Chelsea Football Club, Stamford Bridge, London, SW6 1HS
The “last bastion of Frankie Dettori’s rhinestone diners” is a guaranteed hit thanks to regular trade from ‘Blues’ supporters and the neighbouring Copthorne Hotel. Located in the Chelsea FC hospitality complex, it promises fun vibes, “impeccable service” and feel-good cooking in a Premiership setting of red-clothed tables, disco balls, mirrored walls and TV screens showing round-the-clock sporting action. On the food front, the kitchen delivers decent food at fair prices: a burger, pizza or classic pasta dish will set you back just £10, while rib-eye steaks, Cajun-spiced salmon or grilled chicken Caesar salad might appeal to those on slightly bigger budgets. For dessert, think banana split or pecan pie. The terraced courtyard is a great addition, especially if you fancy exploring the “wide variety” of drinks on offer. Expect crowds, even when Chelsea aren’t playing.
More detail about Frankie’s Sports Bar & Diner
91 Gresham Street, London, EC2V 7NQ
The seductively lit, marble-pillared halls of the old Bank of New Zealand are the impressive setting for this new pub, bar and dining room combo from the Mancunian owners of City behemoth The Alchemist. Dramatic Egyptian art nouveau chandeliers and exotic taxidermy mostly complement the glorious listed interior. Yet the food and drink are not so glorious. Cocktails such as cardamom and pineapple Margaritas and strawberry and mint Martinis tend towards the fruity, floral and syrupy-sweet; a Sazerac is unconvincingly softened with lavender syrup. Discerning drinkers should go off-menu, because our dry Martini was impeccable. The menu lists a mammoth collection of pub grub. To start, a deli platter of houmous, coleslaw, coronation chicken, roasted peppers and Caesar salad was mayo-heavy and pretty average; other choices include prawn cocktail and baked Camembert. Next, we plumped for the signature ‘hanging’ kebab (chicken, lamb kofta, prawn, beef or halloumi), which had an oily, garlicky sauce running down it and left an unpleasant coating in the mouth. Chorizo pie with mash and mushy peas was on a par with a supermarket’s ‘upmarket’ line. In all, this House’s strongest trade is in simple cocktails – but it also has decent wines (from £16) and beer.
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190 City Road, London, EC1V 2QH
Whether you dig this bunker will depend on your tolerance to Bavarian froth and sausages served by extras from Heidi Goes Home to the sound of oompah-tainment. Litre steins of Kromabacher Dunkel,
Redinger Russ or Hefe Weissbier are available for £8.90, while £3.20 buys a half-pint if your beer belly is already big enough. Germany also provides cider and schnapps, although the wines are
from everywhere except Deutschland – Champagne is patronisingly billed as ‘one for the ladies’. Office parties might want to get on board the ‘Jägertrain’ at £39.50 for 10 sharers, and there’s also a gut-busting array of massive meatballs, cheese noodles, schnitzels, pretzels, potato salad and sausages with curry sauce and chips to wrestle with – fine German dining or your
More detail about Bavarian Beerhouse Old Street
425 New Kings Road, London, SW6 4RN
For its first foray into the London pub scene, brewery Wadworth & Co has treated this gigantic site to an all-expenses-paid makeover, whose effect makes a serious impression. Tradition and modernity collide in style everywhere you look: in the main room, flowery upholstered seats and dandyish velvet banquettes contrast with trend-following subway tiles and pops of rich jewel colours. Meanwhile, the covered terrace highlights the area’s original features but brings them up to date with Perspex chairs, funky seat cushions and a colourfully regal mural. Brewery favourites such as Wadworth IPA share space on the bar with fruity bitters such as Farmer’s Glory and hoppy ales like The Bishop’s Tipple – these also make cameo appearances on the menu, with dishes such as ale-steamed mussels, beer-battered fish and chips, or stout-steeped chocolate cake vying for attention amid slow-cooked pubby dishes, sharing boards, snacky ciabatta and crowd-pleasing pizzas.
More detail about The Kings Arms Fulham
503 Battersea Park Road, London, SW11 3BW
Rescued from shabby mediocrity by the Renaissance group (The Avalon, The Stonhouse, The Rosendale etc), this vast gin palace is gaining lots of fans – just like the Theatre 503 upstairs. Following its makeover, the new owners have also installed a bevy of bushy-tailed staff, added some boozy draught goodness from the likes of Sambrook’s and Sharp’s and put together a wine list that’s strong on reputable Old World names. Cocktails include Strawberry Riky (sic), while bar snacks such as fish goujons, charcuterie and black pudding Scotch eggs are light options from a menu that majors on Anglo-European grub – think sea trout and dill fishcakes with lemon salsa, roast duck breast with confit spring vegetables, orange and mint sauce or elderflower pannacotta with poached rhubarb. The Latchmere’s remaining Victorian elements have also been enhanced by a beer garden/BBQ with jolly fun-day cabanas.
