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Dove, Bethnal Green

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user reviews of the Dove, Bethnal Green

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

Fantastic selection of English ales and Belgium beers in this place. They had a Maldon Gold - or something wonderful like that, which I went for and was in great condition.
Busy area at the front but then some nice snug areas round the back with board games a-plenty.
Lovely wooden pub decor, great place.
dyyony - 25 Apr 2017 14:19
An old favourite that is well located in the heart of Broadway Market and an essential stop off on any canal walk. The beer selection, both Belgian and English, is very good and the interior is a handsome one indeed of dark wood. Filling fare from the kitchen and a range of board games make this a real winner.
BoehmBawerk - 6 Dec 2015 07:03
An excellent pub that combines a bohemian atmosphere that mirrors the market street outside ,yet retains a feel off a traditional pub that I find rather appealing. The quality of my choice of drink which was East London Brewery, (ELB), Pale Ale ensures this will be a pub I will be keen to pay a return visit to. Has several cask beers available Crouch Vale Brewers Gold and T.T Landlord as well as the ELB and something else that now escapes me ,a range of Belgian beers and what looks like a decent menu makes this a pub well worth a visit.
Picasso09 - 29 Jun 2012 21:14
Second visit here in last couple of years - TT Landlord was good - friendly and busy - unisex toilets.
kernott1 - 9 Apr 2012 08:18
Visited 9 Mar 12. Excellent pint of Crouch Vale Brewers Gold. Reasonable for this area at £3.50. I hadn't read earlier reports so didn't check my change for accurancy.

Very friday evening with PYTs. Didn't wait more than a few seconds to get served. All the tables were full at 7.30pm, but I got enough space at the end of the bar to read my paper.

I'd go back for the ale. Service for me was fine.
sleepy_meerkat - 11 Mar 2012 15:48
Went to this pub on the 14.01.12. Paid for a half and was short changed twice in the space of 30 seconds!! Owner not interested and did not take it seriously. This has never happened to me in 25 years of visiting London pubs - shocking contempt for patrons. As users have already mentioned this is an extremely busy and thriving pub - so the owner has no interest in taking seriously some serious issues here. Moral of this story always check your change - especially in this pub!!! Won't be going back here out of principle. E-mailed the owner, Paul, on the 14.01.12 for his comments. Failed to even have the decency to reply. Customer service, staff attitude already warning signs from other posts - so I'll leave it there. Shame as the pub is a nice one with a good selection of beers. Just the wrong crowd running it - have no idea about customer care - even Weatherspoons serve you quicker than in here.
Speckled - 25 Jan 2012 16:05
Visited this pub on a Saturday afternoon, wrong time and wrong pub to walk into.

Crowded in the upstairs bar, so we moved to the back bars which were quite nook and crannyish but all the more better for it. What staggered us was the price. A half a pint of cider ( dont know what brand or whether it was hand pressed by golden haired virgins) cost £3.90, yep thats right £3.90. We went back to check the price with the bar staff who both said that that was the price and that they dont make the price, just work there. All with a surly dismissive attitude at that.

Wont be visiting here again, its full of people trying just a bit too hard, and there are much better pubs in the near vicinity that actually manage to maintain some of their east end roots, and at a lot cheaper price.
mollymoo - 11 May 2011 14:07
Great beer range, particularly the Belgians; excellent beer quality; good service (Monday afternoon); disgusting toilets.
skatalite - 29 Mar 2011 09:46
Had a very pleasant drink (Bruges Zot) and lunch (Waterzui Fish Stew) yesterday during lazy walk/pub crawl along the canal. Atmosphere, staff and service all very acceptable on my visit.
pipsby - 15 Nov 2010 14:10
Diabolical service, just utterly dismissive. They know they don't need your custom as there are enough hipster groups thronging through to keep them in the cash for years to come.

On a Tuesday evening, we take a table, order some food. It's a bit draughty, we notice, so we tell the staff 'sorry, we're just going to move table'. It's not busy - there must be 15 people in the pub.

'But your food will arrive at that table.'

