The Best Pubs in Farringdon, London

The Jerusalem Tavern sits inside an 18th-century building brimming with old-world charm
The Jerusalem Tavern sits inside an 18th-century building brimming with old-world charm | © John David Photography / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Callum Davies
2 November 2020

Farringdon is one of the oldest stations in London, and the surrounding area is one of the city’s busiest work districts. Therefore, it stands to reason that there are more than a few good places to have a post-work tipple once all the offices start clearing out. Here are six of the best pubs in the area.

Ye Olde Mitre

Pub, Pub Grub, $$$
Map View
Ye Olde Mitre. Fullers pub just off Hatton Garden, London. Established in 1546.
© Stuart Ayton / Alamy Stock Photo
Ye Olde Mitre claims to be the hardest-to-find pub in London. With the advent of Google Maps, the claim doesn’t hold as much water, but it’s still hard not to be charmed by the seclusion of the spot, tucked away in the midst of what used to be Ely Palace. The cherry tree that was planted to divide the spaces owned by the Bishop of Ely and Chancellor Christopher Hatton (they weren’t fans of each other) still sits in the corner, and despite the concealable size, there is enough space for three rooms and a beer garden. Add to that a selection of Fuller’s ales, and you can’t go wrong.

The Jerusalem Tavern

Pub, Pub Grub
Map View

If you can find a space to sit down in the Jerusalem Tavern – it’s vanishingly small – you’re in for a real treat. Its building has gone through various incarnations since its founding in 1720 and is currently owned and operated by St Peter’s, one of the original craft-beer breweries in London. The Jerusalem Tavern manages to achieve the rare trick of balancing the modern gastropub appeal with the old-school English pub aesthetic that really can’t be faked. There are also many weird and wonderful beer varieties to test out.

Smiths of Smithfield

Pub, Beer, $$$
Map View

It might sound like the most unimaginatively named pub in the world, but Smiths of Smithfield is actually a landmark, a Grade II-listed building that remains one of the most popular and beloved watering holes in London. The industrial feel might not seem all that traditional, but the beer certainly will. If you’re craving something a bit more upscale, the first floor is more cocktail oriented, and the menu has a reputation all its own, particularly the steak.

Fox and Anchor

Hotel
4.1/5 (68 Reviews)
The Fox and Anchor public house on Charterhouse Street in London's Smithfield area.
© Jansos / Alamy Stock Photo
Price Drop
Now from $191 per night
The Fox and Anchor is another Grade II-listed building – constructed in the 1890s – complete with tiled walls and gargoyles. Charterhouse Street is out of the way enough that it doesn’t feel as much a product of the urban sprawl as the other pubs in the area, and great care has been taken to retain the look and feel it had when it first opened. Being that it’s a Young’s pub, the emphasis is very much on local products. The beers are all from the nearby area, and the pub makes a point of supporting the smaller indie breweries only just setting out to make a name for themselves. If you really like the feel of it, there are even six rooms available so that you can stay for a few nights and experience Farringdon and Clerkenwell in style and comfort.
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The Fence

Pub, Beer, $$$
Map View

If you’re rolling into (or out of) Farringdon station and want a quick drink first, the Fence is only one minute from the entrance. It’s a well-suited spot for summer drinking, with a big beer garden, and if beer isn’t your tipple, it’s one of the few pubs in the area with Master Cellarman status for wines. When things get darker, it also hosts DJ sets and quiz nights to keep you there until the small hours. If you’re looking for something to eat, there’s a varied, interesting and very vegan-friendly menu on offer.

The Slaughtered Lamb

Pub, Beer, $$$
Map View

Named for the pub that features in An American Werewolf in London (1981), this incarnation of the Slaughtered Lamb is very much the gig venue pub of Farringdon. The downstairs stage area supports an array of local and visiting bands, mostly rock and punk, and the bar area is spacious and quirky. The bar has a range of craft beers, and there’s a decent food menu to fuel up on before heading downstairs and burning all the calories off in the mosh pit. If you’re after an earthy, rowdy gig experience in a pub in London, this is a safe bet.

These recommendations were updated on November 2, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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