Step into Shoreditch, and you’re stepping into London’s vibrant beating heart of creativity, color, and charisma. An area that effortlessly marries its rich history with a buzzing contemporary vibe, Shoreditch is a haven for artists, foodies, and those with an insatiable thirst for the avant-garde. Among its myriad offerings, its pubs stand out, echoing tales from a bygone era while serving up craft beer and good vibes.
You see, London’s pubs are not just about a pint (though, goodness, they do it well!); they are a testament to the city’s soul and each specific neighborhood. In Shoreditch, these establishments take on an edgy character, reflective of the neighborhood’s innovative spirit. Whether you’re nestled in a vintage, wood-paneled nook or beneath the glimmering lights of a modern, artsy bar, the best pubs in Shoreditch are as eclectic as their street art.
As you plan your London journey, let Shoreditch’s irresistible charm draw you in. After all, there’s no better way to savor London than with a frothy pint in hand, surrounded by the energy and excitement of Shoreditch. Read on to learn about the best Shoreditch pubs to plan into your London itinerary.
Editor’s Note: While I’ve never lived in Camden, I have called other parts of North London home – and there’s something unique about this region of the city – especially Camden. As I do on many of my trips, I hope you’ll at least spend a bit of time in this lively and distinctive neighborhood. –Valerie
The Best Pubs in Shoreditch – Ranked!
There are a lot of lists of the “best” pubs in Shoreditch 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 that are located within the generally agreed bounds of the Shoreditch area (29 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 near Shoreditch:
|1||Well & Bucket||1200+||5.25|
|2||Mikkeller Bar London||800+||4.80|
|3||Tank & Paddle Bishopsgate||750+||4.69|
|5||The Light Bar & Dining||550+||4.49|
Below, you’ll find more about each of these top 5 Shoreditch pubs, plus shorter descriptions of the other 10 that I reviewed for this post.
1. Well & Bucket
Photos courtesy of Well & Bucket
Wells & Bucket is a shabby-chic pub meets oyster bar with a cocktail bar in the basement and a great food and ale menu. (The oysters and sliders are two of the most popular dishes: if you’re in the area on a weekday between 5 to 6 p.m., the oysters go for only £2! Note that they only take cash.)
Established in the early 1800s, it’s one of the oldest pubs in East London, although it was briefly repurposed as a restaurant and leather wholesaler before being turned back into a pub about a decade ago.
2. Mikkeller Bar London
Photos courtesy of Mikkeller Bar London
Mikkeller Bar London is one of the best pubs in Shoreditch for craft beer lovers – it has over 20 types on tap and more in cans and bottles. Co-owned by the English singer Rick Astley (yes, that Rick Astley!) and the Danish brewery Mikkeller, this is Mikkeller’s first branch in the UK. (Note that prices are what you can expect from a Scandinavian brand – on the high side.)
Mikkeller’s allows you to order in Yard Sale Pizzas, and even has a code for free delivery. Don’t pop in too early as the bar opens late, from 4 p.m. on weekdays and 1 p.m. on weekends.
3. Tank & Paddle Bishopsgate
Photos courtesy of Tank & Paddle Bishopsgate
Tank & Paddle Bishopsgate is one of the best Shoreditch pubs-cum-pizzeria for board game lovers- it even has a giant Jenga set and a shuffleboard (which needs to be booked in advance.) Besides great beers and even alcohol-free cider, they also serve freshly made stone-baked pizzas up to a yard long, which are very popular with guests.
The pub opens from noon every day and closes early on Sunday (7 p.m.) It can get busy so booking ahead is recommended.
4. The Griffin
Photos courtesy of The Griffin via Instagram
The Griffin is a pub with beautiful dark wood interiors, craft beer, and gin drinks. (It serves a wide variety of keg beers but no cask beers.)
On Sundays, you can sample four different craft beers for just £10. In addition, every quarter, The Griffin has a different brewery take over their beer taps, with a brewer representative to guide you through the different types.
5. The Light Bar
Photos courtesy of The Light Bar
The Light Bar is one of the best pubs in Shoreditch that is independently owned by local residents.
Set in an iconic Victorian power station that was built in 1893 and saved from demolition, it has red bricks, arched windows, and three floors. There is a bar on one floor (which can get quite noisy), a restaurant serving delicious modern European food on another, and DJs playing great music on the weekends.
In addition, for those who prefer al-fresco drinks, there is also a street-side terrace (that is heated in the evenings.)
10 Other Great Pubs in Shoreditch
Photos courtesy of Singer Tavern via Instagram
As mentioned at the top, I also reviewed a number of other pubs in Shoreditch – and by golly, there are a lot to choose from! If these five top pubs in Shoreditch are full up when you try to visit, here are others where you might want to grab a pint.
- The Crown and Shuttle – This award-winning pub serves both keg and cask beers. The Crown and Shuttle has a massive beer garden with a great atmosphere – think fairy lights and all – and gets very busy in the evenings. Keep in mind that its opening hours can change due to events so it’s best to call before especially trekking down.
- The Owl & Pussycat – The Owl & Pussycat is one of the best Shoreditch pubs that is dog-friendly and has a beer garden (open in all seasons and smoker-friendly.) It also shows sporting events and you can even book a prime seat right in front of one of their many screens. (The Sunday roast is one of their most popular dishes.)
- The Old Blue Last – The Old Blue Last is an independent live music venue with 300 years of history that has daily shows, featuring some interesting new artists. It serves early bird drinks for £4 on weekdays (from opening time till 6 p.m.) As per its age, it has a slightly dingy feel and terrible toilets.
- Singer Tavern – If you’re a fan of Singer sewing machines, you should check out Singer Tavern, a Grade II-listed pub and cocktail bar housed in the previous British home of the company. It has a wide range of international and craft beers but does not open on Sundays. Note that it gets very noisy when it’s busy!
- The Princess of Shoreditch – The Princess of Shoreditch is a gastropub that does a good Sunday roast. The 24-year-old chef, Ruth Hansom, has worked at The Ritz and was a finalist on the BBC show, Great British Menu. If you’re on a budget, check out the weekday set lunch (£24 for two courses and £28 for three)
- Big Chill Brick Lane – Big Chill Brick Lane serves burgers during the day and music by DJs from Thursdays to Saturdays. (You can check out who’s playing on their website.) The weekday lunchtime deal, which runs between noon and 4 p.m. is of great value: you get a burger, wrap, drink, and fries or salad for only £10. Unfortunately, the service can be quite haphazard here.
- The Three Crowns – The Three Crowns is a historic pub a stone’s throw from the Old Street underground station. It serves international street food such as Asian fusion burgers which are delicious, and there’s even a plant-based option. Note that it’s a cashless venue.
- The Flying Horse – The Flying Horse is a traditional corner pub with multiple TV screens showing sports and a great range of cask and keg beers. If you end up drinking too much, there are rooms upstairs (which you can book on Airbnb.) They serve food but the kitchen closes around 740 to 8 p.m.
- Finch’s – Finch’s is a beautifully styled pub on Finsbury Square with an innovative British seasonal menu. The breakfast is pretty popular and, if you enjoy brunch, they serve them till 4 p.m. here on weekdays.
- The Bricklayers Arms – The Bricklayers Arms is a relaxed and quiet old-school pub with a great jukebox. It’s not the place if you’re looking for a stylish interior but the beer and atmosphere are good. The toilets, sadly, aren’t the best. (They’re bad enough to be one of the most commonly mentioned terms in Google reviews!)
Have any questions about these top pubs in Shoreditch, or uncertain which one to visit? Ask away in the comments!