Eat in an authentic English pub in London

Eating in a pub in London is something you must do on your visit to the British capital. I would recommend that you try pub food at least once, but surely you will go more than once if you try any of the pubs that we recommend…

For those of us who live in London (or in any city in the UK) visits to pubs to eat are very frequent, since you can find pubs that serve impressive quality food for very good prices, and there are also pubs that serve food for very little money (although when they are so cheap, it is true that in terms of quality they can leave a little to be desired…)

London is the capital of gastronomy, and you can find traditional cuisine restaurants from anywhere in the world… But if you visit London for a few days, you definitely cannot leave without trying a typical British dish, which although the traditional food of the country is Little known, it will surely surprise you…

What will you find in this article?

What to eat in an authentic English pub

The first thing to mention is that we have to differentiate between pubs that serve food, and those that only serve drinks. Normally the pubs that serve food are open at lunchtime and have signs outside indicating that they offer food, or you can see the menu next to the door. Some pubs are famous for the food they offer, and in these it is often necessary to reserve a table on weekends. You will see other pubs that are just for drinking, and they tend to fill up after 5 in the afternoon when people leave work.

In an English pub they usually serve traditional English food and here we are going to tell you a little more about what you can find.

fish and chips

One of the typical British dishes that you surely know is fish and chips , battered fish with chips. It is traditional to serve fish and chips with peas or mushy peas (a kind of pea puree).

One of the most authentic ways to eat a fish and chip is on the British seaside, buying it from a takeaway stall, where it is served to you wrapped in newspaper. In London we can eat authentic fish and chips at Poppies restaurants, British restaurants and pubs.

Today it is traditional to eat Fish and Chips on Fridays, known as ´Fish Friday´ and fish and chip shops are usually full on Friday nights!

Yes, I must say, that although they play Traditional fish and chips, sometimes it is not as traditional as one would like! Depending on the site, it can be really delicious or on the contrary it can be almost all battered, and that is not indicative of good quality or authentic traditional!

Sunday Roast

Authentic English (and highly recommended!) the “ Sunday Roast ”, the typical Sunday roast. In some places you will find it every day as “Roast of the Day”. It is common that each day they have a different type of meat, which will surely be beef or chicken and is accompanied by vegetables, usually peas, carrots as well as roast potatoes or mashed potato (kind of mashed potato) and the yorkshire pudding (a kind of bread) and gravy (sauce to accompany).

Sausage and mash

Another very authentic dish is the sausage and mash. These are sausages (typical British, not frankfurt!) with mashed potatoes, which are usually accompanied by a sauce called gravy. Sometimes the gravy is already on the same plate but sometimes they serve it separately so you can add the amount you want. Another name for this dish is Bangers and Mash . You will find the option of sausage and mash in the adult menu, and also many times in the children’s menu since children tend to like this dish a lot too!

Pies – Meat or Fish Pies

Meat pies are also very famous, and we really have to talk about two types. The first is a puff pastry pie filled with meat. The most typical are chicken and mushroom (chicken and mushroom) and beef and onion (beef and onion), but each restaurant can have its variations. Meat pies are also often served with mashed potatoes (like mashed potatoes) and gravy (sauce), and sometimes peas.

The second type we have is one that is cooked in the oven, with a base of meat or fish with vegetables and sauce, and a layer of mashed potatoes on top. Sometimes it is gratin in the oven with a little cheese on top. Here we include the shepherds pie (lamb), the cottage pie (beef), chicken and leek pie (chicken and leek), or the fish pie (fish). The fish pie is without a doubt one of our favourites, and if you like fish (mezcal of salmon, cod, prawns…) and potatoes, I would recommend it without a doubt!


When we talk about the English Breakfast, we talk about the typical English breakfast , which usually includes sausages, fried potatoes, fried eggs, bacon, toast, baked beans… There are national variations, but they also adapt it according to personal tastes. Thus, there are regions of the UK that include blood sausage, tomatoes or mushrooms. Sometimes they can include scrambled eggs instead of fried eggs for example. In some British pubs or restaurants you will see that it is not uncommon to have a breakfast or Brunch menu, which is usually served until 12 noon where you will find variations of the English Breakfast. Whether it’s a full English breakfast, or scrambled or poached eggs with ham or salmon, for example. Other times, you will see that they include an All day Breakfast on the menu. This means that they serve the typical breakfast all day, including at lunchtime (usually after 12pm in the UK).

What else can you find in a pub

Lots of burgers, hot sandwiches, some offer mac and cheese and most offer a kids menu.

To accompany there are usually onion rings, chips, salads, olives, etc.

In addition to the food, I have to say that the charm of eating in a pub is also the decoration and the atmosphere in them, it is definitely worth this experience if it is something you have not tried before.

Some of London’s historic pubs are spectacular, and if I had to recommend a friend or family member to go to a pub for lunch one day, it would definitely be one of the following:

  • The George Inn : Located in the Borough Market area, a pub where Charles Dickens used to go. Very well located next to London Bridge but a bit hidden, so it is a pub that many tourists do not usually go to.
  • The Spaniards Inn : One of our favorite historic pubs, but a bit off the beaten path for sightseeing. If you are going to be several days and want to visit a different area of London, come to Hampstead and eat in this pub.
  • Anchor Bankside : A pub on the south bank of the Thames, between Shakespeare’s Globe and the Shard to give you an idea. Very famous, would recommend booking.

In our historical pubs in London article you can find a list of the best historical pubs with photos of the different pubs as well as a map with the locations. In our article British restaurants in London you can find, in addition to pubs, other restaurants where you can try authentic British food.

How to find a pub that serves food

I have to say that not all pubs serve food, but you will see a sign at the entrance of the pub that will say: Food served all day (or something similar, as long as it says food is worth!) and most of the time you will be able to see the menu at the door.

Finding a traditional pub in London is really easy, if you are in the center it is a matter of wandering around a bit, sometimes it is a matter of leaving the main street and you will find one. Next to the British Museum, near the Warren Street tube station there are several pubs where you can eat, in Camden Town, in the Covent Garden area…

In our section Restaurants in London we also talk about recommended restaurants, here we include several London pubs and gastropubs.

In our photos on Facebook we have included an entire pub menu, so that you can get an idea of the menu, to see it click here: Pub menu photos

In addition to the food, I have to say that the charm of eating in a pub is also the decoration and the atmosphere in them, it is definitely worth this experience if it is something you have not tried before.

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