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Market Porter, Borough

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user reviews of the Market Porter, Borough

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

A regular haunt which I returned to after a few years, this continues to be a must-visit London pub with historic associations adjacent to gorgeous (but horrifically pricey) Borough Market and with a superb selection of well kept ales. Harveys is always on while I very much enjoyed selections from the Otley Brewery on this visit. Only snag is how busy it gets - it's lovely to stand outside of a summer evening but the crowd is very male and sometimes a bit boorish. There are enough bar staff to offset the clamour at the bar so in all, excellent.
BoehmBawerk - 18 Jul 2014 09:04
Lots of fantastic real ale. Only one other thing to say if you are near by call in you will not be disappointed.

trains2064 - 4 Jul 2014 12:35
Lots of fantastic real ale. Only one other thing to say if you are near by call in you will not be disappointed.

trains2064 - 4 Jul 2014 12:35
After a day in Essex watching football I came here on Saturday night to meet a few pals.

I haven't been here for at least 18 months and I'm pleased to report that nothing has changed. The beer choice is still vast, varied and many choices.

I had all 3 beers from the Sunny Republic brewery which were Beach Blonde @ 3.7, Cherry Chocolate Porter @ 5.5% & Huna Red @ 4.2%.

Central London prices as you would expect, £4.40 for a pint of Guinness, thank god I don't drink Guinness!

I was here for around 90 minutes and the pub was packed the whole time with quite a few people standing outside even though it was pretty cold.

I want to dislike this place as it's touristy, a bit pricey etc but I can't...the beer choice is too good and the service is super quick.

Cracking pub that should be on everyone's list while in the LB / Borough area.

lezford - 17 Feb 2014 11:32
After a day in Essex watching football I came here on Saturday night to meet a few pals.

I haven't been here for at least 18 months and I'm pleased to report that nothing has changed. The beer choice is still vast, varied and many choices.

I had all 3 beers from the Sunny Republic brewery which were Beach Blonde @ 3.7, Cherry Chocolate Porter @ 5.5% & Huna Red @ 4.2%.

Central London prices as you would expect, £4.40 for a pint of Guinness, thank god I don't drink Guinness!

I was here for around 90 minutes and the pub was packed the whole time with quite a few people standing outside even though it was pretty cold.

I want to dislike this place as it's touristy, a bit pricey etc but I can't...the beer choice is too good and the service is super quick.

Cracking pub that should be on everyone's list while in the LB / Borough area.

lezford - 17 Feb 2014 11:03
Good place to escape London for a few hours. Quiet atmosphere and some great beers on tap. Attractive interior/exterior is a bonus.
QueensParker - 6 Oct 2013 03:53
Had heard a lot about this place so finally tried it. Hugely disappointing. Very "earthy" to say the least, or a bit of a dump to be more honest.

Sure, about a dozen handpumps selling...about a dozen crushingly dull session bitters and pale ales: barely anything over 4% unless you want a cider, which I certainly do not.

A huge missed opportunity, but I suppose given the location, always busy, so why try harder.
catbert - 5 Jun 2013 23:05
Good pub and beers in good nick. Gets a bit crowded, but just avoid at obvious times to get around this.
littledrummerboy - 16 Apr 2013 22:18
Large pub with a long bar, lots of choice, the more interesting beers are round the back. Lots of men with beards.
Foghorn1 - 19 Feb 2013 22:14
Big pub with a broad selection of unusual yet tasty beers. Cock and beard heavy.
Foghorn1 - 15 Feb 2013 18:01
Great pub tucked away in Borough Market, nr London Bridge. Always busy but always worth it. A dozen top notch real ales from all over the place. Beer is superbly kept.

My one small whinge is that if you sit at the top of the stairs to the loos (at the back of the pub) the delicate aroma of WC is an occasional distraction.
twineyboy - 20 Jan 2013 15:12
stunning range of beers, staff quick and efficent, all ales tried were in good to very good nick, not homely but a great pub that's always worth a visit
littlecon - 12 Jun 2011 11:03
A classic pub in the heart of the Borough market. Packed most evenings but the quality of the numerous beers outweighs this. If you dont mind a plastic glass you are welcome to drink in the street/maket outside. Well worth checking out if youre in the London Bridge area.
twineyboy - 9 May 2011 23:23
Great pub, good beer and a good atmosphere.

Just wish they could sort the bogs out.
ericstadd - 5 May 2011 21:24
One of my favourite pubs in the country, be it early Saturday or late Sunday evening, what better place to wile the hours away and drink yourself into a fuzzy haze and forget all your troubles.
ToxtethOGrady - 23 Apr 2011 11:41
Been an occasional customer from well before the market was trendified. In some respects thought the area was better then, certainly the pub was quieter and full of less objectionable people.

However.... if you can get in .... and then get served, some of the most varied and well served beers in the capital.
baggydave - 20 Apr 2011 21:11
rob1981 - 13 Apr 2011 09:58
A must visit for anyone drinking in London..... Inexplicably busy but always has a good vibe. Staff do well with the crowds.
anonymous - 13 Mar 2011 21:30
Great pub, deserves to be in anyone's Top 10 London pubs. Rarely drops quiet though, given its proximity to both Borough Market and London Bridge station so expect to stand up.
rob1981 - 8 Mar 2011 17:39
This is a great great pub, with a good atmosphere and a fantastic range of beers. It is very busy most of the time, so your chances of getting round a table and settling in for a good session are often not that great. But as a place to pass through for a pint or two it is very hard to find better anywhere in town.
rob1981 - 28 Feb 2011 23:06
SUPERB. Should be in anyone's Top 20 London pubs.
rob1981 - 28 Feb 2011 22:50
Havent reviewed this pub for a few years but to be honest i could just copy my comments of 2006 and paste them here. Not really changed, beer still excellent and still 12 beers on. Nice pub in a good location. It was packed when I went there on Friday night and you have to have a plastic glass to drink outside but apart from that a really nice pub.
TheHorsesMouth - 28 Feb 2011 14:36
Surroundings are nothing special but the buzz comes from the crowds of boozers in here. Good selection of ales to try.
covman45 - 2 Nov 2010 16:36
Great Location near borough market.
Tom1503 - 27 Mar 2010 02:38
Loved this place not just for the beer selection but it had a good feel to it. We found seats at a table round the back of the pub. Although really one space, it has lots of separate seating areas. Amazing pump clip collection on walls ceilings in fact all over. There were 4 beers we had not had before and we were aiming at 2 per pub, but ended up having Little Valley Pontus Hebdanus, Everards Flourish and Robinsons Dragons Fire. 1.60 per half here.
gillhalfpint - 24 Mar 2010 22:03
Splendid pub next to the market gets very busy but worth the effort to sample the fine array of beers.
willothewisp - 12 Mar 2010 08:47
Packed to the gills on saturday afternoon.

Staff seemed to manage to do rather well in serving the sheer volume of people waiting to be served.

Sweetly kept "Tradewinds" went down rather well.

Remains a classic hostelry to be cherished.
terenced - 7 Apr 2008 09:52
my favorite pub around borough market. great real ale, always well kept. a wonderful place to stop and watch the world go by.
dizzyblond - 19 Mar 2008 19:02
Usual excellent selection of beers on offer yesterday and I was particularly pleased with Barnsley Gold, Kelham Island Pale Rider, and Titanic New World. I'm afraid that I have to disagree with the staff being 'friendly' though; if you are lucky they can be quick & reasonably professional but rarely smile and the trick of lobbing empty bottles from on-high into the bottle skip, causing a mini sound explosion each time, is particularly irritating. I know they are always busy, but that's not necessary. Still a top pub mind you, and always the meeting point when in the area.
trainman - 16 Mar 2008 14:09
Great pub, amazing range of beers and good bustling atmosphere. Only problem is its often too busy
steve_on_tour - 11 Mar 2008 13:17
A great choice of beer was available at this pub. I am afraid though that this was are last pub before the football yesterday. It was therefore rather rushed and we were only here about 10 minutes. I remember seeing about 10 ales on the blackboard that faces you when you enter. I knew most of the beers but there were about 3 that I did not know. I asked the girl serving if there were any dark beers other than the pitch black. She produced a taster that was in no way dark but was rather tasty and hoppy so said I would. She then came back to say the barrel had just gone. I decided even though I was very familiar with Everards 'Pitch Black' I would have again. The girl was really friendly and helpful but probably quite new.
Love_good_ale - 9 Mar 2008 22:27
Can't be beaten for real ale. Usually packed, but still with friendly and efficient service. They've opened up a room at the back with a few tables. This area must be the best pub-crawling district in the city, with a number of top class pubs.
Bard - 5 Mar 2008 10:43
Really very simple why this pub is excellent and commands such a great following

a) Ale. Too long to go into this due tot he vast variety and quantity. The bog standard is a rather refreshing Harveys (in itself a delight) but then has a huge array of regional ales. Once a barrel is out, simply connect a new one. Wonderful stuff, and techncially means you can have a different pint every time you go to the bar. Useful if you're having a bit of a session in there

b) Location. London Bridge is pub mecca in my humble view, and when you have so many decent pubs in the area, in fact within spitting distance, this is still the best of a very good bunch. Now they've opened it up a bit to get more people in, the place is always busy. Yet for some peculiar reason, standing outside with a pint of beer watching the world go by is actually quite nice. No other pub would get away with that. Mind you, the fact a posh sausage shop is next door selling essentially expensive but gorgeous sausage sandwiches does help...

c) Atmosphere. People who come here are after the ale, and therefore while there are some city types and suits, these are the kind who aren't trying to buy Kristal champagne while telling everyone how big their bonus is. Discerning drinkers in an old pub which has had a sensitive extension built with a lovely old pub feel, rather than trying to make things too modern.

Every person who drinks should go there at least once.
rampantwurzel - 27 Feb 2008 15:41
An old favourite, an old friend even. Twelve handpumps dispense superbly kept ale from mainly small regional breweries from around the UK. Harvey's Sussex Best is generally on as the house beer. My recent visit found in addition, Tring Brock Bitter, Hopdaemon Skrimshander IPA, Mauldon's Silver Adder, Cupid Otter, seasonal I assume from Otter Brewery, Black Hole Cosmic, two from White Horse, Giant (with uncensored pump clip)and Wayland Smithy, HB Clark Aquarius, You've Urned It. Additionally there was Weston's Traditional Scrumpy.
There isn't a lot to add to the mainly contented numerous other reviewers except to say it is an easy place to lose an afternoon or evening.
The only gripe which is unfair is that it is a victim of its own success so I've never found the pub any other than busy. Even then service is efficient.
Maldenman - 23 Feb 2008 13:22
Plenty of ale, but can get insanely busy, hot and feel a bit impersonal as a consequence when you're squashed into a corner (a victim of its own success I suppose).

Still good though, just be clever about what time you visit.
Quinno - 21 Feb 2008 23:21
A fine pub, have had many pleast pints here. My only concern is that the gents stink. All the time. Its almost like they didnt put any vents in when they did the pub up.
Its so bad its starting to make me not want to drink there.
derekjwsmith - 13 Feb 2008 21:04
what a pub for the real ale drinker. Good range of ales served in a traditional English pub. Always busy when I visit, but there is always plenty of staff serving behind the bar.
snowdog2112 - 8 Feb 2008 15:09
Having heard much about it, I recently visited the Market Porter for the first time and was impressed. Nine or ten real ales available, all of them unusual. Wasn't sure I liked the interior particularly (a bit dark and boring), but well worth a visit for the ales alone.
grecian - 6 Feb 2008 12:31
Continues to sell an impressive range of changing guest beers and is well worth a visit when in the area. Popped in for a swift one on Monday afternoon and it was very much business as usual.
MINTYBOOM - 6 Feb 2008 12:29
fantastic selection of beers, great place.
Billgates1 - 4 Feb 2008 11:47
My favourite pub in London for real ale. Varied range of ales from all over the British Isles. Generally the bar staff are friendly considering how busy this pub gets!
biermeister - 22 Jan 2008 20:57

Good beer

Good Atmosphere.

Plenty of eye-candy behind the bar.

