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Brown Bear, Whitechapel

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user reviews of the Brown Bear, Whitechapel

please note - reviews on this site are purely the opinion of site visitors, so don't take them too seriously.

Good pub with decent drink in a quieter part of Whitechapel and just round corner from the famed Wilton's Music Hall. Previous poster is right about the Brasso, popular landlord was slapping it onto the outside windows all yesterday afternoon.
ShenaniganOFlanaghan - 12 Feb 2016 21:31
Great pub, friendly service.
Nice shiny brass on the outside. Someone obviously knows how to use the Brasso!
responsible_drinker - 15 Apr 2015 08:53
Ok bar, great girls on shift. Beer was very good as was the atmosphere. One thing I was not to impressed was some of the clientèle.I was stared at by 2 groups from when I walked in to when I left after my 2nd pint.

Would I return? not too sure, but if I did I would have to bring a posse.
allornothing - 7 Aug 2014 12:38
Well-appointed Victorian pub with good-looking horseshoe bar. Have tasted better pints of Doom Bar but it was still perfectly drinkable. Not much atmosphere, however, so left after one.
Kenny260556 - 5 May 2013 19:27
Popped in last night after an excellent curry at the Indian three or so doors down. Not busy but very welcoming. Had the Adnams (the only beer on out of three clips) but was a good pint. We spent a good three hours here until closing time and enjoyed every minute so wouldn't hesitate to go back if we are ever in this part of London again.
chunkypetersplat - 4 Jun 2012 18:08
Visited here as the 2nd pub on a friday night crawl and again another new pub for me.
Arrived about 7pm and it was heaving with city types but soon half cleared out. 3 ales on draught, the doom bar was in the process of being changed so opted for a pint from the Windsor and Eton brewery which was very nice if not a little cold, why do most pubs these days serve their ales at a temperature close to that of lager?

The music from a jukebox was very loud but as the music choice was good it didn't bother me at all. 2 girls behind the jump that were friendly and un rushed.

A pleasant experience if not my 1st choice for a pint after work.
lezford - 26 Nov 2011 10:57
We were directed here by the Landlord of another Pub at Tower Hill, to watch the Football. It is a typical Victorian Pub, with a lovely horse shoe shaped bar. The usual ranges of ale and larger is available, all kept well and very reasonably priced given the proximity to the City. The staff and locals are pleasant enough and the place has the feel of a town local. The only negative comment would be the Gents, which could do with a refurb, but it is an old building. All in all, we were happy to watch the match there, it is a little out of the way for transport, but worth a visit all the same.
bobbyredsocks - 16 Mar 2011 11:33
This is a nice enough pub in an area where there doesn't seem to be much competition. I liked that they had some good music on. However would have to agree with other comments about the quality of the ale, which is really poor. I switched to wine but that wasn't much better.
jjamjj - 16 Nov 2010 16:33
Visited this pub two times in the last couple of months. Ales are ropey, Guinness awful, don't touch anything draft would be my advice. Bar staff pleasant enough, but locals very unwelcoming. Nothing to recommend about this pub.
juliatheakston - 17 Sep 2010 12:44
Nothing special about this place and the real ale was not in good shape. One of those pubs which is just kept rather than well kept. Not too much care an attention.
BobC65 - 31 Aug 2010 12:29
Pride, Doombar and Gem on today. The Doombar was OK but not good - far too warm - but at £2.60 a pint probably not worth arueing about. Thai and English menu looked quite reasonable. Loud background music was a turnoff in an empty pub.
cheshirecat - 2 Jun 2010 22:18
I arrived here on the recommendation and directions of a landlord in the City is search of football. I found it adequate for my needs and pleasant enough.

Sadly the real-ale was not all I had become used to, but my pint was drinkable. The staff are reasonable, I am uncertain whether it was my northern accent, their foreign accents or the general noise that made things so difficult but I will not rate it too highly due to this.

It is a great shame this lovely Victorian Pub is let down by low staff training and a ropey pint. I feel it could be so much better than it currently is.

knightout - 1 Mar 2010 13:46
What a very,very pleasant surprise this place is!
Having walked a considerable long way in the freezing cold and gloom from Poplar, through Limehouse. Wapping and the shite hole of Shadwall; I ventured along Dock Street, much improved from my Merchant navy days on signing on for a ship. And came happily to the Brown Bear. This used to be a right dive 50 years ago;but what a difference.
Clean,warm,well lit,good selction of beers and tasty currey if your hungry.
Packed, but pleasantly so with a good cross section of true English natives. A pub to aim for when next in these parts.
BARONVONBEERBARREL - 30 Jan 2010 09:23
I've used the Brown Bear for many years. A lovely earthy old pub run by a really good manager. The pub is a great mix of locals and a few city workers living in harmony. The beer is well looked after - never had a bad pint in here. The food is simple but very good. Good beer and a great atmosphere - friendly and fun. The barmaids are really nice. The Brown Bear really is home from home!
madmitch76 - 18 Dec 2009 11:58
Unpretentious locals pub on Leman Street, several hundred yards away further east from the Princess of Prussia.

As you walk eastwards, you realise that you're gradually leaving the City behind and entering the East End of London. Unlike City pubs, I noted that this one opened at weekends and it had the feel of a local.

