After studying at the University of Westminster, London is easily one of my favorite cities in the world. The culture, architecture, history, cleanliness of the city, and obviously, the pubs, make London one of my top travel destinations. I’m telling you, I’ve got some of the best pubs in London in this list!
London is the capital of the United Kingdom and the central business hub of the country. From the huge financial district of Canary Wharf to the tech hub of Shoreditch, London is a must-visit destination for everyone.
It’s socially acceptable to grab a pint at any time of day, and as a university student, my friends and I took advantage of that very often. Although pubs are everywhere in London, many of them are now chains, taking away the authenticity of them. This list is comprised of traditional, independently owned pubs, so that you can experience traditional English-culture.
Here are my choices for the 6 best pubs in London:
1. The Elgin
The Elgin is an authentic Gastro Pub on the corner of Ladbroke Grove, in Notting Hill. I became a frequent visitor of this pub when I lived here, as this was about a 5 minute walk from my flat. The Elgin is the local spot of the neighborhood to watch the local rugby or football match. The beer selection is pretty good, boasting a lot of local draughts, but the wine selection here is even better.
The pub takes traditional English cuisine and refines it, with food sourced sustainably- sustainability is the norm in Notting Hill. When the weather is nice, they also have a lovely little outdoor area. The Elgin is just a hop and a skip from the famous Portobello Road street market and Ladbroke Square Garden. Just take the Circle or Hammersmith & City tube line to Ladbroke Grove Station.
2. Princess Louise
The Princess Louise Pub is located near Bloomsbury and Russel Square, making it one of Central London’s best pubs. This is a protected historic pub, built in 1872, with a traditional Victorian interior. Princess Louise boasts a traditional wood fireplace that will warm you up on any cold day- although the smoke can be a bit heavy at times. The interior of this place is reason to visit alone, but the place also has the reputation of a “former gin palace.”
The pub is also one of the cheapest pubs on High Holborn, surprising for its Central London location. One thing to note is that Princess Louise only sells beers from the Samuel Smith Brewery, so you won’t get a wide selection of the local ale. The charm of this place is remarkable, just take the tube to Holborn Station.
3. The Gunners
If you are an Arsenal fan, there is no better place to go on match day than The Gunners pub. This is without a doubt one of the best pubs for football in London. The place is decked out in Arsenal gear and has a heated beer garden out back. In addition to watching footie matches, you can also play pool, darts, ping pong, and the drums.
This Gunners watering hole is located less than a mile from the Emirates Stadium, so you can watch the game here or come by after for a victory pint. However, you should note that this pub is cash only.
4. The World’s End
The World’s End pub is located in Camden, one of my favorite areas in London. Located on Camden High Street, this pub is thought to have been built in the 1700’s. Camden has an eclectic, steampunk-style population- and The World’s End is no different, playing rock music at all times of day. This pub sits directly above The Underworld, a known music venue in the area.
This pub is one of the only places in London where you are able to grab a pint of Czech Staropramen Lager, and is served from a specialist tank from behind the bar. To get here, just take the Northern Line to Camden Station.
5. French House
Charles De Gaulle, Dylan Thomas, and Francis Bacon have all visited this classic pub in Soho. This pub is an old boozer, with tributes to traditional France. The French House has many quirky attributes compared to other pubs in the area- beer is only served in half pints and technology use is strictly prohibited. There was always a crowd when my friends and I came here, with patrons normally spilling into the front of the pub.
This is another pub with a limited beer selection, but great wine selection. I love a good red wine, and the French reds here are remarkable. You can get to this Soho pub by walking about 3 minutes from the Chinatown tube gate.
6. The Churchill Arms
Of course, my list could not be complete without The Churchill Arms, located in Kensington. This is the only pub on the list that is a chain, run by Fuller’s. However, this pub does not have a traditional pub menu, as it serves Thai food (very, very yummy Thai food). However, don’t believe everything you hear about this pub- Winston Churchill did not hold radio broadcasts here, but his grandparents did drink here in the 1800’s. To get here, just take a short walk from the Notting Hill Gate tube station.
The Churchill Arms is one of the most extra-looking pubs I’ve ever seen, with the flowers on the exterior of the building costing around £25,000 every year.Not only is this pub extremely photogenic and beautiful, but so is the area around it. Kensington (right near Notting Hill), is one of the most beautiful neighborhoods in London.