The Best of the Boozers: My top 10 London Pubs

Having lived in London for nearly a year now, I feel that I can offer some tips to anyone new to the big city looking for a decent pint that won’t leave you wincing after seeing the price. The following list is by no means definitive, but all are strong recommendations which each have their own certain charm.

1.) The Chandos – Trafalgar Square

Waxy O'Connor's
The Wonder of Waxy's

£2.20 for a pint with a view of one of London’s most famous tourist traps, it’s as simple as that. This place is not exactly a well-guarded secret, more a smart choice for anyone who really knows the West End. The drinks are all from Samuel Smith’s Tadcaster brewery, an independent company which makes gorgeous lager and cider. The only big name brand in sight is McCoy’s, and that is no bad thing!
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2.) Waxy O’Connor’s, Leicester Sqaure

Think of this more as a folk concept album than a pub. Three floors underground with a giant tree in the middle, this place is straight out of Middle Earth, with wooden balconies and low ceilings. The potato wedges are worth their weight in gold and there’s a great range of draughts, just don’t expect much change from your fiver.
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3.) The Rocket, Euston

Anyone familiar with the Scream pub franchise will be aware of their legendary value deals. £3.75 for Beer and a Burger, £1 a pint night, the epic Scream Burger – they’re all here. Convenient walking distance from both Euston and Kings Cross stations, with a giant projector screen, this is my top tip for anyone wanting to watch a football match.
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4.) The Castle, Farringdon

There’s something about this place which gives it real charm. Maybe it’s the friendly staff, the lavish furniture or the delicious food. This Mitchell & Butler’s franchised pub has a great selection of obscure draughts and it’s striking distance from Fabric, if you’re into the clubbing scene.
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The 563 year-old Mitre Tavern
The 463 year-old Mitre Tavern

5.) Ye Olde Mitre Tavern, Holborn Circus

I like to entertain the notion that Henry VIII once drank here. It’s possible (if not likely), since the Mitre was founded in 1546. I’m sure the portly adulterer would’ve loved the choice of real ales, toasted sandwiches and mixed nuts on offer in this distinctly old-mannish pub.
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6.) The Crown Tavern, Clerkenwell Green – Perfect for an outdoor pint watching the sun set.
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7.) The Camden Head, Angel – Spacious and trendy, in the heart of the Camden Passage antiques market.
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8.) The Founders Arms, Southwark – You can’t put a price on a pub with a view of the Thames, which is just as well because this place ain’t cheap!
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9.) The World’s End, Camden – Forget the apocalyptic name (The Underworld metal club is next door), this is a spacious boozer with an upstairs balcony and Victorian courtyard-style décor.
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10.) The George & Vulture, Hoxton – Their quality pub quiz has yielded alcoholic prizes to my team on more than one occasion! They also do a delicious stone-baked pizza.
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As always, I’m open to suggestions, particularly in the Bow/Mile End area, because I’ve just moved there. Normal blogging service (with plenty of weighty political rants in store), will resume shortly…

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One thought on “The Best of the Boozers: My top 10 London Pubs

  1. sounds fun – I like the look of the Mitre Tavern!

    I’m issuing a challenge… I don’t often end up in London but I’ve always wondered, since the 24hr licensing laws came in, whether any pub has actually made the most of them. If anywhere, surely there should be one in our capital city…? I’ve been asking londoners for a while now but the most I’ve got so far have only been vague suggestions (“maybe try Soho?”, “camden’s your best bet mate”, “there might be a restaurant in Chinatown which is open late…”) but nothing solid.

    If you can find a 24hr pub (not a club) in London then I’ll gladly buy you a pint in it!

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