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London pub and bar guide

Here's a guide to the pubs and bars of London - good or bad, we bring you the most talked about venues and the places you have to visit at least once. We've included a few user reviews, to give you an idea of what to expect when you get there. Or you can follow the links to see full details and all reviews for each pub.

The Harp, Covent Garden

picture of The Harp, Covent Garden

Address: 47 Chandos Place, Covent Garden, London, WC2N 4HS
Phone: 02078360291
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Nearest tube stations: Charing Cross (0.1 miles), Leicester Square (0.2 miles), Embankment (0.2 miles)

Nearest train stations: London Charing Cross (0.1 miles), London Waterloo (0.8 miles), London Waterloo East (0.8 miles)

Reviews by BITE users:

Since Fullers took over this pub they have left the landlord to get on with it.

Fantastic ales and great atmosphere.

Well done Carl, your doing this place proud.

25 Aug 2015 22:24
Back again in the Harp to kick off my 2015 UK & Europe pub crawl. Not a noticeable change to this gullible foreigner, the welcome was warm & genuine & the Sambrook Wandle (£3.95) delicious after a long flight. The friendly bar lady kindly a photo of me. Not many in at around 11.00am, but all received great service & good beer at a reasonable price.
3 Aug 2015 07:49
In the Harp yesterday,still a great selection of beers available, I had London Fields Hopspur and Brick Blenhim Black, both good.
28 Jun 2015 08:31

The Southampton Arms, Gospel Oak

picture of The Southampton Arms, Gospel Oak

Address: 139, Highgate Rd, London, NW5 1LE
Phone: 020 7485 1511
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Nearest tube stations: Gospel Oak (0.2 miles), Tuffnell Park (0.4 miles), Kentish Town (0.5 miles)

Nearest train stations: Gospel Oak (0.2 miles), Kentish Town (0.5 miles), Kentish Town West (0.7 miles)

Reviews by BITE users:

A return visit on Sunday, 5 years after the first, and again I loved the traditional boozer feel as much as very good Tiny Rebel and Millwhite cider. I've been lucky to get a seat, as the pub needs high footfall tomaintain quality over so many casks. Next time I'll eat - the meat counter is part of the appeal.
16 Nov 2015 09:18
Still Grim Up North London. For those who need to put their 'drinking' in inverted commas - see below. Dear oh dear...
1 Jul 2015 21:45
If you like your real ale or cider and want a friendly pub with a large selection of well kept drinks, you can't do much better than the Southampton Arms.

Sure, it's a little on the small side inside and often standing room only, but that's a small price to pay for excellent ale, tasty and hearty bar snacks and pleasant staff to serve them both. Prices are fair for London, and there's even a small outside space out at the back. Better still, customers tend to be genuine real ale drinkers rather than underage hipsters looking for the latest craft ale.

We moved into the area six months ago and this quickly became our favourite "drinking" pub. They don't serve full meals and the decor is basic to say the least, but it's clean, tidy and friendly. If you're looking for the best pint in the area, this is the place to come.
14 Apr 2015 17:14

The Long Pond, Eltham

picture of The Long Pond, Eltham

Address: 110 Westmount Road, Eltham, London, SE9 1RE
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Nearest train stations: Eltham (0.6 miles), Falconwood (0.8 miles), Kidbrooke (1.7 miles)

Reviews by BITE users:

Had a walk in the sunshine around Eltham and luckily my route took me past the Long Pond so I thought I would drop in to try it out. It's bigger than I expected from a micropub, but first impression was of a clean, nicely decorated place. There were a couple of punters in who both greeted me with a "good afternoon" when I walked to the bar, which was a nice welcome. I had two pints of Whitstable Winkle Picker (which was delicious and just £3.40 a pint) - served by very friendly staff. I didn't eat but the food they brought out looked good - though note they only serve 'proper' pub food - pork pies, cheese/meat platters etc.. No piped music to disrupt conversations, immaculately clean toilets ... what's not to like.
23 Nov 2015 14:37
After a couple of pints in the Howerd Club it was a short walk to this fairly new micro pub that even though it doesn’t appear in the GBG it still needed ticking.

6 ales on which are all served from a cool room behind the bar (like all of the micro’s I have visited). I went for a couple of pints of Tonbridge Breweries Pond Life @ 3.6% which is brewed specially for the Long Pond. Other options were Kent Black Gold, Caveman Shopper Gold, Whitstable Native, Gadds No 5 &Wantsum Black Prince. Worth noting that all ales are priced between £3.00 & £3.40

Only the landlord was in when we arrived but within 15 minutes a few more punters arrived.

