Best London gastropubs: the best pubs in every part of town

Looking for the best gastropubs in London? Of course you are: we’re British, after all.

Updated on • Written By Pete Dreyer

Best London gastropubs: the best pubs in every part of town

Over the last two decades, London has seen an explosion of gastropubs opening up. The perfect combination of a British pub and good-quality restaurant, the gastropub has brought eating out bang up to date with smart and stylish dining areas and high quality menus. Gastropub cuisine is wide and varied and encompasses dishes from all over the world. Some focus solely on British cuisine, while others offer an eclectic mix of dishes, but the thing these gastropubs all have in common is quality.

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London boasts a fantastic range of great gastropubs, so whether you find yourself in the heart of Covent Garden, the City, Kensington or any other area of London, you’re sure to find a great gastropub in the vicinity. Fashionable, laid back and comfortable, gastropubs are as suited to colleagues enjoying a working lunch as family gatherings with Granny and the kids, so whatever the occasion, you can’t really go wrong. To help you choose a great gastropub for lunch or dinner, we’ve carefully selected what we consider to be the best gastropubs in London and listed them for you below.

Whether you’re in the mood for a craft brew, a traditional Sunday roast or a gourmet sandwich in a sun-drenched beer garden, these London gastropubs won’t disappoint.

SKIP TO THE BEST SECTION

We’ve divided our picks into different sections of London, but if you’re looking for, say, all the gastropubs in Covent Garden, just search via our listings! To find out more about a gastropub, click through to its SquareMeal listing to read the full independent review, as well as reviews from diners, and unique special offers such as free drinks and discounts.

Best gastropubs Central London

Home to the glitz and glam of Fitzrovia, Mayfair et al, Central London is where you'll find some of the capital's swankiest gastropubs. Many of them have seen hefty refurbishments, but they remain historic old boozers at heart. 

Upstairs at The George, Fitzrovia

What: On the upper levels of The George in Fitzrovia, you’ll find a totally separate restaurant, overseen by Kitchen Table supremo James Knappett. This is where Knappett gets to explore his personal affection for British pub grub, and he does so by delivering some of the best quality gastropub fare anywhere in London - dressed crabs, seafood platter and crudites are joined by some whole fish cooking and lux-dishes like a magnificent Tournedos Rossini.
Where: 55 Great Portland Street, Fitzrovia, W1W 7LQ
Book now: Upstairs at The George

Ganymede, Belgravia

What: Named after the largest moon of Jupiter, Ganymede is a long way from your standard pub. There is a little tradition in the brown leather booth seats and wood surfaces, but the menu is British grub turned up to 11, with dishes like suckling pork belly with Stornoway black pudding, roast figs and bitter leaves, and turbot with seaweed gnocchi, baby leeks, pickled cucumber, chive and caviar beurre blanc.
Where: 139 Ebury Street, Belgravia, SW1W 9QU
Book now: Ganymede

The Coach Clerkenwell

What: The Coach’s menu was originally devised by one-time Racine chef Henry Harris, so it has plenty of rustic French charm to it. Guests can expect English and French cooking to go hand-in-hand on the menu, which combines dishes like crab and Granny Smith apple on toast with foie gras and truffle dressing, and grilled onglet steak with chips and peppercorn sauce. The setting is stunning and the bar stocks every drink you could want.
Where: 26-28 Ray Street, Clerkenwell, EC1R 3DJ
Book now: The Coach Clerkenwell

The Three Cranes, Mansion House

What: Tucked down a City side street, this gastropub comprises a buzzy ground-floor bar and a quieter dining room upstairs where the kitchen produces a succession of pleasingly simple, well-executed dishes. Daily-changing cuts of steak and chops, accompanied by pommes frites, salad and a choice of sauces and flavoured butters are served alongside signature dishes such as prawns in garlic butter, Scotch eggs and teriyaki salmon. Chatty service and a cosy atmosphere seal the deal.
Where: 28 Garlick Hill, Mansion House, EC4V 2BA
Book now: The Three Cranes

The Guinea Grill, Mayfair

What: The Guinea Grill is the definition of an old school Mayfair boozer, but behind the rather shabby chic decor and ancient wood panelling lies one of London’s true ‘if you know you know’ restaurant gems. There’s nothing fancy about the crab cocktails, steaks and pies here but the quality is exceptional. Expect it to be pretty raucous in the evenings.
Where: 30 Bruton Place, Mayfair, W1J 6NL
Book now: The Guinea Grill

