London’s best pubs 2021: the top boroughs, 5-star pubs... and best for vegans!

October 22, 2021

Paris Stevens

"We’ve analysed Tripadvisor ratings to reveal customers’ favourite pubs in the capital"

This research was conducted by Wildgoose Events. Data is available to share. Please credit London team building activities company Wildgoose Events.

It’s an age-old question, asked by after-work socialisers, shopaholics and night-owls alike: which is the best pub in London? To find an answer, we used Tripadvisor ratings, which come from the customers themselves.

But what makes a great pub? Well, there’s the atmosphere, the quality and variety on the menu, the facilities, the cost... It’s all factored into our analysis of the capital’s pubs, conducted to coincide with the launch of our new Pub Explorer team building activity. We focused on the 14 inner-London boroughs because they account for more than 40% of the 300 million daytime visits London receives from tourists each year – and around half of the £10 billion revenue these visits bring in.

We scoured Tripadvisor reviews, looking at the percentage of pubs with ‘excellent’ ratings and the special diet-friendly items at 935 food-serving pubs. It left us really peckish.

Which inner-London borough has the most ‘excellent’ pub ratings?

Islington tops the charts, with nearly half (45%) of its pubs rated as ‘excellent’ – not surprising when you consider it’s one of London’s most lively areas for nightlife. Lewisham, with its vibrant culture, comes in a close second at 44%. Both are well above the average of 38% for all inner-London boroughs.

The riverside borough of Wandsworth is full of parks and, apparently, great pubs: 43% have been rated ‘excellent’. Also sitting alongside the Thames, Hammersmith and Fulham enjoys convenient links to the very heart of London – and also has 43% of pubs in the ‘excellent’ bracket. 42% fall into that category in leafy Greenwich, famous for its parks, markets and historic landmarks.

Although it’s way down the list in 13th place (with 33% ‘excellent’ pubs), the City of London easily has the most pubs per square mile: an impressive 213. That’s almost five times as many as the second-placed borough: Westminster, with 44 pubs per square mile.

New: Top boroughs by excellent reviews map

Looking for the cream of the crop? These are the 20 highest-rated inner-London pubs

So we know London has a lot of great pubs and some boroughs are blessed with more than others. But here are the capital’s absolute favourite spots, with the highest percentage of 5-star ratings.  Punters are more likely to leave satisfied from these pubs than from anywhere else in inner London.

Claiming top spot is The Hunter’s Moon in Kensington and Chelsea, with 86% ‘excellent’ reviews. This cosy establishment on fashionable Fulham Road serves up beautifully presented dishes.

The Virgin Queen in Tower Hamlets charts second, with 85% of reviews gaining top marks. Situated close to the photogenic Columbia Road Flower Market, its roaring fire and period look make it a great spot for winter drinks.

Also in Tower Hamlets is the Star of the East, which occupies number three in our list. It might be 160 years old, but this pub boasts a trendy look, quality beers and fantastic views of Canary Wharf.

New: Top 20 Inner London Pubs graphic

Where is the top vegan pub food in the capital?

Veganism is becoming increasingly popular in the UK and London – over half a million people in the UK now follow a vegan diet, and meat-free alternatives are becoming more widely available. In the coming weeks and months, more and more people will be filling up London’s pubs, whether they’re tourists, Christmas shoppers or colleagues socialising. So we wanted to help people find a top vegan-friendly spot, quickly and easily.

Greenwich offers hungry vegans the most choice, with an impressive third of all pubs in the borough offering vegan dishes. Next comes Wandsworth, where one in five pubs are vegan-friendly, swiftly followed by Hammersmith and Fulham on 19%.



Which of the top-rated pubs are best for vegan options?

This summer, there was an explosion in searches for ‘vegan pubs’ in the UK, according to Google search data. This was an 83% rise, year-on-year, against 2020 figures, and a 35% rise compared to 2019.

In London, pubs are doing a great job of leaving vegan stomachs satisfied. Here are the top-rated pubs serving vegan grub in each inner-London borough.

