Do you want to enjoy the atmosphere of a London pub but also top-quality cuisine that's usually found in a leading restaurant? Venture into one of London's gastropubs for a refuel with refinement – here's our pick of the best pubs in London for food.
The Anchor & Hope
Soak up the traditional London pub atmosphere at this gastropub near The New Vic and Old Vic theatres. With its stark façade and picnic benches, The Anchor & Hope may not strike you as a gourmet paradise at first glance; but step inside and you’ll be treated to locally sourced seafood, nose-to-tail dishes and game specials. This Southwark venue retains a “pubby” feel with an old fashioned bar area where you can wait with a pint of beer if there’s a wait for the no-booking tables.
The Canton Arms
Get chatting with the locals at this foodie haven in Stockwell which boasts hearty, rustic dishes and a great selection of ales. Sister venue to The Anchor & Hope, the laid-back Canton Arms has a traditional feel with beer mats and blackboards on the wall surrounding its wood-panelled bar - make sure to check out the daily chef's specials on the boards, which often include plates that are perfect for sharing.
One of the pioneers of the gastropub London scene, this cosy Notting Hill spot has been a favoured watering hole of some big names over the years (David Beckham and Tom Cruise are just two of the famous faces to have been spotted here). The Cow specialises in produce taken from the sea, with seafood platters and fish stew among its signature dishes; while ordering oysters with a pint of Guinness is almost de rigueur. But it's not all fish: a range of pub food classics are on the menu, and the chefs produce a mean roast beef on Sundays.
Step inside the grand, open-plan bar at The Culpeper, and you’ll be forgiven for thinking it’s just a normal East London boozer. Head upstairs, however, and you’ll discover a stylish contemporary dining room with bare brick walls, industrial fittings and a daily-changing menu of modern British dishes. The gastropub food menu is simple: choose from three starters, mains and desserts, which make use of herbs and vegetables grown in its rooftop garden.
The Drapers Arms
Venture inside this Georgian pub in Islington for full-on roasts and modern British staples. Pairing simple yet welcoming interiors with a friendly ambience, The Drapers Arms is very much a locals’ hangout, where North Londoners pop in after work for one of the creative bar snacks alongside one of its fine ales.
Get a taste of worldwide cuisines at this stylish City gastropub, which has an eclectic, daily-changing menu drawing inspiration from around the world. You’ll find everything from tapas and Indian dishes, to British and French classics delivered from the open kitchen. Adhering to the “no fuss” pub ethos, bookings are not taken for groups less than six people at The Eagle, so get in early to secure your spot amongst the mismatched chairs and tables. And you can even pick up a copy of the pub’s own cookbook to try the dishes at home.
The Fox & Grapes
Relax after a walk on Wimbledon Common at this modern gastropub in London's leafy suburbs. The Fox & Grapes is under the stewardship of head chef Paul Merrett, who has previously won accolades for his pub food at The Farm in Fulham and East Sheen’s The Victoria. Choose from English classics with a twist and be sure to book early for its popular Sunday roasts.
Enjoy the Instagram-worthy interiors, carefully crafted menus and a wine list featuring lesser-known producers at this quirky gastropub on hip Bermondsey Street, near London Bridge. The chefs at The Garrison use the finest seasonal British produce, including a range of ingredients sourced from the neighbourhood’s independent suppliers, to create modern British dishes that match the contemporary decor.
Follow in the footsteps of Lord Nelson, who used to visit this 18th-century riverside pub in the Docklands for secret assignations with Lady Emma Hamilton. Today, however, people flock here for some of the best pub food in London. Take in the river views at The Gun as you tuck into classic pub dishes cooked well using seasonal produce; or get stuck into the 45-day aged steaks.
The Harwood Arms
Don't miss this Fulham pub, which is so "gastro" it even holds a Michelin star. Relying on food sourced from trusted British suppliers, The Harwood Arms serves top quality, seasonal food, with a focus on game and the use of wild ingredients, as well as vegetables grown on its own roof – you can’t get much more “locally sourced” than that.
The Jugged Hare
As the name suggests, this food-focused pub near the Barbican specialises in game and wild foods. Salivate over a selection including duck, hare and grouse (depending on the season); or select from the various spit-roast meats, fish and shellfish dishes, which are fixtures on the tantalising menu. Make sure to also keep an eye out for The Jugged Hare's regular themed dinners.
The Thomas Cubitt
Head upstairs to The Thomas Cubitt’s elegant dining room, where you’ll find stylish modern dishes and a wide-ranging wine list worthy of its surrounds in well-heeled Belgravia. The dishes here make use of fine British produce, from rare breeds to game and seafood. If you’re looking for a more relaxed meal, there’s a full menu featuring pub classics in the more animated bar downstairs.
Tulse Hill Hotel
Join South Londoners as they gather at this this refurbished Victorian pub for succulent meats cooked on a robata grill, brunch specials and Sunday lunches. A short walk from Tulse Hill station, Tulse Hill Hotel fuses both historic and modern; with antique fittings alongside trendy touches, and a contemporary European menu also featuring some British pub classics.