The best pubs in Covent Garden
A bar chain that helped put ‘craft beer’ on everyone’s lips both literally and figuratively, the Covent Garden branch is the one with the widest selection of brews from around the world. With 30 keg lines and 15 cask pumps, as well as the typically astounding selection by the bottle, you should probably arrive thirsty and curious.
You’ll always spy a smoking-and-drinking crowd at the foot of this pub on the pavement, such is its popularity. Peek inside the flower-fringed window to see a cosy, age-old pub decked out in ancient copper utensils and with a line-up of mass-produced ales and lagers. One of the most perfectly English experiences you’ll get in the West End.
Despite being taken over by Fuller’s, The Harp is still recognised as a real ale haven bang in the middle of town. Stumble up from Trafalgar Square and find its pretty stained-glass exterior. It’s like a church for ale-ficionados, who say praise to those pints as well as interesting ciders and perries.
This alleyway has seen some sights over the years – the pub once hosted bare-knuckle-fights – but the most you get these days at one of London’s oldest pubs is puzzled tourists sipping pints of Bombardier. The Lamb & Flag is a traditional place for lager and a ploughman’s lunch and is perfectly tucked away from the lost crowds near Leicester Square.
This gleaming hostelry with a busy terrace does a fine line in international beers and hearty fare. Underpinning it all are draught stouts and ales shipped over from Dublin parent company Porterhouse Brewing Company. So you can have a bit of the craic in the middle of Covent Garden.
Find more great pubs nearby
Soho's wide array of pubs makes the area a popular desination for those looking for a drink in central London. For a little help with where to drink, start with Time Out’s guide to the best pubs in Soho, from London institutions like French House and the Coach & Horses to bright, modern boozers that are new to the gang.
The Snooty Fox
A CAMRA-approved pub serving a fine range of ales and contemporary pub food, including Sunday roasts. It's close to Canonbury station, too. The food menu focuses on updates of British classics, so expect dishes such as rotisserie-cooked chicken alongside a weekly selection of home smoked meats, including cured English pork belly, racks of barbecue baby back ribs, slow-cooked brisket and smoked wild boar and apple sausages. The CAMRA approval ensures there's a good range of real ales and craft beers regularly on tap, complemented by whiskies from Scotland, Ireland, Japan and the USA, and a short wine list with ten available by the glass.
Venue says: “North London Brew Fest returns Feb 1-3. This annual craft beer festival showcases the most exciting breweries across the UK.”