What else do you need?
harbourdrinker - 16 Jan 2008 16:08
A real ale buff's dream 15 beers on , lovely service.
slerpy - 14 Jan 2008 19:59
Quite simply the best pub in London. Proper beer and therefore few chavs. Not the largest place in the world but who wants to drink in a train shed!

halfbee - 4 Jan 2008 10:20
Ludicrously good selection of real ales makes this one of my faves for South London.
samjonathan - 3 Jan 2008 17:26
Very decent, if packed, pub in a terrific area of London. Excellent range of beers on at all times, always a good atmosphere.
My one and only gripe is that it's difficult to get to the bar to actually buy the stuff. Other than that, terrific.
imdownthepub - 1 Jan 2008 09:17
a great pub - good service and guinness was top notch
TheGP - 20 Dec 2007 13:49
Excellent selection of beers, and great location. However, unless you like standing outside to drink, don't go there at busy times
markyhb - 19 Dec 2007 09:03
Great for beer, friendly and efficient staff keep the place ticking over well - I never wait too long for a pint. Good sausages in a bun from next door and a pint of Harveys..Bliss!
northoftheriver - 18 Dec 2007 11:55
Atmosphere: Despite being quite full of suits this place has quite a relaxed atmosphere and a bit of a buzz to it. Even on a November evening there were crowds of people spilling out onto the surrounding pavements and into the edges of Borough Market. Sometimes when a pub gets busy service can suffer, but not here. Plenty of efficient bar staff keep the beer flowing freely.

Beers: There were about 9 or 10 beers which kept changing as one barrel ran dry and another one was started, and that's just the bitter!! There was also a large choice of lagers for those so inclined.

Food: The pub doesn't serve food in the evening but right next door is a bistro/cafe that have a stall out front serving delicious sausage baps, what more could you possibly want?

This excellent pub belongs to the small "Market Taverns" group.
spacehopper - 16 Dec 2007 13:44
went here on mu way to the wenlock. great selection and most of it in good nick. a good stopping off place if you visit the market of a weekend - i reccomend it.
roosterdrewster - 7 Dec 2007 13:49
This is one of the best pubs in London, in an area rich in good drinking establishments. The food is just plain pub grub, but you don't go there for that. You're there to see if you can stay on your 2 feet as you try to drink each of the massive selection of real ales on tap. The selection changes regularly, so frequent trips allow you to sample various beers.
Spent many an enjoyable lunchtime wandering around the market (where you can buy your lunch) before having a couple of swift pints in the Porter wishing I could stay there rather than head back to the office.
pnorton - 5 Dec 2007 13:57
My favourite real ale pub in London - A must visit if you like different Ales
Chunkyetti - 30 Nov 2007 13:58
Best pub in the world? Probably.
maddom - 15 Nov 2007 14:48
Excellent range of beers all very well kept. Shame its been found by the tourists. A recent visit made me think I was in South Dakota not Southwark. Still well worth a visit. Bring a spare liver with you as there are far too many beers on tap to get through them all in a single session otherwise. My only real complaint is the beers run out and are rotated too quickly sometimes. By 8pm last Friday there were at least 5 taps that had run out.
Zaphod - 12 Nov 2007 16:10
Great selection of Ales. The rest is just cosmetics.
Andicheese - 26 Oct 2007 10:03
great pub with excellent real ale choice that always changes. Friendly staff too, very busy pub and I can see why.
Germansmustdie - 26 Oct 2007 09:59
Possibly the best pub in the area.
Great selection of unusual beers and well kept.

bassaleg - 14 Oct 2007 18:40
Superb selection of beers. Great 'London Pub' atmosphere.

Also, my girlfriend was very complimentary about the ladies toilets.
spencers - 8 Oct 2007 10:08
Good for real ale, not sure what else.
aleman - 6 Oct 2007 12:12
Fantastic pub! Had a pint of Summer Lightning here on Saturday afternoon. Busy inside but got served pretty quick. Stood outside and watched the world go by. Marvellous!
therivierakid - 1 Oct 2007 09:10
Nice pub with lots of decent ales that change regularly, with Harveys a constant (and very nicely kept.)

You can stand around with a drink in the road outside, but the indoors gets very crowded weekday nights.

Nice on a Sunday evening - you can get a table, it's quiet, then there's a quiz machine.
AbeC - 16 Sep 2007 18:51
Beer much improved on previous visit - Copper Dragon nearly at North Yorks standards. Hard to knock a pub selling this much quality real ale, and with a great atmosphere.
mtaylor40 - 8 Sep 2007 12:44
Beer better than on my previous visit (Ventnor Stout), and it's hard to fault a pub with this beer range and turnover. Impossible to get a seat of course.
mtaylor40 - 8 Sep 2007 12:27
There really isnt much to be said for the Market Porter that hasnt been covered on this site on numerous occasions. This pub is a magnet for the serious ale drinker with 20 different Ales ready to be dished up at any one time. If you are expecting a pub of bearded clipboard bearers, you will be surprised just how varied the customer base is. People of all ages mingle together and the atmosphere is quite vibrant. Despite being one of the oldest pubs in Southwark (records date back to 1638), the current building is a pretty tatty and messy affair with few hints at its origins. The walls, ceilings and pillars are plastered with various pump clips and these alone are enough to get the beer experts salivating. There is not much in the way of seating in the front bar area, just a few barrels to lean on and place your pints. At the rear is an extended area with stripped brickwork, double sided fireplace, a few tables and seats in almost luxurious surroundings compared to the frenetic nature of the main bar. Old pictures of the adjoining Borough market (itself worth a wander around) adorn the walls. The staff are fantastic and despite the hoards that throng around the bar, I have never had to wait long before being served. There is a dartboard at the front and a 40 seat upstairs restaurant which no-one ever seems to mention as well as a separate function room. As a bonus, as if one was needed, they also always seem to have really good music in here as well. Harry Potter fans may be interested to know that the pub doubled up as the Third Hand Book Emporium in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban but fortunately the bar is still relatively free of wand bearing schoolkids drinking Dogbolter. This really is one of the must visit pubs in London.
RogerB - 5 Sep 2007 16:14
There really isnt much to be said for the Market Porter that hasnt been covered on this site on numerous occasions. This pub is a magnet for the serious ale drinker with 20 different Ales ready to be dished up at any one time. If you are expecting a pub of bearded clipboard bearers, you will be surprised just how varied the customer base is. People of all ages mingle together and the atmosphere is quite vibrant. Despite being one of the oldest pubs in Southwark (records date back to 1638), the current building is a pretty tatty and messy affair with few hints at its origins. The walls, ceilings and pillars are plastered with various pump clips and these alone are enough to get the beer experts salivating. There is not much in the way of seating in the front bar area, just a few barrels to lean on and place your pints. At the rear is an extended area with stripped brickwork, double sided fireplace, a few tables and seats in almost luxurious surroundings compared to the frenetic nature of the main bar. Old pictures of the adjoining Borough market (itself worth a wander around) adorn the walls. The staff are fantastic and despite the hoards that throng around the bar, I have never had to wait long before being served. There is a dartboard at the front and a 40 seat upstairs restaurant which no-one ever seems to mention as well as a separate function room. As a bonus, as if one was needed, they also always seem to have really good music in here as well. Harry Potter fans may be interested to know that the pub doubled up as the Third Hand Book Emporium in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban but fortunately the bar is still relatively free of wand bearing schoolkids drinking Dogbolter. This really is one of the must visit pubs in London. 9/10 5/9/07
RogerB - 5 Sep 2007 15:55
Popped in for a pint last saturday after grabbing some lunch from the market, it was very busy but I've been here before and find that it's worth the hassle of the crowds. Quite a large pub, especially for this location, and a fine array of beers available. In my opinion one of London's best, give it a try!
oxenhillshaw - 4 Sep 2007 22:54
Popped in for a pint last saturday after grabbing some lunch from the market, it was very busy but I've been here before and find that it's worth the hassle of the crowds. Quite a large pub, especially for this location, and a fine array of beers available. In my opinion one of London's best, give it a try!
oxenhillshaw - 4 Sep 2007 22:54
Popped in for a pint last saturday after grabbing some lunch from the market, it was very busy but I've been here before and find that it's worth the hassle of the crowds. Quite a large pub, especially for this location, and a fine array of beers available. In my opinion one of London's best, give it a try!
oxenhillshaw - 4 Sep 2007 22:54
Real Ale. Thats all i can think of
aleman - 3 Sep 2007 23:28
Real Ale Real Ale Real Ale. Not sure what else is amazing about this place, just the Real Ale
aleman - 31 Aug 2007 11:40
Great pub, always busy but a great range of ales.
anonymous - 29 Aug 2007 22:08
Popped in for a pint yesterday after grabbing some lunch from the market, it was very busy but I've been here before and find that it's worth the hassle of the crowds. Quite a large pub, especially for this location, and a fine array of beers available. In my opinion one of London's best, give it a try!
oxenhillshaw - 26 Aug 2007 09:55
Popped in for a pint yesterday after grabbing some lunch from the market, it was very busy but I've been here before and find that it's worth the hassle of the crowds. Quite a large pub, especially for this location, and a fine array of beers available. In my opinion one of London's best, give it a try!
oxenhillshaw - 26 Aug 2007 09:55
Popped in for a pint yesterday after grabbing some lunch from the market, it was very busy but I've been here before and find that it's worth the hassle of the crowds. Quite a large pub, especially for this location, and a fine array of beers available. In my opinion one of London's best, give it a try!
oxenhillshaw - 26 Aug 2007 09:55
Popped in for a pint yesterday after grabbing some lunch from the market, it was very busy but I've been here before and find that it's worth the hassle of the crowds. Quite a large pub, especially for this location, and a fine array of beers available. In my opinion one of London's best, give it a try!
oxenhillshaw - 26 Aug 2007 09:54
Popped in for a pint yesterday after grabbing some lunch from the market, it was very busy but I've been here before and find that it's worth the hassle of the crowds. Quite a large pub, especially for this location, and a fine array of beers available. In my opinion one of London's best, give it a try!
oxenhillshaw - 26 Aug 2007 09:54
The choice of ales is what makes the pub so popular i take it. Lots of background noise is noticeable on a busy evening, also appears to be no TV or background music. Either a good thing or bad thing depending on what you're looking for, it is ok but didnt find it as brilliant as rated
aleman - 20 Aug 2007 13:50
They definitely like their real ale here, there was a few real ales i had not heard of before. But its also fair to say there are many other pubs with brands of real ale so i'm not quite sure whats so amazing about this pub. No TV or background music either, so fairly old fashioned style

aleman - 18 Aug 2007 12:35
This pub is truly amazing. It's amazing as it's so inexplicably over-rated.

Everyone and their beard bangs on about the ales, but 15 minutes stood at the bar waiting to be served saw about 80% of all orders as Fosters.

What's the fuss? Are those naff menu boards on that generic pub swooshy font really that appealing to the masses? Mmmm. Really nice. Perhaps it's the All Bar One look in the new bit round the corner that gets the punters begging for more.
anonymous - 20 Jul 2007 09:32
In here for a pint last night. The place was packed but because there were enough bar-staff, there wasnt a long wait to be served (other pubs please note).

A good range of ales, a great atmosphere, Ill give this place the thumbs-up.

Ordinary - 12 Jul 2007 14:08
Very busy when I popped in this evening. Good range of beers on. Plenty of bar staff mean that waiting time at the bar is kept to a minimum: other pubs please note.
Ordinary - 11 Jul 2007 22:09
Top place - always busy, but with a great range of real ales.
rpadam - 20 Jun 2007 22:32
Another very enjoyable visit late afternoon yesterday . There's always a good range of real ales in here - but a lot of people seem to stick with the Harveys which was top notch last night.

Still the best pub in the area in my book - particularly late afternoon or early evening before the "suits" arrive en masse.
JohnBonser - 20 Jun 2007 10:57
Unfortunately, my friend was caught in a bit of a spot when organising a visit to this pub last week...

This is a great place, serves great ale (including a top scrumpy on handpull) and serves good food. Plus, it's right next to Borough market for even more great food. Thoroughly deserves it's rating.

BUT - it's probably not the place to go to before heading to Schooldisco. I'm sure all the old Saturday night regulars caught a great eyeful when our girls rocked up. Nice one Lisa :-)
thebigbosh - 19 Jun 2007 19:05
The Market Porter is a great pub with a wide range of real ales. I love this pub because 1) it always has several beers on that I haven't tried before 2) it is great to stand outside in summer 3) the customers seem to be from many different backgrounds and all walks of life, but everyone is very friendly.

