The best London pubs are no longer just places to hang out for a drink. They have become award winning eating destinations in their own right. The competition between so called gastro pubs is now as intense as the best restaurants in the capital. You won’t go wrong with any of our Top 10.
You might need to get your satnav out to find the Harwood Arms but it is worth it. Some of the best pub dining in the city is available here with the best in British seasonal produce. But then with Brett Graham of the award winning The Ledbury one of the team behind it then it’s not surprising it is often the top of any gastro pub guide.
This is a listed 19th century pub in the heart of Clerkenwell. Again British produce and local farmers are key to the menu here with changes every month to showcase the best food available at all times of the year. Try its six-hour braised beef ribs for two to share, or its bun and cheek. An ox cheek braised in Worcestershire sauce, served in a brioche bun with hand cut chips and dipping gravy. Yum.
Situated in the increasingly fashionable area of Bermondsey around the corner from London Bridge, The Garrison is as well known for its wine list as it is food. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner with the emphasis on dishes using produce from artisan suppliers. This is a lovely room to sit, relax and lose a few comfortable hours. There is even has a cinema hidden away on its ground floor where you can take your wine or beer and enjoy a classic with a tasty snack.
The Marquess Tavern
You will have to travel to Highbury and Islington in North London to enjoy the Marquess Tavern. Here you will have to fight for a table with the locals as this is a true neighbourhood pub offering great food in a homely setting. Sunday roasts are a big draw, particularly its 28 day cured Yorkshire sirloin of beef.
The Brittannia Richmond
This is one of the institutions of the neighbourhood of Richmond. Nestled down a cobbled street just next to its popular town green, The Britannia offers both good gastro food and more refined dining in its upstairs restaurant. It is also popular for its garden and roof terrace. Another favourite for Sunday roasts and weekend brunches. Lots of great British classics here like pork chops, fish and chips, finished off with an Eton Mess.
One of the oldest pubs in Mayfair this offers history, as well as great central London dining in a lovely relaxed setting. It has been serving food to London’s finest since 1750. It offers comfort dining in the main pub, or more fine dining in its dedicated restaurant. It also boasts one of the best wine lists for a pub in London.
Part of the Three Cheers Pub Company, The Bolingbroke is a lovely neighbourhood restaurant at the more “locals” end of the popular Northcote Road just down from Clapham Junction train station. The Bolingbroke offers that great combination of good hearty bar snacks, a varied menu of classic gastro dishes which can be enjoyed either in the main pub area, or further back in the quieter restaurant area. The bar team here is also one of the best in London.
A classic local in East Finchley in north London, this has been part of this neighbourhood since 1714. Great burgers, wonderful roasts, four out of five star reviews and a drinks list to match make this worthy of its gastro pub tag. You also can’t miss it as it has an iconic rooftop stag emblem that overlooks the high street.
The Fox and Grapes
Situated just on the edge of Wimbledon Common this is the perfect pit stop after a lengthy walk. You won’t be alone, either, as this is one of the most acclaimed and awarded pubs in the country. But then that’s not surprising considering it is owned by Michelin-star chef, Claude Bosi who runs the Hibiscus restaurant. It is, therefore, a little more expensive than your average gastro pub, but then is nothing average about the highly impressive Fox and Grapes.
The Drapers Arms
Another historic London pub, this one dates back to the 1830s. It also attracts locals and tourists alike and offers a wide range of classic British dishes including suet crust oxtail pie, calves liver, grouse and bacon, and forerib of beef. With a lovely relaxing garden The Drapers Arms makes a nice hideaway in Angel, North London from the hustle and bustle of the city.