Meet our list of the best pubs in London
Happy International Beer Day to all fellow lovers of one of the oldest and most widely consumed alcoholic drinks in the world. It comes as the third most popular drink overall, after water and tea, which is quite impressive.
That’s one of the many reasons why we’ve decided to gather this list of the best places in London where you can have a glass of ice-cold ale. After all, with the heatwave spreading all over the UK, which doesn’t seem to cool off, this is probably the best option on the menu, so enough talking and more drinking. But first:
Meet The Criteria
We won’t lie it was extremely hard to pick just a few of all rousing pubs harboured in London. That’s why we’ve desperately needed some sort of accurate criteria to help us in this uneasy task. So, here it is:
- First of all, we’ve considered the variety, therefore we’ve chosen the pubs which can offer the most different kinds of beer
- The good ale should be treated with a certain amount of respect, that’s why our next criteria was the taste of the beer or in other words - we had to visit the pubs more than once to be sure that each and every time we will get the same great taste of the ordered pints.
- We love the variety of brands, that’s why we’ve chosen the pubs which offer beer from numerous breweries, not just one.
- We’ve decided to skip the Wetherspoons and focus on the independents instead. After all, drinking good ale can let you experience a whole new world and that would be rather hard if you choose the mass-produced beers, although they may surprise you with pretty nice selections.
Let us show you the way to the next beer pub
We sincerely hope you'll enjoy our list of the best pubs in London, where you can have a pint of much beyond decent ale. So let’s talk craft and move on to our first pick:
The Harp, Covent Garden, 47 Chandos Place, WC2N 4HS
Welcome to The Harp, the Evening Standard’s London pub of the year 2019, where a rotating selection of 20 or so brews, focused mainly on real ales, awaits you. You will easily find your favourite cask ale among the ten hand-drawn beers on tap.
Plus, this summer there you’ll have the opportunity to travel back in time. As a proud historical Ale House, The Harp is bringing back Wooden Cask Beer at the bar.
While we're back in time, we want to remind you that in early 2011, the Harp became the first pub in London to receive the ultimate accolade of being
National Pub of the Year 2010by the CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale). Since then, The Harp has been voted as the local CAMRA branch's Pub of the Year in every even year (being not eligible to compete in the odd years, after such impressive wins).
Still, the guys at The Harp are eager to hear what you, the regular customer, think about this well appreciated pub – that’s why if you fill in their online survey, you’ll get the chance to win 250 pounds to spend with Fuller’s.
The only disadvantage of this beloved place is that it might get absolutely rammed but we guess that with everything said so far, this doesn’t come as a surprise.
The Queen's Head, King's Cross, 66 Acton Street, WC1X 9NB Tucked away around the corner from the eponymous station in the heart of the city, this little charming Victorian pub can offer much more than just a good beer, starting with a pleasantly bustling atmosphere.
Here you will find an eclectic selection of ale, lager, stout, porter and cider with constantly changing cask ales and ciders. Plus, a handful of… board games.
This is another pub to have gained CAMRA's public approval, though not for beer but for cider, instead. If this is not your beverage of choice, despite its apple-oriented accolades, the pub’s main booze offering remains beer.
Although the pub should close by the time the clock beats 12 times, if the crew is feeling
fancythey just might let you drink the night away. Especially if you’re into The Queen's Head’s top-shelf whiskey collection.
Have in mind that if you sneak in for just a quick pint, it’s quite possible to miss your train. It’s worth it though.
The Earl of Essex, Islington, 25 Danbury Street, N1 8LE The current home of Earl's Brewery first opened its doors in Islington in 2012 to become the first brewpub in the borough. It can still offer one of the best beer gardens around the block and dazzle you with an ever-changing list of the best local and international beers.
The pub near the Regent’s Canal has a selection of around 18 beers settled on the beer menu that covers one entire wall. The excellent and rather interesting selection includes some established names as well as little-known brewers and its own in-house brew. Aged, tart and spontaneously fermented beers — like your Lambic and Gueuze — may be quite hard to find but there’s an abundance of those non-traditional sorts right here.
That’s among the top reasons why this handsome Georgian pub is a popular spot for serious beer drinkers. Plus, the cosy, woody, bright décor will immediately make you feel comfortable and somehow at home.
The Cock Tavern, Hackney, 315 Mare Street, E8 1EJ
You've probably heard at least once, that The Cock Tavern doesn’t just serve beer — it lives and breathes it.
The once original home of the Howling Hops brewery offers more than 20 lines of great beer, including a fair bit of Howling Hops stuff, that await you in The Cock Tavern. Plus, here you can find an excellent selection of real ciders as well, normally at least 6 are available
According to various sources, there may have been a pub on this site since the early 18th century. However, the current premises was rebuilt by Truman’s Brewery in the 1930s.
A sign advertises
Hackney’s tiniest beer garden, always make us smile while stepping right into it with a fine ale in hand.
- Mother Kelly’s and it’s five locations
The team behind The Queen’s Head in King’s Cross created Mother Kelly’s, whose rich menu kind of looks like the one you may find in an ordinary Chinese restaurant, but this time you get to choose from all sorts of beer instead. The décor is inspired by a classic New York taproom, so book your ticket to the USA and see where things will go from here.
You can find Mother Kelly’s at 5 different locations across the UK’s capital. Let us give you a short, but quite useful guide on those.