It’s been open a short while and is nicely decorated and laid out. A special mention for the extremely clean toilets.

The Long Pond is well worth a visit, just check the opening times before you do.
1 Jul 2015 16:42
Lovely new micropub in the Kent tradition. Good, local, ale. Affable owner. Nicely converted from a plumber's shop. I hope Eltham realises how lucky it is.
2 Apr 2015 09:56

The White Lion, Clerkenwell

picture of The White Lion, Clerkenwell

Address: 37, Central St, London, EC1V 8AB
Phone: 020 7689 4313
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Nearest tube stations: Barbican (0.4 miles), Old Street (0.4 miles), Farringdon (0.6 miles)

Nearest DLR station: Bank (1 mile)

Nearest train stations: Old Street (0.3 miles), London Barbican (0.4 miles), Farringdon (0.5 miles)

Reviews by BITE users:

I've spent many a Thursday night sipping ales in this fine establishment and after suffering it's closure — however brief — once already over the last couple of years, I'm gutted to hear that it's once again fighting for it's life.

It's a fantastic example of what I'd consider a 'proper' pub — warm, friendly staff, with the additional bonus of darts, jukeboxes and tv screens available for a bit of light entertainment. The area certainly wouldn't be the same without it.
24 Nov 2015 21:48
I've spent many a Thursday night sipping ales in this fine establishment and after suffering it's closure — however brief — once already over the last couple of years, I'm gutted to hear that it's once again fighting for it's life.

It's a fantastic example of what I'd consider a 'proper' pub — warm, friendly staff, with the additional bonus of darts, jukeboxes and tv screens available for a bit of light entertainment. The area certainly wouldn't be the same without it.
24 Nov 2015 21:48
Excellent memories of post-match drinks in this most welcoming of boozers. I understand it is on the verge of closure once again so I would urge anyone who has enjoyed a sherbet or two in this fine establishment to rally round in its hour of need. To the regiment...
23 Nov 2015 10:25

The Parcel Yard, Kings Cross

picture of The Parcel Yard, Kings Cross

Address: Unit 8 Shared Service Yard, Goods Way, Kings Cross, London, N1C 4AH
Phone: 02077137258
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Nearest tube stations: King's Cross St. Pancras (0.2 miles), Euston Square (0.6 miles), Euston (0.6 miles)

Nearest train stations: London Kings Cross (0.1 miles), London Kings Cross - Thameslink (0.2 miles), London St Pancras (0.2 miles)

Reviews by BITE users:

Not sure what all the fuss is about this place. It does do decent ale but calling a series of disjointed rooms, corridors and hallways a good pub is stretching it a bit.
5 Apr 2015 19:49
The best railway pub about in my opinion. It feels like a "real" pub. One you want to stay in for sometime and not just pop in for a pint or two until your train's ready to leave.
Even if you're using St. Pancras it's worth making the short trip across to this place.
Despite being busy I rarely have to wait long to be served. Being a Fullers pub the majority of the ales are from that brewery but there is a decent selection of guest ales as well.
The place itself is very large with big rooms, corridors and nooks & crannies all available to drinkers. There's a TV in the corner of the bar often showing sport with the sound down.
A couple of downsides are the prices which are on the high side even for London and the groups of office types who can get gabby after a few drinks.
5 Apr 2015 15:54
Loved the ambiance and atmosphere of this place. It's smart and fits in with the new Kings Cross station but still feels like a proper pub. There are lots of different areas to sit, some along the wide corridors which is where I ended up as it was busy, even on a Tuesday night, with no tables free. There's a wide range of ales to try and I had some nice guest ales but the Fullers beers weren't on top form, presumably because they were being served too cold.
People have commented on the prices, but if you stick to the cask ale, and avoid say draft Chimay (£4.80 for 2/3 pint) then it isn't so bad.
3 Apr 2015 23:03

The Blackfriar, Blackfriars

picture of The Blackfriar, Blackfriars

Address: 174 Queen Victoria Street, Blackfriars, London, EC4V 4EG
Phone: 020 7236 5474
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Nearest tube stations: Blackfriars (0 miles), St. Pauls (0.3 miles), Mansion House (0.5 miles)

Nearest DLR station: Bank (0.7 miles)

Nearest train stations: Blackfriars (0.1 miles), City Thameslink (0.1 miles), Farringdon (0.6 miles)

Reviews by BITE users:

Our second pub on our pub crawl of London. The Victorians certainly went to town with sheer decadence, and The Blackfriar is no exception. Magic copper carvings surround the place above the bar and on the walls. The fireplace taking centre stage and outstanding feature.

