Soho is an entertainment-centric small area with every type of pub befitting everyone who wants to let loose and have fun. From theme pubs to historic boozers, Soho is full of lively and risqué pubs that embrace the inclusivity of London’s central LGBTQ+ community. It is full of lesbian pubs & bars as well as buzzing gay pubs filled with glamour fashion and live music.
Traditional British London pubs are the most elegant and upscale venues for a night of fun and extravagant drinking. Most of the pubs feature unique styles, décor, and offerings that make for a diverse pub affair.
Read on to get to know the must-visit pubs and where they are located. From the friendly Old Coffee House with craft beers from Leyton microbrewery to the fine interiors of the often-full Argyll Arms Pub and the Victorian-decorated Lyric.
Best Pubs in Soho London
The Dog & Duck
- Address: 18 Bateman Street, London, Greater London, W1D 3AJ
- Food: YES
- Atmosphere: Cozy, quiet upstairs and lively downstairs
- Known for: Historic venue that has hosted prominent guests and serves breathtaking fish & chips
The Dog & Duck was established in 1734, but the current building was built in 1897. It is a historic pump that has hosted prominent personnel, including Dante Gabriel Rossetti, George Orwell, and John Constable. It is also said that Madonna frequented the pub in recent years to enjoy their classic British shepherd’s pie.
The scruffy small-sized pub is made up of two floors, with the top is the alcohol and small bites venue, and the bottom is where you can dine with your friends and family. The walls are beautifully tiled with mahogany panels and mirrors reminiscent of the Victorian era.
The fish n chips are a highly recommended item on their menu. The meal is highly crispy and will get you extremely full. Real hand-pulled ales are what stand out on their beer selections. Some of the popular options include the Shropshire Gold and the Doom Bar. From smoky to fruity whisky range, Dog & Duck also has some of the finest gins, British craft tipples, and alcohol-free drinks.
- Address: 37 Great Windmill Street, Soho, London W1D 7LT
- Food: YES
- Specials: $4.95 lunch (sandwich and drink) from Monday to Friday: 12 pm until 5 pm
- Atmosphere: busy, patient staff, cosy, and comfortable
- Known for: Attentive staff and great food place at the centre of the vibrant scene of Soho
The Lyric is an ideal location for those looking forward to visiting the Lyric Theater or the Piccadilly circus in Soho. The staff at the Lyric is highly praised for having attentive, patient, and nice waiters who provide world-class services.
It is a great Victorian-era pub that serves some of the greatest beer range and tantalizing foods in the heart of London. The atmosphere blends the rustic Victorian-era décor nicely with a more modern and laid-back finish that allows for tons of natural light. Moreover, the exterior is filled with inviting flower décor and adds a warm nature to the pub.
Drinks speciality of the Lyric is the bottled and draught beer. Fine wines and spirits grace the menu, alongside the highly beloved food menu filled with options like fish and chunky chips with big smoke ale, battered cod, mushy peas, and tartare sauce. I recommend you try the delectable BBQ baby back pork ribs with chipotle slaw, skin-on fries, and corn riblet.
The Coach & Horses
- Address: 29 Greek Street, Soho, London W1D 5DH
- Food: YES
- Specials: 2 for 1 Pint, Prosecco & Palomas from Monday to Friday
- Atmosphere: Loud and inviting
- Known for: Vegan fish and chips in the only entirely plant-based pub in London
The Coach & Horses is the self-proclaimed most famous pub in Soho. Like, Dog & Duck, the pub is a historic venue full of rich London-based history. It is rustic and rough around the edges, which makes it homely and welcoming to the locals.
The exterior’s red and white accent colours give it a distinct look on Greek Street. It is a family-friendly pub where you can enter with your dog, and have a good time on the indoor seating or outdoor patio.
Cask ales are the best drinks on the tables. The bitter but enticing drinks are complemented by the wonderful wine list and huge collection of spirits. You won’t miss traditional Fuller’s beers like Seafarers and the London Pride.
Alison Ross currently manages the Coach & Horses, but in 2012, Alastair Choat was the manager and made the unique decision to make all foods on the menu vegan. The decision has never been reversed due to the massive increase in profits, and you can expect meat-free delicacies on the extensive menu. Pub favourites include the regular ‘fish’ and chips as well as short crust pies.
- Address: 54 Old Compton Street, Soho, London W1D 4UB
- Food: YES
- Atmosphere: Drag queen centric with colourful décor and loud music
- Known for: Hilarious and fierce drag shows
Admiral Duncan’s Local atmosphere is well complemented by its eccentric drag queen performances and shows. The clientele is filled with progressive individuals and a huge number of the LGNTQ+ community. It is a booming events centre in London that hosts drag queen shows, cabaret, and other comedic shows throughout the week.
