In theory, if not in practice, anyone can pour a pint of Guinness. But if you're looking for a London pub that's Irish-owned, stocks Irish ales and whiskeys, or often hosts traditional music, food and even dancing, then look no further. Our critics have rounded up the best Irish pubs in London for St Patrick's Day and beyond.
Irish pubs and bars in London
Three tiny, dark, wood-panelled rooms, with a bar in each housing framed jockey portraits. The pumps have four regularly changing, well-kept guest ales. There’s Guinness, of course, a fair few Irish whiskeys and Irish music on Thursdays. Smart, tie-clad bar staff are knowledgeable and friendly.
You probably won’t notice at first, but Kensington’s patriotic-by-name pub is actually Irish. The flag flies on the outside among all the famous flowers, and the welcome is warm within, with landlord Gerry O’Brien hailing from County Clare. The Thai restaurant attached isn’t strictly traditional, mind.
This Hendon pub is as legendary as Father Ted Crilly, with 25 years in the business. As such, catch All-Ireland Cup games and see Irish sporting legends stop by, while bands on tour from the homeland make this their gig spot of choice when in town. Among the standard pub grub fare you’ll find soda bread sandwiches.
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Tropicana Beach Club
A cocktail and music venue with a tropical theme on the site of what was Guanabara. With palm leaves aplenty and a multi-coloured lighting scheme, the bar gives off a party atmosphere. If you’re here for the food, signature dishes include pork ribs with pineapple BBQ sauce, Thai green curry and jerk fried chicken marinated in buttermilk. A vibrant drinks list includes tropical twists on classic cocktails: ’the flamingo’ is a blend of rum, Martini and passoa shaken with elderflower, lime and apple juice.