Today I want to share my top picks for the best pubs in south London with you. There’s a great variety of watering holes south of the Thames. From classic boozers with big gardens to riverside specials with broad terraces, the area south of the river has a pub for every taste and preference. From Southwark to Brixton, Greenwich to Wimbledon, there are lots of them to choose from. Read on for my favorite south London pubs and a map of where to find them.
Best Pubs in South London
South London is a popular area for locals and visitors to eat and drink. Not only is there a variety of neighborhoods to discover, but also popular places like Borough Market, the South Bank, and The Shard.
While much of south London is residential, there’s a lot to draw people to this part of the city. From the nightlife in Brixton to the maritime treasures in Greenwich and the picture gallery in Dulwich, the area has attractions galore.
And some of them come in pub form. There are a lot of great places to eat and drink in this part of the city, and the best pubs in south London are worth a special trip.
1. Trafalgar Tavern, Greenwich
First on my list of the best pubs in south London is the Trafalgar Tavern in Greenwich. Built in 1837, the year Queen Victoria ascended to the throne, this riverfront inn was named in honor of Admiral Nelson’s victory at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805.
The Trafalgar Tavern has featured in the work of Charles Dickens, too. The famous author chose it as the setting for the wedding breakfast in Our Mutual Friend, the last novel he completed.
Each room in the pub is named after an important naval victory or celebrated officer. There’s a collection of charming period artifacts and original art inside, and plenty of tables for outdoor drinks and food, too.
Speaking of which, while the Trafalgar Tavern serves traditional pub food, it’s particularly well known for whitebait, a fish politicians once traveled from Westminster to eat here in the 19th century.
My favorite thing about this south London pub is that it’s right on the Thames. It’s fun to watch the water splashing up against its sides as the boats go by (or to see it as a beachfront property at low tide).
2. The Crown & Greyhound Pub, Dulwich
Next on my list of the best pubs in south London is the Crown & Greyhound in Dulwich. Built on the site of two much-frequented historic inns, the Crown & Greyhound features a spacious interior and a beer garden out front.
I’ve enjoyed everything from summer drinks at outdoor tables to Sunday roasts on cold days here. It’s one of the best pubs in south east London for meeting friends and soaking up the local atmosphere.
The location is great, too. The Crown & Greyhound is in the heart of Dulwich Village. It’s surrounded by the area’s best shops and restaurants, and it’s right down the street from the famous Dulwich Picture Gallery and leafy Dulwich Park.
It’s also on the route of my self-guided Dulwich walk, so you can stop here along the way if you do it.
3. The Abbeville, Clapham
The Abbeville is another of the best pubs in south London. Down in Clapham, this local pub is tucked away on pretty Abbeville Road.
With a rustic interior and a series of small dining rooms, this pub feels like a proper neighborhood watering hole. I love how the windows open up to welcome the warmth in summer and that there’s always a fire going in winter.
The Abbeville serves classic British food, and I’ve enjoyed everything from Sunday lunch to weeknight dinners here. It’s a fun place to meet up with friends and get a taste of local life in Clapham.
4. The Victoria Inn, Peckham
The Victoria Inn in Peckham is another of the best pubs in south London. A corner number on trendy Bellenden Road, this spot is a great place to soak up the local scene in one of the city’s coolest neighborhoods.
The Victoria dates back to 1878. Its 19th-century features have been restored and retouched to give the interior a modern feel. The pub focuses on locally-sourced beer and cider, as well as hand-pulls of gravity-fed cask ale.
I love coming here for indoor drinks on cold evenings or outdoor ones on sunny days. It’s a place that lends itself to all weather and occasions.
5. The Cricketers, Richmond
Next on my list of the best pubs in south London is The Cricketers in Richmond. One of the oldest pubs in the area, it’s been serving beer since 1770.
The Cricketers is right on Richmond Green, making it an ideal spot to spend a sunny afternoon. Given there are often cricket matches going on, the name is particularly apt.
This is one of the best pubs in south west London for its historic atmosphere, great location, and fun ambiance.
6. The George Inn, London Bridge
Next on my list of the best pubs in south London is The George Inn in London Bridge. Dating back to the 17th century, it’s the only remaining galleried coaching inn in the UK capital.
A National Trust property in London, The George Inn has classic rooms with oak beams and historic atmosphere. There’s a courtyard with outdoor seating in front, too.
The George Inn is tucked away through a narrow entrance on Borough High Street near Borough Market and The Shard. It serves everything from real ales to classic pub food, and it’s on the route of my self-guided London Bridge walk.
This place is for you if you love heritage and want to step inside a piece of living history in London. It’s one of the top London Bridge pubs.
7. The Crooked Billet Pub, Wimbledon
Out west in Wimbledon, The Crooked Billet is another of the best pubs in south London. Located in a corner of Wimbledon Common, this 18th-century watering hole feels like a country pub in the city.
The interior is full of overstuffed leather chairs and old wooden tables. It’s a great place to hole up in winter. In summer, the revelry spills out onto Wimbledon Common.
With a seasonal menu and changing daily specials, it’s the perfect spot to tuck into a hearty meal near Wimbledon Village. There’s a variety of drinks on offer, too.