The Duchess, Marylebone

What: Another recently renovated old pub, The Duchess interiors have been designed to retain the feel of a traditional pub, with plenty of warm wood used throughout the space, while red velvet-touch seating adds a touch of glamour. The menu is all about elevating classics - think bacon and cheddar croquettes with mustard aioli, or crab and crayfish cocktail with grapefruit. Sunday roasts are excellent too.
Where: 39 Duke Street, Marylebone, W1U 1LP
Book now: The Duchess

Norfolk Arms, Bloomsbury

What: Spanish influences hold sway in this Bloomsbury boozer, that’s almost always jam-packed with punters. Ornate plastered ceilings and prim window boxes make for a classic London pub setting in which to enjoy Mediterranean flavours such as Padrón peppers, chorizo in cider, and Serrano ham croquetas. Keep hydrated with draught beers or wine from a globetrotting list.
Where: 28 Leigh Street, Bloomsbury, WC1H 9EP
Book now: Norfolk Arms

The Orange, Pimlico

What: This Pimlico pub has the best of both: a buzzy downstairs pub where you can get a pizza fresh from the wood-fired oven, and an elegant upstairs dining room that resembles a country pub dining room. Here you’ll find more cheffy dishes such as crispy squid with black sesame, roast lamb with farro and wild garlic, and ricotta and lemon cake with grilled peaches.
Where: 37-39 Pimlico Road, Pimlico, SW1W 8NE
Book now: The Orange

The Thomas Cubitt, Belgravia

What: This perfectly proportioned Regency townhouse sports a ground-floor boozer (including a fair amount of the pavement outside) and a pretty Regency dining room upstairs. Downstairs you’ll find an easy-going menu of pub staples ranging from chilli, salt squid to lamb chops and fish and chips, as well as some cracking puds and a cheese plate from esteemed London affineurs Neals Yard.
Where: 44 Elizabeth Street, Belgravia, SW1W 9PA
Book now: The Thomas Cubitt

The Jugged Hare, Barbican

What: With its stag’s heads on the bare brick walls and strung-up rabbits by the toilets, The Jugged Hare is an unabashed celebration of hunting, fishing and shooting, with top-quality game as a standout feature of the seasonal menu. To top it off, portions are huge, wines are carefully paired to each dish, and staff are friendly.
Where: 49 Chiswell Street, Barbican, EC1Y 4SA
Book now: The Jugged Hare

The Lady Ottoline, Holborn

What: Whether you pop in for a quiet beer, a hearty bar snack, a full meal or anything in between, you’re sure of a friendly welcome at this Bloomsbury boozer located a short walk from Chancery Lane and Holborn stations. The elegant yet comforting menu features British classics, including plenty of vegetarian options, while the handsome bar offers over 50 artisan and big name gins, craft beers and real ales.
Where: 11A Northington Street, Holborn, WC1N 2JF
Book now: The Lady Ottoline

The Eagle, Farringdon

What: Since launching in 1991, The Eagle has maintained a reputation for gastropub food of the best sort. The daily menu, which is scrawled on blackboards, features robust flavours from all over the globe, including southern Europe and the Med and everything is spot on. You might have to wait for or share a table – it’s always packed – but it’s an experience worth waiting for.
Where: 159 Farringdon Road, Farringdon, EC1R 3AL
Book now: The Eagle Farringdon

Best gastropubs East London

East London is awash with old pubs, but a few have been swept along with the culinary revolution that has been going on out east. No discussion on London's gastropubs is complete without The Marksman, and those delicious beef and barley buns.

The Marksman, Hackney

What: Once voted Michelin Pub of the Year, this stylish born-again boozer sports a quirky upstairs dining room in which you can enjoy British seasonal food cooked with flair. Inspired by the rich and diverse culinary history of London, you’ll find plenty of fish and seafood on the menu, as well as those famous beef and barley and curried lamb buns, and some cracking beers on draught as well. To drink, pick an Old World wine or a pint of Meantime Yakima Red.
Where: 254 Hackney Road, Hackney, E2 7SJ
Book now: The Marksman

The Spread Eagle, Homerton

What: London’s first completely vegan pub does a roaring trade in East London. This old boozer has hosted some great foodie pop ups over the years, and these days it does some cracking vegan food of its own, from solid bar snacks like the mini squashage (not sausage) roll, to samphire and artichoke paella and crispy Korean chicken of the woods mushrooms with gochujang sauce.
Where: Homerton High Street, Homerton, E9 6AS
Book now: The Spread Eagle

