The best pubs in London everyone should know about

Find The Orange Pub & Boutique Hotel in a beautifully restored building near Victoria and Sloane Square stations. Credit: The Orange Pub & Boutique Hotel

The pub is the one constant in the continuously changing landscape of British society, and London showcases its fair share of stellar spots across the capital. There’s something so comforting about stopping by your local for a Sunday roast and a pint with friends and family. From award-winning gastropubs to charming gems with river views and some much-loved local boozers, the best pubs in London await.

London’s enviable pub scene includes restored centuries-old landmarks, sunny riverside gems, casual watering holes loved by locals and an iconic MICHELIN-starred destination. Read on for the best pubs in London worth visiting if you’re looking for great food or just want to stop by for a drink, or two, and book your spot on OpenTable.

 

The best pubs in London to visit ASAP – read on for a guide

 

For wood-fired pizzas and a roaring fire – visit The Orange Pub & Boutique Hotel in Belgravia

A large dining table decorated with flowers at The Orange Pub & Boutique Hotel in London

The private dining rooms offer the perfect setting for a celebratory time with friends and family or an office party with colleagues. Credit: The Orange Pub & Boutique Hotel

Pizzas, burgers, beers and cocktails at Expect wood-fired pizzas and craft ales at The Orange Pub & Boutique Hotel

Expect wood-fired pizzas and craft ales at The Orange Pub & Boutique Hotel. Credit: The Orange Pub & Boutique Hotel

A spread of dishes and wine sit on a table near a hight window with views over the street at The Orange Pub & Boutique Hotel in London

Intimate corners and a buzzing pub atmosphere make The Orange Pub & Boutique Hotel one of London’s best pubs. Credit: The Orange Pub & Boutique Hotel

Step inside this beautifully restored 1800s brewery and coffee house in the heart of Belgravia. Housed in the charming The Orange Hotel, expect an extensive menu of Mediterranean influences such as fried truffled burrata, seasonal roasted vegetables, spices seafood stew, chilli rigatoni and wood-pired pizza. The Sunday roast menu boasts impressive versions of the British favourite, from roasted porchetta to stuffed baked quince, beef rump with horseradish crème fraîche and a spectacular oven-baked pumpkin pasta. Antique furniture, a roaring fireplace, lively vibes and must-try craft ales set the scene in this historic pub. The Orange Pub & Boutique Hotel‘s excellent location offers the perfect setting for a comforting meal after a scenic walk by the River Thames.

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For one of the best beer gardens in London loved by locals – try The Draper’s Arms in Islington

An elegant dining room adorned with a chandelier, a fireplace, a mirror and chequerboard floor at The Drapers Arms

The elegant upper floor sets the tone for a cosy Sunday roast. Credit: The Drapers Arms

The blue facade of The Drapers Arms

Find The Drapers Arms stunning building in the heart of Islington. Credit: The Drapers Arms

A large green bar at The Drapers Arms, one of the best pubs in London

Grab a stool by the downstair’s bar to sip on craft ales for a casual weekend afternoon. Credit: The Drapers Arms

The Drapers Arms is the epitome of chic Islington, with its high ceilings, chandeliers and chequerboard floor. It’s been a neighbourhood favourite for years, a distinction that’s unlikely to change anytime soon. The food mirrors the ambiance and is in line with what you might expect of an Islington pub. Think dishes such as steak and Guinness pie, smoked duck magret stew, baked scallops, cod with potatoes, creamed fennel and leeks, and Sunday roasts. A garden for the warmer months and private dining are also available. 