The only problem is that when it is really busy or too cold to stand outside I have to go elsewhere.
pgrogan - 11 Jun 2007 22:39
Great Pub. It is open in the mornings at 06:30 just when i finish work on a Friday. Nice early morning beer !!!!
Gooner. - 1 Jun 2007 01:15
Great beers, non-descript interior, but you can't have it all. Very decent pub indeed.
JonW999 - 29 May 2007 19:32
I'm a bit of a fan of this place. Quite new to this pub review site but as a girl who likes the odd half of ale or two, thought I'd get involved. Great atmosphere on a saturday when the market is in full swing, which has caused me virtually to have been carried out of here after an all afternoon session. Harvey's Sussex was pretty good!
HighHeeledLucy - 10 May 2007 16:02
Great Pub, Great Location, Great Beer & always friendly staff.
Grab a pint & get yourself something to eat off the market. The perfect way to spend a sunny Friday afternoon..

14theroad - 3 May 2007 15:10
Good range of well kept beers and good service as always, despite being being busy.
Matt43 - 29 Apr 2007 00:16
Tried it again on a Monday night and it was even better than before. After Top Dog Stout and Buffy Mild I settled on Crown, which was corking.

Like so many of these great pubs it is better to go at off peak times and it was not as uncomfortably heaving as my previously visits.
AleKing - 24 Apr 2007 09:32
I believe the ex-guvnor Nick, who was, incidentally the BITE Pub of the year winner last year ,has returned to the Carpenters Arms in Marble Arch. Happy Days for West London Ale drinkers.
whippit - 22 Apr 2007 22:04
Really should be in the beerinthevening top 10.
BlindTiger - 8 Apr 2007 18:41
one of the best pubs in London. mmm beer!
bristolbeerboy - 2 Apr 2007 14:17
I dropped in here after visiting Borough Market a few years back and found it a great place. Good beer and a decent selection. Just what a city pub should be..
anonymous - 29 Mar 2007 18:06
The pub will be even better when the smoking ban comes in, as tends to get a bit foggy at times
ESB_Chris - 29 Mar 2007 13:57
This pub really is worth the effort to visit.
Not only has it a fab range of ales (well kept) but has great staff and nice atmosphere.

It was great to see a pub catering for everyone - City gents, students, market workers and even a couple of proper old CAMRA boyz with their crazy beards and illfitting beer tshirts, were spotted drinking side by side.

Top notch London boozer.
rjbradburnesq - 15 Mar 2007 16:08
An excellent, charming market pub with an outstanding range of beers.

Very busy at times undoubtedly but worth waiting on. Full of character and charm and set on the excellent Borough market. Well worth a visit.

terenced - 12 Mar 2007 08:19
Have had several good visits to this pub. Range of beers is almost peerless in the London area. Staff are excellent and service is usually quick, which is good as it can get very busy of an evening. Cellar temperature possibly a bit too warm on my last visit - perhaps it was the lunar eclipse?
anonymous - 4 Mar 2007 21:38
Excellent bustling pub near Borough Market. All sorts of ales and all sorts of people fill this friendly and busy boozer. Worth popping in for a pint to wash down a delicious steak sandwich from the market.
Muzthing - 4 Mar 2007 15:25
The Porter, as it is known locally is a very busy pub, mainly because of the standard of the beer (not forgetting the range of beers) and the great staff.

I too visit the Wheatsheaf next door and find the same people frequent both bars, Having said that, it is worth being patient as the Porter has more good ales than you can drink in one session.

NB. Bonnie is back, she decided not to leave.
Dejaz - 28 Feb 2007 17:06
Actually it was pretty good - i.e. not too busy - at midday on a Wednesday in February. Nice atmposphere about the place. Boarded floor, leaded lights above the and a nice mix of regulars, workers and tourists. Good choice of beers. Being short-sighted I have to get up close to the pump labels to have a good look when there is such a range of beers that I don't recognise. Not the sort of thing you can do when the place is crowded. But worth showing my ignorance of the beers on offer to get something a bit different. Today they had Harvey's Bitter, Holt's Humdinger, Saltaire Brewery's Cascade Pale Ale, Hopback's Back Row plus numerous lagers on. Highly recommended an definitely worth another visit.
RexRattus - 21 Feb 2007 18:41
I'm sure its great but was so ridiculously busy that we went to the Wheatsheaf instead. Probably best visited on a weekday afternoon or in the summer when standing outside is a better option.
JonW999 - 16 Feb 2007 10:53
What proper pubs are all about, real people, real ale and an awesome atmosphere! (no ponses alllowed)
Jimbospur - 27 Jan 2007 09:49
tufnellparka - 18 Jan 2007 15:33
Too busy
tufnellparka - 18 Jan 2007 15:30
I drink in the area quite regularly and used to enjoy visits to the MP. I've been disappointed with my recent visits - the beer quality hasn't been brilliant, being tired and ininspiring.

eddierowles - 18 Jan 2007 14:44
What amazing comments on 22 December.

"I fail to see how this place gets to be 'Pub of the Year'"

This site is not ScotchInThe Evening or Bars-u-Like, it's BEER. The busyness of the pub has nothing to do with it, it was voted for from a countrywide shortlist of 20, and has undoubtedly only one other London competitor for range and quality of beers.

"There's not much else in the immediate vicinity"

Really? Only the Wheatsheaf, Southwark Tavern, Globe, Beer Wharf, The Rake, Old King's Head, George, Bunch of Grapes and a couple of kiddy-bars within 5 minutes walk. At least this reviewer didn't go a bundle on the George either.

"The place has no soul"

I guess the reviewer didn't turn left out of the front door then, the next pub is the epitome of soullessness.

Admittedly I'm regularly in the MP and have a certain bias, but you can't fault the number and attitude of the staff considering how rammed it can get in there. Well done!
canastajim - 13 Jan 2007 10:34
One thing that this pub does right is the quantity of staff on the bar - you always get served promptly even when the place is heaving. As a frequent visitor from "up north" it's good to come to London and find a pub with such a good selection of beers on too.
MINTYBOOM - 29 Dec 2006 17:36
I fail to see how this place gets to be 'Pub of the Year' It's busy because of it's location, size, local traders and passing tourists. There's not much else in the immediate vicinity. In fairness i'm not a beer drinker (spirits only) so I can't comment on the range of beers on offer, but even if the range of beers was outstanding that alone can't be the reason for the award. The place has no soul.
f90x - 22 Dec 2006 22:32
With the bar packed out we( eight of us) went early to our table in the upstairs restaurant in order to enjoy a few pre-dinner pints in comfort and were told to leave and come back at the time the meal was booked half hour later.I don't think I have ever been asked to leave an empty restaurant before! In the end the Hop Cellar round the corner was able to supply excellent pints of Adnams.Although the food was good I am afraid the quality of the beer with the meal was not.It was tired on the turn and was not Harveys as on the pump clip.Having regarded The Market Porter in the past as a real Pub Pub I am to say the least very disappointed at the way it has changed.
leggless - 13 Dec 2006 18:44
As mentioned above, has 2 dartboards. Unfortunately they are purely for decoration, as the tables on the oche's are permanently occupied. Maybe if you pop in at 7am after getting bored of arranging oranges in a body-centred cubic lattice you might get close enough to a board to open the cabinet. Undeniably superb beer, particularly if you enjoy being served short measures by eastern Europeans.
Dart_Man - 4 Dec 2006 22:50
Hadn't been in here for a while but nothing much had changed, quick service etc etc I had a stout which wasn't very good though. Still that was just my taste.
mitomighty - 1 Dec 2006 20:03
Went here for the first time recently and had lunch on a wet Monday. Can't fault this place, which must be one of the best pubs in London. Excellent range of beers, well kept, charming staff, decent pub food, and a good atmosphere. Well worth a visit.
Londoner1961 - 1 Dec 2006 11:36
OK, great beer. Unfortunately, rubbish for darts. 2 boards, as advertised above, but both have tables on the oche, which are generally occupied. Dartboards aren't ornaments you know. Disappointing in a pub which clearly tries to be traditional.
Dart_Man - 29 Nov 2006 13:25
proper ale pub full of men enjoying porper ale. but also excellent because they gave my girlfriend free drinks as she only had a credit card and couldn't be arsed to put it through for 7 quid and also found us a knife with which we could cut up our massive pork pie. all round great service all completed with a nice smile. for the record the harvey's sussex best was too creamy but still nice and free.
OllyMott - 27 Nov 2006 16:31
I had lunch here last Thursday. Excellent food, decent ale (including Harvey's Sussex Bitter) and exceptionally good staff. Spot on.
joegreen - 21 Nov 2006 12:49
What an excellent little pub. Have been a couple of times now on Saturday nights and have had some lovely Meantime Wheat Beer while my husband has sat (yes we did manage to get a seat with 2 very nice locals) with a HUGE smile on his face enjoying his ales.

The only thing I can find fault with - why the music? The first time we went it was v.loud in the background and quite irritating - this is the kind of pub people come to drink in and chat to the people they're with not listen to Capital Gold or whatever it was.

I dont think I'd say its better than the Wenlock, soley because the Wenlock has Kriek on draught (and the barstaff are nicer) but is a very close second to it. One of the finest pubs in London for sure
ickleprincess - 14 Nov 2006 23:06
Excellent pub, kudos has all been given before

Fast service, great beer/ale range. I only popped in for an hour to meet with some workmates. Wish I could have stayed longer

Was pretty packed to the point in which people were outside. But was alot of good atmosphere for a Fri night. I plan to return...
the_original_rawnsleys - 12 Nov 2006 16:29
OK so this pub sells a big range of draught ales - extremely commendable do you find out what is available at any time? I suggested to the previous manager more than once that a board showing the beers + strength + price would be very useful for the customer, but neither he nor the present incumbent have taken this on board - so you have to walk down the bar looking over people's shoulders. This strikes me as a strange approach on the part of the owners and indicated why the Wenlock, for instance, is a far superior pub. If you're in the area why not walk down to the Royal Oak and be treated with respect?
ed.spbw - 11 Nov 2006 20:20
Still a great boozer, but on my last two visits the quality of the beer's been a bit hit and miss.
Albert_Campion - 11 Nov 2006 14:21
Stopped in here again on a rainy Thursday night. I tried three different Archer's brews. All were in good condition and tasty. Followed those up with a wonderful pint of Harvey's and a brew called Rocket fuel. Can't remember who brewed that one. All in all, another good experience at the market porter...
surfadelic23 - 8 Nov 2006 18:09
This must be one of the most over rated pubs in London. It may well have a wide range of ales but how are you supposed to find out what is on at any time? I suggested more than once to the previous manager that a board listing the available beers (with abv, prices) would be a great benefit to the customer but neither he nor the current incumbent seems to want to take on this very basic idea. Instead, you have to walk along the bar, peering over people's shoulders to try and make your selection. The Wenlock Arms has respect for its clientele and has an easy to read board prominently displayed. Until the MP follows suit I won't be visiting.
ed.spbw - 6 Nov 2006 22:47
Hit here again on my last trip. Was able to try most of the selections on cask, including good selections of Archer's, Harvey's, and a few I can't remember. All were in good condition.
surfadelic23 - 6 Nov 2006 16:39
Yes I do review this place every time I go here. But how can you not. Got here at 12.00pm Sunday intending to have a couple and then move on. Four and a half hours, 5 pints and 15 games of Shithead later we were still here.
The beer was absolute quality, amazing considering the selection on offer. Pale Gold from the Ossett Brewery and Black Sheep were my personal picks of the day.
My chilli con carne was very nice indeed and good value at 5.95.
Even the music was good, we went through Queen, Oasis and Blues Brothers during our stint.
We love it, we love it, we love it, love it, love it...
giantelf - 31 Oct 2006 19:29
Good selection of ales, different from the ones you get in most London pubs. And some great looking barmaids! Food is a bit too 'posh' for a crowded, beery, pub where you may not get a seat; they should switch to plainer pub grub. But apart from that, no complaints.
Trev - 16 Oct 2006 17:52
I have to say that this pub appears to have gone downhill. On Saturday I was met with a particularly uninspring selection of ales. I chose the Ringwood Forty niner, which was warm and flat. Maybe I went on an off day. I'll probably give it another chance. But in reply to the previous poster, The Wenlock Arms wins hands-down on this showing.
thereminwar - 16 Oct 2006 13:55
A fabulous location, and a wide range of excellent ales.

Better than the Wenlock? Score draw.

