Among London's many claims to fame, the capital is considered to be the birthplace of the modern gastropub. Combining elevated cuisine with cosy pub ambiance for a more accessible fine dining experience, the gastropub quickly took root and launched a whole new scene. These days, more or less any pub can throw a half-decent plate of chips your way, but gastropubs are where even the most demanding gourmands go to enjoy refined specialities and traditional hospitality. Find the top destinations in our guide to the best gastropubs in London.
Guide to the best gastropubs in London
In this guide
The best gastropubs in London
- The Eagle Farringdon – Where it all began
- The Harwood Arms – The only Michelin-starred pub in London
- The George & Upstairs at The George – A pub of two halves
- The Camberwell Arms – Award-winning Sunday roast
- The Princess of Shoreditch – Culinary haven in busy area
- The French House – Putting the gastronomie in gastropub
- Hollywood Arms – Genteel Chelsea gastropub
- The Anchor & Hope – Oft-changing British menu
- Ganymede – New kid on the block
- The Coach – French and British influences
- The Cadogan Arms – Full range of British cuisine
- Marksman – London's first Pub of the Year
- The Plimsoll – Buzzy pop-up finds a home
- The Guinea – The first steakhouse in London
- The Orange – Boutique pub and hotel
- Canton Arms – Informal, comfy dining spot
- The Wigmore – Pub fare, reimagined
- The Royal Oak – Cosy local favourite
- Three Cranes – Hearty fare at boutique hotel
- The Duchess – Renovated and elevated
- The Duke of Cambridge – Britain's first organic pub
- The Drapers Arms – French-inflected gastropub
- The Red Lion & Sun – One of the country's best gastropubs
- The Cow – Seafood specialists
- The Clarence Tavern – Ever-changing Stokey gastropub
- The Norfolk Arms – Heaven for sharers
- The Bull & Last – North London hospitality
- Lore of the Land – Food that'll have you fired up
- The Spread Eagle – London's first vegan gastropub
- The Culpeper – Rooftop garden for in-house produce
- The Scolt Head – Pooch-perfect community hangout
- The Garrison – Comfy, cosy, chic
- The Jugged Hare – Game is the name of the game
- The Cleveland Arms – Suited to all occasions
- The Baring – New kid on the block
- The Waterman's Arms – Riverside gastropub with views
The best gastropubs in London
Where it all began
Founded in 1991, The Eagle Farringdon is supposedly the original gastropub that launched the whole London scene. Over the decades, it has retained its knack for fine food from the best ingredients, offered at good value and in an egalitarian spirit. The daily menus are scrawled on the blackboard right before service starts and you’re whisked off on a culinary holiday around the Mediterranean. The famed steak sandwich is worth keeping an eye out for as well.
The only Michelin-starred pub in London
With leather seating, wooden furniture and stag heads adorning the walls, this Fulham establishment is a stylish contemporary gastropub that serves excellent British cooking. The Michelin-starred Harwood Arms highlights the finest British produce, in particular game and other wild food. You can enjoy a pint with your venison Scotch egg, or tuck into an exemplary Sunday roast. The extensive wine list covers all corners of the globe.
A pub of two halves
This Grade II listed establishment comprises a traditional, classically elegant pub in the ground floor and a refined dining venue upstairs, led by chef James Knappett of the two Michelin-starred Kitchen Table. The British cuisine served here revolves around seasonal ingredients, offering sophisticated takes on classics such as pies and steak tartare. Upstairs at The George also boasts one of the finest selections of English sparkling wines in the capital.
Award-winning Sunday roast
Several years have passed since this independent gastropub topped The Guardian’s list of the 50 best Sunday lunches, but it continues to prove that legacy true with an exemplary roast dinner. The Camberwell Arms serves food throughout the week, putting a twist on British produce and tradition with international influences for dishes such as grilled pork collar with anchovy sauce and bruschetta.
Culinary haven in busy area
Across two recently refurbished floors, The Princess of Shoreditch offers a haven of calm amidst the hustle and bustle of the surrounding area. The changing seasonal menu here is the work of Michelin-starred chef Simon Bonwick and focuses on British provenance. A typical à la carte might include dishes such as Crediton duck or slow-roast lamb rump, with the pudding selection refreshingly ample as well. The Princess of Shoreditch also does a Sunday roast and features wines by small, family-owned producers.