Had a couple of Yuletide Christmas Stouts, which tasted bang on, but the prices reflected the area we were in (Central Business District.)

Place was heaving with many eating, and seating was at a premium. We eventually found a spot.

22 Nov 2015 14:57
Another quick Saturday night visit on the way home and like the last time it’s very busy when I arrive at 8.45pm.

My choice of ale was Redemption’s Rising Sun @ 5.0% and it was in very good form.

I took my pint and stood outside as the evening was still warm and killed the time between my trains with this decent pint. I’m sure it won’t be too long before I make another Saturday night visit.
12 Oct 2015 13:49
Dropped in just after 10pm on a Saturday night at the end of August for a quick pint.

Busy inside but I was served pretty quickly after opted for a pint of Berkhamsted Brews Wild Boy @ 3.7% from the decent selection on the pumps.

I stood at the side of the bar and enjoyed my pint.

As has been mentioned on numerous occasions on this site the Blackfriars is a stunning building but it’s also decent pub with a good choice of ales and is very handy for Blackfriars station.
5 Oct 2015 14:48

The Birkbeck Tavern, Leyton

picture of The Birkbeck Tavern, Leyton

Address: 45, Langthorne Rd, London, E11 4HL
Phone: 020 8539 2584
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Nearest tube station: Leyton (0.3 miles)

Nearest train stations: Leytonstone High Road (0.7 miles), Maryland (0.8 miles), Leyton Midland Road (1.1 miles)

Reviews by BITE users:

The archetypal London boozer. When you approach this pub and then step inside you know you are in a classic. Wonderful high ceilings and traditional unashamed Victoriana throughout. A giant wooden dart suspended above the oche! Several ales available and friendly staff. I gather this pub is registered as an Asset of Community Value, and as somebody who has been involved in campaigning I can see how it would be that kind of pub. Very much a community boozer but outsiders such as myself were still more than welcome. This is what London pubs are all about.
4 Nov 2015 10:49
Came in here on a Monday night. No food which was a little bit disappointing but the beer was in very condition, the barman a nice bloke with good taste in music, and the other locals no bother at all.

I am very happy to be less than a ten minute walk to this place - all the other pubs in the locale are mediocre at best. Looking forward to the next visit and to trying the food.

This is what local pubs are about and why it's important to use them or lose them.
8 Jun 2015 22:41
Great backstreet boozer, with a lovely beer garden. Seemed to have a decent ale selection and they serve food, which, while I didn't eat, looked good from what I saw others eating.

Like the previous poster, I don't see this making a top-20 list in London, much less the UK, but its a great pub all the same and well worth a visit.
20 Apr 2015 12:38

The Princess of Prussia, Tower Hill

picture of The Princess of Prussia, Tower Hill

Address: 15, Prescot St, London, E1 8AZ
Phone: 020 7480 5304
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Nearest tube stations: Aldgate East (0.3 miles), Aldgate (0.3 miles), Tower Hill (0.3 miles)

Nearest DLR stations: Tower Gateway (0.2 miles), Shadwell (0.7 miles), Bank (0.8 miles)

Nearest train stations: Fenchurch Street (0.4 miles), London Liverpool Street (0.8 miles), London Bridge (0.9 miles)

Reviews by BITE users:

The Princess sells Shepherd Neame beer so of course it's a good pub. It looks like a pub should do (including an old fashioned but clean bog) and the staff are generally very helpful. On the whole the food has been perfectly acceptable but not exactly cheap - it's a pub for goodness sake. Unlike some of the places further west it's not full of poseurs and gobshites. I approve of this pub.
6 Oct 2015 21:49
Visited here on the basis of good reviews and wasn't disappointed. Unspoilt Victorian pub with decent beer, pleasant atmosphere and friendly staff. Somehow this pub escaped the attentions of the Luftwaffe and redevelopment - well worth a vist.
10 Mar 2015 16:53
Nice looking pub outside and in. Front bar has wood floor and tables and chairs,
back room is carpeted with bench seats and stools with tables. Friendly staff and good Shep' Neame beers. My Spitfire was £4.00, more than my local but i suppose the price you pay in central London.
My only DISLIKE was putting up the stools on the bench seats before last orders. I think this should be done in the 20 min drinking up time at the earliest, and when a table became vacant, it was cleared and sprayed with a cleaner which smelled strong. Not what you want when drinking beer etc.
7 Mar 2015 09:57

The Sekforde Arms, Clerkenwell

picture of The Sekforde Arms, Clerkenwell

Address: 34 Sekforde Street, London, EC1R 0HA
Phone: 020 7253 3251
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Nearest tube stations: Farringdon (0.3 miles), Barbican (0.4 miles), Chancery Lane (0.5 miles)