Try both and make your own mind up...!
Quinno - 15 Oct 2006 00:37
A great pub, no doubting it. I can't help think that the exension has made it a little less charming now and seems to have a slightly less friendly clientele. still a great pub and a credit to them that you always get served nice and quick no matter how rammed the place is.
mralistair - 11 Oct 2006 23:40
I absolutely must echo the sentiments expressed so far about this pub. It seems to have so many positive aspects that should by rights be commonplace in many London pubs, but sadly through years of corporate interference are now lacking in most. By this I mean a genuine free house, with a truly exceptional ale selection which would be impressive in a well-heeled village or provincial town but for London is staggering - 10 pumps all serving very well-kept ales and a cider; no longer need you consider Taylor's Landlord the most exotic ale you're likely to find in the capital! There are plenty of characterful nooks and crannies to settle into, and the al fresco option is just as pleasing if weather permits, taking in the often hilarious tableaux that occur around the Market itself and the neighbouring places. Perhaps the most impressive feature is the provision of plenty of bar staff. Even at the busiest times the service is extremely efficient and I have never waited more than a couple of minutes for a pint. The Borough is an excellent seam to mine when searching for a district with plenty of good places in close reach for a crawl, and this is a must, along with the Royal Oak.
I'm amazed that with such a corking boozer round the corner, anyone actually makes it to Vinopolis!
Keep up the good work.
TWG - 9 Oct 2006 17:21
Oh dear perhaps I am being mean, but I would like to add a note of dissent to the plaudits here.

Yes, the Market Porter is a fantastic pub and serves a range of beers you won't see elsewhere, but its fast vecomig a victim of its own reputation.

Whilst it is laudable to provide a vast range of beers, it is also problematic in that the staff seem soemtimes unable to ensure thay are in as good a condition as they could be. Therer have been a couple of occasions recently when beers have been a little on the turn and the staff have either been unaware of the fact or not as willing as they could be to put things right.

Also, I have noticed the prices creeping up here of late.

Saying that you won't find a pub like it anywhere else
anonymous - 9 Oct 2006 15:48
Great selection of ales. Gets busy at market times so don't count on getting a seat but lovely friendly atmosphere awaits you inside.
rovingricey - 4 Oct 2006 19:54
i went to this pub on a wet, rainy night and it was so packed people were sheltering in the market to drink their beer. i think this is a testament to how good the place is!
julesbaby - 3 Oct 2006 17:42
This is not the best Pub in the country, Its not even the best Pub in London. It is quite simply the best Pub in the World!!
Dave_Bluddax - 27 Sep 2006 13:54
.My boyfriend who is a member of CAMRA and who works round the corner introduced me to this pub. The range of ales is fab and it is in a brilliant location. Great on a Saturday when the market is in full swing and there is always a wide range of punters in there. Service always good too. Highly recommended as one of THE best pubs in London, for more than just one reason
kiwimaj - 26 Sep 2006 12:05
As per the reviews below I agree that this is a great pub. Certainly one of the best in the area. A good range of ales on offer including a mild and also Westons hand-pulled cider. It has a nice interior, although could do with some more seating at the back where it appears to have recently been extended. Didnt try the food this time but it has a reputation for quality and good value meals. A must visit pub if youre in the area.
djburns - 22 Sep 2006 12:06
This is a nice pub. Id naturally read about The Market Porter on this site, but until this morning, didnt realise Id been there! I paid a visit last night with my girlfriend and after a mad scramble to find some seats, we settled down for what was a very pleasant drinking experience. The interior itself is basic, but homely and despite it being busy, it was comfortable. Im not really an ale man (though I am partial to the occasional drop of Speckled Hen) so I stuck to Fosters, which I suppose was priced at the normal rate for the area. All in all, I found the pub to be a delight of sorts and the staff were friendly too. Ill be back.
HTM69 - 21 Sep 2006 22:18
Without a doubt my favourite pub in London, even if it's packed you get served pretty quickly and can scoot outside to sip your tasty brew. If you're peckish you can nip next door, pint in hand, to have a gourmet sausage sarnie.
Hobbes - 20 Sep 2006 14:29
Large seleection of real ales and some nice microbrewery beers as well.
The location couldn't be better, standing outside in the summer is fantastic.
Could do with one or two more tables inside, but thats just being picky.
mrse1 - 19 Sep 2006 17:01
Had my second moody bar staff experience here in a month. Generally, I love the place but the bloke, who looked a bit pissed off generally, served me a short pint, which I wasn't about to moan about on this occasion, until he gave me my change. He didn't so much as give it as carelessly drop it from a height into my hands, or rather onto the bar and into my pint. He didn't even notice that he'd done it but that was down to his manner and attitude. It wasn't busy and there wasn't anyone else not being served at this time, he just wasn't bothering to make the effort. I know full well accidents happen and it needn't have p*ssed me off but it was his response that i didn't like. Apparently, it was ok to have coins in your pint but that's not why i go to the market porter, then it was ok to pour one pint into another pint glass losing another 1/4 of a pint and throwing a pound coin of mine behind the bar, I had to ask for it back. I also had to ask for a new full pint which he seemed really annoyed about giving me. I'm not a fussy bloke usually but i've had a lot of good service here in the past and I should have had a casual 'oh sorry about that' or ' let me change that for you' with at least half a smile or pretense of politeness. It's not personal, and I hadn't done anything at all but the pub with all the cash they are making should be training their staff more effectively. I hope he improves because generally the standard of service has been very good over the years.
anonymous - 17 Sep 2006 23:56
Went in last saturday afternoon and although busy the service was excellent.With the buzz of the market,standing outside with a perfect pint it was wonderful.Eaten in here a couple of times and the foods good too,try and get a table upstairs over looking the market,for a special sort of ambience.

Henners - 15 Sep 2006 19:47
Now I know why this pub is so popular, a great range of ales, including a couple I'd never even heard of, all in absolute top condition. The Blakemere Cheyenne was one of the best pints I've ever had. Nice unspoilt traditional interior, the only thing I'd change is the piped (radio) music - there's no need for it. Easily one of the best pubs I've been to.
mannyowar - 4 Sep 2006 16:53
Easy to see why this is the most popular pub in the area. Great range of well kept real ales, some of them fairly obscure. Good atmosphere about the place. Staff hard working and efficient. Other posters have said that the staff are rude but they seemed pleasant enough to me.
johnkn7 - 14 Aug 2006 13:46
Always like the food and ales at the market, but am fed up of the cheap sh*te they give me when I ask for a vodka and coke for my wife and her friends. You'd think that with all the money they're raking in they'd just serve branded products instead of penny pinching.
anonymous - 3 Aug 2006 10:45
Huge selection of ever-changing guest ales. I went a week ago and since then they had at least 5 new guest ales on offer. Great building and you can even take your pint next door and get '3 posh bangers in a bun' for 3.50. You can also stand outside and make yoursel hungry gaain by taking in the aroma of Borough Market. Very good value as well
Banner - 2 Aug 2006 12:44
One of the best in town-no contest. Friendly staff, excellent beer which you can enjoy outside in the sun and watch the world go by.
BlindTiger - 30 Jul 2006 09:17
A reasonably interesting selection of ales. I had the Harvey's and Blindman and both were pretty good. Lots of people drinking Magners though; plebs.

The bar staff could also pull a decent pint and were friendly enough.

Not bad at all.
AleKing - 28 Jul 2006 10:26
Not sure what that was in response to but anyway. Ideally, and I say ideally, there could be two boards. The board on your left as you come in the front entrance, whilst being delightful, doesn't really tell us anything useful. How about something there as well as the stupid cupboardy thing!?!
mitomighty - 25 Jul 2006 19:19
Good god, if you're going to spend time out of your life to post a comment GET YOUR FACTS RIGHT.

As fabulous as this pub is, it is in fact a chain pub in the sense that it is owned by one company who own many other pubs in London and whose staff regularly swap between each one.

The food, whilst being 5 for a panini, is great and hello... you're in LONDON.

You get a choice of 10 beers normally.. ok occasionally some might be off but usually that is for around 3 minutes when they have run out, when they get changed and then you get to try another one. How much choice do you want?
anonymous - 25 Jul 2006 12:00
Since the change of management it seems that the MP no longer has a computer [I agree there's no point in having a beer list on their website if it's not kept up to date]. Quite where they would put a blackboard I'm not sure, maybe where that stupid cupboard thing is at the end of the back bar. Cheers Stonch I'll start nagging them for such a thing!
canastajim - 25 Jul 2006 11:59
The Wenlock Arms doesn't seem to have a problem keeping a blackboard up to date, and they have a similarly high turnover. In my opinion its just slack that the Market Porter doesn't do the same.
anonymous - 24 Jul 2006 15:25
Hi mitomighty, having a board on the wall, for all ales currently on, with their strenghts, would be very useful. However, I expect that as there is such a turnover, it would be a bind keeping it up to date and cause more hassle, when customers ask for beers that are no longer on. I have to take my normal glasses off, to read the pump clips at close range, so it would be great for me. John.
JohnnyBGoode - 24 Jul 2006 15:03
Popped in for 3 pints on Saturday eve. 2 great one decidedly average. Nice evening and dusk atmosphere inside and out. I noticed they had a tap with Meantime Helles/Wheat/raspberry beers on. I've never noticed that before. when did that happen? I think it's good thing to have some locally produced beer in London pubs, particularly in light of events in Wandsworth. I wasn't in a rush to try them mind!!

I'd like it if they always kept a stout/porter and mild on and somewhere where we could see what beers were on at any given moment. The last bit is only an issue when it gets busy and you have to fight your way around the bar to see the other 6 handpumps.

Still a monster in my books.
mitomighty - 23 Jul 2006 14:22
Its certainly not a chain pub either.

Though I must say I noticed half the beers were off on Saturday.
anonymous - 18 Jul 2006 06:25
Clearly went to the wrong pub mycroft - what the f**k is anyway?
anonymous - 17 Jul 2006 19:44
Went in the Porter last Sunday fort he first time in a year. Didn't realise there's been a refit and the place had expanded. The Harvey's was dreadful, most of the other beers weren't on. nearly a fiver for a panini, no sandwiches as there's no bread delivered on a sunday. Ah and you know the 2 dart boards that are in there, well they're there 'just for decoration' yes I kid you not. In fact when we attempted to play we were told in no uncertain terms not to (despite the fact the place was empty). Face it, it's a chain pub with no character, living off the weekly influx of market punters who have more money than sense and think they're getting a genuine London pub experience because there's wood panelling and hanging baskets outside. I can't believe this palce gets voted best pub on BITE and Do yourself a favour get down the White Hart or the Town House.
mycroft - 16 Jul 2006 11:36
Great pub with a great atmosphere. Great choice of beers when I went in there last Thursday. Will definitely visit there again. Nuff said
paulbeckett - 15 Jul 2006 21:23
The beer you had was brewed near Bury by Leyden.

canastajim - 11 Jul 2006 01:18
Every time I leave this pub I can never remember exactly what it was I was drinking. I think it was called Three Men but by what brewery I cannot say. Quality beer though as always.

There's such a great atmosphere in this place, I love the mixture of clientel, especially after spending an afternoon in the suit infested city. Managed to find a seat at rush hour which is unusual and perhaps my only critisism although it's not really a critisism is it, I'm just clutching at straws? 9/10
giantelf - 10 Jul 2006 21:30
One of my favourite pubs, though I can never get there often enough. The taste of summer is right there in a pint of Harvey's. Enclaves like Borough market make you realise what a special place London is. Good service, good atmosphere, good beer. It's all good.
Albert_Campion - 7 Jul 2006 11:17
Chef won the lottery on Saturday.

Not fair.

Top boozer though.
MrLash - 4 Jul 2006 12:42
Personally tanderson I think my reviews are works of art and yours are invariably attempts at humour that often, but not always, fall flat.

Horses for courses. Won't slag you off too much as your taste in pubs is OK. Although I do hate you.
anonymous - 30 Jun 2006 13:35
yeah i rate this one. prefer being outside than inside, though. is it me or does anyone else find stonch's stream of consciousness critique entirely irrelevant?
tanderson7 - 30 Jun 2006 09:30
This pub is a magnet for CAMRA members like myself. When I go to beer festivals, I don't mind standing or walking around for long periods, when the reward is sampling superb and normally out of reach ales.
This is a pub for festival go'ers and it's open all year round and not just for a few days. It's so convenient, to be able to go there when you have the time and not have to miss out if you can't make a festival date. This pub is a superb window for quality and varied real ales. If it was twice the size, it would still be full. John.
JohnnyBGoode - 29 Jun 2006 15:48
Demonboy, Looking at your other reviews, it is clear you live in Docklands. I find it difficult to take your views seriously on that basis alone.

