Real Ale Pubs in London
London is awash with some of the best real ale you could wish to drink. There are plenty of British sourced real ale beers on the taps of the city's pubs so we have handpicked some of the best places to find the golden, good stuff. Whether you're looking for a traditional pub or a unique restaurant bar, we've found the best in London with the biggest selections of real ales that you'll want to visit them all.
Last updated on 27th March 2018
Nothing hits the spot like a good pin o' ale come the work fall out or the weekend. Finding a boozer in London that has a faithful spread of crafty beers and real ale isn't always easy. But, take it from us, The Steam Engine in Waterloo have it all stocked behind their bar. Sit back, have a pint pulled and glug to your hearts content.
Heralded for their beer selection and their plight to feed Londoners some of the finest in British gastro dishes, The Duke of Clarence also harbour another secret, and that's their bid for real ale. Join them for a fine selection to share amongst friends and family.
Ale be damned, you're looking thirsty. Looking for a pub in London that can quench those needs? With their draught roster and top notch ale list, head on down to this traditional British boozer in the heart of Liverpool Street for some of the best real ale in London.
They’re pretty darn serious about their ale contingent at The Northcote. Crowd-pleasers like the Sharp’s Doombar, Adnams and Hogs Back are on the pumps, and they’re frequently mixing it up with their own ale and cider festivals that are well worth checking out!
With a mixture of craft beer and real ale, The Albany in Fitzrovia is the perfect spot for a pint. The venue has two sides, a traditional dining room that also serves classic British, and hidden away, the basement bar which puts on some seriously hot club nights.
With Ales like ESB and London Pride centre stage, The Admiralty lives up to its Fullers branding. Reviving the nautical prestige of the HMS Victory from hull to stern, this central London pub recreates the grandeur of the Navy ship from the fitting plot of Trafalgar Square. There's nothing more satisfying that a place where you can people watch with a pint in hand. All aboard the Admiralty.
With fresh tanks the dispense lager to Londoners, not only are The Castle forward minded when it comes to beer in the city, their real ale roster is promising to boot. Head on down to this quaint English pub for a dose of some of the best ale in the business.
Made your way round to this charming boozer off Hackney Downs yet? Why not! It quickly becomes a firm favourite, charming punters with an interior that features giant maypoles, wicker masks and brass icons galore. Plonk yourself at a table and prepare for a feast; there’s a rotating menu of culinary delights and plenty of ‘deadly ciders’, craft beers and home-infused gins at the same time.
West Londoners have one firm spot when it comes to catching a pint of real ale in London. Join Defector's Weld not only for a pub that promises your classic favourites in the shape of Sunday roasts and craft pints, their real ale selection is to be celebrated and supped too.
Delivering a regularly rotating menu of cider and ale in a grand old building at the centre of the community, the CCC has everything you could ask for from your local boozer and much more. The venue boasts an antique character with its vaulted ceilings and chandeliers, and it’s a stunning space to settle in to while sampling the array of cask ales, real ciders and craft beers.
Where better to enjoy an award-winning pint of ale than at The Old Bank? Steeped in historical significance and featuring a stately interior, this traditional city pub serves the usual litany of Fuller’s ales in the company of delicious meat pies. Sun out? Work your way to the bottom of your pint glass from the comfort of their alfresco courtyard.
Satisfying the physique of a Victorian style lounge and a pubbing parlour of traditional character, The Britannia is a Kensington favourite for laid-back boozing and lovely gastronomy. Surf their bar for a selection of top real ales and sink back into their comfy leather sofas and armchairs for a piece of pubbing pleasure.
There’s not exactly a shortage of great pubs in Hampstead, but right up there among our favourites is The Flask. A Victorian gem with plenty of character and a lovely conservatory space, it’s absolutely worth the 15-minute walk from Hampstead Heath. Pull up a stool and work your way through their collection of locally brewed drinks and signature Young’s bitter, with fantastic seasonal guest ales always on tap.