Bethnal Green/E2 pub, housed in a converted railway arch, has to offer one Railway Arch, 23 Taps and six Huge Fridges.
At Vauxhall/SE1 is the location where you will find a Bottle Shop, 33 Taps and two Outdoor Seating Areas.
Stratford/E20 is yet another place, sheltering Mother Kelly’s pub. It has to offer 20 beer lines, 6 Wines on tap, 4 Cocktails on tap and 4 Huge Fridges.
At Church Street/N16 you will find over 300 different bottles of beer, six Draught Lines and a bottle shop, packed with only the best ale. Organic wines, ciders, spirits, chocolate, chutneys and cheese are also part of the menu.
Well Street/E9 has a variety of over 400 Bottles, 8 Draught Lines, altogether with Wines & Spirits and Cheese. Plus, in the basement you’ll discover the Tasting Room.
PS: Don’t forget to check the Mother Kelly’s events often, because occasionally there are free in-store tastings.
The White Horse, Parson's Green, 1-3 Parsons Green, SW6 4UL
Best known as The Sloaney Pony, this west London institution serves a lot of great British beer, but when it comes to foreign imports — particularly from Belgium, Germany and the USA - options are countless and rather tempting.
The sizeable beer garden of the iconic pub is often occupied because of the constant ale related events and festivals. After all, the variety here can keep even the most eager beer drinker entertained for quite long.
The lovingly restored and stylishly combining opulent Victorian period features with sumptuous contemporary touches add a pint of class in The White Horse’s atmosphere, turning a casual glass of beer into a memorable experience.
The Euston Tap, Euston, 190 Euston Rd, NW1 2EF
The impressive range of beers, including 47 lines of draught beer, will give you the best possible selection of the beverage available from all over the world. The 8 casks and 150 by the bottle is the thing we love about The Euston Tap. For all those with affection for apples - across the street you may find the pub’s little sis’ in the form of Cider Tap.
The Euston Tap is sheltered in probably the most unusual premises for a London pub, but because of the beer or the friendly staff, everything looks just about right. The unique buildings housing the pub lend a certain cramped charm to the rather unconventional surroundings of the venue.
The Dovetail, Clerkenwell, 9-10 Jerusalem Passage, EC1V 4JP
Welcome to the Belgian bar with the sweet name Dovetail. The food here is tremendous but we’re here for a pint, after all, so let’s fancy the exceptional beer list. Here you will find a truly good range of popular Belgian beers on tap and more than 100 bottles, covering a variety of Belgian beer styles, listed in leather-clad menus. The fine selection can make any other pub jealous of the pronounced collection of Trappist, Lambic, Flanders, Blonde, Amber, Dubbel, Tripel, Quadrupel, Red, Saison and Fruit beers.
The pub’s interior is another fine addition to the whole ale experience, as well, but we just can not skip the Belgian Waffles, which this extraordinary place can offer. Who says that beer and sweets don’t come along, well after we’ve visited the Dovetail, we’re ready to prove them wrong.
A few More Venues
Since the lucky number 8 is just a vertical representation of the eternity symbol, we are ending our list right here with just a few honourable mentions:
Beer Merchants Tap, Hackney Wick, 99 Wallis Rd, E9 5LN
For the past decades (longer than 30 years, actually) Beer Merchants have distributed beverages on behalf of European breweries - Belgian ones especially. That can explain why the substantial taproom around the corner from Hackney Wick Overground station, can offer beers that are quite a challenge to find on draught elsewhere.
Hundreds of others pretty good ales stock the fridges. Soon, the taproom will become even more impressive with the first of its kind in the whole of Britain, very own
The Italian Job, Chiswick, 13 Devonshire Road, W4 2EU
The Italian beer is unfairly underrepresented in London’s craft beer pubs, despite its oft-noted excellence. Thankfully, The Italian Job is here to slightly change the ale’s world as we know it. The pub’s 12 taps showcase a versatile variety of beer styles from Italian brewers.
The pub offers a handful of well-chosen beers from the best London-based brewers as well, and here is the right place to give the cider from Scotland’s Thistly Cross a try.
The Understudy, National Theatre, Upper Ground, South Bank, SE1 9PX This relaxed and friendly craft beer pub has won our hearts with its riverside seating, the good service and the range of draught beers, wines and cocktails. Its package includes in excess of 10 beers on tap and a tank of ‘brewery fresh’. The decor may be simply basic wood, but honestly, with such a tremendous view it’s all you need.
Thank you for joining us for a couple of rounds of fine ale and for giving us a really good excuse to get our job done in some of the best London’s pubs.
Now all we have to say is simply Cheers and Bottoms up! And since your next weekends look fully booked with all these places you should visit to enjoy your ale of choice, maintaining your home clean seems to be far behind in your schedule.
So here we are in case you want to spare yourself the hassle and have tremendous days off with an ice-cold beer in hand. If you need professional cleaning services in London, we’re the ones who can guarantee nothing less than perfection.
Get your quote today and enjoy the weekend in your own magnificent way. Meanwhile, we’ll be happy if you let us know which is your favourite brand or brewery in the comment section below.
Have in mind that we intend to leave this article open for any new additions to the list of great beer pubs, so we’ll gladly use your help in order to update it and keep it accurate.