The Brown Bear is a former Taylor Walker house - note the lettering high up on the outside wall - and retains some original features, including some etched windows, a mahogany bar with brass footrail and a splendid full size Allsopps Pale and Burton Ales mirror.

Although it's a single bar, there's a distinct locals area on the left with bare boards, dartboard and a TV. On the far side at the back is a small cosy area which I presumethe food customers use. The menu is basic pub grub, featuring both English and Thai food.

3 real ales were on - London Pride, Adnams and Batemans Miss South Africa. The latter is a beer that I have not encountered before. The distinctive pump clip featured a black girl bending over with a rugby ball between her legs - not very PC. I stuck with the London Pride, reckoning that it would have the biggest throughput of the real ales. It was in reasonable form.

This is a good honest unpretentious boozer and I'd happily drop in again when next in the area.
JohnBonser - 25 Jun 2009 13:19
Small typical English pub with old features but you will never notice as it is always packed. So they must be doing something right ...

Busy as always - standing room a premium.
pc09 - 5 Mar 2009 14:59
They had Adnamís bitter, London Pride, and Skinnerís Betty Stogs Bitter on. I had the latter, which was superb (£2.90 a pint). First time Iíve tried it, and Iím not surprised it won an award at Earls Court last year.

Itís a single-room pub with an island bar, bare boarded throughout with various miscellaneous prints adorning the walls. There were three, or possibly four TV screens on, but muted, showing Sky Sports. It was still fairly busy when I left at 2.40 PM, so would probably have done a good trade throughout the lunchtime. The service I received was attentive and friendly. I found this a friendly and welcoming pub, although nothing very special. I donít think that I would go much out of my way to visit again, but itís certainly worth dropping in for a pint if you are in the area.
RexRattus - 6 Feb 2009 16:21
A simple but good little place. Your options are very limited in the area but you could do a whole lot worse than this place. Lunches are decent and ths staff is friendly.


yt555 - 2 Jan 2009 23:59
Visited yet again on a quiet Tuesday evening, a little space for my pushbike and a darn tasty omelette with very fresh salad accompanied the guest ale very well. Now what was that ale again...
danrkelly - 6 Aug 2008 17:28
Great pub and concur with all the posts about the bar maids, not just fit but also friendly and down to earth.

Great Thai food as well.

Can get very busy at lunchtimes.
BazzApfle - 24 Feb 2008 13:20
This is the friendliest and best pub around Aldgate, excellent service, good beer, very attractive bar maids - what more can you want from a pub?
Mick_likes_Guinness - 15 Jun 2007 00:18
Went here on a Monday lunchtime and found it very busy. I fail to see the attraction although not a lot of competition in Leman Street.
Had a Pint of Pride which was adequate although the service was a little slow. Saying that waiting to be served was made easier by the fact that the barmaids were lovely.

Next door to a curry house which is always a good idea.

TheHorsesMouth - 20 Feb 2007 12:33
This is a real pub serving good ale and food. The present landlord (Rob) has done really well and always employs nice looking and generally good bar staff. At least us city types spend a few bob not like that cheapskate king rollo, who makes a pint last for hours.
Youngblood - 7 Nov 2006 11:42
My local work pub but not great. Is too busy, too thin, and too loud I'm afraid, however the dark-haired barmaid is arguably the most gorgeous woman in a 5-mile radius ... oh and the Thai food is fab!
redvarnish3 - 26 Aug 2006 11:19
Went there last night for first time in ages. It's friendly pub with good beers. If you look interested they will let you choose the next guest beer from their little catalogue.

Yes the music was very loud when we arrived but they did turn it right down when I asked them to - and it stayed quiet all night.
GrahamA - 8 Jun 2006 11:49
My nearest pub. Always full of city w@nkers at lunch time. Insist on playing music far too loud. Not much to offer on tap. Redeeming feature: its next to one of the best curry in london.
king_rollo - 19 Apr 2006 12:10
Not a bad boozer. Island bar still shows a lot of architectural character. Friendly, attentive and very attractive bar-staff. Good range of food, beer well kept - Adnams. It's got to have the smallest gents (loo, that is) I've ever tried to get into... :-)

Can get a little noisy at lunchtime (the only time I've ever been in...)- Friday especially. Wide range of clientelle, city types, IT, builders etc... which is great.

Couple of well positioned tellys for cricket tests. Recommended.
andrex - 19 Jan 2006 16:41
Good ales but had to send a jacket pot back twice for not being cooked. Under cooked potato is so 'minging', are you with me? Quite small but better than the Old Dispensary on Leman street which despite the building lacks character.
danrkelly - 9 Jun 2005 17:04
friendly and beautifull barstaff. Very tasty and clear ales that change every week.Food also very good. This is n pub with character and good atmosfeer.
brat - 26 Jan 2005 16:34
A Real pub, not your 'flash' city pub, good beer, freindly staff (some quite 'tasty')a good night was had by all.
Mike - 16 Jan 2004 12:27
The staff recently changed and I feel something has been lost. There's just a change in atmosphere. Not as good as it was.
Alistair - 26 Mar 2003 17:23
Good pub with v good beer and food. Friendly service and good atmosphere.
Shaun - 6 Mar 2003 15:27
A quite popular and untouristy pub on the edge of the city. Quite friendly bar staff and a good range of beers. Popular with a number of near by companies. One of the better pubs in the area.
Alistair Duncan - 28 Nov 2002 14:39

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