Camden is rich in musical history, and true to form, the area still boasts more piercings, tattoos and fliers for terrifyingly-named bands than other buzzy neighbourhoods. Rock still lives on in these hallowed boozers – here are 20 of our favourite Camden pubs and bars:
1) Lock Tavern
The official local of the Secret London editorial team, the Lock Tavern offers a roomy beer garden out back, a sunny roof terrace upstairs, juicy burgers from the kitchen and tons of concerts and gigs from interesting bands.
You’ll find the Lock Tavern at 35 Chalk Farm Road, NW1 8AJ.
First of all, what a paint job! Second of all, Joe’s is open until 3am every single day, making it a popular after-party spot for gig-goers at the Roundhouse concert venue across the road. DJs specialise in vintage Americana vinyls and records: rock’n’roll, Northern Soul, funk and rockabilly are all in the mix. Note that it’s over-21s only.
You’ll find Joe’s at 78-79 Chalk Farm Road, NW1 8AR.
3) The Black Heart
The gothest pub in Camden (and that’s saying something), even the pool table is clad in black baize. A recent gig at The Black Heart saw performances from Hooded Menace, Witch Sorrow and Colts Blood, which should give you an idea of what you’re getting into. DEATH IS COMING!
You’ll find The Black Heart at 2-3 Greenland Place, NW1 0AP.
Sat on the first-floor above the mouthwatering KERB street food market, the Lockside bar in Camden has a great location and an outdoor terrace to enjoy in the summer months.
You’ll find Lockside at 75-89 Upper Walkway, Camden Lock Place, NW1 8AF.
5) The Ice Wharf
Yes, The Ice Wharf is a Wetherspoons – but that means oodles of seating and affordable drinks, along with a literally-canalside location with plenty of picnic benches – great for people watching. No wonder it’s nicknamed the ‘Camden Lock pub’. Ah, good old ‘spoons hey.
You’ll find The Ice Wharf at 28 Jamestown Road, NW1 7BY.
6) The Devonshire Arms
So metal it could be on the left-hand side of the Periodic Table, The Devonshire Arms or ‘The Dev’ as its known to its regulars, hosts metal DJ nights, metal rock karaoke, and of course, all the throat-burstingly heavy gigs you’d expect: recent performers have included Body Harvest, Iron Bastards and Maggot Heart. SCRAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!
You’ll find The Devonshire Arms at 33 Kentish Town Road, NW1 8NL.
7) Edinboro Castle
A short walk from the main drag of Camden High Street is the Edinboro Castle – another great addition to this Camden pubs roundup –where you’ll find Pimm’s on tap (!!) and a pretty massive beer garden by all accounts. A great spot to soak up the sun when (and if) it’s shining. Cheers!
You’ll find the Edinboro Castle at 57 Mornington Terrace, NW1 7RU.
8) The Hawley Arms
The one-time favourite haunt of London icon Amy Winehouse, The Hawley Arms also happens to be Secret London’s local boozer. They’ve got a banging roof garden and host regular live music and pub quizzes. With a great selection of ales and lagers on tap, as well actual pints of chips, this is the place to be if you’re hanging about Camden Town. They also do some great cocktails too.
You’ll find The Hawley Arms at 2 Castlehaven Road, London, NW1 8QU.
9) FEST Camden
The gorgeous, multi-storey venue FEST Camden is based in the famous Stables Market and it has it all: a sunny outdoor terrace, wood-fired pizzas, hireable private party rooms and a substantial club-and-gig-venue with a whole host of events that pop up from time to time.
Think bottomless brunches, cabaret, comedy nights and live music at this Camden bar. Open until 2:30 at the weekends, it’s one of the best spots to come for a night out in the area, and they also have a great little rooftop bar – the perfect spot to chill with a pint or Aperol when the sun’s shining.
You’ll find FEST Camden at Camden Stables Market, London, NW1 8AH.
10) The Colonel Fawcett
This superb indie pub bloody loves a turkey dinner in December, but you’ll feel nice and toastie in their lovely, warm garden all throughout winter. They’ve got a great range of beers on tap, as well as 30+ varieties of gin, and there are regular comedy nights, pub quizzes and live music to boot at The Colonel Fawcett too.
You’ll find The Colonel Fawcett at 1 Randolph Street, NW1 0SS.
11) The Dublin Castle
Both a celebrated Camden pub and live music venue, The Dublin Castle is something of a legend in this neck of the woods. Band posters deck the walls, and Madness playing here back in the 70s gave the pub something of a reputation as a starting point for bands and musicians from the Britpop era. They do jam nights on Tuesdays – where The Libertines used to be regulars – and they’ve also got a jukebox, regular DJs and cheap drinks pre 6pm.