'Yeah, sorry, could you just have them bring it here.'

The duty manager arrives: 'Ok, your food will come to your new table, but if you move table again, the food will still come to this table - we're not changing it again.' This attitude was just totally unnecessary (seriously - there was 0% chance of us moving again - it was just to be snide). When I said 'is it against your rules to move table?' the guy just lost it and swore - using the f word very loudly - as he left.

Classy.
jesusjohn - 27 Sep 2010 10:58
To be fair this place has a really good range of bottled Belgian beers and this is a major plus point. I get the feeling it might be really nicve when relatively empty, but on a weekend night it feels like a production line with the place packed out, and absolute shed loads of staff on, and people sitting near outside with cans of lager pretending to be connected to the pub for the fashion. If a smaller community pub had that range of Belgians, it'd be between 8 and 10 out of 10
Dimple_mug - 31 Aug 2010 14:53
Great vibe on a nice warm night (Sat). Pub feels part of the street, and the staff (those employed by the pub to serve beer and food) are pleasant, friendly and the service is good. Crouch Vale Brewers Gold very good and their Belgian range is impressive. Real ales start from three quid a pint. Only blot on the landscape was a miserable (female) security guard pacing up and down telling drinkers to be quiet at 1100 on a Saturday night, quite aggressively. People on the tables outside were not making excessive noise. Her behaviour smacked of hypocrisy, whilst she was occupied with monitoring the conversations of a small birthday gathering and those of a group of fairly quiet Chinese drinkers having an occasional laugh, she failed to spot people buying fish and chips from a shop down the road and then eat these at the pub's tables.

A fine pub, everything is good about it, but management please look at how the security guards carry out their duties.

My review is an 8/10, if my experience is better next time it'll be a 9.
Phucough - 7 Jun 2010 01:53
Truly lovely little place in the heart of Hackney. You'd think Broadway Market was walled off from the rest of Hackney - everyone is so 'young professional'. This is the nicest of the two Boadway Market pubs and, though I need more visits to confirm it, possibly one of London's best, too.
Greshon - 25 Nov 2009 14:54
Popped in recently on a London pub crawl after seeing recommendations. 10p a pint cheaper than Hackney's newest, the duke of wellington up the road, and good beer choice (two crouch vales on last Fri, for example). Mixed mainly young punters all seeming to have fun, and good, but pricey food - check out the fish and chips. Closing routine could be a lot gentler than it was tho - look out for the security woman who wants you out 5 mins after you've bought your last order's in, so that's 5 mins to drink a full pint.

Still gets 8/10 as everything else about the pub was good, worth coming down again to do this one.
jamie.nakin - 7 Sep 2009 18:58
Visited on Friday night and it was pretty packed with lots of people outside. For 6 pumps the range was pretty standard with the only unusual beer on being Crouch Vale Golden Duck. Others were Abbot, Pedigree, Landlord, Flowers with Brewers Gold not being on. Very good range of foreign beer, no idea of the prices.

Decent and worth a visit.
GuideDogSaint - 14 Jun 2009 11:20
Great selection of beers - English ales and a huge choice of European beers. Good reasonably priced food. Unusual mixed toilets.
emailjulianh - 24 May 2009 00:17
A friend and I paid our maiden visit to this gem yesterday. What a pleasant surprise and discovery!

Visitors to the Dove will find a very pleasant, split-level, mainly wood panelled pub with the lower level dedicated to diners and the remainder of the pub open to non-diners. Pleasant, warm lighting afforded by tungsten, and no background music, but a live bass/piano jazz duo struck up some melodic numbers during our stay. The unisex toilets in the Dove are pleasantly furnished and illuminated by led and halogen.

Attracts a mixed clientele spanning all age groups, socioeconomic classes and nationalities. Popular amongst local students, and others with an adventurous approach to drinking and dining.

On the beer front there are six handpumps of which 5 were in use last night. The best real ales on by far were both Crouch Vale:

Golden Duck (3.8%) – very refreshing session ale, light hoppy and moreish

Brewer’s Gold (4.0%) – Crouch Vale’s flagship ale – good, but enjoyed Golden Duck more.