The Market Porter. It is Saturday morning. You have walked through a quiet central London and across the millenium footbridge, passed the budgie man, the fellay selling chesnuts, the tourists by the Globe. You wander round Borough Market - but all you see are Tarquins and Jemimas (who probably live in a shoebox development of "luxury flats" in Canary Wharf). Sad.

There is a knot of people (mainly blokes) outside a non-descript but cheery looking pub frontage across the way. It is 11.59. Suddenly there is the sound of a latch and in they surget toward bar staff poised behind a forest of hand pumps. Follow them, choose a beer you have never had before, have a chat, maybe wander back outside and laugh at the mugs with their 10 bags of veg.

I like the Market Porter.
anonymous - 29 Jun 2006 15:35
Not sure why this was voted BITE pub of the year. Yes its selection of beers is excellent, offering good choice for everyone, but when it gets crowded it becomes like any other London pub - unbearable.

Do the BITE staff all live in London? I think they should be travelling further afield and find something a little more original, though I suppose it does depend on what your definition of a pub is. Comfortable is a word I use to define a great pub and I just don't feel comfortable in the Market Porter.
demonboy - 29 Jun 2006 14:14
Think Harvey's is fine but I don't think any of the drinks mentioned would turn anyone on to the delights of 'real ale' if they were new to it! I suggest forcing it down their throats through a funnel nine days in a row, that's what I've been trying with my mates.

Came here on a quiet sunday recently and was very happy to get a seat. There weren't any stouts or porters on though, which was a shame!
mitomighty - 23 Jun 2006 20:08
topdog_andy - I would say that the Champion beer of Britain is a) not always brewed year round and b) not always very good - Harvey's Bitter is, in my opinion, a lot better than many of the previous winners of that award (think Deuchars IPA, Black Cat, Landlord, etc) - and indeed a mild like Black Cat wouldn't work as the house beer anyway.

I've never had Harvey's at the Market Porter, but I could imagine for someone not keen on trying new beers knowing there's a regular beer there would be helpful. I rate Harveys as one of the best bitters around.
anonymous - 23 Jun 2006 00:08
I think though the intention is to have a beer that people who don't want to brave a choice of brews they have never heard of, but nonetheless want a quality real ale, can fall back on. Harveys is a good choice for that. The Wenlock has Adnams Bitter for the purpose, another good choice.

A former Champion Beer of Britain that would be suitable would be, for example, Crouch Vale Brewer's Gold. But to be honest only real ale fans have heard of that, so it wouldn't serve the purpose stated above.
anonymous - 16 Jun 2006 11:12
Ah, you see Stonch, for 99.9% of the pubs in London I'd agree - Harvey's is a good choice as a house beer, for all the reasons you mentioned.

However, I don't think it suits The Market Porter. Here you have a pub with about 12 different ales of all strengths, styles, and varieties. I think you'd have to be hard pressed to scan the 11 others and say "Actually, I'll have the Harvey's". Plus almost everyone goes to The Market Porter to try something new and/or special, so relatively little is sold (it's the only beer in the pub where I might question its condition).

I think in order for the house beer to compete with the variety of ales, it should be something truly special - perhaps the Champion Beer of that year?

No debate about the bargirl comment though. Shame it's difficult to stand anywhere near the bar!
topdog_andy - 15 Jun 2006 16:01
Not sure I agree, topdogandy, I think Harveys is a good choice as a house session bitter. At 4% ABV it isn't too weak and isn't too strong, importantly for a "house beer" it is brewed very consistently, it is well known but not overly common... perfect in my opinion.

Some lovely barmaids in here at the moment by the way. Crackin
anonymous - 15 Jun 2006 13:59
A great pub in a great location. Only problem is that, even with its recent(-ish) extension, it's still got more customers than space, so there's a good chance you're going to have to stand outside. Unlike The Toucan however, this place trusts you with glass outside, and won't issue you a plastic cup.

One slight complaint though. If you're only going to carry one permanent house ale...why choose Harvey's? It's okay, but hardly worth keeping as your one house beer. It would be like Vinopolis having Mateus as their house wine, or The Porterhouse offering Carlsberg as their house lager.
topdog_andy - 15 Jun 2006 12:01
Fantastic range of very well kept cask ales - that you wouldn't see in many other places. Great atmosphere - had a superb night in there a couple of thursdays ago. Can very highly recommend it - especially if you like your ale!
JohnnyL - 26 May 2006 17:53
Visited last friday afternoon to see what had made the pub so popular since 2004 when I last visited. I agree with Burnsy - good pub, but could be improved. I know it was busy but there were empty glasses on most of the window sills although the tables were constantly cleared. Sadly both cubicles in the Gents had had their closing mechanisms vandalised and so the doors could not be shut securely and one stall was blocked, and had obviously been so for that opening session. It really was enough to put me off my beer!
derekbutton - 23 May 2006 14:52
This pub has a great range of beers and is in a good location next to the market.Have eaten in here a couple of times and its been good value each time,the second time I brought the bairns and they were well looked after.I can see why ale lovers love it as its a change from the Youngs and Fullers that dominate London,while not enough pubs in London have such a good selection to choose from.God Im going on a bit ,must need a beer!

Henners - 20 May 2006 20:32
Have to say I think Burnsy has summed the place up perfectly. I popped in around 6pm last Sunday for an hour or so on my way home; it was busy but bearable, I got a stool at the bar, service was very quick and efficient with plenty of staff on duty, Battersea Powerstation Porter was very tasty but unfortunately it ran out after my second pint! In my recent experience it just gets too crowded to relax between 5-9 pm on weekdays and Saturdays though.

Incidentally if it's sheer range of real ales you're looking for and you're ever in Derby the Flowerpot had 23 when I visited last month.
Rich66 - 20 May 2006 11:40
Oh yes, one of the best pubs in London even if it is too busy a lot of the time. Real ale quality always good, selection great also. Close proximity to the weekend market and it's Utobeer stall makes this a must visit.
Gueuzefan - 20 May 2006 10:48
Good pub, but by no means the best I've visited. The range of beers is outstanding, and given how busy it often is (Friday evenings after work epsecially) the staff cope pretty well. However, from reading some of the more enthusiastic reviews, you'd think it was some sort of Nirvana for CAMRA members - honestly, if you've never been before, and you approach it with that attitude, you'll be disappointed. Not slagging the place off, by any means, just managing expectations...
burnsy - 17 May 2006 13:20
Best Selection Of Ale I Have Ever Seen In London. The ceiling of beer mats is a sight 2 behold.


My Rating 9/10
fat_beer_badger - 11 May 2006 14:56
For that late lunchtime quencher its a blissful oasis of warm wood in which to sup, in my case an excellent dark pint of Archers', as the market bustles along outside just visible through the dimpled glass. Ah, a real pub!
thirstybob - 2 May 2006 20:32
This must be one of the most talked about boozers on BITE. I think its location next to / association with Borough Market add substantially to its charm, as do the consequent opening hours (although I am yet to test the early extremes of these). Amused to read some of the vitriolic previous comments - and have to record that we found the service to be excellent, to the extent that a quick visit happily evolved into a long one. Indeed, the barman was positively touting his service, calling out for customers. Happy to oblige. One angry punter was fuming at the quiz machine, which apparently was selecting all the wrong answers of its own accord. Whether this was down to one too many pints of Moondance, or dodgy touch screen technology, I simply cannot say.
iceinthecider - 24 Apr 2006 15:01
Deffinatly one of Central London's better pubs. Had no problem getting served too, which was something I was concerned about going on the accolades it's received and it's location.
anonymous - 20 Apr 2006 18:48
i'm wondering if some of the negative comments posted here are from local rival (jealous?) landlords ? waiting 45 mins to be get served really is the realms of fantasy ? did mostynclo actually go to the bar ? At 6pm on my last visit i counted 7 bar staff - its NOT exactly a large pub !! Excellent beer, service, and a friendly cross section of punters from all walks of life, long may it continue. I believe there is an All Bar One and Slug & Lettuce just around the corner if you need something different.
moclips2002 - 16 Apr 2006 10:53
This pub is WICKED!

Went there last night for a quick drink after work. First time i'd really tried Real Ale and the selection on offer was top notch.

Very good, friendly staff, quick service (despite being packed!)

...and yes they DO have a restaurant, but we were too busy with the Ales to try it out. :-)
jhb102 - 14 Apr 2006 09:11
Still an effin' brilliant pub!! And not crowded at all at 2 o'clock.

Didn't realise till yesterday that they have a restaurant upstairs. Does anyone know what it's like?
Darren_in_the_City - 13 Apr 2006 11:03
Once again it's congratulations to Nick and his staff as last night (11/04) they were presented with the S.E. London CAMRA Pub of the Year award. Place was crowded but no problems getting served by the attentive staff. Beer was spot on and the free grub was'nt bad either. Keep it up.
M.Sticker - 12 Apr 2006 17:58
A polite note for Stonch, in response to his posting of 31 March. It's easier for some pubs to have disabled access than others, granted. But to write off somebody's quite justified comments on the matter with smug remarks about "big ugly ramps" demonstrates nothing but ignorance. How about keeping your "big ugly" bigotry to yourself in future.
Martinl - 9 Apr 2006 02:02
Arguably the best ale pub in London. Brilliant.
misterwoppit - 6 Apr 2006 11:59
Excellent venue. Excellent beer. Excellent staff. Have never had to wait longer than 2 mins to get served here. Its about the beer I think... Anyone I have introduced to the MP, has always given it the thumbs up. An oasis of quality in a world of corporate blandness.
darloexile - 4 Apr 2006 14:12
Had to try this pub after reading the great reviews and wasn't disappointed. A great pub with a great atmosphere and the bar is like a mini beer festival. On Saturday afternoon had two excellent pints of Harveys porter and found the bar service to be excellent.
Returned here for opening on Sunday. The barman was helful and recommended a beer who's name I unfortunately can't remember (sounded like Santa, can anyone help). Was given a sample to taste which you don't often see and stayed for four pints and lunch which was as good quality as the beer and reasonable price too. (we were the ones playing cards!). I live in Sussex but I shall definitely be coming here regularly from now on. 9/10
giantelf - 3 Apr 2006 13:20
Oh yes, yes, yes... Tried on the strength of previous reviews & the fact it was B.I.T.E. pub of the year 2005 and was not in the slightest bit disappointed.

The Market Porter is reasonably-sized & oddly-shaped & the toilets could do with a few urinal cakes but the range & quality of beer is absolutely second to none. Tried 4 ales in the space of an hour on a Saturday evening, all of them outstanding quality, all of them by small, independent micro-breweries. The White Horse Wayland Smithy Ale & Harviestoun Celebration Ale were simply beautiful! Plus, we didn't need to wait longer than a couple of minutes at the bar each time our glasses were empty. The bar staff seemed friendly & extremely attentive, always on the lookout for a punter in need of serving.

The pub is understandably popular & we struggled to find a seat but found a great mix of friendly ale-heads, old & young, male & female & there was a real lively, warm & happy feel to the place. I have been on the lookout for a pub like this in Southeast London & I have no reservations in saying this is the finest ale house in the area & very easy to find from the station. Guaranteed to return to this worthy title-holder. 10
young_camra_collectiv - 2 Apr 2006 12:54
Believe it, 45 mins was being kind, and I also found the barstaff to be very cold and rude.

Now I am a senior manager of the company I named, and believe me if we treated our customers that way, i would'nt expect there custom.

Maybe I was there on a strange night, but I found the pub I described.

The rest of you can have you opinions, thats the idea of a site like this, but I found the pub to be a very ordinary place.
mostynclo - 2 Apr 2006 00:23
I was in this pub tonight and i refuse to believe you waited 45 minutes to get served. Total rubbish. Even when this place is packed you normally never wait more than a couple of minutes.
M.Sticker - 1 Apr 2006 00:12
The reason we were in this hole was only because it was a works nightout, would never and i mean never go back.

Computacenter crew.....
mostynclo - 31 Mar 2006 21:19
I cannot for the life of me understand why this pub is near the top of the chart, I work in Blackfriers and thought I would give it a try, and I was more the unimpressed.

