Find the best pubs in central London and beyond with our extensive guide, including pubs with beer gardens for refreshing pints on sunny days, traditional pubs steeped in history, and the top gastropubs in town for Sunday roasts and more.
London's top beer gardens
- Play mini golf, feast on jerk burgers and sip on cold beer in the Duke of Edinburgh’s huge and very popular beer garden.
- Sit under pretty wisteria in the gorgeous garden at The Albion, a foodie favourite in Islington.
- Watch live jazz and plays during the summer months in The Drayton Court’s giant beer garden in Ealing.
- Explore the incredible three-storey garden, reminiscent of a treehouse, at the Faltering Fullback, a north London Irish pub that’s popular with sports fans.
- Join the trendy Shoreditch crowd in the lovely garden at The Crown & Shuttle.
- Sit in a cosy booth in the Edinboro Castle’s lively beer garden, within walking distance of Regent's Park and Camden Market.
- Relax in the calming garden oasis at The Phene, a Chelsea institution with good food.
- Find London’s countryside pub, The Telegraph, hidden in Putney, not far from Richmond Park and Wimbledon Common.
- Grab a table in the grassy garden at The Leather Bottle in Earlsfield.
- After a long walk on Hampstead Heath, enjoy a refreshing drink in the walled beer garden at The Garden Gate.
- Tuck into food from the barbecue in the lovely garden at Elk Bar, also a great sports pub.
Best gastropubs in London
- Head to Camberwell’s The Crooked Well for award-winning British food in a pretty setting.
- Enjoy culinary excellence at The Harwood Arms, London’s only Michelin-starred pub.
- Settle down to a meal packed full of seasonal ingredients, with plenty of vegetarian options, at St John’s Tavern.
- Cosy up by the fire in winter, or dine al fresco in the charming garden during summer months, at the Ealing Park Tavern, which serves up great British dishes.
- Tuck into refined plates of pub classics from fish and chips to pies at The Sun of Camberwell.
- Head to Notting Hill to enjoy high-quality gastropub fare at the Ladbroke Arms, prettily decorated with hanging baskets of flowers.
- Admire the fun interiors as you sup on food sourced from local suppliers at The Marquess Tavern, once a favourite of the writer, George Orwell.
- Treat yourself to a bottomless brunch at The Garrison, without scrimping on great seasonal produce.
- Devour some of the best scotch eggs in London at The Cross Keys, a pub frequented by famous visitors throughout its long history, including Agatha Christie and the Rolling Stones.
- Bring little ones to fun pre-school classes featuring ukulele playing and storytelling at The Ivy House, London's first co-operatively owned pub.
- Allow the kids to let off some steam at The Rosendale, a pub with a children’s play area and plenty of family games.
- Join families attracted by the relaxed atmosphere and fun activity sheets at The Florence.
- Keep the children entertained with colouring sheets, crayons and a giant chalkboard at The Island in Kensal Rise.
- Get creative at The Bolingbroke, where kids can decorate their own delicious fairy cakes.
- Hang out on beanbags in The Eagle’s colourful pub garden that sparks the imagination of children and adults alike.
Traditional and historic London pubs
- Admire the pretty stained glass with a reasonably priced pint at Angel in the Fields, a traditional pub in Marylebone.
- Revel in the bloody history of the Lamb & Flag in Covent Garden, a very old pub that earned a reputation in the 19th century for staging bare-knuckle prize fights.
- Discover why revered writers Charles Dickens and PG Wodehouse frequented Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese, one of the oldest pubs in London (rebuilt soon after the Great Fire of 1666).
- Join Soho regulars and a lively after work crowd at the John Snow, clad in wood panels.
- Sip your way through the large selection of real ales at The Hoop & Grapes, a timber-framed pub that survived the Great Fire of London.
- Enjoy the charm of Williamson’s Tavern, once the main residence of the Lord Mayor of London - before the Mansion House was built.