The Crooked Billet is an ideal place to watch the annual Wimbledon Tennis Championships as well. If you can’t get tickets to the main event, it’s a great alternative.
But perhaps the most intriguing thing about this south London pub is that its cellar is said to be haunted.
8. The Anchor Bankside Pub
Right on the Thames, The Anchor Bankside is another of the best pubs in south London.
This 18th-century number has a brick facade with red trim and a welcoming terrace on the river. It’s the perfect place to spend a sunny afternoon in the UK capital.
Built on a historic site on the south bank of the Thames in Southwark, The Anchor is said to have been a haunt of smugglers and river pirates back in the day. The interior’s warren of rooms and cozy nooks make it appear so.
This place is just the thing if you love riverside pubs in London. Make sure to get here early if it’s a sunny day, as the terrace gets busy quickly.
9. The Duke of Edinburgh Pub, Brixton
Next on my list of the best pubs in south London is The Duke of Edinburgh in Brixton. This characterful modern pub is known for music, Caribbean food, and beer.
The Duke of Edinburgh has an independent kitchen run by White Men Can’t Jerk. They serve up delicious jerk chicken and Caribbean fusion food, making the pub a great place to enjoy a meal.
The Duke of Edinburgh has one of the best beer gardens in south London, too. It’s the perfect area to soak up the sun on warm days and enjoy Brixton’s legendary nightlife scene in the evenings.
As if that’s not enough, there are regular pub quiz nights and screenings of live sporting events on television here.
10. The Roebuck, Borough
Down on Great Dover Street in Borough, The Roebuck is another of the best pubs in south London. That’s not least because it’s housed in one of the most eye-catching buildings in the UK capital.
Dating back to the 19th century, this Grade II-listed pub near London Bridge is one of my favorite places to photograph in the city.
Beyond a stunning exterior, The Roebuck features an outdoor area with picnic tables, an airy ground floor, and a laid-back upstairs lounge.
An independent pub, it offers beers and ales from around the world. It also has a food menu featuring dishes made with local produce.
This pub is ideal for you if you want to go somewhere both photogenic and slightly off the beaten path.
11. East Dulwich Tavern
The East Dulwich Tavern is another of the best pubs in South London. This neighborhood favorite on the corner of Lordship Lane and Goose Green is one of the most popular pubs in the area.
The EDT, as locals call it, has a spacious interior with quirky decor, two fireplaces, and lots of light. Outside there are picnic tables for al fresco drinking and dining.
The pub offers a rotating selection of local and regional Cask Marque-certified real ales. The food menu has all the classics as well as smaller sharing plates and bar snacks.
I love coming here for Sunday lunch or drinks with friends. It’s a great place to soak up the local scene in East Dulwich.
12. The Ship, Wandsworth
Next on my list of the best pubs in south London is The Ship in Wandsworth. This famous landmark watering hole is right on the Thames and has one of the best beer gardens in south west London.
The Ship is known for its burgers, but there are plenty of other menu options to choose from (including plant-based and vegan ones).
There’s also a big Sunday roast scene here. The Ship has an in-house DJ to liven up the weekend tradition, and it’s always a fun time.
13. The Black Dog, Vauxhall
The Black Dog in Vauxhall is another of the best pubs in South London. Originally a glass factory, this award-winning pub sits right on Spring Gardens near the Thames.
This is one of the best south London pubs with beer gardens. It has a big covered outdoor area in the back and more al fresco seating in front.
The interior has rustic wooden tables and a great stained-glass window behind the long bar, too.
The Black Dog is a freehouse that serves rotating Cask Marque-accredited real ales and lots of craft lagers. It’s a great place to enjoy food and drinks south of the river.
14. The Camberwell Arms Pub
Next on my list of the best pubs in south London is the Camberwell Arms. This award-winning independent pub and restaurant has a fresh, modern interior with lots of natural light.
Calling itself a neighborhood “restaurant nestled inside a 19th-century pub”, it caters to food lovers as much as it does to pub-goers. It’s best known for its delicious Sunday lunches, and it has some of the best pub food in south London.
This Camberwell gem puts an emphasis on product-focused, seasonal cooking, and I always love going in and seeing what’s new on the menu.
15. The Mayflower, Rotherhithe
Right on the river, The Mayflower in Rotherhithe is another of the best pubs in south London.
This waterfront special is particularly well-known for its American connections, as it’s named after the famous ship that left from right near here on its journey to the New World in 1620.
The Mayflower dates back to the 1500s and claims to be the oldest pub on the river. Set on a historic cobbled street on the Thames, it features an interior full of history.
The Mayflower also has a famous terrace jetty offering sweeping views across the Thames (and water coming up through the floorboards when boats go by!).
Uniquely, the pub has a Mayflower Descendants Book. Those who can prove a family connection to the original Pilgrims who sailed in 1620 are invited to sign it.
Oddly enough, this is also the only pub licensed to sell both US and UK postage stamps. Ask at the bar and you’ll be able to purchase them.
South London Pub Map
Best South London Pubs
I hope you’ve enjoyed this look at the best pubs in south London. The area south of the river is a great place to eat and drink in the UK capital, and I’m sure you’ll love these watering holes as much as I do when you’re here.