57 Allen Rd, Stoke Newington, London N16 8RY

The Shakespeare is a local’s local where everyone knows everyone. Hidden in the middle of a residential street you’ll find beer by the bucket load, wine by the barrel load and a jukebox – yes a flipping real one – that will rock your socks off. There’s a beer garden, tables out the front and you can even bring in your pizzas from next door and eat them in the pub.


127 Grove Rd, London E3 5BH

Giving the good ol’ Queen Vic a run for her East End money is the long-standing Palm Tree. You either love or hate this old-school boozer – there’s nothing modern here, don’t expect food beyond a bag of nuts and you can definitely get better pints elsewhere. What you do get is a cracking atmosphere, live jazz every weekend from proper old crooners and the landlord is a real character.


76 Narrow St, London E14 8BP

Located down by the river in Limehouse, The Grapes has history. There’s been a pub on this site since 1583, Charles Dickens was a fan – there’s even a complete set of Dickens in the back parlour for anyone who wants to catch up on their reading – and now the pub is co-owned by Sir Ian McKellen. They’ve got a separate dining area upstairs but we say find a spot in the bar with a pint of ale and a plate of fish & chips.


73 Cheshire St, London E2 6EG

Owned by Ronnie and Reggie Kray back in the day, The Carpenters Arms used to be one of the most notorious pubs in town. Now apart from a discreetly placed print of the long-departed twins, you would never have known of its history. It has an impressive range of over fifty different ales from all over the world and a small menu of classic British grub.


34-35 Great Sutton St, Clerkenwell, London EC1V 0DX

This light and airy pub has a decent amount of tables and TV’s scattered around (great for watching the footy), with a strong range of craft beer behind the bar. What sets it apart from other watering holes in the area is the intimate venue downstairs, which regularly hosts comedy and live music, and the sound is bloody good down there too.


15 Grosvenor Rise East, Walthamstow, London E17 9LB

With great wine, local ales and even proper coffee as well as a monthly changing gastropub menu, The Castle ticks all the boxes. You’re guaranteed a warm welcome and you can bring the whole fam along too because this place is dog-friendly and baby-friendly.


155 Homerton High St, Homerton, London E9 6AS

They’ve got a great little beer garden at the back of lovingly restored The Adam & Eve (plus a covered area for when the rain inevitably comes) but there’s a lot to love inside too…pool tables, sport on the telly, Rockadollar in the kitchen, great sausage rolls at the bar, knocks up one of the best Sunday roasts in London and it’s always buzzing on the weekend.


93 Leonard Street, London EC2A 4RD

Thanks to a big refurb, The Griffin has polished up its rough edges whilst still retaining that traditional pub feel (it helps that it’s quite small and quite dark). They can mix you up a G&T or a spritz but this is a beer pub, with a strong selection of brews on tap and even more in the fridge, including some pretty potent bottles.


441 Bethnal Green Road, London E2 0AN

This brick-lined pub, which dates back to the 1850s, may be on the small side but they’ve packed in an enormous selection of Irish whiskeys and poitin behind the bar as well as a contemporary cocktail menu, punch sharing bowls and local brews on tap. Dark and atmospheric, it’s everything you want a pub to be.


59 Newington Green Rd, London N1 4QU

Hidden away in the heart of Islington you’ll find The Alma. After being saved by the community back in 2013, this pub is here to stay. It’s plastered with movie posters and film paraphernalia, so there’s a lot for cinema buffs to love here, but they also do a cracking roast, the beer selection is ace and they’ve even got a resident pooch Buster.


68 Greenwood Rd, London E8 1AB

It doesn’t look like much from the outside but that’s all part of the charm of this boozer. There’s a big horseshoe bar and some trippy paintings on the walls – what’s that banana one all about? It’s a fave with Hackney locals, especially on the weekends, thanks to the decent pub grub menu and the atmosphere is always on point too.


The Cat & Mutton, Broadway Market, London

Bang on the corner of Broadway Market, the Cat & Mutton gets busy quick but with plenty of beers on tap plus wines and cocktails as well as great pub grub, it’s not hard to see why. They keep you entertained too with a weekly pub quiz and DJs on the weekend. If you can’t find a space by the copper bar, head upstairs to the spacious Other Bar.


Well & Bucket, Bethnal Green Road, London

Off the main Shoreditch drag, the Well & Bucket is a gem of pub. It’s been restored to its former glory with gorgeous tiled walls and a copper topped bar taking pride of place in the middle. They’ve got a solid range of craft beer on tap and even more in the fridge, and they serve up a great oysters and seafood menu too.


The Dundee Arms, Cambridge Heath Road, London

It wasn’t long ago that this pub was rough as a badgers arse, so to speak. Mainly down to being the closest pub to York Hall, where many a boxing fight goes down. HOWEVER it’s still one of our faves because it has an edge. It’s old school, a proper pub. It smells like a pub, feels a like a pub and serves cold beer and banging toasties. And upstairs you’ll not just find the toilets but a barber shop, how about that.


The Clapton Hart, Lower Clapton Road, London

Whoar this is a big pub. HUGE. Just off the roundabout in Clapton, this is a great watering hole with excellent beers, including local brews and guest ales and it also knocks out decent food. You’ll find people drinking both out the front and the back…do check out the beer garden. You can have a bit of a dance with DJs on weekends too. Banging pub.


178 Stoke Newington High Street, London N16 7JL

Despite some epic lampshades, it’s very dark in this Stokey pub, which can be good and bad, depending on how hungover you are, but they’ve got outside street seating too and the music is always good. They’ve got a menu of the pub grub usuals, which ain’t bad either.


The Auld Shillelagh, Stoke Newington Church Street, London

We once heard a rumour that a young lady approached the bar and asked the barmaid, “Do you have prosecco?”. The barmaid nodded and poured Guinness into a champagne flute. Yes, this is an Irish bar through and through. You’ll find characters from all walks with stories; there’s live traditional Irish music; and lots of loud, loud, enjoyable singing. Oh, they like football here too, so it’s not one for a quiet pint.


The Axe, Northwold Road, London

The Axe is what we like to call a new breed of pub. It’s all about the beer, but with a quirky, forward-thinking mentality that will make beer lovers weep with joy. Expect mind-bending and unpronounceable guest beers that are so rare, so limited, you’ll feel so lucky that you’ll spend a tenner on a lottery ticket. They do support local brews too so check the boards and ask questions, take a seat and enjoy the education.