- Look up at the stunning carved ceiling in The Clachan, a lively Victorian pub near Carnaby Street.
- Reward yourself with a refreshing drink at the lovely Jamaica Wine House after navigating a labyrinth of medieval backstreets to find it.
- Gaze at historic features including earthenware tiles and gleaming brass in Southwark’s Edwardian pub, The Lord Clyde.
- Bask in light pouring through the Victorian windows at The Wheatsheaf in Tooting, rumoured to be the Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London’s favourite pub.
- Take in the incredibly ornate Victorian interior at the Princess Louise pub in Holborn.
- Have a tipple in the same room Charlie Chaplin once enjoyed drinking in at The Bear & Staff, just off Leicester Square.
Pubs with the best Sunday roasts
- Choose between legs of Welsh lamb, Suffolk pork and roast root vegetable Wellington at The Antelope in Tooting.
- Gnaw on crispy cracking from the excellent pork belly roast at The Stag.
- Enjoy a reliably excellent Sunday roast at a Greenwich favourite, The Guildford Arms.
- Play a board game while waiting for a stunning roast with all the trimmings at Elm Park Tavern, near Brixton.
- Watch sports matches on big screens at The Rye as you tuck into plenty of roast potatoes, parsnips and greens.
- Nestle in by the roaring fire during winter months and tuck into a warming roast at The Warwick Castle in Little Venice.
- Refuel with a hearty Sunday lunch at The Prince Regent after a swim in Brockwell Lido located opposite the pub.
Canal and riverside pubs in London
- Enjoy lazy afternoons by the river at The Bell & Crown in Chiswick, a cosy dog-friendly pub with a fire for colder days.
- People-watch from a prime Hammersmith riverside spot at The Dove, once frequented by famous literary figures including Dylan Thomas and Graham Greene.
- Look out for the hangman’s noose, alluding to the pub's murky past, at The Prospect of Whitby, one of London's oldest riverside pubs.
- Tuck into the famous fish and chips at the Anchor Bankside, which comes into its own in the summer months when a riot of flowers bloom outside.
- Make a pit stop at The Narrowboat on the Regent’s Canal as you enjoy the beautiful walk from Angel to Victoria Park.
- Join a lively crowd in Wandsworth’s famous beer garden on the river at The Ship.
- Relax in the leafy riverside garden at The Crabtree and feel transported from the bustle of the city.
- While away summer days at The Union Tavern, with canal-side outdoor seating.
- Take in the fantastic views and be warmed by lovely open fires at The Gun, opposite The O2.
- Spot millionaires as they head to their yachts in St Katharine Docks at The Dickens Inn.
- Eat hearty plates of comfort food at the Trafalgar Tavern, Greenwich's popular riverside pub.
Pubs with live music, comedy and events
- Head upstairs at The Lock Tavern to see emerging bands in a tiny room packed with a great crowd.
- Laugh the night away at Tuesday comedy nights at the Honor Oak, where big name comedians regularly try out new material.
- Soak up musical history at Camden’s Dublin Castle, a pub where Muse were discovered, and musicians including Amy Winehouse and Noel Gallagher frequented.
- Head to The Oval Tavern to enjoy the jam-packed schedule of quiz nights, live music and community events.
- Sample the wide range of bourbons, whiskies and rhyes while checking out live music at The Lexington.
- Listen to music by candlelight at the George Tavern, the huge Shadwell pub is one of the oldest in London and has excellent gigs where musicians merge into the crowd.
- Roar with laughter at The Comedy Pub, an old Victorian public house now making a name for itself with varied stand-up comedy acts.
- Walk in the footsteps of musical giants from Jimi Hendrix to Led Zeppelin at the Troubadour, the west London pub still hosts great acts.
- Go to The Bedford for a one-stop shop for fun with everything from dance classes to comedy and live-sport on offer.
Quirky pubs in London
- Mix with a lively bunch of bohemian regulars at the French House, a Soho institution where beer is served in half-pints only and phones are banned.
