Using our advanced ranking model and visiting scores of venues, we have hand-picked some of the very best pubs with meticulous care. We have created a selection of outstanding independent public houses across London. All have something particularly special to offer: craft beers, a hidden garden, an incredible menu or unique design. Whether you want to grab a seasonal brew or try genuine local ale, you’ll know that when visiting a CityStack pub, you won’t be disappointed.
Discover our hidden gems across zones 1 and 2
1 Kitto Road, London SE14 5TW
One of the few remaining independent family-run pubs in South London. Over 200 years old, the Skehans has plenty of character, with a wood stove, a traditional front bar, and a beautiful hidden garden. Come for the odd pint, the delicious Thai food or live music playing most nights.
22 Chalcot Road, London NW1 8LL
A stone's throw from leafy Primrose Hill, this gastropub offers a tasty Sunday roast or mid-week meal. On tap is home-brewed lager, Princess Hells. The bar offers a series of infused gins that complement the cocktail menu. With 150 years of history, The Princess of Wales is a local favourite.
The Princess of Wales
The Crown and Shuttle
226 Shoreditch High St, London E1 6PJ
A Victorian Shoreditch institution degenerated into a strip bar and now reborn as an award-winning craft beer pub. Expect lively, indie vibes, with exposed brick and junkyard decor, craft beers and a large garden and terrace.
Mc & SONS
160 Union Street, London SE1 0LH
Mc & SONS is a traditional old Irish pub set in the heart of Southwark. Thai dishes are served in an old-fashioned pub with Irish and global beers on tap, plus live music. A family-run ‘boozer’, expect a pub oozing with character and charm.
233-235 Victoria Park Rd, London E9 7HD
Soak up the local Victoria atmosphere whilst drinking a barrel-aged Negroni or one of The Hawke’s joyous Margaritas. Enjoy food by BellyLondon, a seasonal menu using British ingredients combined with purposeful cooking. And just in case your thirst for the outdoors hasn’t been satisfied at nearby Victoria Park, there is also a beer garden to enjoy (weather pending).
The Fat Walrus
44 Lewisham Way, London SE14 6NP
Opened in 2016, The Fat Walrus has been voted best pub in New Cross by Timeout readers every year since. The kitchen is open 7 days a week to enjoy treats such as a pan-fried seabass fillet or Swaledale onglet steak. Alternatively, grab a booth and enjoy one of the many beers on tap.
The Bow Bells
116 Bow Rd, Bow, London E3 3AA
Painted bright orange, The Bow Bells is hard to miss. Family-owned, you’ll be visiting a proper East End place. Unique to the pub, there is said to be a ghost that has lived here since 1974. Known as the ‘phantom flusher’, expect this cheeky ghost to flush the toilet just when you’re at your most vulnerable.
The Hansom Cab
84-86 Earls Ct Rd, London W8 6EG
A pub formerly owned by Piers Morgan, named after the replacement for the Hackney carriage, and now transformed into a craft beer house. Close to Kensington High Street, off the beaten path from Earls Court Road. Expect stylish décor, a friendly atmosphere, and a comfortable dining room with an open fireplace.
The Highbury Barn
26 Highbury Park, London N5 2AB
An iconic London pub in every sense. Great homemade food, warm, genuine hospitality, cask ales, fine wines & award-winning produce. Look forward to finding a bright, modern pub with a history going back to 1770, a British menu and Sunday lunches.
The Angel & Crown
170 Roman Rd, London E2 0RY
Once regarded as the ‘worst pub in London’, The Angel & Crown has been reborn all thanks to the new landlady. A self-styled community pub, welcoming parents and children after school, freelance workers during the day, and drag queen acts at night. The pub welcomes all, as a living room shared by neighbours.
The Gladstone Arms
64 Lant Street, London SE1 1QN
Known locally as ‘The Glad’, this independent family-run pub is named affectionately after four-time former prime minster William Gladstone. A stone's throw away from Borough tube, expect Anglo-Indian dishes including favourites such as curry pies and Indian Sunday roasts.