Do you want to enjoy the atmosphere of a London pub but also top-quality cuisine that's usually found in a leading restaurant? Venture into one of London's gastropubs for a refuel with refinement – here's our pick of the best pubs in London for food.
1. The Anchor & Hope
Soak up the traditional London pub atmosphere at this gastropub near The New Vic and Old Vic theatres, near Waterloo. The Anchor & Hope may not strike you as a gourmet paradise at first glance; but step inside and you’ll be treated to locally sourced seafood, nose-to-tail dishes and game specials.
2. The Canton Arms
Get chatting with the locals at this foodie haven in Stockwell which boasts hearty, rustic dishes and a great selection of ales. Laid-back The Canton Arms has a traditional feel with beer mats and blackboards on the wall surrounding its wood-panelled bar – make sure to check out the daily chef's specials.
3. The Cow
One of the pioneers of the gastropub London scene, this cosy Notting Hill spot has been a favoured watering hole of some big names over the years (David Beckham and Tom Cruise are just two). The Cow specialises in fish, with seafood platters and fish stew among its signature dishes – oysters with a pint of Guinness is a must!
4. The Culpeper
Step inside the grand, open-plan bar at The Culpeper, and you’ll be forgiven for thinking it’s just a normal east London boozer. Head upstairs, however, and you’ll discover a stylish contemporary dining room and a daily-changing menu of modern British dishes. The gastropub food menu is simple: choose from three starters, mains and desserts, which make use of herbs and vegetables grown in its rooftop garden.
5. The Drapers Arms
Venture inside this Georgian pub in Islington for full-on roasts and modern British staples. Pairing simple yet welcoming interiors with a friendly ambience, The Drapers Arms is very much an Islington locals’ hangout, where North Londoners pop in after work for one of the creative bar snacks alongside one of its fine ales.
6. The Eagle Farringdon
This stylish City gastropub has a daily menu drawing inspiration from around the world. You’ll find everything from tapas and Indian dishes, to British and French classics delivered at The Eagle Farringdon. Get in early to secure your spot among the mismatched chairs and tables.
7. The Garrison
Enjoy Instagram-worthy interiors, carefully crafted menus and a wine list full of lesser-known producers at this quirky gastropub on Bermondsey Street, near London Bridge. The chefs at The Garrison make use of seasonal British produce, including ingredients sourced from neighbourhood suppliers, for their modern British dishes.
8. The Fox & Grapes
Relax after a walk on Wimbledon Common at this gastropub in London's leafy suburbs. The Fox & Grapes is under the stewardship of head chef Paul Merrett, who has previously won accolades for his pub food at The Farm in Fulham and East Sheen’s The Victoria. Choose from English classics with a twist and be sure to book early for its popular Sunday roasts.
9. The Gun
Follow in the footsteps of Lord Nelson, who used to visit this 18th-century riverside pub in the Docklands for secret assignations with Lady Emma Hamilton. Today, however, people flock here for some of the best pub food in London. Take in the river views at The Gun as you tuck into classic pub dishes cooked well using seasonal produce; or get stuck into the 45-day aged steaks.
10. The Harwood Arms
Don't miss this Fulham pub, which is so "gastro" it even holds a Michelin star. Relying on food sourced from trusted British suppliers, The Harwood Arms serves top quality, seasonal food, with a focus on game and the use of wild ingredients, as well as vegetables grown on its own roof – you can’t get much more “locally sourced” than that.
11. The Jugged Hare
As the name suggests, this food-focused pub near the Barbican specialises in game and wild foods. Salivate over a selection including duck, hare and grouse (depending on the season); or select from the various spit-roast meats, fish and shellfish dishes, which are fixtures on the tantalising menu. Make sure to also keep an eye out for The Jugged Hare's regular themed dinners.
12. The Thomas Cubitt
Head upstairs to The Thomas Cubitt’s elegant dining room, where you’ll find stylish modern dishes and a wide-ranging wine list worthy of its surrounds in well-heeled Belgravia. The dishes here make use of fine British produce, from rare breeds to game and seafood. If you’re looking for a more relaxed meal, there’s a full menu featuring pub classics in the more animated bar downstairs.
13. Tulse Hill Hotel
Join South Londoners as they gather at this Victorian pub for succulent meats cooked on a robata grill, brunch specials and Sunday lunches. A short walk from Tulse Hill station, Tulse Hill Hotel fuses historic and modern; with antique fittings alongside trendy touches, and a contemporary menu also featuring some British pub classics.
Find more pubs and bars in London, or plan your next meal at one of London's restaurants.