Vast selection of Belgian bottle and draught beers, of which my friend and I adjoyurned to Brugse Zot bringing a spicy and fruity cadence to our session.

A comprehensive and exciting food menu is offered, with regular specials, some imaginative starters (the crab and prawn tart was delicious) and some traditional Belgian specialities (fish waterzooi, for example). The “posh fish and chips” went down a treat.

Prices for the food given its quality are not excessive, the most expensive mains being around £12-£13; beer, including real ales, is on the pricy side with the Crouch Vale beers being £3.20/pint.

We thoroughly enjoyed our visit to the Dove, and will return very soon. Meanwhile, I recommend it 100%.

lad_newton - 7 May 2009 10:34
Our group split down to three to fit in this extra GBG pub. We had previously come from the Globe and took a bus down although easily walkable. We walked past the very tempting stalls in Borough Market. We were glad we made the effort as this was a fine pub. The barmaid who served us was very friendly and helpful. Six real ales on offer Crouch Vale's Brewers Gold & Hop & Glory, Landlord, Flowers IPA, Pedigree and Abbott. All the beers tasted were in good form although I would have liked to see a darker choice with six hand pumps. A vast array of Belgium beers both on pump and bottle. On a Saturday the pub was filled with quite a mix of customers mostly drinking and dining. I had to use the toilet here and had to walk out a couple of times as I thought I had inadvertedly wondered in to the wrong toilets. After checking I presumed it was an unusual unisex toilet with just cubicles. If you don't eat here I can recommend the very good quality burger stall on the market.
Love_good_ale - 14 Apr 2009 13:58
Had heard good things about this pub and finally paid a visit today. One of the best new discoveries I've made in years. Great range of beers (real ales and continental lagers), the food looked decent and it was justifiably busy. Superb.
daveinbrum - 22 Mar 2009 21:58
very reasonable, well kept brewers gold, bit pricy but worth it.
mrBean - 21 Jan 2009 00:02
Great pub, good atmosphere and staff, reasonable food, don't think the prices are too bad but have to agree about the toilets
wibble - 14 Jan 2009 16:45
Busy little pub on two levels, does a range of real ales and Belgian beers as well as food, and thankfully no background music. Fairly expensive it is true but not horrifyingly so. This is Hackney, after all, even if it is heading towards Hoxton.
rainlight - 9 Nov 2008 00:30
Good little boozer used to drink there in 1998 when i lived in Bethnal Green. decent beer and good atmosphere. agree with the unisex toilet idea as i know what dirty animals some blokes and women are when using the khazi. staff should keep the facilities spotless but they never do .......hope they wash there hands
bigbadjon - 24 Sep 2008 17:51
Great atmosphere, but can get crowded in the evenings. Good selection of Belgian beer, including a guest on draught. Also the real ales are usually perfect, the Brewers Gold went down a treat last night. Agree though the unisex toilets do let the side down.
Ginger_Beard - 20 Mar 2008 19:59
I've been in again a recently having been visiting the Dove on and off since '99 when I recall the bar staff were all squatters and the crowd poor Geography students from the then QMW in Mile End. These days it's a whole lot more 'fashion yeah?' with their Sloany mates coming up from SW somewhere to check out the scene. However the Dove still does ACE beer and I've found the Tim Taylor Landlord to be outstandingly well kept. It really is a joy to drink. However the partially lit unisex toilets are appaling and make me quite glad I am not female. The food is acceptable and eating in the restaurant area gives you a chance to avoid the weekend crowds who ram themselves into the front bar. Never understood why people ram themselves into pubs like that. Oh and the bar is well staffed by folk who don't fully hate the job which is nice.
danrkelly - 13 Jan 2008 20:57
Busy on a Thursday but polite pro service from bar staff and good ales inc. Abbot, Tim Taylor, Flower IPA, Brewers Gold to name a few. Crowd a bit Sloany but Bdy Mkt been like that for a while now.
danrkelly - 14 Dec 2007 00:18
One would need security with them when entering this bar to save them from the atrocious manners from the elderly owner and wildeyed manager alike.Overpriced
belgian beers and lukewarm food to cap it off.They
must be having a right laugh.Like a bar you might find up north or in wales.
livelyjoe - 11 Dec 2007 02:59
In answer to cuban heels and christmas parties.
I have had my christmas party here two years in a row and we loved it. Yes they try to keep the pub quiet and calm for all users. Reading some of the reviews and being in customer service myself I wonder if it is the staff that are 'rude' or the customers complaining. I have never had anything other than a very warm welcome.
Your are guaranteed a peaceful, well organised and fun evening - fantastic food and a great variety of booze. What better combo for christmas lunch.
princessnellie - 14 Nov 2007 11:09
It's hard to judge what someone means when they say "rude", too subjective really. So, sincerely, what do you mean by, 'the staff we're rude'??? I'm interested in booking here or the sister pub the Dovetail for a Christmas get-together with some mates and obviously want to know if the service has slipped. Last year, at the Dovetail, the service was impeccable and we all got hammered as a result!
CUBAN_HEELS - 9 Nov 2007 17:45
We should have listened to the other reviews. We booked a table on Sunday for 10 people. They were rude on the phone when we booked, rude when we arrived and everything was too much trouble. It really feels as if they don't want customers. The food is awful and over-priced. The only good thing is the beer. The fact that this pub is awful and was packed goes to show how desparately we need a pub serving decent food in the area.
Fluffies - 29 Oct 2007 11:41
Went for a drink for my birthday last night.My mates were told off for singing 'Happy Birthday' to me.The(and I use this term loosely here)manager said it's not that sort of pub and could we be quiet.Then he kept on shouting at us from behind the bar telling us to be quiet.We eventually left.Perhaps it's a themed pub,a sort of 'No Fun'pub.I'd give this place a wide berth if you're out for a good night.
SenorBaz - 11 Oct 2007 13:35
In really posh bars I understand that unisex toilets are a novelty and part of the fun is keeping them looking sparkling and snazzing up the public toilet experience. For some reason I don't believe that the same prinicpal can be applied to the Dove's new unisex lavs. The other day I walked in on a man because he hadn't locked the door and on another occasion, sat down to discover that the previous user/users had not been as accurate as one might have hoped. As a customer who feels forced into sharing toilets with the boozy toilet goings of the less fair sex, I challenge the Dove's staff to keep up with the sanitary requirements of a unisex toilet but hold out little hope. Bring back the ladies toilets!

