Why are drinking places called pubs

The best pubs in London

Like no other city, London manages to skillfully combine two areas: history and beer. The best combination of these can be found in London's Public Houses, called pubs for short. A long time ago, prostitutes, bare-knuckle boxers and liquor-devoted writers were drawn to pubs in London. Today in British pubs, instead of melancholy artists with oil lamps, you will find hipsters with iPads. But you are there for the same reasons: because of the cozy atmosphere and the delicious beer.

What the Opening times of the pubs When it comes to London, you don't have to worry. Until 2005, the landlord rang the bell for “Last Order” at 10.45 p.m., but today the curfew is much more relaxed and allows convivial evenings late into the night.

A lot has happened in recent years as far as the food is concerned. Many pubs have upgraded their restaurants and serve very good English food.

The 15 best pubs in London

Here you can find our tips for them most traditional and best pubs in London. There you can best enjoy one or more pints:

1. Ye Olde Miter Tavern

The Ye Olde Miter Tavern is a little hidden, but it's definitely worth the search. Once you have found the narrow alley and walked through the doors, you have the feeling of having traveled with a time machine. No wonder, because pints have been sold here for over 400 years. A really nice pub full of charm and character, which has also served as a backdrop for cult films such as Snatch. Make sure to try the real ales and sandwiches!

Address: 1 Ely Pl, London EC1N 6SJ

2. Lamb & Flag

Charles Dickens is said to have had his pint in this pub. 200 years ago, the Lamb & Flag was still called the "blood bucket" due to the regular bare knuckle boxing matches. Today, however, you can no longer find any teeth on the floor of the Tudor building not far from Leicester Square. Even if there is always something going on here, it is harmonious - at least most of the time. 😉 The pub's kitchen is known for its excellent cuisine. The pies should be the best in the area!

address: 33 Rose St, London WC2E 9EB

3. Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese

Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese is actually said to be the oldest pub in London. It was built after the great fire of London in 1667 to replace a pub that was there from 1538. The various passageways and rooms that made the pub so special have remained. Incidentally, the sign on the door with the inscription “Gentlemen only served in this bar” is no longer valid - now everyone can of course enjoy the delicious drinks and dishes!

Address: 145 Fleet St, London EC4A 2BU

4. The George Inn

The George Inn is one of the classics of London pubs and is the last to have a gallery. You can have your drink on the second floor, just like Shakespeare is said to have done here. If the weather cooperates, the cozy inner courtyard is also a real alternative. Sit out here and enjoy a mild summer evening - the perfect way to end a long day of sightseeing! By the way, the London Bridge is very close by. If you are sightseeing nearby, The George Inn is a nice resting place!

Address: 75-77 Borough High St, London SE1 1NH

5. Spaniards Inn

On the outskirts of Hampstead Heath is the iconic Spaniards Inn, which has many legends. For example, the famous English mugger Richard "Dick" Turpin is said to have learned his trade here, and Charles Dickens immortalized the pub in his novel "The Pickwickies". Today you can make yourself comfortable by the fireplace in bad weather and spend a relaxed and sociable evening thanks to the huge selection of draft beers, craft beers and wines.

Address:Spaniards Rd, Hampstead, London NW3 7JJ

6. The Coach & Horses

The Coach & Horses is not one of the veteran pubs in London, but sees itself as an advocate of the old pub tradition. Owner-managed pubs in the center are now having a hard time with the big chains. The Coach & Horses, for example, acts as a bulwark against the mainstream and, with its slogan “A real pub, real London, real people, real conversation”, makes a powerful front against uniformity. The pub also boasts of being the first meatless pub in London. Of course, we tested that directly and have to admit, the vegan fish & chips from Coach & Horses in Greek Street are delicious!

Address: 29 Greek Street, Soho, W1D 5dDH

7. The Churchill Arms

Well, The Churchill Arms' advertising strategy definitely worked, I would say. The pub has become one of the most photographed spots in London with its colorful facade and lavish seasonal flowers. But it is also simply an eye-catcher. It's no less delightful inside, especially because the atmosphere at the Churchill Arms in Kensington is always great. Who can no longer see the typical pub food, will be happy about the offer. In addition to the large selection of beers, the menu also includes Chinese noodles and spring rolls!

Address: 119 Kensington Church St, Kensington, W8 7LN

8. The Grapes

Only one little thing in the pub points to the famous owner of The Grapes: In the corner there is a Gandalf figure from "Lord of the Rings". Because the actor Sir Ian McKellen has been the owner of the pub since 2011 - which means that you will meet tourists rather than locals here. When the weather is nice, you shouldn't miss a detour to the small balcony at the back of the pub: Here, the Thames is literally at your feet!

