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10 Irish pubs and bars in London for St. Patrick’s Day

With St. Patrick’s Day fast approaching, there is no better time to celebrate something the emerald isle does better than anyone else: pubs. In no particular order, here are ten Irish-themed public houses in London that are worth the tube fare.

1. The Auld Shillelagh, Stoke Newington

When a venue appears on the top five best London pints lists of both the Guinness Guru and shitlondonguinness, a perfect pour is guaranteed. The Irish Times deemed it the world’s “most authentic Irish pub outside of Ireland”. Though it only opened in 1991, it has the feeling of an institution that has been part of the area, even back when Stoke Newington was all fields.

2. The Tipperary, City

Hunkered down on Fleet Street, this snug spot claims to be “London’s original Irish pub”. Having been a pub since the early 1600s, and being Hibernified a century later, it’s so old that it predates Guinness. If you’re not central and it’s a long way to The Tipperary, it’s still worth the trip for the history of place alone.

3. The Twelve Pins, Finsbury Park

Named after a mountain range in County Galway, it might be a bit of an uphill struggle to get a table when there’s a match showing, but there’s plenty of standing room for you to enjoy your pint. Expect chilled pints and generous portions of hearty food.

4. Waxy O’Connor’s, Soho

What’s better than one bar? Four, of course. Don’t be deterred by the name (which it takes from a candlestick maker working in early 19th century Dublin), this is a bar like no other. At the centre of it all is Waxy’s tree – exactly how they got a withered old tree of that size into a pub in central London is part of the mystery. Each of the bars has its own personality, and at every level (all six of them) there is something to be enjoyed.

5. The Boot, King’s Cross

Another historic site, there has been a pub here on Cromer Street since 1724. This is a no-nonsense Irish pub with good Guinness and a dart board which was a favourite haunt over the years of figures such as Charles Dickens and Kenneth Williams. If you want to stop messing about with novelty pints, this is the place for you.

6. Blythe Hill Tavern, Catford

Though this Victorian-era boozer may be somewhat off the beaten track, as a CAMRA award-winner and local favourite, it certainly isn’t short of fans. Whether you’re enjoying a chat in the snug front bar or watching the Six Nations in the back area, expect friendly service and excellent beer.

7. The Cow, Westbourne Park


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It may be more a homage to an Irish pub than the real deal, but this gourmet’s favourite is serious about its food. The decor is inspired by proper country pubs, but the menu refined yet comforting, with crab tagliolini and fish stew. Alternatively, opt for the experience for which The Cow is best know: order some fresh oysters to go with your Guinness.

8. Skehan’s, Telegraph Hill

With its bright green exterior, there are no prizes for guessing the nation this pub is themed after. This family run spot describes itself as a “Purveyor of Craic”, but you can also enjoy some good Thai Food to accompany your pint thanks to the nearby Chai’s Garden Restaurant. Live music around the tables, quiz nights and live sport – this has the potential to become the local you wished you had.

9. The Porterhouse, Covent Garden

With sister brewpubs in Dublin and New York, The Porterhouse shows how the craft scene has managed to crack the Irish market. We listed one of their beers, the Session Pale Ale, as one of our ten alternative Irish beers to Guinness. There is such a range of beers on tap here, deciding on which to get can be bewildering, but with the brewing pedigree of Porterhouse it’s difficult to choose wrong.

10. The Sheephaven Bay, Camden

If you have a phobia of scarves, avoid this pub at all costs – the walls and ceiling are strewn with them, alongside all manner of other sporting memorobilia. Another commended mention on the lists of the Guinness Guru and shitlondonguinness, this is paradise for sports fans, and obsessives of perfectly executed pints.

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