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. Here’s a round 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.
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. For St Patrick’s Day, find Irish dancing and live bands across two floors throughout the day.
This vaguely Irish pub has long been a Finsbury Park favourite, and that's 98 percent down to its amazing garden. But drinks are reasonably priced, the Thai food is good and it’s a sport-watchers paradise. Obviously, Irish teams dominate, especially when it comes to rugger.
Irish family-operated Mc & Sons pulls in the ex-pats, despite being relatively new on the London pub scene. It’s a wood-clad space with framed photos and newspaper clippings paying homage to past generations. Come on a quiet evening for Thai grub and a pint of lager, or visit on match days or folk nights when that famous Irish welcome is in full effect.
Don’t expect rowdy hell-raising and four-leaf-clover decor from Nuala Bar: you’ll see winks to Irish tradition in old Guinness artwork, a wood-panelled room with red leather bar stools and flashes of green tiling – and The Pogues on the sound system. The bar specialises in punch and slick whiskey cocktails, but it’s also having a stab at pouring the best Guinness going in London.