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Westfield Stratford City, London, E20 1EN
You feel close enough to touch Old Trafford at Café Football, part of Ryan Giggs and Gary Neville’s subtly soccer-themed hotel and restaurant. Consultation with Michelin-starred chef Michael Wignall led to a menu of burgers, pizzas and global favourites where tongue-in-cheek footie references – from ‘pre-match warm-ups’ of chipolata sausages, to cocktails such as Early Shower – hit the net with abandon. Fans warmed to the concept almost instantly when the original Café Football opened in east London. Here, pork shoulder and black pudding sausage roll, served with homemade baked beans, is the go-to dish that nods both to terrace food and proper cooking. The contemporary interior also alludes to the beautiful game; it’s tempting to wander through the rest of the hotel to see the rooftop pitch, Old Trafford Supporters Club basement bar and mini sweet shop – additional components of the most significant development in footie hospitality for years.
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127 Shoreditch High Street, London, E1 6JE
It may inhabit a former shoe wholesaler’s, but imaginary footie boots are what you’ll need at this regular E1 fixture where, at the flick of a wrist, you can win the World Cup every time.
Covetable, caressable, classic baby-foot tables are the focal point at this lived-in approximation of a provincial place du marché bar/café circa early Johnny Hallyday. Swig iconic beers & pick
sides – Estrella Damm (Spain), Desperados (France), Brahma (Brazil), Nastro Azzuro (Italy) – as the semi-finals kick off. To the loser, blue-collar wines from under £15; to the victor, house
Champagne at £38 & crowd-pleasing casseroles, salads, soups, sarnies & seasonal bites to share.
More detail about Bar Kick
499 Old York Road, SW18 1JF
This green-tiled beauty of a pub provides a proper welcome to locals who drop in for a drink, and might later decide to have a snack. There’s also a dedicated dining room and some rather beautiful bedrooms, while the bar is stocked with Young’s draft beers and all the usual pub fare (they’ll even do you a Bloody Mary if needs must). For something a bit different, quaff a pint of the regularly changing cask beer guest and snack on the likes of sandwiches, confit duck wings with chilli sauce, soup of the day or you could pick a sharing board. Customers heading for the dining room might be treated to wild boar meatballs with roasted carrots and mash, roasted gnocchi with butternut squash, or there’s always the range of burgers to choose from. Sunday lunch means a separate menu of various roasts, while The Alma is also a welcome spot for sports fans looking for somewhere to watch the game.
More detail about The Alma Wandsworth
107 Garratt Lane, London, SW18 4DW
Its moniker means ‘land of eternal youth’ and, after a few hours in this fun Irish pub, you’ll probably feel like a teenager again. That’s because this family-run Wandsworth local is all about the great craic, with local ales sold for as little as £3 a pint, a packed sports-screening schedule, a pool table and beer garden and, of course, expertly poured pints of Guinness. Winning fans thanks to a friendly atmosphere and warm service, if you’re looking for a classic Irish pub with all the shamrock trimmings, this Garratt Lane boozer ticks all the green boxes.
More detail about Tir Na Nog
71-72 Long Lane, London, EC1A 9EJ
Beer is serious business at the Old Red Cow – a tiny drinking den on Smithfield market that now looks brighter & more cheerful following a refurb. No fewer than nine ales are normally on tap,
ranging from Camden Pale to Austrian Schremser Rye or Maisel’s Weisse from Germany. But it doesn’t stop there: Trappist classics feature among the 30 or so bottled brews on the list, along with a
worthy bunch of IPAs & fruit beers. Head up the creaky staircase to a quieter (but equally pokey) room for serious pubby sustenance in the shape of beer-battered cod & chips with mushy peas
or wild mushroom & pea risotto with truffle oil. Despite the emphasis on beer, no one will be offended if you plump for something from the compact wine list.
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41 Jew's Row, SW18 1TB
An old waterman’s inn off the main drag over Wandsworth Bridge, The Ship has been a south London favourite for years and – following a recent refit – still has everything going for it. The interior
boasts several cleverly extended spaces, plus a light conservatory and a new outdoor bar, terrace and BBQ area with river views; there are also three new custom-built waterside cabins for private
bashes. The menu now mixes gastropub favourites with more restaurant-style dishes ranging from roasted sweetbreads with mushroom croquette, pea shoots and truffle oil to rib-eye with hand-cut
chips, monkfish, clam and tomato tart or venison loin with celeriac fondant and watercress purée. After that, keep is classic with treacle tart and clotted-cream ice cream. Sunday lunch is a big
call, Young’s beers and guest brews are kept in good order, and the wine list is worth serious consideration too.
