Located on the fringes of London’s primary tourist track, Greenwich was once its own town and a destination in its own right. In fact, at one point, it was far-flung enough from the hustle and bustle of Central London that it was chosen as the site of the still-present Royal Observatory; today, the light pollution from Greater London makes proper astronomical viewing impossible – but you can just imagine a time when the light was so little that important discoveries were made here!
Greenwich has a lot to offer visitors, from its sprawling park to lovely museums and exhibits. After all that fun though, you might be feeling a bit parched or peckish (thirsty and hungry, respectively). To that end, the pubs in Greenwich can help – but how to pick which one to visit? Especially if you’re only in Greenwich for a day or less during your whole London itinerary?
In the end, I’ve scoured the streets, looked at the lists, and been mindful of all the maps in coming up with what I think are the best pubs in Greenwich. You’ll see many that make lots of other lists of the top pubs in this area, plus a few that are lesser-well known but perhaps proportionally more greatly loved as a result. Ready to see what makes each one special? Pull up a chair, grab a pint, and let’s begin.
1. The Gipsy Moth
Photo courtesy of The Gipsy Moth
One of the few Grade 1 listed pubs in the UK, it’s located by the river, right in the center of Greenwich, has lovely gardens, and does a terrific Sunday Roast. (What more do you need?!) If you enjoy craft beers, it’s also worth a stop as it has 12 hand-picked craft beers (including gluten-free and vegan options) – but the craft beers are offered on rotation, so you won’t be able to try all 12 in one visit/day.
2. The Coach & Horses
Photos courtesy of The Coach & Horses via Flickr
Coach & Horses (used both with and without the “The”) is one of the best Greenwich pubs if you need a drink after shopping the busy Greenwich Market. This pub is located right inside the covered market – sadly, you can’t bring in food from the market, even if you order drinks from the pub itself.
It can get very crowded during trading hours but quietens down during the evenings. There’s also a regular Quiz Night if you want to partake in that British tradition!
Bonus: if you’re looking for a place to eat in London on Christmas Day, Coach & Horses is one of the few open on the actual day. (And Boxing Day – the 26th – too!)
3. The Old Brewery
Photos courtesy of The Old Brewery
If you’re looking for a wonderfully atmospheric place for a pint, try The Old Brewery Greenwich.
Located by the river in the Old Royal Navy College Greenwich, The Old Brewery is a UNESCO world heritage site built by Henry VIII. It has beautiful al fresco gardens and, on the inside, a double-height ceiling with original brewing tanks for Meantime, the local brewery. If you get bored waiting for your food, there’s a free museum in the visitor center next door.
4. Trafalgar Tavern
Photos courtesy of Trafalgar Tavern
Trafalgar Tavern not only is one of the best pubs in Greenwich London but also one of the prettiest.
A Victorian Riverside pub with a cobbled al fresco section, you can actually see the waters of the Thames right underneath the windows of this Grade-II listed building. (The views at sunset are simply gorgeous!) The walls are decked out in old prints and paintings, making it almost feel like you’re in a museum – or have stepped back in time.
Speaking of time travel, this pub still serves local whitebait, a tradition that dates back to Victorian times, when politicians would travel from Westminster to have (freshly caught from the Thames) “whitebait dinners” here. And this pub was so beloved by Charles Dickens that he set the wedding breakfast in his last novel, Our Mutual Friend, here!
5. The King’s Arms
Photos courtesy of The King’s Arms via Flickr
The King’s Arms has been a working-class British pub since 1891. It’s dog-friendly and has a pretty beer garden, which is a great place to sit in the evenings as there are lights strung up above you. However, do note smoking is allowed there.
It’s one of the best Greenwich pubs for a Sunday roast but, unfortunately, sometimes the vegetables arrive a little cold. Like Coach & Horses and The Old Brewery, The King’s Arms is also serving on Christmas Day this year.
6. Ye Old Rose & Crown
Photos courtesy of Ye Old Rose & Crown
Like The King’s Arms, Ye Old Rose & Crown is another Greene King pub, but with one difference. It’s also a long-standing gay pub with drag shows, music, and live acts. This makes it a decidedly different experience than some of the more traditional, staid picks on my list.