Address:76 Narrow St, London E14 8BP

9. The Fitzroy Tavern

Bloomsbury was once the center of London's cultural scene. During this time, the Fitzroy Tavern was frequented by some of the pub's top figures. Jacob Epstein, Nina Hamnett and George Orwell once piked a lot there and many more. The pub in the center of Fitzrovia still enjoys cult status today. The neat pub - housed in a beautiful Victorian building - has recently been renovated. That not only earned the shop a design award, but also an even more enthusiastic clientele!

Address: 16 Charlotte St, Marylebone, W1T 2LY

10. The Harp

The Harp in Covent Garden is one of the most popular pubs in London. Large crowds of people regularly form in front of the flower-adorned façade made of lead glass - and rightly so. Because the range of cider and beer is enormous, and the classic pub dishes are extremely tasty. Make sure to try the hot dogs!

Address: 47 Chandos Pl, London WC2N 4HS

11. Wheatsheaf Borough Market

Honestly, there is nothing I like more than having a cold beer in the back yard of this pub after visiting Borough Market. The Wheatsheaf Borough Market is one of my all-time favorites. During the week the atmosphere is unbeatable here and from experience I can say that the service is super friendly! By the way, the best time to visit the pub is around 5:30 p.m., when Londoners gather here for an after-work beer.

Address: 6 Stoney St, London SE1 9AA

12. The Dove

When the weather is good, The Dove is one of my favorite places to go. From the terrace you have a wonderful view of the Thames! If you are out and about in the area, you like to stop in the pub. One or two celebrities are also regular customers there. We haven't recognized anyone yet, but the bar's VIP wall is impressive!

Address: 19 Upper Mall, Hammersmith W6 9TA

13. The Mayflower

The rather rustic, but still super cozy The Mayflower was built in 1550, making it the oldest pub right on the Thames. Sailors and pirates used to come and go here. A nice, if somewhat more expensive, restaurant is located in the upper area. Here you can enjoy an impressive view of the Thames!

Address: 117 Rotherhithe St, London SE16 4NF

14. Blue Post

We discovered this pub on one of our recent trips and we can only recommend it! We put the pub to the acid test and stormed into the pub with 15 people who couldn't be more different. The surprise: everyone felt comfortable. The recipe for success is simple, the pub has everything a pub should have: atmospheric decor, great atmosphere and friendly staff. The Blue Post is also right in the center of Soho, just five minutes from Regent Street.

Address: 18 Kingly Street, Soho W1B 5PX

15. The French House

The best for last: The French House in Soho. Once the home of the bohemians, a refuge for artists, authors, strollers, muses and ex-boxers. Meeting point for politicians in exile, for marginalized social figures, for those who have failed and for intellectuals. Together they drank, smoked, laughed, and molested each other with Ricard in the London pub. The great days of the French House are over, but the spirit of the creative subculture of yesteryear still sits in the corner watching over its home! The French House still has a reputation like Donnerhall and is one of the most prestigious in town.

Address: 49 Dean Street, Soho W1D 5BG


Pub Crawl: Three wet and happy tours

Tour of London's historic pubs

This is my number 1! Of course, this is also due to my nostalgic heart that I prefer to go to the very old pubs of the city. But it's just too exciting to dance in the same place where Elizabeth I shone her dance floor or where writer Charles Dickens found his inspiration. There is a tour that goes to all of these historical places and gives a lot of insider knowledge. And the best: After the tour, I had at least two new favorite bars. Yeah

Book a tour

Combined tour: sightseeing tour with a visit to the pub

You don’t like to sit in bars in the evening, but you don’t want to miss out on the typical pub activities? Then this combined tour is a great way to get two activities in one. First, go on a sightseeing tour to some of the city's most important landmarks such as Big Ben and Westminster Abbey. Afterwards you will go to a pub for refreshment, where you will get a traditional English lunch!

Book a tour

Pub crawl with party

This is the party variant for everyone who really wants to immerse themselves in London's nightlife. For five hours you rattle off the city's hip pubs and clubs in a group and let it rip. Let me tell you: it will definitely be wet and happy. You get the drinks at a reduced price and one shot per location for free!

Book a tour


More pubs

The new Loving London travel guide

Would you like to take all of the information with you to London in print? You can now find even more insider spots, pubs, restaurants & cafés in our Loving London travel guide!

  • 27 insider guides for over 40 London districts
  • 13 leaderboards for cafes, tea time, markets, tours and much more.
  • WithDistrict maps and more officialSubway map
  • our budget tips for the small travel budget
  • With free app for iOS and Android