London's 10 best pubs

MELISSA STRANGER
Last updated 10:12 18/09/2013

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Drinking and eating at a pub is a British pastime, and in London many pubs feel like home.

Our friends at Yelp helped us round up the 10 best pubs in the city, as ranked by the Yelp users who've been there.

Yelpers seem to prefer traditional pubs, ranking Covent Garden's The Harp at the top of the list.

But a few more contemporary establishments also made the top 10, including a pub that serves Thai food and another that could double as a church.

10. Waxy O'Connor's, 14-16 Rupert Street, Leicester Square

With multiple levels and multiple bars, walking into Waxy's is like stepping into a Catholic-church-turned-Diagon-Alley-shop straight out of Harry Potter. They have great brews, great food, and a fun, relaxed atmosphere.

'Waxy's has got to be one of the most fun pubs in all of England,' writes Yelp reviewer Maria T. 'Cheesy music aside... this place delivers the ultimate pub experience.'

9. The Victoria, 10A Strathearn Place, Paddington

Built in 1838, The Victoria serves affordable food and drinks and has decades of history. Charles Dickens used to write from the second floor of the bar, and rumour has it that Queen Victoria herself paid a visit to the pub, which is how it got its name.

'This has quickly become my local after moving to the area,' says Alex S., 'and I love it. It's hard not to. A great giant pub that serves cheap drinks. What's not to like about that?'

8. The Greenwich Union, 56 Royal Hill, Greenwich

Meantime Brewing Company's first pub, The Greenwich Union, has ample indoor and outdoor seating and a seemingly endless beer menu. Customers also rave about the food, especially the burgers.

'This has to be one of the best Beer/Burger/Chips parlays in London,' John S. writes. 'The burger had a good flavour and was perfectly cooked/juicy... The service was bright and competent and I will definitely be back.'

7. The Churchill Arms, 119 Kensington Church Street, Notting Hill

Brian M. says The Churchill Arms is 'a charming, local haunt that I frequent often. Very typical neighbourhood English pub up front, and charming little butterfly/conservatory-themed Thai restaurant out back. The Thai food is surprisingly good.'

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Other customers also marvel at the way The Churchill Arms is always decked out like a botanical garden, not just inside, but outside as well. The exterior is stunning to look at, enticing locals to come check it out.

6. Marquis Cornwallis, 31 Marchmont Street, Bloomsbury

The Marquis Cornwallis is part of a chain of pubs, but those who visit say they don't get the 'chain' vibe from it -- just a great drink selection, awesome food, and plenty of places to grab a seat and talk with friends.

'I like the Marquis of Cornwallis... ok, I really like it,' admits Aromy X. 'I've had plenty of nights here chatting and drinking with friends and strangers. Whenever I have friends in town, this seems to be the place to take them.'

5. Princess Louise, 208 High Holborn, Covent Garden

Everything about the Princess Louise pub screams royalty, even the urinals in the men's bathroom are made of marble. The regulars can relax in plush armchairs and enjoy the upscale fare at this pub.

'It's so comfy in here. The upstairs is like a regency room with sofas and mini stools, as if it was made for the Princess Louise,' says Yinnie C. 'A perfect place for a history class get together.'

4. The Grenadier, 18 Wilton Row, Belgravia

The Grenadier, formerly The Grenadier Arms, is in a quaint location not far from Buckingham Palace. Get your pint from one of the friendly bartenders, and then go for a walk in the palace gardens afterward.

'This is an excellent example of a traditional old pub I have come across,' Natalie W. writes. 'The staff are warm and friendly and the crowd are nice and varied. I love the old style charm and the decor and the location is perfect; you wouldn't find it unless you were looking for it, hidden away in the heart of London.'

3. The Windsor Castle, 114 Campden Hill Road, Kensington

The beer garden at the Windsor Castle is lush and green and perfect for relaxing at the end of the day. And don't stop at their beer; they serve gourmet pub fare and decadent desserts.

They even have a separate menu just for their puddings.

'This is the pub that you imagine finding but rarely do,' says Steve B. 'Located in the middle of residential streets in Kensington, the Windsor Castle is immediately appealing... Good selection of beers on tap and the food is great too. Pub food done well and served well.'

2. Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese, 145 Fleet Street, Blackfriars/Holborn

Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese, or 'The Cheese,' as it's affectionately known, is lauded for being a favourite among both tourists and locals. They say it was also a favourite of Charles Dickens, Alfred Tennyson, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and many other literary greats.

'The best pub in London,' claims Louise J. 'Historic, cheap beer, and you're likely to get a seat. The building is so wonderful they can have sawdust on the floor and not be stupid. This pub out-pubs them all.'

1. The Harp, 47 Chandos Place, Covent Garden/Strand

The award-winning Covent Garden pub provides a comfy, at-home atmosphere. Find the bar lined with a collection of beer brand coasters, and an upstairs pink room with easy chairs and sofas.

'One of my favourite beer spots in London,' says Leighton S. 'The selection is great and you can always find a few Dark Star beers on draught. Prices are very good. The decor is great, with tons of portraits and other paintings lining the walls.'

Note: Yelp's search results are based on an algorithm that is designed to provide the best results based on a number of different factors including review text, ratings, and number of reviews. Because several factors are taken into account, this is why you may see a 3.5-star restaurant with 500 reviews showing above a 4-star one with 15 reviews.

- Business Insider Australia

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