You’ll find The Dublin Castle at 94 Parkway, London, NW1 7AN.
12) Tapping The Admiral
Voted the North London ‘pub of the year’ in 2013, 2015 and 2018, Tapping The Admiral is something of a legend in this neck of the woods. They’re famous for their ales and are affiliated with CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale). Head Chef, Matt Weston, specialises in home-made pies – which you can get with a pint for 13 quid – and there are regular pub quizzes here too.
You’ll find Tapping The Admiral at 77 Castle Road, London, NW1 8SU.
13) Camden Assembly
An indie bar, a live music venue, a nightclub, and a damn good boozer to boot – what more could you want from your Camden pubs, hey?! Contrary to its title, the closest tube station to the Camden Assembly is actually Chalk Farm, but wherever you’re coming from – you’ll never miss the red neon light on the front of the pub luring you in for a full night of music madness…
You’ll find the Camden Assembly at 49 Chalk Farm Road, Chalk Farm, London, NW1 8AN.
14) The Oxford Arms
Located just down the road from the market in the hustle and bustle of Camden Town, The Oxford Arms is a vibrant spot with a great selection of beers on tap, tasty, home-cooked food and regular live sports showing on multiple screens. The staff are friendly and there’s a neat little beer garden out the back – the perfect spot to catch a match on the big screen.
You’ll find The Oxford Arms at 265 Camden High Street, London, NW1 7BU.
15) The Good Mixer
Something of a Camden institution, The Good Mixer started life as a working man’s pub before it became the pub of choice for iconic Britpop bands and artists in the 90’s. It was rumoured to be the setting for the opening blow in the Oasis vs Blur feud where on meeting Graham Coxon for the first time Noel Gallagher reportedly said: “nice music, s**t clothes.”
A proper London boozer, they’ve got a great selection of Wing Shack Co. burgers on offer here, as well as pints and wines galore.
You’ll find The Good Mixer at 30 Inverness Street, London, NW1 7HJ.
16) The Elephant’s Head
The Elephant’s Head is a friendly and welcoming, authentic Victorian Camden pub that dates all the way back to 1832. Once a part of the famous Camden Town Brewery, it takes its name from the famous ‘Elephant Ale’ which was brewed at the site in question in the 1800’s.
A relaxed spot with a real community feed, they have open-mic nights, great food, good beer and regular DJs who play everything from Ska and Reggae to Motown and Garage.
You’ll find The Elephant’s Head at 224 Camden High Street, London, NW1 8QR.
17) Princess of Wales
Just a stone’s throw from leafy Primrose Hill, the Princess of Wales is a lovely gastropub which is famous for its banging roast and is a great spot to hang out with friends.
They’ve also got a cute courtyard beer garden with Banksy-style paintings, and some fab cocktail-making classes too.
You’ll find the Princess of Wales at 22 Chalcot Road, London NW1 8LL.
18) The Sheephaven Bay
There’s a fair few Irish pubs in Camden, but The Sheephaven Bay is probably the best of the lot. It’s also one of the best pubs with a misnomer: the place is named after Ships Haven Bay in County Donegal, but some silly English folks misheard it and the name stuck.
Inside, the ceilings are hidden by memorabilia from every GAA and hurling team imaginable, and the conservatory and beer garden make it a perfect place to dodge the tourists walking up Camden High Street.
You’ll find The Sheephaven Bay at 2 Mornington Street, Camden Town, NW1 7QD.
19) Camden Road Arms
A Brewdog pub close to the Camden Road overground station, the Camden Road Arms is a spacious spot with friendly service, epic food and a fantastic selection of beers. They do a great roast and have 2-4-1 ‘veggie and vegan Mondays’, where everything vegan or veggie is half price.
Even better is the fact that they do 2-4-1 cocktails from 4-8pm every single day! Yep – you read that right – what’s not to like?!
You’ll find the Camden Road Arms at 102–104 Camden Road, London, NW1 9EA.
20) The World’s End
Rounding off this list of Camden pubs is a real stalwart of the Camden scene. A North London landmark and a lively spot, The World’s End draws an eclectic crowd – including even Charles Dickens himself back in the day. They also rustle up some pretty darn good pizzas and there are plenty of rock gigs and weekly club nights in the Underworld – a live music venue just downstairs.
You’ll find The World’’s End at 174 Camden High Street, London, NW1 0NE.
So there you have it – a rundown of the best Camden pubs. So get the pints in and we’ll see you there!
Also published on Medium.