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For a special occasion – book a table at The Surprise in Chelsea

A pear tartlet with ice cream at The Surprise

Don’t skip dessert: the mulled pear tartlet with port reduction and honeycomb ice cream is a must-try. Credit: The Surprise

Two bloody marys sit on a table with frames on the wall at The Surprise in Chelsea

Beat the hangover with a signature bloody mary (and a hearty Sunday roast). Credit: The Surprise

Pink and bright interiors with plants and a fireplace at The Surprise in Chelsea

The Surprise’s stunning interiors make for a celebratory special occasion. Credit: The Surprise

It’s hard to beat The Surprise for location. You’ll find it on the corner of Christchurch Terrace, a quiet residential street a stone’s throw away from the Thames, Battersea Park and King’s Road, one of London’s most iconic shopping streets. Since opening its doors in 1853, The Surprise has been a staple to many in Chelsea. Locals and tourists alike come for the seasonal, local produce and a range of cask ales. Favourites on the menu include the Stokes Marsh farm ribeye steak with confit garlic, pan-fried gnocchi with mushrooms and artichokes and a Scottish halibut served with cauliflower and crispy capers. Wash it down with Surprise Ale, the pub’s house ale.  

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For a cosy neighbourhood gem – try The Princess of Shoreditch in Shoreditch

An elegant dining room adorned with a hanging lights, a fireplace and a mirror at The Princess of Shoreditch in London

Head upstairs for a cosy and elegant lunch with friends and family. Credit: The Princess of Shoreditch

Two gastropub dishes at The Princess of Shoreditch in London

The Princess of Shoreditch stands out from the local pub landscape thanks to beautifully presented gastropub dishes. Credit: The Princess of Shoreditch

Wooden interiors and a dimly-lit bar at The Princess of Shoreditch in London

Move over downstairs for some great pints in a lively ambiance after your meal at The Princess of Shoreditch. Credit: The Princess of Shoreditch

Head to The Princess of Shoreditch to escape East London’s hustle and bustle. Tucked away in a quiet part of Shoreditch, this gastropub serves a set lunch menu along with à la carte options and a Sunday selection. Start your meal with brie and truffle goujères and Welsh rarebit tart before moving on to a confit pork belly with apple miso and pork jus. Round it off with a rhubarb soufflé with white chocolate ice cream or a vanilla mousse, with maple and pecan. If you fancy a Sunday roast at this award-winning free house, go for the beef sirloin or the walnut and apricot nut roast with mushroom gravy.

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For one of the best pubs in London for beef wellington – try The Grenadier in Belgravia

Beef wellington with salad and jus at The Grenadier in London

The renowned beef wellington with truffled mushrooms is a must-try at The Grenadier. Credit: The Grenadier

The interiors of a pub with a ceiling covered in money at The Grenadier in London

Legend says that visitors hang money from the ceiling in an attempt to pay the debt of a dead soldier. Credit: The Grenadier

A large bar with draft beer lined up at The Grenadier in London

Immerse yourself in a historic setting full of treasures from the past at The Grenadier. Credit: The Grenadier

With its striking red door and navy blue facade calling you inside, The Grenadier is an Instagram magnet – the exterior serves as a background for many a post – and also a favourite among Belgravia residents. Stop by for the special lunch featuring duck croquettes with paprika mayo and a beef burger with bacon and smoked applewood cheddar served with skin on fries. Sundays are also popular, with menu highlights including the roasted lamb rump and the famous beef wellington with truffled mushrooms, potato fondant, caramelised shallot, and beetroot puree.

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For a MICHELIN-starred pub experience – don’t miss Harwood Arms in Fulham

Venison pâté en croûte at Harwood Arms in London

Start off your meal with a must-try venison pâté en croûte at Harwood Arms. Credit: Harwood Arms

A plate of beef short ribs with vegetables at Harwood Arms in London

Explore award-winning staples such as the beef short ribs with garlic and celeriac confit in beef fat. Credit: Harwood Arms

A blue bar with hanging lights and bottles lined up on the walls at Harwood Arms in London

Enjoy MICHELIN-starred dishes in a relaxed, casual vibe at Harwood Arms. Credit: Harwood Arms

It’s all very British at the Harwood Arms, from the focus on game and wild food to the venison Scotch eggs the pub is renowned for. The honey comes from Richmond Park, the beef from Hereford and the veal from Cumbria. There’s even a rooftop vegetable garden responsible for providing some of the ingredients during the warmer months. Head chef Josh Cutress and chef-owner Brett Graham, who both worked at The Ledbury, run the kitchen and create favourites such as Wareham Dorset sika deer, Iberian pork (from Whitley Manor Farm) with Jerusalem artichokes and walnuts and short ribs with chanterelles and bone marrow.