More detail about The Ship - Jew's Row
39 Balham High Road, London, SW12 9AN
Refurbished in 2016, this buffed-up gin palace dates from the 1880s and its handsome period details – stained glass, etched mirrors and a haute Victorian back bar – are a joy to behold. An open family-friendly dining room to the rear is new, but has been gussied up like an Edwardian country kitchen. We recommend getting toasty by the fire with a draught ale from owners Young’s or a Fourpure brew. Alternatively, try a Rhubarb Negroni or Buttered Bourbon Sour. Chilled wines (Sicilian Chardonnay, £19.50) are sunny-day sips to enjoy in a vast garden that will host a Burgershack from summer 2017. But there’s plenty to munch on in the meantime: charcuterie or cheese boards; old-school bar snacks; brunches (mac & cheese toasties, perhaps) and full meals. A three-courser might begin with Brixham crab and Lincolnshire Poacher gratin followed by pork chop with wild mushrooms and then Earl Grey and date pudding.
More detail about The Devonshire Balham
10 Gainsford St, Butler's Wharf , London, SE1 2NE
From a ground floor boozing area complete with big screen sports and board games to an upstairs dining room, this pub near Tower Bridge takes every aspect of its food and drink seriously. Around 10 beers can be found on tap at anytime, including many a London-brewed or lesser-seen ale, and a short but sound wine list isn’t too shabby either. Sunday roasts are the pinnacle of its food offering, with hefty slabs of carefully sourced beef, lamb, pork and chicken slow-cooked each week and served with generous sides. At other times, steaks, burgers and fish and chips form the bulk of a short menu of pub classics. This is a gastro establishment that’s kept firmly in touch with its pub roots.
More detail about The Dean Swift
14-16 Rupert Street, London, W1D 6DD
You can be sure of a decent pint of Guinness and a proper Irish Whisky chaser at this cavernous, Irish-themed pub just off Piccadilly Circus. With four separately styled rooms connected by odd staircases (and punctuated by a large tree), you’re likely to find an area to suit your mood. The staff are friendly and helpful whichever room you choose, while the menu’s a mix of pub classics such as fish & chips, burgers, doorstop sandwiches and pies – just what they’d serve in the auld country. It’s hearty stuff to go with your Guinness, although there are plenty of other choices at the bar if the black stuff isn't your thing. Expect the place to be quiet-ish at lunchtimes, busy in the evenings, rammed on rugby match days and, of course, insanely busy on Saint Patrick's Day.
More detail about Waxy O'Connor's
19-25 Cowcross Street, London, EC1M 6DQ
With sites across London, these smarter-than-average sports bars do exactly what they say on the tin, and then a little bit extra. Big screens hang above drinkers, as do sports kits (hopefully washed?) which once belonged to the sporting famous. Amid bare brick walls and copper surfaces, expect all-day dining including hefty, globetrotting breakfast options, followed by homemade pies and masses of burgers to choose from, such as a three-cheese version and bacon and egg baps. A retro dessert menu includes Arctic rolls and ice cream sandwiches, while the beer taps offer a straightforward selection of all the commercial favourites. Pocket-friendly prices add to the appeal but, of course, sport spectating is the priority, so expect a buzzy atmosphere and everything from rugby to ice hockey on the screens.
More detail about Sports Bar & Grill Farringdon
10 Poland Street, London, W1F 8PZ
Since launching its original American BBQ joint in Soho in 2002, Bodean’s has grown and fans have come to associate its distinctive pink-neon pig sign with inexpensive down-home fun. Most of restaurants do both table service and take-out options, with the full selection of ribs, burgers, dogs and steaks to eat in, plus the addition of deli sandwiches (pastrami on rye, turkey BLT, et al) to go. Specialities from the smoke pits include whole slabs of baby back ribs, burnt ends and BBQ chicken. If you’re really hungry, go the whole ‘boss hog’ – a mighty plateful of ‘Jacob’s ladder’ beef rib, burnt ends, pulled pork, ribs, chicken thighs and smoked sausages for two, washed down with American beers and cocktails. Good deals abound, including movie and meal packages, loyalty cards and American sports nights.
More detail about Bodean's Soho
43 Goodge Street, London, W1T 1TA
For somewhere that takes everything it does so seriously, the Draft House is really rather a hoot. Beer drinkers can order third of a pint ‘samples’ at this self-styled ‘home of the third’, which lists hundreds of craft brews in bottle or on tap – all complemented by a range of ale-friendly food to have you drooling. The range of burgers with various toppings or the chilli-cheese fries, could hail from a new-generation diner, while foot-long pork scratchings and Scotch egg with curried mayonnaise betray British leanings. But back to the beer: with such brilliantly named brews as Bitter & Twisted, Mongozo Coconut and Schremser Bio-Roggenbier on offer, how could you not be tempted? Vintage posters and rockin’ music complete the picture.
More detail about The Draft House Charlotte W1
178 Junction Road, London, N19 5QQ
Majoring in live music, singing, sports and seemingly endless happy hours, this Irish pub stocks all the regulars behind the bar, all poured by a friendly team. The adjacent Boston Music Room hosts a healthy lineup of rock acts and if that brings out your inner rock star, you’ll be pleased to hear the pub organises karaoke every Friday night. As you would expect, Boston Arms goes all out for St Patrick’s Day and the pub has plenty of fans who rave about its lively, community boozer atmosphere.
More detail about Boston Arms