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The Understudy

Bars and pubs, Craft beer pubs South Bank
5 out of 5 stars
(18user reviews)
The Understudy
(C) Philip Vile


Address: The National Theatre
Waterloo Bridge
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Users say (18)

5 out of 5 stars

Average User Rating

4.7 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:14
  • 4 star:3
  • 3 star:1
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
1 person listening

The Understudy is a great meeting place, especially in the summer. The staff are brilliant, and the selection of beers is pretty amazing. It can get very crowded, but then it's on the Southbank and attached to the NT, so there's nothing surprising about that. Well worth your time.


The Understudy is a nice bar/ cafe just tucked off the South bank with a nice mismatch of comfy leather sofas and high stools and tables. Sundays they have board games and apparently the winner gets a free glass of wine! This is a lovely place just to chill out and relax and just catch up for a good old chat during a leisurely late afternoon by the river. Service was friendly, personable and quick where you order at the bar.


A friend recommended me this bar and I'm still surprised that such a great one exists in central London, and as a part of a theatre too. Then again, being the National Theatre, I suppose there's a higher level of class than the West End in-theatre ones. It's got lovely atmosphere overlooking the South Bank with a pretty sophisticated crowd, and the customer service is top notch, always with a smile and witty banter. Definitely one of my top few, and I'll be sure to revisit again when in the area!


An atmospheric bar with kind staff, a decent bar menu, and board games to boot. The outside seating is made bearable with blankets, and the location is hard to beat.

The best bar in the whole of the uk, great costumer service! Staffs are ready and willing to help and they dressed trendy and classy. Their services are very quick and swift less queu and waiting time.
Love my experience every time and week I visited there.

It's an excellent craft bar with wide choices and friendly and good looking bar staff

Great hip atmosphere with good variety of craft beers on tap, can and by bottle. Friendly staff and great views from the Thames.

This is a fantastic venue in the heart of the South Bank. Great selection of craft beers, summertime entertainment is fabulous and the vibe is great.

Great beer, staff are usually really on the ball, brilliant venue in the summer with the doors folded back back, but I think it's even better in the winter- cozy and inviting. A real standout in an area with a less than fantastic choice of pubs.


This has to be one of my favourite pubs in central London. An extensive craft beer list, wicked views of the river, and comfy seating both indoor and out. Bonus – there’s a pizza cart next door that serves delicious food. Get yourself here early on a sunny afternoon and nab one of the best spots for drinking with a view. Prices are fairly normal for central London (circa £5 a pint), but at least it’s delicious beer you’re drinking! The Understudy often stocks craft beer favourites Beavertown Brewery and has Meantime on tap.

When the place gets packed, it gets a little uncomfortable and loud, so best avoided at weekends. For after-work or mid-day drinks, however, well worth it!


The Understudy has an enviable location right on the riverfront, so as you’d expect on a summer’s evening it’s positively heaving. Thankfully there are plenty of seats to accommodate, you’ve just got to be prepared to queue. When we visited on Friday, there was a smaller bar outside called The Apothecary, which had a selection of wine, beer and cocktails and we were served straight away. There were also ice cream and pizza vans directly behind to keep any cravings at bay. 

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