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For one of the best pubs in London with charming river views – book at The White Swan in Twickenham

The white exterior facade of The White Swan Twickenham overlooking the Thames in London

Overlooking the river, The White Swan Twickenham feels like a tranquil getaway in the countryside. Credit: The White Swan Twickenham

Sitting above a shallow slope overlooking the Thames, The White Swan has an idyllic setting to soak up river views while you eat. It’s often called the prettiest pub in London thanks to its Twickenham location and interiors with a cosy fireplace and stripped floors, as well as a veranda that leads to a beer garden. Expect to find all the classics on the menu, including bangers and mash, beef burgers and fish and chips, as well as some original takes of honey mustard chipolatas, chicken fajita, wholetail scampi with home cut chips and pasta in vegan cream. There’s also a wide variety of drinks to choose from, including hand-pulled real ales and draft beers and ciders. 

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For one of the best pubs in central London – visit The Lore of the Land in Fitzrovia

A spread of British dishes and red wine at The Lore of the Land in London

Expect fresh and seasonal ingredients sourced from local suppliers at The Lore of the Land. Credit: The Lore of the Land

A pint of Gritchie brew beer at The Lore of the Land in London

The pub serves its own craft beer, Gritchie brews. Credit: The Lore of the Land

The interiors of The Lore of the Land in London

Gorgeous interiors with roaring fireplaces and cosy sittings make The Lore of the Land a gem of a pub. Credit: The Lore of the Land

Central London is a hotspot for some of the best pubs in the capital, and The Lore of the Land is among the finest. This traditional pub serves its own craft beer, Gritchie brews, which is made at Ashgrove Farm on the Wiltshire and Dorset border. Pair your drinks with dishes such as cob tempura, beef tartare, crab risotto, spiced monkfish, and roasted cauliflower, as well as Sunday options including pork belly with burnt apple sauce and slow-cooked lamb with quince and red currant jelly.

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For one of the best pubs in London for brunch and Sunday lunch – book at The Garrison in Bermondsey

A white plate featuring meat, vegetables and colourful jus at The Garrison in London

Expect seasonal local ingredients at The Garrison. Credit: The Garrison

A spread of colourful pub dishes at The Garrison in London

The 5 course tasting menu boasts some of the best seasonal and regional produce. Credit: The Garrison

Bright and airy interiors with hanging lights and plants at The Garrison in London

Lively vibes await at The Garrison, a neighbourhood gem loved by locals and visitors alike. Credit: The Garrison

Get that vintage feeling at The Garrison, a smart gastropub with exposed walls and fittings. This public house is on the bustling Bermondsey streets, where it attracts locals and newcomers alike. The Garrison is relatively new for a pub, having debuted in 2003. Since then, it has built a reputation as one of London’s best watering holes thanks to a menu featuring brunch and Sunday lunch. Choose from Sunday roast options such as sirloin on the bone, chicken breast, and beetroot and chickpea nut roast. Or let the chef decide with the rotating 5-course seasonal tasting menu.

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For Mediterranean-style pub classics – book a table at The Bobbin in Clapham

The Bobbin’s deep blue tones eschew classic British pub for Mediterranean vibes. The interiors go some way to explain the menu, which is influenced by Italian food and features options such as ricotta and black truffle ravioli, penne with sausage ragù, burrata with figs and a must-try board of Italian prosciutto, speck and salami. Of course, this is a London pub after all, so you can still choose Sunday roasts and the Bobbin beef burger, served with mozzarella, grilled onion and jalapeño mayonnaise. 

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