The friendly pub is filled with sensuality and elegant guest appearances from time to time, but you can rest assured that you will be wittily skinned alive by the venue’s fierce queens. Please do not enter if you do not have thick skin; then it might be right for you to brace yourself for some hilarious but hurtful interactive shows.
Karaoke showdowns happen every Monday, hosted by Karla Bear from 7 pm. Tuneful Tuesday is the drag cabaret show at the venue every Tuesday from 9 pm.
The French House
- Address: 49 Dean Street, Soho, London, W1D 5BG
- Food: YES
- Atmosphere: charming and historic ambience with a calm and dignified crowd
- Known for: fabulous and entertaining atmosphere
Previously known as York Minster, the French House is a 19th-century pub. It started as a family-owned business that has survived two World Wars and seen its fair share of historical moments, including the fall of France. In fact, the “À tous les Français” speech delivered by General Charles de Gaulle in World War II was said to have been written in the French House.
Other prominent individuals to have visited the pub include the famous writer Brendan Behan who wrote The Quare Fellow in the French House. Dylan Thomas is said to have once forgotten a piece of his dram, Under Milk Wood, in the pub.
Moreover, frequent guests of the French House regularly switched between the pub and the Coach & Horses to perform various historic missions like the Dean Street Shuffle. The pub still holds its Bohemian stature with various memorabilia of the regular guests.
The French-inspired menu is an oasis to the local French guests, most of whom are regulars in this small venue. Beers and wines flow as you would expect from a small venue. Wine is the most stocked item with more than 30 different varieties.
One thing you will need to remember when visiting is that phones and other similar electronics are not allowed. The French House is welcoming to people of all walks of life; unless you continuously take your smartphone out for some pictures, you may be met with a hush reality from the regulars.
The Blue Posts
- Address: 28 Rupert Street, London, W1D 6DJ
- Food: YES
- Specials: Free blues and Jazz on Mondays
- Atmosphere: Sleek and modern with Georgian-inspired décor
- Known for: British craft beers and Michelin Star meals
There are three Blue Posts pubs in Soho. You may have wondered why this is if you frequent the West End. Some say it is because of the blue posts that were used to showcase royal hunting boundaries and others believe it is because blue posts were used as forerunners of taxi ranks. However, the venue on Rupert Street speaks more for itself with its striking blue paint job on the exterior.
Blue Post at 28 Rupert Street is located between Chinatown and Soho and has existed since 1739. The historic pub was renovated in 2017, where a kitchen area was created on one of the floors, and the first floor was turned into a wine bar. The pint-sized boozer is sleek and modern, with visible cask ales from various brewers behind the long bar.
You will notice that the interior is reminiscent of the 1970s when you walk into the pub. Georgian antique windows surround the first floor with wooden floors and a gorgeous outdoor terrace that brings the street’s life into the pub.
There are no reservations as the policy is first-come-first-serve. Visit the eccentric pub to feast in the One Michelin Star Evelyn’s Table on the upper floor. The five-course meal is priced at £120 per person with optional £80 addition for wine pairing. British craft beers are the speciality when it comes to drinks with selections from brewers like John O’Groats and Lands End.
- Address: 18 Argyll Street, Soho, London, W1F 7TP
- Food: YES
- Atmosphere: Impressive Victorian décor with captivating mirrors and inviting ambience
- Known for: Impressive décor and great food selections
Argyll Arms had its roots in 1868, when Victorian areas were separated based on the various social classes. It is named after the Duke of Argyll II, who used to live near the area where the Palladium is situated. It is another historic pub that has withstood the test of time. The Victorian boozer is in the Campaign for Real Ales National Inventory of Historic Pub Interiors. This is based on its impressive décor with ornate carvings and a hallway plastered with captivating mirrors.
The seasonal menu at Argyll Arms offers its guests British dishes from award-winning steak and Nicholson’s pale ale pie and chicken & portobello mushroom pie. Main dishes include the salmon & dill fishcakes that are served with herb-glazed baby potatoes, lemon aioli, and house salad.
It is a great venue for having great British pub dishes accompanied by classic cask ale or a glass of fine wine. Whisky and gin options are in plenty for the long summer delight.
Old Coffee House
- Address: 49 Beak Street, Soho, London, W1F 9SF
- Food: YES
- Atmosphere: Laid-back and unpretentious
- Known for: Affordable drinks
Despite being built in 1772, the Old Coffee House is not considered historic as it was renovated in the 19th century. The oddly named pub is famous for serving some of the best beers London can offer, from the big players like Heineken and Guinness to regular pale ales.
You won’t miss the regular foods, from a wide range of pies to fish, chips, and burgers. The small venue may seem to have little going for it, but regulars praise it for having affordable prices compared to most pubs in London.
