Top 10 best Irish pubs in London, ranked

Travelling to the U.K. capital and craving a pint? Check out our list of the ten best Irish pubs in London below. 

Nearly 180,000 Irish live in London permanently so it doesn’t come as much of a surprise that the English megacity is home to some of the best Irish bars you can find.

In fact, according to the Irish Times, “the most authentic Irish pub outside Ireland” is in London.

Wherever you find yourself in the capital, chances are you’re not far from the next Irish boozer. However, not every pub with a shamrock on its window lives up to the hype.

To make things easier, we’ve put together a list of the best Irish pubs in London. And if you know a place we might have missed, drop us a line, and we will check it out as soon as we can!

10. The Claddagh Ring – a great place for cheap drinks and sports nights 

The Claddagh Ring is a great spot for cheap drinks and sports nights.
Credit: Facebook / @TheCladdaghRingIrishBar

This two-storey pub has been around for over 25 years and – not least because of its very moderate drink prices – keeps attracting a loyal crowd. The Claddagh Ring is great for both sports and music nights, so for pretty much every day.

During Covid times, they offer home-cooked Irish takeaway food, so you don’t have to worry about restrictions and lockdowns and can take a bit of Irish atmosphere straight into your flat.

Address: 10 Church Rd, Hendon, London NW4 4EA, UK

More info: HERE

9. Mc & Sons – South London’s number one Irish boozer

Mc & Sons is one of the best Irish pubs in London.
Credit: Facebook / @Mcandsonslondon

One of the best Irish pubs in London if you are on the South Side, this traditional bar in Southwark is run by the Elhinney family. Their pictures are all over on the pub’s walls – but if it’s your lucky day you might see a member or two pull a pint behind the counter. 

Mc & Sons welcomes pub goers of all ages and is a comfy choice to catch up with family and friends. Besides an extensive drinking menu, they also serve Thai food – as well as the obligatory trad tunes. 

Address: 160 Union St, London SE1 0LH, UK

More info: HERE

8. The Porterhouse – the largest pub in town operating its very own beer brewery

The Porterhouse is the largest pub in town.
Credit: Facebook / @porterhouselondon

While we certainly don’t think that big always means better, there was no doubt that this Covent Garden institution had to go on our list of the best Irish pubs in London.

The Porterhouse praises itself as the “largest bar in London” – true or false, it’s one of the biggest Irish pubs you will come around.

We love the maze of wooden walkways, booths, and areas spread over twelve different levels. As well as their excellent beer selection, many of which are crafted by the Irish brewer of the same name in Dublin.

While their live music nights are well worth checking out, the drinks and the location remain their top selling-points. 

Address: 21-22 Maiden Ln, Covent Garden, London WC2E 7NA, UK

More info: HERE

7. Sheephaven Bay – one of the best Irish pubs in London on a matchday

Sheephaven Bay is one of the best Irish pubs in London.
Credit: Facebook / @sheephaven.bay

Camden certainly has no shortage of pubs, but if you are up for a Guinness and love sports, there is no better option than Sheephaven Bay.

The Irish bar just off Camden High Street has a room full of memorabilia signed by Celtic sports stars – the perfect setting for a match day.

They also have regular open mic and quiz nights, as well as a permanent book exchange. The menu is a mix of Irish and English pub favourites with some pizzas on top – and the drinks are some of the best deals in town. 

Can you think of a better way to relax in the city in spring than with a pint of Guinness in hand?

Address: 2 Mornington St, London NW1 7QD, UK

More info: HERE

6. Skehan’s Free House – a family-run pub that promises a craic

Skehan's Free House is a family-run pub.
Credit: Facebook / @SkehansFreehouse

Skehan’s calls itself the “Purveyors of Craic”, and we certainly wouldn’t argue with that.

Easily recognisable by its bright green facade, this is a traditional Irish pub with pool tables, darts, a wood-burning stove for the colder days, and a hidden garden for the warmer months. 

The family-run pub has live music four times a week, match screenings, and a Thai restaurant next door that serves all the traditional dishes that go perfectly with your pint. 

Address: 1 Kitto Rd, London SE14 5TW, UK

More info: HERE  

5. Waxy O’Connor’s – a massive Irish bar named after a famous candle maker

Waxy O'Connors is one of the best Irish pubs in London.
Credit: Facebook / @waxyslondon

A labyrinth of four bars spread over six levels, you are almost guaranteed to find a space at this XXL place no matter the time of the day.

Waxy O’Connor’s was named after a famous candle maker from Dublin and opened its doors in London almost 30 years ago.

Regulars rave about the rustic charm, the friendly staff, and the three large screens perfect for GAA, rugby, and football nights.

On Wednesday, whiskeys are 50% off and the pub also has a little sister venue at Wardour Street. 

Address: 14-16 Rupert St, West End, London W1D 6DD, U.K.

More info: HERE

4. The Faltering Fullback – the pub with the most beautiful garden in London 

The Faltering Fullback has a beautiful garden.
Credit: commons.wikimedia.org

While this Finsbury Park favourite’s massive selling point is its fantastic garden, it really is worth visiting any season of the year. The Irish pub has all the usual things you’d expect, such as Guinness, live music, and regular sports events. 

Their Thai curries rank among the all-time guest favourite. So, if you need a break from the traditional Irish Stew but still want to enjoy a pint in style, this could be your new local!

Address: 19 Perth Rd, Stroud Green, London N4 3HB, UK

More info: HERE

3. Blythe Hill Tavern – a traditional Irish pub with an extensive whiskey menu

Blythe Hill Tavern is one of the best Irish pubs in London.
Credit: Facebook / @blythehilltavern

Tie-wearing staff isn’t usually what you’d expect in an Irish pub, but Blythe Hill Tavern quickly proves sceptics wrong.

Apart from the team being exceptionally welcoming, the pub sports three tiny wood-panelled rooms, an open fireplace, Irish souvenirs (owner Con Riordan is from Limerick), the obvious Guinness, and a great whiskey selection. 

There are sports screenings, regular live music, and pub quizzes. Blythe Till Tavern also prides itself for its family-friendly atmosphere. So if you have kids in tow, this is one of the best Irish pubs in London to visit. 

Address: 319 Stanstead Rd, London SE23 1JB, UK

More info: HERE  

2. The Cow – a must-visit for all seafood lovers 

The seafood at The Cow is amazing.
Credit: Instagram / @herlinlw

This pub and restaurant run by gastropub pioneer Tom Conran celebrated its 25th birthday in 2020 and has been a fixture in the scene since its opening.

Mixing traditional Irish charm with Western London boho flair, it describes itself as a perfect destination for Guinness and oysters.

And while we love the pub itself, the food really is what makes it stand out!

Crowd pleasers include the Deluxe Seafood Platter, The Cow Fish Stew, and Bangers & Mash with onion gravy. 

Address: 89 Westbourne Park Rd, London W2 5QH, UK

More info: HERE

1. Auld Shillelagh – the “most authentic Irish pub outside Ireland” according to the Irish Times

Auld Shillelagh is one of the best Irish pubs in London.
Credit: commons.wikimedia.org

Who, if not the Irish themselves, would best determine whether a boozer lives up to its promises?

This place in North London was named the “most authentic Irish pub in the world outside Ireland” by the Irish Times, making it the obvious winner of the best Irish pubs in London. 

The Auld Shillelagh has been around since 1991 and is known for its exceptional Guinness and friendly staff.

They have regular live music including trad nights, screenings of all the major sports events, and a large and well-sheltered beer garden for the summer.  

Address: 105 Stoke Newington Church St, Stoke Newington, London N16 0UD, UK

More info: HERE

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