1. It's a little squat of a pub.
2. It was packed out with Yuppy types.
3. I was there just after 7 and waited 3 quarters of an hour to get served
4. impossible to get a seat.
5. I also noticed that accessabilty for disabled was very, very limited, as I saw a chap in a wheelchair turn round at the door after trying for about 10mins to come in.

the ONLY postive was that the beer was of top quality.

Please when people vote for pubs take everything into consideration, not just that it's your local booser.

I would like to give i a 0, but the Beer ok so a 3 from me.

mostynclo - 31 Mar 2006 14:30
Only problem with this pub is that it is too popular! Great pub, great location, great beer - its worth the queue at the bar
anonymous - 30 Mar 2006 00:03
one of the few pubs in london where the landlord knows how to organise his cellar to keep the pints properly.

can't give it a 10 cos its too bloody busy but well worth a visit.
anonymous - 25 Mar 2006 20:25
Well, well, it's 1900 on St Patrick's night and there's no Guinness available. Not that I usually drink it, but quite a few disappointed customers around. Seeing the date I'm off to the Paper Moon ......
canastajim - 17 Mar 2006 23:49
Great pub to pop in for a quick libation after shopping in the market. An exceptionally wide range of unusual ales, all well kept, will keep tempting you on and on. With such a diverse clientele this is an excellent pub in which to drink. Glowing praise!
drum2000 - 12 Mar 2006 15:08
Great pub and great beer. For the Fosters lager drinkers of this world etc stick to somewhere, anywhere else ! This place is an oasis for Real Ale purists, and long shall it remain so. Service outstanding too.
anonymous - 12 Mar 2006 11:51
Having seen the glowing reviews on this site I arranged to meet a friend in the Market Porter last night for the ubiquitous "swift one after work" (but it's never ever just one is it?)

My first impression was that at 6:30 on a Thursday night this place is CROWDED - whilst drinking standing up doesn't bother me, being constantly jostled while I'm doing it does. However there was no problem getting served (always a good sign in a busy boozer) and an extensive independent quality control test of said establishment's ale proved more than satisfactory, particularly as I don't seem to be feeling any ill effects today.

I wouldn't have voted it pub of the year myself - however I can completely understand why so many would and will definitely head back next time I'm in the area. Let's hope such extravagent praise does not lead to them resting on their laurels in future.

tim_eyles - 10 Mar 2006 19:40
Been once and was very impressed. Great selection of real ale and good decor inside and out. Could do with a few more tables but that's my only criticism.

The sheer number of reviews shows how popular this place is. I can't remember the last time I've seen so many rare beers on draught.

Highly recommended and I can't wait to go again.
spacedz - 9 Mar 2006 16:36
stopped in for one and had rather more... there isnt really any serious competition around here - maybe the reason its so popular

moclips2002 - 5 Mar 2006 13:51
I've been a regular visitor to the Market Porter, ever since moving south from East Yorkshire, about 3 years ago. On each occasion the beer has been first class (both in range and quality) and the service very good.

But, if you're having a pub to pub stroll in SE1, don't forget to visit the splendid Royal Oak (a Harvey's pub), on Tabard Street.
oldgold - 4 Mar 2006 12:29
Firstly, can I point out that I like Real Ale but dont have a beard and am not a member of Camra.

I take your point kmcs that there is more to a pub then the beer. I think the Market Porter is a good pub with an excellent selection of Ale. However, I also feel it lacks the character of other pubs. But you must also understand that we all have a different idea of what a good pub is and to slag off a pub because it only serves fosters lager like conniwot is a bit harsh when they do up to 12 real ales. If he had said this is not my kind of pub because the lager selection is not up to scratch then I think people would have more respect for his views.
Someone said "it is about the beer" and where the MP is concerned it probably is.
I actually like the odd pint of lager but not the mass produced rubbish that most pubs good and bad serve up.
When I review a pub I looked at the Ale selection, the price and the character of the pub. Because that's what is important to me. However, there are a number of pubs that have an excellent ale selection but are awful. Try the Penderals Oak in Holborn for instance.

TheHorsesMouth - 3 Mar 2006 13:35
"Its about the beer stupid!", you patronising cvnt, or course its not you tit. Its about the pub, the atmosphere, the look and feel, the clientele and yes, ALSO the quality and selection of food and drink. Don't be so arrogant as to believe that everyone that looks at the site is a bearded trainspotting CAMRA member like you. I appreciate a good beer as much as the next man, but i wouldnt sit in a fcking dark shed to enjoy one. By posting here people are trying to give an impression as to the attractiveness of the venue. I wasn't debating the quality of the beer, (loads of places do a good selection of beer), I was just saying i can't see why people rave about the venue...and i stand by that.
kmcs - 2 Mar 2006 16:07
kmcs is entitled to his opinion of course. However I would point out - (a) the Market Porter is a nice pub with a friendly atmosphere and (b) ITS ABOUT THE BEER, STUPID!

This place is like a beer festival 365 days a year - 11 or 12 real ales from often unheard of breweries from the length and breadth of the country. If you like real ale, you love this pub. If you only drink lager and are not interested in beer, you won't understand the fuss.
Grinerine - 2 Mar 2006 11:41
Most over rated boozer on the whole site this, nothing particularly bad to say about it but,..fck me,..whats so special here. Best boozer in Britain,..horseshit, boozer down that alley maybe!
kmcs - 1 Mar 2006 14:34
First visit for an absolute age and I see it has had a face lift. New downstairs toilets and an extra drinking area. 11 real ales on even though they advertise that they serve 12. Two pumps serving Harveys. Tried 3 on a monday lunchtime. Not too busy and service was good. Beer all up to scratch. Particularly liked the Icarus. See our pussy lager drinker doesn't like it well maybe he should try the All Bar One round the corner he might feel more at home there. Mass produced beers in a mass produced pub.
TheHorsesMouth - 1 Mar 2006 14:30
Went here last night for first time and thought it was brilliant. A bit bare inside but great seeing all the old pump clips mounted on the wall. Two large bars each with 5 or 6 different guest ales on. Unusually they had a really good mild on as well. Staff were very friendly despite being busy. Surprisingly young crowd. 10/10, deserves all the praise heaped on it.
anonymous - 1 Mar 2006 11:23
Ok, ok, I know I should be ordering an Award-winning golden bitter made from Premier brewing barley, but on the odd occasion when I have ordered a slightly camp alternative (admittedly a Martini and Pineapple) I encountered some unwanted attention in 2 forms:

1. An Irishman tried to kiss me
2. Some chaps decided to take offence and snarl

Never again shall I forget my Colour and Tasting notebook.


renewablebumpy - 27 Feb 2006 16:55
It has had its ups and downs over the years, but it has now been about the best pub for beer in London for some time. Well worth
combining a visit with a 'graze' round the market, which sells
the best of British produce.
Uncle_Dunkel - 24 Feb 2006 17:06
Still worth a visit and the range of ales was pretty good on my last trip to the MP recently.(The first for some years.) However, much as I love the market and it probably has given the pub a new lease of life, the consequences are overcrowding and the inevitable touristy trappings. But, that said, the MP is still more worth than it's trouble.
BobbyV - 20 Feb 2006 18:24
Went on Friday after work. Agree it was very busy but loads of bar staff on and no trouble getting served. Tried a few beers and were all up to scratch - except a dodgy pint of Harveys. Will call again.
NigelW - 20 Feb 2006 14:46
Foster's !!! Get real, it's brewed in Reading. Anyway, if this Grouse and Claret is so good, what are you doing in the MP ? Try the real ale, if you think Guinness upsets your "natural rythym" you wait till you've had a few of those !!!
M.Sticker - 17 Feb 2006 01:38
Excellent bit of stirring there! I think Lager is alright from time to time but it's not really in the same league as ale for me. If only having Fosters encourages people to drink a traditional decent British beer then I'm all for it. There are enough beers there to find one you like surely.
mitomighty - 16 Feb 2006 17:43
btw Fosters is brewed in the uk, its not shipped from aus, anyway most draught lagers sold in this country are brewed here, if camra left out of its guides pubs that sold lager, the guide would be empty.( i drink real ale).
martynd - 16 Feb 2006 16:11
Conniwot- going to the Market Porter to drink Fosters is like ordering curry in a French restaurant.

Great pub- and worthy winner of its recent accolades.
anonymous - 16 Feb 2006 14:24
Went here on Tuesday after hearing the news. I know Pub of the Year is subjective but how can any boozer that serves Fosters even make a shortlist?

I'm sure the vast majority of people on this site like real ale. Well I don't, and I'm sure a significant minority of others feel the same way. I drink weak lager - and I like it. Yeah, I know - sniff sniff, blah blah CAMRA.

So what I don't like is a pub that treats its customers to Fosters. This stuff is muck, full of chemicals and guaranteed to bring on a hangover. You think the Aussies drink it? Not a chance. They're not that stupid, just ship it over to us in chemical vats.

So if Fosters is your 'weak lager' option, you're offering customers something undrinkable. We have to move to Guinness which upsets the natural rythym of an eight-pinter.

Aside from that, it's OK, but certainly not brilliant. I can think of three pubs in London - Nags Head Belgravia, Bank of England Fleet Street and Kings Arms Southwark - that beat it hands down on atomosphere, service etc. And none serves Fosters.

As for the rest of the UK, I reckon every town must have a boozer that's better than this; apart from Eastleigh of course.
anonymous - 16 Feb 2006 12:02
Congratulations on the Market Porter's selection as Pub Of The Year. A good boozer isn't easy, it takes a lot of hard work, & if you're in the MP on a busy night & you really watch the staff cover the crowd, you see hard work. Just do me a favor & buy my a pint sometime!
martineaux - 14 Feb 2006 16:06
I'll join Big Jim in congratulating Nick and his staff on winning the BITE award. Keep up the good work.
M.Sticker - 8 Feb 2006 10:22
To all at the Market Porter, congratulations on your BITE award.
canastajim - 5 Feb 2006 23:21
Fantastic range of beers. Poor cider (Weston's "scrumpy") Very busy at times.
tharg - 28 Jan 2006 14:46
Not a bad boozer good range of real ales including Harveys of Lewes which is a rare sight out of Sussex.Prefer the Bunch of Grapes (Youngs) over the road which does not get so crowded and offers more seating.
leggless - 26 Jan 2006 17:59
visited twice last week; fantastic range of ales with one or two constants (Harvey's Best). the refurb fits the theme of the pub in my opinion as they seem to want to be something different. I gotta say, it is nice to see a bunch of normal looking 20 somethings drinking real ale; perhaps there is still hope. Noticed a real odd bloke (looked like Bowie circa 1971) sitting at the bar both nights I visited; one of the bartenders said he was the owner....if true; ziggy is still god.
chipawayboy - 20 Jan 2006 04:26
Bloody shame about the refurb. Been using it for years, not sure i will again.
mbealing - 17 Jan 2006 14:10
Best ales selection I've seen in London by far... a gem of a pub
OneHunga - 12 Jan 2006 15:07
Consistently a great pub for its range of ales on tap, the recent refurbishment hasn't really improved the place much but hasn't ruined it. Tends to be pretty packed most of the time now which is a real shame, but if you can get there early and bags a table settle in for the night and enjoy.
Tryp - 10 Jan 2006 15:28
Hmmm... not sure about the refurb. I may be a luddite but liked the pub just as it was. Nice in summer though, when you can stand outside. Beer's good, and they sell enough to keep it fresh.
Albert_Campion - 5 Jan 2006 14:56
Would have thought the ten beers from lesser breweries would be a pretty good reason to visit.
canastajim - 1 Jan 2006 22:48
Its good if you work nights because it opens at 6 AM, otherwise I cannot think of many other reasons to go to this pub, its alright but nothing special.
reverendlionelblair - 1 Jan 2006 22:35
I agree absolutely with JohnnyBGoode re. supporting the microbreweries, and I'll generally try something new ahead of an old favourite, I just haven't had much luck in the Porter recently. I dare say I'll be back before too long despite my pessimism of last week. If it isn't (relatively) quiet during January it'll never be!
Rich66 - 25 Dec 2005 10:24
I went there on a Monday and Tuesday, after I had finished my my early shift about 15:00. It was moderately quiet, but started to build up again within the hour.
I personaly enjoy supporting the small micro's, even if some of their ales are not as impressive as some of the more well known regional's. If you drink them in the right order, weakest first, lightest first, each one progresses nicely. They will produce ales you realy like sometimes, so to keep them going, you have to support them. We all have diferent tastes, so that's why there are so many different ales.
JohnnyBGoode - 19 Dec 2005 19:56
Went on Friday between about 5-8 and it was horrible. Just because of the amount of people. However, well impressed with the bar staff again who are always on the ball and they notice you want a splash of booze even when you are behind three people and just tryng to get a glimpse of the bar. I hope that more pubs addopting this style with similar drinks and service open and this one doesn't get ruined by its fame.
mitomighty - 19 Dec 2005 16:15
My visit last night (around 8pm) will probably be my last for some time becasue it was just so crowded and noisy. Obviously that's a mark of its popularity, but there wasn't even a wall or pillar to lean against and nowhere to put down your bag or coat. I found myself wanting to finish my pint as quickly as possible and leave - it felt like being on a rush hour train where everyone was pissed! Maybe ten years ago I wouldn't have minded so much.