Putting the gastronomie in gastropub
An iconic Soho pub, The French House is frequented by showbiz types and adherents to the old ways; its strict ban on music, phones and TVs makes for a rather unique social experience. That said, the focus here is still on food and drinks the French way. Expect a changing menu of delicacies such as foie gras and Gruyere toast, scrawled on a sheet of paper and accompanied by a choice of thirty champagnes and wines by the glass.
Genteel Chelsea gastropub
Catering to Chelsea socialites with enchanting sylvan decor, refined pub fare and varied drinks, the Hollywood Arms is a plush, airy establishment with a cosy ambiance and a touch of elegance, making it a solid choice as a venue for weddings and other events. The kitchen uses only the freshest British ingredients, serving up a seasonal menu of polished takes on national staples such as fish ‘n’ chips, burgers and pies. The steaks are a particular highlight, and there’s a concise wine list go along with them.
Oft-changing British menu
The award-winning Anchor & Hope writes out its menu on a prominently displayed blackboard, indicating that this is the sort of place where the food changes frequently. You can always count on modern British cuisine at this Waterloo gastropub, however, conscientiously sourced and carefully prepared. There’s usually something for fans of seafood and venison to be found as well, and there’s an extensive list of wines, cocktails, craft beers on tap and other drinks to complement your meal.
New kid on the block
Colonising Belgravia with elegance and aplomb, the recently opened Ganymede respects British pub heritage while boldly exploring new culinary frontiers. The welcoming atmosphere and classic decor provide a fitting setting for indulging in standout dishes such as risotto nero or homemade tagliatelle. The menu brings together European influences in simultaneously familiar and intriguing manner.
French and British influences
Providing hospitality in the heart of Clerkenwell since 1790, The Coach is an elegant inn that offers lodging as well as dining and wining. You can browse the extensive drinks menu in the elegant ground-floor bar, or head upstairs for a proper meal. The menu changes weekly and includes daily specials, so there’s plenty of variety, especially considering the food draws on both British and French culinary traditions. There’s also a garden for al fresco relaxation, and private dining rooms are available too.
Full range of British cuisine
A classy Chelsea favourite, The Cadogan Arms was renovated during the pandemic lockdown and is now beautifully furnished with polished wood in a lavish, country house-reminiscent style. The menu combines traditional staples with pub comfort food for a comprehensive British dining experience, with the dishes devoted to sustainability, seasonal ingredients and locally sourced produce. There’s no slacking off when it comes to the drinks, either, as you can choose from a painstakingly curated wine list, cocktails and a dozen draught beers.
London's first Pub of the Year
Bethnal Green’s Marksman was the first London pub to receive the title of Michelin Pub of the Year, and the hype has yet to die down. Above the welcoming ground-floor pub, lunch and dinner are served in a colourful dining room. The menu changes daily, though dishes that have become a part of local folklore, for example the brown butter & honey tart or the filled buns, are more or less a fixture.
Buzzy pop-up finds a home
Once a proper neighbourhood boozer, The Plimsoll has been cleaned-up, scrubbed-down and supercharged by the Four Legs pop-up team of chefs Jamie Allan and Ed McIlroy. They’ve brought their famed Dexter burger with them, but there’s plenty more culinary finesse to be found on the daily changing menu, from quick snacks to whole fish. The crowds that regularly pack into this establishment next to Finsbury Park indicate that it’s all up to par.
The first steakhouse in London
Serving prime British cuts since the 1960s, The Guinea Grill in Mayfair is said to be London’s oldest steakhouse. Split across two buildings, the elegant dining establishment includes an atmospheric pine-panelled private room. You’ll find finest grass-fed, dry-aged beef on the menu, along with the catch of the day and seasonally changing side dishes. The award-winning pies with an authentic suet lid are worth sampling as well.
Boutique pub and hotel
Belgravia’s The Orange combines a gastropub with accommodation for a unique hospitality destination. Visit the elegant dining area for a variety of Mediterranean- and British-inspired dishes, including pizzas. Set lunch menus and Sunday roasts are available as well. You can complement your food with an array of beverages, including bottles off the well-represented international wine list.