anonymous - 25 Mar 2007 16:26
This used to be a very nice pub, and still serves good, but slightly expensive, food and beer. But the Manager either needs to be fired or change his attitude before he drives away all the pub's custom.
We went as a large group yesterday evening, and the manager practically refused to serve our group because there were too many of us, even though we had booked a table for that number.
We were frequently told to be quiet, even though we were only talking. Another table argued with the manager because they were also told to be quiet, and were thrown out by the man. Weird.
When we asked whether they were having problems with neighbours or the council, he told us they weren't, but they marketed themselves as "a quiet pub", so we had to be quiet.
TO BE AVOIDED until the Management changes.
thenapking - 18 Feb 2007 14:43
I have never before been in a pub, having a fun time on a Saturday night with friends to be told we could not be!! A security person came over and told us we were being too loud (we had only recently arrived) and whilst they could not explain or reason any policy the Dove has on this, it was made clear that we were not allowed to make any noise.
We may not have been the quietest people in the pub, but there was only banter between ourselves and the general noise level was, as you would expect at gone 11 on a Sat eve for the type of pub it is pretty loud. What is going on!! We left of our own accord after some heated words at the complete bafflement of why this was being asked of us. Freedom to noise in pubs, isn't that what they are there for?!

The Dove really needs to look at how it is presenting itself. It used to be much better, I score 2 for the beers, but for this alone. The customer service is shocking and the loos leave a lot to be desired.

