Whilst The Shard dominates the skyline of London Bridge, there are even more treats to be found on terra firma. If you’re looking for a lovely riverside pub, or a cocktail bar with a hidden basement, these London Bridge pubs and London Bridge bars are the best spots to sink a pint. Cheers!
London Bridge pubs
1. The George
We’ll start this list with an absolute beauty. One of London’s oldest pubs, The George is a 17th-century coaching inn, with impressive galleries and a huge courtyard that gets very popular in summer.
2. The Anchor
Another historic pub, and another people-magnet. Sitting right on the banks of the Thames, The Anchor is justly renowned for its riverside beer garden, which is just divine when the sun shines.
3. The Shipwrights Arms
A smart, bustling pub lying in the shadow of The Shard, The Shipwrights Arms is best known for a Grade-II listed building, and a range of continental lagers.
4. The Old Thameside Inn
Docked next to The Golden Hinde, here’s another ravishing riverside watering hole. Once used as a spice warehouse, The Old Thameside Inn now pull pints with an enviable view of the City of London.
5. The Barrowboy and Banker
With Borough Market on one side, and the City of London just across the river, The Barrowboy and Banker is aptly named. There’s a decent range of beers on tap, making it a nice enough spot to sink a pint.
6. The Mudlark
Pleasant, wood-filled boozer that’s part of the Nicholson’s chain. Sitting next to Borough Market but not actually being part of it means that The Mudlark tends to be a little less busy than the market pubs.
7. Bunch of Grapes
Another pub uttered dwarfed by the adjacent Shard, the Bunch of Grapes prides itself on a rotating list of craft beers, as well as a rather nifty food menu.
8. The Lord Clyde
The olive tiles covering The Lord Clyde’s facade may be a little out of fashion, but this traditional pub boasts a cosy interior, historical knick-knacks, and a legion of loyal regulars.
9. The Britannia
The Britannia looks nondescript in several ways, but the absolute standout here is their massive range of whiskies, which you could spend a most enviable time working your way through. Sláinte!
10. The Horniman at Hays
Oh, do stop the sniggering. The Horniman is another pub which benefits nicely from its riverside location, although it tends to fill up pretty quickly.
11. The Woolpack
Equipped with the summer essential – a beer garden – and a neat little food menu, The Woolpack would be a rather good pub anyway. The addition of ‘Craft Corner’, where the best of London’s craft breweries are shown off, just takes it to the next level.
12. The Miller
Craft beer and food from Bunsmiths are the major draw, but the addition of an improv comedy club and, come July, a huge cider festival make The Miller well worth a visit.
13. The Rose
Proud home of the Bermondsey Parmo, as well as a vegan equivalent, The Rose do pub grub properly. A friendly atmosphere and an utterly banging playlist don’t hurt, either.
14. The Horseshoe Inn
We could mention the drinks, food, decor, or anything about The Horseshoe Inn – but they have two charming cats here, which means everything else is really kind of irrelevant, isn’t it?
15. The Rose and Crown
Part of the PubLove hostel pubs group, The Rose and Crown offers excellent craft beers and juicy burgers – one of which, ‘The Juicy Bastard’, was voted one of London’s top five burgers. It’s just down the road from OMEARA so is perfect for a pre-gig pint or two.
16. The Old King’s Head
Just a stone’s throw from London Bridge station and tucked down a narrow alleyway off Borough High Street, The Old King’s Head is the perfect place to enjoy a quick pint. They do a great selection of ales – including Harveys of Sussex and St Austell Tribute – and they regularly show sport upstairs.
London Bridge bars
17. Call Me Mr Lucky
The Breakfast Club’s array of hidden bars might just be the worst kept secrets in town. At the London Bridge joint, simply tell the staff “I’m here to get lucky“, and they’ll escort you to Call Me Mr Lucky, a delightful dive bar with a killer drinks list.
18. The Mug House
Hidden down in the old arches of London Bridge is the cosy candlelit wine bar The Mug House, where a meticulously tried-and-tested wine list will find something for drinkers of all tastes.