The Princess of Shoreditch, Shoreditch

What: Just moments from Old Street station, this 18th-century pub is a Mecca for hipsters and city slickers who appreciate its no-nonsense pubby vibe and simple but effective food. Book ahead to secure a table in the subdued upstairs dining room, which puts seasonal produce centre stage and enjoy the likes of cod, roast cauliflower and grape, squash and goat's curd ravioli with braised goat, or chocolate, pickled cherry and black sesame as part of a multi-course tasting menu.
Where: 76-78 Paul Street, Shoreditch, London, EC2A 4NE
Book now: The Princess of Shoreditch

The Empress, Hackney

What: The frequently changing seasonal menu at this regal gastropub next to Victoria Park features quality produce from the restaurant’s neighbourhood suppliers. Meat hails from Swaledale foods, fish from Jonathan Norris, bread from E5 Bakehouse and coffee from Climpson & Sons. Other draws at this art-filled bistro include weekend brunch, £10 Monday suppers, BYO night and Sunday lunch.
Where: 130 Lauriston Road, Hackney, E9 7LH
Book now: The Empress

The Culpeper, Spitalfields

What: Billed as a ‘proper English pub’, The Culpeper is a stripped-back, all-day venue that serves patriotic grub with some Gallic overtones. Breakfast, weekend brunch and Sunday roasts are part of the offer, while the drinks list features local bottled beers and cocktails created with home-grown herbal tinctures. A simple, weekly-changing menu of three starters, three mains and three desserts is available in the first floor restaurant, and there's a lovely rooftop open in the summer months too.
Where: 40 Commercial Street, Spitalfields, E1 6LP
Book now: The Culpeper

Best gastropubs West London

Out west is where the majority of London's notable gastropubs lie, especially around well-heeled neighbourhoods like Chelsea, Notting Hill and Kensington. Many of these are pubs by name alone, with food and service to match almost any restaurant in London.

The Hunter’s Moon, South Kensington

What: Co-owners Hubert Beatson-Hird and Oliver Marlowe also own Ganymede in Belgravia, but The Hunter’s Moon was the original and still has a cult-following that makes it permanently busy. It really does feel countrified despite the London location (the beautiful open fireplace helps) and the daily specials blackboard features a range of classic modern European fare, like chicken, bacon and leek pithivier, and braised featherblade of beef with truffle mayonnaise and triple cooked chips.
Where: 86 Fulham Road, South Kensington, SW3 6HR
Book now: The Hunter’s Moon

The Crown, Chiswick

What: With cosy, high-end interiors and a menu of please-all hearty dishes, The Crown in Chiswick is one of west London’s most popular spots for people looking for a couple of drinks and some high-end pub grub. Mains run from an indulgent house pie through to a plump piece of salmon with confit tomatoes, courgette and sauce vierge.
Where: 210 Chiswick High Road, Chiswick, W4 1PD
Book now: The Crown Chiswick

The Pelican, Notting Hill

What: The Pelican dates back to 1870, but after a major refurb in 2022 this local pub is bang up to date with cosy tan leather banquettes and a serious gastropub menu courtesy of former Brawn head chef Owen Kenworthy. The menu focuses on sustainable BRitish produce, with dishes like raw beef with Gentleman’s relish, ham hock with egg mayo and a magnificent lobster and monkfish pie with lobster head gravy.
Where: 45 All Saints Road, Notting Hill, W11 1HE
Book now: The Pelican

The Princess Royal, Notting Hill

What: Notting Hill gets another cracking refurbed gastropub with the Princess Royal. The lovely forest green paint job outside is matched by snug, sophisticated interiors - the conservatory is particularly beautiful in the evening sun. Ben Tish has overseen the menu here, which mixes proper gastropub mains with a raw fish and seafood bar.
Where: 47 Hereford Road, Notting Hill, W2 5AH
Book now: The Princess Royal

The Cadogan Arms, Chelsea

What: Part of the same JKS restaurant team that renovated The George, The Cadogan Arms menu has also been masterminded by James Knappett, so you can expect more quality pub grub here, from prawn cocktails to a pitch-perfect ham, egg and chips. The tasteful refurb has still retained all the pub’s original architectural details, like ornate timber panelling.
Where: 298 King’s Road, Chelsea, SW3 5UG
Book now: The Cadogan Arms