Also Read: Best Bars in Soho, London
De Hems Dutch Café Bar
- Address: 11 Macclesfield Street, London, W1D 5BW
- Food: YES
- Atmosphere: Lovely and friendly
- Known for: Great assortment of Dutch beers and history of serving incredible oysters
De Hems offers great options when it comes to Dutch and Belgian options in the West Wend. The Dutch pub is a favourite for those who look forward to watching sports on the big screen and having a pint of the bitter Dutch flavours. Draught Dutch and Belgian beers are what De Hems is all about, but they do include artisan spirits as well as quality wines and Dutch-inspired dishes.
History says that this Chinatown venue was a regular place for Dutch sailors in World War II. It was acquired by a former Dutch sea captain, Papa de Hems, during the 20th century, when he began selling delectable oysters in the pub. The oysters made the pub so famous that it frequently attracted famous writers, actors, authors, and gangsters.
- Address: 21 Poland Street, London W1F 8QG
- Food: YES
- Specials: £12 unlimited Wings Wednesdays when you pre-book
- Atmosphere: calm, relaxed, and nice atmosphere
- Known for: Lots of beer on tap
Brewdog is a few minute-walk from Oxford Circus and Tottenham Court Road. The famous pint is excellent and set over two floors, featuring 20 different craft beer taps. The upper level is where you go to have a relaxed experience over a meal and sip. The lower level is filled with actions with live music, impressive performances, and high energy from the action on the street.
Some of their new additions include the Almost Famous, a 6.8% New England IPA with citrus notes and a fancy floral flair. The fridge is always fully stocked with various BrewDog favourites, including guest IPAs, stouts, ciders, Trappist beers, and sours.
The Crown and Two Chairmen
- Address: 31-32 Dean Street, London W1D 3SB
- Food: YES
- Specials: main food items from £14
- Atmosphere: Laid-back and enticing menu items from drinks to food
- Known for: hosting a lot media and production crowds of Soho
The Crown and two chairmen invite you in even before you open, the sign on top of the entrance door is made of metallic art décor resembling something out of this world. You will be forgiven for thinking the sign is an art piece of the atom or wound-up solar system, regardless, the pub will blow your mind.
Industrial look of the interior and comfy leather seats gives it a luxurious and yet welcoming to all social scene. It is a place you may want to dine for the entire day and drink with friends till 12 pm on weekends and 11 pm on weekdays. Bohemian crowds and Soho’s media personnel love this pub and you will mostly find older guests and less of the rowdier younger crowds.
The laid-back feel makes their assortment of drinks worthwhile from the wines, craft beers, draught lagers, and artisan spirits. The seasonal menu has British delectable like British outdoor-bred pork sausage with spring onion mash. Try the grilled seabass fillets and roasted pumpkin.
The White Horse
- Address: 16 Newburgh Street Carnaby Street, London, W1F 7RY
- Food: YES
- Specials: two cocktails for £15
- Atmosphere: historic ambience with photo-worthy decor
- Known for: historical art, look, and great enough space
You will be forgiven for calling it White House instead of The White Horse, this Soho pub is indeed presidential with antique art décor. The pub has a history going all the way back to the 1700s but its style and design of the renovation done in the 1930s. A white horse plasters the balcony and it has never been changed since the 1930s.
The food is a classic British pub menu fair with burgers and mains including 100-ounce ribeye steak, grilled seabass, and ocean fish & chips. Drinks on the other hand come in plenty with various ales, wine, and cocktails.
- Address: 116 Wardour Street, Soho, London, W1F 0TT
- Food: YES
- Atmosphere: a classic British style pub décor and environment
- Known for: relaxed lunches and rocky parties after sundown
The Ship is part of Fuller’s chain of pubs and boozers around London. It is a small venue that offers a classic British pub affair with little bells and whistles. This is your choice of pub if you are looking for dependable and classic pub services from regular pints, small bites, and a fun time.
During the day, The Ship is quiet and inviting with its relaxed atmosphere alongside a chill crowd with great food. At night, it turns into the party of the city with loud music, a rowdy crowd, and a huge selection of beers going round and round.
- Address: 14-16 Rupert Street, Soho, London W1D 6DD
- Food: YES
- Atmosphere: loud and lively
- Known for: Great Irish beer selections
Waxy O’Connor’s has four unique bars situated in its six levels. It is the most significant Irish pub in London with award-winning services. It has been operational for more than 25 years since its establishment by Finbar O’Connor, also known as ‘Waxy’.
His philosophy is held to date at the venue, “Such heat doth parch a man and a parched man is a barren man- Beer is the only cure – us lads could put away gallons in a day.” Their selection of beers is huge, with pale ale and cask ale assortment that make the four nights of live music a delight to the ears. Live sports games are streamed weekly, from Rugby to Football and Irish GAA.
Soho is filled with pub lovers’ favourite boozers, and you will not exhaust each establishment’s uniqueness and special offerings. Take a look at these other great places for more entertainment, live music, historic ambience, and delicious small bites:
- Sun & Thirteen Cantons
- Glasshouse stores
- Adam and Eve