Yes people, do not go to the Dove unless you don't want to have fun and laughter!
judefox - 23 Oct 2006 13:38
The service is pretty shocking in this pub. Food arriving at different times, also not getting orders right. The final meal turned up after everyone else had finished and had their plates cleared away. The manager is unbelievably rude and obviously needs to go on a customer service course.
On the plus side the food is nice and it is a nice setting.
But because of the manager, none of my friends nor I will be visiting the Dove again. Well, until there is a change in management.
darreng1000 - 9 Oct 2006 15:31
Back in '96 it was a real find, probably one of the best pubs in London, a ramshackle bohemian affair that really came into it's own during the long dark winter months when you could grab a table and put the world to rights over a lovely pint of Winter Warmer, socialising amongst some fairly varied clientele.

Fast forward a decade and ten years of the influence of all the 'new money' flooding into Hackney is apparent. They've needlessly done up the interior, presumably to pander to the wealthier tastes of their target demographic, which is a homogenised bunch of professional yuppies.

That said, the selection of beers is excellent and the kitchen does provide better than average pub fare. In short, go there if you want to discuss loudly your latest webstart-up, second-home conversion, vegan yoga meditation course 'cos it's like so kewwwl & trendy, whilst supping a trappist monk bottled beer ;-)
2drunk2care - 21 Jun 2006 19:42
An amazing range of beer from Belgium. Expensive, but a great place to try something new. Food is excellent too, by pub standards.
rayray67 - 16 Feb 2006 14:50
The Dove was included in our Regents Canal Pub Crawl. We arrived on a sunny Wednesday afternoon and were greeted with a very large beer menue. I had a belgian golden ale called Delirium Tremens - strong and refreshing taste. One a visit to London earlier, I also had the pleasure of enjoying the pub's food.
rune - 23 Nov 2005 07:02
The Dove is definitely a good winter pub but I find it a bit gloomy for the summer, unless you're lucky enough to get one of the street tables. The food is more interesting than your basic pub fare with a range of burgers and sausages.
monster_1 - 8 Sep 2005 16:24
A miserable manager (who seems to have his Nat King Cole tape on permanent loop) seems to ensure a fast turnover of worried looking, but friendly, staff. Lots of interesting bottled beer and the 'Maes' on tap is a good lager and makes a nice change
redrocket - 24 Aug 2005 20:44
Something has gone wrong here. I used to drink at this pub a while ago - It had great food and good beer. I've been back recently, twice in 2 weeks and had to complain about food / drinks both times. On my second visit I was amazed at how badly they delt with my complaint - almost tried to argue with me! Worst thing was, the manager was near enough to hear the whole thing and did nothing about it. Not going here again for a long while. Shame cos they have lots of the more unusual beers.
anonymous - 3 Jun 2005 20:23
Couple of people mention being by the canal at the Dove. Not really the case is it, in fact technically you'd have to cross 3 road and walk down a ramp to be next the canal. Probably a good minute and a halfs walk. Last thing we need is more glass knocking around on the tow path. See my review below.
danrkelly - 13 Apr 2005 12:19
My friend introduced me to this pub last summer and i was pleasantly suprised. The Dove is a great pub selling a fine selection of imported beers. The atmosphere was laid back and the food ok. It's now possible to get imported Belgium beers at your average local, but i've never seen this varied a selection outside a branch of bierodrome(You have to try the strawberry beer). If you fancy a chilled out summer drink you could do a lot worse than heading here. Another plus point is that across the street is the best pie&mash shop in the east end. Enjoy..
ganger - 28 Mar 2005 18:27
You have to laugh at the amazingly rude staff, it really defies belief that somewhere supposedly aimed at customers employs such arrogant bar staff. The beer range is interesting apart from that it is truly terrible.
anonymous - 16 Mar 2005 22:48
A genuinely good pub with some great food. A wonderful place to spend a Sunday afternoon.
Sarah Jones - 10 Nov 2004 12:36
Doesn't get much beter than this, I love this pub!
Stuart - 15 Jun 2004 16:42
Frankly, Hackney scares me but it’s worth a visit to the dove. Interesting beers, fantastic food