The Crabtree, Fulham

What: The Thames dining room at this hidden gem of a Fulham gastropub spills out onto an exceptional alfresco outdoor restaurant with beautiful views of the river. In summer, you can enjoy the likes of monkfish cheek and salsa verde surrounded by weeping willows and delicate flowers, while winter brings the experience into the smart Victorian dining room. Sunday roasts here are amazing.
Where: 4 Rainville Road, Fulham, W6 9HA
Book now: The Crabtree

The Tommy Tucker, Fulham

What: More gastro than pub (despite the choice of cask ales), The Tommy Tucker serves up robust, fairly priced and confidently executed food made from elegantly arranged seasonal ingredients. Its metallic bar, open kitchen and scrubbed pine tables don’t make for the cosiest setting, but if it’s a civilised lunch out you’re after, it’s just the ticket.
Where: 22 Waterford Road, Fulham, SW6 2DR
Book now: The Tommy Tucker

The Cow, Notting Hill

What: Shellfish and crustacea are the perennial stars of the French-inspired menu at Tom Conran’s The Cow, though you’ll find plenty of British classics too. This is a great spot if you love a seafood or oyster platter, or the simple pleasure of a pint of prawns and a good dollop of mayonnaise. The mains are excellent and rustic, like fish stew with rouille and beef and guinness pie. To drink, there’s more Guinness and a refined wine list.
Where: 89 Westbourne Park Road, Notting Hill, W2 5QH
Book now: The Cow - Westbourne Park Road

The Cross Keys, Chelsea

What: Bar stools, real ales and excellent Scotch eggs keep the local drinkers at this warm Chelsea gastropub happy, while low-hanging industrial lights, rustic panelling and booths provide a cosy restaurant setting for some polished British grub at the back of the pub. Sunday roasts are particularly worthwhile, with whole roast chickens served ready for carving at the table.
Where: 1 Lawrence Street, Chelsea, SW3 5NB
Book now: The Cross Keys Chelsea

The Harwood Arms, West Brompton

What: It may be the only Michelin-starred pub in London, but The Harwood Arms still trades as a proper local boozer, with plates of stupendous venison Scotch eggs, as well as thumping Sunday roasts on offer. The kitchen specialises in wholeheartedly seasonal British fare including veg, soft fruit and herbs from the pub’s rooftop garden, plus foraged pickings and bags of furred and feathered game. A must-visit for foodies.
Where: Walham Grove, West Brompton, SW6 1QP
Book now: The Harwood Arms

Duke of Sussex, Chiswick

What: A lovely setting we reckon the current Duke of Sussex might like, this characterful 19th-century pub’s menu celebrates the best of British, with a nod to Spanish culture. Diners will find a Spanish sharing menu alongside an a la carte filled with the usual pub classics, plus a hearty Sunday lunch menu that promises to leave you feeling content. The wine list sticks to Europe, apart from Spanish-speaking Argentina and Chile.
Where: 75 South Parade, Chiswick, W4 5LF
Book now: Duke of Sussex

Best gastropubs North London

North London isn't far behind West London in the gastropub stakes, but these definitely feel more like neighbourhood ventures, serving the good people of Islington, Archway, Kensal Green etcetera with quality pub grub.

The Hero of Maida, Maida Vale

What: This traditional Victorian pub, complete with a courtyard garden and gorgeously decorated dining room on the first floor is worth a trip out west. The all-day menu isn't breaking any boundaries but the quality is excellent - try the onion tart with goat's cheese and pear salad to start, then follow it up with a steak with Cafe de Paris sauce and a creme brulee for pud. 
Where: 55 Shirland Road, Maida Vale, W9 2JD
Book now: The Hero of Maida

The Tamil Prince, Islington

What: Part old British boozer, part new-wave curry house, The Tamil Prince is home to ex-Roti King chef Prince Durairaj, who cooks up a bombastic South Indian menu in a leafy part of Islington. Okra fries, potato chaat, incredible fiery chicken lollipops and the silkiest butter chicken this side of Gymkhana - plenty of reasons to pay a visit.
Where: 115 Hemingford Road, Islington, N1 1BZ
Book now: The Tamil Prince

The Compton Arms, Islington

What: Nestled in amongst Islington’s quiet backstreets, The Compton Arms is named after England sporting brothers Lesley and Denis Compton, who lived locally. The pub is a free house so you can expect an often-rotating cast of modern and traditional brews, as well as an excellent wine list. Kitchen duties are outsourced to a rotation of residencies, but you can always expect a good plate of grub here.
Where: 4 Compton Avenue, Islington, N1 2XD
Book now: The Compton Arms

