .. great beer and great food Thanks for great atmosphere ML

I have been to this bar numerous times. Every time I have not had to wait any longer than usual for food and when I have eaten there has been very good pizza. Service has been very good especially with the table service. This bar serves London based brewery Meantime's ales and pilsner's which is a nice addition to the draught selection. I am very glad a bar like this exists in my local area. Well worth a visit and lovely atmosphere any night of the week.

Great bar, friendly atmosphere and great food. The veggie dogs were a personal favourite. Staff were very helpful, we arrived late on a busy Saturday night and one of the staff on the floor immediately helped with finding us a table and brought it to our attention as soon as one was available. All smiles from them and we left happy. Comedian Mickey Flanagan dropped in for a glass too! We only live a street away so this is definitely a contender for our main ‘local’.

Wait for food was over an hour. It was served in stages. While my friends ate their food I had to wait. By the time they finished my was served. All of the food was warn at best. No apologies made by the staff. Told the kitchen was busy hence the wait. I normally expect to wait on a busy Sunday but to receive my food 30 mins after other customers got theirs when they ordered after me is not acceptable. I will jot be eating here again.

I went here for lunch today, ordered 2 hotdogs and fries and some chicken wings. An hour after ordering our food still had not arrrived, when we asked at the bar they stated the kitchen was busy and that it was ready. 5 minutes later we got Luke warm chicken wings and one hotdog, we watched them bring out 2 other tables good before the other hotdog was brought out cold and when we had already eaten ours!