Informal, comfy dining spot
If you’re looking for a laidback Sunday roast in a lively ambiance, the Canton Arms on Lambeth Road is where it’s at. The menu at this contemporary British gastropub finds inspiration all over, serving dishes such as Provençal short rib with macaroni cheese and a seven-hour Salt Marsh lamb shoulder with potato gratin. Check out the blackboard for sharing specials, or sit next to the fireplace and enjoy a glass of fine Mediterranean wine.
Pub fare, reimagined
The Wigmore is a modern British tavern at The Langham luxury hotel, boasting a stylish retro-inspired dining area with deep green walls and table lamps. Overseen by two Michelin-starred chef Michel Albert Roux, the menu here elevates traditional British pub fare with seasonal ingredients, attention to detail and inventive flourishes. The scotch egg is embellished with masala spices, for example, while the cheeseburger comes with grilled ox-tongue. Among the many fine wines and beers on the drinks list, you’ll also find a house Saison ale.
Cosy local favourite
The Royal Oak, a beloved Bethnal Green establishment, offers all the pub food classics across its two floors and beer garden. Whether it’s fish ‘n’ chips or a burger you’re after, this cosy traditional gastropub will sort you out, skilfully and with care. Sundays can get quite busy, as not only is there a popular roast dinner on the menu, patrons of the nearby Columbia Flower Market are likely to stop by as well. Plan accordingly.
Hearty fare at boutique hotel
The Three Cranes is an elegant gastropub in the City that also offers individually styled bedrooms. You’ll find large ribeye or burger plates sitting side by side with lighter choices such as hummus, pan-fried prawns with garlic butter or spicy lamb kofta in the menu. There’s an extensive list of wines, beers, spirits and softs to accompany your meal available as well.
Renovated and elevated
In a prime location for anyone looking for a break from the sightseeing and shopping in Central London, the recently renovated Duchess serves pies, burgers, fish ‘n’ chips and other such pub staples. The kitchen has a penchant for elevating the classics, however, so you can expect somewhat more refined takes than usual. For indecisive types, the Sunday roast comes with a Sharing Board option that includes all the available meats, all the trimmings and a few extra bits as well.
Britain's first organic pub
Since first opening in 1998, The Duke of Cambridge has been certified by the Soil Association and is considered the first organic pub in the country. This commitment to sustainability is evident in the kitchen, which serves a changing menu that highlights fresh seasonal ingredients. Though rooted in Britain, the cuisine here finds inspiration all over the place, with a sample menu likely to feature burrata, British lamb, Niçoise salad and Basque cheesecake all sitting together prettily. The drinks at this pared-down gastropub are also carefully sourced and include organic wines and beer.
A cut above your ordinary boozer, Islington’s well-known The Drapers Arms gastropub has a touch of class to it with high ceilings, neutral colours, a chandelier and checkerboard floors. The food menu changes daily and finds inspiration on both sides of the Channel with mains such as trout in mussel broth, crusted lamb loin chop, aged sirloin and more. The regional vintages on the curated list are available by the glass, which is a nice bonus for wine lovers.
One of the country's best gastropubs
The privately owned Red Lion & Sun gastropub in Highgate location highlights quality produce on a daily changing menu of contemporary British pub food. The likes of oysters, mussels, beef, chicken and lamb take centre stage here and can be enjoyed in the pared-down interior or the two beer gardens. Drinks include an ample international wine list and a selection of whiskies. During warmer months, hog roasts are a regular speciality.
This Anglo-Irish gastropub in Notting Hill claims to be an essential destination for Guinness and oysters, and indeed offers a sizeable shellfish menu. Focusing on seafood with Northern European influences, the menu includes a hearty fish stew and daily specials such as crab tagliolini. You can complement your meal with a good selection of wines, taking in the playful artistic murals dominating the dining areas.
Ever-changing Stokey gastropub
A fairly new addition to the neighbourhood, The Clarence Tavern boasts a beer garden that’s ideal for al fresco dining. In addition to an epic Sunday feast of slow-cooked lamb, roast brill and beef, the Stoke Newington gastropub serves a changing menu of global favourites and traditional staples, for example, ricotta gnudi, mussels, onglet or pies. The drinks list includes carefully sourced natural wines, beer, seasonal cocktails and softs.