The Drapers Arms, Islington

What: Housed in a Georgian building that’s retained its fine features, The Drapers Arms is the kind of gastropub you take your parents to (when they’re paying). The kitchen satisfies with its mix of modern comfort food, such as the house cheeseburger, and more refined dishes such as skate with blackberry, pink grapefruit and spinach, or chicken, leek, bacon and tarragon pie. To drink, there are real ales at the bar and a wine list offering glass and carafe options.
Where: 44 Barnsbury Street, Islington, N1 1ER
Book now: The Drapers Arms

St John's Tavern, Archway

What: Rustic tucker, cracking real ales and European wines keeps punters happy at this Victorian tavern in Archway. The kitchen’s repertoire, listed on blackboard menus, is grounded in British cooking, yet looks to the European mainland for further inspiration. There’s plenty of provision for vegetarians and the kitchen cooks up a mean Sunday roast.
Where: 91 Junction Road, Archway, N19 5QU
Book now: St John's Tavern

The Cleveland Arms, Paddington

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What: Tucked away in Paddington’s lovely whitewashed residential backstreets is The Cleveland Arms. This brilliant local has everything going for it - a tasteful renovation courtesy of owner Maria Tamander, and a quality, seasonal menu, not to mention a delicious Sunday roast.
Where: 28 Chilworth Street, Paddington, W2 6DT
Book now: The Cleveland Arms

Parlour, Kensal Green

What: Its tagline is ‘make it fun, make it memorable, make it Parlour’, which actually sums up this Kensal Green gastropub pretty well. Cconsistently good food, infectious vibe and generous hospitality make Parlour popular with locals and Londoners from further afield, so if you’re looking for the whole package, you’ve found it. Open for hearty breakfasts, brunch, lunch and dinner, and welcoming of kids and dogs, it’s a great spot for family dining.
Where: 5 Regent Street, Kensal Green, NW10 5LG
Book now: Parlour

Best gastropubs South London

South London doesn't boast the same quantity as other areas, but the quality is sky-high - The Canton Arms and Camberwell Arms both draw punters from all over London, and the Anchor & Hope in Southwark is one of the capital's original true gastropubs.

Anchor & Hope, Southwark

What: One of London’s first generation gastropub set, The Anchor & Hope still does some outstanding food and remains one of the best restaurants in the Waterloo and Southwark area. The pub started with a walk-ins only policy, but thankfully you can now book, thus
Where: 36 The Cut, Southwark, SE1 8LP
Book now: Anchor & Hope

The Camberwell Arms, Camberwell

What: Ox-blood walls, bistro chairs and dishes to share (rump of Hereford beef, say, or spit-roast chicken for two or four) make this Camberwell gastropub a brilliant place to while away a weekend with friends. At lunchtime, you’ll find a pared-down version of the evening menu and a first-floor cocktail bar adds drinks appeal.
Where: 65 Camberwell Church Street, Camberwell, SE5 8TR
Book now: The Camberwell Arms

The Garrison, Bermondsey

What: Bermondsey favourite The Garrison prides itself on serving up fresh British produce sourced from local suppliers, farms and fishermen. Its decent prices, terrific breakfasts, all-day snacks, unusual beers and decent wine list ensure it’s always packed, so be sure to book ahead to guarantee a table.
Where: 99-101 Bermondsey Street, Bermondsey, SE1 3XB
Book now: The Garrison

The Gun, Canary Wharf

What: A special dining experience awaits at this 250-year-old Grade II-listed pub in Docklands. Boasting exquisite views across the Thames, excellent gastropub fare, a great selection of wines and a secret gin garden, it’s well worth the trip out east. If you’re craving a lazy Sunday roast, try the whole roast Suffolk chicken for two followed by a steamed ginger pudding and spiced custard.
Where: 27 Coldharbour, Canary Wharf, E14 9NS
Book now: The Gun

Canton Arms, Stockwell

What: Situated on scruffy South Lambeth Road, this superb neighbourhood boozer serves up a daily menu full of pared-down British and European flavours. Everything here is delicious, from soups to the Sunday sharers such as seven-hour Salt Marsh lamb shoulder with Greek salad. Be warned: you'll want to book fairly well in advance because tables go quickly and the waiting list gets pretty hefty on weekends.
Where: 177 South Lambeth Road, Stockwell, SW8 1XP
Book now: Canton Arms

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