Shaws Booksellers is a quirky City bar that comes complete with a delicious lunch and dinner menu, and the best London ale. They pride themselves on their great selection of real ales, classic cocktails and great food! Perfect for that much deserved after work drink, pub lunch or a spot of dinner.
There’s 8 cask ales on tap at The Windmill, with great coverage of Young’s beer and a regularly rotating selection of guest ales likely to feature upon your visit. Grab a pint of the good stuff before heading home or stay for some dinner; the pub boasts one of the most impressive pie menus in London with their steak offering having won 3 national awards.
Draft House is introducing London to some of the finest craft beers and real ales in the business. Head to their new spot in Tower Hill for a huge selection of beer and ale, alongside delicious burgers.
You can expect a range of top-class Young’s and guest ales from Winchmore Hill’s self-proclaimed “veritable palace of refreshment”. Great regardless of whether you’re dropping in for a swift half or hanging around for the entire evening, there’s lots of variety on the menu and a decked beer garden if the weather looks good.
British ales in London? Come and get you some. Not only toting classic pub innards alongside a roster of live music acts, The Half Moon is a boozer than promises to leave no real ale lover behind in their bid to bring you the very best of British drinks and dining.
Tucked away in the heart of Mayfair, Iron Duke is a cosy London pub serving up real ales alongside delicious pub grub; making it a lunchtime gem in London’s West End for those wanting a quiet break during their retail therapy, or a work treat.
When it comes to drinking London's best ales, there's a pub in Chelsea that can promise just that. Not only do they host a private dining room and pub that boasts traditional awnings and British charm, their ale roster is brimming with classic names and new drinks to try.
A popular pub in Soho, Sun & Thirteen Cantons is an intimate venue near Regents Street and is a great choice for those seeking out real ales as their selection is extensive. One of the top London pubs to visit for as well as its friendly and buzzing atmosphere it is also a great choice for private gatherings, as their basement bar is a cosy space perfect for those wanting a chic, yet traditional party space.
Viaduct Tavern is a traditional London City pub, located in the heart of the City near St. Pauls. A must for lovers of London's history, and originally built as a Victorian gin palace - Viaduct Tavern has evolved in to a brilliant City pub serving great food and choice real ale in London.
Forming a part of the Grade II listed Whitbread Brewery, The Jugged Hare is the perfect place for a relaxed drink of some delicious real ale in London. Having developed their own pale ale on site, The Jugged Hare gives you a fantastic opportunity to enjoy some homebrewed ale in a friendly and laid back environment.
The Kings Arms is a bit of a favourite for locals in Mayfair and that’s because of their tasty selection of real ales. A great place to kick back and enjoy a beer, they’ve got tonnes of updated pub classics menu to compliment it too.
Boasting fresh, seasonal British dishes, there are many reasons to visit this real ale pub in London. But add in a riverside location and loads of ales to get stuck into to while away the summer days, One Over the Ait is a must should you ever find yourself in Brentford.
A regular fixture on the south London boozing scene since way back in 1821, The Devonshire is one of the best pubs in Balham for a top quality drop of ale. Serving an extensive range and focusing on local producers, there’s also a range of great bar snacks and gastro fare as well as a cracker of a beer garden if the weather’s playing ball.
An historic boozer that dates back to the 17th century, you can count on an exciting and diverse menu of some of the best craft beers and guest ales from the King’s Head in Roehampton. It’s a haven for locals and visitors to the big open spaces at the nearby Richmond Park and Putney Heath, and there’s a lovely garden ideal for kicking back and chilling with a pint or two.
Not only does The Riverside offer a range of award-winning cask ales from Young’s, it also promises some of the best riverside views in London to enjoy them from. Pick out your favourite tipple and make straight for the terrace, where there’s room for up to 200 guests to kick back, relax and enjoy a couple of pints no matter what time of year they’re visiting.
The Tankard is a wonderful mix of old and new; the South London pub has been restored to its Victorian glory with lots of period features and also serves an amazing range of real ale.
