Southwark Tavern

Bars and pubs South Bank
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Southwark Tavern
© Rob Greig
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Another in the string of yoof boozers cannily conceived and marketed by the Mitchells & Butlers pubco (see also the Crown & Sceptre, the Carpenters Arms and the Green Man in Fitzrovia, among numerous others), this corner pub is a pretty sizeable place, but it’ll still be a struggle to get served after 6pm on a party-hearty Friday.

The main room is often thronged with lively twenty- and thirtysomethings on the post-work razzle, drawn by the Southwark Tavern’s easy mix of traditional pub style and youthful buzz in an area that’s rich in the former but otherwise lacking in the latter.

The other key to its appeal is the terrific range of beers, from British ales (some familiar, some rare) to continental and American imports. The choice of beers is much smaller in the downstairs bar (there are no handpumps, for one thing), but you’ll get served a lot quicker. The food is soak-it-up pub grub.


Venue name: Southwark Tavern
Address: 22 Southwark Street
Opening hours: Open 11am-midnight Mon-Wed; 11am-1am Thur, Fri; 10am-1am Sat; noon-midnight Sun. Food served 11am-10.30pm Mon-Fri; noon-10.30pm Sun
Transport: Tube: London Bridge tube/rail
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Average User Rating

3.2 / 5

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The menu is vast - you can choose a few from the small plates which seem to be less pub more gastro. The large plates seem more like the typical pub grub. It can be difficult to get service at lunch time and the place was heaving with tourists. I went for three small plates in the end. Stout-cured salmon, lemon crème fraiche with toast was my least favourite - although freshly prepared it was far too salty and not well balanced. British sprats coated in linseed, quinoa and poppy seeds with smoked salt & vinegar mayo is just a posh whitebait. The best of the three was the pumpkin, kale and goats cheese croquette with green chilli & kale pesto - tasted good and it was a reasonable size too. To be honest, 2 plates was enough for me, but then I am only small. 


A nice little pub as you walk towards Borough Market with a busy upstairs and quieter downstairs for food. It's kind of a traditional boozer with beer barrels outside so you can have a little street drink in keeping with the market atmosphere. The menu is traditional pub food and used to be service to the table but last couple of times I went, you had to go to the bar. I usually have fish and chips or Sunday roast on Sunday... To be honest the last roast I had there had uncooked bits in the Yorkshire pudding so I wouldn't go back for food. Can't go wrong with a couple of casual drinks though :-)


Southwark Tavern is a bit of a staple for me - I often meet people there for after work drinks and it's a goodie, right by London Bridge station and Borough Market. Surprisingly good munchies - some kind of cheesy dip thing which floats my boat. Always a good vibe, often busy but usually you'll get a table. Lovely old school pub feel and the staff are usually pretty friendly.

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Horrible, discriminatory bouncers that don't allow certain people to join friends for drinks depending on "their type". AVOID AT ALL COSTS