The Londesborough - Hackney - 82% ‘excellent’ ratings

36 Barbauld Road, Stoke Newington, London N16 0SS

https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Review-g186338-d3438194-Reviews-The_Londesborough-London_England.html#REVIEWS


The Prince of Greenwich Pub - Greenwich - 77% ‘excellent’ ratings

72 Royal Hill, Greenwich, London SE10 8RT

https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Review-g186338-d7159326-Reviews-The_Prince_of_Greenwich_Pub-London_England.html#REVIEWS


Mc & Sons - Southwark - 77% ‘excellent’ ratings

160 Union Street, London SE1 0LH

https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Review-g186338-d12964321-Reviews-Mc_Sons-London_England.html#REVIEWS


 The South West Eleven - Wandsworth - 75% ‘excellent’ ratings

279 Battersea Park Road, London SW11 4NE

https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Review-g186338-d8435274-Reviews-The_South_West_Eleven-London_England.html#REVIEWS


The Peasant - Islington - 74% ‘excellent’ ratings

240 St. John Street, Clerkenwell, London EC1V 4PH

https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Review-g186338-d720286-Reviews-The_Peasant-London_England.html#REVIEWS


The Magpie - City of London - 74%‘excellent’ ratings

12 New Street, London EC2M 4TP

https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Review-g186338-d1044399-Reviews-The_Magpie-London_England.html 


Sir Colin Campbell - Camden - 70%‘excellent’ ratings

264-266 Kilburn High Road, London NW6 2BY

https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Review-g186338-d12328262-Reviews-Sir_Colin_Campbell-London_England.html#REVIEWS


The Angel of Bow - Tower Hamlets - 68%‘excellent’ ratings

171 Devons Road, London E3 3QX

https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Review-g186338-d13285396-Reviews-The_Angel_Of_Bow-London_England.html#REVIEWS


The Duchy Arms - Lambeth - 68%‘excellent’ ratings

63 Sancroft Street, Kennington, London SE11 5UG

https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Review-g186338-d3846295-Reviews-The_Duchy_Arms-London_England.html#REVIEWS


The Durell Arms - Hammersmith and Fulham - 68%‘excellent’ ratings

704 Fulham Road, London SW6 5SB

https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Review-g186338-d3568372-Reviews-The_Durell_Arms-London_England.html#REVIEWS 


The Goat Chelsea - Kensington and Chelsea - 65%‘excellent’ ratings

333 Fulham Road, Chelsea, London SW10 9QL

https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Review-g186338-d1381895-Reviews-The_Goat_Chelsea-London_England.html#REVIEWS


The Cleveland Arms - Westminster - 62% ‘excellent’ ratings

28 Chilworth Street, London W2 6DT

https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Review-g186338-d12544035-Reviews-The_Cleveland_Arms-London_England.html#REVIEWS


The Fat Walrus - Lewisham - 61%‘excellent’ ratings

44 Lewisham Way New Cross, London SE14 6NP

https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Review-g186338-d9780990-Reviews-The_Fat_Walrus-London_England.html#REVIEWS


The Golden Fleece - Newham - 47%‘excellent’ ratings

166 Capel Road Manor Park, London E12 5DB

https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Review-g186338-d2525651-Reviews-The_Golden_Fleece-London_England.html#REVIEWS


Jonny Edser, Wildgoose Events Director, says:

“Once again, we’re seeing just how much people love London’s pubs. The research shows us that in some boroughs, almost half of all pubs are rated 5 stars, or 'excellent' – great news for residents and visitors alike.

“Our Pub Explorer activity was inspired by the popularity of London’s pubs, bringing workmates together for some fun in a setting that people love. As we move towards Christmas, London’s pubs will be full of shoppers and Christmas parties. They’re the perfect place for socialising with friends, family and colleagues.”

Methodology

  • Tripadvisor data collected from results of ‘pub’ search in London – in September 2021
  • Data gathered on special dietary requirements offered and rating for each pub
  • Vegan-friendly pubs rating is based on overall pub experience – these are gastropubs where vegans can eat and enjoy a great pub experience
  • Pubs with less than 25 reviews omitted from top 20 pub rankings to ensure validity of % of 5-star review metric
  • Google search data collected in October 2021. Sourced from Google Trends

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