Time Out reveals the 50 Best Pubs in London for 2023

With around 3,500 to choose from, whittling down the best pubs in London to just 50 is a seriously tough task, but we’ve just done it.

Welcome to Time Out’s brand new Best Pubs in London list. We’ve crawled from Highgate to Harringay, from Bloomsbury to Bethnal Green and from Catford to Covent Garden in order to highlight the finest taverns, inns and hostelries that this city has to offer. We’re exhausted and a touch bedraggled but ultimately, extremely content. 

These are proper pubs not bars: expect carpets, dim lights and history baked into the walls of our Top 50. When it came to choosing the best, we looked for great beer and a good crowd, meaning some solid generational variety among the regulars: punters who represent a lively cross-section of London society. 

All that considered, it’s south London that reigns supreme this year, with the extremely good fun Skehans in Nunhead scooping the coveted Number 1 spot. That’s thanks to its impeccable atmosphere, rowdy karaoke nights, the always-in-demand pool table, great Thai food and friendly fanbase of everyone from local students to folk who seem like they’ve been part of the furniture for decades. 

Another Nunhead favourite, The Ivy House, has also just made it into the Top 10, while Soho’s biggest scorer is The Coach & Horses (the Greek Street one), while Hackney’s highest-ranking pub is The Chesham Arms

Here’s the Top 10.

  1. Skehans, Nunhead

  2. The Southampton Arms, Gospel Oak

  3. The Coach & Horses, Soho

  4. The Duke, Bloomsbury

  5. The Chesham Arms, Hackney

  6. The Tavern on the Hill, Walthamstow 

  7. The Blythe Hill Tavern, Catford 

  8. The Cow, Notting Hill

  9. The Salisbury Hotel, Harringay 

  10. The Ivy House, Nunhead. 

Go here to see the full 50

Now for some real talk. 3,500 might seem like a lot, but it’s still a massive 25 percent fewer pubs than there were in London two decades ago. More than 32 pubs in England and Wales closed every single month in 2022 because of the pandemic, Brexit and staff shortages as well as property redevelopment, rents, rates and the brutal cost-of-living crisis. So celebrate your local while you still can.  

Now you’ve seen the 50 Best Pubs, check out the 50 Best Restaurants in London.

And the city’s very best bars.