Heaven for sharers
Combining traditional pub hospitality with trendy small plates, The Norfolk Arms is an understated gastropub in the St Pancras area. You can nibble on and share an extensive lineup of Mediterranean-inspired tapas, cherrypicked from the Middle East all the way to the Iberian Peninsula. A selection of larger mains is also available and can be complemented by one of the many wines on offer.
North London hospitality
One of the top gastropubs in the country in 2023 according to the Estrella Damm Top 50 Gastropubs jury, The Bull and Last is a North London institution that also offers lodging. Their roasts are unbeatable, starting with, for example, a homemade limoncello sprite before moving onto roast rib of shorthorn beef, roast lamb rump, ricotta-stuffed courgette and more. The daily changing menu uses quality seasonal produce and cooks with care.
Food that'll have you fired up
Owned by Guy Ritchie and David Beckham, the Lore of the Land is a chic traditional British pub that sings the praises of cooking on flames, embers and charcoal. You’ll dine a menu packed with delicious seasonal dishes here, from daybook fish with a kohlrabi remoulade and seaweed butter to braised duck leg with sour plums. Slow-cooked roasts with seasonal trimmings are served on Sundays.
London's first vegan gastropub
The first 100-percent plant-based pub in the capital, The Spread Eagle stocks a rotating selection of natural vegan beers, small-batch wines and vegan cocktails behind the bar. Meanwhile, the kitchen cooks up vegan delicacies such as paella and dhal, striving for minimal waste and making use of seasonal ingredients. A Sunday roast and weekend bottomless brunch are also available.
Rooftop garden for in-house produce
The Culpeper is an all-in-one spot from top to bottom, starting off with the shabby-but-chic ground-floor pub, continuing with British bistro dining on the first floor, past the boutique hotel rooms on the second and up to the rooftop bar and garden where they grow their own veggies. These are harvested and served in a concise seasonal menu or as cocktail garnish. The emphasis is on sustainable, organic cuisine with a rich heritage.
Pooch-perfect community hangout
A proper neighbourhood pub that’s big on dog art, The Scolt Head has strong gastro game despite its unpretentious setting. The kitchen sources fresh ingredients from local producers and makes its own jams and chutneys. The daily changing menu has its feet planted firmly in British culinary tradition, but regularly features international influences and seasonal flourishes – expect anything from fish ‘n’ chips to spring rolls, curries and chicken wings.
Comfy, cosy, chic
The Garrison’s chic interior provides a homely setting for a menu focused on British provenance and seasonal produce. You’ll find national gems such as Cornish fish stew or grass-fed sirloin steak on the frequently changing food roster, accompanied by elevated sides such as mashed potatoes with smoked bone marrow. Weekend brunch with a bottomless option and traditional Sunday roasts are available too.
Game is the name of the game
Stuffed full of taxidermized critters, this upscale City gastropub is considered one of the top game restaurants in the capital. Prepared in an open kitchen, prime market cuts sit side by side on the menu with squirrel croquettes and other seasonal delicacies at this meat-lovers paradise. The signature speciality is the eponymous Jugged Hare, a hare stewed in a jug in a pan of hot water, that dates back to the 18th century.
Suited to all occasions
Chelsea’s The Cleveland Arms has an ornate setting that caters equally well to special celebrations as it does to informal dining. The drinks include a CAMRA-certified ale range and a curated wine list, with the staff happy to recommend the perfect pairing for your food. The menu at this ornate gastropub highlights British produce and culinary tradition through elevated classics. You can enjoy the weekly menu in the dining room or outdoors in the courtyard.
New kid on the block
Despite opening only in August 2022, this neighbourhood pub in Islington already ranked among the Top 50 gastropubs in the entire country not six months later. Its success seems to be due to a fondness for simplicity, whether in the stripped-down yet welcoming interior, or in the familiar fare served by the kitchen, elevated with a deft chef's touch – for example, farmhouse terrine with apricot ketchup and toast, or Cornish pollock with mussels and monk's beard.
Riverside gastropub with views
The Waterman's Arms is an attractive waterside gastropub with original elements and a delightful balcony overlooking the river. The menu, driven by fresh produce, revolves around seasonal ingredients, featuring dishes like hake, mussel, tomato and bread stew, or spit-roast chicken accompanied by chicken-fat polenta. Local brews, exquisite wines, and timeless cocktails are also on offer.