There’s an old saying in London that you’re never more than six feet from a rat, but the truth is you’re never more than a hop, skip, and a pint from a classic British pub. Particularly around the storied London Bridge area, a tapestry of inviting pubs rich in history, character, and above all, fantastic brews, awaits the discerning traveler.
London’s pubs are so much more than a place to quench your thirst. They’re a bubbling brew of history, brimming with tales of famous patrons, architectural intrigue, and a sense of community that’s as warming as the fires in their hearths. Here, under the glow of antiquated lanterns, wooden beams whisper the tales of centuries, and every pint poured is a toast to tradition.
So, whether you’re winding down from exploring the Tower of London, need a drink after noshing at Borough Market, or strolling along the Thames, a stop at one of the best pubs in London Bridge isn’t just a suggestion – it’s an essential part of the London experience. The clink of glasses, the hum of conversation, and the cascade of laughter are all part of London’s unique soundtrack. So why not pull up a chair, order a pint, and find yourself wonderfully lost in the heart of London’s spirited pub culture? Cheers to that!
The Best Pubs in London Bridge – Ranked!
There are a lot of lists of the “best” pubs in London Bridge out there, and most of them have some sort of black box way of deciding what to include and in what order. I prefer to be transparent in how I rank the things I recommend on this site, so below you’ll find a table with scores for each pub; here’s how I came up with those numbers:
- I selected only those pubs which are located within the generally agreed bounds of the London Bridge area (19 in all)
- I ranked all of the pubs by rating and number of reviews on Google reviews
- I then combined those scores with the proportion of reviews each pub received to come up with a score (out of 5) for each pub
- I ranked the pubs by score, and broke ties by the number of reviews (at the time of reviewing the data)
Also, I included only pubs with a rating of 4.0 or higher, to ensure I was only including those pubs which are truly good. Given all that, here are the best pubs in London Bridge:
|1||The George Inn||5500+||5.21|
|2||The Barrowboy & Banker||3000+||4.62|
|3||Bunch of Grapes||2500+||4.45|
|4||Tower Bridge Arms||2300+||4.43|
Below, you’ll find more about each of these top 5 London Bridge pubs, plus shorter descriptions of the other 18 that I reviewed for this post.
1. The George Inn
Photo Courtesy of George Inn
The first pub on our list is The George Inn, which was built in 1676 and is well worth a visit. As London’s last galleried inn, it even has its own National Trust page – if you’re a history nerd like me, this place is a must-visit in addition to the great ambiance and location.
Boasting a warm and cozy fireplace, this charming pub is full of character and popular with both tourists and locals. It offers British ales that you can enjoy in a beer garden- provided the weather permits!- and, if you’re traveling with your pooch, is also dog-friendly. If you’re here for a bite, the fish and chips are delicious!
Fans of Charles Dickens will be interested to hear that the author was once a guest here. It must have impressed him because he mentioned it in his novel, Little Dorri!
Note: Not to be confused with The George which is located nearby, on 40 Tower Bridge Road.
2. The Barrowboy & Banker
Photo courtesy of The Barrowboy & Banker
If you’re after a pub that is less cozy but grander, definitely head to The Barrowboy & Banker. This split-level Pub & Restaurant is situated in a converted bank building, with a double volume ceiling, sweeping curved staircase, and impressive chandelier.
In line with its posher set-up, it offers air-conditioning which, if you’ve ever been in London on a hot summer’s day, you’ll definitely appreciate! It also has wonderful views of Southwark Cathedral.
The food menu ranges from scones to not twice but THRICE-fried chips, which are a real treat. No wonder it’s always mentioned as one of the best London Bridge pubs!
Pro tip: the pub is quite popular with the corporate crowd in London, so you may have to wait to get a seat and it can get quite lively.
3. Bunch of Grapes
Photo courtesy of Bunch of Grapes
Despite being located a stone’s throw from London Bridge tube station, this little pub is somewhat off-the-radar, being located on a relatively quieter street. Don’t overlook it though as Bunch of Grapes is the perfect place to relax after a tiring morning at the neighboring Borough Market, London’s oldest food and vegetable market.
It has a hidden beer garden and courtyard which is a peaceful respite from all the hustle and bustle and a great place for Sunday roast. Alternatively, you can also sit or stand outside the pub to enjoy your pint whilst marveling at the Shard!
