Need a breather from the bustle of Islington? The Duchess of Kent is one of the area's best kept secrets, beckoning you inside where a friendly ambience is waiting. This cosy spot is great no matter what time of the week you're in town, with an excellent range of ales on tap, a fresh and vibrant wine list and tasty comfort food served throughout the week. Our tip? Go on Sunday for a delicious roast, a Bloody Mary or two and an afternoon spent playing board games.
Friendliest Pubs in London
Seeking somewhere familiar? Somewhere cosy and welcoming, where the staff know your name and your order before you’ve even had the chance to stride up to the bar? We’ve toured the town in search of the friendliest pubs in London, noting down the best places for a traditional and relaxed pubbing experience and gathering them together in this handy little guide.
A Grade II listed, early-19th century boozer on the banks of the Thames, The Gun is a handsome space to enjoy some dinner and drinks. Comprised of refurbed dining rooms and snug bookable areas, the friendly service adds to an already impressive package of seasonal British menus and quality wines at this riverside beauty. Get yourself on the terrace come the warmer months for sweeping views of the Thames and O2 Arena.
A historical haunt with past patrons such as George Orwell and Micheal Powell, The Newman Arms is a charming British boozer that's surely one of the city's friendliest places to drink. Head on over and soak up the atmosphere with a British brew for an authentic experience.
The White Hart is a pub at the heart of the community, promising great service, the finest ales and delicious, freshly cooked food to the people of Barnes from its riverside location. Originally built in 1660 there's an unmistakable Tudor grandeur to this place, and it's a lovely pub to stop by to catch up with friends over a drink or to indulge in some tasty British cooking.
Bringing “a taste of country life to London's bustling suburbs”, The Eagle ticks all the boxes for a traditional pub experience in Shepherd's Bush. You'll be chilling in the pub garden come the warmer months; the BBQ will be on the go and there's ample beanbags to kick back and lounge on. If there's a chill in the air retreat inside to find a cosy and snug pub environment, with sofas, open fires and plenty of ale and seasonal food.
The Crown Tavern might be a long old poke for some, but the friendly service and welcoming nature of this traditional boozer makes it all worthwhile. Featuring a lovely front terrace that fills up with contented drinkers in the summertime, the main bar has a top range of cask ales, world-class wines and refreshing long drinks while there's a beautiful function room with its own balcony upstairs.
With a liquor licence dating back to the 1800s, this Amhurst Road site is a renowned site for drinking and socialising near Hackney Downs. Featuring an interior design of giant maypoles, wicker masks, brass icons and straw bears, this is a colourful space which celebrates British folk culture and offers a unique London pubbing experience.
The best time to visit the Joker? Friday afternoon's of course, when Islington's work weary spill out onto the streets and arrive on Penton Street, where an infectious, feel-good atmosphere awaits. The pub is named after Joseph Grimaldi - early nineteenth century local lad and creator of the modern-day clown as we know it - so it's probably only right that you sample their Grimaldi signature cocktail while you're here.
It's pretty rare that you'll get a proper community spirit in a South London pub, so we're glad when ones like The Honor Oak come along. The gastropub prides itself on its friendliness, but that doesn't mean it skimps on its range of craft beers, cask ales and fine wines. And if you're feeling a little peckish, they'd be more than happy to serve you some seasonal British food for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Looking to get familiar with the Notting Hill area and hatch a plan for pints at a friendly London pub? Well then, it's off to the Duke of Wellington for you. From casual pints and ales to a roster of favourites on the pub menu, this is the perfect Duke to be spending your time with.
They keep most of the tables free for walk-ins at The Cat & Mutton, so you're free to stroll on down and enjoy some pub grub and drinks in your own time. One of the very best pubs in East London, this Broadway Market boozer serves fried chicken and deep-south fare, with a glorious range of drinks on the side. There's live music throughout the week and it's the perfect spot come Sunday, when roasts and Bloody Mary's are the order of the day.
The Lillie Langtry is a homely pub in Earls Court that full of charm and character. The venue's kitchen plates up a selection of grilled dishes - the pub is famous for it's chicken - while the bar serves all the best craft beers, local ales and fine wines available in West London. Sink into a cosy booth, relax with your favourite pint and watch the hours drift by at this friendly pub in West London.
You've not lived until you've checked out this gem of a Battersea boozer. The Four Thieves is a pub with more than 70 gins lining its shelves. There's comedy nights, pub quizzes, soothing jazz sessions on a Sunday, bottomless brunches and a snug which hosts Lady Chastity's - a super fun immersive team game. Rally up your mates and explore everything this friendly pub in London has to offer; there just might be a vintage arcade room to stumble upon while you're here.
This gorgeous Covent Garden haunt serves a menu of great British classics alongside a diverse selection of London beer. The best part? The bar's Gin Terrace, welcoming its guests to sample a wide selection of creations from around the world.
Beautifully decorated and with a bar stock full of all your favourite drinks, the Roebuck in Hampstead is a traditional pub that's perfect for those lazy weekends. Alongside the traditional, dark mahogany bar area, the venue boasts a cosy basement area, a serene private dining room and, most importantly, a stunning, elegant beer garden. Decked out with heaters, sheltered seating areas and a collection of bright garden furniture, its vibrancy and laid-back atmosphere has quickly made it into a favourite summer spot for Hampstead's locals.
An independent, non-confrontation pub that offers a vegan-led menu with focus on diverse clientele, The Apple Tree is one of London's most unique places to eat and drink. To top it off, the place shakes up delicious fresh cocktails with a plethora of live performances on rotation.
Sometimes you need to venture further afield in order to find London's friendliest pubs. The Bridge Hotel feels a world away from the stressful scenes of central London despite the fact that it's only 20 minutes on the tube, with a relaxed and friendly atmosphere complemented by an excellent drinks menu featuring seasonal ales, worldly beers and classic cocktails. Linger into the night and don't worry if you miss your last train; there's 68 en-suite bedrooms to bail you out!
One Over the Ait manages to combine a friendly atmosphere with some amazing food and drink to boot. Their pumps are filled with real ale and their kitchen serves up the best in homemade British food, using seasonal, locally-sourced produce.
Situated amongst the row of Victorian terraces on Bow's Coborn Road, this is a charming drinking hole for all occasions. Seek refuge in The Coborn if you need a break from the constant bustle of the city, with plenty of cosy spaces to set up shop and enjoy a tipple or two. Young's award-winning cask ales, craft beers, premium spirits and vintage wines are all available at the bar, and there's freshly prepared pub grub if you're here in search of food.
A Victorian gem with bags of charm, The Flask is one of the top pubs in Hampstead. Grab a pint of Young's ale at the bar or make for the conservatory, where seriously good pub grub is served up as the natural light comes flooding in. There's a neat little outside space to chill in if the weather allows, the Pimm's gets flowing in the summer and there's mulled wine for the winter, all in a friendly and familiar atmosphere that won't fail to impress.
Not only is this charming watering hole bringing you three bars and a lush beer garden, but the Grand Junction Arms even hosts a variety of events like quiz nights, open mics and live sports through the week. Pair that with thirst-quenching drinks and a street food menu and we're onto a winner.