The best pubs in Shoreditch
Good things come in small packages. Take Black Rock, a diminutive whisky bar with space for just 35, yet deserving of its massive following among devotees of the grain. So much so that its owners have opened a whisky worshipping pub on the ground floor, serving highballs and heftier whisky cocktails, plus beers on draught.
Much like perennially crowded sister pub The Culpeper, The Buxton tends to be teeming with kerbside drinkers, its patio doors thrown open for maximum impact. Head inside for a gorgeous marble-and-brass interior, plus fancy cocktails like an ‘Ivy Gimlet Royale’. Or, you know, a beer. They do those too.
The Craft Beer Co’s expansion continues apace – this time it’s rocked up in Old Street, taking over The Nelson’s Retreat and painting it bright red to flag to passers-by that it might be worth a visit. Expect the usual premium craft beers paired with pizza by Slice and More.
It’s heaving after work at the sister pub to The Water Poet, and that’s in no small part due to The Crown and Shuttle’s ample beer garden, which also serves burgers and chips from a van with a hatch. Don’t miss events in a cheeky replica of a ’90s pub up on the first floor, a venue known affectionately as Filthy Fanny’s.
One of the Draft House fleet, this pub-meets-bar excels at the group’s modus operandi: keeping beer lovers well-watered. Crack into craft beers from around the world in third measures or visit for bottomless beer brunch.
The Fox’s large central bar acts as something of a magnet for the area’s workers as soon as the clock strikes five. It also serves classic grub to pub purists, including gammon, egg and chips. The first floor restaurant also has a terrace that’s worth knowing about.
It may be hard to believe that this simple-looking pub, which used to serve market and brewery workers from 6am was also once the toast of the art world. Spot pieces Tracey Emin gifted to the pub and learn to love the often-brusque service at the bar from landlady Sandra Esquilant and team.
Get stuck into a craft beer, ale and cider selection to rival any other in Hoxton. Tipples made by London brewers – from Tottenham’s Redemption to Hackney’s Pressure Drop – are in great supply, and toasties are the perfect greasy companions to all that beer.
Bang in the middle of party land, The Old Blue is a great place to soak up Shoreditch’s wild-child reputation. Catch first-class live acts on the pub’s first floor (whose roof once fell through, the gig action was so hot). This place is owned by Vice, so expect a pretty hip crowd.
If you’re looking for a more authentic pub atmosphere with your craft beer, visit the Old Fountain. It’s a family-owned boozer that has been given Camra’s stamp of approval. That’s thanks to eight ales and nine craft keg options. Hopheads, just feast your eyes on the pub’s beer board.
Unfussy British ales, a rustic red-patterned carpet and a loyal pub cat – this is a ‘proper pub’ in the Shoreditch vicinity. Here you’ll find a happy mix of older residents and the area’s young fashionistas enjoying an ironic, old-school pint.
This poshed-up gastropub just off Great Eastern Street has a fancy-pants dining room upstairs. It’s a bit more relaxed on ground level, although undoubtedly one of the area’s more upmarket options thanks to artfully distressed wooden floorboards and sophisticated candlelight.
Party on over at Queen of Hoxton, which has been throwing bashes across its many levels (rooftop included) since 2001. Has it lost its edge? Nah! Not with film screenings, live gigs, house DJs and even wigwams on the roof in winter.
Sure, it doesn’t look like much is going on when you enter this bog-standard pub just off Hoxton Square. But wind your way up the stairs to a large roof terrace kitted with many a picnic bench and you’ll probably find a very decent spot to sit and sup.
Popular craft-beer pub Singer Tavern sits on the edge of the City, so watch hip craft-beer bods rub shoulders with suited slickers. The building was once the HQ for Singer sewing machines, and this is honoured with Victorian decor. Loud tunes and a cocktail bar in the basement bring the Tavern up to date.
You may get a few Ripper tour groups stopping by, but the pub – with its peeling wallpaper, chipped tiling and waxy candles – is playing into their hands, let’s face it. The Ten Bells may have tales of hauntings, but upstairs it hosts thoroughly modern pop-up bars.
In 2015, the Well and Bucket returned to pub glory (it had briefly been turned into a Chinese restaurant). It’s a gorgeous-looking boozer, with an impressive array of ales on offer. Just as tantalising is the pub grub, with a menu of oysters for Victorian East End dining. Sliders are available for the less adventurous.
The Wenlock was so loved by locals, they stepped in to save it from development in 2015. Now you’ll find amazing ales served alongside Carlsberg, and banging cheese toasties that punters order with abandon. Hole up by the fireplace for some of London’s best boozing.
Redchurch Street’s The Owl & Pussycat got a gastropub makeover in recent times that chimed with changes in the area. But don’t worry, it’s still popular with the after-work crowd, who stand on the pavement with pints rather than slumped on chesterfields indoors. The first floor hosts live music and themed quizzes.
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