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The Coborn

Bars and pubs Mile End
3 out of 5 stars
4 out of 5 stars
(8user reviews)
The Coborn, pub, Bow

Another Young's pub refurbishment, this time in Mile End.

You can usually spot a refurbed Young’s pub a mile off, and it’s not just the brewery’s own beers on the bar. Those ales were London through-and-through for almost two centuries until 2006, when the historic brewery moved from Wandsworth to Bedford. The Young’s pubs remain, though, and while they’re never groundbreaking or thrilling, they’re straightforwardly reliable: a bit like their beers.

The Coborn is on an attractive street just off the motorway that is the Mile End Road, in the middle of a terrace of perfectly preserved nineteenth-century houses. (It’s come a long way since Jarvis Cocker sang: ‘It’s a mess alright.’) The pub used to be a salt-of-the-earth East End boozer with a dartboard and bags of character, but like many Young’s pubs, it’s had a stylistically non-specific-but-probably-pricey makeover, a mishmash of textures, knick-knacks and furnishings. It’s all a bit Kirstie Allsopp.

But it’s a pleasant place to be: there’s a smartly parasolled area out front on the quiet Coborn Road, and inside it’s bright and comfortable, with better beers than other company pubs (Honest Brew’s NZ session ale, say, at £4.25, or some of the last few cans in London of Beavertown’s blood orange IPA at £5.25). Food is decent, and is more of a priority now: a selection of British pub dishes with a few smarter twists, such as an English charcuterie board, or fishcakes with sprouting broccoli and parsley sauce.

Young’s is investing in its licensed property portfolio (sorry, pubs), turning many of them into smart sites with an emphasis on ‘gastro’. If that keeps them open and serving, good. Meanwhile, however, the authentic Cockney drinking experience retreats deeper into its native habitat.

Venue name: The Coborn
Address: 8 Coborn Rd
E3 2DA
Transport: Tube: Mile End
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Average User Rating

4.1 / 5

Rating Breakdown

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

Food is good, but randomly overpriced (ie £13.70 for fish & chips). Staff are generally helpful, but the standard of English comprehension is poor (for example, ordered mushy peas several times, but had to re-order on service of meals). Charrged for this oversight on leaving. Won't bother eating hear again.

The Coborn is a reliable pub, recently refurbished into a clean, comfortable and cosy place to eat a decent meal. The menu incorporates English stables with modern twists such as a Gressingham duck burger or a venison & wild boar cottage pie. It also houses some great burger choices, a hearty steak and some of the best sweet potato fries I have eaten in the east. The staff are friendly, although a little slow with service, but will eagerly help you with a beer choice. The cider on tap is also a winner. They host a pub quiz on Sundays. 

This place is great- good, hearty food (the scotch eggs are amazing) and a fun pub quiz every sunday. Roomy with a great outside area too

I've loved this pub for years and the refurbishment has been well done keeping the old spirit of the pub without the farrow & ball. Great service, best roast dinner around and Sunday night quiz is brilliant


I’m never in favour of these pub refurbishments, making what was a traditional and (not always in the best sense) unique place into the most generic ‘non-place’. And visually, that’s what happened to The Coborn. Somehow it worked here. 

Maybe it’s the fact the staff seems to be always in a great mood, or the fact that regular old and young locals (at least they appear to be) keep coming, but this pub stills carries the local boozer vibe.
Extra points for serving lunch past 3pm. (For all I know, the only place in the area!) 

Since the referb the Coborn has been a real hit. Good food and Ales and always friendly staff


Probably the most interesting thing happening in Mile End… Cosy little pub with an East meets West London vibe. Serving classic British pub grub (at slightly smaller than classic portions) and huge flat screen TV in case you can’t make a night where you’ll be missing the tennis. 

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