Nearest train stations: Farringdon (0.3 miles), London Barbican (0.4 miles), Old Street (0.7 miles)

Reviews by BITE users:

A recent report in the Islington Tribune says that it's been bought by a local barrister who is building a residential property at the back of the pub, and will then refurbish the toilets, kitchen and basement before opening the Sekforde up again.
24 Aug 2015 13:12
Was in here yesterday. It will be a gastro type pub as opposed to a all out restaurant. For how long though?
29 Jun 2015 10:22
Gutted and disgusted that this proper old school cockney clerkenwell pub is closing. Because we really need another restaurant ,don't we,eh?
We are killing all that's good about this great city of ours
23 Jun 2015 11:34

The Bree Louise, Euston

picture of The Bree Louise, Euston

Address: 69 Cobourg Street, London, NW1 2HH
Phone: 020 7681 4930
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Nearest tube stations: Euston (0.1 miles), Euston Square (0.1 miles), Warren Street (0.2 miles)

Nearest train stations: London Euston (0.2 miles), London St Pancras (0.5 miles), London Kings Cross - Thameslink (0.6 miles)

Reviews by BITE users:

This pub is not what it used to be ,I think it is under threat from the HS2 railway
so why would the owners risk spend any money on it.
9 Sep 2015 13:38
This pub's interior is about as appealing as a drop-in centre. The barman was very surly and my pint from the cask behind the bar cost a small fortune at £4.40. It was also off.

I won't be coming here again anytime soon.
8 Sep 2015 18:44
Not going to rate this pub again at the moment, but like outlamehead I'd thought it has been resting on it's laurels for a year or two with a declining range in terms of beers actually on at any given time and beer quality.

However I was in last week, meeting a couple of people as handy for the Station. The quality of both the Hop Head and Brains Revd James Gold was tip top, as was the half of a craft IPA (forget it's name now) I tried, so hopefully it's getting back to being as good as it was again.
22 Jul 2015 17:12

Red Lion, Ealing

picture of Red Lion, Ealing

Address: 13 St Marys Road, Ealing, London, W5 5RA
Phone: 020 8567 2541
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Nearest tube stations: South Ealing (0.5 miles), Ealing Broadway (0.6 miles), Northfields (0.8 miles)

Nearest train stations: Ealing Broadway (0.5 miles), West Ealing (0.8 miles), Drayton Green (1.2 miles)

Reviews by BITE users:

I've been going into this place for 40 years now, & I can certainly say it has increased radically in size, probably X 3! In the mid-seventies, it was a tiny L-shaped thing, with no extension beyond the bar, nor garden access. Anyway, quite aside from quibbling about square footage, what's been said about staff, regulars, prices, beer quality & the gastro syndrome stands as far as I'm concerned.
6 Oct 2015 14:48
I should hope the Red Lion has been refurbished from time to time but I am sure it has not "trebled" in size. Anyway, I have always found it a pleasant little pub when walking from Ealing Broadway to South Ealing.
8 Jun 2015 12:29
I totally agree with Snarling Mallard's post of 3 Jan. I somewhat reluctantly popped in on Sunday evening, & all the staff negatives he lists- & more- were in place. The place was dingy, dirty & untidy away from the bar, & ESB was both well-expensive yet of unexceptional quality. I think the rot set in when the pub was refurbed & trebled in size, changed hands, & was gastroed up by Fuller's. Shame, but true...
19 May 2015 16:19

Ye Old Mitre, Holborn

picture of Ye Old Mitre, Holborn

Address: 1 Ely Court, Ely Place, Holborn, London, EC1N 6SJ
Phone: 020 7405 4751
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Nearest tube stations: Chancery Lane (0.2 miles), Farringdon (0.2 miles), Barbican (0.5 miles)

Nearest DLR station: Bank (1 mile)

Nearest train stations: Farringdon (0.2 miles), City Thameslink (0.4 miles), London Barbican (0.5 miles)

Reviews by BITE users:

Made sure I visited when in London last month as it supports Mild in May.Not disappointed.Three milds on when I visited from Batemans,Enville and Hoskins.Tried the Enville and Hoskins offerings,both most acceptable.Pretty unique for a London pub to have outside gents.
7 Jun 2015 05:09
An unchanging gem hidden down a passage off Hatton Garden and within really easy range of both Farringdon and Chancery Lane stations. Always a good, changing range of well-kept beers. Ye Olde Mitre has retained the old fashioned pub approach to food for people having a few drinks – things like pork pies and scotch eggs. It is small and can get very busy at times, but equally you can find it pleasantly quiet. Oodles of character and a very long history.
29 Apr 2015 10:53
I think that this pub got new management a little while back - I overheard someone behind the bar telling a customer that they weren't planning to change anything. Good thing too. It's a curious place, but all the better for that. Real ale choice almost always good, and usually a hand pumped cider too. Food is snacks - toasties, scotch eggs, sausage (singular!) - sometimes called "English tapas".
8 Apr 2015 15:35