4. Tower Bridge Arms
Photo courtesy of Tower Bridge Arms via Facebook
For those traveling with the young ones and visiting Tower Bridge, you’ll be pleased to hear that the nearby Tower Bridge Arms is kid-friendly till 8pm. This dog-friendly pub offers craft beers. It is also so welcoming of dietary preferences that it has Vegan Mondays where you can get 2 vegan mains for the price of 1!
Pro tip: The pub is better known for its excellent range of beers than the quality of its food, which can be a little hit-and-miss!
5. The Mudlark
Photo courtesy of The Mudlark via Instagram
Looking to wash down your pint with some classic pub dishes? Well, The Mudlark is the place for you! Their traditional British pies go amazingly well with their large range of real ales.
Dining at The Mudlark is also a good way to enjoy oneself whilst doing good: the pub donates 50p to the housing and homelessness charity per order of Ocean Fish & Chips. And, if you’re on a budget, sign-up for their newsletter or download their app to get a free bottle of Rekorderlig cider!
Other Great Pubs in London Bridge
In addition to the best pubs in London Bridge mentioned above, there are lots of other pubs in the area; here’s a quick list of them plus what makes each one special. If you’re staying in the London Bridge area, you might try more than one; if you only have time for one though – use the top list!
- The Miller – If you enjoy a spot of comedy, don’t forget to stop by The Miller, an independent pub that hosts Improv Comedy shows daily!
- The Old King’s Head – The Old King’s Head is a great place to watch sports TV (it has several screens) or enjoy a game on a slot machine. A good time to visit is during Happy Hour, with pints going at 4 quid (£4) between 4-7pm from Mondays to Thursdays! Note: there is another pub with the same name in Shoreditch, so if you’re cabbing over, make sure to give the exact address to your driver!
- The Horseshoe Inn – Had enough of boring British food? Try The Horseshoe Inn which offers “English Pub (food), with a twist” such as tempura prawns, chicken satay, and five-bean chili. With 2 pub cats, it’s also the perfect pub for animal lovers.
- St Christopher’s Inn Pub – Music lovers will love a drink at this traditional coaching inn, as it offers live music every night! It’s a fantastic place to eat local too as the ingredients are bought fresh from Borough Market.
- The Bridge Tap – If you prefer a more modern set-up, head to The Bridge Tap, a pub in between London Bridge station and Borough Market. It has a great beer selection but feels more like an American bistro than a classic British pub!
- Lord Clyde Southwark – The Lord Clyde is a good place to try classic pub events, such as Board Game Night (Monday) and Darts (Tuesday)!
- The Rose – The Rose public house is so beloved, it’s won the “Time Out Love Awards London” for “Best Bar or Pub in Borough, Bermondsey & London Bridge!”
- The Two Bridges Ale House & Kitchen – If you want to make your London trip even more special, The Two Bridges has Open Mic Monday and Friday Night Spotlight which you can apply to perform at! (For those who prefer sitting down to enjoy their alcohol, the pub also has Stand Up Comedy Night.)
- The Rose & Crown – The Rose & Crown was refurbished in 2019 and offers accommodation as well as food and drink.
- Redwood Sports Pub & Kitchen – Redwood Sports Pub & Kitchen is another more modern establishment on this list of the best London Bridge pubs. It’s so serious about watching sport, even the bathrooms are equipped with screens, so you don’t have to worry about missing any exciting moments!
- The Alexander Hay – Located in Hays Galleria (in between Borough Market and Tower Bridge), The Alexander Hay is another child-friendly public house. Situated on the riverfront, patrons can enjoy great views of the opposite bank. I highly recommend visiting during Christmas, when Hays Galleria is all decked out in bright lights. There’s usually a Christmas market going on right next to The Alexander Hay too!
- The Raven Tower Bridge – The Raven Tower Bridge is well-situated for a stop after a tiring morning at Tower Bridge, before making your way over to Borough Market!
- The Sheaf – Have you ever been to an underground bar? The Sheaf is located in the vaults of the Hop Exchange near Borough Market. It’s pretty iconic, having been featured in the Time Out Guide Book under “London’s 500 best bars!”
Have a question about the best pubs in London Bridge? Feel free to ask in the comments!