- Admire the iconic flower-filled facade before checking out the Churchill memorabilia at the Churchill Arms.
- Play your favourite arcade and escape games at the Four Thieves near Clapham Junction.
- Feel house party vibes on the dancefloor downstairs at The Queen Adelaide, a gay pub with quirky decor and a great atmosphere.
- Enjoy a tipple in the upstairs gin parlour of Mr Fogg's Tavern, an eccentric pub based on the fictional explorer Phileas Fogg.
- Watch burlesque shows and hang out in the carnival-themed pub garden at The Aeronaut in Acton.
- Listen out for the clink of chains at The Viaduct Tavern, this pub located on the site of a former prison has a classically Victoria "gin palace" interior.
- Check out the community events from quizzes to vintage fairs at the Balham Bowls Club, decorated in a vintage British style.
- Spot everyone from Wonder Woman to The Blues Brothers at The Alma, packed full of movie paraphernalia.
- Marvel at the art deco exterior of the wedge-shaped pub, The Blackfriar, which also features bizarre medieval church style interiors
- Relax in sumptuous surrounding at The Old Bank of England, converted from the Law Courts branch of the Bank of England.
- Be amazed by the incredible array of objects inside The Three Kings in Clerkenwell from a rhino head to a working jukebox.
Real ale and craft beer pubs
- Enjoy a great selection of craft beers with specially paired dishes from the menu at The Earl of Essex.
- Take a look at the hundreds of beer mats above the bar at The Harp, a small pub with a huge selection of beers around the corner from Leicester Square.
- Order a beer flight to sample four different beers from the brewing powerhouse, Brewdog, in Camden.
- Try one of 27 draught beers while waiting for a train at the tiny Euston Tap.
- Join Camberwell locals sipping on craft beer in friendly surroundings at the Stormbird.
- Choose between artisan gins and a fantastic range of beers at De Hems, a Dutch pub in Chinatown.
- Find The Rake, a tiny pub at the back of Borough Market, and discover the hundreds of beers on offer.
- Sip on the freshest beer in London at the Long Arm, where beer is poured straight from the tank brewing at the bar.
- Discover new beers from around the world and savour old favourites at The Lyric, a no fuss Victorian pub in central London.
London pubs for vegans and vegetarians
- Eat the highly recommended tofu fish and chips at the Coach and Horses, a vegetarian pub in Soho.
- Devour vibrant Mexican food at The Spread Eagle, London’s first fully vegan pub.
- Know you're making a sustainable choice while eating delicious vegan food at The Blacksmith and The Toffeemaker, a vegan pub that ensures everything possible is recycled.
Top theatre pubs
- Head upstairs at the Old Red Lion by Angel station to enjoy fringe theatre in a cosy setting.
- Watch plays from emerging writers and Edinburgh Fringe previews in the intimate pub theatre at the Hen & Chickens.
- Discover talent in a striking space at The Landor, a pub that also hosts great quiz and karaoke nights.
- Check out one of the ground-breaking pieces of new writing from Theatre503, who put on more than 100 new works a year at The Latchmere.
- Enjoy a diverse programme at the established Brockley Jack Theatre in south east London.
Cosy London pubs
- Curl up next to the open fires in The Holly Bush, Hampstead's cosiest hangout.
- Grab a stool at the pewter bar in The Grenadier, a cosy pub in a former officer’s mess.
- Sip on great beer from St Peter’s Brewery at the Jerusalem Tavern, a wood-clad pub in Clerkenwell.
- Find Ye Olde Mitre, often called London's most hidden pub, and reward yourself with a pint of real ale.
- Head to The Spaniards Inn for a country pub feel less than half an hour away from central London.
- Stop off at the Lass of Richmond Hill after a long walk in Richmond Park, and relax in comfy leather seats by roaring fires.
- Listen to the soothing sounds of jazz on plush velvet sofas at The Bull's Head in Barnes.