In a travel landscape focused on hot lists and what’s new, it’s easy to forget the classic, tried and true travel destinations. Take London, for example. It’s old, relatively unchanging, definitely not easy on the budget, and pretty much a known entity. But does that make it any less awesome? Absolutely not.
The city has a deep history around every corner, an amazing and very multicultural food community, a killer art scene, bustling theaters, and amazing pubs. Of all these, the pub is where London truly stands out. There’s just something magical about a cozy pub on a rainy spring day with a fire crackling in the corner, warming you up as you sip on a nice pint of ale. Or on summer’s day with the windows thrown open and people pouring out onto the streets, chatting, pints in hand as the summer sun sets on the Thames.
In fact, looking at the world as a whole, London just might be our best city to get a drink in. There are so many pubs, bars, taverns, breweries, and clubs that boiling them all down to just ten seems somewhat mad. But, here we are. After nearly two decades of research (this writer had his first pint in London back in 2000), it’s time to stake our claim with a clear set of old stomping grounds and new watering holes. These are the pubs that are a “must stop” if you have 12 hours, 12 days, or 12 months in London. If you love beer, good conversation, and a tasty pub food, you won’t be disappointed.
NOTE: This list could easily be 100 pubs long. But we’ll have to settle on ten for the sake of brevity … and our sanity. Oh, and let’s just go through this with the knowledge that, yes, all of these places have excellent beer available on tap and in bottles. “How’s that for a slice of fried gold?”
THE BARLEY MOW — MARYLEBONE
Just a few blocks from Baker Street and Regents Park, you’ll find this classic spot for great British beer. The Barley Mow has tiny with a walk up bar, a few tables, and a few wooden doored and walled booths. The walls are decorated with the beer shields of some of the best beers Britain has to offer. The bar is often packed with post-work beer lovers and revelers alike, so don’t get pissed if you don’t get one of the few tables. It’s worth standing at this place.