Trafalgar Freehouse, South Wimbledon

picture of Trafalgar Freehouse, South Wimbledon

Address: 23 High Path, Merton, London, SW19 2JY
Phone: 020 85425342
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Nearest tube stations: South Wimbledon (0.2 miles), Colliers Wood (0.6 miles), Morden (0.9 miles)

Nearest train stations: Haydons Road (0.9 miles), Wimbledon (0.9 miles), South Merton (1.1 miles)

Reviews by BITE users:

one of the best pubs around,enjoyed the surrey hills shere drop and collusion(new one for me)both very good.3 other beers on.cheeky cherry kriek finnish.excellent night had by all for my friends 40th birthday,and she did a good bat out of hell on the karoke!great pub and the staff were good too!
11 Oct 2015 01:31
Thursday night in the traff is always a treat. great beer and good live music. A different band / singer . Some original, some covers . Always worth a try.
4 Oct 2015 20:10
excellent boozer,enjoyed the surrey hills shere drop and very good by the horns lamberth walk porter.
8 Mar 2015 12:57

The Plume of Feathers, Greenwich

picture of The Plume of Feathers, Greenwich

Address: 19, Park Vista, Greenwich, London, SE10 9LZ
Phone: 020 8858 1661
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Nearest DLR stations: Cutty Sark (0.4 miles), Island Gardens (0.6 miles), Greenwich (0.7 miles)

Nearest train stations: Maze Hill (0.1 miles), Greenwich (0.7 miles), Westcombe Park (0.9 miles)

Reviews by BITE users:

Another infrequent visit to this good locals pub. Service a bit slow as usual.
HopStuff Single on tap along with the Brockley Brewery, Harveys and Damned Doomed Bar. Had the Local HopStuff which was good.
29 Aug 2015 16:28
Only discovered this pub recently. I concur, it's far and away the best pub in Greenwich; friendly, good character and well kept good value beer. Very handy for the park.
24 Jun 2015 13:50
Thanks again for making a great pub crawl extra special .James and Anna your the tops guys. This is truly a special pub and iimplore one and all to come take a look . Sorry by the way if we were all a bit noisy but we all do feel at home here .RIP dave a very nice man you will be missed
21 Jun 2015 17:40

All Inn One, Forest Hill

picture of All Inn One, Forest Hill

Address: 53 Perry Vale, Forest Hill, London, London, SE23 2NE
Phone: 0208 699 3311
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Nearest train stations: Forest Hill (0.1 miles), Honor Oak Park (0.8 miles), Sydenham (0.9 miles)

Reviews by BITE users:

A revisit for me as the last pub on a small Saturday night crawl.

My first visit since January 2013 and only my 2nd ever visit.

It’s busy with food proving popular.

After visiting a couple of local pubs this was a welcome as it’s calm, has a nice class of punter and well-kept beer.

3 ales on the hand pumps on my visit, I went for pints of Cottage Brewery Iron Duke @ 4.3% & Head in a Hat Tommy @ 4.2%. Both kept very well and served with a smile.

A quick mention about the toilets, they are very clean.

I’m unsure why I don’t use this pub more often but I think I will change that from now on, it’s definitely worth a visit.
5 Jul 2015 08:18
Super professional, friendly staff. Food is wonderful- definitely the best in forest hill- unpretentious, hot, generous portions, really good quality meat etc.
toilets are consistently the cleanest pub toilets I have ever seen. Chefs whites are really white and clean too- he will often lend a hand at bar after slaving at stove. Almost worried its gonna get swamped with yummy mummies it so nice.
19 Apr 2015 17:51
Two years since last reviewing this pub I thought I'd update my opinions. If anything the pub has improved. It still has great staff including a great new manager. Saturday night is themed, at present it's Rock'n'Roll bingo which ends with a trip to the dance floor, great fun. It has BT Sport Premiership games, no Sky tv, which is great as it doesn't have all the luggage that goes with dedicated sports bars. In my opinion the welcoming atmosphere puts it way ahead of the pretentious Sylvan Post and Dartmouth, and the aircraft-hangar-dimensioned Witherspoon's Capital doesn't really warrant a mention. Highly recommended for anyone passing.
22 Feb 2015 16:02

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