Found just yards from the legendary Cutty Sark, The Old Brewery is a historic boozer perfect for a drop of real ale. There’s a great choice of locally-brewed craft beers alongside a range of distilled spirits, a lovely atmosphere to welcome both locals and visitors and a stunning outdoor terrace for the warmer months.
Hardened ale drinkers in London needn't skip a drink because they can't find a suitable pub in London, especially when a destination like The Founders Arms come to their aid. Head on down to this Thames side boozer for British ales aplenty alongside craft beers and pub grub to boot.
The Grafton in Kentish Town has drawn in ale lovers from across London with its wide selection of award-winning ales. With 8 taps all circulation the best ales in London, the roof terrace has proven to be a massive hit with the crowds, particularly in the summer months. Grab your mates, grab a pint of delicious ale and unwind at this pub in North London.
Any claims that you can't get a high quality yet affordable drink in Chelsea quickly go out of the window here. The Chelsea Pensioner offer quality ale and some of the best happy hour deals in the area, so you can enjoy a drink or 5 without breaking the bank! Accompanied with delicious flatbread pizza in the secret beer garden, you can't really go wrong!
A modern escape from the everyday grind of the city, The Tokenhouse is a mixture of industrial-inspired décor and cosy gastro-pub corners. For a great selection of real ale in London, this is the pub to head to after work. They have an extensive selection of cask ales and craft beers. The Cellar Bar is a hidden gem; with a speakeasy feel.
They don’t just serve up spectacular gastropub food in the Guinea – you can wash it all down with a selection of the finest ales in Mayfair. Never skimping on quality, they make sure everything from their wine to their beers to their service is the best it can possibly be.
As well as some of the loveliest views in the city, The Dickens Inn is a renowned real ale pub near Tower Bridge. The traditional pub is spread across three floors and has an impressive list of real ale and beers, served alongside hearty Italian dishes.
Sourcing their ale from nearby Sambrooks brewery as well as an exclusive pint brewed by The London Beer Factory, The Pig's Ear is a top choice for real ale in London. Head to Chelsea to discover a homely and quirky pub in the heart of West London.
Brixton is famed for many things, but who knew that you could also savour some of the best real ale in the business? Just shy of the main station and one of the most charming pubs in South London, join Trinity Arms for plenty of pints of ale to go around.
Real ale in London, it's delicious and it's well worth hunting out, but we're here to make things a little easier for you; simply head to the Marquess in Covent Garden for your dose of honest ales, London beers and relaxed pub drinking.
This rather splendid establishment is the home of The Betjeman Arms real ale! And a very comfortable home at that, filled with squishy soft furnishings, grandiose features and a wonderful sun terrace. Pop into this great pub whilst waiting for a train or simply because you fancy it; try their very own real ale and satiate your hungry with an array of great British fodder.
With a sister venue not too far away, Tank and Paddle Bishopsgate hopes to thrill city revellers with its great comfort food offering, fun games and home brewed pints of beer. Guests can tuck into a stone baked pizza, challenge their mates to a few fun-loving games of shuffleboard or sink deep into one of the venue's real ales, all made in the huge tanks behind the bar.
Where better to imbibe some amazing real ale than cosy, English heritage inspired gastro pub The Bull? Boasting some wonderful real ales, this is the ideal location for a warming drinking session with friends. The many seating areas invite you in becomingly, the sofas seeming impossibly squashy. If you get a bit peckish, there is a selection of pub grub with a contemporary twist on offer.
A traditional and welcoming East End pub that serves top real ales; The Artillery Arms offers tasty, classic pub food, perfect for those wanting something to line the stomach before a big night this pub is perfectly placed as a jumping point for a night out in Shoreditch. This pub is a perfect place to sample some real ale in London and chill with mates.
Something of a jack-of-all-trades pub in London, not only do The Sun of Camberwell pull of pub quizzin', Sunday roasts and private parties in their parlour room, the roster of real ales and draft beers are a delicious force to most definitely, be messed with.
With locally sourced gin, wine and coffee, of course this cool South London pub stocks a great craft beer and ale selection. Cosy and relaxed, with great food to boot, it's worth checking out for a few pints of a Friday night.