Birkbeck Tavern

Bars and pubs Leyton

Regulars here cluster around the counter and banter with the amiable, larger-than-life bar lady. Walk in here again in five years’ time and it’ll be the same. Beers are chalked up like a Tote board. Runners and riders change almost daily: 100-1 shots might be Sweet Chariot from the excellent Mighty Oak brewery in Maldon, or Spring Cottage Biscuit from Caerphilly’s Newmans Brewery.

A sure bet, though, is Rita’s Special, in honour of a former barmaid, sold here and here alone. Rita’s costs a mere £2.90 a pint, a reasonable pricing policy that extends to tea (85p), coffee (ditto) and sandwiches (£1.60); perhaps part of the deal for being nominated for a Tetley pub award in 1992 was to keep everything at Black Wednesday prices.

There’s nothing grim about the surroundings: a nice walled garden hints at a previous life as a guesthouse. You’ll be lucky if you get a game on the dartboard.


Venue name: Birkbeck Tavern
Address: 45 Langthorne Road
E11 4HL
Opening hours: Open 11am-11pm Mon-Thur; 11am-midnight Fri, Sat; noon-11pm Sun
Transport: Tube: Leyton tube
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Average User Rating

4.4 / 5

Rating Breakdown

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  • 4 star:3
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Genuine people, wicked staff, lovely atmosphere. Heart of the neighbourhood - don't change!

This is a friendly local with a nice lawned back garden that's a bit of an oasis in the summer.

Well, two years on and . . . . it is the same. Hopefully it will stay that way because this is a decent pub - probably the best in the area - with good ales, friendly staff, a really nice big garden, and reasonable prices. Oh, and they do live music and comedy nights too.