19. Gong Bar
Okay, so we told you to ignore The Shard – but this place is too nice to overlook. Sitting pretty on Level 52 of The Shard, Gong Bar offers panoramic views, a fancy cocktail list, and even a swimming pool (although you’ll need to be a hotel guest to use it) – the highest in Western Europe. See more here.
20. Nine Lives
Cocktails are the order of the day at this tropical-themed bar, in which every ingredient has been carefully considered and sourced. The ‘El Tigre’ at Nine Lives will pack a punch, but you’d do well to wend your way through the menu during the course of your evening.
21.Two One Four
“No pretence, just gin“. Now that’s a motto we can get on board with! Two One Four in Bermondsey take Mother’s Ruin very seriously, even going so far as to stock Bermondsey-made tonic water that coaxes even more out of your gin.
22. Prosecco House
If you’re going to do just one thing, you should make sure you do it pretty well. Luckily, that’s exactly how things are run at Prosecco House, where owner Kristina Issa curates a fabulous selection of fizz.
23. The Boot & Flogger
A fab little wine bar with a nicely accomplished food menu, The Boot & Flogger offers a wine list full of rare vintages. It’s great for the grape, less so for your bank account.
24. Balls Brothers
If you’re the immature type who laughed at The Horniman, then perhaps you should just skip this Hays Galleria spot. If you don’t skip a visit to Balls Brothers, then there’s a big wine list to be found, including magnums for when you need to treat yo’self.
25. The Old School Yard
A cheery and cheesy London Bridge bar that sends you back to school. Personally, we’re pretty over school, but The Old School Yard has banging cocktails, so we’re not averse to going there regularly.
26. Bar 31
The plan was to have this one in the 31st spot, but life just doesn’t work that way. The least pretentious of The Shard’s restaurants and bars, Bar 31 is a post-work kind of place that draws the city’s top buskers for open mic sessions.
27. BOB’s Lobster Wine Bar
Although they’re best known for their rolling VW camper van, often seen dishing out seafood at summer festivals and street food market, BOB’s Lobster also run a wine bar. They’ve got 100 wines in store, and they all (unsurprisingly) pair pretty well with seafood.
A sleekly-designed bar in the London Bridge Hilton, the prices indicate this is one for the well-to-do crowd. You can also have your face printed onto your cocktail at TwoRuba, because apparently we’ve reached that point in human history…
Borough Market pubs
29. The Market Porter
The only thing busier than Borough Market is a Borough Market pub. The usual suspects can be found on tap at The Market Porter, but the buzzy market atmosphere makes it a popular choice for post-work drinks.
30. The Wheatsheaf
For a rowdier atmosphere, The Wheatsheaf is the place to be. we’re basing this on their own description, and the fact that their events section is simply called ‘Shenanigans’. They don’t take themselves too seriously, and we’re definitely into it.
31. The Southwark Tavern
Classic pub grub and a regular tap takeover are the major draws at The Southwark Tavern, which has kept its Victorian features by thumbing its nose at the relentless march of time.
32. The Globe Tavern
By this time, you might be sick of London Bridge pubs. Well quit your whining, because The Globe is famous; their first floor flats made an appearance as the pad of London’s bachelorette du jour, Bridget Jones. Put a date in your diary and pay a visit.
33. The Rake
A charming, albeit tiny craft beer pub, The Rake is a place for beer nerds. They’re so keen to welcome fresh talent that the beers on tap change twice a day – which surely invites a repeat visit, no?
Borough Market bars
34. Whiskey Ginger
Tucked away in a corner of Borough Market is the cocktail bar Whiskey Ginger, which follows the industrial chic blueprint for decor, but strikes an independent note with their fifty-strong whisky list and skilled mixologists.
With locations in Borough, Spitalfields, and Leadenhall markets, Bedales are something of a market specialist. This wine bar – rounding off this list of the best London Bridge pubs and bars – ‘rewards curiosity’, which is clearly code for trying as many as you can manage.
Also published on Medium.