Canton Arms

Bars and pubs, Gastropubs South Lambeth
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 3 out of 5 stars
(13user reviews)
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Canton Arms

If this southern brother of Covent Garden’s Great Queen Street and Waterloo’s Anchor & Hope feels more like a pub than its siblings, there’s good reason: although a few sausage roll-type snacks are available in the front room, this main bar is dedicated to drinkers, and they make the most of it. The open-plan layout and absence of soft furnishings amplifies any boisterousness for diners in the back; not to an off-putting degree, perhaps, but you’ll notice it. Still, the kitchen remains on form, serving seasonal modern British cooking with a few continental influences. The menu is short: about five starters and five mains, plus two or three specials on a blackboard. Meat plays a big part, and rightly so: from roast venison tagliata via deep-fried lamb sweetbreads (a highlight) to crisped pork smothered in a slightly spicy rub and then barbecued over woodchips in the garden, they know how to bring the best out of savvily sourced ingredients. We quibbled with some of the accompaniments (the salad with the tagliata was indifferent), but the kitchen, like the front-of-house staff, still gets much more right than it gets wrong. There are usually four ales on tap (Skinner’s Betty Stogs, perhaps, or Timothy Taylor Golden Best); the wine list offers variety and quality.



Venue name: Canton Arms
Address: 177 South Lambeth Road
Opening hours: Open 5-11pm Mon; 11am-11pm Tue-Sat; noon-10.30pm Sun. Lunch served noon-2.30pm Tue-Sat; noon-4pm Sun. Dinner served 6-10pm Mon-Sat
Transport: Tube: Stockwell tube
Price: Main courses £12-£15
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Average User Rating

3.2 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:5
  • 4 star:2
  • 3 star:1
  • 2 star:1
  • 1 star:4
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Renee S
1 of 1 found helpful

Most gastropubs are known for typical staple ‘pub grub’ dishes; however at the Canton Arms, things can get a little bit fancy.

What I’ve had:

  • Onglet De Boeuf with chips
  • Langoustine Linguine
  • Trout, samphire, radish, peas, potatoes and dill

The menu here changes often and can be a little quirky so sometimes you won’t be able to just get your ‘steak and chips’ meal. It would be nice to have a staple ‘go-to’ pub grub dish on the menu, but having said that, the food here has always been quite good. It’s also great to see that they also put on specials depending on the season. I’ve tried the roast grouse during ‘grouse season’ and they also had roast duck. It’s always nice to see something different on the menu; though the flavour may be a bit too gamey for some. The trout I’ve had here in the summer was light, juicy, and filling. The dessert here is also nothing to be sniffed at - the baked goods and pudding have always been satisfying for those with a sweet tooth. Altogether, a solid gastropub, but sometimes I think they try to do too much on the menu.

Tip: it tends super busy on weekends, and they don’t take bookings unless you’re having an large event, so if you want a sunday roast, get in early. The same goes for getting a table outside in the summer. Try the toasties if you’re feeling a bit peckish - they are very good and they do a variety of flavours like haggis, black pudding and ham hock toasties; dripping with cheese, of course.

Good For: groups, casual food/ drinks, large groups


really cosy pub, always full and allows pets which is great!!! havent tried the food yet, but am planning on it!!

David G

Love this pub but love the fine food in the inventive and friendly restaurant through the back even more.

Fern A

Great place to go for a chilled drinks with friends - really cosy and inviting atmosphere.

Gerri C

Terrible value. A lamb roast was £16 for 2 slices of lamb, 2 roast potatoes (no joke) and a tablespoon of kale.

For £16 there was no veg, no side of potatoes or even gravy. We couldn't beleive that when we asked the manager if it came with anything else and that we were disappoint with the 1.5hr wait and the tiny, low quality meal she said we should try the Toby Calvery!

We didn't deserve the rudeness and were left hungry


The food can be very heavy, nice presentation, fab well kept real ales. Down side to the pub...... barstaff think it is cool to throw bottles into bottle bin, the crashing noise can really kill atmosphere and create tension at a table. The toliets need serious attention. Pub windows are bare and could do with good curtains. What this pub needs is competition to motivate them into training the barstaff not to throw bottles into bottle bins, get some window dressings of curtains and pelmets, and do something with the smelly unkept toliets.


Overpriced. Over-hyped. Over-cooked. Add to this a surly female waitress and disgusting male toilet. Bring back chicken-in-a-basket!

Amy Gethers

A wonderful local gastro pub that I now frequent almost weekly. From lite bites to indulgent joints to share - this is my new fave London haunt. Hare with polenta, 7 hour shoulder of Lamb for 5 people to share. Nyom nyom nyom


A lovely old pub, in need of a touch of paint here and there but the atmosphere on the Sunday afternoon was relaxed, and the interior reminded me of a blend of traditional with gastronomic pub, but not in the clinical way that many chains seem to achieve. Service started well and the menu was concise and different, mainly in that the mainstay of a Sunday roast wasn't on offer. I started with the sardines, feeling the need for the healthy fish oils after one or two too many the previous evening. They looked the part, large and juicy but somewhat undercooked for my liking, perhaps deliberate but I enjoy sashimi and enjoy cooked fish but this was a synthesis of the two and I struggled to pull the raw fish from the bones and left half of each. I would have loved to try the roast chicken with ceasar salad but this was on the board for 2 and, at £26, probably a bit greedy for 1. I had the Porchetta, which was a lovely slice of rolled pork, three small roast potato's and salad. It was a nice dish but I'd have happily put away another slice and thought there'd be a little more for the price. I did see someone having the chicken and I'd have been better to have that for myself and to have skipped the starter. The skin was a little pale however and, from other postings, it seems that this aversion to cooking time is a trend. My colleague had the duck leg which was very nice with lentils but again could have spent another minute or two crisping the skin, getting rid of some of the fattier bits. It was busy by the time we were leaving so had to take the bill and card to the bar to pay as the staff seemed preoccupied with the table service. Overall the food was interesting and decent, I prefer some dishes a little more cooked, but others could disagree. It's a five minute walk from home so I'd return on occasion to see if we had a slight off day, but the Bear in Camberwell has always proved reliable so remains a better choice for me right now.