Ye Old Rose & Crown likely draws a more colorful crowd as it’s located next to the Greenwich Theatre; as such, it’s a great place for a drink pre- or post-show. Sometimes there’s dancing at night, too! It serves various pub classics, but I highly recommend trying the fish and chips – they are cooked to perfection!
7. Cutty Sark Tavern
Photos courtesy of Cutty Sark Tavern via Flickr
Cutty Sark Tavern is a beautiful pub overlooking the river that serves seasonal food made from local ingredients. Before I get to the details, make sure you ask for a table by the window to get a lovely view of the Thames. It offers a range of traditional pub dishes, with daily specials, and specializes in seafood- the fish and chips are especially good.
As it’s a little further from the main tourist areas (about 10 minutes walk), it’s less crowded. There’s a weekly Pub Quiz on Wednesdays at 8 p.m., with both a cash prize and a bottle of wine to win. The Sunday lunch is very good and also busy, so do remember to book in advance!
Cutty Sark Tavern is another place in Greenwich that serves food on Christmas Day. In addition, it also has a three-course Burns Night Supper on 25th January 2024 for £50.
8. The Yacht
Photos courtesy of The Yacht Pub
The 3rd Greene King Pub* on this list, The Yacht Pub has a riverside location, friendly staff, good beers, and five screens that show live sporting events. A dog-friendly establishment, it is also serving food on Christmas Day but, unfortunately, the food is not as good as the other pubs on this list!
*This goes to show how much the pubs in London have been consolidated in recent years. At least you can be assured that Greene King Pubs are generally quite good, since so many are on my list.
9. Pelton Arms
Photos courtesy of Pelton Arms
Not to be confused with a workout you might do on your electric bike at home, Pelton Arms is a local pub with lovely, rooms, great live music, real ale, home-cooked food, and delicious Neapolitan-style wood-fired pizza.
There’s something on almost every evening, whether it’s a pub game, a music performance, or a special offer. If not, you can always entertain yourself with board games, billiards, or dominoes!
10. The Plume of Feathers
Photos courtesy of The Plume of Feathers via Instagram
Dating back to 1691, The Plume of Feathers is situated on the edge of Greenwich Park and is the oldest pub in Greenwich.
As the Brits say, it’s a “proper boozer” decorated with maritime relics and manned by welcoming staff. No wonder it has a 2022 Travelers’ Choice Award from TripAdvisor! There’s also a resident pub cat, quiz nights every other Wednesday, and a candlelit restaurant that serves amazing food (both pub classics and European fare).
Other Great Pubs in Greenwich
Photos courtesy of The Sail Loft via Instagram
- Richard the First – Richard the First is a dog-friendly pub with a heated beer garden, so a lovely place to sit out even when the weather is chilly! Despite its name, it only dates back to the 20th century (1923, to be exact), so is one of the newer additions to the Greenwich pub scene.
- The Old Joinery – The Old Joinery is huge! At over 4000 square feet, it is one of the largest pubs in Greenwich and also serves as an events and filming venue. Note that the pub is only open on Friday (from 5 p.m.) and Saturday (from 1 p.m.)
- The Prince of Greenwich – The Prince of Greenwich is a really comfortable pub – it has stuffed sofas – with live music and the most amazing pizza and home-cooked Mediterranean food. The staff is so friendly that this pub has the highest Google rating on this list (4.8 stars).
- The Sail Loft – The Sail Loft is a modern establishment- think floor-to-ceiling glass windows- that serves traditional pub food. As it’s located by the river, the large windows and al fresco dining area make it even easier to relish the great views of the river!
- Ashburnham Arms – Located away from the typical tourist route, Ashburnham Arms is a locals pub where you can find award-winning ales from Britain’s oldest brewery as well as great grub. If you’re a fan of the writer Edgar Wallace, you may also want to visit his house which is located just down the road. (Note that the pub closes on Mondays!)
If you have questions about these best pubs in Greenwich or of others that didn’t make my list (and I can share why not!), let me know in the comments below!