Dan - 14 Jun 2004 15:21
Nice food and good beer. always filled with trendy types though...!
anyonebutmanu - 7 Jun 2004 16:25
This place is fantastic. I feel priveleged to have such a great local. The best thing about it is the vibe of the place, which is acheived through totally non-pretentious and non-commercial second-hand decor. But it wouldn't be nearly as cool without the incredible selection of Belgian beers (rivals Belgo / Bierodrome), excellent grub, and always laid-back crowd. I've found the bar staff to be almost always friendly, except during the most crowded times when the small bar is struggling to cope with a massive queue. Anyway, it's just a cool, cool place that I hope never gets "trendy" or spoiled in any sense. That would be a shame because it's got integrity.
Jeff Bunds - 1 Jun 2004 19:02
This is one of my favourite pubs. Great beer, original decor, a good menu and lovely on a summer's day. Worth making a trip for. Not sure what the objection is to 'canalside trendies', since trendy people are ubiquitous in London and there's just as many in the George up the road ... But what are the barstaff like? They they are a mopey bunch and are hilariously rude at chucking out time. No matter, it won't stop me going.
James Ravenscroft - 6 Feb 2004 15:08
i think its fantastic-loads of beers, good food...the chips are especially fancy.and also-the dove provides something more in that it is a little more original then the normal kind of pub...the downstairs parts are just so mad-and the food-I don't know who knows how to cook food so well and works in the area...compared to Hackney's own Sloaney Poney (the white horse on corner cam.heath and end hackney road)-this pub is like a god send....all it needs now is a pool table and a little more heating downstairs.
edscud - 13 Jan 2004 16:18
Always loved the Dove. I found it walking the canal. Great Belgian beers. Pretty tasty food, weird back room. Crowd OK. Thinking about the place is making me thirsty right now.
Larry Edelstein - ledelste@yahoo.com - 7 Jan 2004 05:36
Quite simply one of the best pubs in london. Great food and over 200 different beers. Also lots of girls with spacky hair cuts to laugh at.
James - 4 Dec 2003 10:18
I imagine the place was originally conceived in the hope that it would be colonised by canalside trendies and, to be fair, it's been full of slightly desperate looking fashion victims for a few years now, especially at weekends. From a landlord's point of view they are perfect as they don't tend to cause trouble and they spend lots of money on halves of lager. Try the newly refurbished Cat and Mutton at the end of the market. This may successfully poach a few customers from the Dove if, in terms of choice, it diversifies into something other than cooking lager. Alternatively go to the Prince George and have an outstanding pint in a splendid pub.
anonymous - 12 Nov 2003 13:27
Has been taken over by canalside trendies. Clear out and let us back in!
comrade M - 13 Aug 2003 15:25
Why are all these (not flattering comments) just from men? It's my local and as a single female it's a pub that I love to go for a lambic beer and not feel uncomfortable. Great place!
Paula - 7 Aug 2003 16:16
Great pub if you like spending most of the evening waiting for the disinterested bar staff to serve you. Really gets the adhrenelin flowing - all that frustration. The bar staff seem to have a laugh though. Great idea - badly executed.
Bob - 21 Jul 2003 12:37
Don't know what others mean by saying it's not a summer pub - true it doesn't have a beer garden but it's one of very few pubs where landlord & local constabulary alike take a relaxed view of wandering out into the street, by the canal, etc etc. I've yet to come across a better pub in 5 years in London
James - 12 May 2003 11:50
Food used to be good but has gone down hill a little. Still no. 1 for Belgian Trappist ales.
Dan - 18 Feb 2003 16:45
I quite liked it - like the man says, good food and good atmosphere... Plus a nice selection of beer. What more do you want?
Kester Hynds - 10 Jan 2003 12:38
very good food and atmosphere - good selection of Belgiun Beers on tap
Ben Di Benedetto - 6 Jun 2002 12:49
Excellent array of beers, sound food and a great atmousphere. Much better than The George, the local competition. Needs more light and could benifit from garden. So not a summer pub but a great winter pub as it will cheer your soul
Ben - 16 May 2002 19:47

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