With over 3,500 pubs in the UK capital, it’s difficult to find the best pubs in London for food – but we certainly tried. These gastropubs can be added to your must-visit list.
1. The Princess of Shoreditch, Old Street
Tucked away on a quiet street just minutes from the chaos of Old Street roundabout, The Princess of Shoreditch is a foodie pub fan’s paradise. The space is flooded with light, with huge Crittall windows spanning the corner building and traditional pub features stripped back to austere contemporary elegance. But climb an original iron staircase to discover a cozier setting; a candlelit dining room that feels more like an elegant country house. There are two menus to choose from: regular à la carte and a five- or eight-course tasting menu – admittedly an unusual offering for a pub, but one that easily pulls it off with cheerfully presented dishes and subtle flavor combinations. These elements carry over into the regular menu: we loved the soft and peppery venison tartare and the rich risotto with braised beef cheeks. Each pudding was equally well considered: blood orange sorbet with sourdough treacle tart, a rhubarb and white chocolate dessert that would have been well placed at a wedding, and a chocolate soufflé that exploded like a cloud from its copper pot. The Princess of Shoreditch is a rare find as it combines fine dining with the casual intimacy of a pub. Lily Bonesso
Address: 76-78 Paul Street, London EC2A 4NE
2. The Cadogan Guns, Chelsea
It takes a special kind of menu to make even the most elegant of Chelsea residents give up all the airs as they weave their way into the crowded corners of The Cadogan Arms. With paneled wood, sparkling chandeliers and marble tabletops, SW3’s most coveted pub blends classic fare with sophisticated, modern touches. Opt for the old bar faithful — hand-reared pork pies and Scotch eggs — or break up with a confit duck leg terrine and brioche and sticky cheese toasts with a helping of fresh, tangy kimchi. For mains, order a wild mushroom and pearl barley tart with parsnips and hazelnut tartar sauce, or beer-battered fish and chips with tartar sauce and mushy peas. But it’s the steaks that really stand out. The restaurant uses only British and Irish peas raised on bio-diverse pastures, meaning the beef is tenderer and tastier – paired perfectly with giant portobello mushrooms with garlic butter, grilled Isle of Wight tomatoes and peppery watercress. Olivia Morelli
Address: 298 King’s Rd, London SW3 5UG