You can't argue with the sheer range of ales (eleven), which isn't matched by many (if any) other London pubs, although I've noticed on my more recent visits that many of those on offer are from obscure smaller breweries and whilst served in good enough condition they aren't anything out of the ordinary; the sort of ales that are left over on the final day of the Great British Beer Festival after the more popular varieties have run out. Last night I had Codrington's Old Codger (probably appropriate enough given the mood I was in by the time I left!) which was a mediocre best bitter. It's a long time since I've had anything new here and made a mental note to look out for it again in future. On a more positive note I've found the service to be remarkably quick and efficient given that it's so busy. Are there any sessions when it's still reasonably quiet? I used to meet a friend here after work, usually on Mondays or Tuesdays, and this place converted her from bottles of Bud to pints of ale and we almost always got a table, either immediately or before finishing our first pint, and it was much smaller in those days!
Rich66 - 18 Dec 2005 13:19
Great ales and good pub. It does get crowded on Saturdays but the tourists tend to clear out later in the day when the market is shutting up. Well worth the visit.
pezza132 - 16 Dec 2005 10:47
The refurb has added some things and lost some others. I can't make my mind up about it.

But it remains a superb place for a drink, with an excellent range and quality of beer provided that you avoid busy evenings, and in summer you run the risk of being overwhelmed by touristy types. Best sampled in a quiet period midweek, without doubt.
SJC - 15 Dec 2005 19:52
I must admit, I never got further than the the first part of the bar near the main entrance, before the refurb, as the place was always so packed. It was quite bright outside on my recent visits in the afternoon, so the interior lighting at the back, did not have much impact. I pefer old well established real ale pubs, with wooden floors and old wooden furniture and old casks in the old beamed ceilings and warm glow lighting. In winter, nothing beats an inglnook fireplace burning logs. Sadly, there are not many left.
JohnnyBGoode - 12 Dec 2005 10:09
I have to say I really don't like the refurbishment, especially the area where the old back bar was, which has strong unshaded light bulbs set into a low dark-painted ceiling - oppressive and not very relaxing. The whole place almost looks as if several interior designers have been let loose on different parts with their own ideas. In fact, just to be really grumpy I liked it best before the previous refurbishment in 2000 when there were partitioned areas by the windows and the enclosed staircase to the right of the side door wasn't there.

You can't argue with the sheer range of draught ales, which generally seem to be in consistently better condition than before. A common complaint of mine in the past was that beers were often served too "green", presumably due to fast turnover and lack of cellar space; in fact it reached the stage where I would avoid anything new that came on tap while I was in there. I suspect the refurb included a cellar extention.

Obviously it's a well known pub in CAMRA circles and attracts a lot of ale drinkers from far and wide, but it also seems very popular with a trendier and more transient crowd making it incredibly busy and difficult to settle in and relax for a lengthy session sampling all those different beers. I always seem to find myself having to stand in a place where I keep getting brushed past or having to move. Obviously that's a result of so many people liking the place, but it puts me off going more often.
Rich66 - 11 Dec 2005 22:47
Cracking good pub, a great mixture of people (young ladies to old blokes holding the good beer guide) and one of the best selection of Ales I have come across in Central London. Staff friendly and helpful, mouth watering Ales, will be visiting again soon.
darloexile - 7 Dec 2005 12:31
I had my first visit yesterday, since the refurbishment. I don't think that any of the handpumps have been replaced, but have been moved further arround the extended bar. I only had time for a couple and they were superb. I will be going back there today, when I have finished my early shift, to sample more of the plentiful real ales. The refurb has retained all of the character of this excellent pub and I will be using it more often.
JohnnyBGoode - 6 Dec 2005 14:09
I have been drinking in the Market Porter on and off for over 10 years. Sadly I think the good days are coming to an end. The selection of Ales is still good, although quite a few pumps have now been replaced by Stella. The new extension suggests that the new managers are heading towards the smart bar market rather than the traditional market pub which has made the Porter so successful. Profit seems to be the main goal - for example last year you could hire the function room (seats 40) for the cost of food and the barmaid's wage (and a daamned good time was had by all), this year the new manager wants a guarantee to spend a minimum of 1000 on drink alone - any difference in takings and the minimum must be made up with cash! Many other pubs in the area will hire rooms for the cost of the food, or a one of fee of 150 (even expensive bars in the West End). Sadly I think the combination of slow restyling and the pursuit of ever more profit may lead the Porter to suffer a slow death - I hope I am wrong.
GrantFettis - 30 Nov 2005 16:59
I've tried something new each time I've been here and every pint was in perfect condition. Nice bar area but the bit out the back is a bit pants. Staff have always been friendly and helpful. Not really a relaxing pub but with 10+ ales, stouts, porters, milds,IPAs etc etc blah blah on handpump I wish there were more like this around. Not easy to bag a seat mind!
mitomighty - 29 Nov 2005 15:19
After filling our sacks at Utobeer with (mainly american) bottle conditioned beer, we were lucky to find a table in the new section of MP. Packed with people on a Friday afternoon, but still a good place to be because of the well kept real ales. I was very happy to find a tasty blond witch among the ales (Moorhouse Blond Witch).
rune - 29 Nov 2005 14:28
Probobly one of the most ineffectual makeovers I have ever seen in a pub. Before it was cosy and welcoming now there is no athmosphere and somehow they have managed to make it bigger but have less space to sit or stand. Go for the beer but nothing else.
EOR - 27 Nov 2005 13:43
Good range of real ales. Excellent pints of Harveys and Archers. Recommended
Paul666 - 23 Nov 2005 10:21
Tends to get rather busy on Friday evenings when you find yourself shouting to be heard but if you dont mind that its a very good pub
anonymous - 14 Nov 2005 14:53
The place was packed when I visited. A ringing endorsement for the pub. Nice location. Well kept cellar. Spent most of my time standing outdoors with the rest of the herd.
jorrocks - 22 Oct 2005 04:27
Phenomenal range of beers from all over the UK.A year long beer fezzie.A marvellous advert for London.
string - 20 Oct 2005 16:55
Try a certain Harveys pub in Tabard Street. I have been in the Market porter a few times and found quite a good range of ales here. I wouldn't describe the pub as a Wetherspoon, but most of the comments posted are about correct. The selection of beers is amongst the largest in London bar one or two quite well-known pubs in N1 and N4, but I have had the odd "chalky" one in the MP.

It is busy on weekday nights, and whilst you are asked to leave by 2320, they are reasonably polite about it.

Mr Lash (and indeed Mr Nakin) are entitled to their views, this forum is, after all, one of the healthiest organs of free speech remaining these days!) but they should one day nip north of the river and check out a few more freehouses. After my last visit, taking into account atmosphere, beer quality (not quantity - these are not interchangeable measurements) I am giving the Market Porter 7/10.
lad_newton - 19 Oct 2005 20:05
Wetherspooney??? No way, decent food during food hours, excellent turnover of beer sold at a reasonable temperature, they don't sell 'Sorry, not available', normally sufficient staff who know or ask 'Who's next?', and what Central London non-circuit pub doesn't want you out by 2315 on a Friday night?

The good Wetherspoon-like quality is no TV.

Agree with SilkTork though, some character HAS been lost, miss the back bar with darts and sticky carpet.
canastajim - 16 Oct 2005 10:16
The best selection of beer in London. Anyone that would like to argue with this truism is a moron and shouldn't be allowed to express their opinion on a public forum.

MrLash - 12 Oct 2005 14:18
Agreed the pub's a bit modern, maybe a bit wetherspooney. Worth going in, tho, for a good pint of Grande Union beer when its on. Can't say its the best london pub at eleven in the evening regarding staff who want you out of the pub at 11.15 on a friday night.

Not too bad a place to begin a crawl, tho.
jamie.nakin - 12 Oct 2005 01:40
Wide range of well-kept ales, hardworking staff and good food at sensible prices. Want more? Well, it's also a very pleasant space, or series of spaces.
joegreen - 5 Oct 2005 13:47
I've been meaning to visit this pub for ages, and finally went last night - I really wish I'd seen the pub before the refit, I'm afraid I do have to agree with SilkTork's comment about the character of the place, I was expecting something rather more "authentic".

That said, the beers were exceptional.
Keenes - 20 Sep 2005 09:43
The changes have been mostly very positive. Bigger, cleaner, cooler, more bar staff, more beers (12 casks), more seating. But some character and charm has been lost. The trendy waxed oak floor, Wetherspoon flat pack fittings and modern eating area in the old toilets give off an anonymous atmosphere. But perhaps that's just my shock at the change. I've been back twice now and I do like it. But I also miss the old place. I also miss the old menu - the new prices are a little high. Having said all that - this is one of the best pubs in London.
SilkTork - 7 Sep 2005 22:49
Frequent visitor from Canada... this pub simply the best!
never miss a chance to stop in. Friendly staff great atmosphere.. and if
you can't find a beer on tap you don't like...perhaps therapy may help !
Wow! This pub is like the Tardis now. Still the same size on the outside but now HUGE on the inside. 10 (yes T-E-N !!) real ales available - making this the only place you need for a pub crawl!!

Definitely one of the best - if not THE best - pubs in the whole of London.
Darren_in_the_City - 13 Jul 2005 13:46
My first visit since the refurb also. Agree with the generally positive comments. More roomy round the back of the pub now, will be interesting to see if it feels less cramped on Fridays. The area round London Bridge is a fine drinking area for traditional pub goers and beer enthusiasts and The Market Porter is still up there with the best of them on both counts
JohnBonser - 28 Jun 2005 12:57
First visit since the refurb and vastly improved. More space, more hand pumps and better toilets (well, the Gents are). Still to smokey though and that's one thing they should have addressed. Monday's are usually quiet so i'll wait for Friday night's madness.
M.Sticker - 14 Jun 2005 16:55
I popped in last night, not realising it was the first day after refubishment. I always used to avoid the place on Friday evenings because it just got too packed, so needless to say it was heaving on reopening day. Looks the same from outside but almost unrecognisable within. The toilets have been knocked through to extend the back bar, and there's a completely new area opened up around one corner with new toilets below. Even more ales than before (11).

I'll have to go back during a quieter session before passing judgment.
Rich66 - 11 Jun 2005 11:34
Refurb has happened, pub re-opened tonight. Now 10 guest ales plus Harveys as the regular house bitter. General atmosphere unchanged.
canastajim - 10 Jun 2005 23:45
For lovers of real ale this is one of London's best outlets for the beers of lesser breweries and microbreweries. Nearly always at least 4 guest beers available plus the house beer Harveys. If in doubt ask for a taster. Out of over fifty postings here only seven are bad, so believe the many good comments. Very rarely will you get a bad pint as the turnover is such that if you had a particular ale last night there'll be none left the next evening. Can be very busy at times, staff do their best to serve all-comers fairly. Despite someone's comment about the bar ladies from Dubrovnik [from Poland actually] I have rarely observed a bad attitude from the friendly bar staff. To be served by the ever-cheerful Leo is a pleasure, and 'Miss Argentina' is a sight to behold! The blokes are OK too! Pay the Market Porter a visit sometime.


It's about to close for extending and refurbishment. If all goes well it will re-open on 9th June, hopefully with the same overall atmosphere.
canastajim - 19 May 2005 12:52
Had a few lovely pints of Harvey's in here. Always welcoming and usually pretty busy!
Martin_R - 14 May 2005 22:48
A pub that's almost impossible to say something bad about, as the 50 reviews here show.

