Pubs might close at 11pm, but they’re still an essential part of the London social scene. There are thousands of pubs in London; these are some of our favorites.

IS Ye Olde Mitre Tavern, 1 Ely Ct. Between Ely PI. and Hatton Garden. Tube: Chancery Ln. To find the alley where this pub hides, look for the street lamp on Hatton Garden bearing a sign of a mitre. This classic pub was built in 1546 by the Bishop of Ely. With dark oak beams and spun glass, the two pint-sized rooms are perfect for nestling up to a bitter. Arguably London’s finest pub. Open M-F 1 lam-1 lpm.

S3 The Wenlock Arms, 26 Wenlock Rd. Tube: Old St. or Angel. One of the best-kept secrets in London, this fantastic pub is the real deal, with an unbeatable array of real ales and the best hot salt beef sandwich in the city (f 3). Food served “until we run out of bread.” Open Tu-F llam-7pm, Sa 10am-4pm. MCV.

13 Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese, Wine Office Ct. By 145 Fleet St. Tube: Blackfriars or St. Paul’s. One-time haunt of Charles Dickens, Theodore Roosevelt, and Mark Twain. Open M-F 1 lam-1 lpm, Sa llam-3pm and 5:30-1 lpm, Su noon-3:30pm. AmExMCV.

The Eagle, 159 Farringdon Rd. Tube: Farringdon. The original gastropub. The Eagle offers tasty Mediterranean dishes (f 10) and a down-to-earth atmosphere that appeals to both tourists and locals. Open M-F 12:30-3pm and 6:30-10pm, Sa 12:30-2:30pm and 6:30-10:30pm, Su 12:30-3:30pm. MCV.

The Royal Oak, 44 Tabard St. Tube: Borough. Voted the Best Pub of 2003 by the Campaign for Real Ale, the Royal Oak is one of the most pleasant establishments in London. Open M-F ll:30am-llpm. MCV.

The Jerusalem Tavern, 55 Britton St. Tube: Farringdon. Offers three seating areas and many little niches, including a small balcony. Broad beer selection with specialty ales (£2.40) like grapefruit, cinnamon and apple, and the delicious Suffolk Gold. Open M-F llam-llpm. MCV.

The George Inn, 77 Borough High St. Tube: London Bridge. The only remaining galleried inn in London. A tiny interior leads out into a popular patio. Excellent ale and rich history. Open M-Sa llam-llpm, Su noon-10:30pm. AmExMCV.

The Scarsdale, 23a Edwards Sq. Tube: High St. Kensington. Built by a French speculator to house Napoleon’s officers following the inevitable conquest of Britain, it’s now a picture-perfect pub. Elaborate entrees (£10-16) served noon-3pm and 6-10pm. Bar food £6-9. Open daily noon-llpm. MCV.


The West End especially Soho is the scene of much of Central London’s afterdark action, from the glitzy Leicester Sq. tourist traps, like the Hippodrome and Equinox, to semi-secret underground clubs. The other major axes of London nightlife are East London’s Shoreditch and Hoxton (known as Shoo) and South London’s Brixton, which is quickly becoming London’s top neighborhood for nightlife.


An explosion of club-bars has invaded the previously forgotten gap between pubs and clubs, offering seriously stylish surroundings and top-flight DJs together with plentiful lounging space. Club-bars are usually open from noon or early evening, allowing you to skip the cover charge by arriving early and staying put. They tend to close earlier than clubs, usually between midnight and 2am.

11 Filthy MacNasty’s Whisky Cafe, 68 Amwell St. Tube: Angel. This Irish pub is frequented by a galaxy of stars-the drop-in list includes Johnny Depp, Ewan McGregor, Kate Moss, and U2. Live music mostTh. Occasional readings fulfill the erudite bad-boy atmosphere. 32 different whiskies (around £2). Open M-Sa noon-llpm, Su noon-10:30pm. 13 The Market, 240A Portobello Rd. Tube: Ladbroke Grove. The loudest spot on Portobello, The Market has a rowdy, unpretentious atmosphere. Cuban punch £3. Jazz Su 5-8pm. Open M-Sa llam-llpm, Su noon-12:30am.

Freud, 198 Shaftesbury Ave. The sand-blasted walls occasionally echo to live jazz (M starting at 4pm). Cocktails from £3.40. Bottled beers less than £3. Light meals noon-4:30pm (£3.50-6). Open M-Sa llam-llpm, Su noon-10:30pm. MCV.

Cafe Kick, 43 Exmouth Market Tube: Farringdon. Dedicated to the twin goals of drinking and soccer, this jovial cafe-bar is dominated by multiple foosball tables (50p per game). Happy Hour daily 4-7pm (beer £1.50). Beers and cocktails £2.50-5.50. Open M-Sa ll:30am-llpm, Su noon-llpm.

The Social, 5 Little Portland St. Tube: Oxford Circus. This small DJ-driven bar packs a happening crowd into its maze of narrow spaces. Cocktails £5.10. Shooters £3. DJs nightly from 7pm. Open M-Sa noon-llpm.

Point 101, 101 New Oxford St. Tube: Tottenham Court Rd. Retro look, with long vinyl booths in the balcony bar. Nightly DJs, starting around 9pm, tend toward chill-out jazz and soul. Open M-Th 8am-2am, F-Sa 8am-2:30am, Su 8am-ll:30pm. AmExMCV.

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