Talisa Dean 21/11/23

The Best Pubs In Shoreditch

Locally-brewed small-batch beer; natural wine; and a Michelin-trained prodigy in the kitchen…

The best you can get at some boozers is an out-of-date bag of scampi fries.

But not in Shoreditch, East London’s cradle of craft brew bars, live music dens and historic taverns. Below we’ve pulled together a list of all of the best pubs in Shoreditch, which not only includes all of the above, it also offers up not one but two rooftop gardens, with the occasional view of Saturn…


The Culpeper

culpeper pub spitalfields

Pub, restaurant, hotel and rooftop. People have been known to visit The Culpeper and not come out for days. Ok, not really. But they could. Focusing in on the pub part, the phrase devilishly handsome comes to mind. The walls are basically floor-to-ceiling windows; there’s lots of dark wood; and a beautifully-lit horseshoe bar. As for the food and drink, they’re both equally as fine. Pub lunches here mix smoked cod’s roe, tapenade, pickled cucumber and radishes with Yorkshire pork chop, crushed Jersey royals, bobby beans and mojo verde, eased down by a mix of cocktails, continental and locally-brewed beers, and some seriously delicious natural and biodynamic wines. 

Note: It’s not quite the pub, but The Culpeper offers a regular rotating programme of events up on the rooftop including hella-romantic star-gazing, with cocktails, blankets and more.

Address: 40 Commercial Street, Spitalfields, E1 6LP | Sunday roast? Yes, and highly recommended | Book here


The Well & Bucket

well & bucket pub

Once an oyster house, and still boasting most of its original Victorian tiling, this Shoreditch pub is a chunk of artfully dilapidated history that’s still very much live and kicking. Layers of time have been peeled back on the ground floor, leaving battered floorboards and rusted columns to set the tone, while you’ll also find a little brick-walled courtyard out the back. The place gets seriously lively as the night wears on; if you’re not going out out, head downstairs to the cellar bar for a more intimate setting. And yes, you can still score half a dozen rock oysters alongside your pint.

Address: 143 Bethnal Green Rd, London E2 7DG | Sunday roast? Yes | Book here

The Princess Of Shoreditch

Princess Of Shoreditch pub

The Princess of Shoreditch has refined taste. This sibling to Islington’s Smokehouse and The Pig & Butcher has a reputation for bringing serious talent into the kitchens, and after the departure of rising star Ruth Hansom, it’s the turn of Michelin star-winning chef Simon Bonwick.

His riffs on elegant British and Italian dishes are first class: try the crispy potato terrine with smoked cod’s roe; or the braised beef cheeks with juniper & blackcurrant. On Sundays the pub is full with people tucking in to what is one of the best roasts in London – Yorkshire Dales sirloin of beef; roast chicken with sourdough sauce; pollock with fennel & crab bisque and more, with the likes of lemon meringue tart, sticky toffee pudding and cherry & dark chocolate cremeux for dessert. It won’t surprise you to hear that the drinks get equal billing, with well-picked wines and signature cocktails on offer.

Address: 76-78 Paul Street, Shoreditch, EC2A 4NE | Sunday roast: Yes | Book here

The Owl And The Pussycat

The Owl & The Pussycat, Shroeditch

The beer garden is what earns this boozer a spot on our list of the best pubs in Shoreditch – both the official fairy-lit one at the back, and the not so official one at the front, which is basically just a quiet part of Redchurch Street where the pub’s spill-over stands on busier days. Perpetually rammed and full of good cheer, it’s a well-trodden classic on the beginning to nights out, but there’s reason to linger on their live music nights, when – in true Owl & Pussycat style – acoustic musicians help you dance to the light of the moon. 

Address: 34 Redchurch Street, London, E2 7DP | Sunday roast? Yes | Book here

The Buxton

the buxton

Younger sister to The Culpeper, The Buxton is a similarly-styled multi-hyphenate, squeezing a bar, bistro and hotel into its crumbling corner plot. It’s a real looker – runs in the family apparently. They’re also real big on sustainability: they source their meat from Swaledale in North Yorkshire, and some of the veg is even grown on the rooftop. Whether The Buxton is a pub is up for debate – it’s really too polished for that, but something about the curving bar-top and clusters of stools give the space a buzzy, relaxed flow. But the drinks list feels pretty refined: low-intervention wines, local brews and cocktails like the Coffee Boulevardier set this place high on the bucket list.

Address: 42 Osborn Street, London, E1 6TD | Sunday roast? Yes | Book here

Wenlock Arms

wenlock arms pub

If you’ve ever doubted whether the Wenlock Arms is one of the best pubs in Shoreditch, you should have been around back in 2010 when a group of its most passionate punters protested to stop its redevelopment. Fortunately Hackney Council listened and the folks from nearby Red Lion & Sun stepped in to take the reins. The 19th Century Ale House was saved. Huzzah! Saving its regularly rotating list of 10 cask ales, 10 keg lines and real ciders with it. 

Address: 26 Wenlock Road, London, N1 7TA | Sunday roast? No | No bookings

Commercial Tavern

Commercial Tavern, Shoreditch

Located on the Edge of Commercial Street and Wheler Street (the partly tunnelled back-alley that Shoreditch High Street Station is on), Commercial Tavern is where the artsy types go. It’s basically one big room with a bar at the back and yet somehow it manages to give off Victorian boozer, country manor house and eccentric nan’s house all at once. There’s multiple chandeliers, mirrors on the ceiling, angel wings on the walls, and about twenty different wallpapers all in varying degrees of decay. But that’s the appeal. Well, that and its lengthy drinks list, filled with all the usual suspects, as well as some of the more voguish stuff (Magic Rock Salty Kiss Gose anyone?). Plus the pizzas. They do some pretty mean sourdough numbers if kneaded….

Address: 142-144 Commercial Street, London, E1 6NU | Sunday roast? No | Book here

The Ten Bells

Jack The Ripper’s said to have drunk at this Grade II listed boozer back in the day, sat right opposite Old Spitalfields Market. Inside, it’s really quite atmospheric, lit mostly by candlelight which flickers against hand-painted Victorian tiles (and a slightly more modern one by locals Gilbert & George). There’s a decent line-up on tap here, with plenty of lagers & IPAs, while upstairs in the lounge there’s a menu of house cocktails like the White Pepper Paloma and Banana Old Fashioned. This is also where they bus in DJs on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, and host a weekly Tuesday night quiz, featuring a £50 bar tab prize and “existential tinfoil modelling”.

Address: 84 Commercial Street, London, E1 6LY | Sunday roast? No | Book here

The Old Blue Last

The Old Blue Last

With a varied history that includes the Arctic Monkeys, a brothel and some guy called Shakespeare, The Old Blue Last is a no-frills boozer on the corner of Great Eastern Street, best known for its varied live music nights. It’s spirited, rowdy and almost entirely devoid of furnishings after one of the bands went truly rock’n’roll and broke everything.

Address: 38 Great Eastern Street, Shoreditch, EC2A 3ES | Sunday roast? No | See what’s on here


Looking for something fun to do before the pub? Our guide to the best things to do in Shoreditch is your friend.