Nothing more to say really, the place is superb, and so many great real ales to choose from, and it's right next to Borough market with all the mouth-watering delicious food. Almost a shame summer is upon us, as sitting in front of the open fire here with a stomoch full of some exotic meat, and a guest beer in hand is one of life's erection-inducing moments.
travis - 4 Apr 2005 01:45
Glorious, glorious, glorious! Remains a magnificent pub with 7 or 8 real ales on. Always worth making a detour for.
Darren_in_the_City - 29 Mar 2005 16:46
Great pub. Good atmosphere only slightly marred by the bar ladies from Dubrovnic who act like they are doing you a favour everytime they serve you...someone could do with reminding them that is what they are paid for!

All in all a welcoming pub with great beer selection.
anonymous - 11 Mar 2005 12:22
Top location for the Borough market at weekends...It looks a "proper" pub & has a great selection of beers....I Would try a half 1st till you get the one thats really on form....Harveys beer is usually on.
kierandinan - 12 Feb 2005 18:50
Simply the best.
City_Womble - 11 Feb 2005 15:10
Took one step inside this pub and thought "i am going to really like this place." I was right.Great selection of ales and a fantastic atmosphere
TonyAle - 11 Feb 2005 13:06
Great pub, fine selection of beers.

The early opening bar man is a fine character serving pints of stella and whiskey chasers with a knowing look.
anonymous - 18 Jan 2005 14:00
Amazing, excellent, unusual real ales. Definitely worth finding your way through the crowds to the bar.
foxski - 8 Jan 2005 17:33
Great pub. Had a few Guinness for breakfast this morning and its helping this slow half day fly by!!
GTC - 24 Dec 2004 11:16
Great pub. One of the best. There are always interesting beers to try as there are normally about 8 real beers on tap.

The pub is very crowded, but it is worth it. Best to come on a Sunday afternoon and explore the world of beer.
Spel_Unca - 22 Dec 2004 17:09
Traditional market pub open very early in the day for a few hours before reverting to 'normal' hours for the rest of the day. 7 real-ale hand-pumps.
anonymous - 27 Nov 2004 15:23
This pub is fantastic!
If you like Real Ale and/or Old style pubs, go here!
I went last week and it was very busy, but managed to get a seat, they had 6 different real ales on and actually changed 2 whilst I was there - all lovely beers. 10 on 10!
chrisauld - 22 Nov 2004 13:22
A fashionable London boozer, the Market Porter could have it all. Perfect location, ideal for standing outside in summer and a decent pint - if they had enough of it go 'round! The last few times ive been in they've run out of my favourite tipple. Shame 'cos when this place is on form it's still one of my fave haunts in London Bridge!
cheeky charlie - 19 Oct 2004 13:38
Good lunch upstairs on weekdays. Tempting real ale selection, served well more often than not. Good replacement for The Wheatsheaf next door which I return to every couple of years in the hope that it'll get better: the Wheatsheaf used to be one of the best pubs in London but now serves vinegar and expects you to pay through the nose for it.
Sam - 11 Oct 2004 14:30
Bit fashionable but if you can get a bench outside the building opposite it's great place to watch the 'chickens' and 'brosnans' (fashion types) pass by. Black fella who sells the Big Issue locally is mad and amusing to.
Dan - 6 Sep 2004 12:13
My wife and I went there last Saturday lunch time for a couple of beers. Great ale, relaxed atmosphere but spoilt by the miserable Eastern European bar maid who obviously had better things to do than serve drinks.
Matt - 8 Jul 2004 12:23
This pubis clearly resting on its laurels. It might have lots of different real ales but they are invariably badly kept and badly served. I tried returning a cloudy pint of the house beer last night only for the bar person to tell me 'they are all cloudy, it's supposed to be like that'.
David - 4 Jun 2004 17:34
great guest beers, very friendly staff, great landlord, although it took me over 10 years to get my first pint on the house!
Nigel - 19 Apr 2004 16:33
Great pub!! (still!)

Crowded again last night - but still a great pub with wide selection of real ales all around the bar.
Darren in the City - 16 Apr 2004 13:58
Best pub south of the river. Yes it does get crowded but that adds to the atmosphere. Great choice of ales and try standing outside on Saturday lunchtimes and watch the buzz of Borough market ( have a chorizo sausage baguette too!)
Geoff - 10 Apr 2004 07:38
Benefits from being in one of the best parts of town, right by Borough market, but would remain one of the finest pubs around depite that. Sensational beers, friendly and lively atmosphere, attracts people from all walks of life. Great place to spend the afternoon with your mates having a laugh and putting the world to rights.
Alex - 13 Feb 2004 16:23
One of the most over-rated pubs London; The Market Porter is an ok pub but I can't understand all its accolades. From the filthy gents with flooded floors and no toilet paper (or coat hooks), to the crowds of tourists on guided wlaking tours who fill it up so often, its just ... not that good. Also it has an awkard layout and the TVs always seem to be on blaring out their satellite rubbish. Don't believe the hype!
SouthLondonTree - 10 Feb 2004 14:01
Many, many beers and mad folkies on a Sunday. Like it lots
MrScott - 10 Feb 2004 13:13
the only draw back to this great pub is that it can get very crowded. they have an excellent range of real ales that are frequently changing and are always kept in great condition. the staff are friendly and helpful.
prh1966 - 3 Jan 2004 03:22
Sorry a further comment - it might have 2 boards but I've never seen anyone playing in the back room.
Tim - 5 Dec 2003 13:22
I've drunk there irregularly, I did some work at No 12 LDN BR, but I'm defitely not a local. I have had good service at all times, I do sometimes have to move the bar parkers out of the way.
Good food, good beer and I've always been welcomed.
Can't comment about closing time as I'm out before that.
Draught Beer seems to be standardly priced at 2.50 which ain't alf bad.
Tim - 5 Dec 2003 13:20
it is a very good pub can get a bit smokey.i think that it needs to be decorated as the walls are very dim and dull.the staff are very polite and helpful
syril - 25 Nov 2003 10:42
I visit here to try the ever changing range of real ales and meet fellow imbibers. Can get packed with obnoxious suits but usually a very mixed clientelle. Tried Oakham Decennium beer on 11.11 - excellent stuff. The existing guvner leaves soon so hope it does not go pear shaped.
Simon - 13 Nov 2003 12:41
great pub w/fantastic selection of real ales. visited this past sunday night and the place was hoppin'. check out the george down the street for a great one two punch. real ale lovers will get a kick out of the humongus budweiser "born on freshness date" sign near the tower tube station...may god bless the folks at the market porter (and others like them) for keeping the great tradition of real ale alive and kicking.
scott - 1 Nov 2003 03:31
i have visited the pub over many years and am quite suprised at some of the negative comments posted here, but it may just be that i drop in in the middle of the afternoon when the place is quiet, never had a problem to be served, there is a TV and background music buts hardly intrusive, the ales are not exactly a bargain but then where else is there such choice and quality in London? I just pray i dont have a bad experience there in future and have to eat my words.
Steve - 5 Oct 2003 12:28
Sad to see the pub no longer has jugs (glasses with handles). Note to the manager - it would be a good idea to have a few - some real ales are enjoyed better in jugs! Enjoyed a pint of slaters yesterday.
lad_newton - 20 Aug 2003 16:24
I can't say I've had a terrible personal experience in here but on the couple of occasions I've been in it's been packed out with tourists, very noisy, unbearably hot and the bar's always blocked shoulder to shoulder by punters trying to chat up the staff and refusing to let anyone else in. Result = expect either a punch up with one of the bar hogs or a very long wait to get served. One to avoid. Go to the Wheatsheaf instead.

Nick Doublebow - 25 Jul 2003 14:13
Perhaps they should re-name it as "The Marmite Pub" cos people seem to either love it or hate it. Me? Thumbs up,as always a good selection of real beers available. 7/10.

PS: What a great area for pubs - can do a good pub crawl and only walk about 200 yards.
Darren in the City - 16 Jul 2003 11:40
I don't agree with any of the negative comments I've read about the staff at this pub. I go in there every Saturday lunchtime and the staff are always busy but never rude. This pub is next to a market and has served the market traders of the area for donkeys years. If it's a pub with a sterile environment you want, go to All bar One but don't criticise the Market Porter.

Paul Beardshaw - 30 Jun 2003 15:44
Go. Good choice of real beer and a nice atmosphere. It's not brain surgery is it?
Rich - 29 Jun 2003 13:07
Real ale mecca in London with an ever changing range of 8 real ales including Harveys Best Bitter. Service usually good but can get wedged on the evenings. Currently selling lots of hoppy beers from Archers (Swindon).

Simon - 11 Jun 2003 11:01
I work near this pub and have never had anything but pleasant experiences within its confines. It sells a shedload of different beers, is decorated nicely, is cosy on cold days and you can drink outside when it's warm. The bar staff seem fine too, don't really see what some people want from a bar person - they sell you beer, you drink it, it's not that complex a relationship. If you don't get served quickly, you're probably just short, get over it.
Pascal - 22 May 2003 16:38
"genuine antiquated charm" - it was a complete tip until the late-1990s, a vile old Courage pub with curling sandwiches on the bar, etc, decorated like the working man's club of your nightmares.
Darryl - 18 May 2003 01:34
I am not a local and just happened to be walking past last week, so my girlfriend and I popped in. Contrary to the other comments I made, I found the service very friendly. There were some obscure beers there so I asked for advice. This was given and tastings were given without my asking. Will definitely pop in again.
Dewi Wyn - 11 May 2003 21:37
nice pub. lousy service.
paul costello - 27 Mar 2003 15:30
This is the kind of pub that is hard to find in its general area (SE1), in that it has a genuine antiquated charm, an impressive range of real ales and is seemingly never too crowded. So it's a real shame, then, that all of the establishment's credible aspects are rendered wholly insignificant by the one overwhelming bad aspect, namely the attitude of the people who work there.

This is guaranteed to completely ruin any visit. If you want to buy a drink but are unfortunate enough not to be a familiar face, you will be ignored for anything up to 15 minutes by the sullen, bored bar staff (who all appear to be on mogadon drip feeds with corks up their backsides) while a constant stream of regulars approach the bar after you and get served straight away. When you are finally and begrudgingly served (because no-one else is waiting) you will feel that whatever you ask for is considered to be the ultimate insult to humanity and that it might as well be Myra Hindley or Pol Pot standing where you are. God help you if you hand over too much loose change (anything above four coins); God help you if you want a drink at last orders - again, the staff will attempt to break the world record for rudeness by ignoring you in favour of regular drinkers until time is called, at which point they will ask you what you want. When you ask for a drink, they will sneer, snort, turn their back on you and immediately rush to the aid of someone who has just approached the bar fancying a swift G&T before the tills are cashed up. Oh, and don't expect any better from the middle-aged barman with the white hair who may or may not be the landlord - if you politely inform him you've been waiting for ten minutes only to be refused service, he will respond by calling you a liar and tell you to f--- off.

Good luck, pal - you'll need it.
Helena Czjeranii - 25 Mar 2003 16:16
Don't believe the hype. Just another small brewery pub selling unknonwn beers in dingy surroundings. Staff too busy on mobile phones to clear dirty glasses
arturo_morales - 18 Mar 2003 16:18
Excellent array of beers, good atmosphere, opposite a bustling market and near to other pubs and a pie and mash shop...all in all, a very good pub and location.
Andy Middleton - 17 Mar 2003 22:17
great range of beers mostly from microbreweries and small breweries, making it a scoopers' paradise. And its in Zone 1. Easy to get to as well - Go there!
lad_newton - 6 Mar 2003 15:55
In my opinion one of the best pubs in London. Certainly in the area. The atmosphere is always friendly and the staff know their beers. They need to as there are always several available and the guests change often.
Paul - 30 Dec 2002 14:01
This is one of my favourite pubs in the Borough area. Great atmosphere and wonderful beers. I particulary enjoyed the odd pint of Top Totty.
Jim Dale - 5 Dec 2002 12:41
opens at 6am (market licence) until shutting at 8.30 again - good for a (very) early pint. Used to go there while I worked nights
Jenn - 25 Nov 2002 13:44
Beer fairly good. No food in the evening.
Mark Burgess - 22 Nov 2002 11:47
fantastic food upstairs - does get busy from nearby offices (ie FT and HSBC) - prices are very good for lond and the lager is great (ideal for a sunny lunchtime drink)
simon - 30 Sep 2002 14:10
Good range of beers, friendly atmosphere does get busy after office hours. Still worth visiting!!
Chris - 20 Sep 2002 16:48
Easily the best "traditional" pub in the London Bridge area, quiet after 8.30 else rammed after office hours
Mark - 18 Sep 2002 16:27

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